My top 5 smartphones available today

My top 5 smartphones available today

Summary: Some very exciting smartphones have been announced, but many of these have vague shipping dates. There are still some excellent choices available today and here is my take on what I like.

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I posted my Top 10 smartphones of 2011… for now article last week and received some great feedback from readers. Looking back on that post, I agree now with many readers that I should have only let phones that were available or known to be coming in a week or two on the list since devices like the Palm Pre 3 may not be available for months. This current top 5 list below only has phones that are available now and ones that I honestly do think are worthy of consideration.

Number 1: HTC ThunderBolt

You may have read that I purchased the HTC ThunderBolt on launch day. This is a device that is similar to the HTC EVO 4G and other large 4.3 inch display devices that HTC makes. However, it has LTE and once you experience the speeds of this network technology you really can't go back to much less.

Others have confirmed some of my ThunderBolt experiences too and agree that the device is very fast and responsive, even though it just has a second generation single-core Snapdragon processor. The display is also excellent and I watched a couple of movies last week with the rock solid kickstand propping it up. The battery life is not very good on 4G, but easily goes more than a day on 3G.

I am making a major commitment and keeping the HTC ThunderBolt on a Verizon line while I have a T-Mobile family plan for my standard needs. The ThunderBolt is one of the most capable devices today and if you have a need for speed there is currently nothing else like it.

Number 2: Dell Venue Pro

There are Microsoft haters out there who won't even think of giving a Windows Phone 7 device a chance, but I can honestly say that my T-Mobile SIM has been spending most of its time in my Dell Venue Pro ever since I bought it and put in my 32GB microSD card. The operating system is a breath of fresh air with an amazing collection of Xbox LIVE games and a fast-growing list of applications, now past the 12,000 level and growing. It may not have everything that iOS and Android currently have, but it gets the job done and in a way that is seriously enjoyable.

Number 3: Nokia N8

I have an orange Nokia N8 and even though it is a Symbian device that was released last October there are still several features of the device that no other smartphone manufacturer has yet matched. One of the best is the penta-band 3G so this device could serve as a bridge device for AT&T and T-Mobile customers who want 3G no matter what the new company decides to do with the two competing wireless frequencies.

If photos are important to you then you will not find a better camera phone available. The aluminum body comes in five cool colors and unlike many smartphones today, you will actually experience top notch phone calls and RF reception. You also cannot overlook the amazing FREE Ovi Maps support that gives you free offline navigation around the world.

Number 4: Apple iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 is now available on both AT&T and Verizon. The iPhone 4 is one of the only smartphones available that you can trust will get you through the day on a single charge, the Nokia N8 is another, and this may be vitally important to some people while others are fine with carrying a second battery to pop in their Android device. Apple does a great job with industrial design and the iPhone 4 feels great in your hand. The display has amazing clarity with the 3.5 inch 960x640 pixel resolution. If apps are important to you then the iPhone 4 also rules in that department.

Number 5: Motorola Atrix 4G

The Motorola Atrix 4G is one of the first dual-core smartphones available and as Kevin Tofel posted in his review it really is a great phone. In addition to the dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, the Atrix 4G has a 4 inch 960x540 pixel resolution display, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and microSD card slot, HDMI port, 5 megapixel camera and 1.3 megapixel front facing camera.

There is also unique docking accessories for the Atrix 4G so you could turn it into a netbook device if you wanted to try to work on a bigger display on the go. If AT&T had a network that provided faster speeds then this would be rated higher, but their current network is almost laughable when comparing with Verizon or T-Mobile.

Final thoughts on these top 5

So, there's my current list of favorites that are available now. I would add other Windows Phone 7 devices like the Samsung Focus (AT&T) and HTC Arrive (Sprint) if you are on those carriers and want a Windows Phone 7 device too. The HTC EVO 4G on Sprint is also still a great device that closely matches what we see in the ThunderBolt.

[poll id="21"]

Topics: Hardware, HTC, iPhone, Mobility, Processors, Smartphones, Wi-Fi

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55 comments
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  • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

    good line-up Matt, surprise to see that Symbian is on the list. It is not the most fashionable OS right now, even though it works pretty well. Jari
    angesja
    • Matt missed LG phones

      That are the fastest in the line up. So he can keep his iPhone 4, the cheesy Atrix, the Dell Vue and the N8. My list would never include any of these.
      Uralbas
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @Uralbas: Hey, dude -- totally cool!! Like what would *your* list include?
        Meehhh!
        Never mind.
        humannzee
  • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

    See, Front Runners... Now that the Thunderbolt sales have been shown to be kicking every other phones Ass it is placed at #1 on your lists like you guys knew it all along.<br><br>Zdnet has become too partial and not reliable.
    slickjim
    • Hmmm...

      @Peter Perry
      Don't kick ZDNet for Mr. Miller's top 5 phones. He clearly states: "my current list of favorites that are available now.", and even the title of the blog starts with "My...". Make sure you read and understand before loading your quiver with arrows.

      I do appreciate the fact that Mr. Miller is an early adopter (or maybe addict) of smartphone technologies. He is, for the most part, fair and balanced in his assessments.
      matricellc
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @matricellc okay now go back and read the article about the top smartphones of 2011 and note who the author is... Then do some research before you load your quiver!
        slickjim
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @matricellc: How dare you attempt to interject any semblence of reason and sanity where it is neither appreciated nor welcome!

        Hrruumph! (whatever the hay that is)
        humannzee
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @Peter Perry

        It still states its HIS top 5 list...I think you're jus mad the iPhone 4 isnt at the top...
        I think i like this, its well done
        iPwn
    • Considering when he saw the phone originally

      @Peter Perry

      He said it was a top contender for best phone this year, before it was launched, I fail to see how this was waiting for sales numbers....
      LiquidLearner
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @LiquidLearner You are wrong, his last article about the top 10 phones of 2011 he had the thunderbolt at #6 and the iphone at #4...

        3 or 4 days after the news broke about the the thunderbolt being #1 in sales by a large margin and he now has the thunder at #1 and the iphone at #4!

        How is this not chasing numbers? Did these phpnes magically change overnight or was there a mysterious update that I missed? No, he's just a front runner.
        slickjim
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @Peter Perry
        That one he listed it even before he had to his hands on it, that means the phone was never released to public.
        Ram U
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @Rama.NET Go read the article, he said he had the phone since launch day which was 12 days prior to him writing the article.
        slickjim
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @P.P. : For the love of God!! What's with all the talk of "quivers" and such?!! Makes me wanna stick a dull knife in my neck . . . . repeatedly.
        humannzee
    • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

      @Peter Perry
      Matt is not biased towards any technology. His list is fair and balanced.
      My list is like this:
      1. Focus
      2. EVO
      3. iPhone 4
      4. Atrix 4G
      5. HD2
      Ram U
    • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

      @Peter Perry .......And who do you think is not partial ?
      KPE
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @KPE

        Girls, girls, can't you just read an article an move on if you don't agree? Or at least have something to say about, I don't know, the products instead of attacking the writer?
        Joe Davola
  • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

    No Blackberries??? The most useful, secure phones on the market and none are on your list.
    According to wikipedia "A smartphone is a mobile phone that offers more advanced computing ability and connectivity..."
    Where's the connectivity on these phones. None can sync like the Blackberry they are also much cheaper than the iPhone.
    Being connected means you'll want to be able to email, chat and basically broadcast your written words to the world on the go. How fast and accurate can you type on a touch screen? Blackberries all have the best QWERTY keyboards available on a smartphone. Cheers.
    SinfoCOMAR
    • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

      @SinfoCOMAR
      I agree. Most of the reviewed phones are media only phones. I love my BB Bold, and its keyboard rocks. It's the only business phone to have.
      ITOdeed
    • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

      @SinfoCOMAR the problem is that Blackberry Handset Quality has taken a hit over the last year.
      slickjim
      • RE: My top 5 smartphones available today

        @Peter Perry I agree shorter product release cycles have hit blackberry quality but not as bad as with others. I agree quality assurance seems none existant these days. We've all must've heard of the iPhone 4 grip of death and the HTC Thunderbolt listed here had a horrible SMS bug in it's first version. Seems companies are in such a rush they don't test basic funtionality anymore.
        However I do have to say Blackberries have not had such big problems like those mentioned above. And RIM does pay atention where it counts. Connectivity is almost flawless even when roaming between countries and as a business user it is really important. I also give them points for the mostly unnoticed details: my last two BBs had the audio connectors gold plated. I basically dumped all music playing devices I had, stocked up on several big microSDs never looked back. My two cents on the quality issue... Cheers.
        SinfoCOMAR