Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

Summary: With the rise of Android, the reboot of BlackBerry, and the redesigned iPhone, 2010 can rightly be called the year of the smartphone. Here are the 10 elite smartphones of the year.


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  • This shows how much progress the smartphone market has made in one year. Last year, I would have ranked the original Motorola Droid and the Apple iPhone 3GS as the two best smartphones on the market. This year, the Droid got a very nice upgrade but still struggled to make the top 10. Still, due to its increased specs, solid build quality, and very usable form factor, the Droid 2 belongs on this list. Also, don’t miss its cousins, the Droid Pro and the Droid 2 Global.

    To view this as a text-based list, see the companion blog post.

  • With much the same innards as the Google Nexus One (although not nearly as strong of a build quality), the HTC Incredible was a consolation prize for those who had been salivating for the Nexus One on Verizon. Unfortunately, Google and Verizon pulled the plug on those plans and instead HTC offered the Incredible through Verizon with the traditional two-year contract. The Incredible did get one thing that the Nexus One didn’t have: HTC’s Sense UI. Some viewed that as a bonus over the stock Android OS on the Nexus One, while others saw it as a detractor.

    To view this as a text-based list, see the companion blog post.

  • Microsoft finally got itself back in the smartphone game in 2010 with the launch of Windows Phone 7, and the first widely-available WP7 device was the Samsung Focus, which didn’t disappoint. The Focus sported nice hardware specs in an attractive, futuristic form factor (albeit with a lot of plastic, similar to the Galaxy S). And, Windows Phone 7 offered a new take on smartphone UI that is a little but more polished and fluid than Android or BlackBerry, although not quite as finished as the iPhone.

    To view this as a text-based list, see the companion blog post.

Topics: Android, Google, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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  • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

    Imagine where we will be in 2011, 2012, ...
    Schoolboy Bob
  • N8?

    How about Nokia N8?
    • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010


      What about the Dell Venue Pro? I know it was just released but if you're saying Best of 2010 this phone needs to be considered.
      • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

        @NPGMBR : It has had lotsa problems, and we might just wait for the *real* Lightning to be release (aka, I think Dell changed the name to avoid the press having a field day with all the mayor bugs and surprises that a 1.0 release carries with it.)

        WP7 looks promising, but things like the unremovable SD card (which renders it useless for foto sharing), the lack of apps (4,000+ apps is a joke compared to 250k iPhone, 150k Android) and the lack of high end features (retina display, near field communication, no hot spot, no 4G, etc) make the Dell Venue just a shadow of the Dell Lightning leaked on April.
    • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

      @Eeem <br>Because this is the U.S. version of ZDNet, and Nokia, as most know, doesn't have a presence in the U.S. market.

      And besides, the other phones are the newer 'super-phones' while the N8 is a smart phone that would have been at home in 2008.
  • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

    The Nokia N8 definitely belongs on this list! If the title of this was best selling smart phones of 2010, then maybe this list is correct, I don't know. But, to not include the Nokia N8 in a piece labeled "best smart phones of 2010" is wrong!

    It has the best camera of any smart phone hands down. It has the best reception of an smart phone. It comes with free apps that all the others charge at least $10 a month for. It has an FM receiver AND TRANSMITTER. You can listen to your music in your car without having to shell out another $30 for some special connector. It comes with HDMI out. It's memory is expandable to at least 16gb + the 8 it comes with.

    Finally, using any metric OTHER than popularity, how does the iPhone make it on this list? Yes, it has huge sales. I get that! But, it's reception is lousy (and stop blaming AT&T, I have AT&T and a samsung smart phone and have NO reception / dropped call problems), it breaks easily (front and back glass, and I don't care if it uses gorilla glass, it still breaks easily), the battery life sucks compared to nearly every other smart phone, and truthfully, Apples customer care sucks too! When the president and CEO of a company stands in front of all the world and tells us that the reception problems we have is because we hold the phone wrong and to not hold it that way, well, that is a company that doesn't care about it's customers! So, I think your article loses it's credibility by not including one of the best smart phones based on features, and does include one of the worst smart phones based on reliability. And I'm sorry, being able to download 20 different flashlight apps, or an app that makes farting sounds, or an app that sounds like you're cocking a gun, well, that doesn't make a smart phone special in my book.
    • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

      @mgrubb@... I am guessing the article was talking about phones available to the US customers from the US phone providers.
    • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

      @mgrubb@... You're just JEALOUS! Go take your Samdung phone and keep pretending like it even comes close to an iphone.
  • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

    Strange that the number one phone on this list is the iPhone. To me it's the number one dumb phone, or dPhone. Who compiled this dumb list?
  • Good list

    I might rearrange the pieces here and there, but it's a good look at the cream of the crop in 2010 smartphones.

    I took slight exception to crediting the EVO with breaking the 4-inch screen barrier, but the HD2 running Windows Mobile 6.5 relegated it to second-class status.

    And I knew you'd take flack for posting the iPhone as number one. Heh. :-p
  • RE: Slideshow: The 10 best smartphones of 2010

    Where is the N8?