The Best Smartphones on Every Carrier

For the first time ever, every major carrier in the US actually has smartphones worth buying, meaning you don't have to break up to get a good phone. Here's the best phones on each one, along with the best deals. All pricing shown is with a new 2-year contract, and some deals may be temporary.

AT&T

iPhone 3GS
The iPhone 3GS is the best overall smartphone you can buy. It's really that simple. Best user interface, best internet, best apps, best media support—the list goes on. Okay, not the best network, but nothing's perfect. $199

BlackBerry Bold 9700
I miss the original BlackBerry Bold's king-sized keyboard, but the Bold 9700 squeezes the best of the BlackBerry for CEOs into an impressively tight form factor—faux leather back included—making it very possibly the best BlackBerry you can buy. $10

Bonus: Nokia e71x
It's free, and an actually good smartphone—my favorite Nokia phone on the planet. Free

Verizon

Droid
It's a terminator. A huge, disgustingly high-res screen, Batman-worthy industrial design, and the full power of Android 2.0 make it the best phone on Verizon—and the fact that it's running on arguably the best network in the US make it the second best smartphone you can buy, period. $150

BlackBerry Tour
Sure, it's notorious for trackball problems and it's missing Wi-Fi, but this is the BlackBerry of choice for email warriors if they're not on AT&T or T-Mobile and it sure as hell beats anything running Windows Mobile. $50

Bonus: Droid Eris
If you're desperate to save $100 over the Droid, the Droid Eris will run Android 2.0 soon enough, and is smoother, smaller, and friendlier, if a little blander. $100

Sprint

Palm Pre
The Pre offers one of the best user experiences of any smartphone with Palm's webOS, and it's probably the best phone on Sprint, hardware build issues and comparatively dinky App Catalog aside. $80

HTC Hero
The best Android phone not running Android 2.0, HTC's Sense UI makes the sometimes confusing Android interface more digestible and has a few nifty tricks of its own, like integrated social networking. $100

Bonus: There is none. The Pixi's close ($25), but the fact that you can get the Pre for nearly as cheap undercuts a lot of the value, as much as we like the design and form factor.

T-Mobile

Motorola Cliq
Motorola's other Android phone is gussied up with Blur, a custom interface that's bright and friendly, with widgets for keeping track of everything happening on your social network. It's our favorite Android phone on T-Mobile. $100

Unlocked iPhone
No, I'm not kidding. A jailbroken and unlocked iPhone, even without 3G powers, is the second best smartphone you can use on T-Mobile.

Bonus: BlackBerry Bold 9700
The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is the first BlackBerry with 3G on T-Mobile, which is reason enough, really, but it's good the reasons listed above, too. $130

 

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3 Comments

  • Ryan Dawson

    This is a whole lot better than this god awful "article" Chris Dannen wrote about the Droid: http://www.fastcompany.com/blo...

    He writes a terrible, biased article, then posts a rude comment back to a reader. How does he still have a job? Take a look at the comments to see that, and my response to his article sans facts.

  • Corvida Raven

    Man this list is spot on. I'd pretty much agree with them all, especially for Verizon.

  • Andrew Eriksen

    I use the HTC Touch Pro and tried a couple of these other phones but found that there is no substitute for a full slide out qwerty keyboard. I write many blog posts and do a lot of internet browsing and I find it difficult to type on the Hero and Iphone. I think if you are a casual user who just texts and talks, then these phones work well. If you are looking for a business phone, I think it would be a bad move to use something without a full qwerty keyboard.

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