It’s true there weren’t many new announcements at CTIA this year, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything cool to see there! Here are the phones coming out (or recently launched) that I am most excited about.
- HTC/UTStarcom SMT5800. I have a PPC6700 today, and it’s nice, but has some flaws. The SMT5800 is literally smaller, faster, and better in practically every way. About 2/3 as thick, with the slideout keyboard, EV-DO Rev.A support, and, most importantly, a 10-key keypad on the front. Awesome (good discussion here).
- HTC Excalibur. At first glance online, the Excalibur looked like it was going to be a cheap, flimsy Q-knockoff. It took about 3 seconds for me to change that opinion. It’s fantastic. The size is right. It feels good. I would adopt it, unquestionably, upon release.
- Samsung i320 “blackjack”. This is another so-called “Q-killer” with a tiny profile. I’m still not the biggest fan of SmartPhone (I like my touch-screens), but this is a nice implementation. The keyboard is too small for my grubby fingers, but I think it’s a nicely done phone.
- Cingular 3125/HTC “Star Trek”. The real reason this phone makes the list is because it’s the only flip-SmartPhone on the market. And I’m a flip-phone guy at heart. This takes the RAZR and dumps it into the ocean in my book.
- BlackBerry Pearl. First non-Windows Mobile phone to make my list, and frankly, I would’nt use it out of pure Crackberry principle. But, it is so light and the trackball works so nicely, that I give them kudos for the engineering alone.
- Palm Treo 700wx. Despite recent competition, I still think the Treo 700 platform makes for the best phone in the Smartphone category. It’s not my favorite all-around mobile device (for now, that’s still the PPC6700 until it gets replaced by the 5800), but they really nailed the usability of the phone better than anyone else I’ve seen. Plus they were demoing the Slingbox on it, so I have to like that, right?
- Moto KRZR. For those unfamiliar, it’s pronounced “crazer” and is a sliding phone from Motorola with the familiar “moto” look. It has a really nice feel, and while it’s missing out as far as powerful 3G functionality goes, it’s a good upgrade to the ho-hum RAZR/SLVR lineup.
- I-Mate SPL. I think this one truly deserves a higher place on the list, but I’m dinging them for copying the Moto look so closely. It’s actually a really solid Smartphone, though not quite as superbly awesome as my HTC MTeor.
By the way, I’ve got a full review of the HTC MTeor coming, since I, well, have one. It’s great!
Anyhow, that’s my top 8 from CTIA. More to come on the other stuff I saw soon!