written by: Shawn Drew•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 4/23/2012
What smartphone is good enough to call itself the best Verizon device? Will the iPhone win out like it has with consumers, or will a scrappy Android smartphone take the crown?
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One look at the Verizon smartphone page will tell you that the company doesn't lack in device choices. No less than 24 different smartphones grace the page, and it can make choosing just one a difficult task. This list of just the best Verizon smartphones takes a look at everything the company has to offer and narrows the decision down to just the best device. All the devices on this list run using Android or iOS, not because Verizon doesn't have any Windows, BlackBerry or Palm OS smartphones, but because those devices just can't match up to the ones on this list. I'm one of a, probably small, handful of people who like the new BlackBerry OS, but Verizon only has a few older BlackBerrys for sale. Besides, in general, BlackBerrys just can't match up with Android or iOS.
There is little doubt that a list of the best Verizon smartphones is going to be subjective, so if you disagree with my choices, or my final choice, leave a comment to let me know.
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Honorable Mention - Droid Bionic
While the Droid Bionic can't make this list because it hasn't been released yet, it still deserves to be mention because by all estimates it will be one of Verizon's top smartphones when it does finally come out. The original Bionic was on display a few months ago at CES 2011, but the device was then held back and redesigned. Reportedly, this beast will feature a 4.5-inch screen, 8 MP camera, TI OMAP4 dual-core processor and will be running an advanced version of Gingerbread. While there is no definite date set, the device will probably be out sometime in July 2011.
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HTC went all-out with this popular and impressive Verizon smartphone. The Thunderbolt features a 4.3-inch screen, 8 MP rear camera, 1 MP chat camera and a sweet kickstand that lets you watch video without having to hold the device up. Under the hood, the 1 GHz processor and 768 MB of RAM keep the device working smoothly. This device feels like it was well made, with just the right amount of heft for it's size. It runs on Android 2.2, but that should hopefully get upgraded to Gingerbread anytime now. Outside of a missing HDMI port, there isn't much not to like about this device.
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The LG Revolution matches up well vs the HTC Thunderbolt, but just a few minor things keep it from being the best Verizon smartphone. However, if you need your smartphone to have an HDMI port, this may just be the device for you. Like the Thunderbolt, the Revolution uses Verizon's 4G LTE network for lightning-fast data speeds, if you are lucky enough to live in a 4G area. The rest of the device specs are at, or just below, top-of-the-line, like a 1 GHz processor, 5 MP camera and 4.3-inch touchscreen. Like most Verizon Android phones, this runs on 2.2 with the possibility of an upgrade to 2.3 in the near future.
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The Droid Charge is the third Verizon 4G LTE device to make it on this list of the best Verizon phones. It is only natural that the devices with the best data speeds would also make up the list of the best overall devices. Like the other LTE devices, the Droid Charge features a 4.3-inch touchscreen, 8 MP camera and a 1 GHz processor. The outside design is a little different, with slightly rounded edges, giving people an option against the more rectangular LG and HTC devices. The features of the three LTE devices are similar, so picking one over the others tends to come down to performance and design.
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The Droid X2 is a Motorola device, unlike the Droid Charge, which is made by Samsung, and the Droid Incredible, which is made by HTC. Motorola's 4G offering on Verizon isn't out yet, so for now the Droid X2 stands as the best Motorola device on the network. What the Droid X2 lacks in network speed, it more than makes up with a robust feature set that includes a 4.3-inch touchscreen, 1080p HDMI output, DLNA sharing, 3G mobile hotspot and more. The dual-core 1 GHz processor makes this one of the best performing smartphones that Verizon has to offer. While 4G speeds may give other devices the edge, if you live in a 3G area, you won't miss a thing by choosing this smartphone.
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What is there to say about the iPhone 4 that hasn't already been said, other than that it's about time it was available in white! The iPhone is considered the best smartphone out there by many people, and not without reason. The retina display is simply the best screen that you will find on a smartphone, or anywhere. While the rest of the smartphones on this list run on Android, the iPhone runs on iOS. Many of the features are the same, but the experience is slightly different. There are more features than I could possibly list here, but rest assured that almost everything about the iPhone 4 is top-of-the-line.
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There is no avoiding making a controversial decison here. There is little doubt that the iPhone is an excellent device, but everyone is going to have an OS preference, and mine is for Android. With the exception of the lack of an HDMI port, the HTC Thunderbolt has no other real flaw. The device responds wonderfully when going from screen to screen or app to app, and the 4G LTE speeds are simply incredible. If I had to choose just one Verizon smartphone to get right now, the Thunderbolt would be the one.