The Top Ten HTC Smartphones
One thing you can say about HTC, when they find something that works they don’t venture too far from it in future releases. The first thing you may think when you look at this list of the top ten HTC devices is how similar they all are. Once you dig below the surface, however, you will find that each of these devices brings something different to the table, and each one can stand on its own as a device. This list is not just confined to North America, as there are a number of excellent international HTC phones, and it also includes devices that have been announced, but are still a few weeks away from release.
Honorable Mention - Touch Pro 2
The Touch Pro 2 is just a little too old and outdated to make this list, but I wanted to give credit where credit is due. The HTC Touch and Touch Pro had numerous issues and really started to chip away at the HTC brand. The Touch Pro 2 put an end to that and is one of the only Windows-based mobile devices that I enjoy using. Sure, the phone had some issues, they all do, but in the end this was the device that helped reaffirm my confidence in HTC as a manufacturer.
The Hero, which is also known as the G2 Touch and the Droid Eris, was the first HTC Android-based smartphone to feature the Sense UI. This was the device, along with a few T-Mobile offerings, that cemented HTC as a top-flight Android phone producer. This phone was slick and fast and using it, even for the first time, was a breeze. The device wasn’t perfect, and many of HTC’s later releases have improved on both the Hero’s design and how the Sense UI works, but for its time the Hero was nothing short of incredible.
The Aria may not be the flashiest of HTC’s smartphone lineup, but it has just the right mix of features, design and performance to crack the top ten. The Aria features a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen, a 5 megapixel camera and runs on Android version 2.1 operating system. The Aria is a little more compact than other bar-style smartphones and that makes it feel a little more natural in your hand. The Aria is available on the AT&T 3G network, and can also connect to Wi-Fi networks, when they are available.
The Wildfire is meant to be a successor to the Tattoo, an international, Android-based GSM device. The hardware inside the phone may be a little dated, compared to other HTC devices released around the same time, but the Wildfire still performs well during normal use. The phone features a 5 megapixel camera that can also record video and geotag your pictures. The 3.2-inch screen looks good, although it is not AMOLED, and a resolution of 320 x 240 will leave some applications unavailable to you. Overall, the Wildfire is one of the better smartphones available on the international market.
7. HD Mini
The HD mini marks one of the few times a non-Android HTC phone makes the top ten list. The mini was designed as a smaller successor to the massive HD2 and has much of the same functionality in a smaller body. The mini runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3, but it covers the operating system with a Sense user interface, making the overall phone experience much better than dealing with just Windows Mobile. The mini’s 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen and 5-megapixel camera highlight the feature set on the phone. The performance is fairly good, especially considering that there is a smaller processor to go with the smaller body. Overall, the HD mini is a solid Windows Mobile device that is able to fit comfortably in your hand.
6. Desire HD
The Desire HD will be coming to global markets sometime around October, but a future release date isn’t enough to keep this device off the top ten list. The design of the Desire HD owes much to the Evo, and some of their specifications are the same, but there are enough differences to make the HD its own phone. The Desire HD will be running Android 2.2 with a 1 GHz processor and 768MB of RAM, so you know this thing will fly. This official word on the device will have to wait another month until it is released, but based on what we’ve seen so far, this is going to be one of HTC’s best.
The Legend is an international phone that was the first HTC phone to combine Android 2.1 with the Sense UI. The phone is similar to the Hero, but it has some improvements in both design and specifications. The Legend uses a 3.2-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that features support for pinch-to-zoom and a proximity sensor. The Legend introduced the “Leap” feature that lets you view all your homescreens at once. Navigating through the device is a breeze because of the extra processing power from the 600 MHz processor. With it’s full array of features and enhancements, plus it’s streamlined silver case, the Legend is definitely in the top ten HTC smartphones.
The HD7 is another phone that made the list based on speculation alone. HTC hasn’t even announced an official release date yet, but the leaked pictures and specs make this one device to watch out for. It will be one of the first devices to run Window’s new operating system, Windows Phone 7, and as much as I like Android, it’s nice to see HTC expanding it’s horizons a little. While no specifications are official yet, the leaked documents have the device running on a 1 GHz processor and carrying between 8 and 16 GB of storage space. In the end, as a release phone for a new operating system, this phone will live or die based on how Windows Phone 7 stands up to the other operating systems that are currently available.
3. Droid Incredible
The Droid Incredible has been eclipsed in the Droid lineup by some of Motorola’s newer offerings, but it is still one of the best phones HTC has ever produced. The device is lightning fast and packed with features like an 8 megapixel camera, 8 GB of internal memory and a 1 GHz processor. The Incredible runs Android 2.1, but it will eventually get an upgrade to 2.2. Highlighting the device’s features is an impressive 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen that looks good inside and out.
2. Desire Z
For those of you who want a top line HTC phone, but need a physical keyboard, the Desire Z is your answer. Now, the device isn’t released yet, but it will be coming to international markets in October 2010. The phone features a pull-out keyboard, that actually kind of swivels out, along with a beautiful 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen. The Desire Z, along with any HTC Android that is coming out soon, will run Android 2.2 and get all of the upgrades that come along with that operating system. HTC threw a bone to their customers who were clamoring for a physical keyboard, and it just may be one of their best phones to date.
1. Evo 4G
What does it take to top this list? A combination of HTC’s Android operating system experience, every possible feature that can fit into a phone and super-fast 4G speeds. That’s what you get with the HTC Evo, which runs on Sprint’s 4G WiMax network. The Evo is a big and heavy device, but not so big that it is unwieldy. Plus, the size comes in handy when the phone features a 4.3-inch, 800x480-pixel capacitive touchscreen that has amazing color depth and contrast. The large screen also allows for HTC’s best and largest on-screen keyboard that rivals even the iPhone’s. The Evo comes with Android version 2.1 and a 1GHz processor that makes navigating through the device as smooth as it can be. As far as connection speeds go, right now 4G is as fast as it gets and if you are used to using a 3G device, you will notice the difference. The only down side to the phone is that 4G isn’t available everywhere, but that’s not really HTC’s fault. The Evo has everything you could currently want in a phone and I, for one, am excited to see how HTC plans to top this beast.