We continue to examine rankings for the best top ten coolest hottest smartphones for 2011 from Consumer Reports. This is the first year that the iPhone did not come in in first place. Now that the iPhone is available from Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, Android superphones with bigger screens and faster 4G access score higher than the iPhone 4S.
If you want to read the full reviews of Consumer Reports smartphones, you can either buy the paper version on a news stand or subscribe online. As we noted previously Consumer Reports rates smartphones more on the consumer experience rather than the technical details. We will review all the top best smartphones of the year and announce the best smartphone of the year later in December.
The Samsung Galaxy S II is rated best for all carriers except for Verizon Wireless where it is not available yet but will be coming as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus sometime in December. In part II we show the CR rating for the winning Sprint, followed by the Wireless and Mobile News" Review of Reviews rating and the best price we can find as this writing. Please note the prices of smartphones change constantly and we are unable to update pricing after publication.
Here are the Sprint Winners from Consumer Reports for the Top Smartphones of the Year:
Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch (76) - Like all Samsung Galaxy smartphones, CR like the super AMOLED 4.5" touchscreen, fast WiMAX network, cameras, phone functions and media capabilities. It's hard to reach the microSD card and dial phone without looking. It could be too big for some. Wireless and Mobile News' Review of Reviews rated it 4 out of 5 reviewers liked features such as a the Super AMOLLED 4.52" touchscreen, excellent battery life, good-to-great camera, faster dual-core processor and good WiMAX data speeds. The Samsung Epic 4G Touch, sells for $199 from Sprint with a rebate, Amazon Wireless is selling it for $99.99 for new and $149.99 renewing customers which may change depending on what sale is going on.
Motorola Photon 4G (76) - CR liked the 4.3" touchscreen which was easy-to-see in bright light, easy messaging/browsing, editing of Excel/Word files/camera, WiMAX, world phone calling and Android. They don't like for all touchscreen phones the lack of physical dialing buttons and hard to access microSD. Wireless and Mobile News' Review of Reviews rated it 4.25 out of 5. Reviewers of the Motorola Photon 4G raved about its power, great audio/video playing, excellent call quality, global voice/data roaming, touchscreen, media dock, HDMI mirroring to HDTV and fast data speeds. The Motorola Photon 4G sells for $199 with a contract from Sprint. Amazon Wireless has it backordered an shows prices from 1-cent to $49.99.
HTC Evo 3D (73) - CR noted that 3D viewing could strain your eyes. They liked the 4.3" touchscreen, front camera, easy use, doc editing, WiMAX and Android. They didn't like that it was heavy, listening voice quality, 2D video recording quality and lack of hard button. Wireless and Mobile News' Review of Reviews rated it 4 out of 5. Most reviewers liked the 3D features while one thought it was a novelty for early adopters. The HTC EVO 3D costs $199 at Sprint with a contract. Online retailer Amazon Wireless has discounted to $49.99 for new and renewing customers.
iPhone 4S (73)- CR liked its ease of use, email app, sharp screen, Siri, iOS, camera, music app and easy media buying. They didn't like the inability to edit Word documents, lack of preset text messages, fair voice quality, lack of physical buttons and battery has to be replaced by Apple.
Samsung Epic 4G (73) - This gets good scores for a great screen, keyboard, easy use, front camera, document editing, hands free viewing when open, WiMAX and Android. They didn't like camera quality, video recording and heavy weight. Released in the fall of 2010 it can not be a contender this year. Reviewers of the Samsung Epic 4G raved about the gorgeous Super AMOLED touchscreen, large comfy 5-row keyboard, magnificent media features, fast processor and super fast WiMAX data connections. Sprint sells it for $199.99. Amazon Wireless selling for a discount and it is out of stock.
Read top CR AT&T Smartphones.