Friday, October 14, 2011

Best Sprint Phones: Reviews & Prices

Phone shopping season is here and we've updated our picks for the best phones on Sprint including the iPhone 4S, several Android devices, and Windows Phone 7.5.
For many, Sprint is finally becoming a viable option as a carrier again. With AT&T and Verizon continually raising rates on data, Sprint remains as the only wireless carrier in the U.S. that offers unlimited data for $30 a month. It’s 4G network isn’t as good as Verizon’s, but it outpaces AT&T and T-Mobile, and this year Sprint has upped its commitment to quality handsets, now offering competitive Android, Windows Phone, and iOS devices. Below are our favorite Sprint handsets on the market right now. We’ll try to maintain this list throughout the holidays.

Motorola Photon 4G

motorola-photon-4g-front Screen: 4.3 inches, 540×960 pixels
Specs: 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with Motorola NinjaBlur
Camera: 8MP rear, .3MP VGA front
Price: $200 with two-year contract
Review Score: 7.5 / 10 (Read our full review)

Description: As time has wore on, we’ve missed having the Photon in our office. It suffers from a somewhat bland screen and interface, but everything else about it is great. The phone has a kickstand so you can prop it up like a clock, it docks with a ton of Motorola accessories (though they’re expensive), and is one of the most comfortable 4.3-inch phones we’ve held due to its button placement and rounded edges. At $200, it’s a great 4G phone.


Apple iPhone 4S

apple-iphone-4s-white-front Screen: 3.5 inches, 640×960 pixels
Specs: 1GHz dual-core, 512MB RAM, 16/32/64GB storage
OS: iOS 5
Camera: 8 MP rear, 0.3MP VGA front
Price: $200-$400 with two-year contract

Description: We haven’t used the iPhone 4S, but since initial reviews have been positive and the iPhone 4 is almost an industry standard at this point. The 4S looks identical to the 4 on the outside, but it does have a dual-core processor, better camera, and a new iOS 5 operating system that has some cool new features. Siri voice control supposedly lets you use natural language to talk to your iPhone, and iCloud will let you automatically store your documents and media on the net. For more info, read iPhone 4S: Everything you need to know


Samsung Galaxy S II

samsung-galaxy-s-ii-sprint-epic-4g-touch-front Screen: 4.5-inch Super AMOLED, 560×940
Specs: 1.5GHz dual-core, 1GB RAM, 32GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with Samsung TouchWiz 4.0
Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front
Price: $200 with two-year contract
Review Score: 9.0 / 10 (Read our full review)
Description: The Galaxy S II took its sweet time coming to North America, but it was worth the wait. This 4.5-inch phone is probably the nicest overall Android phone on Sprint. It doesn’t disappoint in any one area, though its plastic construction may turn off some (we like how light it is). This is a flagship device that will future proof you better than any other Sprint phone on the market.


Google Nexus S

google-samsung-nexus-s-front Screen: 4.0-inch Super AMOLED, 480×800 pixels
Specs: 1GHz, 512MB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), pure Android
Camera: 5MP rear, 0.3MP VGA front
Price: $30 with two-year contract
Review Score: 7.5 / 10 (Read our full review)

Description: The Galaxy S II is great, but for those looking for the best budget phone, you can get no better than the Google Nexus S. It has the power of many $100 phones and has features like NFC that other phones still don’t have. Made by Samsung, it’s a great option for those who’d like a full-featured Android phone on Sprint. Co-designed by Google to deliver a pure Android experience, the Nexus S may be one of the first handsets to get Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) when it comes out later this year.


HTC Arrive

htc-arrive-front-with-keyboard Screen: 3.6 inches, 480×800 pixels
Specs: 1GHz, 576MB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Windows Phone 7.5
Camera: 5MP rear, no front camera
Price: $200 with two-year contract

Description: The Arrive is a great option for two different groups of people: those who want a keyboard and those who are open to Windows Phone. The device will be getting Windows 7.5 in the coming weeks and we’re very impressed with Microsoft’s new OS. If there isn’t anything tying you to iOS or Android, give the Arrive a try. The WP7 app library is getting larger and its media player (based on Zune) is fantastic. Xbox Live integration and games are good too.


Honorable mention

HTC EVO 3D: It’s focus on glasses-free 3D is misguided and silly, but underneath the gimmick, the EVO 3D is a great 4G phone with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and most of the features you’d expect from a high-end phone.

Update: Corrected the operating system of iPhone 4S. It does not run on NinjaBlur. Stupid oversight. Sorry about that.

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