Samsung Epic 4G
The front-runner of Sprint's smartphone pack is the Samsung Epic 4G. Boasting a 4-inch AMOLED display that shows smooth, crisp animation, this phone stands out for its impressive physical keyboard, front-facing camera, and 4G network support. If you don't like the slide-out keyboard, you can opt to use the TouchWiz, Swype, or native Android software keyboard. The Epic 4G also comes loaded with the social network aggregator Social Hub--a part of Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 interface--for easy posting access to Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. The Epic 4G runs on Android 2.1 ("Éclair"), and is the most impressive Galaxy S phone we've reviewed.
HTC EVO 4G
Close behind the Samsung Epic 4G is the HTC EVO 4G, Sprint's first phone to support 4G WiMax coverage. The stylish, minimalist design of the EVO shows off the phone's plethora of multimedia features, including a 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen, an 8-megapixel camera, and a built-in kickstand for viewing videos through the crisp YouTube HQ feature. The EVO also serves as a mobile hotspot that allows you to connect up to eight Wi-Fi-enabled devices--granted that you're in an area with 4G coverage.
RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630
A killer combo of the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Curve 8900, the RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 gives Sprint users a refreshing CDMA BlackBerry device. The phone's chrome-and-black body houses a bright 2.4-inch display, a well-designed keyboard, and the familiar BlackBerry navigation buttons and trackball. Although the phone lacks Wi-Fi and has a lackluster 3.2-megapixel camera, the Tour 9630 is a great choice for BlackBerry loyalists until RIM boosts its smartphone lineup.
If you're selecting your first Android phone, consider the Samsung Transform. The phone comes loaded with Sprint ID packs--groups of applications based on the theme of that ID. For example, the "Entertainment" ID makes Transform more media-friendly with apps such as Sprint TV and TeleNav GPS Navigator. It has a slide-out, full-QWERTY keyboard to complement the 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen, and it runs on Android 2.1 (Éclair). Keep in mind that the Transform is a midlevel Android phone with limited speed and storage; for more power, check out other Sprint selections.
RIM BlackBerry Style
The compact RIM BlackBerry Style pays homage to the dying flip-phone design with style, sporting rounded curves, a black and chrome finish, and a textured battery cover. Its distinctive 2-inch outer display shows new messages, calls, calendar reminders, and song information when you're using the music player. The inside display is slightly larger at 2.7 inches, making this phone--which runs the new BlackBerry 6 OS--ideal for messaging and brief Web browsing. The screen is a good size for navigating around the Style's user interface, too. Consider the Style if you want a connected phone without frills.