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HolidayBuyer's Guide

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9930 (Verizon Wireless)

HTC Evo 3D (Sprint)

HTC Sensation 4G (T-Mobile)

Samsung Nexus S 4G (Sprint)

Samsung Infuse 4G (AT&T)

Samsung Galaxy S II (unlocked)

HTC Arrive

HTC Inspire 4G (AT&T)

Apple iPhone 4 (Verizon Wireless)

LG Optimus V (Virgin Mobile)

CNET's take: The BlackBerry Bold 9930 is the best QWERTY BlackBerry to date, but should be priced lower.

Reader JASON973's take:
For myself, this is all the phone I currently need, and prefer. I am a physical keyboard user. I was fine operating an Android for about 5 months, but it was a stressful experience.


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CNET's take: The 3D features are a fun addition, but it's the HTC Evo 3D's zippy performance and improved battery life that make this Android smartphone one of Sprint's best.

Reader drgonzo712's take:
The bottom line is the EVO 3D is an amazing phone and the best Android device that I have played with (checked out quite a few). With a 1.2GHz Dual Core Processor and 1GB of RAM this is for sure the fastest phone I have used.
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CNET's take: Its excellent design and user experience, coupled with its solid performance, make the HTC Sensation 4G one of the best Android phones yet and a top pick for T-Mobile customers.

Reader MrDubblup's take:
I am an admitted gizmo junkie, and with that said, this is the most amazing phone I've owned for T-Mobile! I have been waiting for this phone for quite some time now, and it was well worth the wait. I was stuck with the wretched Samsung Galaxy S 4G for about a month, and this is a very pleasant upgrade. The interface, first of all, is amazingly user-friendly. I'll admit, I was a bit skeptical about the HTC Sense 3.0, but it is fantastic. The phone is just fun.
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CNET's take: The Samsung Nexus S 4G offers a great combination of design, features, and performance. The 4G connection could be more reliable, but the Gingerbread OS, stock Android UI, and admirable call quality make for a satisfying smartphone.

Reader acid3000's take:
The Nexus S 4G is the best experience I have had with Android thus far. The Android 2.3 OS is a very snappy, clean, and highly customizable piece of software and the Nexus S 4G showcases this very well.
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CNET's take: The Samsung Infuse 4G disappoints in some areas, but it's still a very good Android smartphone for AT&T customers as long as you're OK with the larger design.

Reader weeblesue's take:
I'm not young anymore, so the huge screen is a big plus. It's also very light. It is very easy to use. I let a friend look at it; she has an iPhone, and she started playing around with my phone like she'd had one for months. I've never had someone pick up a phone and use it that easily before.
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CNET's take: Despite a few complaints, the Samsung Galaxy S II hits all the high notes, making the unlocked handset Samsung's most advanced and successful smartphone to date.

Reader ark_v2's take:
OK, I have to say that this is by far the best smartphone I've had and the best I've used. It is amazing how much better the Galaxy S II is than its predecessor. The screen is bigger, brighter, with higher contrast ratio and even sharper than before (even when the pixel density is lower). Almost every single issue I had with the Galaxy S was solved (or bumped): Ability to change the contrast ratio? Solved. Camera flash? Solved. GPS, battery life, build quality? Yeah, those, too.
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CNET's take: The HTC Arrive, Sprint's first Windows 7 phone, is a solid effort that largely delivers, although it will disappoint those looking for a 4G smartphone.

Reader peterxhu's take:
It is fast, slick, sharp, and makes me never want to put away my phone. The Zune interface has made me drop my iPod altogether and the app store has more than enough apps for me. Android and iOS are nice, but Windows is leaps and bounds ahead. HTC did a nice job complementing the OS with the best hardware of any Sprint phone.
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CNET's take: Though dual-core phones are on the way, the HTC Inspire 4G stands as one of AT&T's best, high-end Android devices and is an incredible value.

Reader ipinkgirl's take:
I love this phone. I researched long and hard before I settled on this one and I've been very satisfied with it. I got it yesterday and for the novice smartphone user it's great. I surf the Web, check my multiple e-mail accounts, download apps, and move around this phone with ease.
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CNET's take: The Verizon iPhone 4 has much in common with its AT&T counterpart, but varying features and different performance give it enough room to stand apart. It won't vastly change your iPhone experience, but we welcome the consumer choice that it brings.

Reader rayerins' take:
I've never owned an Apple product before this and always found Macs insanely difficult to use, but this phone is just awesome. It's definitely a life changer. I'm sure some Android phones are also great, but since it's basically the same price why not go with the best.

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CNET's take: The LG Optimus V is a great entry-level Android smartphone if you want to go the prepaid route.

Reader PerfectCellX's take:
I am so happy with the Optimus V phone on Virgin Mobile service. I was looking for a powerful phone similar to the iPhone but without the ridiculous contracts. I found the new Optimus V fit my needs perfectly.


Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Updated:
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