1st Place: iPhone 3GS
We debated long and hard about whether this truly was our pick of the premium phones this year as there are some truly great alternatives. But when it came down to it and we asked ourselves, 'If money was no object, what phone would you buy now?' the answer was the iPhone 3GS.
With its streamlined interface and easy access to thousands of applications, songs, podcasts, and videos through the iTunes Store (be that on a PC or the device itself), it's simply the easiest way for most people to get a plethora of multimedia on their phone.
On top of this, there's the superb web browser, a great email interface, a much improved camera, and the lauded App Store, which now boasts over 90,000 apps. Add in the elegant, well made hardware, excellent performance, and that still-impressive touchscreen interface and you have the most widely appealing and easy to use smartphone on the market. It's only fault is locking you into iTunes - bah humbug!
2nd Place: HTC Hero Android Smartphone
Google's Android mobile phone operating system has been appearing on some very nice devices recently and there are plenty more on the horizon, but it's actually the Hero that stands out as our pick of the bunch so far. Its compact body and simple layout, coupled with great build quality make it physically the most appealing and the interface tweaks made by HTC really add to the software side of things.
Internally you get everything you could hope for with GPS, Wi-Fi, and 3G all onboard, plus the presence of a proper headphone jack, and microSD slot means it's well equipped on the multimedia front. Add in a very nice capacitive touch-screen and the sheer brilliance and ease of use of Android and you have easily our second favourite handset of the year.
3rd Place: HTC HD2 Windows Phone Smartphone
If you want the biggest and best Windows Mobile phone currently available, this is the clear winner. With an enormous 4.3in glass capacitive touch-screen that sports a class leading resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, the fastest mobile CPU currently available, and every other mobile phone feature you can think of, this monster of a phone is an intimidating sight.
It will zip through any task you throw at it with consummate ease and thanks to the interface tweaks made by HTC it's easy to use day to day and has a superb on-screen keyboard. A bulky pretender to the iPhone throne it may be, but that it could actually be considered as such, and running Windows Mobile at that, is an impressive achievement.