The Verizon Dare is a great phone for media and Web but is a second-class citizen when it comes to messaging applications. The Dare is a little smaller than the iPhone and has great call quality. The Dare also lets you listen to music, although much of its services are locked into Verizon V-CAST service. No Wi-Fi connectivity but a fast 3G data network and a great camera. If you are interested in a cool phone that has great multimedia functions, the dare is Verizon's best offering. If you are interested in a phone with real messaging tools in powerful e-mail software, your best bet is to stick with a Treo or BlackBerry from Verizon.
The Sprint Instinct is classy and sleek and sizewise, is a little longer than the iPhone. The touch screen is incredibly responsive and easy to manage with user-friendly navigation. The coolest feature on the Instinct is the visual voicemail, which lets you see who left you messages, listen to them in any order and even pause in the middle of a message.
The Instinct also has magnification tools -- it zooms in and wraps the text so it's easy to read articles. While the Instinct is also a "closed phone" with no ability to really personalize the applications, it does a good job of meeting the user's needs so personalization is not necessary.
T-Mobile Sidekick LX
If you are a T-Mobile subscriber, the choices for an iPhone competitor are pretty slim. The best bet is probably the Sidekick LX. It's bigger and bulkier than the iPhone and has no touchscreen, but you do get to navigate with a cool glowing trackball. It is also closed, using proprietary applications for e-mail, music and Web that are all functional but not very slick.
The Sidekick LX is a little clunky as a phone. You have to flip the keyboard up to dial and then flip it back down to talk. But the texting and instant messaging powers of this phone are impressive. The tactile Qwerty keyboard is roomy and responsive. The interface on the LX is much more graphically sophisticated than previous Sidekicks and although it is by no means a powerful e-mail or business tool, you can at least use it in a work setting without feeling like a teenager.
HTC Touch Diamond
Debuting in the United States later this year, the HTC touch diamond is just plain cool. This phone is back-pocket small, but it's a little thicker than the iPhone. It runs a version of Windows Mobile, but most of the time you navigate through the applications using HTC's TouchFLO interface.
Web browsing is pretty easy, with landscape and portrait options. E-mail is powerful with Exchange support for business accounts, plus Web and pop mail options that are easy to set up. Plus, it has a preview function in the menu that lets you see a snippet of the e-mail's text. The 3.2 megapixel camera is amazing with a panorama feature, and it can record video. It also has a weather application that shows you the beauty of its screen and the power of this device.
The iPhone may be the best cell phone on the market, but that has not stopped other phone manufacturers from ratcheting their devices up a notch.