The smallest and perhaps soon-to-be part of AT&T, T-Mobile has for years dominated the Android smartphone marketplace with the latest phones from Google. Recently that’s changed, with more and more phones heading over to the larger carriers. However, what T-Mobile may lack in brand-new devices it makes up for in excellent pricing, with inexpensive plans on and off contract. If the tough economy has hit you hard but you still want a decent smartphone, look no further than T-Mobile.

Samsung Galaxy S II

By far the best phone available on T-Mobile, the Galaxy S II is everything that is right with Android and smartphones. Excellent build design, an exceptional display, great speed and some of the fastest processing available on a mobile device, the Galaxy S II is a phone you’ll be happy to own and use for at least two years, if not more. The 8MP camera, capable of 1080p video, takes great shots. It may be a bit on the hefty side with a 4.5″ display, but it also runs a faster CPU than the other Galaxy S II phones (1.5GHz vs. 1.2GHz) and a slightly bigger battery. You won’t regret the Galaxy S II.

HTC myTouch 4G Slide

The myTouch 4G Slide is a powerful phone, one that belies it’s design. I questioned including it in the gift guide, but because it has such a good camera, I couldn’t pass it by. The Slide has one of the best cameras available on smartphones today, as well as on T-Mobile in general. The Slide is by no means the best phone out, and there are definitely better devices, but few compare when it comes to sheer photography prowess.

T-Mobile myTouch /myTouch Q

Slider phones aren’t exactly in these days, but T-Mobile has two newer phones that boast exceptional battery life as lower-end smartphones. The myTouch and myTouch Q will both last at least two days between charges, but the Q (the slider) includes a physical keyboard that’s great to type on and has better battery life, faster processing, and is generally a better Android handset. The differences are small, but there; the Q is better, faster, and stronger, but also heavier and twice as thick. The trade-offs may seem moot, but if you’re willing to sacrifice several extra hours of battery life for a smaller handset and don’t want a physical keyboard, take the myTouch. But if you want a slightly beefier phone, one more powerful and larger, then stick with the myTouch Q.

Wait, that’s it?

Sadly, yes. T-Mobile has had very few new smartphones come out in the past months, and fewer still that we’ve reviewed. Of course, because T-Mobile is a GSM carrier, any unlocked phones that aren’t sold subsidized with two-year contracts can and will work on T-Mobile, which is a clear advantage over CDMA competitors. However, this holiday season all of the major Android releases have been on T-Mobile’s three major competitors.

James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.