Top 5 Superphones to Watch

There are smartphones and there are superphones, and the latter category is heating up to a boil. While it sometimes seems that the release of cool new phones slows down to a trickle, this year it’s becoming more of a firehose. It can be trying to keep up with the Next Big Thing in the phone world, so it makes sense to pick out the 5 best superphones to watch.

HTC EVO. It was only announced yesterday but the EVO became the top superphone to watch. Take an Android (s goog) phone, put a giant (4.3-inch) display on that baby, throw 4G into the recipe and then stand back. The EVO is expected on the Sprint (s s) network “this summer” and already has enthusiasts buzzing like crazy. Sprint and HTC are adding mobile hotspot capability to the EVO, so that high-speed 4G connection can be shared over Wi-Fi with up to 8 devices. Sweet.

Nexus One. The Nexus One is already out on the market, but with Google adding a carrier a week (it seems) it is still a hot commodity. The Nexus One on Verizon is widely anticipated to be arriving soon, and many are excited about getting this great phone on the Verizon network. That will bring the number of carriers serving the Nexus One to four in the U.S., which challenges the old business model.

HTC Desire. If it seems that Android is dominating this top 5 list, it’s because it is. The Android space is white hot right now and many of the hot phones are running the OS. The Desire is a “non-Google” version of the Nexus One, with an updated form and the HTC Sense interface that is so popular. It is only in Asia and Europe initially, but you can bet some U.S. carrier will be bringing this superphone to these shores based on the popularity of the Nexus One.

HTC HD2. This phone has been out for a while, but it’s only just become available for T-Mobile customers in the U.S. The HD2 is basically an EVO without the 4G, and with Windows Mobile onboard for fans of that platform. The HD2 is the best phone I have personally evaluated, bar none.

Samsung Galaxy S. This phone was just announced and it puts Samsung’s mark on the superphone space. It has an Android backbone augmented with Samsung’s own secret sauce, “Smart Life”, which integrates a user’s online networking into the UI. The Galaxy S uses a fast processor and a big (4-inch) AMOLED screen to bring the web home.

This list is by no means complete, and not all will agree with these choices. These 5 phones do demonstrate how far the smartphone has progressed at what seems like lightning speed. All of these phones have a fast processor (1 GHz or better), lots of memory and big touchscreens. All but one of the phones is running Android, which is no doubt the hottest platform currently. Hopefully that may change when Windows Phone 7 (s msft) finally hits the pavement.

Four of these superphones are made by phone giant HTC, a testament to the innovation the company is bringing to the space. It is almost scary how many great phones they produce, and all of them superphones. It is no wonder Apple (s aapl) is worried about them.