If you're looking for an alternative to Android, give Windows Phone 7 a try. This OS is on the HTC Radar 4G ($100 with a new two-year contract), which has a stylish and compact unibody aluminum case and a crisp display. The body is almost all white--quite striking against the bold color-block look of Windows Phone.
The Radar 4G has the Mango update of Windows Phone 7. An overall success, Mango finally delivers true multitasking with third-party apps, and it has a new browser, Internet Explorer 9. Microsoft completely made over its Bing search engine, too; the new Local Scout feature uses GPS to recognize where you are and provide hyperlocal search results based on your preferences. Mango also includes Xbox Live, the Zune media player, and a full mobile version of Office to create, edit, and view Excel spreadsheets, Word docs, and PowerPoint presentations.
The Radar 4G's 5-megapixel camera snapped pretty good pictures. The camera has an F2.2 lens and a backside-illuminated sensor, which helps produce good shots in low-light conditions.
Finally, in a world of dual-core phones, the Radar 4G's single-core, 1GHz processor may seem a bit dated. But don't let those specs cloud your judgment: The Qualcomm Snapdragon processor was zippy enough in our testing for browsing the Web, handling multiple open apps, and gaming via Xbox Live.
If you're looking for the pure Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience, you'll love the Samsung Galaxy Nexus ($300 with a two-year contract), which runs the OS with no interfering overlay. The Galaxy Nexus also features a slick design and a powerful processor.
Its glossy display, piano-black bezel, and textured back are all standard Samsung design elements. But unlike other Samsung Galaxy phones I've reviewed, the Nexus feels durable and sophisticated. It has no hardware keys on its face. Instead, the touch-sensitive Back, Home, and Search keys are built into the display as soft keys.