Measuring this year's hottest smartphones

The first few months of 2011 have been packed with handset announcements, and device makers have showered the market with smartphone announcements to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show in January and Mobile World Congress in February. While summer is often considered a battleground in the smartphone market (largely due to competitors trying to take a whack at Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone), the first quarter offered a boatload of smartphones, many of them sporting Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. Which ones stood out from the pack?

The smartphones listed here represent a highly subjective list, and FierceWireless sought a range of analysts' opinions concerning which smartphone launches stood out the most. The two main criteria are phones that will have a potentially large impact on the market in terms of sales or devices that represent a unique user experience. It is important to note that those two factors do not have to be mutually exclusive.

One caveat to all of this is that many of these devices do not yet have final price points, which could be a major factor in determining how the smartphones perform in the market. "A device that might fly off the shelves at $99 might sit there forever at $399," Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said, noting that carrier subsidies will be a key factor.      

This list is by no means exhaustive. Please comment and let us know if we missed any devices.

HP pre3
HP Pre3
HTC Thunderbolt Verizon wireless
HTC ThunderBolt
Kyocera echo sprint nextel android
Kyocera Echo
Motoroal atrix at&t
Motorola Atrix 4G
Sony ericsson xperia play
Sony Ericsson Xperia Play