I've had two iPhone 3G lemons over the past 3 years, and have been eager to switch for months.

What I'm looking for:

  • Good voice quality and stable signal
  • Decent battery life: over 16 hours for sporadic use
  • Support for W-CDMA (UMTS) 2100, GSM 900/1800
  • Speedy data use
  • Lenient policy for occasional tethering

I don't care much for cameras, Facebook integration or uber-HD screen.
I don't mind having to root/jailbreak the phone.
So far I've used 180MB of data per month, so a 2GB plan is more than plenty. I just need the data to work when I do use it.

Let's break it down:
Good voice quality and stable signal - I really want Verizon, am eager to dump AT&T. I'm leery of committing to 2 years with Sprint, their service awareness is not exactly high.

Decent battery life - that goes against 4G, at least current generation models. People also seem to get widely different results with the same models.

World support - I'm in Israel frequently and these are the supported frequencies for 2G & 3G service.

Tethering - there are multiple times in a year when I wish I had decent USB tethering, but it's not worth an extra $20-30/month.

Correct me if I'm wrong: There are a million phones, but wanting a Verizon 4G phone that'd work in the above frequencies immediately brings the available options to zero.
I feel like I'm torn between a Motorola Photon on Sprint and the 4S on Verizon. The first has a high lemon rate, and the latter "enjoys" Verizon CDMA's dismal data speeds.

Then there's the 3rd option.... wait.
It seems like my choices would get better in a year; the Snapdragon S4 chip has onboard LTE as well as GSM and Qualcomm just started sending samples to manufacturers. There were also new announcements scheduled for next week that got postponed due to Steve Jobs' tragedy.

Verizon's 4G network seems to be really good, and I want to be on their network anyway... there's just no compatible device that I'd like to get at this point.

Any thoughts?

See More: iPhone 4S? Motorola Photon? Wait? Help!