Top Five Android Phones for 2012
The number of Android smartphones on the market keeps growing; at this point, the selection is vast and bewildering. But competition among phone makers is a good thing, pushing the envelope of features and speed to new heights. Here are five of the best-performing Android phones on the market today...
Which Android Phone is Best?
What do you want in a smartphone? Raw speed, slick design, a thin profile, or maximum battery life? Certainly price can play a factor, but you might care more about the camera or audio specs. The availability of 4G for high-speed surfing is a make or break issue for me. Taking all those factors into account, I've put together my list of the top Android smartphones for 2012.
If you're an iPhone lover, maybe nothing can tempt you to stray from the Apple fold. But the latest batch of Android phones are pretty hot. No matter what you're carrying, I encourage you to take a peek at these five top-selling Android phones. You might just find a reason to upgrade, or switch!
The $299 Motorola RAZR Maxx is offered only with Verizon Wireless service. It sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and fast Verizon 4G/LTE data service that can download at more than 20 Mbps in certain privileged service areas. The RAZR Maxx is somewhat larger than its predecessor (5.14 inches long by 2.75 inches wide by 0.35 inch thick and weighing 5.1 ounces) which may be a problem for people with small hands.
Its 8 megapixel camera is adequate but nothing to brag about, but at least the hump on the back that surrounded the lens is gone. Battery life is improved nearly twofold thanks to a 3,300mAh battery. The OS on currently shipping Maxx's is Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, but it's upgradeable to the latest "Ice Cream Sandwich" release. See my companion article What's New in Android 4.0? to learn more about Ice Cream Sandwich.
I'll confess that after buying the Droid Bionic just three months ago, I'm a little jealous of my friend who just showed me his Razr Maxx. I'm still very happy with the Bionic, and although the two phones have very similar specs, it would have been nice to get a slimmer model with double the battery life, for the same price.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus does feature Ice Cream Sandwich with all of its improvements. Even better, the Galaxy Nexus come unlocked for use with any carrier. Of course, you'll want a carrier that supports 4G/LTE data for the fastest speed. Although the retail price for the Nexus is $650, you can get it a lot cheaper if you get it from a carrier under contract. Amazon Wireless is offering it for as low as $99, with a Verizon two-year contract.
This handset is also rather large (5.33 inches long by 2.67 inches wide) but ultrathin at just 0.35 inches. It weighs only 4.76 ounces. The 1,280x720-pixel Super AMOLED display is bright and colors are exceptionally vivid. The main camera has a 5 Mpixel maximum resolution. There is also a forward-facing 1.3 Mpixel camera. The batter lasts a full day.
AT&T has a winner in the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket ($200 with contract). Powered by Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, this phone is speedy if you live in one of the cities where AT&T LTE service is available. The .5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display along with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and an NFC chip for payment using your phone. It also supports Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), and GPS. The battery is rated for 7 hours of talk time and over 10 days on standby. It includes a an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera.
The HTC Rezound ($200 with Verizon contract) is a bulky but capable phone at a good price. It ships with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread but Ice Cream Sandwich will be available in the future. It also boasts an 8-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 sensor, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 1080p HD video capture, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat. The Rezound includes Monster Beats audio technology for a superior listening experience. Data speeds on 4G/LTE are very impressive; 18 Mbps down and 9 Mbps up. However, with a 1,620mAH battery this phone drains pretty quickly if you use the wifi and multimedia features heavily.
For Sprint users, the best Android phone is the HTC EVO 3D, which sports a beautiful black and red design in a 5 x 3 inch form factor. The textured rubber backing keeps it from slipping out of your hand, and the 4.3-inch 3D touchscreen is made of tough Gorilla Glass. The jury is still out on whether the 3D effects are wired or tired, but there's a switch on the side to revert to 2D mode. The EVO 3D has a speedy 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, but some users report that call quality is flaky at times. This is a 4G phone, but Sprint is just starting to roll out 4G service in selected areas, so to get those faster web surfing and download speeds, you'll have to be in the right place at the right time.
I'm sure that by listing only five of the top Android phones, I'm going to hear from many readers who have a favorite that's not on my list. And that's a good thing! I'm hoping you'll post a comment and tell me why your phone is awesome, or maybe leave a cautionary tale about an Android phone that you're not loving so much.
What's your favorite Android phone? Post a comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 3 Feb 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Top Five Android Phones for 2012 (Posted: 3 Feb 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved