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Main » 2012 » April » 3 » Best Android Phones
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Best Android Phones

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It’s been a while since our last roundup of Android phones, but we’ve gathered our favorite phones from all four carriers. All of these devices could be considered high end. At the rate smartphone technology is evolving, we recommend that you don’t buy a phone that doesn’t run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), have a dual-core processor, and a high-resolution screen this holiday season. Believe it or not, a number of these high-end devices carry prices as low as $100. Others cost a bit more, but may be worth the investment.

Samsung Galaxy S II

samsung-galaxy-s-ii-sprint-epic-4g-touch-front

Screen: 4.5-inch Super AMOLED, 560×940
Specs: 1.5GHz dual-core, 1GB RAM, 32GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with Samsung TouchWiz 4.0
Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front
Price: $200-$230 with two-year contract
Availability: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile

Description: The Galaxy S II took its sweet time coming to North America, but it was worth the wait. The phone has now launched on three of the four major U.S. carriers. It doesn’t disappoint in any one area, though its plastic construction may turn off some, though we like how light it is. Samsung’s TouchWiz 4.0 interface rivals HTC’s Sense as does Samsung’s cameras. AT&T’s Galaxy S II is a bit smaller than Sprint and T-Mobile’s at 4.3 inches and each model looks a bit different, but all three are mostly the same. Read our full review.

 

HTC Amaze 4G

htc-amaze-4g-t-mobile-front

Screen: 4.3 inches, 540×960 pixels
Specs: 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with HTC Sense 3.0
Camera: 8MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 2MP front
Price: $260 with two-year contract
Availability: T-Mobile

Description: We haven’t spent a lot of time with the new Amaze, but from what we’ve seen, it may be the best overall HTC Android phone on the market. Its HTC Sense 3.0 interface is among the best looking and most customizable Android interfaces and HTC isn’t known to skip on build or camera quality. T-Mobile is claiming the Amaze has the best camera on the market (aside from the iPhone 4S, this may be correct). Best of all, the Amaze clocks in as one of the fastest phones on the market. Read our hands-on impressions.

 

Motorola Photon 4G

motorola-photon-4g-front

Screen: 4.3 inches, 540×960 pixels
Specs: 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with Motorola NinjaBlur
Camera: 8MP rear, .3MP VGA front
Price: $200 with two-year contract
Availability: Sprint

Description: As time has wore on, we’ve missed having the Photon in our office. It suffers from a somewhat bland screen and interface, but everything else about it is great. The phone has a kickstand so you can prop it up like a clock, it docks with a ton of Motorola accessories (though they’re expensive), and is one of the most comfortable 4.3-inch phones we’ve held due to its button placement and rounded edges. At $200, it’s a great 4G phone. Read our full review.

 

LG T-Mobile G2x

lg-g2x-t-mobile-front

Screen: 4.0-inch LCD, 480×800 pixels
Specs: 1GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 8GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), pure Android
Camera: 8MP rear (LED flash, 720p rec), 1.3MP front
Price: $100 with two-year contract
Availability: T-Mobile

Description: LG doesn’t mess around with Google’s Android interface much and for $100, the G2x offers specs comparable to the $230 Galaxy S II. The LG G2x is one of the best phones on the market, but it’s been a sleeper and hasn’t made waves. It may ship with Android 2.2, but an update is available from LG, which brings the phone up to par with any of these devices. Read our hands-on impressions.

 

Motorola Droid Bionic

Screen: 4.3-inch LCD, 540×960 pixels
Specs: 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with NinjaBlur
Camera: 8MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 0.3MP VGA front
Price: $300 with two-year contract
Availability: Verizon

Description: The first 4G LTE handset on the market to sport a dual-core processor, the Droid Bionic’s sleek design follows in the footsteps of its forebearers, the Droid 3 and Droid X2, with a thin 11mm and a large, 4.3-inch screen. Of course, the best part of the device is its lighting-fast 4G speeds, but the LTE connectivity does cut down on the Droid Bionic’s battery life. Other minor negatives include a so-so screen and the lackluster NinjaBlur user interface. These are easy to ignore, however, as the powerhouse computing makes the Droid Bionic truly impressive. Read our full review.

 

T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide

htc-t-mobile-mytouch-4g-slide-front

Screen: 3.7 inches, 480×800 pixels
Specs: 1.2GHz dual-core, 768MB RAM, 9GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with HTC Sense 3.0
Camera: 8 MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 0.3MP VGA front
Price: $200 with two-year contract
Availability: T-Mobile

Description: If you prefer a QWERTY keyboard, you’ll find no better option than the 4G Slide, which packs almost as powerful a punch as the Amaze 4G. We’ve reviewed this phone and found it to be one of the best phones on T-Mobile. The touchpad is useful as well, though we didn’t use T-Mobile’s MyTouch button very much. Read our full review.

 

Motorola Atrix 2

motorola-atrix-2-front

Screen: 4.3-inch LCD, 540×960 pixels
Specs: 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage
OS: Android 2.3 with NinjaBlur
Camera: 8MP rear (LED flash, 1080p rec), 0.3MP VGA front
Price: $100 with two-year contract

Description: The Atrix was one of the first dual-core HSPA+ phones on the market and is still an industry-leading device thanks to a July update to Android 2.3 (download it here). You can still buy the Atrix, but from what we’ve seen, the Atrix 2 is a better phone for the same low $100 price. With the Atrix 2, Motorola has done away with the crappy PenTile display and improved the camera. The screen is a bit larger as well. Read our full review of the original Atrix. (Note: we haven’t yet tested the Atrix 2 ourselves.)

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