Five Android alternatives to the iPhone 5

Summary:There are several very good Android handsets that are just as good -- if not better -- than Apple's latest flagship handset, the iPhone 5.

Time to answer a popular question hitting the Hardware 2.0 mailbox.

I don't want an iPhone 5. Can you recommend an Android-powered alternative that will handle my work and home duties that you think is as good as the iPhone?

I can do better than recommending one Android-powered alternative. Here are five alternatives, all more than capable of handling a busy work and home life.

Samsung Galaxy S III

Without a doubt the flagship Android handset -- no matter what Galaxy Nexus owners say. With its 4.8-inch HD screen, the Galaxy S III is a real handful. It's great for viewing video and photos, but due to its small size, it may not be the sort of handset that's at home in tight jeans or small bags.

Samsung Galaxy S III

The Samsung Galaxy S III features a dual-core processor and can be connected to the high-speed 4G LTE data networks. It runs the Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" operating software, but rumors suggest that Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" is on the way. 

For the photographers, the Galaxy S III comes with an excellent 8-megapixel camera.

Pricing: Starts at $199 for the 16GB model, which is available from Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.

Why it's better than the iPhone 5: Larger screen that still rests comfortably in one (large) hand.

Read more: CNET review.

Galaxy Nexus

The Galaxy Nexus is Google's idea of what an Android smartphone should be.

Galaxy Nexus

The Galaxy Nexus comes with a 4.65-inch 720p AMOLED HD display, powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and runs the latest Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" operating system. The camera is only 5-megapixels but is optimized for low-light use.

Pricing: An unlocked 16GB Galaxy Nexus will cost you $349 from Google, but if you're willing to be hooked up to a two-year contract, you can pick up the 32GB model from Sprint of Verizon for $99.

Why it's better than the iPhone 5: Great handset at a more reasonable price.

Read more: CNET review.


Motorola makes some very good handsets, and the DROID RAZR M is bar far no different. The handset features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED edge-to-edge display that is 40 percent larger than the screen on the iPhone 4S. It runs Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" but is upgradable to Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean".


The only downside to the DROID RAZR M are the storage options: 8GB, no more, no less. The DROID RAZR M features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera.

The exterior matches that of the internals. The diamond-cut aluminum frame is sandwiched between a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass screen and a durable Kevlar back. The internal electronics are protected from splashes by a proprietary nano-coating.

Pricing: The DROID RAZR M is available from Verizon for $99 with a two-year contract.

Why it's better than the iPhone 5: Amazing finish, great hardware, good price.

Read more: CNET review.


There's a lot to like about the HTC One X. A 1.5GHz dual-core processor (quad-core available in the global version) pumps the pixels to a 4.7-inch super-LCD 720p display, all of which is run by Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".


The 32GB of storage offers plenty of space for photos and video taken using the 8 megapixel camera. The camera even allows you to take photos while recording video, and to take panoramic photos -- something the latest version of Apple's iOS 6 lets you do on the iPhone 5 and new iPod touch devices. 

Pricing: The HTC One X is available from AT&T for $99 with a two-year contract.

Why it's better than the iPhone 5: Easy-to-use curved screen, great camera.

Read more: CNET review.

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE

If you're looking for a smartphone with a physical keyboard, then look no further than the Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE.

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE

Physical keyboard aside -- which is excellent, and makes you realize what a compromise virtual keyboards are -- the Photon Q 4G LTE features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a 4.3-inch ColorBoost TFT LCD display. Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" currently runs the show, and while we expect that it will get an upgrade to Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" so far there's no word on when.

Pricing: The Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE is available from Sprint for $99 with a two-year contract.

Why it's better than the iPhone 5: Physical keyboard.

Read more: CNET review.

Image credits: SamsungGoogleMotorolaHTC; Motorola.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware, Samsung, Smartphones


Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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