Best Android-powered smartphones (November 2012 edition)

Best Android-powered smartphones (November 2012 edition)

Summary: A tour of the best Android smartphones currently available on the market.

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  • Samsung Galaxy Note II

    Samsung Galaxy Note II

    The Samsung Galaxy Note II is Android smartphone those people with large hands to hold it with, and large pockets to keep it in.

    The Samsung Galaxy Note II really is a solid handset packed with an array of high-end features. It even comes with the S Pen that can be used to copy text, crop images, and even to share content.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)
    • 1.6 GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor
    • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display
    • 8MP rear camera
    • 1.9MP front camera
    • 16/32/64GB internal storage
    • microSD slot

    Image source: Samsung.

  • Google Nexus 4

    Google Nexus 4

    The Nexus 4 is the smartphone that Google thinks Android should be loaded on.

    One of the downsides to the Nexus 4 is that it doesn't come with LTE support despite having a supporting integrated modem. According to LG , the manufacturer of the Nexus 4, the LTE modem requires a signal amplifier and filter to work, and these components have been omitted to keep the cost of the handset down.

    Despite this, the Nexus 4 is a solid, well-made Android handset.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.2)
    • 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait processor
    • 4.7-inch WXGA IPS display
    • 8MP rear camera
    • 1.3MP front camera
    • 8/16GB internal storage

    Image source: Google.

  • Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD

    Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD

    The Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD is Motorola's latest high-end smartphone and it brings both a high-definition 4.7-inch display and a massive 3,300 mAh battery, good enough for 32-hours of use.

    It's also tough, constructed form DuPont Kevlar fiber and Corning Gorilla Glass, and features water-repellant nanoparticles to shield against water, even on the internal circuit boards.

    The only downside to this handset is that it is powered by Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich," but an upgrade to Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" should be available before the end of the year.

    • Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) but update on the way
    • Dual-core 1.5GHz processor
    • 4.7-inch Super AMOLED HD Display, 720p (720x1280)
    • 8 MP rear-facing camera
    • 1.3 MP front-facing with 720p HD video capture
    • 1080p HD video capture
    • 32 GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot

    Image source: Motorola.

Topics: Android, Google, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, Security, Smartphones

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18 comments
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  • Not quite finished?

    Is this a work in progress, Adrian?
    M.R. Kennedy
    • Of course it is

      Three HTC ones, Three Maxxs, one nexus, one note and two SIII are pictured. LOL
      LarsDennert
  • Sure hope the Razr Maxx HD is better...

    ...than the Razr Maxx I have right now. Gone through two of these in the past two months...and number three is about to go back.

    First, it was constant dropping of BOTH the cell & data signals nearly everytime I tired to use the phone. Then with the second one, it was constant crashes throughout the day. Now, number three is not only crashing a couple of times a day, but it also freezes occasionally.

    Not amusing at all.
    It'sNotMe
    • Funny. Mine's runs like a dream.

      The only problem I've ever had is the touch sensing going crazy when it's plugged in, but that's probably my fault for using an Amazon Kindle charger on it.
      T1Oracle
  • Best Smartphones Full Stop

    That the best smartphones will be "Android" phones nowadays goes without saying. Android has become the standard that the competitors are trying, unsuccessfully, to beat.
    ldo17
    • yeah

      Why does all these articles say "best Android smartphone" instead of "best smartphone"? They're always careful to word them to not include iPhone...as if Apple is going to make a call to fire the writers if they don't.
      trob6969
  • Need to Update this....

    The Droid DNA is out now. Best of the Best!
    rfarrah@...
  • Note 2 is awesome!

    Went from my iPhone 3GS to the Note2, I enjoyed my time spend on the iPhone, but wow, the Note2 is just so much better. It was a choice between iPhone 5 and the Note2, and I made the right decision! In fact, I liked it so much I bought my wife the Note 10.1.
    nicopretorius
    • Glad to hear!

      I'm sure if many of the other iphone users took the blinders off they would be pleasantly surprised with some of these newer Android devices. Give it a shot iphoners!
      SteveWojo
    • Note II

      I made the switch as well from 3GS to Note II and no regrets at all. All my pics, itunes stuff went over without any problems. The Note and Jelly Bean are leaps ahead of Apple.
      Bradish@...
    • Note 2 is awesome!

      nicopretoriys, you said the Note2 is so much better than the iPhone. Why is that, for you?
      lwr32
  • Jelly Bean upgrade

    Got my S3 first of July. It upgraded to Jelly Bean about a month ago...I love it!!
    ltlgeneral64
  • Apple & Microsoft

    If Adrian was to make a top 5 list of all smartphones, he probably would have included at least the iPhone 5 and maybe even a Windows phone (but, unfortunately for RIMM, probably not a Blackberry). I'm glad he limited it to Android, since there are so many of them it is hard to know what's what any more, with all of the codes and letters they put after their names to differentiate them. With Apple the choices are simple, and with Windows, there aren't enough of them to totally confuse the public yet, but that will probably change soon enough too.
    reasonableman
  • It's fine and all but......

    Ultimately we got the neutered version of this phone in NA, I'm fine with my unlocked and rooted HTC Rezound. Minus the screen, it stands toe-to-toe with the SGIII.
    JohnGalt_
  • comparison sheet

    That topic is always from interest and could be done quarterly. I'd like to see a final table sheet to compare all at once, plus some price tag.
    stephanv
  • Update

    Wasn't the HTC One X+ released at the time of writing this article?
    By all of the accounts I've read this is a real competitor with the SGS3 for the top android smartphone accolade!
    I'd like to see a side by side comparison as I am due to upgrade and would like to make the most informed decision I can.
    G3R5
    • i9305

      It looks as though the information in the article hasn't been updated for quite a while. Hasn't the i9305 variant of the SIII been out for a couple of months now, with quad core processor and LTE? Or is it not available in north America?
      DJL64
  • It's winner !!!!!

    I am sure that it will winner for smartphone of the year. it's amazing smartphone and ruling till now !!!!!

    Samsung Galaxy S3
    johnbiber