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Best Android-powered smartphones (November 2012 edition)

A tour of the best Android smartphones currently available on the market.
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1 of 5 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy S III

 

Without a doubt the best Android smartphone available today.

Not only is it packed with high-end features such as an amazing 4.8-inch super AMOLED display, and a really solid camera, but it also appeals to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) crowd. The handset has a number of enterprise-friendly features, including AuthenTec's QuickSec VPN client technology that allows users to access corporate networks when out and about.

  • Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Krait processor
  • 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 1.9MP front camera
  • 16/32GB internal storage
  • microSD slot

Image source: Samsung.

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2 of 5 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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.

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3 of 5 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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.

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4 of 5 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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.

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5 of 5 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

HTC One X

HTC One X

Here's another excellent handset powered by Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich". It features a stunning screen, an excellent camera, and a superb built-in speaker system. When combined with AT&T's LTE network, it also offers blazingly fast browsing.

  • Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
  • 1.5 GHz, quad-core (global version)
  • 1.5 GHz, dual-core LTE version (USA and select countries)
  • 4.7-inch (1280 x 720 resolution) 720p display
  • 32GB storage
  • 8 megapixel camera with auto focus, smart LED flash, and BSI sensor (for better low-light captures)
  • 1.3 megapixel front camera (720p for video chat)
  • Continuous shooting mode captures multiple snapshots
  • 1080p HD video recording

Image source: HTC.

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