Looking to replace your old Android phone with something newer and with a little more "oomph"? Here are ten of the best Android-powered phones from big names such as Google, Motorola, and Samsung.
No matter whether you are looking for a consumer handset or something that will be suited to a BYOD role, you're bound to find something of interest here.
If I had to choose one of these, I'd likely go for the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, because it is a powerful, fully-featured handset packed with fantastic features such as an awesome camera, and is also robust enough to put up with a soaking.
However, I have to admit that some of the features present on the Samsung Galaxy S4 make it a great choice for the BYOD crowd.
Hot off the production line is Google's latest smartphone, the Nexus 5.
Not only has it been put together using some of the best components currently available, it also offers the purest Android experience possible, and gives owners access to the latest Android 4.4 KitKat. Owners also will get their pdates direct from Google and won't need to wait for hardware OEMs or carriers to release customized updates (or just never receive updates, as is still the case with many handsets).
I've always found Nexus-branded hardware to be solid and reliable, but I'd give this a few weeks for Google to shake out any potential bugs before recommending it to anyone other than hardcore Android enthusiasts.
The Galaxy Note 3 is, as you can probably gather, a sequel to the Galaxy Note 2. It brings a whole raft of improvements to the table, and it is currently the only phone or phablet that's compatible with Samsung's new Galaxy Gear smartwatch (support for devices such as the Note 2, and the Galaxy S3 and S4 should arrive before the end of the year).
Probably the biggest downside to this handset is that it feels plasticky and a little bit cheap in the hand, this shouldn't put you off.
The all-new HTC One is the first of two new kids on the block in terms of Android-powered smartphones.
Under the hood, the HTC One isn't all that different to Samsung's new Galaxy S4 — it features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU (although it runs a little slower), 2GB of RAM, and a 1080p screen — but it is also a very different beast thanks to Sense, the bold new user interface HTC has loaded into the smartphone. It also features an aluminum shell, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4, which has a plastic shell.
There's an awful lot to like about the Galaxy S4 — the powerful CPU, plenty of storage space, a user-replaceable battery, the microSD slot, the fact that it can be used as a remote control for a DVR. It is very much like HTC's new One handset, except marginally better in almost every way (except, perhaps, for the plastic shell).
Another quality handset from the company that is now the king of the Android smartphones.
A newcomer to the list. Sony's Xperia Z Ultra packs a lot of cool features under the hood, sporting the sharpest LCD panel on the market, and a 13-megapixel camera capable of capturing HDR video.
This handset is also thin, coming in at a svelte 6.5-milimeters. But don't the thinness fool you, the Xperia Z Ultra is tough, featuring tempered glass, and a dustproof and waterproof build, rated to with IP58.
This is the smartphone you need if you want to be able to submerge it in 1 meter of water and still have a working handset.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the Android smartphone for 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 to share content.
Like the idea of a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, but prefer a device that gives you a more pure Google Android experience? Or maybe you just want an unlocked handset. Either way, take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Google Play Edition."
This is the same hardware as the Galaxy S4, but with all the Samsung bells and whistles removed. Some people love this, others hate it. But if you want it, it is yours, unlocked, for $649.
I used to be pretty partial to Motorola handsets back before the iPhone. They were well built, and while they relied heavily on gimmicks, delivered decent performance and long-term reliability.
The Moto X is interesting, not because it is manufactured by Motorola – now owned by Google – but because it takes a new approach to computation power. Rather than one chip with multiple cores doing the work, the Moto X has a total of eight cores spread over four different chips, each doing a different thing. This is supposed to both speed up the handset and make the battery last longer.
Do you think that other smartphones are small and puny? Do you have large hands? Large pockets? Carry around with you a large bag?
Answered "yes' to one or more of these questions? The Galaxy Mega may be for you!
It's clear that Samsung is carpet-bombing the marker with handsets in a variety of sizes, and this 6.3-inch phablet (cross between a phone and a tablet) is at the high end for what's possible – and plausible – for a smartphone in terms of screen size.
The mega is certainly not for everyone, but if you want a smartphone that you can use as a tablet, then this might be worth a look.
In an attempt to differentiate its phablet from the competition, LG made the decision to place the hardware buttons on the back of the device. This, the company claims, reduces accidental button presses and also makes it easier for southpaw's to use.
A solid, well-rounded phablet.