Best Android phone – which should you buy?
Best Android phone – which should you buy?
Updated The top Android phones compared
Page 1 of 2Best Android phone: 12 – 6
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There’s one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition – the number of phones out there running Google’s hot mobile OS.
We’re now seeing the latest wave of phones upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and it won’t be long before we begin seeing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean options too, although it’s currently limited to a few devices, such as the Google Nexus 7 tablet and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 smartphone.
Samsung makes loads of them. Sony’s cut the Ericsson ties but still is cranking out the Google-branded handsets. Then you’ve got Android-powered phones from Acer, LG, Huawei and many others, and while HTC has ceased the practice of releasing more phones than centipedes have shoes (they do wear them, you know) it’s still one of the more prominent Android manufacturers.
The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.
Do you physically and emotionally need a QWERTY keyboard? Are you the sort of oddball who prefers the rough pressing needed to make resistive touchscreens work? Are you struggling to work out which are the best Android Widgets? Or even stuck wondering: ‘Actually, what IS Android?’
To help find the best Android phone for you, we’ve rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.
So here they are – the best Android phones money can buy today. For many, many different reasons.
12. LG Prada 3.0
LG Prada 3.0
LG’s not produced a proper winner of an Android phone yet, but it has at least attempted to do something enjoyably different with its return to the Prada brand, which is an interesting and quirky stablemate to the Optimus 4X HD.
The key selling point in the LG Prada 3.0 is a crazy monochrome icon and wallpaper set that gives Android a bizarre reskin, which, coupled with a very slim case, a decent camera and the ample power inside, make it a sound choice for people not won over by today’s endless flood of bland and interchangeable Samsungs.
And who isn’t impressed by a faux leather back cover?
A big, weird phone for people looking to make a statement. Works well and has been discounted to hell and back, so is nice and cheap right now too.
LG Prada 3.0 review
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11. Samsung Galaxy Ace 2
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2
One of Samsung’s lower profile models is well worth looking out for if you’re on a budget, with the Galaxy Ace 2 offering a surprisingly large amount of bang for a low number of monthly buck payments.
The Ace 2’s powered by an 800Mhz dual-core processor, which runs Android 2.3 and Samsung’s TouchWiz interface with ease.
The camera’s a bit of a compromise in offering only 5MP shots, but photos emerge surprisingly bright and clear. If you want a phone with a quality 3.8-inch display that can be had for less than £200, Samsung’s got that base covered here.
A cheaper option for those after decent power and a good screen on a budget.
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review
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10. Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung took screen size to a ridiculous new level with the Galaxy Note, offering us a huge 5.3-inch display that’s by far the largest of any smartphone out there today.
You also get a stylus that’s pressure sensitive and comes with great handwriting recognition tools, plus dual cameras (8MP and 2MP), along with an LED flash around the back, and rather decent image results.
As with many of Samsung’s Android phones, the Note is a solid performer, and is now running Android 4.0 impeccably, with the same TouchWiz interface we’ve seen on the likes of the Galaxy S2.
With the show running at a super-high 1280 x 800 resolution, it’s a sharp-looking, smooth-running phone for those who don’t want their style cramping.
A great phone, as long as you’re not easily embarrassed by whipping out something so comically huge in public.
Samsung Galaxy Note review
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9. Motorola Razr Maxx
Motorola’s extremely impressive RAZR offered great power, a big set of usability tweaks coupled with its Android OS, plus a camera that delivered good shots.
The upgraded RAZR MAXX has all of that, but in a fatter chassis. This has allowed Motorola to nearly double the MAXX’s battery capacity to 3300mAh, making it the longest-lasting Android model out there today.
You can use your phone like it’s 1999, in fact, getting an amazing two days of uptime from it without fuss.
Motorola’s lessened its Android customisations, giving us a lean, stylish phone with the battery performance we’ve been waiting for.
Motorola Razr Maxx review
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8. Huawei Ascend G300
huawei ascend g300
Chinese manufacturer Huawei’s been tickling the UK with a few useful but hard-to-come-by Android handsets released under its own name over the last couple of years. Now it’s hit the big time with its G300, released through UK network Vodafone.
And it’s easy to see why Vodafone was impressed. The £100 phone offers a responsive, WVGA 3.7-inch display, 1GHz single-core chipset, and runs very smoothly indeed.
It’s best described as a nice copy of the old HTC Desire for £100. Great buy for a first time smartphone user or anyone after a rough and tumble spare.
The new budget champion of the £100 division, it’s fast, responsive and you won’t cry too much when it falls into the urinal.
Huawei Ascend G300 review
7. Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Samsung galaxy nexus
Google and Samsung’s 2011 flagship phone was, for a long time, the only official way to get the all-new Android 4.0 experience on a phone, and for that reason alone was a must-have for any Android user. The good news is it’s now got the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean platform as another reason to pick it over the competition.
As a smartphone itself, it’s a good all-round performer, too, although the omission of an SD card slot is a slightly odd decision.
The large 4.65-inch screen is glassy, smooth and responsive, running at an immense 720 x 1280 HD resolution. It’s bright, plus the 1.2GHz dual-core processor keeps everything running well, while the curved chassis is just about stylish enough to give the phone an edge over some of the more boring black slabs out there.
The 5MP camera appears a little weak on the tech spec list, but image results and HD videos emerge sharp and clear – plus it has a cool timelapse feature, too.