Linked by David Adams on Sun 31st Jul 2011 19:10 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Nielsen's latest smartphone numbers show Apple's iPhone by far the most popular device among mobile computing hardware, but Android in a strong lead as the most popular OS. But while it's great to have choices in hardware, it can certainly be maddening to have to choose, especially if you don't have the fortitude to keep up with what's new on the market. So, dear readers, for the benefit of those who might be in the market for an Android handset, which one is best?
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v android
by antik on Sun 31st Jul 2011 20:34 UTC
RE: android
by kragil on Sun 31st Jul 2011 20:37 UTC in reply to "android"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

You should use the HTC Troll. That would be the perfect phone for you.

Reply Score: 18

RE: android
by _xmv on Mon 1st Aug 2011 02:48 UTC in reply to "android"
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

The SGS II is a large step up software wise. Note that you can probably install CM 7.1 or Samsung's android 2.3 on your SGS - the 2.3 from Samsung is actually pretty good.

Reply Score: 4

RE: android
by FadeFx on Mon 1st Aug 2011 07:09 UTC in reply to "android"
FadeFx Member since:
2011-08-01

sorry was meant as an answer to another post...

Edited 2011-08-01 07:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: android
by FadeFx on Mon 1st Aug 2011 07:11 UTC in reply to "android"
FadeFx Member since:
2011-08-01

First of, dont blame Android for that, the voice problems you see have nothing to do with the operating system, its a modem firmware problem and it is most likely resolved in newer firmware versions, Samsung deployed 2.3.3 recently to the sgs. if you cant update through Samsung Kies software (some providers just dont care for their customers) i strongly recommend to visit the xda-developers forum for other update methods. Also the email client is not android software, it is made by Samsung. We all know Samsung is good in building hardware, but they should learn to provide good software.

Reply Score: 2

Motorola Defy
by kragil on Sun 31st Jul 2011 20:36 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Sure, the stock phone is locked at Android 2.2.2, but if you put CM 7.1 on it it will do 1Ghz and still get easily through the day.

Pro Defy:
+small
+big screen (3,7'), but still fairly small overall. My ideal for a smartphone is just screen like the N9 so the Defy comes close. Space above and below the screen is wasted
+cheap
+512mb RAM (important for Android)
+microSD
+water resistant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUmH3o5xjlE)
+shock and dust proof
+strong glass

Contras:
-no dual core (I don't miss it, because I haven't seen what a dual core can do better)
-not the thinnest, but still decent
-usb and head phone jack covered
-not that shiny

I use mine for some time now and I am really happy. At first I thought the outdoor stuff is just a gimmick you never really need, but being able to use your phone in the rain and just handling it like a man, without thinking that it could break when you let it drop or throw it on the bed without ugly covers or bumpers is a big plus IMO.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Motorola Defy
by Gusar on Mon 1st Aug 2011 01:03 UTC in reply to "Motorola Defy"
Gusar Member since:
2010-07-16

I'm happy with my Defy too. It's very cheap for the hardware it provides. And looking at the monsters with 4+ inch displays at the store I kinda had the feeling they'd be too big for my taste. The Defy's 3.7'' display is right in the middle - large, but not too large. Of course I'm running Cyanogen on it ;)

Otherwise, I'd say the choice of an Android phone depends almost solely on your available budget: If you have money to spare, buy a dual-core monster like the Galaxy S II. If you don't have as much to spare, get a Nexus S. If you're on a limited budget, the Defy. If you want to go really cheap, idk, Galaxy Gio maybe.

Reply Score: 1

No-brainer
by WorknMan on Sun 31st Jul 2011 20:50 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

(Disclaimer: This post will be very US-centric)

If you're in the market for an Android phone, this decision is a no-brainer, especially if you're looking for a GSM phone; you should wait just a little while if you can, and get the next Nexus superphone that will be running ice cream sandwich. Either that, or the upcoming Droid Bionic. For me personally, if they don't offer an ice cream stock phone on Verizon later this year, it's probably going to be an iPhone for me.

If you have to have a phone right now, I dunno... perhaps the Galaxy S2? The original Galaxy S was notorious for having shitty software (as one poster has already pointed out), but the S2 is much better in this regard, so say the reviews. Plus, it has an unlocked bootloader, so flashing a custom rom will be much less of a pain.

Edited 2011-07-31 20:51 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: No-brainer
by phoenix on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 04:18 UTC in reply to "No-brainer"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Sure, if you wait "just another couple of months", you'll get "the next best thing" ... or you'll never end up with anything. ;)

The question is what is the best smartphone available now. Not what's going to be the best smartphone in 6 months, a year, ten years, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No-brainer
by JAlexoid on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE: No-brainer"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

A lot of people say it's the SGS2.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No-brainer
by phoenix on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No-brainer"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Unless you want a keyboard. ;)

Although there are rumours that AT&T is getting a keyboard variant of the SGS2 ... "sometime soon". ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No-brainer
by WorknMan on Wed 3rd Aug 2011 02:13 UTC in reply to "RE: No-brainer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Sure, if you wait "just another couple of months", you'll get "the next best thing" ... or you'll never end up with anything. ;)


Normally this is true, but there are times, like when a MAJOR new version of a thing is about to come out, that you should probably wait just a bit. For example, with rumors of the iPhone5 coming out in September, this is probably NOT the best time to buy an iPhone4 ;)

As for Android, we're not talking about a jump from Froyo to Gingerbread here, and if Ice Cream is anything like HOneycomb, those 4 buttons at the bottom of all Android phones may end up being a waste of space.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No-brainer
by phoenix on Wed 3rd Aug 2011 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No-brainer"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Actually, now is the perfect time to purchase an iPhone 4, as many carriers/stores are slashing the price ... in anticipation of the iPhone 5. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Galaxy S II FTW
by kuraegomon on Sun 31st Jul 2011 21:00 UTC
kuraegomon
Member since:
2009-01-05

I have one. It's fast, stable (so far) and has a really purty screen ;)

If you don't like Samsung's thin and light (read plastic) design philosophy, then the HTC Sensation.

Got to be Honeycomb, and - if you're going to spend smartphone-type money right now, then it's got to be dual-core, I think.

Please note that I bought my phone outright, then shopped for the data plan that pleased me. If you can save $15 (or Euro or whatever) a month that way, you probably come out even, and maintain the flexibility of being able to leave your provider on 30 days notice ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Galaxy S II FTW
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 1st Aug 2011 16:59 UTC in reply to "Galaxy S II FTW"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I think you mean gingerbread, as honeycomb is tablet only.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Galaxy S II FTW
by joshv on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 10:49 UTC in reply to "Galaxy S II FTW"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

Wife has a Galaxy. If you like waiting 30 minute to forever for a GPS lock (literally, this phone effectively lacks GPS) and watching your charge drop for 100% to 50% while you wait, yeah - great phone.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Galaxy S II FTW
by adinas on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 13:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Galaxy S II FTW"
adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

Upgrading to 2.3.4 seems to have improved this issue

Edited 2011-08-02 13:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Galaxy S II FTW
by JAlexoid on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Galaxy S II FTW"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Are you sure it's SGS2? Not SGS1?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sun 31st Jul 2011 22:50 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

uh let me catch you up. first there was everything, then there was galaxy s2. now it is just galaxy s2.

Reply Score: 3

Motorola Droid 3
by smitty on Sun 31st Jul 2011 23:31 UTC
smitty
Member since:
2005-10-13

has a physical keyboard, for those who like that.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Motorola Droid 3
by WorknMan on Sun 31st Jul 2011 23:55 UTC in reply to "Motorola Droid 3"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

has a physical keyboard, for those who like that.


No 4g though ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Motorola Droid 3
by phoenix on Mon 1st Aug 2011 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Motorola Droid 3"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I can count on one hand the number of cities that have LTE in Canada, and still have 4 fingers leftover. Why would I need an LTE-enabled phone? 2013 is when LTE will be commonplace, right around when a new phone contract would expire.

Even counting US cities on both hands you'll have fingers left-over.

No idea about the rest of the world.

Yes, LTE is the future of cell-comms. But that future is still a couple years away. Why wait until then for a new phone?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Motorola Droid 3
by henderson101 on Mon 1st Aug 2011 10:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Motorola Droid 3"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

4G - what is that? (the rest of the world)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Motorola Droid 3
by _txf_ on Mon 1st Aug 2011 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Motorola Droid 3"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

4G - what is that? (the rest of the world)


Almost universally 4G implies LTE. Unfortunately US telecoms have completely corrupted the term meaning that when americans speak of 4G you have to ask what carrier they're on.

However op is talking about Droid3 which is only on Verizon therefore 4G in this case is LTE

Reply Score: 3

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
by messier on Mon 1st Aug 2011 00:15 UTC
messier
Member since:
2005-07-06

I had the chance to buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 while I was down in USA for a one-week vacation. I got the 32G version and I am VERY (!!!) with its features and capabilities. The only downside is the lack of card reader on the device. It has two slots, just the size for SD Micro, but they are blocked, and so useless. I am just waiting to see the accessories for it, when it will be available in Canada. I think we are supposed to be able to connect USB devices and some card readers.

Go for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Edited 2011-08-01 00:19 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Droid 3 or Galaxy S II
by phoenix on Mon 1st Aug 2011 02:37 UTC
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

For phones that you can actually buy right this instant, the cream of the crop are:

Motorola Droid 3/Milestone 3/XT 863/XT 860/ whatever other carriers call it. Dual-core, amazing GPU, 8MP camera, 1080p video recording, 16 GB storage plus SDHC slot, the best noise cancelling system out there. And a 5 row QWERTY hardware keyboard.

Anandtech has a great in-depth review of this phone.

For those who don't want a keyboard in their pocket computers, er, phones then the Samsung Galaxy S II, in it's various incarnations, seems to be the best.

Reply Score: 2

Galaxy S II (Exynos version)
by _xmv on Mon 1st Aug 2011 02:45 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

Nothing comes close. It's hard to argue against it.
The Tegra 2s are so slow in comparison. Samsung has a true hit on this phone.
Most americans don't realize that yet because they don't have this device available (I use it since may!).
It is so much better than anything else I have ever owned as a phone, including many Androids that it's not even funny.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Galaxy S II (Exynos version)
by smitty on Mon 1st Aug 2011 04:58 UTC in reply to "Galaxy S II (Exynos version)"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Nothing comes close. It's hard to argue against it.
The Tegra 2s are so slow in comparison. Samsung has a true hit on this phone.
Most americans don't realize that yet because they don't have this device available (I use it since may!).
It is so much better than anything else I have ever owned as a phone, including many Androids that it's not even funny.

I heard it's supposed to come to Verizon next month, I figured I'd take a look and get that or the Droid 3.

Reply Score: 2

DREVILl30564
Member since:
2008-04-18

ditch the OEM installed ROM, it's full of AT&T Bloatware that is only useful if you're willing to pay for the service.

I recommend and use the 3rd party Cognition ROM on it, they've updated the radio firmware and now I have HSPDA+ as opposed to the stock 2.2 Rom which had 3G

Reply Score: 1

Comment by AaronMiller
by AaronMiller on Mon 1st Aug 2011 04:36 UTC
AaronMiller
Member since:
2011-05-23

The website phandroid.com lists specs for the various phones and their carriers as well as rumored and upcoming phones. From what I can tell, the best phone would be the HTC Evo 3D with its 1.2GHz dual-core processor and "3D" camera, and the huge "qHD" resolution. I don't have the phone and I'm reciting the specs from memory. Hardware wise, I believe that's the best phone available, in my opinion. From what I've seen, the HTC Evo's (minus the EVO Shift) have been the most "evolved" phones on their release.

Also, the HTC Evo is available for Sprint. That doesn't really mean anything to anyone but me. I have an account with Sprint, that's all. I mention that because some phones can't be used with some providers, obviously, and so there's "best phone hardware," and "best phone hardware for X provider."

Cheers,
Aaron

Reply Score: 1

MyTouch 4G
by Excarnate on Mon 1st Aug 2011 04:39 UTC
Excarnate
Member since:
2011-08-01

It isn't the perfect phone but it has this going for it:
1) 4G in over 150 cities (my fastest: 10 Mbps)
2) Fast and can be overclocked to as high as 1.8 GHz (I run at 1.3 because battery life is also important).
3) Fully rootable, S-OFF.
4) Cyanogen 7 supports it. MIUI if you like that better.
5) Vibrant (heh) user community on XDA-Developers.com
6) Reasonable in all ways.
7) Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S with its defective GPS and total lack of anything from Samsung, I've had really terrific warranty support. And my GPS works great!
8) World phone.
9) T-Mobile.
10) Gorilla glass.

I think for most people, the #3, 4, 5 are the key.

I'd improve it with dual CPU, a 4" screen, slightly bigger battery, the new 42 Mbps 4G, a car dock.

Reply Score: 1

Great question
by Priest on Mon 1st Aug 2011 06:07 UTC
Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

The battery life in the Samsung Fascinate (about a year old now) is great, but they have been slow with Android updates (I just recently got 2.2) and they have a deal with Bing for search that I could do without.

The HTC Incredible is nice but my battery life kills it and that is an important for me, the Droid X is great but a little on the larger side for me and again the battery life isn't quite what I want it to be.

I am not real sure about the phones that have come out super recently but this is a good question. I'd like to see some posts covering phone apps too.

I am still looking for a notepad/scratchpad/task manager that I really like. Fieldrunner is a cool game, I use touchtown (paid) for exchange access. jEFIT as a workout tracker. Advanced Task killer to kill stuff after it stars up (but I still would like to know how to remove from running at all at start).

Reply Score: 2

Samsungs Nexus S
by jokkel on Mon 1st Aug 2011 07:10 UTC
jokkel
Member since:
2008-07-07

The Samsung Nexus S is very similar to the Galaxy S. Its best feature is, that it get new Android versions quickly, thanks to it being a Google phone. With other phones, you have to rely on lazy vendors, who will still ship old Android versions more than half a year later.
Software is the main thing that makes these phones interesting. Buying a phone than runs 2.2 today? No thank you.
Also it doesn't have HTCs awful, buggy and resource hogging Sense UI but stock Android.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Samsungs Nexus S
by FadeFx on Mon 1st Aug 2011 07:22 UTC in reply to "Samsungs Nexus S"
FadeFx Member since:
2011-08-01

i second that but would also, like one other poster stated, wait a little for the next follwup phone from google, as it will have the latest hardware and the benefits of being a google flagship device...

Edited 2011-08-01 07:23 UTC

Reply Score: 1

.
by Icaria on Mon 1st Aug 2011 08:37 UTC
Icaria
Member since:
2010-06-19

The HTC Doubleshot looks pretty nifty, just a shame that it seems to be a single (US) carrier-specific phone. Any word on when HTC will release a proper, carrier-agnostic/global successor to the G2/Desire Z?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kosmic
by kosmic on Mon 1st Aug 2011 09:50 UTC
kosmic
Member since:
2007-09-24

Android apps are not very tight up like on iOS.

On Android it looks like that some times the apps don't belong to the same phone different menus, cant speak one with other... but there are 3 android phones that i love:

Samsung Galaxy
Samsung Galaxy II
and the best of all Nexus One

What I dislike is the battery, please give me a phone not with 2 or 4 cores but with a battery that can last the same time that my old Nokia 6210i

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by kosmic
by kosmic on Mon 1st Aug 2011 09:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by kosmic"
kosmic Member since:
2007-09-24

Sorry it is the Nexus S, not the one, the one is a very good phone also.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by kosmic
by JAlexoid on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 15:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by kosmic"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

No new smartphone has that battery life today. Even Nokia 500 is said to have a low battery life, compared to other Symbian based devices.

Reply Score: 2

My ideal platform for Android...
by Almafeta on Mon 1st Aug 2011 10:31 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

... hasn't had an Android port yet: the OpenPandora.

Reply Score: 2

what a coincidence!
by broken_symlink on Mon 1st Aug 2011 13:30 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have an original iphone that runs on edge, I got it the day it came out, and was going to send osnews an email asking them if they could do an osnews ask piece to figure out what the best android phone to get is.

I've also been considering upgrading to a new iphone, or getting a nokia n9. I really want to believe in nokia. The e7 also looks pretty good, but ovi doesn't seem to have apps for what I want, so its crossed off my list.

The two things that worry me about all these android phones are battery life and updates. I guess updates don't really matter that much since I've been stuck on ios 3 for a while now and have gotten used to living without updates.

Battery life though is pretty important to me. On my iphone I can go 3 or 4 days on one charge. I keep bluetooth and wifi turned off all the time though and only turn them on when I need them. My brother recently got an htc inspire and he said he needs to charge it everyday. Although when I asked him if he turned off things like bluetooth and wifi he said he didn't.

What I really want from my phone is a lot of storage (16gb+), a good camera, gps, possibly 4g, and if i can find one with a hardware keyboard that would be a plus, but its not required. I also want things like ssh, rdp, mpd, and icecast clients. Finally, this is probably a standard feature on all phones now, but I really miss not having MMS on my iphone.

I am also on att, but I do not mind buying an unlocked phone, as long as 3g or 4g works on att.

This article has given me a lot of possible leads to look at.

Reply Score: 2

Best hardware for which use ?
by pica on Mon 1st Aug 2011 14:03 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

A hardware featuring a 10" 1280 by 800 pixel display is better suited to view complex screens than one with a 5" 800 by 480 pixel display. On the other hand a 5" tablet is more mobile. It even easily fits into an inner pocket of a sports coat.

pica

Reply Score: 1

RE: Best hardware for which use ?
by David on Mon 1st Aug 2011 17:08 UTC in reply to "Best hardware for which use ?"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

For everyday smartphone use. Not tablet. That's another discussion.

Reply Score: 1

dadeisvenm Member since:
2005-08-02

"What's Today's Best Android Hardware?"

With a title like that, ANYTHING capable of running Android is valid.

Reply Score: 1

The Root of the Problem
by nlvivar on Mon 1st Aug 2011 21:35 UTC
nlvivar
Member since:
2007-06-21

I would place "How easy is it to root this phone?" high on my list of priorities. That way, as the technology ages, you can always install low-resource-using ROMs.

The official Google phones have always been high on my list, just for that fact alone.

Reply Score: 2

aiming at Moto's Defy or Galaxy Tab P1000
by hansa on Tue 2nd Aug 2011 13:37 UTC
hansa
Member since:
2010-04-08

Currently i own a SE vivaz pro, because it was one of the first with 720P video. And that is the only decent thing about it.
Symbian S60 was great, until the touchscreens.
S60 has become sluggish: It cannot play an mp3 song without stuttering, but plays and records HD movies perfect?! Because of the HD movies it must have a decent cpu.
I love qwerty keyboards on mobiles, but never liked BB's, Symbian with touchscreen and keyboard is not a good combo. I already experienced 2 failing combo's: SE vivaz pro and SE P990i.
Slider qwerty keys are a miss also, constant tilting of the display.
It seems so ideal. Why does it not work? Because apps are almost always made for non tilting touchscreens.

So i am going to settle for a touchscreen device!
With a big enough screen that makes typing easy, but not to big. And with a long battery life. That would be the motorola Defy :-D.

Or the Galaxy Tab P1000, the 7 inch wonder of Samsung!
It's a tablet that can phone and is practical enough to carry around.

The SE X10 is becoming quite cheap as well in Holland! (Older android version 2.1, but 720P video).

Where do you need dual-cores for? Gaming? Wait until the PS vita comes along with a quad-core cpu and quad-core gpu.

Reply Score: 1

LG Optimus Black
by JimProfit on Wed 3rd Aug 2011 09:52 UTC
JimProfit
Member since:
2011-08-03

My wife bought the LG Optimus Black (P970).
It slim, light, large screen, good autonomy.
Spec wise it's fine with 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, lot of internal flash. Feels fast.

It is still android 2.2.* but an upgrade to 2.3.* should be released soon. The HTC customizations are light and doesn't interfer with the android experience.

She doesn't care much about android but she wanted a good-looking and pleasing smartphone with a nice scren.

And the screen is the best you can find on an Android smartphone: it's an IPS panel, not only it is the brightest screen, but the colors are very good, with the best fidelity.
Very similar to the Iphone4's one (manufactured by LG).

More pleasing to use over my HTC Desire, would make the switch any day.

Reply Score: 1