It’s somewhat likely that a new iPhone will be launched later this year, but until then, there are plenty of great Android smartphones to consider. Here is a rundown of the Galaxy S III and the best Android smartphones already available.
Samsung Galaxy S III (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular)
The Samsung Galaxy S III sets the new standard for smartphones. It will also be available on five U.S. networks including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. Samsung’s flagship handset device sports a huge, 4.8-inch 720x1280 HD Super AMOLED display, offers 4G LTE capabilities, microSD storage, and a speedy 1.4GHz quad-core processor. Running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz skin on top, the Korean manufacturer is flaunting the Galaxy III’s additional software capabilities. This includes S-voice natural language commands, eye-tracking, Dropbox cloud storage and smart alerts. With more than 500,000 apps available and ready on Google Play, this is one smartphone that should be able to take anything you throw at it.
HTC One X (AT&T)
While HTC suffered last year with less-than-stellar financial results, there’s no denying it has bounced back in a big way in 2012 with the launch of the HTC One range. Available through AT&T for $199 (with a new, two-year contract), the HTC One X is the big daddy of the range. It offers swift 4G LTE performance with Beats Audio, a 4.7-inch 720p Super LCD HD screen, and an advanced 8-megapixel rear camera. It sports Android’s latest Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC’s Sense 4 UI skin, plus access to the thousands of apps on the Google Play store. With its advanced photo optics, 16GB of internal storage and efficient dual-core processor, while it may not have arrived with the same kind of fanfare as Samsung’s device, there is no doubt it’s just as capable.
HTC EVO 4G LTE (Sprint)
The HTC EVO 4G LTE is actually Sprint’s version of the HTC One X, but with a number of enhancements and features unique to the carrier. While its specs match those of the One X (which is carried by AT&T), it looks very different with red accents. For better and worse, there are some textured finishes that make it stand apart from its peers. The Evo’s kickstand lets users sit back and view content on that big, beautiful 720p Super LCD display hands-free, and its 2000mAh Li-Ion battery should see it last throughout the day. However, what truly sets the EVO apart is Sprint itself. The carrier still allows unlimited data plans on its network, which could be a bonus in these days of tiered data plans on other carriers. Sprint’s 4G LTE network is somewhat limited right now, but expanding quickly. So the EVO 4G LTE at $199 with a two-year contract is certainly worth a look if you’re in an area served well by Sprint.
Motorola RAZR MAXX (Verizon)
Before the iPhone arrived, Motorola’s RAZR was the smartphone standard. New this year and powered by Android, the Motorola RAZR MAXX offers similar form and function to its successful predecessor. This RAZR, however, packs a much more powerful battery to ensure you get coverage throughout the day. Verizon and Motorola boast that the device offers the longest battery life of any Android smartphone. Yet it’s still surprisingly slim, packs in 4G LTE capabilities, a dual-core processor and a promised upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future. While its display is no match for the HD quality screens on the One X and Galaxy S III, it’s by no means terrible. In fact, its Super AMOLED Advanced display with its 540x960 pixel resolution is energy efficient. With its rugged construction and Motorola’s exceptional radio quality, the RAZR MAXX, despite not being the newest kid on the block, still has a lot to offer.
HTC One S (T-Mobile)
While a little smaller than its bigger brother and a slightly less impressive display, the HTC One S is still a fast, powerful and worthy Android device for customers on the smallest of the big-four U.S. networks. In fact, those who feel the One X and Galaxy S III are getting a little too large to be held comfortably with one hand will appreciate the slightly more svelte One S. It’s a 4G-capable device with built-in Beats Audio, a 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display and it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Its dual-core processor is fast and efficient, battery life is better than the One X, it boasts 16GB of storage, and it’s all wrapped up in a smart-looking industrial design that fits the hand perfectly. The HTC One S on T-Mobile costs $199 with a new, two-year contract.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Verizon, Sprint or unlocked)
It’s a little older than some of the smartphones mentioned above, but the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is still a premium device that offers a lot of the bang for the buck. It’s available on Verizon, Sprint or directly from the Google Play Store for $399. Buying directly from Google is a goo option if you want to use it on a GSM provider of your choosing.The Galaxy Nexus is a no-frills Android device from Google, which lacks the skins or unnecessary bloatware apps other manufacturers will often add to help subsidize the cost. It was the first to run Android’s latest Ice Cream Sandwich, and its recent 4.0.4 update helped iron out some of the issues early adopters may have experienced. With a giant 4.65-inch HD (1280x720) Super AMOLED contour display, 1.2GHz dual core processor, 16GB internal storage and a 5-megapixel camera with zero shutter lag, it’s a refined smartphone offering the purest form of the Android OS this side of unlocking/rooting your device.