Surveying the best Android smartphones available

by Kristen Nicole

Looking for an Android-powered smartphone but not exactly sure which one is the best for you? There are a number of variables to consider including screen size, processing speed and network availability. And while all Android phones have access to the approximately 100,000 apps available in the Android Market, no two Android devices are exactly the same.

Here’s a rundown of the best Android phones currently available.

The Droid family

Motorola’s legacy lives on, with the newly released Droid 2.  It comes with Froyo (the codename for Android’s 2.2 operating software,, has a 3.7-inch screen, and a redesigned QWERTY keyboard.  Available through Verizon, the Droid 2 also acts as a hotspot. Thankfully, it can handle the load with its revved up, 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM.

Also through Verizon is the  Droid X, which runs Android 2.1 (get the Froyo update).  Its touch screen is a beauty, with a highly responsive LCD display.  Ready for all things media, the Droid X has an 8-megapixel camera and an HDMI port. The distinctive hump may be an aesthetic departure, but it will prevent slippage when puling the phone out your pocket or purse.

The Droid Incredible is just that - incredible! Available through Verizon, this HTC smart phone comes with a powerful Snapdragon processor and social media integration for Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.  Its 8-megapixel camera, 3.7-inch display and proximity and light sensor adds to the appeal. An optical joystick also simplifies navigating the small screen.

HTC and Samsung

HTC Wildfire brings high-end style to the smart phone market.  Small and sleek, the phone comes media-ready. A volume rocker, micro-USB port and optical trackpad keep you entertained and prepped for sharing. Social media lovers will appreciate the high level of integration this phone has right out the box.

Dubbed as a true iPhone killer, the Samsung Galaxy has everything you need.  Its 1GHz processor and 720p HD video-recording means this Android-operated phone is great for mobile web browsing, recording videos, taking photos and watching movies.  Gamers, get ready. This phone will entice developers to get more serious about their Android titles (or lack thereof).

Sprint dove head first into the Android pool, partnering to offer the HTC EVO.  Being the first 4G phone in the states, the EVO has an HDMI-out, comes with Android 2.1 and moves with supersonic speed.  The massive 4.3-inch screen makes this phone perfect for watching its pre-loaded movies and playing games.

Best of the rest

Sony Ericcson Xperia 10 brings sophisticated personalization to Android phones, with a 4-inch screen and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor.  Available through AT&T, the Xperia 10 has a micro-USB port and an 8.1 megapixel camera, which is maxed out with features like smile detection and meters.  With a reworked Android interface and no Search button, users may be inclined to download a couple of customizing apps.

The initial Motorola Cliq wasn’t very impressive, but T-Mobile users will likely choose this device, given their other Android options.  It comes with Motoblur, a socially-oriented front for staying connected with friends and media-sharing.  It’s got a slide-out keyboard too—another benefit in light of the rest of T-Mobile’s Android lineup.