The 5 Best Android Smartphones [July, 2011]

The middle of summer is upon us dear GBM readers and you know what that means? We have a plethora of new Android phones out on the market, enough to make your head swivel around and your hair turn gray. Well, it’s our job to make buying a new smartphone as easy as possible and that’s where our monthly list of what we think are the best Android smartphones around comes into play.

Now, remember, this list is comprised of phones that are currently available on the market here in the United States. That means no Motorola Droid Bionic or Samsung Galaxy S II just yet.

HTC EVO 3D

HTC EVO 3D

Even with those overheating issues, Sprint’s HTC EVO 3D remains one of the best Android devices on the market combining amazing specs with 4G speeds. And guess what? It’s only looking up for the EVO 3D as HTC is going to be rolling out a software update in the near future that unlocks the phone’s bootloader. A fully customizable beast of a smartphone?

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Specifications: 4.3-inch S-LCD display with qHD resolution (540 x 960), 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, dual 5MP rear cameras with 720p video capture for both 2D and 3D, 1.3MP front facing camera, 4GB of on board storage, Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI, DLNA, 1730 mAh battery, 1GB of RAM

Operating System: Android 2.3 Gingerbread

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Carrier: Sprint

4G: Yes, WiMax

Release Date: June 24th, 2011

HTC Sensation 4G

HTC Sensation 4G

Along with the HTC EVO 3D, the HTC Sensation 4G is the other spec heavy juggernaut that has come out this summer and it’s not only one of the best Android phones available, it’s the best phone on T-Mobile at the moment. Sorry but the LG G2x has crippling issues at the moment and hasn’t been available in two months. If you can stomach not having 4G LTE or WiMax, the Sensation 4G is probably the phone you want.

Oh yeah, it’s bootloader is getting unlocked as well.

Specifications: 4.3-inch S-LCD display with qHD resolution (540 x 960), 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM 8260 processor, 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash and 1080p video capture, VGA front facing camera, 1GB of on board storage, Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI via microUSB, DLNA, 1520 mAh battery, 768MB of RAM

Operating System: Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Carrier: T-Mobile

4G: Yes, HSPA+

Release Date: June 15th, 2011

HTC ThunderBolt

HTC ThunderBolt

The HTC ThunderBolt makes its glorious return to this list after Verizon and HTC finally figured out how to fix the random reboot problem that had been plaguing owners for weeks. If the Motorola Droid Bionic somehow flops, the ThunderBolt will actually be a very viable option for those looking to hop aboard the 4G LTE train.

Specifications: 4.3-inch TFT display (480 x 800), 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8MP rear facing camera with 720p HD video recording and dual LED flash, 1.3MP front facing camera, 768MB of RAM, 8GB of on board storage, Bluetooth 2.1 w/ EDR, DLNA, 1400 mAh battery

Operating System: Android 2.2 Froyo

Carrier: Verizon

4G: Yes, LTE

Release Date: March 17th, 2011

Motorola Droid X2

Motorola Droid X2

The Motorola Droid X2 might very well be the best 3G smartphone on the market and it’s price has plummeted since last month which makes it even more attractive than it already was. If you could careless about LTE, WiMax, or HSPA+, this is probably the phone that you want to get. Speedy processor, high-res screen, sleek design, and a cheap price tag.

Not bad.

Specifications: 4.3-inch display with qHD resolution (540 x 960), 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor, 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, 8GB of on board storage, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI, DLNA, 1540 mAh battery, 512MB of RAM

Operating System: Android 2.2 Froyo

Carrier: Verizon

4G: No

Release Date: May 26th, 2011

Motorola Triumph

Motorola Triumph

Virgin Mobile’s Motorola Triumph is the wild card of the group but it’s hard to overlook at phone of this caliber that is available for a mere $300 off-contract. It has a slim design, HDMI, large display, and best of all, you don’t need to sign your name on a two-year contract in order to get it. That package is exciting to us and it should probably be pretty exciting to you too.

And yes, you can grab one at Best Buy right now, but you’ll need to wait until July 20th in order to activate it.

Specifications: 4.1-inch display (480 x 800), 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor, 5MP rear facing camera, VGA front facing camera, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI, 1400 mAh battery, 512MB of RAM

Operating System: Android 2.2 Froyo

Carrier: Virgin Mobile

4G: No

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Release Date: July 20th

Comments

  1. AGuest says

    This is a somewhat better listing than what Android Central put out yesterday. At least they tool the time to mention some of the issues/challenges the phones had. Also at least this list includes the Sensation which is one of the best currently available.

  2. Kavin Nguyen says

    I own both the G2x and the Sensation and love both. The G2x is a bit faster than the Sensation, while the Sensation looks and feels nicer. CM7 fixes the random reboot issue on the G2x while giving it a nice speed boost. I also feel the display on the G2x is nicer (color and brightness) than the Sensation. Looking forward to the bootloader unlock for the Sensation and see what it’s truly capable of.

  3. lexuk says

    Thanks for this – v. useful as I’m due an upgrade to my current HTC Desire. The Sensation looks like it’ll be a good option, though the Evo has better specs – don’t want to have to deal with an over-heating phone, I just want one that works without problems.

  4. Anonymous says

    it’s interesting to read just about Android phones for a change. All people seem to talk about nowadays is the iPhone and so it’s good to know there are other great smartphones too. I’m looking to get a new phone within the next few months and am heavily considering an Android – the iPhone is an old model – I know the iPhone 4s is out now, but it’s hardly different. and so I do think that Apple need to watch out for Android phones as they are getting more popular! It is helping me to decide which Android to consider too.

    I’m sure a lot of you are biased towards Androids, but we wrote an article on the best 4 Smartphones recently, it’s quite interesting http://www.lucidica.com/blog/cto/the-best-smart-phone-for-small-business/

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