The 5 Best Android Smartphones [January, 2012]

At the end of 2011, we saw a flurry of smartphone releases including those of the HTC Rezound, the Motorola Droid RAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Then, just last week in Las Vegas, CES 2012 saw the introductions of several new phones that are slated for release in the coming weeks.

So needless to say, the Android smartphone field is an extremely crowded one this month.

And that has probably left a few of you pondering which device to get now that you’re contract is up or if you’re in line for an upgrade.

Well, we’re here to help and here are the five Android smartphones that we feel, for the month of January, are the best on the market right now. Included are phones that are currently out and phones that have been announced but as of yet don’t have a release date.

(January is over, head to: The 5 Best Android Smartphones [February, 2012].)

Motorola Droid 4

Droid 4

If you’re a current owner of a Motorola Droid 3, we understand if you’re mad that we listed the recently announced Motorola Droid 4 on this list. However, the ill wishes of those who feel burned by Motorola and Verizon’s decision to launch this device don’t change the fact that this is an extremely good phone.

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So good, that we awarded it with our Best Smartphone of CES 2012 award.

From the 4G LTE speeds (something the Droid 3 should have had), so its high-resolution screen to its physical QWERTY keyboard which is one of the, if not the best one ever made, the Droid 4 brings quite a bit to the table.

Throw in the fact that it’ll likely be $250 with a new contract and you’ll understand why we think this is a phone that should command your attention.

Unfortunately, we don’t know when it’s going to be coming out on Verizon but trust that we’re close.

See our hands-on with the Motorola Droid 4.

Specifications: 4.0-inch qHD display with scratch and scrape resistant glass, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on board storage, 8MP rear facing camera capable of taking 1080p video, 1.3MP front facing camera, 1785mAh battery

Operating System: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread

Carrier: Verizon

4G: Yes, LTE

Release Date: Unknown

Price: Unknown – Rumored: $250 with New Two-Year Contract

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX

If the cries of Motorola Droid 3 owners weren’t loud enough for you, you’ll probably want to find someone who owns an original Motorola Droid RAZR, a phone that was launched with great fanfare back in October. Why are they upset?

Because at CES 2012, Motorola and Verizon announced an upgraded Droid RAZR, the Droid RAZR MAXX, which is essentially the same exact phone except for the fact that it’s a little thicker and it houses a massive 3300 mAh battery.

The battery is so big, it provides for 21 hours of continuous talk time. It should also be able to combat the battery life issues that plague Verizon’s 4G LTE phone. That’s music to our ears.

And it should be music to yours too.

That is unless you just bought a Droid RAZR.

Be sure to check out our hands-on with the Droid RAZR MAXX.

Specifications: 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with advanced qHD resolution, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 3300mah battery, mobile hotspot support, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video, 8.9mm thin design

Operating System: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread

Carrier: Verizon

4G: Yes, LTE

Release Date: November 11th

Price: $299 with New Two-Year Contract

Samsung Epic 4G Touch

Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S II, the Epic 4G Touch, has one of the longest names of any smartphone ever. It’s also an extremely solid device.  It features a massive high-res screen, fast processor, 4G WiMax speeds, and a large battery.

It’s hard to get mad about that. And that’s why it stays on this list for a second month in a row.

Before you buy one though, a quick note. Sprint is going to be launching the Galaxy Nexus with its 4G LTE network later on this year. So keep that in mind before you sign the dotted line.

Read our review of the Samsung Epic 4G Touch.

Specifications: 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus Display, 1.2GHz Samsung Exynos dual-core processor, 8MP rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video, 2MP front-facing camera, 16GB of on board storage space, 1800mAh battery

Operating System: Android 2.3.4

Carrier: Sprint

4G: Yes, WiMax

Release Date: September 16th

Price: $199 with New Two-Year Contract

Samsung Galaxy Nexus – Verizon

 Galaxy Nexus

While some of us (read: me) have a love-hate relationship with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, it’s impossible to dispute that this is one of the best Android phones ever created. 4G LTE? Check. A vanilla version of Android? Yup. NFC? Yes. Android 4.0? Yes sir.

It also has a massive HD display, a processor that zips and a ton of camera options.

You also won’t have to worry about it getting replaced any time soon as it came out in December and Google likes to release one Nexus a year.

Be sure to read our extensive review of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

Specifications: 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, zero shutter lag 5MP camera with LED flash, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 1750mAh battery, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, NFC support, gyro, proximity sensor, barometer

Operating System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Carrier: Verizon

4G: LTE

Release Date: December 15th

Price: $299 with New Two-Year Contract

Samsung Galaxy S II – T-Mobile

 Galaxy S II

To round out the list is T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S II variant which makes the list for the second time after making its first appearance last month. This is a quality phone, and arguably the best phone to ever grace T-Mobile’s network.

It also helps that the Magenta carrier recently pulled off a massive expansion of its HSPA+ 42 network which means that more of you will be able to take advantage of this phone’s incredible speeds.

Toss in the other, high-end specifications and you have a phone that’s built to last.

And it’ll only get better when Android 4.0 arrives.

Take a look at our hands-on with T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II.

Specifications: 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on board storage, 8MP rear facing camera capable of taking 1080p video, 2MP front facing camera

Operating System: Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread

Carrier: T-Mobile

4G: Yes, HSPA+ 42Mpbs

Release Date: October 12th

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Price: $230 with New Two-Year Contract

Comments

  1. Samplestuff09 says

    OK, @ T-mobile the samsung S2 Is NOT $200ish it’s $700ish
    I am goin with same one else…
    T-mobile has been nothing but trouble……

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