The 5 Best Android Smartphones [December, 2011]

It has been awhile since we took at look at the cream of the crop in terms of Android smartphones but we felt that it was appropriate to return to our roots now that the market is completely flooded with all sorts of devices running Google’s software.

We can’t remember a time when there were this many quality devices on the market and while that’s exciting, it’s also troublesome for those looking to get a phone for themselves or for a loved one.

Remember, the holiday season is in full swing.

Well, we want to make it easier for all of you so we’re back with a look at what we think are the five best Android smartphones for the month of December.

HTC Rezound

HTC Rezound

I will be passing on the HTC Rezound but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. The Rezound is HTC’s follow-up to its first 4G LTE smartphone for Verizon, the HTC ThunderBolt, and it’s the company’s first device in the United States that features Beats Audio. In fact, it even comes with a pair of Beats headphones.

High-resolution display, speedy processor, 4G LTE speeds and tons of storage space make this an extremely attractive option for those that are just transitioning to Android or want to throw their ThunderBolt in the garbage.

And yes, it will be getting the upgrade to Android 4.0 in the early part of next year.

Read our first impressions of the HTC Rezound, here.

Specifications: 4.3-inch display with 720p resolution, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of on board storage,  16GB microSD card, Beats Audio

Operating System: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread

Carrier: Verizon

4G: Yes, LTE

Release Date: November 14th

Price: $299 with New Two-Year Contract

Motorola Droid RAZR

Remember the Motorola Droid Bionic, you know, Moto’s first 4G LTE smartphone on Verizon? No? Turns out, neither do Motorola and Verizon because a month after its release they unveiled the Motorola Droid RAZR, a device that wipes the floor with the Bionic.

Somehow, Moto managed to fit a large battery, an improved display, a dual-core processor, and more inside of a teeny tiny design and the pay off is a fantastic device that we absolutely loved.

Seriously. Read our Droid RAZR review.

And like the HTC Rezound, the Motorola Droid RAZR will be getting Android 4.0 in early 2012 making it a phone that should definitely be on your radar.

Specifications: 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with advanced qHD resolution, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1800mah battery, mobile hotspot support, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera capable of shooting 1080p video, 7.1mm 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

Our Chuong Nguyen called the Samsung Epic 4G Touch one of the best smartphone’s on the market back when he reviewed it in September and even now, in November, it’s hard to dispute that.

The Epic 4G Touch, which is Sprint’s Galaxy S II, has just about everything you want from a smartphone. Gorgeous display, a processor that can handle whatever you throw at it, tons of RAM, two great cameras, and a large battery.

Oh, and it has WiMax 4G speeds to boot.

It’s sort of a toss up between HTC’s EVO 3D and Motorola’s Photon 4G but I think that, after using all three, the Galaxy S II takes the cake.

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

Galaxy Nexus

What can I say about this device? It’s the first device with Android 4.0. It’s a Nexus device which means that it doesn’t have a custom UI over Android and it will get its updates before any other phone. It has a bevy of impressive hardware specifications. It has NFC. It will have LTE when it lands for Verizon.

This is probably the phone that you want to get, if you’re looking for an Android device.

There is a reason The Verge called it one of the best smartphones ever made and quite possibly, the best smartphone ever made.

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 flash8.94mm thick (GSM version), 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: Various

4G: Yes, HSPA+ and LTE

Release Date: Various

Price: Various

Samsung Galaxy S II – T-Mobile

Galaxy S II T-Mobile

If you’re looking for a fantastic smartphone that is backed by an extremely quick network that isn’t Verizon or AT&T’s 4G LTE network, look no further then T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II which runs on the carrier’s HSPA+ 42Mbps network.

T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II has an enormous display, a quick processor, tons of RAM, a big battery, and two capable cameras.

So, just about everything you want from a smartphone these days.

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

Price: $230 with New Two-Year Contract