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The 10 Best Android Phones Available Now [December, 2012]

Hundreds of Android phones are released every year, but only a handful of products get all the attention. The big releases are normally saved for the 2012 Christmas and shopping season and we are expecting new flagship phones from Samsung, Motorola, LG, HTC and many more. Read on to see which phones rank the 10 Best Android Phones for 2012 winter and 2013 spring.

 

 

Galaxy S3

 

1. Samsung Galaxy S III

Galaxy S III is an excellent smartphone in its own right. It also has the distinct advantage of being available for all of the major national carriers. The Galaxy S III boasts a spacious and beautiful display, an excellent camera, fantastic performance and solid battery life. Needless to say, it's certain to make any gadget lover giddy. Better yet, like the One X, the Galaxy S III is set to receive an upgrade to Jelly Bean in the near future.

 

Key specs: 4.8-inch HD (1,280 x 720) Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 8-MP rear / 2-MP front cameras, 16GB or 32GB built-in storage, Android 4.0.

 

Price: $40 (Sprint), $100 (AT&T) or $60 (Verizon) at Amazon Wireless; $200 (T-Mobile) from Wirefly

 

 

Nexus 4

 

2. Google Nexus 4

For a pure Android experience, the Nexus 4 is tops. The unlocked phone's display and camera are miles ahead of the Galaxy Nexus. It costs a bit more than what you'd typically find on contract, but carriers like T-Mobile or Simple Mobile offer pricing incentives for bringing your own handset.

 

Price: $299 (8GB) or $349 (16GB) from Google

 

 

Droid Razr Maxx

 

3. Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD

The Droid series is Verizon’s flagship brand for Android phones. Motorola debuted the new RAZR and RAZR MAXX last year which performed well and demanded a follow-up.

 

Key specs: 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro with Adreno 320 GPU (APQ8064), 4.67-inch HD display (1280×768), 13-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, 4G LTE, NFC, and removable 2100 mAh battery.

 

Price: $199 at Amazon Wireless

 

 

Galaxy Note 2

 

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Large 5.5–inch HD screen appeals to your creative side while S Pen™ helps you create and multitask. With its wicked-fast quad-core processor, the Note II is among the leaders of the pack in terms of sheer performance. It also boasts a beautiful and spacious HD display and an amazing camera. And then there's the S Pen, which lets you quickly jot down notes and annotate photos.

 

Price: $230 (Sprint), $250 (AT&T) at Amazon Wireless; $280 (Verizon), $300 (T-Mobile) at Wirefly

 

 

LG Optimus G

5. LG Optimus G

If the Galaxy Note II isn't your thing and you're still keen on owning the very latest gear, then you'd be wise to get the Optimus G. Not only will it is among the first smartphones on the market to wield a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, but it also boasts a large IPS HD display and a rather unique 13-megapixel camera. LG Optimus G packs a beautiful 4.7-inch True HD display and remains one of our top picks on the US carrier's LTE network.

 

Price: $200 at Sprint

 

 

HTC One X+

 

6. HTC One X+

While the One X remains awesome to this day, power hungry shoppers may prefer to wait for the One X+, which is the first Android phone in the US powered by Tegra 3+. This quad-core chip from NVIDIA will feature CPU speeds up to 1.7 GHz and offer 25% faster graphics performance. Now the refreshed One X+ with 5.5 inch display is looking to bring an enhanced experience to the other carriers. Keep in mind that you'll likely need to pony up a decent chunk of cash to snag this untamed beast, but if you insist on living on the bleeding edge, it could be well worth it.

 

Key specs: a quad-core Tegra 3, a larger 2,100mAh battery and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, with Jelly Bean from the get-go.

 

 

HTC Evo 4G LTE

 

7. HTC EVO 4G LTE

Those in search of the best smartphone on Sprint need look no further than the EVO 4G LTE. A retooled version of the One X, it combines much of what we love from the original and adds to it a dedicated camera button, larger battery, removable storage and a handy kickstand. What's more, its $30 price positions it as the best value on Sprint and similarly qualifies it as our budget pick. That said, unless you know for certain that Sprint will soon bring LTE to your area, you're guaranteed to have a more rewarding experience with the One X and AT&T's vastly superior network speeds and LTE coverage.

 

Key specs: 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 4.7-inch HD (1,280 x 720) S-LCD 2 display, 8MP rear / 1.3MP front cameras, 16GB built-in storage, Android 4.0.

 

Price: $30 at Amazon Wireless

 

 

Galaxy S3-4G

 

8. Samsung Galaxy S II 4G

It may cost more than you were hoping to spend, but those in search of the best smartphone at Boost Mobile should look no further than the Galaxy S II 4G. The handset is the very same as the Sprint model that we absolutely adore, which includes a dual-core Exynos processor, a fabulous Super AMOLED Plus display that boasts a traditional RGB (non-PenTile) matrix and a camera that still impresses to this day. Even if you have to scrimp and save for a few months to make it happen, all Boost Mobile customers should choose the Galaxy S II 4G, as it's well worth it.

 

Key specs: 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos, 4.5-inch WVGA (800 x 480) Super AMOLED Plus display, 8MP rear / 2MP front cameras, 16GB built-in storage, Android 4.0.

 

Price: $370 at Boost Mobile

 

 

LG Connect 4G

9. LG Connect 4G

While we're not particularly taken with any smartphone on MetroPCS, if we were forced to throw down our own money on one, we'd most certainly walk out the door with the Connect 4G. It's most similar to the Viper 4G LTE on Sprint, and just the same, you'll find an excellent IPS NOVA display that's paired with a dual-core processor and LTE connectivity. We haven't subjected the Connect 4G to a full review, but it certainly impressed us during our hands-on time with the device. As for the carrier's other smartphones, the Galaxy S Lightray 4G is certainly its most premium device, but you'd be a fool to throw down $459 for what amounts to a clone of the Droid Charge. Similarly, while the Anthem 4G ($199) may look good on paper, our experience suggests that it's a seriously flawed piece of hardware.

 

Key specs: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3, 4-inch WVGA (800 x 480) IPS display, 5MP rear / VGA front cameras, 4GB built-in storage, Android 2.3.

 

Price: $349 at MetroPCS

 

 

HTC One X

 

10. HTC One X

The HTC One X for AT&T combines excellent performance, a fantastic camera and one of the best displays on the market into one stunning handset. We've little doubt that any gadget fan in your life will love the One X, which is set to get even better with an upgrade to Android 4.1. The same is true for its alter ego on Sprint, the EVO 4G LTE, which features much of what we love from the One X and adds to it a dedicated camera button, a larger battery, removable storage and a handy kickstand.

 

Key specs: 4.7-inch HD (1,280 x 720) S-LCD 2 display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 8-MP rear / 1.3-MP front cameras, 16GB built-in storage, Android 4.0.

 

Price: $0.01 (AT&T) or $20 (Sprint) at Amazon Wireless

 

 

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