Best Android smartphones

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Over the past few years, the Android OS has gone from a viable alternative to other popular system, to the dominant force in smartphones. But, unlike the iPhone, there are dozens of models to choose from, made by numerous well-respected electronics companies. Which is the best Android for you?

There has never been a better time to choose an Android phone, with companies like Samsung, HTC and Sony forging ahead with leaps in technology. Android phones now have class leading displays, fast, quad-core processors and loads of great, new connectivity features. Below is our favourite Android smartphones that are available now.

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gregory.opera posted a comment   

You guys are a little behind with your information - the Xperia Z1 is now available.

Like the Xperia Z, the Xperia Z1 is dust and water-proof, in additon to being shock resistant. The usage times have increased significantly, and the digital still camera has been upgraded to a whopping 20MP.

Optus and Virgin already have the Xperia Z1 in-stock, with Vodafone and Telstra expected to follow suit from the end of this month...


Jussie posted a reply   

of course they are behind, this is a cut and paste of old comparisons


AngelaT posted a comment   

Hi Joe any comments on the latest of the blue tick next g phones any recomendations


gregory.opera posted a reply   

The water/dust-proof and shock-resistant Sony Xperia Z is "Blue Tick" certified... Though you might want to move fast - it's been superceeded by the Xperia Z1, which is strangely NOT "Blue Tick" certified.

If you get stuck, have a look at MobiCity - they have W-CDMA 850MHz Xperia Zs unlocked and unbranded, which is 100% compatible with NextG.


trebor83 posted a comment   

So it seems that Good Android Phone = Enormous, given that there are only 2 of the top 10 listed here less then 65mm wide and 1 of them is just the best budget option.

Is it that to be classed as one of "the best" you have to have a huge screen or that manufacturers only ever bother to put the most current hardware into their biggest handsets?


elbearo posted a comment   

Hi Joe,
I am looking to buy an HTC, but am really confusing myself!
I am deciding between the Desire and the Wildfire. I plan to go overseas in the next couple of months so I am looking for an unlocked handset so i can use other sim cards in it. I will also be using skype quite a lot so do you know which phone is best suited for that??

The things that are confusing me is all of the specs (for eg: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 & 3G 900 (Optus YesG/Vodafone) / 2100)
what does this all mean?

What is the difference between 3G and next G??
Will i be able to use the internet on my phone in european countries??

Any advice would be helpful



gregory.opera posted a reply   

"NextG" is nothing more than Telstra's consumer-friendly name for one of the two 3G networks they operate.

The main difference as far as consumers are concerned is the different types of technologies and frequencies used - most 3G networks use "W-CDMA", though the frequency varies from network-to-network.

In Australia, 3G is as follows:
* Optus: W-CDMA 900MHz, W-CDMA 2100MHz
* Telstra: W-CDMA 2100MHz
* Telstra ("NextG"): W-CDMA 850MHz
* Virgin Mobile: W-CDMA 900MHz, W-CDMA 2100MHz
* Vodafone: W-CDMA 850MHz, W-CDMA 900MHz, W-CDMA 2100MHz

Most of Europe uses W-CDMA 2100MHz, but GSMArena provides country-specific information here:

You can also use GSMArena to ensure that any smartphone you select supports the appropriate technologies and frequencies:

You can see an example for the HTC Desire here (the network information is at the top):

With regards to 4G, it is as follows...
* Optus: LTE 1800MHz, 2300MHz
* Telstra: LTE 1800MHz
* Virgin Mobile: 1800MHz, 2300MHz
* Vodafone: LTE 1800MHz

Most of the Australian networks are adding additional frequencies over the next two years however, to increase network capacity, coverage and data speeds... Though I do not have those frequencies on hand at the moment.

This link will also tell you what 4G frequencies are supported in most countries (note that 4G is still new, and many countries may have limited or no 4G coverage at this time):

Finally, Whirlpool has a pretty big post on 3G and 4G in Australia:

Some of it's pretty technical, but it explains some of the benefits and disadvantages for the different 3G/4G frequencies in Australia (such as which frequencies are best for those in rural areas)...


C|Net really should do an article on this...

*Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink*


bellettt65 posted a comment   

Absolute piece of rectumite. Volume useless. Battery life crap. Could not delete half the propriatry stuff. Lost it 2 days before I was going to change it. Went Motorola. Best move ever made


HANMAN posted a comment   

When will the next review be? Best three with in depth review please.

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