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Featured: Top 10 Best Android Phones Rankings – August 2012

August 6, 2012 - Written By Randy Arrowood


Looking to buy a New Android Phone or See how your Current Phone Stacks-Up against the Competition?

Every month we rank the Top 10 Android Smartphones on the market.

We base our rankings on several factors: Device Age, Hardware Specifications, Version of Operating System, Sales , Popularity and Overall Buzz factor. Phones that have not been released yet will not be included in the rankings, however they may get an honorable mention.

Ranked #10 – HTC Evo 4G LTE
Previous Rank – #3

Comments: The funny thing about Sprint selling a 4G device is, well, you know, the fact that they don’t have an LTE network. At least not much of one. I guess that’s a story for another day.

For a phone that seemed to be off to a pretty good start in our poll, this poor thing fell hard. So hard in fact that your humble curator of this list broke a tie in favor of the Evo to keep it from free falling right out of our list. Yes, I am the ultimate arbitrator of this list, and yes, I tossed a mercy vot to the Evo.

The Evo 4G seemed to be reviewing pretty well, but our editors lost the love for this device in a hurry. Coming in just a whisker smaller than the S III display, the Evo 4G is getting pretty high marks for its screen as well as for the quality of the camera. I guess this just might be one of the better cameras that HTC has put into a phone.

Sense 4 takes a lot of the bloat out of the custom HTC skin, but I would have liked to see HTC ship this as a stock ICS device. I’ve more than had my fill of all the Sense non-sense. Like Samsung, HTC likes these batteries that just can’t keep pace with multi-core processors and gigantic screen sizes, so you better plan accordingly.


  • Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4
  • Display: 4.7-inch HD 720p super LCD (1280 x 720), 16.7 million colors
  • 1.5GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor
  • 3G/4G 8 device mobile hotspot capable
  • Wifi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording.
  • HTC ImageSense
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 2.7 x 0.35 inches (LxWxT)
  • Weight: 4.7 ounces
  • Battery: Imbedded 2000mAh Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery
  • Memory: 16GB internal memory (ROM); 1GB RAM.
  • 32GB microSD card support

Ranked #9 – LG Spectrum 4G
Previous Rank – Unranked

Comments: It looks like the only way that I am going to get this phone out of our Top 10 list is to remove it from the poll, but that wouldn’t be fair. Maybe I’ll just ignore it next month. Anyway.

The screen is impressively bright and colourful thanks to the Super AMOLED technology and it’s stretched 1280×800 resolution could be sharper, but is far from disappointing. It’s powered by a dual core 1.4GHz processor and has 16GB of storage plus that microSD card slot. The front camera is a 2MP video chat cam while the rear is a good quality 8MP. It runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread but an Android 4 ICS update has been announced.


  • Network: CDMA 800 / 1900 . CDMA 2000 1xEV-DO / LTE 700 MHz Class 13
  • Processor: Dual-core 1.5 GHz Scorpion
  • Display: 4.5″ (720×1280, 326ppi) HD-IPS LCD
  • OS: Android OS, v2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Camera Main (Rear) : 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels : 1.3MP Rear
  • Video : [email protected]
  • Memory: 4 GB storage, 1GB RAM
  • Size: 135.4 x 68.8 x 10.4 mm and weighs 141.5 g
  • Battery:  Standard battery, Li-Ion 1830 mAh

Ranked #8 – Galaxy S II
Previous Rank – #9

Comments: The Galaxy S II fell out of the top 5 in May, and the farewell tour on its way out of our top 10 has hit pause. It’s understandable that this old dog is coming back to life in our poll given the number of new writers that we have voting for the first time this month, but it’s really time for this old girl to fade away. Maybe next month.

Some may not have like this phone because of how similar it looks to other devices on the market, but even this old dog is still worthy of consideration. It has a bright, colorful 4.3″ Super AMOLED screen powered by dual core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 processor. Samsung devices have pretty much always been at the front of the image quality pack and the 8MP read shooter on this phone takes great pictures. It packs the standard 16GB of storage and throws in that microSD slot for additional space. Battery life on this phone isn’t bad and even though it might remind you of some other company’s phone, it’s still a winner.


  • Network: HSPA+ 21Mbps/ HSUPA 5.76Mbps EDGE/ GPRS Class 12 Quad band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 Quad band UMTS 850/900/1900/2100
  • Processor: 1.2GHz Dual Core Cortex A9
  • Display: 4.3″ WVGA SUPER AMOLED Plus
  • OS: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), Upgradeable to 4.0 ICS
  • Camera: 8MP w/LED Flash, 2MP Front
  • Video: [email protected]
  • Memory: 16GB storage, 1GB RAM
  • Size: 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm and weighs 116g
  • Battery: 1650mAh

Ranked #7 – Droid Razr 4G
Previous Rank – #8

Comments: Talk about coming back to life, the Droid Razr 4G dropped back into our list in June at the #6 spot after taking May month off, then fell a few spots, and is climbing back up the list. Some of the people, all of the time? Who knows for sure, but here it sits at #7.

Sort of just like the Droid Razr Maxx, only not so much. It has nearly the same specs as the higher ranked Razr Maxx with the same processor, the same impressive Super AMOLED screen, the same 16GB of storage and the same 1GB of RAM. It has the same camera that captures full 1080p video and and it runs Gingerbread. The Razr Maxx got a 3300mAh battery and this version, well, it’s packing just better than half of that capacity. If you prefer the lower price of this phone, go for it. It has that Razr styling and hey, you can tell people it’s a Maxx. If money isn’t your first concern, go for the Razr Maxx.


  • Network: CDMA 800, CDMA 1900, LTE B13 700
  • Processor: Dual-core 1.2 GHz
  • Display: 4.3″ 540×960 Super AMOLED Advanced
  • OS: Android OS, v2.3.5 (Gingerbread), upgradable to v4.0
  • Camera :  8MP Rear, 1.3MP Front
  • Video : 1080p
  • Memory: 16GB storage, 1GB RAM
  • Size:  130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1 mm and weighs 127 g
  • Battery:  1780mAh

Ranked #6 – Droid Razr Maxx
Previous Rank – #5

Comments: An ICS update wasn’t enough to keep the Maxx in our top 5 this month, even if this phone does absolutely rock. You really can’t grasp how great this device is unless you stroll into a Verizon store and hold one in your hand. It has a very unique style, and it’s a very nice phone to use.  It’s powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and has 16GB of storage with a microSD slot in tow. The front 2MP camera is nice for video chat while the rear 8MP camera delivers very good quality photos. It runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread but an update to Android 4 ICS is in the works.

The curator of this list had the choice between the Razr Maxx and the Galaxy Nexus, and it truly was a tough call. Ultimately I welcomed the Galaxy Nexus into my loving home, and even though the Maxx just got its ICS goodness on, my Nexus will be sporting Jelly Bean in a few days and the Maxx won’t. I’m still happy with the choice that I made.


  • Network: CDMA 800 / 1900 / CDMA2000 1xEV-DO / LTE 700 MHz Class 13
  • Processor: Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9
  • Display: 4.3″ (960×540, 256 ppi) Super AMOLED
  • OS: Android OS, v2.3.6 (Gingerbread), upgradable to v4.0
  • Camera : 8MP, 3264×2448 pixels : 1.3MP Front
  • Video : [email protected]
  • Memory: 16GB storage, 1GB RAM
  • Size:  130.7 x 68.9 x 9 mm and weighs 145 g
  • Battery:  Standard battery, Li-Ion 3300 mAh

Ranked #5 – Samsung Galaxy Note
Previous Rank – #6

Comments: One voter in our poll ranked this big old thing #1 (where the hell is that eye-roll emoticon) but I’m more than a little surprised that it fared as well as it did. Nothing personal to all of you Note loving people out there, but I’ve seen it in use in the wild and the thing is just awkward. Sorry, it is a great device. A great BIG device.

Even if it is due for a refresh soon. The screen is bright and colourful thanks to the Super AMOLED technology and has a 1280 x 800 resolution – sharp, but like the Nexus, not as sharp as it could be because it’s stretched over the large screen. It’s powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and has 16GB of storage, plus a microSD card slot if you want more space. Again with the nice 2MP front camera and 8MP rear camera. It runs Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread with an Android 4 ICS update coming soon enough. Don’t make fun of that stylus, it’s really useful on this small tablet phone.


  • Network: HSPA+ 21Mbps  850/900/1900/2100 EDGE/GPRS  850/900/1800/1900
  • Processor: Dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A9
  • Display: 5.3″ WXGA(1280×800, 285 ppi) HD Super AMOLED
  • OS: Android 2.3(Gingerbread) with promise for 4.0 ICS
  • Camera : 8 MP with LED Flash Front : 2MP Front
  • Video : [email protected] ~ 30fps, Playing [email protected]
  • Memory: 16GB/32GB storage, 1 GB RAM
  • Size:  146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm and weighs 178 g
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-Ion 2500 mAh


Ranked #4 – HTC One S
Previous Rank – #7

Comments: Proving that hyping up a device works like a charm, the HTC One S stole the #3 ranking on our list last month, but slid down a few spots quickly. This month the retreat to obscurity reverses for the poor One S, as it gets a very nice bump back into the Top 5.

Aside from the letdown of a screen that HTC put in this device, it’s still the best phone that T-Mobile is selling right now. HTC’s ImageSense technology really seems to be working, as the images that I’ve seen from this device are beautiful. The One S, like the One X before it has reviewed really well and has a lot going for it. It’s just saddled with HTC Sense, a thinner profile thanks to the weak battery and that previously mentioned underwhelming screen.


  • Dimensions: 130.9 x 65 x 7.8mm
  • Weight: 119.5g
  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED capacitive display (540 x 960)
  • HTC Sense v4.0
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB built-in storage
  • Dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor
  • GPU: Adreno 225
  • Bluetooth v4.0 w/ A2DP
  • MicroUSB
  • Battery: 1650mAh
  • 8MP (rear) camera w/ AF and LED flash
  • 1.3MP (front) camera
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Beats audio

Ranked #3 – HTC One X 4G
Previous Rank – #4

Comments: The HTC One X hit our list at the #2 spot and even though some of our writers argued that it should have been #1, this HTC device is holding steady near the middle of the pack after just a few months on the market.

The HTC One X is a beautiful departure from the tried and true but tired old designs that HTC is famous for. It’s a sleek, comfortable to hold device with a beautiful screen staring back at you. It does ship with ICS on board, but it’s stuck with the new HTC “thinner over battery life” 1800mAh non-removable battery.

The One X has reviewed very well so far and if the battery doesn’t scare you off, this is a beautiful device to be stuck with for the life of your contract.


  • Dimensions: 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm
  • 4.7-inch Super LCD2 capacitive touchscreen (720 x 1280)
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Sense 4.0
  • Quad-core 1.5GHz Tegra 3 processor or Qualcomm Snapdragon (depending on LTE radio)
  • GPU: ULP GeForce
  • HTC ImageSense
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32GB built-in storage
  • 8-megapixel (rear) camera w/ AF and LED flash
  • 1.3-megapixel (front) camera
  • Non-removable 1800mAh battery
  • Bluetooth v4.0 w/ A2DP
  • NFC capable
  • MicroUSB
  • 3.5mm audio output
  • Beats audio

Ranked #2 – Samsung Galaxy S III
Previous Rank – #2

Comments: Finally, after all of the hype and press events, the Samsung Galaxy S III has been released into the wild. It’s selling like mad everywhere that it’s available, but many (my hand raised here) don’t think that this device deserves all of the attention that it gets. The best Android device? Hell no, at least not in our little poll.

If you’re a Samsung fan, you’re really going to love this device. Well, you may not love that gigantic physical home button, but I’m guessing that’s not going to upset a lot of people.
The S III picks up right where the S II left off with a bigger, more beautiful screen, a nice camera upgrade and TouchWiz. We can’t forget about TouchWiz now, can we?

Samsung seems to like to put undersized batteries into their oversized devices, and the S III keeps that hitting streak alive. At 2100mAh the S III is going to struggle a bit if you are a heavy user.

If the S III is in your future, be thankful that this one isn’t included in any of the Apple dustup messiness. Yet. HTC managed to work around their sales ban, and Samsung will too as long as Apple doesn’t hit any design patents or trade dress issues.

This phone might almost, maybe, more than likely will be probably getting a Jelly Bean update soon. It definitely is. Possibly.


  • Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4
  • 1.4GHz quad-core processor
  • 16 / 32GB Internal storage memory
  • SD Card slot to expand memory to 64 GB
  • 4.8″ Super AMOLED display
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 1080p video recording at 60fps
  • 2100mAh battery
  • NFC

Ranked #1 – Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Previous Rank – #1

Comments: Even with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S III, this phone still lands at the top of the list for the fifth month in a row because it’s still the current Nexus device. We have both readers and editors for the site that want to see this phone fall from the top spot, but in a 6-2 vote the Nexus is still king of our Top 10 list.

This poll of ours is a small sample size, but among those that don’t look first to a phone’s spec list the Galaxy Nexus is still going to be a top pick. Does it have its flaws? Sure, there are some things about it that could be better, but having a Jelly Bean ROM to flash to this device days after it was announced at Google I/O was priceless. I’ll live with all of its other issues.

It’s the best overall Android experience of the moment, even if there are devices with better specs available now (looking at you Galaxy S lll). If that’s not enough to convince you, look at the bright, colourful Super AMOLED display with its 1280 x 800 resolution. No, whites aren’t as white as they could be, but it’s not a show stopping issue for many.

It’s powered by a dual-core 1.4GHz processor and has 32GB of onboard memory with a full gig of RAM. The front facing 2MP camera has higher resolution than most,  and  the main 5MP camera takes beautiful ( well, mostly beautiful) photos. Currently running Ice Cream Sandwich on CDMA carriers (like Verizon. Dicks), but Jelly Bean on the GSM models it’s hard to pass over the Galaxy Nexus if you’re in the mood to buy a new device.

If you decide that a Verizon Nexus is for you, there are a number of custom ROMs for your bastard stepchild Nexus device. You can Google that, or just Google Peter Alfonso and get his AOSP based ROM. Either way, you might want to just go ahead and root that sucker straight out of the box. You’ll still be on Verizon, but at least you’ll be much closer to the true Nexus experience.


  • Network: HSPA+ 21Mbps/HSUPA 5.76Mbps 850/900/1900/1700/2100, EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 Specifications above may differ on the LTE version.
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Dual-core Processor (OMAP 4460)
  • Display: 4.65-inch 1280×720 HD Super AMOLED
  • OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Camera: 5MP AF with LED Flash , 1.3MP Front
  • Memory: 1GB RAM + 16/32GB Internal memory
  • Size: 135.5 x 67.94 x 8.94 mm, 135g
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-on 1750 mAh.