Featured: Top 10 Best Android Phones, Monthly Power Rankings – January 2013


It's a strange time of year to be running one of these rankings but, we set out to do them every month and so, here are we! With CES behind us, and MWC just around the corner, there's a lot to look forward to as we head into 2013 but, smartphones that we know of are either leaks and rumors or just not ready to hit the shelves yet. That means that a lot of the best phones out there are those from 2012. These are what we consider to be the best smartphones right now, you might not agree with us so, hit us up the comments. We welcome healthy discussion and appreciate feedback but, try and keep it clean folks, please?

10. Motorola Photon Q

Motorola_Photon_Q_4G_LTE_Official-420x352If you're on Sprint, and you just can't say goodbye to that QWERTY-keyboard, and you don't want to use BB10, then the Photon Q is a good choice. It's a middling device but, if you're a heavy text messenger or someone who uses their phone for e-mail a lot, this is more serviceable. It's also the closest you're going to come to a Droid on Sprint and for a lot of people, that's not a bad thing.

  • Dual-core 1.5Ghz TI OMAP
  • 4.3" 960—540 LCD – at 256 ppi
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • 4G on Sprint's small LTE Network
  • 8GB Storage with room for microSD
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8Mp rear-facing camera with HD front-facing camera
  • 1785 mAh Battery
  • Launched with Android 4.0



2012 saw the release of the One Series from HTC and we were all wondering what Sprint were going to do. Well, they kept the iconic EVO line alive and kicking with the EVO 4G LTE. Basically a One X dressed in a new design for Sprint, there's a lot to love about the EVO 4G LTE and now that it's updated to Jelly Bean there's one more reason to love it, right?

  • Dual-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4
  • 4.7" Super IPS LCD2 at 1280—720 with 312ppi
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • 4G on Sprint's Small LTE Nerwork
  • 16GB of Storage with room for microSD
  • 1GB RAM
  • 2000 mAh Battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

8. Sony Xperia TL



Now, we might have high hopes for the Xperia Z that is launching in Europe soon but, what if you want to get your hands on a Sony device right now? Well, this is perhaps your only option. At 4.5" it's a good size and the specs aren't too bad, they'll certainly do fine for everyday tasks and besides, it's good enough for James Bond.

  • Dual-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Plus
  • 4.55" TFT LCD at 1280—720 with 323 ppi
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • 4G LTE with AT&T's LTE Network
  • 16GB or 32GB of Storage – with microSD slot
  • 1GB RAM
  • 13MP rear-facing camera with 1.3MP front-facing
  • 1850 mAh Battery
  • Launched with Android 4.0, update to 4.1 on the way



You can argue that these are two different phones but, considering the only difference between the two is the size of the battery, they're not that different. The latest RAZR from Moto and Verizon will hold up against the rat race thanks to the kevlar coating and with Big Red's 4G coverage very comprehensive indeed, you should get great speeds all over the country…hopefully.

  • Dual-core 1.4Ghz Snapdragon S4 Plus
  • 4.7" Super AMOLED Display 1280 x 720 – 312 ppi
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • 4G LTE on Verizon
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with LE+EDR
  • 16GB of Storage with room for microSD
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8MP rear-facing camera with 1.3MP front-facing
  • 2530 mAh Battery – 3300 mAh on the MAXX HD
  • Launched with Android 4.0 but will get 4.1

6. HTC One X+


If you're HTC and you need to release a new device – either because of pressure from the carrier or to stay relevant – you might wonder what to do? Well, HTC had the answer, make a faster version of the international One X and give it a bit more of an "edge" with some red paint. If you have or had the One X, you know what to expect. Although the Tegra 3 is not great, it's still good for gaming.

  • 1.7 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU
  • 4.7-inch SuperLCD2 display at 1280—720 312 ppi
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 64GB of storage no micro SD card slot
  • Internal speaker with built-in amplifier
  • 8.0MP rear camera with 1.6MP front-facing camera
  • 4G LTE with AT&T
  • Wifi, Bluetooth and NFC support
  • 2100mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS with HTC Sense 4+

5. LG Optimus G



LG surprised a lot of us when they released a state-of-the-art device, not only because it was packed with the (still) incredibly fast Snapdragon S4 Pro but because they launched  the device on more than one carrier. Something that only Samsung had managed to do before. It's a good device and it now runs Jelly Bean, which is a lot more than can be said for a number of phones on this list.

  • 4.7″1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with 1.3 MP front-facing
  • 4G LTE on AT&T's Network
  • 16 GB storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • NFC
  • 2,100 mAh
  • Android 4.1

4. HTC Droid DNA




We were surprised when HTC were the first to bring a 1080p smartphone to the market but, we weren't surprised to find out that it would be exclusive to Verizon though, as HTC appear to still be pretty comfy with Verizon when it comes to bringing their best. We're hoping the M7 reaches more carriers. This is a great device for those on Verizon and definitely one to watch.

  • SLCD3 1080p with a mind-blowing 440ppi density
  • Qualcomm S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 8MP camera rear-facing camera capable of 1080p at 30fps
  • f/2.0 2.1 MP Front-facing camera capable of 720p
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+ on top
  • 4G LTE
  • 2.5v headset and speaker amplifier with Beats Audio
  • 2020 mAh Battery
  • 9.1mm thin

3. Samsung Galaxy Note II




There's no denying that the Note II is a polarizing device, far too large for some and perfect for others. Having said that, it's a very fast phone and Samsung have once again made one of their flagships available on all the major carriers. Plus, the S-Pen is awesome for games – Fruit Ninja, anyone?

  • Quad core 1.6 GHz Exynos 4412
  • 5.5″ Super AMOLED Display at 1280 x 720 – 265 ppi
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB storage with room for microSD card
  • 8MP rear-facing camera with 1.9MP front-facing
  • 4G LTE on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon
  • WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC
  • 3100 mAh
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

2. Samsung Galaxy S III


It's a tough call between the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy S III, of course the S III is available on all four major carriers with LTE but, that LTE support has cost it in specs. The dual-core S4 is good but, the S4 Pro is better. With removable storage and battery, a lot of folks will swear by this phone. 40 Million sales doesn't hurt either.

  • Dual-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4, Quad-core 1.4Ghz Exynos in some markets
  • 4.8" Super AMOLED HD Display at 1280—720 – with 306ppi
  • 4G on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon – HSPA+ on T-Mobile
  • 16, 32 or 64GB storage with room for microSD
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8MP rear-facing camera with 1.9MP front-facing camera
  • 2100 mAh battery
  • Launched with Android 4.0 but Jelly Bean is available

1. Google Nexus 4


The Nexus 4 has had problems actually getting to people but, the only phone with Android 4.2 is a good device and it's undeniably great value, even without LTE. The quad-core S4 Pro makes this device scream and updates will come and go for the Nexus 4 long after the above smartphones have been laid to rest.

  • 4.7″1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi)
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with 1.3 MP front-facing
  • 4G HSPA+ up to 42mbps
  • 16 GB storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • NFC
  • 2,100 mAh
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

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Former Editor-in-Chief

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.

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