The Android revolution began about 3 years back and its stunning growth has dwarfed the growth of even iOS (iPhone) as a mobile platform. It is now the most popular mobile OS in the US, and is on its way to becoming the most used mobile OS in the world. It is expected to overtake Symbian soon, and will soon be the Windows of the mobile world.
Unlike Apple which always ignores India when launching new products, most Android manufacturers have made sure that they launch new Android smartphones in India at the same time as the worldwide launch.
As I’ve said before, 2011 is going to be the year of Android. We have seen a lot of exciting devices at CES, MWC and CTIA 2011. Most of these devices will either be launched soon, or have been launched already.
In this post, I will show you the best Android phones that money can buy. Despite the title, the list is relevant to users around the world, not just Indians.
1. Samsung Galaxy S 2
This is definitely the best Android smartphone that money can buy. It has received the best reviews yet, and offers the best overall package, compared to any other Android phone. It is the successor to the most popular Android phone of 2010 – the Samsung Galaxy S.
It has an excellent 4.3 inch SuperAMOLED Plus display which has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It comes with an 8 MP camera which can record 1080p video, a 1.2 GHz dual core Exynos processor, 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0.
It is expected to be launched by the end of May 2011 and will be priced at around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000.
2. HTC Sensation
The HTC Sensation is probably the only phone which can rival the Samsung Galaxy S 2 in terms of specifications and features.
It will come with a 4.3 inch S-LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels. It will come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the HTC Sense 3.0 UI, which is widely regarded as the best third party Android UI.
It has a dual core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 220 GPU and 768 MB RAM. It also comes with an 8 MP camera with dual LED flash which can record 1080p video at 30 FPS. It has 1 GB internal storage, and is a bit heavier than the Galaxy S 2, at 148 gms. It will likely be launched soon, but we have no idea about the pricing.
3. LG Optimus 2X
The LG Optimus 2X was the first Android smartphone with a dual core processor. While it was launched some time back, it is still one of the best Android phone options in India. In the US, you can buy the T-Mobile G2X which is identical to the Optimus 2X, and comes with pure Android 2.2 Froyo.
It comes with a 4 inch LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It also has a 1 GHz dual core Cortex A9 processor (Tegra 2) and offers 1 GB RAM. It has an 8 MP camera and can also capture 1080p video at 24 FPS. Though it’s not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S 2, it is much cheaper. You can get it for as much as Rs. 28,000.
4. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc was recently launched and is probably the most stylish Android smartphone to date. It is extremely slim, and has a very sleek design. It comes with a 4.2 inch display and has a 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 205 GPU and 512 MB RAM. It also offers an excellent 8 MP camera, which makes it the best Android camera phone. It is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the Sony Ericsson custom Android UI.
It is available for Rs 28,000.
5. Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
The Sony Ericsson Xperia Play is another notable Android phone. It deviates from the touchscreen only trend in Android phones, and features a unique gaming keypad which slides out from under the display. It has the same hardware as the Xperia Arc – 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, an Adreno 205 GPU and 512 MB RAM.
It also has a 5 MP camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but the main attraction is the library of exclusive PSP games which it supports. If you are a gamer, and want an Android smartphone, the Xperia Play is the device you should get.
It is priced at Rs. 30,000.
6. HTC Incredible S
HTC was the top dog in the Android arena an year back, but since the launch of the Galaxy S, Samsung has become the dominant player. HTC, though, has been trying to get back to the top.
The HTC Incredible S is one of the best Android smartphones by HTC. It comes with Android 2.2 Froyo and the HTC Sense 3.0 UI, probably the best third party Android UI. It will definitely get an upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and comes with a 4 inch, 480 x 800 pixel display. It has a 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor, 768 MB RAM and comes with the Adreno 205 GPU as well. It has a very good 8 MP camera which can capture 720p video.
It is the cheapest of the lot. It is priced at Rs 26,399.
We might see many more Android smartphone launches soon, but for the next 2-3 months, this list should guide you well, should you want to buy the best Android smartphone in India, or the world, for that matter.
Update: Also check out our news Smartphone Buying Guide in India for 2011