Top 10 Android Phones Of 2011

2011 was all about Android phones with bigger and better screens, dual-core processors, and oodles of RAM and 8MP cameras. More than 50 Android handsets and numerous Android tablets were released in the last year.

10) Samsung Galaxy S – So yeah, the Galaxy S is a pretty old phone and was released in Q2 of 2010. Yet, the handset is still selling extremely well in all regions of the world. The modding community even actively supports the handset.

The handset is so popular that Samsung was at one point re-considering bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to the handset, after all the Galaxy S owners filed a petition when the company had initially announced that it won’t be updating the handset to Android 4.0. While the company later on decided against updating the Galaxy S to Ice Cream Sandwich, it did promise to release a Value Pack.

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In fact, a Value Pack firmware for the Galaxy S leaked online last night which brings Face Unlock and many new features.

9) LG Optimus 2X – The LG Optimus 2X was the first dual-core phone to be available to the general public. LG and Nvidia had a clear 3-4months advantage, since no other manufacturer was able to release a dual-core handset in the market before Q2 of 2011. The Optimus 2X is not the best dual-core handset out there when it comes to performance and software stability, but at its current market price, it is nothing short of a steal.

8) Motorola Droid Bionic – The Bionic was initially supposed to be launched in the first half of the year, and was eagerly expected by the people in the United States, since it was the first 4G LTE phone to hit Verizon’s network with a dual-core processor. The handset was first expected to be launched with a Tegra 2 processor, but released with a much powerful OMAP processor, after the delay.

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However, the Droid Bionic’s launch was over-shadowed just a couple of months after its launch, when Motorola launched the Droid RAZR, which was basically a slimmed down version of the Bionic.

7) Sony Ericsson Xperia Play- Many dubbed the Play as a disappointment when Sony had initially announced it. For a gaming phone, the Play had somewhat dated specs. However, Sony Ericsson proved everyone that it’s the combination of hardware and software that matters.

Many games are exclusively launched for the Xperia Play first, and then for other much powerful phones like the Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation etc. There are more than 200 games specifically optimized for the Play available at the moment, and the number keeps on growing.

6) Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V – The Xperia Neo V is a dumbed down Xperia down. Due to the floods and Earthquakes in Japan and its nearby areas, there was a shortage of the 8MP Exmor R camera sensors used by Sony, and thus the company decided to fit in a 5MP cam on the Neo, and call it the Neo V.

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The Neo V sports a 1GHz single core processor, runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and packs 512MB of RAM. All these specs make the Neo V one of the best Android phones in the mid-range segment. No other Android phone comes close to the price/performance ratio offered by the Neo V. The best part is that Sony Ericsson has already confirmed that it will be updating the Neo V to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in late Q1 or early Q2 of 2012.

5) Samsung Galaxy Note – Okay, the Note is not really a phone, and its not really a tablet as well. It still however runs on Android, has a SIM card slot, and can be used for making calls.The Galaxy Note is a bigger version of the Galaxy S2, with a mammoth 5.3-inch screen with a whopping 1280×800 resolution. Under the hood is a 1.4GHz Cortex-A9 processor, an ARM Mali-400MP GPU and 1GB of RAM. As its name suggests, the Note is meant for taking notes and comes with an S-Pen for this purpose.

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The S-Pen surprisingly works very well in real life, and is suited for designers, artists and people who want to take some notes on the go.

4) HTC Sensation – This sensational handset from HTC was their answer to Samsung’s Galaxy S2. The Sensation was a decent performer, but still nowhere near Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 trumped it in nearly every department, except for the superior build quality and the higher-resolution screen found on the latter.

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The Sense 3.0 UI found on the Sensation looked beautiful, but was also criticized heavily for slowing down the overall performance of the phone.

3) Droid RAZR – With the Droid RAZR, Motorola attempted at reviving the iconic RAZR brand. Like the original RAZR, the Droid RAZR was the slimmest phone released this year at just 7.1mm thick. Even then Motorola managed to pack in a dual-core OMAP SoC, an 8MP camera, 4G LTE and a Super-AMOLED ‘Advanced’ screen on the handset.

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The RAZR however was a announced at the wrong time. Moto announced the handset just 12 hours before Google announced the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich, and so it was forgotten quickly. The encrypted bootloader on the handset also made sure that the developers stayed away from the handset.

2) Galaxy Nexus – The release of Galaxy Nexus along with Ice Cream Sandwich did steal some thunder from the Galaxy S2, but it still was not enough to make it the best Android handset of 2011. The Android version running on Galaxy Nexus comes straight from Google, without any modifications from carriers or handset manufacturers, and that is what makes the Nexus brand so popular.

The Galaxy Nexus was also among the first few phones in 2011 to sport a 720p (1280×720) resolution 4.65-inch HD Super-AMOLED screen. The handset also comes with a 5MP camera at its back, which takes some mediocre pictures, but has zero shutter lag. This means a picture is clicked and saved as soon as the user presses the virtual shutter button. It’s ridiculously fast!

1) Samsung Galaxy S2 – The Samsung Galaxy S2 was no doubt the hottest and the most popular Android handset of 2011. Right from its announcement at MWC 2011 to its launch in various regions of the world, the phone was always in the limelight. No wonder the Galaxy S2 was the highest selling Android phone of 2011, and also the fastest selling phone ever in Samsung’s history. The handset breached the 10 million mark in a mere 5 months.

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The Galaxy S2 was the most powerful Android handset released this year, all thanks to Samsung’s own Exynos 4210 SoC, which packs in a 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor and an ARM Mali-400MP GPU.

Don’t agree with our list of the Top 10 Android phones of 2011? Drop in a comment and let us know!

Motorola Unveils The MT917; It’s a RAZR With A 720p HD Screen

Today, Motorola announced a slightly modified version of the Droid RAZR, known as the MT917, headed to China.

Compared to the Droid RAZR’s 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED qHD (640×960) screen, the MT917 has a bigger 4.5-inch screen with 720p HD resolution. It is also quite a bit thicker at 8.5mm vs 7.1mm of the RAZR. The MT915 also packs in a whopping 13MP camera at its back, which is also capable of recording videos in full HD (1080p) resolution.

Motorola MT917 is everything you could ask for – fast, beautiful and smart. It’s the phone I’ve been dreaming of since I first entered the mobile device business.said Frank Meng, corporate vice president and president of Motorola Mobility, China. MT917 is part of Motorola Mobility’s tradition of introducing top-of-the-line devices tailored for China and we’re thrilled to release it on China’s high-speed TD-SCDMA network.

Other than this, the RAZR and the MT917 are similar. The MT915 is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core SoC processor from TI, packs 1GB of RAM, has a back cover made of Kevlar, and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The handset will also come with Motorola’s MotoCast app, which allows you to stream music, pictures and much more right from your PC to your handset.

The Motorola MT917 will be available under China Mobile network, and will support their blazing fast TD-SCDMA network.

Motorola and HTC Announce Their Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Upgrade Plans!

Motorola has confirmed via their official Twitter account that their recently released Android handsets, the Droid Bionic and the Droid RAZR will get the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update. Along with these 2 handsets, the XOOM – which was the first ever Honeycomb tablet – will also get updated to ICS.

Motorola will release a rough time frame for the update within six weeks of the Ice Cream Sandwich code going public. The company did not mention anything whether its other Droid branded handsets like the X2 and the Droid 3 will get the update or not. Considering these handsets are more than capable of running ICS, they should get the update later than sooner.

HTC also confirmed that they will update their handsets to the latest version of Android. Right now, they are  evaluating  the features and functionality of Ice Cream Sandwich to determine their upgrade plan. While its more or less confirmed that their latest dual-core powered handsets like the Sensation and EVO 3D along with their various variants will get ICS, its still not confirmed whether the company will update its single-core handsets, which were released at the beginning of this year. It also remains to be seen how much HTC modifies the stock Ice Cream Sandwich experience with their Sense UI. The black theme introduced in Android 2.3 Gingerbread is nowhere to be seen in HTC’s Gingerbread running handsets, thanks to their Sense UI.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Motorola Droid RAZR

Samsung just announced its new Android device – the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Motorola, which hasn’t been having much luck with its new Android devices lately, decided to do a quick launch of its new flagship Android smartphone – the Motorola Droid RAZR – just before the official Samsung event.

Both the phones are quite impressive, and are among the top Android smartphones in existence today. Both of them will be gunning for the top spot, competing with the Apple iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S 2, the current Android champion.

Here’s a rough comparison between the two devices – Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Motorola Droid RAZR.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus will sport Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is supposed to unify Android on tablets and smartphones. The Motorola Droid RAZR, on the other hand, will come with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, for now.

Design

Both the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Droid RAZR have a sleek profile, and are extremely slim. The Galaxy Nexus is only 8.9 mm thick and weighs 135 gms. The Droid RAZR is even slimmer, at just 7.1 mm, and is lighter at 127 gms.

Both the devices are quite stylish, and it’s a matter of individual preference. I like the designs of both phones.

Display

The display is one of the best features of the Galaxy Nexus. It comes with a 4.65 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, the highest resolution seen in smartphones to date.

The Motorola Droid RAZR comes with a smaller 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display, with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. I would go with the Galaxy Nexus on this one.

OS

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus runs the latest version of Android – Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Motorola Droid RAZR will run Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, but is expected to get an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich eventually.

However, knowing Motorola’s update history, the ICS update isn’t going to be there for at least a couple of months.

The Galaxy Nexus clearly wins this round. One more advantage of the Galaxy Nexus is that it will get all future Android OS upgrades first. It also will run vanilla Android Ice Cream Sandwich, unblemished by customizations — the way Google intended it.

Hardware

Both the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Droid RAZR come with similar hardware. They sport a 1.2 GHz TI OMAP dual core processor, and come with a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU. Both the phones offer 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. This round ends in a tie.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy Nexus – 5 MP camera with autofocus and flash.

Motorola Droid RAZR – 8 MP camera with autofocus and flash.

The Droid RAZR has the better camera. I seriously don’t understand why Samsung would not ship the Galaxy Nexus with an 8 MP camera. This is the only feature where the Galaxy Nexus loses out against the iPhone 4S, the Galaxy S 2 and the Droid RAZR.

Verdict

Both the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Motorola Droid RAZR are excellent devices, but I would go with the Galaxy Nexus any day.

Here’s why:

1. Better display
2. Better OS
3. Best chances of getting all future OS upgrades
4. I prefer Samsung to Motorola

Motorola Droid RAZR Announced; 4G LTE and INSANELY THIN!

Motorola has just announced the much-leaked and rumored, the Droid RAZR. Keeping in mind the RAZR legacy, the Droid RAZR is insanely thin at just 7.1mm. Yes, just 7.1mm thin. This makes the handset the slimmest handset until date. The European version of the Samsung Galaxy S II is finally not the slimmest Android phone around.

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The handset is made of Kevlar to improve its build-quality, and is also water-resistant and dust proof. The front of the phone is dominated by its 4.3-inch Gorilla glass covered Super-AMOLED display with qHD(640×960) resolution. The handset is powered by an OMAP4430 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and comes with 1GB of RAM.

The insanely thin RAZR will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and comes with some new software goodies from Motorola including Smart Actions. The Smart Actions feature will automatically dim your display, automatically switch off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and more. At the back of the RAZR is an 8MP camera, which can also record Full HD (1080p) videos, and in the front is a VGA camera for all your video-calling needs.

The RAZR will come with MotoCast, which is company’s own iCloud alternative. MotoCast will allow users to stream their pictures, movies and music stored on their PC to their handsets. The handset is also the first device to stream HD videos from the Netflix app.

On the connectivity front, the RAZR comes with mini-HDMI port, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS with A-GPS. The usual bunch of sensors and ports are also present. The handset is also business ready with a slew of enterprise based features. Even if the Droid RAZR is insanely thin, the phone supports Verizon’s 4G LTE network. The handset will be powered by a beefy 1800mAh battery.

The Droid RAZR pre-orders being on October 27th, and it will hit the retail stores sometime in November. The handset will cost a whopping $299 on a two-year contract.

Motorola Droid RAZR Pictures Leak; Droid and RAZR Brands Finally Meet!

Looks like Motorola is working on its next high-end dual-core powered Android smartphone with 4G LTE, the Spyder a.k.a the Droid RAZR. Looks like Motorola is finally going to bring it’s most successful brand – RAZR – to one of the popular mobile brand’s in the U.S. – DROID.

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The folks over at This Is My Next  managed to get their hands on the Droid RAZR. From the leaked images, the Droid RAZR looks like a sleek and sexy handset, reminiscing  of the original RAZR handsets.  The phone is also  en-wrapped  in a Kevlar casing, making the phone dust and water resistant.

Internally, the RAZR seems to be similar to the Bionic with 1GB of RAM, a faster 1.2GHz dual-core processor most probably from OMAP, an 8MP camera with Full-HD video recording and an HD’ camera in the front. Like all other high-end Motorola phones, the handset also sports Moto’s WebTop feature.

The most interesting part of the DROID RAZR is its 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED screen with qHD (640×960) resolution. Yes, the Droid RAZR is most probably going to be the first phone from any Android manufacturer, except from Samsung, to sport a Super-AMOLED screen. Looks like Samsung is finally going to end its Super-AMOLED screen exclusivity.

While, the qHD SAMOLED screen on the RAZR is nice, I doubt it will stand a chance, resolution wise, against the upcoming high-end Android phones from various manufacturers with 720p HD resolution. The upcoming Nexus handset from Google is also rumored to sport a 720p HD screen. If Motorola wants any takers for the Droid RAZR, it must get the phone out from its assembly unit as soon as possible.