Presently, Samsung is dominating the smartphone industry with (34%) share, besting Apple (17.5%), Nokia (6.9%), HTC (6.2%), Sony (4%), and Motorola (3.7%). A sizable piece of the market seems to be elusive for small players, with analysts even saying that Nokia should have gone with the more popular Android ecosystem, which powers most Samsung phones. For the select few who are not so keen about purchasing a Samsung phone but would like to experience the benefits of the Android OS, there are some worthy alternatives out on the market. Here are some phones you might want to consider:
Don’t let the Xiaomi MI-Two’s cutesy name fool you. Xiaomi’s latest handset packs a power punch, faring better than expected in benchmark tests against other smartphones fitted with Qualcomm’s S4 Pro chipset with a quad-core Krait processor and Adreno 320 GPU. The phone is expected to be released through Chinese carriers this year and will reportedly sell for 1,999 Yuan (around $313).
Given the low-midrange price, you probably wouldn’t expect much from the hardware. Surprisingly, the MI-Two consistently performed better than high-end smartphone players. With its specs, you’d be happy to have this handheld as a personal phone or spazz it up with apps such as Square, RingCentral, or Evernote and use as your business phone. During Xiaomi’s presentation in Beijng, the company focused on its performance compared to the iPhone 4S; however, benchmark tests showed that it even bests the HTC One X (Tegra 3), Sony Xperia T, and even the Samsung Galaxy S III. At a glance, the MI-Two sports a 4.3-inch IPS HD display (1,280 x 720 pixels), a quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage, 28 mm, 2 MP front-facing camera, and a 27 mm f/2.0, 8 MP rear camera with a second generation backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor. It also comes with a 2,000mAh battery, upgradeable to 3,000mAh if you’re willing to tote along 2mm added thickness. And for Android fans, yes, it comes pre-installed with Android Jelly Bean 4.1.
As of this writing, there’s no guarantee that the phone will be released to the rest of the world, but you can be sure that many would be itching to take it for a test run.
LG Optimus G
LG may not be the brand of choice for most Fandroids, but the LG Optimus G might just be the phone to bring about a change of heart. LG’s flagship phone is another beast that blows the competition away. It’s powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset and comes with an 8 MP camera (AT&T version) or 13 MP camera (Sprint version). AT&T customers can expect LG’s latest handset on November 2, while Sprint customers should be holding on until November 11. Specs of the Optimus will be hard to match; be prepared to shell out $199.99 for a 4.7-inch True HD IPS PLUS display, 1280 x 768 resolution, 1.3 MP front camera, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage (32 GB on Sprint), microSD expandable slot (none on Sprint), 2100 mAh battery, 4G LTE, and an NFC chip. It will ship with Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.
LG Nexus 4
If you’re feeling wishy-washy about the Optimus G, you might want to hold out for the LG Nexus 4. Dubbed by CNET as tech’s worst-kept secret, LG Nexus 4 leaks have been making the rounds of tech blogs and playing up to consumers’ desires for Android phones with quad-core Snapdragon processors. The Nexus 4 looks like it took some design inspiration from the LG Optimus G. The full preview shows a sharp-looking handset with 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 pixel IPS LCD display, 8 GB internal storage, and in-cell touch tech and micro-SIM card loading mechanism similar to the iPhone 5.
Do you have any preferences for non-Samsung Android phones that aren’t on this list? Or do you want to elaborate on anything I mentioned here? Please feel free to leave a comment and let’s converse!
CC licensed Flickr photo shared by audaz_67