Best Android Phones of Late 2012

This holiday season, Android fans have a lot to be joyous about. Not only has the new Nexus arrived in time for the seasonal rush, but it looks like this was a great year all around for high performance and sleek design in the Android market. Between the sleek and sexy Nexus 4 and the sizable Samsung Galaxy Note II, there’s sure to be an Android phone for just about everyone out there.

Android Phones

In the spirit of giving, we’ve compiled a list of Android phones that any fan of the mobile platform would be sure to appreciate.

LG Nexus 4

With the latest software and fastest updates that Google has to offer, the Nexus 4 is the flagship phone for a modern Android operating system. While it still might lag behind the Galaxy S III in sales, the Nexus 4 promises to free its users in more ways than one. Not only can you pick one up out-of-contract for a low price, but you don’t have to worry about proprietary additions being made by either the manufacturer or the carrier. Over-the-air updates come the day they’re made available by Google, even if you buy the phone through T-Mobile on contract.

The Nexus 4 isn’t just about software updates. With a quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor, it’s also one of the fastest phones you’ll see on the market today. Its sleek double-glass design, 8 megapixel camera, and 4.7″ bright screen are also sure to turn heads well into 2013.

If the Android OS is what you love, then this is the phone to buy this holiday season.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Considered the Android device of the artist and professional alike, the Samsung Galaxy Note II is a freak of nature when it comes to size and capability. It’s essentially the big brother of the Samsung Galaxy S III, but with a 5.5″ screen and an integrated stylus for precision note taking, it’s a strong candidate for best phablet.

The Galaxy Note II ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a highly acclaimed version of Android that features many of the key benefits of Project Butter, an initiative started to help eliminate stutter and jitteriness from Android devices.

Some disadvantages of the Galaxy Note II would be its awkward feel in the hand if you actually plan to use it as a phone. Not everyone is able to palm the massive device, or cope with its added weight due to the required giant-sized battery to compensate for the power-draining 5.5″ screen.

For the professional using it to take notes and/or draw out ideas during meetings, it’s perhaps the best fit yet.

LG Optimus G

Fans of the Nexus 4 would have a hard time shooting down the LG Optimus G. After all, these phones are close relatives. They share almost every feature, though the LG Optimus G replaces the latest Android operating system with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but makes up for it with LTE coverage and a microSD card slot.

The LG Optimus G is available on AT&T and Sprint, and will cost you a bit more than its Nexus cousin.

I’ve personally used this phone for the past few weeks and find it to be an incredible device worthy of consideration by even the most die-hard of Nexus fans. If you want the hardware benefits of the Nexus 4 without the sacrifice of Sprint coverage, this is the phone for you.

Samsung Galaxy S III

Who can deny that the last business quarter was dominated by the Samsung Galaxy S III? Arguably the Android phone of 2012, the Galaxy S III is a feature-rich freak of nature. It boasts an incredible screen, 4G LTE/HSPA+ 42 capability, a powerful dual-core processor, and an 8 megapixel camera that rivals that of the Nexus 4 in clarity.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is the type of phone you’d want to pick up if other members of your family plan are also getting one. Many of its integrated features, such as S Beam, are much more useful when you have another Samsung Galaxy S III to share them with. Otherwise, these features are easily lost to the user.

The S III is also one of the most widely available Android devices. It’s carried by almost every major carrier in the US and can be picked up for as little as $99 on contract. Keep in mind though that Android updates are slow to arrive as carriers have a way of grinding the upgrade process down to a halt.

HTC Droid DNA

With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, long battery life, a quad-core processor, and a big 5″ screen, what’s not to like about the HTC Droid DNA? HTC has been largely overlooked by the tech world of late, though its products are still among some of the best in the industry. The Droid DNA is another example of this market-leading engineering prowess.

Like the Nexus 4, you do miss out on a replaceable battery and microSD card slot, but you gain one of the best Android devices made to date.

The Droid DNA is Verizon’s big Android blockbuster for the holiday season. If you’re not a fan of Verizon, you might find it difficult to pick up this particularly strong contender unlocked anywhere else. At least, that’s the story for now. You can get the Droid DNA for $199 on contract.

Do you agree with this rundown? Have any good or bad experiences to share? Please leave a comment below!

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • Michael Savino

    I recently started using the Note 2 recently and it is an amazing device. It is fast, fluid and fun to use. The device is really powerful with a quadcore processor and 2gb of ram. Jelly bean has come a long way but still has a few kinks to work out but if you can get past the sheer size it is well worth your money.

  • http://www.teamdave.com/ teamdave™

    it would be nice if in 2013 “best” would be available in reasonable sized device as well

  • http://www.facebook.com/coutlas.simon Coutlas Simon

    it’s all good man,,,,,,,,but what about love ,,,who care about love any more!!!

  • J. Obando

    I would go for GNote 2. I’m just worried a little for the user experience in such a big device, since I’m used to the 3.5-inch display of my iPhone 4S.

  • Devin Cofer

    “If you want the hardware benefits of the Nexus 4 without the sacrifice of Sprint coverage, this is the phone for you.”

    What? The Optimus G is being sold on AT&T and Sprint, not the Nexus 4!

    The Optimus G is for people who don’t mind paying for more and missing the “pure Android” experience, in return for LTE and a microSD card slot.

  • http://twitter.com/renzjsanandres San Andres, Renz

    Nexus 4 or Note 2? Which is faster?

    • Dane

      Can’t say as I don’t own both, but my Note II gets about 1960-2060 on geekbench. Or 2300 overclocked :P