[Updated: February 21st, Updated: February 27 Updated: March 20 Updated: May 20]
The year 2011 was all about “dual core” becoming the standard for high-end smartphones. And we have all witnessed what yesteryear’s superphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, DROID RAZR MAXX, and others are capable of. The following phones are much more powerful than anything released last year, and for this upcoming generation of devices, even more.
So, what next? This year, chip-makers have come forth with quad core processors supporting mobile multitasking comparable to the performance of a desktop computer of a few years ago, powered by Tegra 3 SoC’s and TI’s OMAP equivalent. More cores equal more power and a faster smartphone; certainly they are likely to offer increased power savings and a performance increase in the range of 300-500%. And, they actually have power saving features embedded in them too.
The race for Android smartphone dominance features an incredible lineup with a fair mix of “veterans” as well as “newcomers,” including HTC, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, LG, Huawei, ZTE and Meizu. Let’s take a look at some of the devices that are already available, or will be soon.
First out of the gate is HTC, which launched the first quad-core smartphone in the market. Officially named the HTC One X, it runs on NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 processor with its 4+1 set up involving a companion core for menial tasks, and is clocked at 1.5Ghz. With 1GB of RAM at your disposal, along with 32GB of built-in memory, this mammoth device offers a 4.7″ screen with 720p HD resolution.
After a dismal 2011 and Q1 of 2012, HTC looked towards its One series to turn the company’s fortunes around. And it seems to be working so far. Not to say that the much-heralded flagship device has been without its issues, such as:
I’ve been using the the HTC One X for about 2 weeks now, and I personally haven’t faced any of the issues above. Granted, I received the OTA update as soon as I started up the device so that might have been a contributing factor. The high-resolution S-LCD screen along with Android 4.0 with the thinned-down Sense 4.0 UI provides an amazing user experience and you can easily feel how much of a difference the quad-core processor makes. Of course, battery life still isn’t as good as one would hope for, but since I’ve been using HTC devices for a while, I have all the “workarounds” in place (chargers for home, office, and car). Would I rather have a better, bigger battery? Definitely. Is the current battery a decision-changer? Absolutely not.
With the Samsung Galaxy S3 shipping within the next two weeks globally, and with other smartphone manufacturers releasing their devices only this summer or even later in fall, HTC has taken full advantage of its head start. How it fares against the competition is yet to be seen, but I believe that the HTC One X will definitely be in the contending for the crown of best Android smartphone of 2012.
Completely contrary to HTC, Samsung enjoyed an amazing 2011 on its way to becoming the No. 1 Android device manufacturer in the world. They are testing possible processors like the Exynos 5250, which isn’t quad-core, but rather a dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor. But as we now know, Samsung decided to go ahead with its ARM Cortex-A9 based quad-core Exynos 4412 processor, clocked at 1.4Ghz.
I’ll be honest, I’m still reeling from the rumor whirlwind that preceded the official announcement of the Korean company’s latest flagship device, the Galaxy S3. Even though we now have official specifications, if someone suddenly asks me about it, I still sift through the rumors and speculations that are floating around in my mind, before I remember the “truth.” Below are the official specifications of the much-hyped device.
With Samsung releasing the very successful Galaxy S2, Galaxy Nexus, and Galaxy Note last year, the expectation for “the Next Galaxy” were through the roof! The endless speculation and rumors did not help the matter either. So even though the specifications of the Galaxy S3 are no laughing matter, and met the expectations of the more rational minds, there seems to be an air of disappointment following the launch. “Only” 1GB RAM? What happened to the 12MP camera we all wanted? Why is Samsung still using Pentile technology? These were some of the questions that was in everybody’s thoughts.
Of course, there are a lot of qualities such as the larger and removable battery, multiple storage options, and microSD support that for many users would be a big selling point for this device against the HTC One X. As such, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is still poised to be one of the most, if not the most successful Android smartphone of 2012.
Motorola is another manufacturer, like HTC, that has lost its dominance in the Android smartphone arena. While HTC and Samsung both have their flagship devices available or soon-to-be-available, we only have rumors about future Motorola devices. After the DROID RAZR and the DROID RAZR MAXX, rumors of a DROID RAZR HD have surfaced along with more speculation about the absolutely unstoppable and drool-worthy 3300mAh Quad core powered Motorola Atrix 3.
Of course, any information we have on the above mentioned devices are just rumors at this point. With Motorola smartphones usually featured on Verizon’s 4G LTE lineup, it is reasonable to assume that the larger battery will be used. The HD display has become a standard feature on all high-end devices and therefore things should not be any different on Motorola’s flagship device.
The Google-owned company may be lying in wait to assess the competition before releasing their flagship device. It could also be letting the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S3 fight play out before jumping into the ring. Either way, for now it looks like Motorola is poised to make its case for Android supremacy in the second half of the year, and will likely take on the lesser known LG, Sony, Huawei, and ZTE devices.
Complete speculation at this point, but with rumors of Android 5.0 Jellybean floating around, what do you think are the chances of Motorola getting first dibs on the OS?
From what we’ve seen, it appears that Sony is taking the smartphone market very seriously, and is positioning themselves in 2012 to become a lot more competitive. Granted, Sony execs have mostly confirmed that their devices will not feature a quad-core processor till 2013. But with the impressive performance of the dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
Sony released the Xperia S this year, with both packing a dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon chip, a 4.55″ 1280×720 HD display, 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a 1750 mAh battery. Also, it packs a 12 MP camera with full HD recording and HDMI port. The biggest drawback is the fact that the device ships with Android 2.3 out of the box. Sony confirmed that an upgrade to Android 4.0 will be available in June, but somehow this “disadvantage” is enough for me to leave the Xperia S out of the running for Android “phone of the year.”
It does look like Sony might by releasing a legitimate contender for the title after all, if some rumors are to be believed. We’ve all heard about the impressive Xperia GX with its for-Japan-only tag, but it Sony might be considering an international version of the device as well, codenamed Hayabusa.
If Sony is considering an international release of the Xperia GX, which has similar specs, it is safe to assume that the device will ship with Android 4.0 out of the box. With the smartphone market shaping up the way it is, Sony will really need to step up its game to avoid losing big.
Recently, Meizu CEO J Wong has confirmed that after first gen Meizu MX launched recently, its quad core version will be hitting the market soon installed with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich while it arrives in May 2012. He also confirmed in the official company forum that the second version of the Meizu MX will come with the Exynos processor. There is not so detailed information about the features it will showcase, but it will perhaps have a processor clocked at 1.5 GHz, 1/2 GB RAM, 16 Gb inbuilt memory, 8 MP or higher camera, full HD recording, HDMI port, 4+” LED display and a 1600 mAh battery.
Meizu have gained reputation in China, and their quality and powerful devices are starting to be acknowledged by the West. This means that it might not be long until they start selling them in Europe and the US, as well struggling against the iPhone.
LG has received a lot of flack for slow updates, and for software that doesn’t perform at its best, all the time. That being said, they are still considered one of the top five, in terms of market share, at least. So it should come as no surprise that LG does not want to stand idly by.
While the Optimus 4X HD is impressive in its own right, it doesn’t hold a candle to the LG Optimus LTE2. Here’s why.
The information on the LTE2 is somewhat thin, considering its expected release later this month. We do know for sure though, that this will be the first smartphone in the world to feature 2GB RAM. Processor and display specifications are not yet available, but will should be impressive enough to provide good competition to HTC and Samsung.
Just when you thought LG was done, another leak pops up. And wow, is this one amazing! You be the judge.
We are aware of the incompatibility issues quad-core processors have with LTE radios, but if the these rumored specs are true, it looks like Qualcomm has found a solution. The expected release of this device is Q4 of 2012, so unless this release gets delayed, the LG Eclipse will have an undisputed claim to the throne.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Huawei is the one to watch in 2012. They’ve had quite a bit of success domestically in China, and elsewhere in Europe, and they’re hungry for more. Out of the hundreds of pieces of technology I had the privilege of experiencing, the Huawei Ascend P1 and P1S were the ones that really stood out. Remarkably thin, and built of an extremely strong composite plastic, they both featured an eye popping qHD AMOLED display, and made me want to put my Galaxy S2 back in my pocket.
Dubbed the Huawei Ascend D Quad XL, the company claims that this device is “the world’s fastest smartphone,” and all in a super tight, svelte package. What’s not to love? Perhaps the battery life. Time will tell, as with all good things, but from judging the reception the DROID RAZR MAXX has enjoyed with its industry leading 3300mAh battery, major manufacturers better wake up and notice that consumers want long battery life, and, in most cases, are willing to forgo thinness in the pursuit of more road-warrior attuned qualities.
Anyway, no matter the number of devices, what we are in the midst of is truly a mobile computing revolution. At the end of the day, we, the consumers, will all benefit. After all, we are going to experience a whole new world of smarter, faster and buttery smooth mobile devices.
Huawei and ZTE are both well known in their own Chinese markets, but have failed to make an impression on the world stage. Until now.
While Huawei will be releasing the flashier Ascend D Quad, ZTE is right behind, providing a quad-core option for the budget-conscious. Let’s take a look at the specs of the ZTE Era.
The only disappointing features are the slightly lower display resolution and the under-clocked(?) processor. But it’s still quad-core, and these “compromises” are what is going to lead the Era boasting a very pocket-friendly price tag. Huawei and ZTE plan to ship a combined 100 million devices this year, and both will provide stiff competition to the more established HTC, Samsung, and Motorola.
The fight for Android smartphone supremacy is shaping up quite well, with the action set to heat up over the second half of the year with some truly amazing devices in the pipeline. It almost makes you wonder if HTC and Samsung rushed their flagship releases.
What are your thoughts? Which device do you think will wear the crown at the end of the year? Are excited for the first 2GB RAM smartphones? Did HTC and Samsung show their hand too soon? Let us know in the comments section below.
What will be the best Android phone of 2012?
Like this post? Share it!
Cant wait for the S3. Im sure Sammy has something epic cooking up before MWC!
The S3 is going to be absolutely epic; this I have no doubt. Quad core or not, it’s still going to probably be the best smartphone of 2012!
Sounds like someone has favoritism for Samsung lol
It’s one thing to like something strongly but being blindly bias is not rational. I don’t think that is the case here.
We saw how awesome the galaxy s series has been…
Im pretty sure this 1 will be a BLAST TOO!!
After having bought the worst phone of 2011 (LG G2x), I can assure you this LG X3 will NOT be the best phone of 2012.
- lousy(read: 6+ months after other makers or not at all) software updates
- 8MP camera which is worthless in low light and so-so in good light.
- a form factor* which will have you constantly asking yourself “why does LG feel the need to have a solid inch of phone above and below the screen??”
For my money, I won’t be buying LG again.
*you’ll most likely get over the hideous form factor yourself, as we tend to get used to anything after enough use. but expect to get the same reaction every time you let someone else use it and be prepared to offer a disclaimer like “yeah, i’m not sure why it’s so tall. you do get used to it after a while..”
Unfortunately, I would’ve much rather taken the G2X over what I bought, the Thunderbolt! 2011 was a good and bad year over all. Many disappointments but laid the groundwork for the next gen behemoths!
number of megapixels don’t determine how much light is shown on the picture.
Actually it sort of does (assuming the lens and sensitivity is the same) as the incoming light is divided amongst the pixels. Hence for double the pixel number you need twice the light.
I sure hope the S III goes with the dual-core A15. It can beat a quad-core A9 any day. It might come later, though. :/
im going with samsung, never purchasing a motorola or HTC ever again. and now that samsung has its act together and is directly trying to compete with apple. i’m expecting more… and please get rid of fucking touchwiz.
I have my eyes on the HTC
I like the HTC device too, I am eager to hear more about battery life and how the camera stacks up against the Samsung offering.
i like the htc too…but i think LG MAKES better phones…look at the hd huge screen..and the 2000mah its gonnablow allthe othersout ofthe water. and if it doesnt samsung will,
buti dont like samsung too much because i recently bought two samsung phones(Samsung Intercept) and they were slow and the screen was horrible.
and they didnt play any of the new games/ ornew apps
if i hada million dollars and i was gonna buy i phone any phone i would pickthe LG OPTIMUS 4X HD
AND 1more point i also have boughten a motorola and a lg and a samsung and useda htc for a week and ought of them all i would pick htc or LG they are the best phone makers out of them all!!!!!
New Android mobil from LG (LG Optimus L3)! It launched in February in Sweden, where it will be launched in other European countries do you think?
I just got a Samsung SII Wimax 2 days ago and it’s great! (My last phone was and iphone)
Dual core 1.4ghz (I could overclock this to 1.5 but what’s the point)
It’s a new phone, only on the market since January 20, so I think the specs are a prequel of the SIII.
Check this out..
HTC by far makes the best phones and i can assure you the edge will be on the egde of all style and quailty
sony xperia s is obviously the best of all not because it’s sony. but because of it’s ideal specs and it’s ppx is simply amazing 336… actually defeated the iphone’s retina glass. the only con is the micro sim and micro sd.
But sony’s UI is so much boring…it should have a great UI like HTC Sence.
pssssssssssssssh Check out the droid bionic http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile-Phones/DROID-BIONIC-US-EN
can’t wait to get my phone
Sony xperia S is the best of all
The droid razr is faster than xperia s u can compare and have beteer cam u can compare. My friend:I am with u xperia s is good but not like razr
my advice buy droid razr or wait the bullet
Sony Xperia ….looks like a lot of models have had issues’s with the chargin / usb port. Took 2 yrs of fighting but I finally got a credit from Rogers. No port means no upgrade, no backing up phone to computer, no charging battery..NOTHING.
All the cells are great. Lets wait and watch.
Asus Padfone with the TF101 keyboard its a win-win… win !
A true post-PC device
The best one is Ericsson 1018,it has 14 megapixels camera,xenon flash,z mor x mor, carlzeise ,4core,64 gb built-in memory.this is the best phone not only 2012 but for the straight 5 years target…..
htc sucks .. i have it – battery life is short and gets viruses really easily… im thinking about getting the sony ericsson xperia, samsung galaxy or iphone this weekend
You idiot no android phone gets viruses it works on a Linux system which can not get a virus as of yet
Anything can get a virus even your beloved androids and macs and linux systems… The reason why people say that these systems have no viruses is because microsoft is public enemy # 1.
Actually it’s because there are no viruses on Linux yet.
How do they determine what the consumer wants? How did they determine that I wanted a 3D camera? Fire that idiot.
Here is what I want:
1. Fast dual, tri, quad I don’t give a crap make it fast
2. I can power surf and listen to music for a week on one battery charge
3. A camera and video so good I never have to buy one(or carry one)
4. Enough internal RAM I don’t run out for the life of the phone.
5. Don’t let the carrier put ANYTHING on the phone (Verizon that means YOU)
6. I want my phone to sit in a holder on my nightstand. I want it do replace my alarm clock and no I will not buy a cradle for every phone I get. The user interface should include a fully functioning alarm clock with screen dimmer showing the time. I don’t want after market crap because the alarm clock function is TOO important. (Sense listen up)
7. Large Screen!!! I will not buy another wireless plan for a tablet nor do I want to carry another device. I see myself settling in somewhere between 5.5 – 7.0 inch screen.
The closer you can get to all of these the happier I’ll be.
Get a Galaxy note.
No life battery huge screen weak performance
I can tell you don’t own a galaxy note. Performance rivals if not exceeds any dual-core smartphone on the market. Battery life? By Note last 1.5 days on standbye.
And a pair of trousers with giant pockets
A shame I couldn’t like ur post more than once.. However, I would love to add one thing.
(8). I want a nice S Pen so I can use my warm gloves and still surf outside in the winter…
Need to introduce that sweeeeet capacitive screen technology! Can use your phone while wearing a ski glove!
for both of u i would suggest the samsung galaxy note it has all those specs that u both want and an s pen
Galaxy Note, covers all your needs, and battery is great with the latest update
there is no phone that is 5.5 inches or above, the closest is the Samsung Galaxy Note, that has a 5.3 inch display, but this has been mentioned by other users, so I will say no more
Exactly I hope by 2014 we have two incredible waterproof flagships with high end specs and awesome 5 inch + screens
Why are you still using the Bionic picture for the bullet?
HUAWEI can be market turner in 2012,with worlds fastest smartphone title backed with good features , it will be priced less than other major android smartphone players .Huawei willl get lot of support from eastern markets where it is quite popular among the masses.
So my choice is HUAWEI.
on my opinion huawei will win this year
huawei will never win
So far Sony Xperia S stands out from all the new phones that were announced at the Current Mobile World Conference in Barcelona
ZTE WAS THE COMPETITION BUT AS YOU’VE NOTICED,THEY DIDN’T MAKE THE LIST.HUAWEI WILL ZOOM PAST THEM THIS YEAR,UNSURPRISINGLY!THANK GOD MICROSOFT AREN’T BULLYING THE TO MAKE CHEAP WINDOWS PHONES.
In my opinion the best is Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It is amazing with Android 4.0.
What about the padphone?
I’m interested in the Huwei line. They smack of being the next HTC (I remember a mate having an HTC when no-one had heard of them and no-one would believe him that they were better than our Nokias or Blackberries). I did think that they were using proprietary chipsets though, rather than Tegra?
That said, the Panasonic does look stunning.
I love MWC time. I can already feel my wallet weeping.
I agree with John Zappatos, on most issues.
If manufactures want to compete with iphone, then they should standardise some items. Cradles and speaker docks and other accesories that interchange between different makes of phones.seems Google only done half a job with Android platform.
Here you can vote for best smartphone of 2012. So we can help people to choose the best phone.
Way too early to tell, but considering Nexus was considered the best of 2011, I would think it would be something coming out Q4 2012.
Hello!!! Samsung GALAXY S III hands down will blow away the competition again, just as the S II did last year! They have the BEST processor. Their processors are amazing, they have it done right, Their screens are Beautiful, The new galaxy phone will be made out of ceramic which is going to be badass, they will have full 1080p screen, their phone will blow away the competition again this year.
I totally agree with that statement. The fact is SAMSUNG are now the superior phone creators. Nothing could even touch the galaxy s2 and now the s3 is out all of the phone companies are in a lot of trouble!
what about the ASUS padfone? the specs look really promising. As long as the release date isnt pushed back, it has the possibility to be a real contender this year
i thought………………. samsung galaxy s3 breaks all records
Just got Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S. Love it. Still exploring it. It is one of the best. Love design, functionality. It’s fast, camera is very good, quality of video, pictures in HD, perfect colors, easy to use and find any apps for it. Sound is good too. Very light.
Speed….Fuck speed.1000Mhz is more than enough and HTC HD2 introduced that 3 years ago but still they are fucking around with processors and graphics…fuck that.I want to get an android like Nokia offers with their symbrian system….charge once go for 3/4 days straight.
I like to have phone with a battery that goes over 2 days with heavy use.
Aparently you like slow speeds and longer loading times because i upgrade from a single core 1000Mhz to a dual core 1.2Ghz and the difference is night and day. Everything on my new phone is faster, EVERYTHING! so if you like low quality slow crap then be my guest. I guess since the only thing you care about is how long your battery lasts then the 1000Mhz is just fine for you. but if you want an amazing phone experience then get at least a 1.2 Ghz processor with dual core and you’ll see the difference.
U r luggage
Agree but………..,……………………..all that POWER!!!
ARCHOS IS ALSO ANDROID PHONE
most important things for me:
Long life with original battery ( with real use of the phone)
Great camera sensor, dual camera
Custom ROMs, the hardware is mine I have the right to choose what to run on it.
and finally, being a DX user, ability to save pictures and movies on internal memory, I dont trust removable media.
I have got the galaxy nexus. I think it is a great phone.
You are wrong it’s the best! (In my opinion)
Lot of expectations from Samsung since Galaxy S2 got huge round of applause even from its competitors. Let’s see if Galaxy S3 comes up this time with something new to appeal its huge consumers all around the world.
Has anyone tested which smartphones have the best phone within them, I am in a poor signal area (on all networks) , am I alone in wanting a good phone with decent battery life but with other bells and whistles too?
don’t tell me, I got myself a Siemens C 62 a decade ago and it’s working fantastic. It even has a built in digital clock inside. was only 299 French Francs.
Francs and beans
I have the motorola razr maxx it is the best off all and I think bullet will kill all the other samsung htc etc….hahahahahaha
Htc look best
I like the HTC one x: slim, 720p HD display, excellent user interface, 8mp camera, quad core tegra 3 processor and a general fantastic experience.
Then I want to buy Samsung Galaxy S 2 its cool and dashing and suits my personality. Well thanks for the sharing keep it up see ya…
hi this is taylor
it is really great and thanks from http://news2d.com
Samsung made the smart phone as really smart phone. Great achievement by the SAMSUNG.
Anyone notice that there’s no iPhone!?!?!? SO STOP TRYING YOU DUMB APPLE COMPANY. You’ll never beat Samsung, until you stop buying their components. The iPhone 4 was 25% Samsung made.
acer. cloud. mobile. i want moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooore
The HTC is the best all around nobody is messing with it
which is the chipest android phone
this is a super phone yaar great but i am not aford for this phone . sory but this a seriously great .good camera and os 4 ics not bad .so my think is a pls go store and buy this phones.great…..!!!
what about the htc thunderbolt
I hate those big screen phones (4″+). Very uncomfortable to carry in your pants pocket.
I think 3.3″~3.5″ is an ideal screen size, where did they all disappear? At least we are left with the Sony Xperia Ray
Its undoubtedly HTC’s One X till now…
All I need is set having BBM services, Long life battery, Android having 8MP cam and to keep that mobile its not a must condition to have a pair of trousers with giant pockets
I have used most of the high end brands but my vote to samsung galaxy S3 because it has feel smoothness richness and stayle
I have used the Galaxy S III for ten days and well it’s a bomb. VEry bad reception issues read the sprint reviews I hate it.
Although galaxy.nexus is a lower quality phone than.the.above.ones , but it is the best google update phone !!
One X all the way!
micromax a110 superfone canvas 2 is best than all of them
how much it cost for Samsung s3 in japan to buy there itself plzzz answer me
oh thats easy….the SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II duh..