Buying guide: Best Android phones – Canada, May 2013
Best phones on contract: budget
Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung is, by far, the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Last year, the Galaxy S3 became a global hit, even before it became avail be to purchase, thanks to an unprecedented hype building campaign. The handset became the first device to outsell the iPhone in many places, and is widely thought of as the smartphone of 2012.
This Galaxy S3 is, of course, a year old and is no longer the latest and greatest, but it still has moderately decent mid-range specs, sporting a dual-core processor, a 8MP, camera and 2 GB of RAM. Available for $49 on contract, there’s almost nothing that can beat the S3 for the price, especially considering Samsung will most likely support this device for at least another year.
Samsung Galaxy S3 review
Samsung Galaxy S3 availability and pricing
- Rogers – available for $49 on a new 3 year plan
- Telus – available for $49 on a new 3 year plan
- Bell – available for $49 on a new 3 year plan
- Virgin Mobile – available for $49 on a new 3 year plan
Google’s Nexus series is a favorite amongst hard-core Android fans, because it doesn’t have the bloat and overlays that most manufacturers put onto their devices, and retains the smooth, clean interface of stock Android. Nexus devices are also the first to receive the latest updates directly from Google, while other smartphones have to wait months for new versions to be pushed out.
The Nexus 4 has a beautiful glass build and high-end specifications, such as a quad-core processor, an 8 megapixel camera, a 720p HD display, and 2 GB of RAM. The spec sheet, coupled with Google’s software, makes an almost unbeatable package for the price, and gives clear insight that Google knows how to design a phone that will please consumers.
Nexus 4 review
Nexus 4 availability and pricing
- Telus – available for $99 on a new 3 year plan
- Bell – available for $99 on a new 3 year plan
- Virgin Mobile – available for free on a new 3 year plan
Best phones off contract (SIM-free)
Nexus 4 (unlocked)
While also available from Canadian carriers, the Nexus 4 happens to be the best deal around for an unlocked and SIM-free phone. It is available from the Google Play Store for an unbelievably cheap outright cost.
Nexus 4 – 10 tips and tricks
Nexus 4 unlocked availability and pricing
- Google Play – available for $309 unlocked
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini
After the booming success of the Galaxy S3, Samsung created a second device for those who wanted a device that is similar to the S3, in a smaller, more convenient body. For the S3 Mini, all of the features of the larger device were kept, but put into a device with a 4-inch screen.
The screen is not the only thing made smaller though. The specs are also a step down, but not to the point where it spoils the phone. The Galaxy S3 Mini has a dual-core processor, a 540p resolution display, and a 5 megapixel camera, which are not necessarily bad specs, but will disappoint people who expected the S3’s high-end specs to be put in its smaller brother. All in all, the Galaxy S3 Mini is still a solid SIM-free choice for those who would like a slightly smaller device.
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini review
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini availability and pricing
- Amazon – available for $349 unlocked
With so many great Android phones released in Canada, it can be hard to make a choice as to which one is the right device for you. There is an Android handset covering almost every gap in the smartphone market, and that is why Android ultimately remains the dominant and most well-respected mobile OS.
It is already clear that this year will be a great one for both Android lovers and general consumers, with so many choices available on the market.
Which phones that we listed above do you recommend? Have we missed a good one? Tell us in the comments!