Android Authority smartphone buying guide: June 2012

June 9, 2012
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Buying-guide june 2012

This month’s buyer’s guide brings something different to Android Authority.

We have rolled together all the US mobile networks in one place, and have selected only the best phones for you. We will also be covering rumored or soon to be released phones, in case what you find below is not quiet to your liking. Let’s kick it!

Verizon

Choosing a phone from Verizon for the June Buyer’s Guide was difficult. All Big Red’s top of the line phones date back from the end of 2011. That’s a stark contrast with the other carriers, who have new flagship phones on the shelf right now. Although the phones from late last year are no slouchers (I myself own a Rezound), it’s hard to compare them to the likes of the HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S3.

With that in mind, unless you are fine with waiting about a month for the Galaxy S3 or the Incredible 4G LTE, I am recommending Verizon’s ¬†Droid RAZR Maxx.

Droid RAZR Maxx

The Droid RAZR was released with much fanfare, and soon came under fire when the Maxx version arrived just a few short weeks later. Although it may not have been the best move to launch the Maxx so shortly after the original Droid RAZR, its release changed the game for Android phones as a whole.

Motorola’s sleek Kevlar-backed handset proved conclusively that a phone can be thin and have a high capacity battery. This gave many people a new standard which to hold¬†smartphones¬†by. Although the trend was not followed by other manufacturers, higher capacity batteries packed in thin devices are becoming more common.

Droid RAZR Maxx specs

  • 4.3″-inch¬†Super AMOLED display (540 x 960)
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Dual-core 1.2 GHz
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB built in storage 16GB Card included
  • 8-megapixel (rear) camera
  • 1.3-megapixel (front) camera
  • Non-removable 3300mAh battery

AT&T

AT&T has stuck close by Samsung over the last year, with the launch of many variations of the Samsung Galaxy S2 (even if it canned the Galaxy S2 HD) and Galaxy Note.

With this in mind, I am recommending the HTC One X this month, but keep in mind that it is highly likely that the Galaxy S3 will be launched sometime by the end of June. One important thing to note is that the new One X has a LTE 4G radio, something that is semi new for AT&T. Since LTE’s launch by AT&T late last year, the carrier has been slow to expand its new 4G network across the US. So, even if you do have an LTE phone, odds are that, if you are not in a major city, you probably won’t be able to make the most of those blazing fast data speeds.

HTC One X

The HTC One X is the flagship of the HTC One series. The introduction of the One series was meant to unify HTC’s sprawling stable of phones into one straightforward product line. While this may have happened in the rest of the world, for those of us in the United States, it’s far from the truth. AT&T got the One X and Sprint got the EVO One 4G LTE, pretty much the same phone with a few cosmetic and design changes.

The HTC One X ¬†has a 4.7″ display that is unmatched; watching YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix on this phone is sure to impress. The camera has a¬†HTC ImageChip that gets you great shots¬†even in bad light conditions, something that can’t be said for almost any other smartphone available today. AT&T’s One X also has the latest in software, with Android 4.0 ICS, something that few Android phone officially have. As you can see below, the rest of the specs of the One X are top of the line, meaning this phone should last you the full 2 years of your contract without a problem.

HTC One X Specs

  • 4.7-inch Super LCD2 display(720 x 1280)
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Sense 4.0
  • 1.5 GHz dual core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 32GB built-in storage
  • 8-megapixel (rear) camera
  • 1.3-megapixel (front) camera
  • Non-removable 1800mAh battery
  • NFC capable
  • Beats audio

Sprint

Sprint, much like AT&T, has been slow with the adaption of LTE for its network. Fortunately for us, the blueprints are laid out and Sprint’s LTE network launch is right around the corner.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE  is about as future proof as you can get on Sprint. The only downside is that the LTE network will not be available immediately, or even in the foreseeable future, which might prove a deal-breaker.

HTC EVO 4G LTE

The EVO is a variation of the HTC One X on AT&T’s network, but is designed to be familiar to¬†those¬†that owned any of the previous EVOs. Its 4.7″ HD display is nothing short of ¬†fantastic, putting my Rezounds 4.3″ HD display to shame in side by side comparisons. The high powered, battery-sipping S4 dual-core processor is another bonus, especially since the 2000 mAh battery is non-removable. Much like the EVOs from the past, this phone is sure to impress.

HTC EVO 4G LTE Specs

  • 4.7″ HD 720p Super LCD display
  • 1.5 GHz dual core CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8.0MP primary camera
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • Android‚ĄĘ 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Beats Audio‚ĄĘ, for authentic sound
  • Non-removable 2000 mAh battery
  • microSD slot (the vanilla One X doesn’t have one)
  • An easy-to-use kickstand

T-Mobile

HTC One S 4G

The last phone I am recommending in this month’s buyer’s guide is the HTC One S.

The One S is the middle sibling of the One series by HTC. Although it’s not as high spec’d as the One X, it’s by no means left in the dust by it. Much of this phone is on par with its big brother, and the only real noticeable difference is the screen. The screen ¬†comes in at 0.4-inch smaller and at a lower resolution.

Some other notable differences include a smaller battery, less internal storage, and a different build material. Overall, these changes really do not affect the user experience, and, in for some users they might not be shortcomings at all (smaller screen, for smaller hands!) For those looking for the latest and greatest on T-Mobile’s 4G network, the One S is definitely the phone for you.

HTC One S 4G specs

  • 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED screen
  • Android‚ĄĘ 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with new HTC Sense‚ĄĘ 4.0
  • 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16 GB of internal memory
  • Built-in Beats Audio‚ĄĘ technology

Upcoming Phones

RAZR HD

The Droid RAZR HD (a.k.a. the Motorola Droid Fighter) is a device rumored to be coming out sometime this summer to Verizon Wireless.

The RAZR HD is rumored to have a 4.6″ HD display, a 1.8 dual-core ¬†CPU, and a SGX544 GPU. The real question about this phone is if its going to have the same battery as the RAZR MAXX ¬†(3300 mAh) or the more conventional battery found in the original RAZR (1780 mAh). To give this phone a unique twist that neither the HTC Ones or the Galaxy S3 have, I think Motorola will give it the larger battery.

The Five Nexuses


Next up on our list of rumored phones is the Google Nexus devices that are rumored to be launched with Jelly Bean (a.k.a. Android 4.1) later this year.

These five devices are likely to be a mix of phones and tablets created by multiple manufacturers that will be sold off contract through Google’s Play store.¬†Very little else is known about these phones, but more details are likely to be announced later this month at Google’s I/O event.

Samsung Galaxy S3

The Galaxy S3 is scheduled to be released at the end of the month, coming to Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular. At this time, we have no release date, but it is likely to be near the end of the month. While its international cousin is sporting a quad-core processor, the American version will have a dual-core CPU with 2GB or RAM. These specs are game changing, and should make the Galaxy S3  a strong contender for your money.

Conclusion

June is going to be a very busy and exciting month for Android shoppers, with HTC finally releasing their flagship phones, and¬†Samsung’s¬†Galaxy S3 hopefully right around the corner.

As you can see, if your looking for a phone on any network, you won’t have to look far to find something of interest. With¬†Google entering the picture as a¬†distributor¬†through the Play Store, things have become even crazier.

Last, if none of the currently¬†available¬†phones have enticed you, it’s likely that the rumored devices could likely be what your looking for.

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