13 Best Android Phones of 2012
There are only three months left of 2012 and in this post you’ll find some of the best Android phones that were and will be released this year. You’ll find 12 smartphones from 2012 and another one from 2011 that has been upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean a few months ago.
You can find smartphones released by Samsung, LG, HTC, HUAWEI, Motorola and Sony. Also, this post contains specs info of all smartphones and you easily compare them now by using a single post. All these phones are running the Android 4.0 ICS and the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.
Note that the devices are listed in no particular order as we cannot determine which is the best Android smartphone. If you think that the list should’ve comprised other devices, then you should tell us in comments and we will try to keep this post updated until 2012 ends. You will find devices that were already launched in 2012, devices that are to be launched until the end of 2012 and a Google / Samsung phone that has been recently updated to Jelly Bean 4.1.
Read the list below and post all your impressions in our comments section.
HTC One X:
The HTC One X has been announced in February 2012 and it was released in April 2012.
It packs a 4.7 inch Super IPS LCD2 HD display with support for multitouch, 1GB RAM, Quad-Core 1.5 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, Android 4.0 ICS, 8MP HD camera with autofocus and LED flash. The HD Camera use the HTC Image Chip technology which allows you to video and image record in HD simultaneously and it also packs Geo-tagging, smile and face detection, video stabilization. The Front-facing camera is a 1.3MP 720p.
The user interface is HTC Sense. The device comes with Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 but, HTC announced that they will upgrade the device to Google’s latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.
NFC is included. The internal SD card has 32GB storage but with only 26GB user available free space. There is no external SDcard and the battery is non-removable. The battery powers 1800mAh.
The One X device by HTC is the company’s fastest smartphone and it is considered to be the HTC one series flagship device, which is why we decided to included it in our post.
HTC One S:
The One S smartphone has been announced at the same event as One X in February of 2012. It was shipped out in April 2012 with the Android 4.0 ICS, but HTC announced that the Jelly Bean upgrade should be available by the end of this year.
It has a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display with multitouch support, the HTC Sense UI 4.0, a 16GB internal SD card, 1GB RAM, 8MP camera with LED flash and autofocus also with support for HD video and image recording simultaneously. The front-facing camera is VGA.
Just like on the One X, there is no external sdcard slot and the internal SDcard is 16GB. It is powered by a Dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. Its battery has a capacity of 1650 mAh.
The HTC One S is doesn’t pack that many specs as the One X but it still can be considered a reliable device. Also, it comes with Android 4.0 but it will be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean before this year completes.
LG Optimus 4X HD P880:
LG Optimus 4X HD has been announced at MWC by LG Electronics and it has been released in several regions starting with June 2012, while in some other parts of the world it will be available later this year. LG hopes that with this device and with the LG Optimus G (read below) they will manage to increase their market share and establish itself as an important Android-based device manufacturer.
The Optimus 4X HD P880 packs a True HD IPS LCD 4.7 inch display. The Corning Gorilla Glass is the protection screen and the device’s UI is a Optimus 3.0. It comes with the quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex A9 Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, 1GB RAM, ULP GeForce GPU and a standard battery with 2150mAh power. It features a NFC chip. The camera is 8MP 3264 x 2448 resolution with support for HD video 1080p at 30fps. The front facing camera is 1.3MP.
Its battery has a power of 2150 mAh with stand-by time of up to 730h on 2G and 686 hours on 3G. The talk time is of 9h and 20 min on 2G, while the 3G talk time will last almost 11 hours. The internal storage is a 16GB and the external SD card is supported up to 32GB.
LG Optimus 4X HD is great and it comes with Android 4.0 and you should expect LG Electronics to upgrade it to Jelly Bean in the coming months.
LG Optimus G E973:
This device has only been announced several weeks ago, but LG Electronics said that it will be ready for a Q4 2012 and from what we’ve seen from the ‘hands-on’ videos, it seems like it should be a success. The hype around this device is pretty high as it will come with tons of new features and since it will be available worldwide then we couldn’t include it in this post.
The LG Optimus G comes with a True HD IPS LCD 4.7 inch display, Optimus 3.0 UI, an internal storage space of 32GB, 2GB of RAM, 13MP autofocus- LED Flash camera with support for face detection, geo-tagging, 1080p Video recording and front-facing camera with 1MP.
It packs a quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 PRO CPU that should be great for the latest apps. The Android 4.0 ICS is the default OS but you should expect LG Electronics to roll out the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update before 2012 ends. It is one of the most awaited phones and that’s because of the new 4.7 inch display, the 2GB of RAM and the quad-core Snapdragon S4 PRO CPU. The battery powers 2100 mAh that is expected to give at least 12h or talk-time.
Also, there are several rumors telling that this might be the next Nexus device, but this might a little far fetched as Google didn’t announce anything and there are no leaks from the big companies that might suggest LG to partner Google and create a brand new Nexus smartphone.
The Optimus G will be available worldwide in the next couple of months and it should become one of the most reliable devices ever released by LG Electronics.
Sony Xperia S:
It was released in March 2012 and it is the first Sony-only branded device after Ericsson’s stake was bought by Sony at the beginning of 2012. It comes with the GB and Sony announced that there will an upgrade to ICS some time in the future.
This device comes with a 4.3 inch LED backlit LCD and a ‘protection scratch resistant glass’, Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine and the TimeScape UI. It doesn’t have support for an external SD card but it holds a 32GB internal storage. 1GB RAM have been included and it has NFS support. A microUSB 2.0 and USB on-the-go is supported. The dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon CPU is the main feature of this device.
It might not come with ICS but this device runs smoothly and it packs a 12MP camera with autofocus, LED Flash, check quality, touch focus, geo-tagging, 3D sweep panorama, image stabilization, smile and face detection, while the front-facing camera is a 1.3MP with 720p at 30fps. It might not be an high-end device but it still does a pretty good job when it comes to battery life which has a 1750 mAh power that should give you over 400 h in stand by time.
Sony Xperia T:
The Xperia T device is an update from Xperia S as it is a little bit lighter as it weighs 139g and it packs a 13MP camera with autofocus, LED Flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, image stabilization, video recording at 1080p and a front-facing 1.3 MP camera.
The Android version is 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and the device should receive an official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean late 2012 or early 2013. The dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU powers the device along with the 1GB RAM memory. It has support for NFC. It packs a bigger battery than Xperia S, as this one is powering 1850 mAh, a bigger HD display as its size is 4.55 inch. The display is shatter proof and scratch resistant. UI is Timescape and it uses the Sony Mobile BRAVIA engine graphics.
It is a reliable device and if you don’t like the bigger companies like Samsung or HTC then you can go for this one, as it is fast and its camera is great. Sony considers this device to be their flagship smartphone and it has already been demoed in the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall.
HUAWEI Ascend D1 quad:
The HUAWEI Ascend D1 quad was launched in July 2012 and it features a Super AMOLED 4.3 inch display. It supports multitouch and it uses the Corning Gorilla Glass for protection against scratches and shattering. The Internal storage space is of 8GB but you can use an external microSD that is supported up to 32GB.
The camera is of 8MP, autofocus, dual-LED flash, HDR, smile and face detection. There is also a front 1.3 MP camera. It runs on Ice Cream Sandwich and there is no news on a Jelly Bean upgrade.
It packs a 1.5 GHz OMAP TI 4460 and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The battery has a power of 1670 mAh. Huawei is a Chinese company and it seems like they are trying to release new and better devices every time and you should expect from them a brand new device by the end of this year.
Motorola Atrix HD:
The Atrix HD by Motorola was released in July 2012 and it has a 4.5 inch 720p display with multitouch support, obviously. This new Motorola incorporates the new Live Widgets on Motoblur UI. It is a brand new device released by Motorola and it comes with the Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.
Motorola Atrix HD features a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, External SD card storage up to 32GB, 8MP camera with LED Flash and autofocus, geo-tagging, image stabilization and video recording with 1080p, a front facing camera of 1MP. The Battery powers 1780 mAh and it should give you up to 205h in standby time and over 8h in 3G talk time.
ATRIX HD by Motorola is part of Motorola’s new series with Motoblur UI. This device packs a great CPU and it should receive the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in 2013.
Motorola Droid RAZR HD:
The RAZR HD is the successor of Droid Razr and it is an Android 4.0 smartphone with MOTOBLUR UI. It is 4G LTE supported and it packs a 4.7 inch Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection.
The internal storage space is 12GB and you can also add an external microSD up to 32GB. The 8MP 1o80p video recording camera features LED flash, autofocus, geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilization. Also, there is a 1.3MP front-facing camera. It is powered by an 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU. The battery is pretty big as it measure 2530 mAh.
It was launched this year and the Android 4.0.4 ICS is the default OS but, this should change by the end of this year, as Motorola announced that they will update the device to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Motorola also said that there will be a developer edition released or RAZR HD that will come with an unlocked bootloader, which means that Motorola / Google will remain close to the developer community.
Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD:
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is almost the same as the RAZR HD, only that this one comes with a 30% bigger battery that powers 3300 mAh rather than 2530 mAh. Because it packs a large battery, this phone is also 9.3 mm thicker than the Razr HD.
Also, the internal storage is 32GB and it has support for external sdcard of 32GB also. A 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 is the main part of this device, while the 1GB RAM will only come in this phone’s aid in running the latest apps and games. The 4.7 inch Super AMOLED display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The 8MP camera has support for HD video recording, LED flash, autofocus, touch focus, image stabilization, geo-tagging etc.
At the moment, this device is not available for purchase but it should be available starting with November worldwide. It will pack the Android 4.0.4 ICS that can be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean when this OS will be pushed by Motorola.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100:
The Galaxy Note N7000 was one of the most popular Samsung device and now, they’ve decided that it was time for the second Note model to be launched. The device has been demoed all over the world and it should be ready for an October launch.
There are already numerous users touting it to become this year’s best phone and by taking a simple look at its specs you might also start thinking like that: 2GB RAM, 5.55 inch HD Super AMOLED display, 1.6 quad-core Exynos CPU, the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS as default. This phone is huge and it has support for 64GB storage space.
Note that this will be the first Samsung smartphone that will sport the Jelly Bean OS and along with the Premium Suite package you will get the maximum Android experience. This device might not even be labeled as smartphone, because of its 5.55 inch display Samsung decided to call it a ‘phablet’.
Most critics have praised the Note 2 and if you’re truly a Samsung and Android enthusiast than this phone is a ‘must-have’.
Samsung Galaxy S3 I9300:
Obviously, the SGS3 smartphone made our list of best Android phones of 2012. It was released in May 2012 with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but, it has already received the Jelly Bean 4.1 OS upgrade a few days ago. It has been labeled as the iPhone Killer but this wasn’t necessary as even the former Galaxy S2 was strong enough to beat Apple’s flagship device.
The Galaxy S3 brings a redesigned physique, S Voice and with the Jelly Bean upgrade you will get the Google Now service and all the other goodies. Its 4.8 inch display HD Super AMOLED display, the 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos CPU, 1GB RAM hardware parts are great and it also comes with support for wireless charging. There is not too much to say about this device, as all Android users already know what to expect from this device. It might seem somewhat bigger than the other devices presented here but it does its job pretty nicely and it should remain popular for another 12 months.
Samsung / Google Galaxy Nexus I9250:
Yes, you might think that this device has been launched in 2011 but, Google upgraded this device to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean several months and we’ve witnessed this device’s rebirth as numerous users decided to ditch their old phones and buy the ‘new’ Nexus I9250 with Jelly Bean OS.
It is one of the most developer-friendly devices since the Android 4.0 or Android 4.1 updates are released fast and almost after several days since official announcements. It lacks any bloat and that’s why this is a favorite device. It packs a 4.65 inch HD Super AMOLED display with a Oleophobic coating for protection. The Camera is of 5MP, 2592 x 1944 resolution that is capable of 1080p HD video recording.
The internal storage space is 16GB and there is no external sd card slot. The 1.2 dual-core GHz TI OMAP CPU and the PowerVR SGX540 GPU.
The battery has a power of 1750 mAh and this means that you will have a stand-by time of 290 h on 2G, 270h on 3G and the talk time is up to 17 h for 2G, while on 3G you can talk up to 8 h.
It is a great device and it is almost 1 year old, this December, but it still can battle against the S3, One X and all other Android phones that were released Q2 of 2012.
NOTE: These devices weren’t posted in any particular order and you shouldn’t use this article as a standard in case you wish to buy an Android smartphone. Remember to post all your thoughts and all other Android devices that I didn’t manage to squeeze here.
All the above phones are great and I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for us Android fans.