Our technology editor challenged me to try a few Android devices and share my impressions with you. After reviewing dozens of smart phones, I’ve selected four of the best android smartphones, some of which have surpassed the iPhone in functionality (sorry, Steve Jobs). If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you should definitely consider these cutting-edge devices.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The S5 is the latest installment in Samsung’s insanely popular Galaxy series (read our full review). With the Galaxy S5, Samsung continues its innovative use of Super AMOLED screen technology that offers lower power consumption while also sporting brighter, more saturated colors. This compliments Samsung’s TouchWiz UI quite well with its intricate graphics and cartoony appearance. The S5’s 5.1-inch screen also offers sturdy Gorilla Glass 3 construction and full HD resolution at a pixel density of 432 ppi. Beneath those pixels is a lightning-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU clocked at 2.5 GHz along with an Adreno 330 GPU and 2 GB of RAM.
Taking inspiration from Apple’s iPhone 5S, Samsung has included a fingerprint scanner on the S5’s home button, allowing users to unlock the phone at the swipe of a finger. Another interesting new feature is the rear heartbeat sensor, which allows users to check their pulse on the go while integrating the information into Samsung’s custom fitness applications. Fitness-minded users will be happy to hear that the S5 is dust- and water-resistant with a certified IP67 rating. Other features include a 16-megapixel rear camera, a removable battery, up to 32 GB of internal storage and Micro-SIM card support (Available at Amazon.com)
The G3 is LG’s latest upgrade to their cult-favorite G2 smartphone from 2013. Just like the G2, the G3 features cutting-edge hardware specs as well as the smallest bezel-to-screen ratio of any Android smartphone currently available. With its tiny front bezels, the G3 is able to fit a huge 5.5-inch Gorilla Glass 3 screen into a body that is hardly bigger than most 5-inch phones on the market.
The screen’s resolution is equally as impressive as its size: at 1,440 x 2,560 pixels, it’s the first quad HD phone ever released, sporting an unmatched pixel density of 534 ppi. Powering all of those pixels is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU clocked at 2.5 GHz, as well as an Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. To offset the increased power usage of quad HD, LG has managed to stuff a huge 3,000 mAh battery into the G3’s tiny frame, so battery life is equally as impressive as it was with the G2.
The G3 also features 16 GB of internal storage, Micro-SIM card support, and 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (Available at LG).
Like most 2014 Android phones, the One M8 has increased in size, now featuring a 5-inch Super LCD3 screen. Protected by sturdy Gorilla Glass 3, the One M8’s display offers some of the most realistic color reproduction on the market, sporting a pixel density of 441 ppi. Behind the screen is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.3 GHz as well as an Adreno 300 GPU and 2 GB of RAM.
Setting the One M8 apart from other Android offerings is its unmatched sound quality: dual front-facing HTC Boomsound speakers provide loud, crisp audio that rivals even some laptop computers. The other most notable feature of the One M8 is its innovative Duo Ultrapixel camera. Though it’s capable of only 4 megapixels, the 2-micrometer size of each pixel allows them to absorb up to twice as much light as competitor’s cameras, making the One M8 exceptional in low-light photography.
The Duo camera also features two separate sensors: the primary Ultrapixel sensor works in conjunction with a depth sensor that allows users to refocus images after they are taken. Other features of the One M8 include up to 32 GB of internal storage, Micro-SIM card support, and an integrated IR blaster for controlling television sets and other peripherals. The One M8’s body is composed of 90-percent aluminum, featuring a sleek curved back that offers the most premium feel of any Android phone on the market. (Available at Amazon.com).
The Xperia Z2 sports a large 5.2-inch IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 424 ppi. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU clocked at 2.3 GHz, an Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB of RAM, the Z2 is one of the snappiest smartphones on the market. Internal storage is limited to 16 GB, but Micro-SIM support offers expandability up to 128 GB.
The Z2 is one of the most weather-proof phones available: with IP58 certification, it is both dust-proof and water-resistant for up to 30 minutes. The Z2 also features one of the most impressive cameras in the Android marketplace with its 20.7-megapixel shooter capable of recording 4K video. With its dual front-facing speakers, the Z2 is second only to the HTC One M8 in sound quality, making it the perfect device for quality media consumption. (Available at Amazon.com)
ZTE nubia 5
The ZTE nubia 5 is engineered for those who want the latest in smartphone technology at a better value than comparable devices. Its sophisticated combination of hardware and software solutions, including an image capture suite that incorporates the fundamentals of a digital SLR, and unique gesture controls offer a range of options for everyone from the photo enthusiast to the road warrior, to the entertainment junkie, all of whom will enjoy the nubia 5’s handsome, industrial profile.
Incorporating the latest image capture hardware including a 13 megapixel Konica-Minolta 5 –piece prevision lens made of scratch-resistant sapphire, with F2.2 constant aperture, Sony CMOS chip sensor. The 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with an additional Adreno320 graphics processor ensure speedy access to music, games, and movies that look brilliant on the 5-inch IPS full high definition (1920×1080, 443ppi) Gorilla Glass screen. (Available on Amazon)
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