Current Crop of Android Smartphones Gives Buyers Plenty of Options

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-04-30
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Current Crop of Android Smartphones Gives Buyers Plenty of Options
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    Current Crop of Android Smartphones Gives Buyers Plenty of Options

    By Don Reisinger
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    Samsung Galaxy S6 Designed for the Android Handset Purist
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    Samsung Galaxy S6 Designed for the Android Handset Purist

    Samsung's Galaxy S6 is for the traditionalist smartphone buyer. The device features a 5.1-inch display and has a 16-megapixel camera. It's also available with the latest version of Samsung's Touch Wiz user interface current Samsung device users are already acquainted with. It's a solid product that Samsung believes will take on Apple's iPhone 6.
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    Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Offers More Screen Space
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    Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Offers More Screen Space

    The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is just like the S6, but it features tapered sides with a display that goes all the way off the ends. The idea is to provide a bit more screen real estate for extra software features, and it's a feature Samsung said is in high demand. Beyond that, there aren't any major differences internally between the standard Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge.
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    HTC One M9 Sticks With a Design That Works
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    HTC One M9 Sticks With a Design That Works

    HTC's goal with the One M9 smartphone was to keep the external design as close as possible to the One M8 to retain its appeal to the widest range of handset buyers. But HTC did improve the internal hardware with the addition of the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. The device also has a 5-inch screen and comes with the new version of HTC Sense interface, which runs atop Android.
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    LG G4 Goes With a Leather Accent
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    LG G4 Goes With a Leather Accent

    LG G4 is one of the more interesting options in this roundup, thanks in large part to its leather backplate. Rather than a metallic or a plastic design, the G4 uses a leather backplate that adds a different look and feel to the smartphone. Beyond that, the device has a nice curve to improve call sound quality and has a 5.5-inch quad HD display. Another important note: The G4 has a hexa-core 1.8GHz 64-bit processor.
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    OnePlus One Goes Its Own Way With Android
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    OnePlus One Goes Its Own Way With Android

    For many, OnePlus is an unknown smartphone maker, but the company has sold a million units of its OnePlus One in the last year and is now expanding its availability around the world. The OnePlus One doesn't necessarily come with an innovative design, but it's unique in this roundup for running on Cyanogen Android, a new open-source take on the mobile OS, rather than Google's version of the operating system. The handset has a 5.5-inch screen, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and can work on both AT&T and T-Mobile networks.
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    Sony's Z3 Is Next Chance to Turn Around Smartphone Unit
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    Sony's Z3 Is Next Chance to Turn Around Smartphone Unit

    Sony has admitted that mobile is one of its troubled divisions, but that hasn't stopped the company from trying to build it up. The company's flagship Z3 has a slender design, and is waterproof and dustproof. It comes with a 5.2-inch full-HD display and a 20.7-megapixel rear-facing camera, and runs on Google's Android 5.0 It's not a leader in the market, but it has received solid reviews from users.
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    Motorola Droid Turbo Is All About Speed
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    Motorola Droid Turbo Is All About Speed

    The Motorola Droid Turbo is a compelling option for professionals who are traveling and need as much battery life as possible. The device can last for up to 48 hours on a single charge, making it the smartphone with the longest-lasting battery on the market. The "Turbo" in its name also means that the handset will get eight hours of battery life after just 15 minutes of charge time. Beyond that, the device has a 5.2-inch display and a 21-megapixel rear-facing camera. However, it's running an older version of Android: Android 4.4.4.
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    Xiaomi Mi 4 Offers High-End Features at Lower Price
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    Xiaomi Mi 4 Offers High-End Features at Lower Price

    Xiaomi has quickly become one of the most prominent smartphone makers in the world by appealing to customers in China seeking a high-end product at a lower-end price. The Mi 4 comes with an outstanding design and runs on Android. The smartphone also features a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and the 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, and works alongside Xiaomi's surprisingly solid Mi Band wearable.
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    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Appeals to Stylus Fans
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    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Appeals to Stylus Fans

    The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a solid product all around, but what differentiates it from all others in this roundup is the device's support for the S Pen stylus. The device's software input is controlled by that S Pen and includes an application that allows users to write on the screen. Although that's the key feature in the Galaxy Note 4, it also comes with a 5.7-inch screen, runs on Android 4.4 and has a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera. It's an all-around solid device that complements the Galaxy S6 line nicely.
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    Huawei P8max Goes Big
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    Huawei P8max Goes Big

    Huawei is another prominent Chinese company that reported soaring smartphone sales. But what makes the company's P8max one of the more significant handsets in this roundup is its size. The device comes with a massive 6.8-inch screen and, like many others in this roundup, runs on Android 5.0. Despite having a large screen, the P8max is surprisingly thin at 6.8mm. For those seeking a big, powerful Android smartphone, the P8max might be the right handset.
 

Google's Android has become the top-selling mobile operating system simply because smartphone buyers are able to purchase so many different Android handset models with an incredibly diverse range of features from a large number of manufacturers. It's unlikely the company will give away much of its market share to competitors like Apple's iOS or Microsoft's Windows Phone. Buyers can choose from a range of Android phones—from higher-priced top-of-the-line handsets to entry-level units that deliver good performance for the money. A few models aim to provide higher-end features at less than premium prices.  Yet, with so many smartphone models, keeping track of what's on the market at any given time is no easy task. Sorting through the options to find the right combination of features and price takes some research. This eWEEK slide show looks at some of the best and most interesting of the current crop of Android smartphones to help people on any budget find the handsets with the options that best fit their needs.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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