2HTC Droid Incredible
For the longest time, this was our favorite Android handset after it launched last spring. Seeing as how it’s the time for reflection, we dip into nostalgia to fondly remember this Android 2.1 device with a 1GHz processor. It is fast, slim and arguably the first Android phone to achieve the quality user experience of Apple’s iPhone. Sorry, Nexus One.
3Motorola Droid X
Next, we like the Motorola Droid X. This gorgeous, black device offers Android 2.1 with a 4.3-inch screen and 720p HD video capture, with HDMI-out capability for porting video shot with the 8-megapixel camera to the TV. Our all-time favorite Droid phone to date.
4Motorola Droid 2
We tested this device after the Droid X over the summer. Not only does it have a slide-out keyboard, but the Droid 2 was the first handset to roll out with Android 2.2 natively. What we especially liked about this device is the refined keyboard to enable better typing. Android 2.2 is great, sporting better performance, cloud-device messaging capability and enterprise-class features.
5HTC Evo 4G
The Evo 4G was the first 4.3-inch screen device with HD video capture, but the battery burned out like it was doused with gasoline. This is obviously problematic, but the device warmed our hearts with a kickstand and other perks, such as the 8-megapixel camera. As we noted in June: “A few minutes watching YouTube clips or ESPN Mobile sporting events on the Sprint TV application, as I did, will make one forget they are watching TV on a phone instead of a TV set.”
6Samsung Epic 4G
This Sprint device was the most unique out of the four Samsung Galaxy S handsets launched, besting the Verizon Fascinate, AT&T Samsung Captivate and T-Mobile Vibrant. It has a slideout keyboard while the others come with a virtual keyboard. With a 1GHz processor, 16GB of memory and an ultracrisp 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, the Epic 4G is a joy, especially if you live in an area where Sprint supports 4G.
Launched in October, the G2 is a fine Android 2.2 handset with a physical keyboard and 3.7-inch screen. The phone is easy to use, although as is often the case with Android handsets, the physical keyboard could be larger.
With its 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, the Fascinate is gorgeous, but after testing it in September, we found ourselves wishing it had come with Android 2.2 instead of 2.1. We’ll have to wait until 2011 for that, according to the latest reports. Making good on its multiyear, multi-hundred-million-dollar deal with Microsoft, Verizon has preloaded the Fascinate and other Galaxy S devices with Bing Search and Bing Maps.
Yet another Galaxy S device from Verizon, this handset is Android 2.2-based out of the gate. Instead of a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, this device has a 3.4-inch main screen, augmented by a 1.8-inch ticker screen at the bottom for streaming updates fueled by news and social networking feeds. It’s also preloaded with Bing Search and Bing Maps.
11Google Nexus One
We have a soft spot for the Nexus One, whose public sale Google discontinued after it failed to sell robustly solely online from January to May, and after Verizon and Sprint dropped their planned support for it. This phone was built by HTC, but sports software made by Googlers for Googlers. It sports a 1GHz processor and feels great in the hand. But again, few bought it from Google sight unseen or unfelt.