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Verizon’s Epic Q4 Roadmap, Which Will be Your Next Smartphone?

Over the last week or so, the holiday lineup on Verizon has really started to take shape. Most companies took to press events at the end of August and beginning of September to announce their Q4 devices for Big Red, while others have remained slightly silent. Thanks to a handful of leaks and rumors though, we have been given a clear enough picture that we can at least start to talk about it. Verizon may have introduced questionable shared data plans, however, they still have the biggest LTE network in the land, and are also about to take back the “best device lineup in the land” crown as well. Q4 of 2012 is going to be a time to remember in the history of smartphones.

How are you going to decide which phone to get? Let’s walk through the expected lineup, with potential dates, and see if we can’t help. 

HTC DROID Incredible X

HTC is possibly creating the most impressive smartphone we have ever seen, if rumors are to be believed. Industry pundits have decided to call it the DROID Incredible X, and are expecting it to have a 5″ 1080p display (480ppi), Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 1.5GB RAM, NFC, LTE, and an ultra-thin red-accented body. No one has seen the phone other than in a set of blurry cam shots, but even those should be enough to get the juices flowing.

This phone is expected to hit stores in November.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung made the Galaxy Note 2 official for all 5 of the major carriers here in the U.S. This phone will sport a 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED display (non-PenTile), 1.6GHz Exynos quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, microSD slot for up to 64GB of external storage, 3100mAh battery, and will run Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). It’s the successor to the original Galaxy Note, a device that created an entirely new smartphone segment in the market place. Who says oversized phones aren’t in demand?

This phone will launch by mid-November.


Motorola unveiled their new RAZR family at an event in early September, but at the time, would only give us a launch date for one of the devices, the RAZR M. While we are huge fans of the RAZR M, the stars of the show were the new RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD. With their 4.7″ HD Super AMOLED displays, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, expandable microSD slots, 8MP cameras, and Jelly Bean software, they are Motorola’s most powerful and appealing phones to date. The biggest selling point for both phones may end up being battery life though, with the RAZR HD holding 2530mAh of juice and the MAXX HD somewhere around 3300mAh.

These phones will launch “before the holidays.”

New Nexus?

We would be surprised if Verizon ever gets another Nexus device from Google. In fact, after the pissing matches that have gone on between Big Red and Google over updates and carrier control, this probably won’t happen. If it were to happen though, it would happen in Q4 and could be a device from Samsung, LG, Sony or maybe even HTC.

LG Spectrum 2

Last week, LG announced the Optimus G, one of the more impressive Android devices ever created. The Spectrum 2, is not that phone. The Spectrum 2 is the U.S. variant of the LG Optimus LTE2, which is actually a pretty decent phone on paper. It runs a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, has 1GB RAM, a 4.7″ HD True IPS+ display, LTE, NFC, and will run Ice Cream Sandwich. This phone is no slouch, but when compared to the big names like the Incredible X, Galaxy Note 2, and new RAZR HDs, it’s probably going to get lost in the shuffle.

This phone will reportedly arrive in October.

Samsung Stratosphere 2

The new Stratosphere 2 is the phone for those that can’t live without a physical keyboard. It should run a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, have a Super AMOLED Plus display (not HD), and connect to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. It won’t be high-end, but the keyboard should be decent and the phone will more than likely be powerful enough to satisfy as a mid-range device.

This phone will reportedly arrive any day now.

DROID RAZR M, Incredible 4G LTE, Intuition and Samsung Galaxy S3

If you can’t wait for any of the previously mentioned phones, don’t forget that Verizon already has a couple of phones out that are worth a look. The DROID RAZR M (our review) and its “edge-to-edge” display was one of our favorites of the last year. The Samsung Galaxy S3 (our review) has been out for a couple of months and will still be better than some of the phones that have yet to launch. The Incredible 4G LTE (our review) is probably our least favorite of Verizon’s recent releases, but it’s small and affordable if that’s what you are looking for. The LG Intuition, we recommend that you pass on.

Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X

If Android isn’t in the cards, then I suggest you wait for the new Windows Phone 8 offerings from Nokia and HTC. The new Nokia Lumia 920 has hardware that matches up to almost any high-end Android phone, one of the coolest accessory lineups ever, and will be a welcomed change on the design front. The HTC 8X is up there in specs too and has a unique look, but has a slightly smaller foot print than the Lumia. Each phone will impress you in its own way. Even as an Android fanboy, I’m dying to get my hands on these new Windows phones.

These phones will reportedly arrive in November.

iPhone 5

Yep, the new iPhone 5 is already available. If you hate Android and aren’t interested in what Microsoft is doing, then this is probably the option for you. If you still like Android, going to this phone would probably be a downgrade.


If had to rank these as of now, it would probably look something like this:

  1. HTC DROID Incredible X
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  3. Motorola RAZR MAXX HD
  4. Nokia Lumia 920
  5. New Nexus (which probably won’t happen)

So now that you know what’s coming, which phone is topping your list?

  • Mottling

    I’m waiting for a new Nexus, preferably through the Play Store. If there isn’t a CDMA version before Christmas, I’ll likely switch to T-Mobile. I’ve been out of contract on my DINC since last August, so I’m desperate for an upgrade.

  • Mr Waldo

    Note 2 all day, except I’m poor and want to keep my unlimited data, so I’ll get it off contract next summer lol

  • TrevorSP

    I just got the Maxx conversion for my RAZR and its great! Not planning on getting a new phone soon 😀

  • Zach Armstrong

    Come on Verizon new Nexus.

  • jrphillips10

    Between the Galaxy Note 2 and Incredible X. Prefer the Note 2 because I like touch wiz more than sense but that 1080p screen could be awesome. Only thing that sucks is we will have to give up our unlimited plans. No way I can afford phones at $650 a pop. F*** you Verizon!







  • Peter Stover

    If Verizon doesn’t come out with a nexus device I’m jumping ship.

  • devin stawicki

    If the Droid Incredible X came out, I would buy it. If a Nexus 2 came out, I’d buy it.

  • trob6969

    If the DlX rumored specs turn out to be accurate AND it has a microSD slot, i wouldn’t care if it wasn’t a Nexus device. It would easily be my smartphone of choice.

  • As the Note2/ Inc X will probably too large for me I’ll end up with the RAZR HD MAXX or Nexus if available.

  • Alexander Garcia

    RAZR Maxx HD all day! Umm… make that “all DAYS!”

  • viewthis66

    Galaxy Note 2 all day

  • jay_peter

    I have the iPhone 5 and it is AMAZING. Unlike my last Android device, it DOESN’T LAG! Seriously, how hard is it for Google to make an OS that doesn’t feel unresponsive?

    • Peter Stover

      Hate apple but I just upgraded to jb on the gnex. Its still buttery soft and not silky smooth like it should be. Maybe we’ll get another update in 6mo.

      • jay_peter

        Jelly Bean is nice and a huge improvement over ICS. But Google seriously just needs to make it feel more responsive. With an iPhone, when I make some kind of motion on the screen, the responses are INSTANT. I don’t feel this with Android.

  • jer85008

    Galaxy Note II Nexus on Verizon. Hey, I can dream can’t I?

    • Why are you dreaming? They have already made it official in a press release from Samsung.

  • brando56894

    Whatever my next phone is, it better have a big battery. I’d most likely get a nexus if it comes to Verizon, if not its probably going to be a razr maxx dev edition.

  • corymcnutt

    Definitely the Note 2 – I canot wait for this phone to hit Verizon.

  • noc007

    Nexus with a keyboard or Droid 5 if they ever make either. Whatever it is, it will have to have a keyboard. At the rate VZW keeps sending me shoddy replacement phones for my Droid 4’s mini-stereo jack issue, I don’t think I’ll need to be paying any money.

    BTW, WTF is with their “Certified Like New” phones. Each one I’ve received has had some defect and I keep sending them back until I get one that’s in the same or better shape than my current one. The last tech I talked with claimed that they get them refurbed from Moto. Whoever is doing their QA on these needs to handle a new phone so they can see what it should be like. These things seem like they just slap a new shell on it, ship it out the door, and don’t really care about the original issue with the phone.

    • Nathan

      Exactly what happened to me with the Droid 2 Global. Of course, I bought mine pre-owned because it was a little cheaper. I then went through 4 that all had issues, only to get one that still has problems. They sell those and obviously don’t care that their customers are getting a piece of garbage. Real nice.

  • Leo

    If Verizon doesn’t get the next Nexus(s) I will get it on another carrier, VZW no longer is as good as they once were.

  • Steve Douglas

    I have to agree with Kellex, just a couple conditions. The HTC has to have a SD slot (too much music so so little shared data), My only concern on the Note 2 is man that thing is big, not sure if I can shove it in the pockets, and the Motorola phone would be great just not sure on the camera. I really like what Motorola has come to the plate with and they seem to listen and care..

    • LionStone

      All I can say about Moto’s cameras are: on my girl’s D2G, the camera is blech…and on my pops RAZR, the camera is decent. So they seem to be improving their camera. That’s why I will start with HTC and work from there.

  • I_Am_Roy_Halladay

    New Nexus or nothing, I’ll just hold onto my GNex until it dies

  • Barlog

    HTC Droid Incredible X

  • chris boyer

    If they do not have a nexus in their line up VERIZON WILL HAVE A CRAP LINE UP!

  • knightracer

    Nexus only

  • Wes

    If the DIX has micro SD it will definitely be my next phone. If not then it’s a closer call between that and the Note 2…also really hope the battery isn’t horrible.

  • hkklife

    Incredible X? With bloated, sluggish, battery-hogging Sense? A fixed battery (likely an undersized one at that) and probably no expandable storage and the return of the capacitive buttons? Sorry, that’s a triple fail for me. 1080p is overkill on a 5″ screen, at least for this current generation of games, apps, and hardware (especially battery power). An in-between resolution such as 1600×900 might be a good option in a year for high-end phablets, however.

    I’d like to see the Note 2 formfactor tweaked a bit with better materials/radios and drop those horrible physical home and capacitive buttons for a very narrow bezel all the way around with the same size/res screen. Otherwise, I’d love to see Moto build on the Maxx HD design and release their own 5″ device with an even bigger battery and an improved screen, SoC, and camera. I’m a fan of the latest Blur so I’d be fine with it atop JB if we cannot get a Moto Nexus phablet.

    But right now HTC looks like they are trying to do what they did last year with the Rezound: shove a high-res screen in alongside speedy innards with no regards for usability, local storage requirements or battery life.

    • blur = not a nexus dude

      • hkklife

        Dude, I know but Blur is the ONLY manufacturer skin I can tolrate at this point. I meant that I’d take a Blur-skinned Moto phablet OR a Moto Nexus Phablet. Either would be awesome. Either give me vanilla or Blur or nothin’ at all. I just cannot stand Touchwiz, Sense, LG’s cartoony crap etc.

  • no new nexus for verizon? Kellex you know for a fact that motorola’s relationship with big red is/has/and will always be on better terms than that with the other OEM’s. They started the android game with verizon, and with Google now in charge(thank god) they will be the one’s to innovate on our favorite carrier again! There will be at least one new nexus on verizon, and weather it is this year OR next, one of them will come from motorola!

    • Have you heard about the recent drama? Motorola and Verizon are on pretty bad terms behind closed doors right now…

    • C-Law

      Maybe next year. . Maybe Moto got along with Verizon but Google owns them now and vzw and Google have clashed over gnex updates, and there have been some leaks of google accusing vzw of purposely delaying updates and Google might possibly pull moto’s contract with vzw over it

      • avinyc

        The only clashing we hear is the muck all the bloggers spread online. Nobody knows what is really going on behind closed doors and it’s equally valid to assume another nexus phone is coming to Verizon. The idea behind the nexus phone originally was to be 1 phone for all carriers. If anyone is going to prevent a nexus on Verizon, it will most likely be Verizon itself. As for clashing, the only thing that seems to be a sticking point is google wallet vs. isis, and only sprint is completely on-board with wallet.

  • JMac726

    So if Verizon is never getting a nexus again, is there any chance the next Nexus could be all-LTE, not using CDMA at all? Or if not the next Nexus for this year, then at least the following one, by the time I’m ready to move on from my current Nexus?

    Then, in theory, wouldn’t it work across Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and any other LTE carrier? That way I could just keep my current plan, and pay full price for the new phone from Google? I would have done that this time around, had the Nexus from Google Play not been GSM.

    • verizon would NEVER release a smartphone that didn’t work on all available bands on their network. It would be crippled from day one, and actually using it as a phone would be spotty and unreliable at best.

      • JMac726

        OK so what are the chances an LTE/CDMA non-Verizon version gets released directly through the Google play store?

        • DainLaguna

          Slim to none id imagine

          • trillzzz

            I doubt that to but it would be epic if it sis happen

  • fgclolz

    If the new Nexus comes to Vz, and has better radios and battery life, I’ll be happy to ditch my GNex. Otherwise, I’ll hold on to my OGNex!

  • Knlegend1

    New Nexus of course. The Lumia is looking real good too though. Everything else is not worth upgrading from the phone I have now.

  • EnterTheShadow

    I’ll get the one phone that isn’t listed and is better (for me) than all of the others, the LG Optimus Blaze.


    Dear God, I hope this phone is real…

  • Ravi Rao

    For features, I look for the following:
    1) Good resolution screen @ 4.3″-4.5″ ideal
    2) Great battery life
    3) Clean-looking OS

    I’m not looking forward to all of these 5″ phones when I already have a 7″ nexus 7. I don’t want device redundancy.

    Looks like there will be very few options on Verizon that aren’t going to be massive.

  • If verizon doesn’t get the new nexus phone I will be leaving them.

  • Brandon Shelton

    I’ll definitely be going with the next Nexus. If Verizon chooses not to release one then I’ll also be going with a new carrier. I may switch carriers anyway if Verizon can’t keep their grubby fingers out of my Nexus (vzw apps preinstalled, blocking wallet, etc).

  • cashclay

    New Nex… hands down. Would prefer a MOTO or HTC Nexus, but seeing as how it’s all a longshot, I figure, why not go for broke? I mean, WE ARE just fantasizing here.

  • So here is the next question.. Since we have so many awesome phones coming out, Is it possible to use upgrades and keep unlimited on VZW? I know I cant directly on my account, but could I move my upgrade to my dads tiered plan, have him buy X phone and then pop my SIM into it later to keep my unlimited data?

    It seams like YMMV and it depends on who helps you at Verizon and how much they like you and how persistent you are.. But It would be good to hear how people are keeping unlimited data after dealing with Verizon.

  • Bob G

    Can’t wait to see all the DiX jokes and puns should that phone fail to meet expectations or say….. suck ______

    • brando56894

      When I saw that’s the acronym for it I started laughing.

    • LionStone

      Well now that DiX is done, how much longer you gonna beat it? 🙂 “Hey you wanna check out my DiX”? Its gonna be great for breaking the ice with new friends

  • G’Note II!! I was going to wait for the HTC Incredible X but it has a smaller batter, RAM, and an inferior S4. So, as much as I prefer Sense to Touch Wiz…I’ll pass and go with the Note II!

  • GNex all the way! Do you think it is possible to have one sold through the Play Store for Verizon? Hope so!

  • BrianLipp

    Nexus > RAZR > DiX > Note 2, or, just wait till next year, who knows!

  • mechapathy

    Gotta be Nextus

  • Sobr0801

    Nokia 920 for me.

  • joejoe5709

    I’m fine with my current Nexus unless something truly super amazing new Nexus came out. Nothing else really interests me.

  • jbegs23

    I have the GS3 right now. I was waiting for the original Galaxy Note to hit VZW. Now that the Galaxy Note II is coming to Big Red, I am going to be jealous of anyone who gets it. I’m trying to figure out what I can do to sell the GS3 so that I can buy the GN2 off contract to retain the unlimited (just a word, my a$$) and since I am not eligable to upgrade yet.

  • ceejw

    If there’s no new Nexus I’m getting a Lumia 920

  • Brett

    this may be off topic but over the weekend i got a text message that my data was 75% used up. without using my phone at all, a few hours later i received another text that said my data was 90% used up. (i know something must have been running in the background) i called VZW to complain about how my data was being used when i wasn’t even using my phone and they gave me my unlimited data back! worth a try if you guys are stuck on the tiered data.

  • Sorry more RAM in the Note two makes it tops on the list you are not going to be able to tell 1080p differences on that size of a screen.

    • But you can brag to your iPhone5 friends that you have better DPI on your phone then they do..

  • Definitely the new Nexus… I am hoping one from HTC or Samsung. If Verizon doesn’t have one, I would most likely consider leaving when my contract is up.

  • Jose Lopez

    New nexus probly, if DiX gets a nexus counterpart for sure if not Ill hold on to my Galaxy Nexus.