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Top 10 Android Phones of 2012

In 2012, we saw the Android smartphone world reach heights that I don’t imagine many predicted. On a spec front, 2012 was the year of quad-core processors, 2GB of RAM, HD displays, longer battery lives, and incredibly thin bodies. It seems like just yesterday that we were asking DL readers if they had a dual-core or single-core phone, yet here we are, with dual-core phones already becoming a thing of the past.

On a manufacturer front, 2012 was the year that Samsung proved that it really was the only big fish in a bowl full of minnows. We saw Motorola kick off its life as a Google-owned company, HTC struggle to make money even while releasing amazing phones, and LG take its turn as the face of the Nexus phone program.

In this post, I thought we’d talk a bit about all of that by listing out my top 10 phones of the year. 

1.  Samsung Galaxy S3 (review)

No surprise here, but the Galaxy S3 tops my list of phones for 2012. It was hyped as much as the next iPhone, yet it still delivered. It launched with an impressive suite of sharing capabilities that no other phone had seen, it used a big beautiful display with a body that was slim enough to feel great in hand, and with 2GB of RAM, it almost never stuttered or slowed down. But most importantly, Samsung showed the world that it has power in the mobile world by releasing one version of the phone across all carriers. As expected, though, people were quick to downplay it at launch, but over its first couple of months in stores, Samsung sold millions upon millions of units, fully cementing themselves as number 1 in the world.

LG Nexus 4 Review

2.  LG Nexus 4 (review)

The Nexus 4, Google’s latest flagship device, has seen its share of ups and downs over its short life. It was hyped up for a couple of months in a variety of leaks, was never officially unveiled thanks to a hurricane, hated on because of its lack of LTE, and criticized mightily for its glass back. But you know what, to me, it’s still the 2nd best phone you can buy. It comes in at an unbelievably reasonable price of $299 (or $349), is the ultimate stock Android device since it’s the newest Nexus, carries future-proof specs, and isn’t tied to a carrier. It may be impossible to purchase, but that may also be a sign that Google has finally figured out a winning device formula.

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 2

3.  Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (review)

When Samsung originally launched the Galaxy Note, the world was introduced to a confusing product plus one of the worst mashup words ever created in “phablet.” Was the phone a tablet or a phone or the “best of both worlds”? Surprisingly enough, that question doesn’t matter as it was a massive success. So Samsung did what any smart company would do with a successful product – launch a follow-up. The Galaxy Note 2, like the Galaxy S3, has already shipped by the millions, and may have even been the most anticipated device to launch on Verizon in some time (even over the Galaxy S3 and DROID brand). It’s too big for my liking, but you can’t argue with the impressive set of features that Samsung has built in. Also like the Galaxy S3, it blew past the competition with innovative features like multi-window, advanced S Pen technology, and camera sharing capabilities.


4.  HTC DROID DNA (review)

Verizon passed up on the HTC One X in early 2012, something we weren’t sure we could forgive them for. Thankfully, they appear to have fully redeemed themselves by launching the world’s first 1080p smartphone, the DROID DNA. The device itself is beautiful to look at, is much smaller in stature than the Note 2, is surprisingly light and thin, has the best display in the business, actually lasts throughout a full day even with a semi-small battery, and carries top-of-the-line specs that few other phones contain. At $199 on contract, it’s also somewhat of a steal. Easily the best phone HTC has created since the next phone on our list, the One X.

5.  HTC ONE X (review)

When HTC announced the One Series, which included the One X, the world was blown away. This was the new HTC, or at least one that was trying to make a comeback after a terrible end to 2011. The phone sported the best display in the business at the time, a best-in-class processor, the prettiest phone design we had ever seen, felt great in hand, was able to withstand a day’s beating on a single charge, and really set the standard for smartphones in 2012.

6.  Motorola DROID RAZR M (review)

As we approached Motorola’s big Fall event, rumors started popping up over a mysterious device with the world’s first “edge-to-edge” display. While others were willing to bet the world on it being some secret device, we knew long beforehand that it was simply the DROID RAZR M, a mid-range device headed to Verizon. I don’t want that to sound like I’m discounting the phone, as it was easily my favorite from Motorola in 2012. Since the display was so close to being edge-to-edge, it has a small footprint, yet still packs mostly top-tier specs (other than the display). It has amazing battery life and feels tiny in hand compared to the rest of the smartphones being introduced these days. But that’s not a bad thing, as the display was still big enough to allow you to consume content without sacrificing a thing. We certainly hope that “edge-to-edge” is the future.


7.  Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD (review)

This may surprise some readers, seeing the RAZR MAXX HD below the RAZR M, but this phone offered little in terms of “new.” It still rocks a massive battery that can get you through days before needing a charge, plus it comes equipped with an HD display, but it was released late enough that it was almost out of date by the time it went on sale. I’m a big fan of Motorola’s decision to slim down the skin they put on top of Android, and will never complain about their focus on battery life, but the RAZR HD needed to blow it out of the park, something it didn’t quite do.

LG Optimus G

8.  LG Optimus G (review)

The LG Optimus G was the inspiration for the Nexus 4. It sports the same processor, RAM, display, and Crystal Reflection back design, so how could it not be on this list? While glass backsides will never appeal to me, this phone was a beast the minute it came out. In fact, with its quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, it was the highest spec’d phone on the planet for a at least a month. LG also took some time to create a software suite, much like Samsung had done, to try and help the phone stand out. They definitely succeeded. It’s too bad it was limited to AT&T and Sprint, as this phone could have potentially sold well on other carriers.

9.  Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX (review)

Boasting a massive 3300mAh battery while maintaining a slim profile, the original RAZR MAXX set the standard for battery life in 2012. Well, it set it and then watched as no one could match it until Motorola released the HD version of it 10 months later. We aren’t sure what kind of voodoo Motorola has working in their battery department, but we love it. They are the only phone company on the planet that has been able to make ultra-slim phones with batteries you used to only see sold separately as “extended.” The RAZR MAXX itself wasn’t all that impressive outside of its battery, but in my book, this battery was good enough to make the list.

10.  HTC One S (review)

Another original One Series phone, the HTC One S, finishes off my list of top 10 phones. With its ultra-thin body, fancy micro arc oxidation coating, and mostly top-tier set of specs, I was a big fan of this phone. Sure, it wasn’t as good as the One X, but it wasn’t supposed to be. HTC released it as an affordable mid-range phone, with a sleek profile, fun color scheme, and one of the best cameras in the business.

So there you have it, my top 10 phones of the year. I’m assuming there will be some disagreement, so let me hear it in the comments.

  • tony mena

    Note 2 is the best.

  • Jon Fanning


  • Uriah Romero

    This was a great list of phones! It seems that
    the best ones were all released sometime at the end of 2012. I have the Galaxy
    SIII and I think it’s one of the best phones out there. It has a mix of
    everything that the others either hit or miss. It works on LTE networks, so
    streaming is a breeze. I like using the DISH Remote Access app on my phone to
    stream live TV through the Sling Adapter that I have connected to my receiver
    at home. Many of my DISH coworkers have GSIII phones and they all love them
    just as much as I do.

  • Gvk

    Sony Phones no more???

  • captainobv

    What about the One X+? yeah, that the best I can do for what is otherwise a boringly obvious article

  • Sjschwar

    I don’t agree with any phone without LTE in 2012 making this list

  • Jeromeonchrome

    great top 10 list, I love my gs3 but the htc droid dna would definitely be in my number 1 in my top 10.

  • Rachel

    Loving my HTC Droid DNA granted it may not have an SD card but with the cloud that saves me and I’m loving this phone.

  • satsmine2k4

    Sony Xperia T, S ….?

  • jajones82

    are you going to do a top 10 tablets of 2012?

  • Raptor Dalan

    My Nexus 4 is still the best!

  • DanWazz

    Good list. I would have put the Optimus over the Razr Maxx HD cause that phone is fun to play with, but I haven’t used it in the real world, so what do I know.

  • bogy25

    Give the MAXX HD a better camera and 2GB RAM and it IS the #1 phone PERIOD

  • bionicwaffle

    I think these lists should have the Evo 4G LTE on insetad of the One X. Same great phone but with a larger battery and MicroSD card slot. Too bad it was only on Sprint.

  • Bryan Ivie

    Glad to see the Razr M getting some love. For those of us who still want a pocketable phone, it’s great. Really the only one left that has this form factor w/o second-class specs.

  • Martin Nilsson

    I would like to push the Xperia V to the list. Fairly high end, 4G and shock/waterproof. All phones should be built along these lines 🙂

  • Akeem McAllister

    Imagine what the top 10 iPhones of 2012 would look like…oh nvm. They are too busy suin people. How do you have more lawsuits than you have phones? Ok I am done but how about a top 10 Android Tablet list DL?

  • yarrellray

    My list goes… 1 Galaxy Note 2, 2. Galaxy S3, 3. Droid Razr Maxx Hd. 4. Htc Evo 4g Lte, 5. Lg Nexus 4, 6. Htc One X+, 7. Htc Dna, 8. Lg Optimus G. To many Verizon phones on your list. Plus WHY USE that silly picture of the Verizon Galaxy Note 2???..YUK…

  • Dean Milord

    Still have my Galaxy Nexus. The SIII had a lot of hype this year and was really the main phone battling the iPhone openly & strong. Go to see HTC finally step up their game (after dismal releases (lack of updates) of the Tbolt & Rezound). Motorola still locking bootloaders but go to see some powerful devices. Can’t wait for 2013 (maybe I can break away from Big Red!!)

  • Dain Laguna

    Can i point out a glaring omission: with all the hoopla and internet rage about sd card slots, i’m surprised that the HTC evo 4g lte (awful name, i know) isnt being mentioned here.

    same specs as the onex, but with a bigger battery, and expandable storage. granted i know kellex likes the looks/feel of the one x better, and while i would typically agree, the evolte in white is a sexy beast to behold and worlds better looking than the black/red version imo.

    also, as cool as the dna is, i think the one x deserves its spot, maybe even more so than the note2. mostly because it did set a standard for 2012 as far as nice looking/feeling android phones go, and its display is still top notch. the dna, while nice, doesnt have an appreciably better screen, again imo and after tons of comparing the two, and while it does still have that nice, high quality htc feel, i still think the onex is an important handset (as is the one series overall.) a lot of folks outside of verizon have no idea what the dna is…the marketing effort behind one series handsets was far more prevalent

  • If you are a fan of touchwiz then i can see putting the GS3 at #1 but i found it to be a pain and unbearable. the only time i enjoyed it was when i rooted it and put Cm10 on it. the screen is nice on the S3 but with tweaking you can fix the N4. I’ve had my Nexus 4 a month now and love it so much.

  • Diablo81588

    This should have a bracketed opinion tag at the end of the title.

  • Alexander Garcia

    Haha wow Kel! This list matches mine for 2012 except I have the Droid DNA and the Note 2 switched on my list. 😉

  • JRW

    I got the S3 and I love it.

  • jim

    Thanks for placing the Note 2 so high. Besides everything else it’s great that I don’t ever have to worry about battery again. And touchwiz is much better than some give it credit for.

  • I love the use of the term “future-proof” with the nexus.

  • DC_Guy

    Note 2 should’ve been number one.

  • SexciiP

    The Samsung Galaxy SIII still reigns supreme. I love my phone =)

  • Justin Kos

    Gnex for life!

  • Tyler Casilio

    Droid DNA Whoo!

  • Stephen D

    I would switch the Note 2 and S3 and then I would agree with the list. I’ll be picking up a Note 2 soon.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Good list.

  • Capt. Crunch

    The LG Nexus is nice an all, but I feel like the Note II should have taken the #1 spot, but I understand why the SIII took the top spot.

    • David W. Astor

      GNex was out 2011 (12/15/11)

  • paul_cus

    Agree with the list, especially the placement of the Motorola phones.

  • Galaxy Nexus isn’t on here? Interesting…

    • Rodeojones000

      That’s because the Galaxy Nexus was released December 2011.

      • Diablo81588

        That garbage would be at the bottom of the list anyway.

  • RoadsterHD1

    I’m sorry but i’m not seeing a nexus with no SD expansion make it on any list. Thats a deal breaker for me. Motorola has the best hardware in the market, and the Droid DNA even being a phone from HTC should be higher in the list as it blows the doors off the LG nexus. even with a “skin” …. 🙂 and any Samsung for that matter. RAZR Maxx HD to me blows away any of these on the list overall. For now I’m sticking with my Droid Bionic ICS till Moto comes out with their Quad-core 2gig phone next year.

    Motorola DROID BIONIC

    ICS 4.0.4

    1.2GHz OMAP-4430 Dual Core

    1gig-DDR2 RAM Stock Kernel

    NOVA Launcher

    Quadrant Standard Score 3227

    AnTuTu Benchmark 8249

    Vellamo 1126/355

    • TynanDeRosa

      benchmarks do not equate to real-world speed, though I will say the 4430 is a great cpu. It’s too bad TI is pulling out.

  • MooleyBooleyTroll

    Odd… I’m getting ready to sell my Nexus 4 and use my Maxx HD on T-Mobile…

  • I have the agree with the s3 being number 1, got it for the wife when it came out to replace her iphone 4s(Which she hated ever minute of)

  • Still rocking the OG Razr Maxx, and will definitely be picking up the next Moto Maxx device. I may not have the most feature rich phone but I can tether for hours, ya’ll.

    • OGguy

      I’m still rocking the OG Droid.

      • El Big CHRIS

        You, Sir, are a warrior.

      • I’ll be super impressed if you are running it stock. 🙂

    • cooksta32676

      Note 2 today 15.5 hours, 5:15 screen time, still at 58%. At least we are headed in the right direction nowadays. Rock on….

    • jonny6pak

      I just got the Razr HD and I couldn’t be happier. It’s not the same kind of new hotness that’s the Galaxy SIII, but this thing is a tank and I can go for near two days of light use without charging sometimes. If whatever the next Maxx is going to be ups the ante, I’m going to have to upgrade for sure.

  • nightscout13

    The MAXX HD gets 7th? What a shame….

    • chris125

      Nothing really stand out about it except battery. Poor camera, specs that were not really high end when it launched compared to the likes of s3,note, etc

      • nightscout13

        I have the S3, but the only reason I got it, was when Verizon was giving a last chance upgrade to keep unlimited data. I would have gotten the MAXX HD if I had a chance. The build quality, battery, and radios are priority for me. These 3 things the GS3 lacks.

  • shehippie

    I’m still loving my Razr Maxx, longest I’ve ever held onto a phone!

  • James

    A phone that shares many of the same attributes that made us all dislike the iPhone has no business being # 2 on this list. No removable storage, no LTE/VZW, no removable battery, glass back, out of stock, and terrible ordering experience to boot…

    • Those weren’t main reasons though. Nexii have always had sealed storage and no LTE but for the Gnex. And getting LTE on the nexus came with the laundry list of Verizon screwups with it. Not worth it. But it keeps the core of what Android fans love. And manages to do it at a significantly lower price

      • James

        A lower price doesn’t mean diddly if you can’t get your hands on one to begin with.

        • all you said was that the phone shouldn’t be number 2. The list is judged merely on the merits of each phone. Not on how easy they are to be ordered.

          • James

            If you notice, my reply was to a sub-topic that specifically mentioned price.

          • Fair enough. But in a perfect world, if you had each phone on this list, where would you have the Nexus?

    • The main reason why we dislike iPhone is iOS. Otherwise it’s a great piece of hardware.
      The main reason we we like Nexus 4 is the fact that it’s a Nexus. Oh, and it’s priced right too.

      • James

        When it had a glass back and no LTE it was not considered by many to be a “great piece of hardware”… and plenty android lovers were still critical of the fact that it had no removable storage or battery. Short memories abound it seems now that the New Nexus has nothing much going for it except vanilla android, faster update schedule, and the price tag.

        • Yes, I think all of the above pretty much summarizes that Nexus stands for. It doesn’t have to the the absolute king of specs (remember Nexus S?). And I’m fine with that.

        • Dain Laguna

          all of those are phenomenal reasons to get a nexus. just sayin. even as an android fan, to this day, i still think the iphone 4/4s is a great piece of hardware. other android fans may be critical of the hardware, but i never way. the software is what made me tired of it.

    • Zero0

      If it’s worth anything…

      An LTE-less iPhone 4S could theoretically pull a max speed of 21Mbps off of AT&T’s HSPA+ network. 3G speeds on Verizon and Sprint (quite bad), and slightly-better-than-dial-up speed 2G on T-Mobile.

      An LTE-less Nexus 4 can theoretically hit 42Mbps on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network, as well as use AT&T’s HSPA+ network. In a lot of highly populated markets, the Nexus 4 would theoretically get twice the iPhone 4S’ data speed.

      Not to mention that the non-removable battery approaches twice the iPhone 4S’ battery size. Granted, battery life isn’t much better (though I suspect custom kernels and ROMs will break this open in the near future — there is evidence that 4.2.1 is inefficient, and an underclock should save some more battery).

      • Diablo81588

        Theoretical speed is useless. LTE can theoretically hit 100mbps. Do we ever see it? No. Also, since when is 2100 twice the size of 1440?

  • CAlvarado

    Where’s the Evo 4G LTE?

  • Bewara2009

    Long live my Note 2…

    • BHDave10

      Yes sir. It is better than the GS3. By far the best phone on the market. Kellen only hates on it because he thinks it’s too big.

      • Sobr0801

        it is too big. 🙂

      • cooksta32676

        Mine is smoking my friends’ Razr MaXX battery life every day.

      • norcalandrew

        Is the reception on the Note II better? Reception on my Verizon GSIII is horrible…

        • Lilahblossom

          I am getting the LG Intuition next because of the poor antenna on the Samsung phones. I live in a fringe area where it is important to have a good one.

        • cooksta32676

          Speed test on LTE and wifi is better than my friends Razr MaXX, just numbers though. I’ve had no issues at all.

    • Damn right, improves on the GS3 pretty much every way. Fits in all my pants pockets fine….Love it.

  • john

    motorola rocks all the way. If there isn’t juice you have no capabilities

  • Droidzilla

    One other thing the Nexus 4 is doing: taking on Verizon’s stranglehold on devices. If enough people leave Verizon, maybe they’ll start to be less draconian. Either way, loving my $30 plan on my Nexus 4! Speeds are just as fast as what I got on Verizon LTE, too.

    • What network are you with?

      • Droidzilla

        I’m on T-Mobile, and my wife (also with a Nexus 4) is on AT&T. She can’t do speed tests, but empirically her phone is just as fast to load web pages and such. We both came from LTE Droid RAZRs; got great speeds on them, too. Used to get ~15-20Mbps on Verizon LTE, but that dropped when the iPhone s was released. I then got ~8-15Mbps, which is what I get on T-Mobile HSPA+. Though I do get well over 20Mbps on T-Mobile in some parts of the city.

        • Too bad in upstate ny,T-mobile just as bad as sprint unless your in cities like Rochester or Syracause

          • Droidzilla

            How’s AT&T’s HSPA+ network where you are? Straight Talk has unlimited everything (though I think they’ll throttle you over something like 3GB) for $45/month off contract.

          • its better than sprint and t-mobile, but if you go in some of the farm areas you lose signal alot, and in some buildings,kinda wish t-mobile would build up their network more, cause i always liked them

          • Droidzilla

            One thing I will never dispute: Verizon has the best network in the US. Period.

          • That’s what I have hear in Athens, GA. I love it!

    • I don’t think Nexus 4 itself will set a dent in Verizon customer base. However, I hope it’s setting the right trend and in some time we’ll have more reasonably priced off-contract phones.

  • David W. Astor

    maybe further down in the list…
    VZW: Intuition
    Sprint: Evo 4G LTE, Photon Q 4G LTE
    ATT: Note (1), Xperia ion, Atrix HD, Xperia TL, One X+
    TMo: ….

    • JosephMoreno

      The intuition should be nowhere near the list.

      • David W. Astor

        I don’t like it either, but you tried it in the store? Works well with apps that you do reading on, and was just as fast as the S3 I had at the time. They sold about a million of these, or was it for the Vu? Either way, blogs ragged the Note too last year, and now look at the Note 2 at #3.

  • BrianLipp

    Whats your 2012 Device of 2011?

  • If the Nexus 4 has LTE, does it move to #1?

    • Tough call there, but maybe. Really hard to argue against the success of the GS3 though. I see that phone as much as I do iPhones.

      • nwd1911

        Have you been to LA lately? It is an Android fan’s worst nightmare, lol. I was looking for all the GS3s, but all I saw was shiny new iPhone 5s.

        • Thats like in nyc mainly iphones, but come upstate a lot of android phones

      • andrew galvin

        but the GS3 was released 6 months or so ago? The nexus 4 has been basically sold out since launch. It could (in theory) outsell the GS3 eventually. I think you should base your review on the merits of each phone and not the units sold to date because that is an unfair comparison. If the nexus 4 had LTE i dont think there would be any competition. Glass back is not a good enough reason to put it below the S3. I actually like the glass.

        • Diablo81588

          It sold out because of lack of supply, not because of popularity.

        • chris125

          But how many did they have in stock? S3 sold over what like 30 million in a month or so? Doubt the nexus sells anywhere near this especially not being on a carrier other than tmo. Most buy phones from carrier stores so that will take away some potential sales

          • andrew galvin

            even if the s3 sold better who cares?… that doesnt mean it is a better phone. if the thunderbolt was the best selling phone of all time it would still be an objective piece of crap. Sales have a lot to do with carreir availability, marketing campaigns and having the reps in store push it. if the next got that treatment it would sell a lot better. still a better phone

          • chris125

            If that was the case the galaxy nexus should have been the beast seller on the carriers and we all know it wasn’t. Just because its a nexus doesn’t really mean as much anymore, only to the techie nerd crowd. Otherwise there would have been a nexus on more carriers than tmo. Update fiasco or not

          • andrew galvin

            wrong. the g nexus got minimal add campaign as VZW was pushing the droid line heavily at the time. THAT phone was also a psuedo nexus due to VZW and sprint. The nexus 4 has top specs besides LTE and storage and is a TRUE nexus since it is unlocked. If google took the time to push this phone and spent the same amount of $ as samsung did to promote the S3 and explained the benefit of the nexus it would be a lot better seller.

  • mike mcginnis

    I agree for the most part I just think the maxx HD should have been higher on the list

  • Iphone 5, that fifth row of icons blew me away.

    • legend618

      don’t forget panorama mode..revolutionary

      • LionStone

        … and Do Not Disturb mode, hehe 🙂

        • uzo ufondu

          …and the noise canceling microphone…can’t forget that

      • Peemee

        and noise cancelling!

        This changes nothing, again!

        • bleeew

          they had it since the iPhone 4. In the iPhone 4, the canceling mic is at the top where the ear jacks are at.

      • hot_spare

        You forgot headphone jack?

    • Jonbo298

      and the headphone jack is on the bottom.

      • a.youth.in.Asia

        Mind. Blown.

      • jsf6262

        Honestly…I would love to have a headphone jack on the bottom. There is no argument to be made for a headphone jack on the top. It makes no sense.

        • geocab

          Mine is on the bottom and very convenient for connecting to the AUX input on my car radio.

      • Guest


    • Alexander Garcia

      4″ displays are the future!!! REVOLUTIONARY!!!

    • bleeew

      ALL yall are biased on Apple, while on an Apple forum they don’t care if you like android, and they are nice, and can agree to Google a lot of times. People are uncivilized on the android side.

      • angermeans

        I have to say I agree. I don’t know why people can’t just be fans of tech and not be bias on a phone they’ve never even tried. We all need competition and Android would not be even as close to where it is today without the iPhone and iOS.

        • TomTom_T

          Hate to burst your bubble but I dumped my Droid Incredible to get an iPhone 4s. Didn’t even have the phone for a week and hated it. I prefer android os simply because more can be done on it versus an iPhone. I had such a hard time even trying to just navigate somewhere, Siri hardly ever understood a word I said and the phone was not very fast. I will admit however that the iPhone has fantastic battery life and the camera is far better than any other camera on an android based phone. But overall, despite some hardware advantages, Android is the better phone by far. Once you start crunching the numbers, its quite amazing just how much of your money actually goes to Apple even over the course of just a year. Love my galaxy nexus and will hopefully soon own the HTC Droid DNA. So do not assume that all of us have not tried the iPhone. Many of us have owned iPhones and have switched. With iPhone, I really felt that I was not getting what I was paying for despite the nice feel and the pretty looks.

      • Altechi

        I’ve seen otherwise, especially in regards to Samsung. Apple blogs and especially their comments are just as bad.

    • angermeans

      Make jokes, but even the current gen of processors are easily bested by the A6. Not to mention it has the best camera of any phone, by far the best apps, and easily the best build quality. If Samsung is going to copy Apple they ought to try and make some good hardware. I hated the feel of my GS3 and the Note 2 follows suit. I prefer Android over iOS, but I’m not going to sit back and think that the iPhone 5 isn’t still one of the best phones on the market and will be for months to come.

  • Robert MacDonald

    Yes Sir

  • Mine;

    1. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (due to features, screen and screen size (personal preference), and the sheer amount of features make other phone just look like.. a phone) (Especially good with a Stock Android ROM or the ‘Bean’ ROM, AOSP look but keeps all the TouchWiz features)
    2. Samsung Galaxy S III
    3. LG Nexus 4 (had it LTE and wasn’t all glass, this phone would be first or second as I currently have the G Nex, but getting the Note 2 next week)
    4. HTC Droid DNA – Even though I hate Sense
    5. HTC One X
    6. RAZR Maxx HD
    7-10. Haven’t really cared about any of the other phones.

    • Once you get past the top 5 or 6, it’s tough to round out the rest, I’m with ya.

  • The Galaxy S3 should probably come with a disclaimer that says “only when not using touchwiz”.

    • Agreed. Touchwiz is awful.

      • I don’t mind it, but its not like its hard to get rid of it. I’ve done it several times trying out different roms, but I always go back to stock.

      • billy routh

        Touch wiz is better than sense or motos ui.

        • Droidzilla

          Moto’s UI is all but non-existent, now. Gone are the days of cartoony, intrusive Blur.

          • TynanDeRosa

            Touchwiz on the Note 2 is fairly impressive, I prefer it over AOSP AOKP or CM I ran on my Rezound.

          • Droidzilla

            I played with a Note II in a T-Mo store and have to say I was very impressed. If not for the unlocked price of the Nexus 4, I would have highly considered it.

          • TynanDeRosa

            I’m using the Verizon variant, some things are annoying- like Google Wallet cockblock, but all in all, it’s far better than any sense or touchwiz rom I used. God Touchwiz on my Droid 2 Global was about as good as herpes.

          • Droidzilla

            You purposely loaded Touchwiz on your Droid 2?! You’re a monster!

          • TynanDeRosa

            Whoops, meant Blur. But yes, Touchwiz on my friend’s Galaxy S was just as bad. Though let’s be honest, GB in general sucked horribly when compared to 4.x anything.

          • moelsen8

            D2g was a moto phone…?

          • LionStone

            I felt your pain… finally upgraded my girls D2G > Inc4g… such a relief, she was on her third one! Come on its Christmas, get her a new phone! 🙂

          • moelsen8

            her upgrade’s [finally] in late february, so we’re waiting for that. unfortunately, i’m not able to convince her to leave vzw and go with an N4 on straight talk like i just did.

          • cooksta32676

            I have almost no reason to root mine. It’s mad fast, battery is unreal, has lots of developer options, and allows non market apps to be installed out of the box.

          • It has been massively scaled down but you can’t tell me those icons aren’t still cartoony lol

          • Droidzilla

            OK, fair point.

        • LionStone

          Hehe…um, no.

        • Kevin McDole

          Not Sense.

        • I guess it’s really a matter of opinion on Android skins but I couldn’t agree more with you. I don’t get all the Touchwiz haters who say Sense is so much better and basically imply that you’re stupid if you think otherwise. Because I fail to see ANY area where Sense brings improvement to Android

    • andrew galvin

      this x 100000. How can you recommend the s3 over the nexus 4 knowing that it comes stock with touchwiz and an older version of the base OS?

      • depends on the user. Your average user will appreciate LTE speeds, the better camera, expandable memory, removable battery, and tons of features without rooting. I personally can live without all that for the incredible pricing, powerful specs, overall attractiveness of the phone, and a preference for LCD displays. Not saying the GS3 is better than the Nexus 4 (it’s not. I do think the Note 2 is however) but I can see why it ranks #1

        • andrew galvin

          i think saying the galaxy s3’s camera is better is kind of subjective since both are 8mp and are great. LTE and storage are surely a factor but id trade LTE for the latest OS any day since i am on wifi most of the time at work and home. The note 2 is a monstrosity and has the same flaws as the s3.

          • Good point. And normally I’d agree with you. But it seems there have been flaws with this latest version of Android. And the features (apart from photosphere) aren’t really great enough on their own to validate the lag, force closes, and 2-5 mbps data speeds (in my area anyway). So in this case, I don’t think I’d trade LTE and storage for 4.2 just to be “cutting edge” I personally think the Note 2 isn’t too bad sizewise but I know a toooon of people who disagree. But taking away the size, isn’t the Note 2 the closest thing we have to a perfect phone? It isn’t stock Android but every fault the Nexus 4 has is where the Note 2 shines. (basically those reasons i listed before) and for it’s aesthetic flaws and overall clutter, Touchwiz is a feature rich as any custom ROM. It has its flaws yes but the list is definitely shorter than the GS3 and Nexus

          • andrew galvin

            It is definitely subjective. I don’t agree that 4.2 is buggy or laggy. nothing force closes and my download speeds and actually really good. in fact, on my N4 4.2 is the smoothest android experience i have seen to date (yes smoother than the GS3). 4.2 added group mms which was a HUGE feature for me and removes the burden of having to use handcent or another third party app for texting which all have horrible UI’s.

            but aside from that i just cannot stand the UI of touchwiz. Google worked really hard to have a consistent holo theme and feel in stock android. touchwiz reskinned a lot of the menus and apps to a high color contrast fugly UI (look at the notification shade or messaging app). Sure there are features added but it looks like a beta of gingerbead in my opinion. Not to mention the phyiscal home button and app settings hidden by the menu button. I had an s3 for awhile and used nova launcher and it was a great phone. however if it was a gs3 nexus it would be even better.

            agree to disagree

    • @9e66d161daeccef81687c8ed2eafa4c9:disqus @8889263b5e8426bb903c6769d7c492b5:disqus Can you guys elaborate? I don’t really understand all the Touchwiz hate

      • fixxmyhead

        fanboys trying to look ‘pro’
        your not cool unless your rocking cm10 or some other stock rom

        • haha well i’m on CM 10.1 but its not to be cool or cutting edge. I was just hoping it could speed up my gnex. In that respect it was a total success 😀

        • Dain Laguna

          thats totally not true. some people prefer stock android. i dont care what benchmarks say, the user experience on the nexus4 blows away the s3 and the note. lte notwithstanding.

  • LOOOOOVEEE my DNA! with Automateit of course! lol

  • Timothy McGovern

    Where is the iphone 5?

    • It doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a top 10 list.

    • ricardo

      I hope you are being funny.

    • Rich Wentz

      Last time I checked, the title is “Android” phones. Learn to read.

      • Justin W

        Don’t forget – Apple keeps taking Android features and calling them theirs, so it won’t be long before they take Android and call it theirs.

        • JRomeo

          LOL, you’re right.

        • Jonathan Williams


      • Timothy McGovern

        You’re right. Good observation!

    • Sam’s Son

      I don’t know if you’re joking, but in case you aren’t, the Iphone isn’t an android phone last I checked.

    • Apple doesn’t have a top 10 list of anything worth noting.

    • RoadsterHD1

      LOL 🙂

    • EvanTheGamer

      On a railroad track waiting for a train to arrive. NEXT STOP for the iPhone 5: HADES – Hope you enjoy an everlasting life of hell and brimstone.

    • On top of being not really that innovative (even for an iPhone), still having what I’d consider a tiny screen, and an OS that 1. buggy as hell, and 2. starting to look pretty outdated, even if this list included non-Android phones, it doesn’t belong anywhere near the top 10…probably not top 20.

  • Jim McClain

    cant wait to see what’s coming in the next year, smart phone tech is growing so fast

    • JRomeo

      the Motorola Nexus Maxx is coming out next year

      • That would be great, only it won’t be on Verizon.

        • Justin W

          Hopefully Google can work some magic like Apple and get it on every carrier with the ability to update it when they want. But it has to be a Motorola Nexus. Razr thin, with a Maxx battery, priced at… I would say $299-$349 with 16/32 GB memory.

          • Captain_Doug

            With an A15 processor, microsdxc slot, wireless charging, and (IMO) an LCD screen.

          • Justin Swanson

            it will never have a mircosdxc slot. Maybe the MotoBranded variant will but not the Nexus variant.

          • Captain_Doug

            Just let me dream alright?

          • bionicwaffle

            +1 on the LCD!!! Please people, quit asking for OLED displays!!! It doesn’t matter if it’s PenTile, Super Active Matrix, Advanced, or Plus. LCD gives a brighter display at a given power usage, period!!!
            I’m all for the A15 as well. It sounds like they are coming. At least Krait is close.

          • Captain_Doug

            It probably won’t have an A15 though. It’s rumored to be an S4

          • Hmm yes and call it…the Motorola RAZR N. Boom.

      • No it wont. Stop lying to yourself.

        • Capt. Crunch

          We can only hope…

        • Mack

          But…I want it.

          • I don’t everything Moto is terrible except battery life. I will sacrifice battery for a overall nicer phone.

          • Eric

            And radio. For those of us who live in a rural area, radio quality is important. My old-ass Droid X gets consistently better reception than my wife’s SGS3. Yes, I know I’m in that minority of people who still talk on their phone.

          • bionicwaffle

            Strong arguments could be made that Moto always has great radio’s and GPS as well as the best build quality. I like the fact that they use a real MicroHDMI port and give you a card slot. The waterproof nano-coating is something all companies should be doing but only Sony is besides Moto I think. The Maxx HD should have at least had 2GB of RAM if not a quad-core processor but I still love mine. Moto does need to start using BSI cameras. Samsung has so much customization on their phones look at how long it took the GS3 to get 4.1. Moto really isn’t all bad.

      • I want a htc nexus

        • Robert L

          in that case get a nexus one.

          • You have to admit htc make great hardware, i think the next nexus should be between moto and htc

          • LionStone

            Got my vote…

          • Sloan Marion

            I want a *current* htc nexus

          • DanWazz

            I’d go for a Nexus One X+ with the 1080p screen

      • RoadsterHD1

        With Snap Dragon pro-4 Quad-core and 2 gig of ram. 1080p display. 3500mHA battery

        • JRomeo

          or maybe even one of the upcoming Tegra4 processors !

    • legend618

      next “thing” should be battery life

      • bionicwaffle

        There is some new transceiver tech that should greatly improve battery. Radio’s take a large chunk of battery power so I’m looking forward to seeing how much of a difference it makes in the real world. At least Qualcomm made a huge first step on that front with the S4 plus chipset.