Today’s Best Smartphones (December 2011)


Since this article was first written, an updated version has been posted here. Check it out. A lot has changed.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past six months looking for a new smartphone. It hasn’t been an easy process because there are so many great phones available today. To make it possible to compare specs, I made the following chart:

 

Apple iPhone 4S

HTC Rezound

HTC Vivid

LG Nitro HD

Motorola Droid RAZR

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket

Processor

800MHz dual-core

1.5 GHz dual-core

1.2 GHz dual-core

1.5 GHz dual-core

1.2 GHz dual-core

1.2 GHz dual-core

1.5 GHz dual-core

RAM

512MB

1GB

1GB

1GB

1GB

1GB

1GB

Storage

16-64GB

16GB

16GB

16GB

16GB

32GB

16GB

Screen

3.5”

4.3”

4.5”

4.5”

4.3”

4.65”

4.5”

Resolution

960×640

1280×720

960×540

1280×720

960×540

1280×720

800×480

Pixel density

326 ppi

342 ppi

245 ppi

 329 ppi

256 ppi

316 ppi

207 ppi

Rear cam

8MP

8MP

8MP

8MP

8MP

5MP

8MP

Front cam

0.3MP

2MP

1.3MP

1.3MP

1.3MP

1.3MP

2MP

Video

1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

 1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

1080p @ 30fps

Network

HSPA

LTE

LTE HSPA+

LTE HSPA+

LTE

LTE

LTE/HSPA+

Dual-band

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Bluetooth

4.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

4.0

3.0

3.0

NFC

No

No

No

 No

No

Yes

 Yes

Thickness

9.3mm

 13.65mm

11.2mm

10.4mm

7.1mm

9.47mm

9.40mm

Weight

140g

170g

177g

128 g

127g

150g

132g

Battery

1420 mAh

 1620 mAh

1620 mAh

1830 mAh

1780 mAh

1850 mAh

1850 mAh

Operating System

iOS 5.0

Android 2.3.4

Android 2.3.5

Android 2.3.5

Android 2.3.5

Android 4.0.2

Android 2.3.4

Carrier(s)

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint

Verizon

AT&T

AT&T

Verizon

Verizon

AT&T

I suggest you start by deciding what matters the most to you.

  • Are you an Apple fan that has just got to have an iPhone?
  • Are you dying to get a phone that supports LTE for fastest possible data speeds?
  • Are you looking for the largest display, or the thinnest phone?

You get the idea. This chart should help you to narrow your decision down.

I should mention that I cut two phones from the chart due to space restrictions. I debated including a second chart, but decided against it because the specs of both of these phones, while good, are not as good as the other phones here. In case you’re wondering, the phones I cut were the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Titan (a Windows Phone). There were also several other great phones I omitted because they are not yet available in the U.S. including the HTC Sensation XL, Samsung Galaxy Note and Samsung Galaxy S II HD LTE. Watch for the Galaxy Note to cross the pond next year.

Since great new smartphones are coming out every month, I’ll be posting frequent updates to this chart. Expect to see the first one after I return from CES in 2012.

If you think I missed a phone that should be here, let me know. Thanks.

– Rick

Note: An update to this article was recently published here.

Copyright 2011 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.

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About Rick E. Schwartz
Rick Schwartz is blogger from San Diego. You can learn more about Rick by clicking on the "About" tab at the top of mostly-tech.com.

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