Welcome to the best Android Phones as of Feb. 1, 2012. Or you can call them our favorite Android phones. Or the top Android phones. Really, call them whatever you want. Here's what you're getting: Our unabashed, unapologetic and unequivocal list of what we consider to be the best Android smartphones available on the four major U.S. carriers today.
You can't have this sort of list without controversy. We get that. And discussion is good. And so we're just going to anwer the question as simply as we can here: What do we think is the best phone on any given U.S. carrier as of right now? They're all in this post. No metrics, no scores. Just our pics and a tad of explanation, with the goal of helping you find the best phone on a particular carrier at any given time.
The best phone on T-Mobile - Samsung Galaxy S II
It's really a toss-up between the Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Amaze 4G. Both are excellent phones, with large screens and fast data and great cameras. But we're giving the edge to the Galaxy S II because its camera software is a bit more mature and easy to use.
Worth a look: HTC Amaze 4G.
The best phone on Verizon - Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Verizon has more Android phones than anyone. (Or at least it sure feels that way.) And while you've got excellent phones in the likes of the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX and HTC Rezound, none offers as much flexibility and is ensured to have more timely updates than the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The Droid RAZR MAXX is close -- but the 720p display on the Galaxy Nexus trumps it. The HTC Rezound matches the display resolution, however, so it's a good alternative.
The HTC Vivid offers up a solid design and gives you that well-built feeling without sacrificing any speed. Its snappy dual-core processor and large display are a joy to use, and it's a great multi-media powerhouse. Add in AT&T's blossoming LTE network and you have what it takes to make a winner.
Worth a look: Samsung Galaxy S II. Coming soon: Samsung Galaxy Note (2/19/12)
The best phone on Sprint - Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch
A great phone with a ridiculously long name. The SGSIIE4GT takes everything we've come to know and love from Samsung's 2011 flagship phone and wraps it in a 4.5-inch form factor. Plus it's got Sprint's 4G Wimax data.
Worth a look: HTC Design 4G. Coming soon: Samsung Galaxy Nexus (date unknown)
Fitness apps and wearables are great, as long as you aren't in a wheelchair
Plenty of people with mobility issues want to buy fitness-based wearables, myself included. Right now they shouldn't because it seems like no company wants their money bad enough to work for it.
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People into rooting and modding should check out these Android phones
If you're looking ahead and know you'll want to change something on your next phone that requires custom software or root access, these phones are the best options.