5 great Android phones to get this holiday season

There’s no question that the abundance of Android smartphones can lead to a whole lot of confusion. While iPhone users have a very limited selection of devices to choose from, Android users have much more choice. From varying prices, displays, internal hardware and even software features, almost no two Android smartphones are alike. Wireless carriers Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all offer a wide range of smartphones to choose from, but the phones you’re interested in might not be sold in stores. That’s why we’ve helped you narrow down the crowd to five great choices.

Here they are:

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL – Google and Verizon

google-pixel-blue

Many Android enthusiasts are already crowning the Google Pixel and Pixel XL the best Android smartphone of 2016. It’s hard to argue with their logic.

Specs:

  • Processor: Snapdragon 821
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Memory: 32GB or 128GB
  • Display: 5.0″ or 5.5″ AMOLED
  • Build: Metal and glass, by HTC
  • Camera: 12.3 MP, f/2.0, EIS (gyro), phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • Battery: 2770mAh or 3450mAh

It has one of the best cameras on any device you can get your hands on. Similar to the iPhone, the Pixel is even offered in two sizes with almost identical specs. The smaller Pixel does have less dense pixel density, but still looks beautiful since the size is 5.0″ vs the larger 5.5″ sibling. What makes the Pixel great is it comes fully unlocked and can be used on any network, including Google’s own Project Fi. If you’re a typical consumer who uses 2.0GB of data per month or less, you can save big by dumping your major carrier in favor of Project Fi where you will pay no more than $40 a month. If you go over your allotted amount, you simply pay an additional $10 per GB of data, and any unused portion will be refunded to your bank account.

The only drawback to the Pixel and Pixel XL is the sky high price starting at $649 and $769. However if price isn’t a concern, it’s hard to argue calling these devices the best of 2016.

OnePlus 3T – OnePlus

OnePlus 3T

What makes Android beautiful is choice. There’s an abundance of Android smartphones to choose from in all price ranges. One of the ultra-powerful devices at a mid-range price to get is the OnePlus 3T. It’s an updated version of the OnePlus 3 which was released earlier this year. Starting at $439 and fully unlocked, there are very few things to like about this device minus the fact that it can only be used on GSM networks in the US. Sorry Sprint and Verizon customers.

Specs:

  • Processor: Snapdragon 821
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Memory: 64GB or 128GB
  • Display: 5.5″ AMOLED 1080p
  • Build: All metal
  • Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash
  • Battery 3400mAh

LeEco Pro3 – LeMall

Le Pro3 in Gold and Silver.
Le Pro3 in Gold and Silver.

Like the OnePlus 3T, the LeEco Le Pro3 is an unlocked Android phone with flagship specs at a mid-range price. With an all metal build, ultra-fast processor, gorgeous display and massive battery, this is one compelling phone from a brand new competitor in the US. I recently reviewed this device and think its a steal at $299 when it goes on sale during LeEco’s flash sales.

Specs:

  • 5.5″ FHD 1080p display with 403 ppi
  • Processor – Snapdragon 821
  • Memory – 64GB/128GB (not expandable)
  • RAM – 4GB or 6GB
  • GSM Network compatible (not for Verizon and Sprint customers)
  • Software – Android 6.0 Marshmallow with EUI
  • Rear camera – 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash

The major downside to the Le Pro3 is its limited network capability to GSM networks. Consider this though, if you were to grab this phone for $299, you could get unlimited data through Cricket Wireless for $50 a month for a total cost of $900 for one year. That’s less than the cost of an iPhone 7 Plus or Google Pixel XL alone.

Moto Z – Motorola, VerizonAmazon

moto_z_mods_1474361946464

The Moto Z is easily one of the best Android smartphones of 2016. It was released exclusively to Verizon this summer, however it is now fully available to purchase unlocked on GSM networks. This limited launch may have hurt its popularity as it is an ultra powerful smartphone and integrates modules better than anyone else. If you want more power, simply stick on a magnetic power pack from Incipio. Want better sound? Attach the JBL portable 2 channel speaker for sound that no other smartphone can match. For those of you who want a better camera – simply attach the Hasselblad True Zoom. This phone has everything you want and more.

Specs:

  • Processor: Snapdragon 821
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Memory: 64GB or 128GB
  • Display: 5.5″ AMOLED 1080p
  • Build: All metal
  • Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, OIS, LED flash
  • Battery 3400mAh

LG V20 – LG, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile

lg-v20-vs

The LG V20 is one of the most versatile Android smartphones on the market today. Not only does it already run Android Nougat 7.0, but it is one of the remaining flagships that still has a replaceable battery. That might not be a big deal to most, but for those of you who consume tons of media, a replaceable battery is a necessity. The V20 is also one a few phones that offers true Hi-Fi playback with its 24-bit DAC. It also has a dual camera setup for taking superior images and videos. It’s available to use on all major networks in the US as well.

Specs:

  • Processor: Snapdragon 820
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Memory: 32GB or 64GB
  • Display: 5.7″ IPS 2k display. Also has a secondary display at the top for notifications and apps.
  • Build: All metal
  • Camera: Dual 16 MP (29mm, f/1.8) + 8 MP (12mm, f/2.4), laser autofocus, OIS, LED flash
  • Battery 3200mAh

Other notable Androids for 2016:

 

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: