Smartphone Buying Guide: First Half of 2011

By on February 18, 2011, 3:25 AM
The year kicked off with two major events in the technology world -- CES in Las Vegas and MWC in Barcelona -- playing host to the launch of numerous tablets and smartphones. And if there's anything that was made abundantly clear at the multiple stages where products were unveiled is that Android has taken the mobile world by storm.

Almost every significant device launched in the last two months or so is powered by Google's platform, which last year managed to leap past iOS in terms of total users. But there's also stuff going on elsewhere!

To help you navigate through the sea of new smartphones getting released week in and week out we've put together a selection with what we consider are the hottest devices out there. They are listed alongside their respective specs, price, and features from newest to oldest. Many devices listed here are not yet available but will be in a relatively short timespan. We hope this will help you narrow down your purchase, and as usual your feedback is always welcome.

  • Late Q1 and Beyond :: HP Pre 3 LG Optimus 3D Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Sony Ericsson Xperia Play HTC 7 Pro Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Q1 2011: Now Available :: HTC Thunderbolt Samsung Galaxy S 4G Motorola Atrix 4G HTC Inspire 4G Motorola Cliq 2 HTC Evo Shift 4G
  • Great 2010 Smartphones :: Samsung Nexus S Samsung Focus T-Mobile G2 BlackBerry Torch 9800 Motorola Droid 2 Global Apple iPhone 4




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

I dont see ZTE Blade in there. This guide is biased o.O

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Nice work, got me up to speed on these things

I would love the Samsung Galaxy S II but I think I will have to skip it, hope the Samsung Galaxy S III looks just as impressive.

princeton princeton said:

I just got my Galaxy S back in december so I'll be waiting a while. Want to do a PC upgrade and then get a new phone later.

Stonos said:

We non-Americans, thank you for including what network each phone supports instead of just a carrier name!

Arris Arris said:

I've read that the LG Optimus x2 is due out in UK in March. This is going to be the first Dual Core phone (think its 2 x 1.2Ghz) on the market (or the Atrix, hadn't seen it's release date, 22 Feb would mean it would be first). To be honest I'm more interested in this model (also my 2 year contract runs out in March so it's convenient ) than the 3D one you have listed in the article. The few videos I've seen show this thing running 3d graphics helped by Nvidia Tegra2 dual core and it looks like it's going to be a serious piece of hardware, most likely my next phone.

princeton princeton said:

Arris said:

I've read that the LG Optimus x2 is due out in UK in March. This is going to be the first Dual Core phone (think its 2 x 1.2Ghz) on the market (or the Atrix, hadn't seen it's release date, 22 Feb would mean it would be first). To be honest I'm more interested in this model (also my 2 year contract runs out in March so it's convenient ) than the 3D one you have listed in the article. The few videos I've seen show this thing running 3d graphics helped by Nvidia Tegra2 dual core and it looks like it's going to be a serious piece of hardware, most likely my next phone.

It's actually 2 x 1ghz. It's a tegra 2.

Arris Arris said:

Princeton said:

It's actually 2 x 1ghz. It's a tegra 2.

Yeah, same as the Moto Atrix. I'll probably be chomping at the bit to get a new phone (windows mobile 6.1 for 2 years ) and grab the first one that comes out. I think it was another dual core mobile chip that was coming out with 2 x 1.2Ghz, can't remember if it was a Qualcomm or other.

princeton princeton said:

Arris said:

Princeton said:

It's actually 2 x 1ghz. It's a tegra 2.

Yeah, same as the Moto Atrix. I'll probably be chomping at the bit to get a new phone (windows mobile 6.1 for 2 years ) and grab the first one that comes out. I think it was another dual core mobile chip that was coming out with 2 x 1.2Ghz, can't remember if it was a Qualcomm or other.

Yah, probably another crapdragon chip. I'd love an HTC phone but qualcomm hardware is garbage.

Tedster Tedster, Techspot old timer....., said:

Can I get a real Qwerty phone with android and REAL send/end buttons for verizon? LG The ally would have been it except it is too slow and buggy!

Guest said:

What about the dried bionic? That's dual core as well?

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

What about the dried bionic? That's dual core as well?

You need to spell check and proofread your posts. The Droid Bionic has a dual core CPU but there's no purpose because any application requiring that much power will require the phone to have more then 512mb of total memory.

Buyers aren't going to be grabbing moto phones this year. Their flagship device, the atrix, runs motoblur. It turns a beast of a phone into a device that will most likely be slower then the Nexus one because the UI is sluggish and poorly coded.

I'm honestly looking at an iphone for my HUG. It has guaranteed updates and although it has slower hardware then most devices it runs slick as hell. Coming from an anti apple advocate like me that shows how bad android fragmentation has become.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Just so you don't fall prey to bad assumptions:

Domestic (USA) phones are 99% locked to a specific carrier which gravely restricts your ability to swap carriers at any disconntinuance price.

Europe is devoted to GSM while the service providers domestically are mixed GSM and CDMA.

The new iPhone for Verizon is a) locked to verizon and b) is CDMA which says the Verizon iPhone can not be used on the AT&T network nor in Europe.

A World Phone is delivered unlocked and runs on GSM - - swap the SIM card and away you go.

A Domestic GSM phone can be used in Europe (provided it has all four radio bands) but you get hit with roaming charges

see also matrix of technology vs providers

Guest said:

Really, no spot for any of HTC's Desires there?

Not really that important, but you'd think HTC's flagship handset would get a spot.

Guest said:

Htc Hd2 ftw xD Not buying a new phone since HD2 runs all OS ^^

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