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The smartphone market is heating up once again as Microsoft and Nokia finally have a hero device out to push the Windows Phone platform, and it's priced quite competitively to boot. Also a handful of Android devices announced back in CES and MWC are finally seeing the light of day.
In the near term, the U.S. smartphone market is shaping up to become a three horse race. The iPhone is topping sales charts on every carrier it's available from, quite an accomplishment considering it does have some formidable competition. Android devices from Samsung and Motorola are selling well -- especially the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, and Razr -- while the Lumia 710 briefly broke into the top three at T-Mobile. Nokia is hoping to repeat that feat with the Lumia 900 on AT&T. BlackBerry devices have failed to impress lately, so you'll note they are all but absent on this update.
Without further ado, check out our selection of the hottest devices currently out there (or those that are a short few weeks away from release). Each phone is listed alongside its feature highlights, specs and prices, from newest to oldest. To further aid you in making well-informed decisions on your next purchase, we've also added metascores from our Product Finder along with links to reviews besides each phone.
The HTC One X runs Android 4 OS with the new Sense 4 user interface and the phone's powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, which has 4 processing cores that can run at speeds of up to 1.5GHz. On the front face of the phone is the secondary 1.3 megapixel camera for video chatting, which supports the primary 8 megapixel camera, with LED flash. It measures 134.5mm x 70.8mm (5.3in x 2.8in) and weight only 134g (4.7oz).
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The Nokia Lumia 900 is 11.4mm thickness and weight 159g, in the front you can find the 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display and in the back the 8 megapixel camera and its LED flash. Since there are no seams or doors there is no way to access the 1830mAh battery or increase the phone's 16GB internal storage with a microSD card.
The Galaxy Nexus by Samsung is the first device to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It also gets a larger battery and a super high-resolution display. It features a subtly curved front glass panel that protects the 720p resolution (720 x 1280) Super AMOLED HD touchscreen display.
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