The android platform is exploding onto the scene in a big way, and all current growth metrics suggest we're only beginning to see the potential of Apple's new rival. Just how quickly is android usage growing amongst consumers? Millenia Media is an advertising company that tracks the usage of android phones where its ads are served. Last year alone, the android platform saw an increase of just over 3000%. Yes, 3000%. The powerful combination of android software and the tireless efforts on the part of all interested manufacturers to produce the best android phone is creating an absolute firestorm in the smartphone and app markets. While this is generally good news for android phone buyers, because relentless innovation will drive the phones' power up and prices down, it can nevertheless be quite a daunting task to sort through innumerable offerings in search of the best android phone. Luckily, I have already done the work for you!
The Best Android Phone is Motorola's Droid X2 Smartphone
We'll examine why in extensive detail. By way of a quick sketch, the Motorola Droid X2 is simply a beast. It features specs that were not so long ago only available on desktop computers! Seriously, when was the last time you heard of a smartphone running a dual core 1Ghz processor? Essentially, the Droid X2 is a handheld but very powerful modern computer, stuffed to the gills with multimedia capabilities, top-notch 3G and Wi-Fi abilities that not only keep you connected everywhere but also lets you use your Droid x2 as a mobile hotspot for 5 other devices, a swipe-style keyboard capable of 50 words per minute typing, and up to 40 Gigabytes of storage space, to name just a few key features.
Oh, by the way, have you ever thought about playing high definition movies stored on your cell phone directly to your television? If not, you can start thinking about it. Imagine bringing over 40 gigs of movies on your phone and plugging in directly to your friend's television set for the ultimate portable movie theater experience.
In packing the Droid X2 so full of amazing powers, Motorola has gone out of its way to deliver the ultimate in portable communication and claim the coveted title of best android phone. They are banking on a dazzling array of multimedia, social, internet and app based services to keep android phone buyers happy - at least until the next incredible generation of smartphones launches!
Let's break down the Droid X2's characteristics by category, starting with its physical properties, so as to better understand why it's being hailed everywhere as the best android phone available to date.
Motorola's Droid X2 - Physical Specifications
The droid weighs in at 5.74 ounces and is about 5 inches tall, 2 and a half inches wide, and less than half an inch thick, making it surprisingly compact and portable when you consider everything that's going on inside. You can easily and comfortably carry it in your pocket and not feel encumbered.
As anyone that has ever owned or used one of the last few generations of smartphones already knows, battery life is a major issue. When you consider that these are miniaturized computers that are nevertheless processing video, 3G and wifi tranmissions, radio-phone communications and applications on top of this, it's no wonder that smartphones are not known for their stellar battery life. Phone makers usually publish two metrics alongside one another: talk time and standby time. This variance reflects the fact that speaking on your phone drains the battery much faster than just letting your phone idle in your pocket with the screen switched off.
The motorola droid x2 does pretty well on battery time, especially compared to other frontrunners for the best android phone status. At 8 hours of talk time and 22 hours of standby time, this little robot measures up respectably against iphone competitors and other android based phones. Keep in mind that the best way to nuke your battery life down to nothing is by running multiple browers and a video heavy app at the same time. Thoughtful management of your battery life can stretch your android phone's usage time much further.
The best android phone has to be the fastest and beefiest android phone, and the motorola droid x2 definitely hits that mark. With a dual-core 1GHz processor, this android phone is the stuff of legends. What was once drool-worthy to hard code gaming geeks is now inside your phone. This processor is being touted as allowing the droid to open webpages at least 2 as quickly as similar phones. If you love browsing wherever you happen to be sitting with your android phone in hand, this is very likely the smartphone for you. This thing is designed to eat webpages in stacks and then ask for more.
What's more important than being able to see your android phone screen? Improvement upon improvement have given the best android phone a crystal clear 4.3 inch touch screen display that runs in high definition at 960x540 pixels. Initial reports streaming in from users describe a screen that is slightly richer in terms of color and clarity than the previous droid's was. This makes it ideal for watching movies on a long plane or car ride, blasting through the best free android apps, and generally being able to make out what's going on.
Touchscreen and Accelerometers
Twist and Shout
Remember how new owners marveled over the iphone's ability to sense that it was being moved and respond accordingly? The same device that enabled this functionality, the accelerometer, is found inside the best android phone, so you can get all your same tilting and twisting jollies in when playing racing games, using a virtual "level" to align something you're building, or delivering devastating combos to your friends when playing fighting apps over WiFi.
Sure, touchscreens in and of themselves have become somewhat common place in the realm of smartphones, but the best android phone features a touchscreen keyboard that is truly unique and useful. It attempts to solve the problems of previous iterations of touchscreen keyboards - clunky, slow, mistake-ridden typing that can frustrate users into making the notoriously shorthanded text messages we're all familiar with.
To address this, the best android phone has a "swype" keyboard that allows you to swipe your fingertip fluidly from one key to another, effectively chaining the letters together into a full word. Just how fast is this swype keyboard? Considering that a professional transcriptionist or court stenographer might type at 80-90 words per minute if they are really good, a topspeed of 50 word per minute for your droid x2 keyboard ain't half bad.
It ushers in a new era of mobile communication, allowing users to speak more voluminously through text than every before. Don't be surprised if your mobile facebook posts statr tending toward the verbose, or if you feel inspired to hack out a novel on your notepad android app.
The Best Android Phone has the Best Communication Features
Of course, all these specs are exciting in their own right, but what really makes the droid x2 the best android phone on the market is what it can do. From keeping you enterained on the go with high quality feature-length movies to blistering android apps and 3D games, to serving as a mobile hotspot so you can get your laptops and other devices online when you're out and about, this phone is pretty incredible. We'll start with a run-down of the best android phone's pure connectivity aspects, the features that keep you in touch and in sync wherever you are.
3G has become a standard for smartphones, with even slim-profile handhelds like blackberry curves able to take advantage of its fast download and transfer speeds and respectable coverage. The droid x2 android phone runs on Verizon's 3G network, using the EV-DO standard to deliver content quickly from app stores, websites, and mobile apps.
Think of 3G coverage as the back-up that kicks in whenever you're not at home or a library or coffee shop that can offer you faster WiFi support. Typically speaking, WiFi is going to allow for better transfer speeds, but 3G is quite respectably fast for being available in so many places. Verizon has put billions of dollars into its network in an effort to serve the majority of populous areas in the US.
For the James Bond wannabe in us all, the best android phone is equipped with the best global positioning system functionality, powered by google maps. Whether you're lost or just trying to track down the best Chinese food near you, loading up google maps will give you the opportunity to have your droid x2 zero in on your location and display the area around you. While many other smartphones have this same GPS functionality, it runs much more smoothly on the best android phone 's beefy 1Ghz dual-core processor.
Those that aren't fans of google maps can also opt to use Verizon's navigator service for similar functionality. If you do opt to use the built-in Google Maps Navigation system, you can enjoy turn-by-turn driving directions that your phone will actually speak outloud to you. You'll also get real-time traffic reports for your selected route and 360 degree views of where you're going so that you can quickly identify your destination when you get close.
This is huge. By allowing users to employ the mobile version of skype on their android phone, Motorola has essentially made it possible to make free calls. Sure, you need the phone on the other end to be running skype (or your friend to be on skype on their laptop) as well, but nevertheless this is tremendously helpful for those worried about racking up astronomical phone bills.
If your friends and family are already set up on skype, you need only call their accounts from your skype mobile app to be connected for unlimited chatting or instant messaging. Not bad!
Skype mobile also simplifies and economizes international calling. Just as you wogamesld on your computer, you can add credit to your skype account for unbeatably low rates on calls to international land lines and international cell phones. If you have friends or family that live abroad, or if you yourself are traveling, skype mobile can make staying in touch much easier and much cheaper.
Bluetooth is an inter-device standard that allows all kinds of gadgets to talk to one another. For example, you can have your bluetooth-ready hands free car phone link up with your android phone so you can drive and chat uninterruptedly as soon as you get in and put your belt on. Not to mention the fact that a new droid x2 android phone comes with the hands-free headset and car kit in the box!
You can have your android phone communicate with the latest generation of bluetooth enabled televisions in order to stream and share content. You can use bluetooth to connect with other smartphones to share contacts or compete in chess, boxing or bubble bursting madness. The possibilities are staggering. Simply put, bluetooth is another way the best android phone can get in touch with other devices and continue to outshine them (in their own mother tongue).
DLNA stands for "Digital Living Network Alliance", but this standard is actually much cooler and relevant than it sounds. DLNA technology allows your android phone to instantly sync up with other devices (plasma TV's anyone?) so you can display your photos and videos album-style on the big screen. This is great fun during visits with relatives and family reunions or when you've just returned from the trip of a lifetime. Just sync up your android phone with your TV and start showing off all the famous buildings you took pictures in front of.
What Does the Best Android Phone Come With?
In terms of pre-loaded goodies, you're going to find a lot of the usual offerings on the best android phone when you pop it out of the box for the first time. To start with, Motorola's Droid X2 android phone is running the android 2.2 operating system, affectionately nicknamed "Froyo" for those in the know. However, those users with a burning need to live on the bleeding edge of innovation can immediately update their phone to android 2.3 a.k.a "Gingerbread" using the free over-the-air update system.
This same system will be familiar, at least in concept, to anyone who has used a windows based computer before, since it keeps the phone current with the latest software in order to iron out bugs and close security loopholes as they are discovered.
Meanwhile, you'll have easy and direct access to the entire android market so you can browse and download apps, utilities and games at your leisure. Just like the iPhone's wildly popular app marketplace, the android marketplace offers some apps for free, but most for a download fee. Check the bottom of this article for a list of the top 5 free android apps making waves today.
In terms of pre-loaded android software, you can expect:
Delivering the entire web into the palm of your hand, the android browser has been hailed for its savvy resource usage, which cuts down on load times and makes for a stable browsing experience. You can chug through multiple pages easily with the Motorola droid x2.
For when you're just too drunk to figure out what the tip should be in your head.
Keep yourself organized with your android calendar. If you've already used google calendar, you can keep on doing so thanks to the seamless integration between the best android phone and all things google.
The clock runs on the desktop by default, although you can change its styling and place settings.
As you would expect with any smartphone, you can keep an exhaustive list of contacts and the built-in caller ID feature will identify who's responsible for that rumble in your pocket.
Again, google mail is the favorite, but you have the option of importing a corporate mail system and managing it through your android smartphone.
Bringing up and scrolling through your photos and videos is a breeze.
Send and receive text (SMS) messages and keep a history of them that you can look back over.
News and Weather
Take the guesswork out of dressing yourself in the morning
Voice Dialer and Voice Search
Let's just call this what it is. When you're finally too lazy to drag your food-greased paw across your smartphone screen, you can just mumble commands to your phone to have it dial an ambulance for you, or the pizza place. You can even search google with your voice!
How Much Can the Best Android Phone Hold?
Now that our smartphones can hold and play music, movies, television shows and entire reams-worth of documents, there's an understanable shift in focus to exactly how much they can hold simultaneously. The Motorola droid x2 starts out with 8GB of internal memory, which is reasonable on its own. Additionally, every new Motorola droid x2 comes with an 8GB microSD card, expanding your total storage to 16GB. If you want to get crazy and load up several different films, a few television shows and a good chunk of your favorite music, you can buy a 32GB microSD card and push the best android phone's total storage capacity to 40GB, the size of a small extendable hard drive that you'd buy to backup your computer.
Keep in mind that although 40GB is good, it's not really great. It's great for something as small as the best android phone, especially when you take a moment to think about exactly how much is going on in such a small package, but it won't quite satisfy data junkies that have been spoiled by terabyte drives. If you're one of those folks that thinks your entire lifetime's library of movies and videos should fit on a single device , you're going to be disappointed by this amount of space. You've been warned.
OK, But What About the Fun Stuff?
Speaking of media storage, let's get down to what really matters - games, movies, and music. The best android phone excels in all three departments, and every aspect of entertaining yourself with your Motorola droid x2 is enhanced by the aforementioned beast of a mobile processor. You'll notice much faster loadtimes on your movies and your favorite android gaming apps.
The pre-loaded music player puts the Motorola droid X2 high in the running for the best android phone. It can understand and play MP3, WMA and AAC/AAC+, meaning that if it's stored digitally and it's full of sound, your android phone can play it. You also get the standard headphone jack, just in case you're one of those conscientious bus riders.
Yes, just as you would expect, the best android phone comes with one of the best smartphone digital cameras around. Not only can the droid x2's camera snap photos at a staggering 8 megapixels, it includes some pretty advanced functionality, including digital video recording at 30 frames per second, panoramic modality, a built-in flash and constant auto-focus. Not too shabby for a phone.
The Top 5 Free Android Apps
OK. You've gone ahead and purchased the best android phone that money can buy, but now you're a little light in your wallet and you're looking for some extra amusement. Try out these top 5 free android apps that are being gobbled up by downloaders every day on the android marketplace.
1. Free Android App - Facebook for Android
Just because you're not home doesn't mean you need to miss out on your favorite cyber addiction. Your android phone is the perfect facebook compatible device because it allows you to capture pictures and videos and quickly post them to your profile. Using facebook on your android phone is better than ever thanks to the swype keyboard which allows you to easily send messages that are longer than one line.
Meanwhile, 3G data connections or WiFi connections, where available, ensure a super smooth scrolling facebook experience.
2. Free Android App - Youtube for Android
Youtube is the world's second largest search engine, and is home to millions of hilarious, informative, and just plain bizarre videos. Whether you want to kill some time between flights, brush up on some hardcore programming skills, or upload your own exploits for the benefit of others, youtube is a must-have free android app.
3. Free Android App - Pandora Internet Radio
This free internet radio station has become a favorite amongst office-workers everywhere. You can choose a song or artist to style an entire station around, and Pandora's amazing music-genome capability will contuinue serving songs and artists that are similar in style and mood. Perfect for cruising in your car or while studying late at night away from your room. Pandora is free to play for up to 40 hours a month and the Pandora android app is free, too!
4. Free Android App - Angry Birds
By now, you have probably heard of this absolute phenomenon. Angry birds is a light-hearted but strangely addicting action puzzle game. You get to slingshot several different kinds of birds toward entrenched evil pigs in an effort to destroy all the pigs' buildings and to eradicate them in retribution for stealing your eggs. It sounds ridiculous, and it absolutely is. But it's also fun. And you can play a lite version of the game for free, upgrading only if you want extra features and levels.
5. Free Android App - Words With Friends
This free android app is for all you puzzle lovers out there. Think turn-based scrabble with internet connectivity. You place a word on the board using a limited number of tiles in an effort to score the highest amount possible per move. Meanwhile, the game signals your friend that your turn is completed so that they can make their move. On and on it goes. Basically, this free android app allows you to play a real-time scrabble clone with a pal even if you two are currently on opposite sides of the country.