A few people we're asking in the article for the month for a look at the options here in Canada so I decided to do a write-up of my thoughts on the subject.
Bell Mobility The newest phone added to Bell’s line-up is the Incredible S (Named Incredible 2 in the U.S.). Paired with the Motorola Atrix and Galaxy S Vibrant, Bell has an impressive list of superphones. The Incredible will also be joining the HTC Desire Z and the LG Optimus Chic to close out Bell’s current Android offering. But which one is the best this month?
All the phones are offered on different but the cheapest way to get them is on 3-year contracts: the Atrix at 149.95$, the Incredible S at 99.95$ and the Galaxy S at 49.95$. If you want the ability to change mobile providers however, the Nexus S or the Atrix (if you don’t mind the custom UI) are the best choices right now.
Rogers While Rogers officially has 9 Android phones only three are truly noteworthy and as you will see only one is worth your time. Those phones are: the Acer Liquid MT, a noteworthy improvement in the way Acer has built their phones and hopefully a sign of things to come in their smartphone business; the Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, a great phone from last year who’s hardware still hold up; and the Nexus S, Google’s continuing Nexus line of phones offering a stock Android experience.
The Nexus S offers the best experience if you have Rogers as your provider. With similar specs to the the Galaxy S the Samsung Nexus has few surprises. The 1GHz Hummingbird and 512MB (still low in my honest opinion) of RAM are still present. The new GPU is capable of up to 90 million triangles per second as opposed to 20 million and as we all know, more triangles means more awesome. The disappointing change is the removal of the microSD slot so the Nexus S is locked to 16GB of onboard storage 15 of which will be actually usable when connecting the device to your computer. The screen is also unusual in that is curved to the center when observed from the landscape side. What this display is supposed to offer is a better calling experience for the people that actually use the device as a phone and perhaps a better typing experience. Being a Nexus phone, the Samsung edition comes with stock Android and runs the latest version 2.3.3. Updates can be expected to arrive on the phone as soon as Google releases them.
The Nexus S at 99$ on contract (500$ off) is undoubtedly the best Android smartphone
you can get on Rogers right now. If sticker shock is enough to drive you away however, take a look at the Acer Liquid MT.
On Telus the offerings are a bit sparser in terms of numbers but cover the 200$ starter smartphones to the 530$ superphones. The Nexus S again gives most of the phones a run for their money but maybe the Desire HD counterpart work better for you. Could the rugged Motorola Defy suit your needs better or would the Telus version of the Galaxy S be more your treat?
The HTC Desire HD is the one largest available phones you can get right now in terms of screen size. It has a 1GHz Scorpion CPU (an updated Snapdragon processor) and a new Adreno 205 GPU. Both of these increase the power efficiency of the device so the phone can have a longer battery life than it's non-HD counterpart released earlier in 2010. 768MB of RAM, 1.5GB of onboard memory and an expandable microSDHC slot completes the hardware package. This phone is currently running Android Froyo 2.2 although 2.3 is expected in the next few weeks.
The Motorola Defy offers something you don't see often in Android devices: ruggedness. We've had phones before take this mantra to heart and wrap the phone in inches of plastic. This is not that type of phone. Motorola tried to strike a balance between sleekness and ruggedness to create this product. It can handle bumps and bruises and the 3.7" screen uses the expected Gorilla Glass. The phone is also water resistant so while you shouldn't expect to be able to go scuba diving with the phone, you could certainly take a few quick videos close to the surface. The material is all plastic owing to the rugged nature of the phone.
On the important hardware side you'll find a 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 2GB internal storage and an expandable microSD slot for up to 32GB of additional storage. Android Froyo with MOTOBLUR is what you'll find on the OS side and unfortunately it doesn't appear like Motorola will be updating this phone.
With an interesting cross-section of phones with some left unmentioned or mentioned previously, you'll have an interesting choice to make. The Nexus S is probably the most future-proof phone if you can afford the additional cost of about 99$ on 3-year contract or 500$ off contract. The Galaxy S Fascinate, HTC Desire, LG Optimus One all come in at 0$ on contract while the HTC Desire HD and the Motorola Defy come in at 49$ and 29$ respectively.
Wind still being a small carrier offers a few feature phone based on Android so if that tickles your fancy, you’ll have the choice Alcatel Tribe or Huawei U8100. On the smartphone side, there’s the Motorola XT720 but what you really want to take a look at will be the Nexus S. While the 525$ price tag is hard to swallow, the WindTab helps mitigate that by spreading the payment of 150$ of the phone’s full price across many months. 10% of your monthly bill will be applied to the WindTab.
Hopefully this helps any Canadians trying to decide what phone to pick.