I went into this list thinking that it would be completely different than their lists because I tend to be overly-picky about things that don't typically matter to most people. However, after pondering, examining, and re-doing it three times, my list turned out to be very similar anyway, with a a few exceptions. Regardless, it's always helpful to get a second (or third) opinion, so here is my personal list of the top 5 Android phones for April 2011.
Hopefully you're not shocked by this one. Though it wasn't everything we were expecting, HTC managed to make this phone so amazingly powerful and wrap it up in such a beautiful package that it's hard not to want. The 4.3-inch Super LCD display, high-powered external speaker, and 8-megapixel camera that captures HD video satisfies the wants of every tech and multimedia fan everywhere and the next-generation Snapdragon processor and 4G LTE connectivity means that this phone can keep up with pretty much anything you do.
Probably the biggest downside to this device is the battery life, thanks to the aforementioned LTE connectivity. Still, if you're willing to carry a charger with you, then you'll have the privilege of enjoying the best Android smartphone on the market.
This one was a tough decision. Similar to the Thunderbolt, the Nexus S had a lot of hype surrounding it but once we got the spec sheet we felt a little underwhelmed. However, after thinking about it I realized that this phone is more cutting-edge than people realize. At the moment, the Nexus S is the only phone to ship with Android 2.3. That right there sets it apart. NFC support is something that most consumers had not even thought about until the Nexus S was released. So, yeah, it may not have that dual-core processor (though Samsung's 1 GHz Hummingbird processor isn't a slouch by any means) or 4G support, but this is as cutting-edge as it gets, folks. Not only that, but you're still getting a 4-inch Super AMOLED display and a 5-megapixel camera with a flash as well as a front-facing camera.
The fact that the camera does not capture HD video is slightly disappointing, but the ability to get a pure Google phone (that's extremely hackable, by the way) and the latest version of Android that most phones won't get until who knows when is enough to make this a definite number two.
If you were to look at the spec sheet alone, you would think I was crazy for putting the Atrix at number three. Yes, it has a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, a 4-inch qHD display, and 4G connectivity, all of which should be enough to shoot this phone to number one; however, I hate MOTOBLUR. I have a serious disdain for the UI and everything it brings to a phone. The dock is ugly, the widgets are plain and ugly, and it bogs down the device so much that you almost need that dual-core processor to make it run half-way smoothly.
Now, I know that you can install a launcher to make the homescreen look however you want it to, but most people don't know that. Out of the box, BLUR is what you get. This is a very personal opinion (which is why this is called Sydney's Top 5, not PhoneDog's Top 5) but MOTOBLUR alone is enough to make me not want the Atrix. That said, it does pack some serious power that you simply can't ignore.
Going from one UI that I hate to another UI that I really enjoy, the myTouch 4G is the "people's phone", meaning the UI is really meant for non-hacking, I'm-new-to-Android, average consumers. However, just because you're new to Android doesn't mean you don't get to enjoy a good phone, no sir (or ma'am). The myTouch 4G's 1 GHz processor, 5-megapixel camera with a flash (the flash is important to me), front-facing camera, and still beautiful, if not monstrous, 3.8-inch display makes this phone an awesome device to own. Also, if you couldn't tell by the name, it's a 4G phone.
Now, that UI that I mentioned isn't for everyone. It can rub some people the wrong way, so make sure you check it out before diving in. If that isn't a problem, then the myTouch 4G is definitely a good choice for you.
So, I'm really big on UI's and I tend to like the ones that most people don't. For example, I love the custom "Espresso" version of Sense UI that the myTouch features and I love TouchWiz, the UI found on all of the Galaxy S devices. I think it's well-designed and very functional. The Galaxy S 4G brings only a few improvements from the original Galaxy S, but they're enough to keep it as a contender. Some new features are 4G connectivity with support for T-Mobile's 21 Mbps HSPA+ network, a front-facing camera, and a few multi-media goodies. You get all of that plus the the 1 GHz Hummingbird processor and 4-inch Super AMOLED display that all of the Galaxy S devices shipped with.
It's not ground-breaking. Samusng pretty much just added features that the original Galaxy S should have had to begin with. Regardless, it's enough to make it on the list, even if at number five.