It's the holiday season, and in the midst of all that eggnog and gingerbread, you may be in the market for a new Android phone.  They've been coming out at a harried pace this year, making it even harder to choose.  DROID?  Galaxy S II?  Nexus?  The list can be daunting, to say the least.  Couple that with today's confusing advertisements, and the whole process can go from "fun and easy" to "annoying and hard" quickly.

There are some great choices out there, but as with anything, there are a few that stand out above the rest.  Whether you're buying for yourself, your nerdy brother, your needy Mother (I've got rhymes!), here are my top five Android devices for the holidays.


1. Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket ($249.99, AT&T)

At this point in time, I like the Skyrocket - the latest member of Samsung's Galaxy S II family - better than the Galaxy Nexus.  It's a bit on the pricey side at $249.99 with a two-year agreement, but it's rocking a nice 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU. 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, and Android 2.3.6 with TouchWiz 4.0, the newest version of Samsung's user interface.

Skyrocket takes every feature you like from the Galaxy S II variants, like the big screen on the Epic 4G Touch and large battery in T-Mobile's Galaxy S II, and throws in 4G LTE connectivity to boot.  TouchWiz 4.0 is an excellent, easy to use interface that's been drastically improved over past versions.  Some will be drawn to the HTC Vivid because they prefer a metal build and HTC's design cues, but in regards to overall features, Skyrocket remains the Android device to beat.


2. Samsung Galaxy Nexus (unlocked)

Verizon is dragging its feet with the release of the US - and LTE-capable - Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but if you're willing to spend somewhere in the ballpark of $750, you can score an unlocked GSM version now that'll work on AT&T and T-Mobile's HSPA+ networks.  There's a lot of hype around the Galaxy Nexus due to it being the first retail unit to run the latest version of stock Android, version 4.0 (also known as Ice Cream Sandwich - or as I call it, "Ice Cream Sammich").  You get that raw feeling that you can only get on a Galaxy Nexus

The specifications are decent, but comparatively speaking, they're not as advanced as past Nexus devices: 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor, 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD (720p) display, 5-megapixel camera with 1080p recording, just to name a few.  It lands squarely in the middle of today's high-end Android lineup, which would be fine if it wasn't a Nexus.  But it is a Nexus.  It's not supposed to fall in line.  It's supposed to have cutting-edge specs that place it ahead of the Android competition.

The HD display is very nice, and the build quality is excellent (loving the curved build in particular), but the camera is a disappointment.  If being an early adopter of Ice Cream Sandwich and having 4G LTE connectivity (when it comes to Verizon) are important to you, you're going to love the Galaxy Nexus.


3. Motorola DROID RAZR ($299.99, Verizon Wireless)

If this list were based on looks and size alone, the Motorola DROID RAZR would top the charts.  It's a handsome little device, coming in at 7.1mm thin and offering Gorilla Glass on the front and a KEVLAR coating on the back to protect it from drops, small animals, and teething toddlers.  Inside, it has a 1.2 GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display with PenTile technology, an 8-megapixel camera, and a non-removable 1,780 mAh battery.  It's the thinnest 4G LTE device in Verizon's lineup, and I'd be willing to wager that the other LTE smartphones are jealous.  Especially that chunky Motorola DROID BIONIC.

Love it or hate it, it ships with Motorola's custom user interface, though it has been tweaked significantly since the MOTOBLUR days.  It's slated to get Ice Cream Sandwich next year, and given Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola, we could see the Motorola UI finally ride off into the sunset.


4. Samsung Captivate Glide ($149.99, AT&T)

All too often, I feel like manufacturers slip into the "RIM mindset" and couple mid-range specifications with keyboards, so that's why the Samsung Captivate Glide was a breath of fresh air.  The Captivate Glide can hold its own with the big boys thanks to a 1 GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED display, and 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording.  It also has Android 2.3 with TouchWiz 4.0, the latest version of Samsung's UI.  On top of that, it packs a QWERTY keyboard that, while it needs some work, still gets the job done and gives the hard-core email fiend an additional choice over the on-screen buttons.  This is a fast device that's priced incredibly well.


5. HTC Amaze 4G ($229.99, T-Mobile)

I like the build quality of the HTC Amaze 4G.  If you prefer metal accents, this is going to be the device for you.  Under the hood, you'll get a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU, 4.3-inch qHD display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, and Android 2.3 with HTC Sense 3.0.  It's a gorgeous device for sure, but HTC's Sense is getting a little bit too overbearing for my liking.  Like the EVO 3D and Sensation 4G, I see lag on the Amaze 4G from time to time.


What are your top five must-have Android devices for the holiday season?  Hit the comments section with your lists - and most importantly, the reasoning behind your choices!

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"What are your top five Android smartphones?"

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Anonymous HTC Rezound all the way!
Yolanda Hugo Chavez Where's the awesome HTC EVO 3d???
Luis Lopez iPhone?
??? I hv to go with Samsung Galaxy S II International version and HTC Sensation.
Tony Drake The nexus one og Droid Droid x thunderbolt and the next nexus coming soon
Justin Ulzheimer What is the best protective case to get for the Galaxy S2 Skyrocket? I need suggestion ( like a Speck ) but I didn't see any Speck cases for it so please suggest one for me, thank you and I really like the site!
Zach Cline I have to agree that apple has grown stagnant with the iphone and ios. Is that because of arrogance on there part? Most likely.I mean its not like they can't give us toggles and widgets at least. They gave us a stock and weather widget in notification center so they could do a lot more with it. Thats where i get irritated with apple. They purposely leave out things so you'll want to buy the new iphone and then it changes everything again ( Rolls eyes)
Eduardo Ordaz Los iphones se quebran mas fasil.
Jacob Grumbles Did i bash the iPhone? I have respect for the iPhone I'm one of the few who will admit that there would be no Android if it weren't for the iPhone. As far as 4g connectivity at least we have the option. I play games hour on end on my nexus and never once has it overheated. As far as HTC devices look alike not exactly the same. If were to put a iPhone next to a 3gs most people couldn't see any difference same with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. Apple will keep losing ground in the market place if they don't start giving consumers choices . 1 phone every year that looks exactly like the one before won't cut it in the future. Its a proven fact that people like choices apple doesn't offer that . Oh not to mention how stupid and weak they look trying to get all androids banned because they are to scared of competition.
Brandon Coffey android vs. iphone fight is ridiculous.. it's a phone, not an expression or a political statement - get what you like.. the end.
Zach Cline @ Jacob- I had android for a long while before i switched to the iphone and i don't really miss it. Yeah there are tons of android devices out there and thats why android is so fragmented. Theres a new one out every month and it outdates the other "flagship" device before it. Then theres the dropping of 4G connectivity, The freezing, The lagging, Force closing of apps, Market, Browsers, Over heating if you use it for more than half an hour at a time . I could go on all day .At least apple is consistent and doesn't put out a new iphone every month.Even if they did, Apple hates would still bash them so it really makes no difference what they do.And most HTC devices look the same, Maybe you should start bashing them also.
Brandon Whittley @darrel you dont think i saw android. im not an idiot. thats why i listed nothing but iphones. i dont like android.
Adam Gonzalez The next five lte smh
Jacob Grumbles Zach I think your wrong . If anyone is mindless it would be the iPhone users. You guys all have the same damn phone with pretty much the same look that's what you call being square. There is a Android for everyone with or without physical keyboards plenty of different colors shape sizes plus we have the freedom to customize our phones however we like. Iphones are for mindless people who need a company like apple to tell them what to do rather than have freedom to do what you want and be different .
Fülöp Gábor Htc Legend,Htc Desire,Htc Desire HD,Htc Sensation...and the First,the winner is Htc Edge....:D
Ivan Aleman 1. Samsung gs2 2. Motorola razr 3 htc vivid 4. Lg nitro 5. iPhone 4s
Aj Green Funny how most the other sites have galaxy nexus #1.
Zach Cline Android user - Mindless drone
Jacob Grumbles IPhone user aka apples bitch.
Sonny Waraich 1-Galaxy Nexus 2-Motorola Razr 3-Galaxy S2 4-HTC Vivid 5-Atrix 2
Darrell Asper Jr Best 5 ANDROID phones and people are picking Iphones, pretty much sums up the iphone crowd. Just got a photon it's ok, like my old evo 4g better with a mikg rom
Equaknox Knox Iphone 4,,nice n sexy,,,galexy s2,,somehow is the standard in witch to start from..Evo 3d/Evo,,,well if i culd put 4 inch heels on it ,.it wuld be my bitch,,,ya Hered me,,,
Carol Dudley-Bowen Why are all these phones so huge? I own a smartphone but I don't want to carry around something the size of a brick.
Brandon Whittley 1. iPhone 4s 2. iPhone 4 3. iPhone 3GS 4. iPhone 3G 5. iPhone :D
Ignacio Gonzalez 1. Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket 2. Samsung Galaxy S II for T-Mobile 3. Samsung Epic 4G Touch 4. Motorola Droid RAZR 5. Motorola Droid 3
Ricardo Lopez galaxy nexus, galaxy s 2, droid razor, htc rezound, amaze 4g
Arvinder Singh Htc sensation xe Htc rezound 4g Galaxy s2 htc Evo3d
Marti Ruiz My galaxy s2 of course
Mark Lucas Aaron, no love for the Atrix 2?
Brandon Ricker Beats HTC sensation Samsung galaxy nexus Samsung galaxy s2 HTC sensation Sony Ericsson xperia play
David Harness 1. Galaxy Nexus 2. Galaxy Nexus 3. Galaxy Nexus 4. Galaxy Nexus 5. Galaxy Nexus and a close 6, Galaxy Nexus. I really want the Galaxy Nexus.....
Rahul Sai Sangam HTC EVO 4G
Chris Northcutt Galaxy S 2
Ari Preziosi Sensation XE rocks man...
Hansel Starley The five ones that will come next months.
Suraj Lama Blackberry 9800
Phillip Parrish HTC EVO 3d
Rani Hinnawi HTC Rezound 4G, HTC Sensation XE, HTC Amaze 4G, Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy SII. If you picked overall phones, I would have put the Lumia 800 in second or third after the Rezound or Sensation XE
Flako Ramirez Blackberry bold 9930???
Alex Heber Santizo Any besides mine.
Shawn Towle iPhone=chick phone
Cory Wilson Blackberry 9900
David Ramirez Samsung GS2!!
George Vasquez 1.Nexus One 2.Nexus S 3.Galaxy Nexus 4.Samsung Galaxy S2 5.G2x
Carlos Nava 1.Samsung Galaxy S2 2.Galaxy Nexus 3.Droid Razr 4.Evo 3d 5.G2x
Daniel Nishikata Couldn't agree more. Love my skyrocket. The galaxy nexus would be my second too.
Tyler Neill iphone
Antonio Pagan iphone 4s iphone 4 iphone 3gs iphone 3g iphone Lol android suck
Mohammad Ashraf Mahmoud HTC Rezound,HTC Sensation XE,Galaxy Nexus Galaxy S2,Moto Razr
Eduardo Ordaz HTC Rezound, galaxy nexus, Samsung galaxy s2, evo 3D and Droid Razr.
Kris Hawley Htc desire old but amazing original classic phone that never failed to disappoint Gs2 great interface! !!! Colour <3 Evo that's just from a different planet Samsung galaxy nexus beautiful phone and fast as lightning software Htc sensation XL great display easy an quick basic but great for music obviously with beats audio. Htc cha cha ....lol jk its shit! Haha
Shannon Horton Aww wheres the Mytouch
Jimmy Knight Evo 3D all day!
Eric Franco Screw u iPhone fags
Kevin Mark Burkhardt aaron or anybody. what is the difference between Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the samsung galaxy s2 with the phisical button in the middle?
Matt Chumaceiro galaxy s2 is gonna take years to get updated to 4.0 with samsung, not a chance it should be #1
Juan Pacheco Htc thunderbolt y? Because is the one i have And i love it...
Joe Zazueta Motorola ATRIX and Samsung Skyrocket
Don FatMan Parker Sr. Photon 4g, Atrix 2,Evo 3d,Rezound,SGS2
Gerardo Castillo 1.HTC Evo 3D 2.Samsung Galaxy SII 3.HTC Sensation 4G 4.HTC Inspire 4G 5.Motorold Droid RAZR
Dory W. Covington Jitter bug
BigChuck Rossetti ?(-_-)??(-_- )??(-_-)??(-_-)?Everyday I’m shuffling ?(-_-)??(-_- )??(-_-)??(-_-)?
Jamie Doege Samsung Galaxy Nexus Samsung Galaxy S2 i9100 Samsung Galaxy Note HTC Amaze HTC Sensation
Sergio Alvarado 1. HTC EVO 3D 2. Galaxy Nexus 3. Galaxy SII 4. Amaze 4G 5. HTC Rezound
David Steele Sony Ericsson Xperia
Dounutz Sesar Samsung galaxy nexus,samsung galaxy s2 , htc rezound,,droid razor, and nexus one
Justin Alan Smith Five phones? Now that's gangster.
Jon B htc rezound. the fact that you can get verizon's 4g lte service gives any of their phones the automatic edge.
Stephen Wagner 1 galaxy nexus. the razr shouldnt even be on there. that thing is a piece of crap.
Don FatMan Parker Sr. When is sprint getting new phone.
Andrei Tarasko lg chocolate
Konner Shea that picture. lmfaooo
Chris Narez Motorola n htc
Christian Perez 1. Motorola RAZR 2. Galaxy Nexus 3. Galaxy SII 4. HTC Rezound 5. Moto Droid 4
Matt Smith Galaxy Glide
Shawn Poling I love my samsung galaxy skyrocket thats first for becasue its fast and 4g
Henry Murillo Is the rezound not as good? I'm sure the LTE is gotta kick ass
Jennifer Nunn Come on the Photon should be on their!
Nick Worwood I love my rezound.
Veronik Vilches OMG Aaron u look so fkn hot!!!
Martin Hodgson bionic nexus iphone4s samsung infuse mytouch
Kyle Quarles Jr. HTC evo evo shift LG optimus slider gs2 Droid razar
Spliff Meister i always watch Aarons reviews before i buy a phone
Don FatMan Parker Sr. Motorola Atrix 2!!! It would be better if sprint had it!!!
Matthew Gonzales Landry iPhone copier, iPhone copier, iPhone copier, iPhone copier, iPhone copier.
Travis Lyons Motorola DROID Bionic!
Dietrich Brown Note,gs2,nexus,skyrocket amaze 4g
Ric Rush Lol at first. Nice one Susie.
Sean Reece HTC rezound?
Anonymous i only have one
Luis Chavez 6th or 7th
Dani Spain Galaxy s2 lg nitro htc rezound droid razr nexus S
Will Cowell Third or forth
Susie Tracey Grow up. Posting first is for kindergartners

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