Who is the new king of Android in 2012?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: March 3, 2012

It has been awhile since I’ve talked about a king of the Android populace. When I did talk about it, I was asking you whether or not HTC would be able to remain the King of Android. Now, not quite a year later, here I am wondering which company, out of all of them out there releasing their own version of a high-end Android device, is actually positioned at the top spot. Instead of basing this solely on a list of devices that are out right now, let’s look a bit into the future. Thanks to the Mobile World Congress event that took place over the course of last week, we have plenty of new devices to judge our results, so let’s get right into it.

Before this year’s Mobile World Congress, and despite the fact that Samsung had released the Galaxy S II into the world, I honestly still would have put HTC at the head of the pack. Even if I do wholeheartedly agree with the company that their proprietary user interface, Sense, had become way too cluttered for its own good, I believe that HTC’s fan base is still one of the strongest out there.

And that won’t change after Mobile World Congress, either. With the company unveiling a simpler approach to Sense UI, and unveiling the One Series of devices, HTC is going back to their roots and that means that HTC definitely has a chance at keeping their kingly position. However, there are so many new competitors, and competitors that have been around since the beginning but are only now actually creating devices worth the attention, that this year is definitely going to be hard for HTC.

Specifically, where did ZTE and Huawei come from? These manufacturers have been deep within the Android ranks for quite some time, but it wasn’t until this year that both of these manufacturers decided to take the gloves off, incorporate some high-end specifications, and release devices that people would actually want all over the world. In ZTE’s case, there’s the Era, which may not have the best display in the world (or even on the smartphone market), but it’s definitely not lacking in the other specifications categories. And then there’s Huawei’s Ascend D quad, which does have a fantastic display, plus all of the high-end specs your hands can take advantage of.

And then there’s Sony, which had plenty of different Android handsets to show off last year, but none of which really stood out amongst the competition. That is definitely changing this year, especially with devices like the Xperia S. Again, it may not have the best of the best when it comes to specifications, but there’s no reason to think that the Xperia S (or any of its brethren) won’t be ridiculously popular all over the world.

Finally, Samsung, who had a few announcements at the event, but there is still one device we’re all still waiting for, and that’s the Galaxy S III – or whatever they decide to call this year’s flagship device. Considering how popular all of the Galaxy S flagship devices have been in the past, if Samsung can manage to pack in all the features that people want (realistically, folks), or even just some of them, there’s a strong possibility that Samsung takes the cake and eats it this year, too.

All in all, HTC honestly doesn’t have it all that easy this year. Not that they have had it “easy” over the last two years, but this year it’s going to come down to the wire, more or less. HTC has real contenders with the One Series, but obviously we know that they’re going to release plenty of other handsets, too, which could bog down their chances at regaining (or keeping) the top spot. Even LG has some hardware to compete for the crown.

Who are you rooting for?