Phones for The Holidays

Believe it or not, we are going into the holiday season. We are now in the thick of the technology update time of year too. Apple, Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Motorola have all had big press events and there are still a few more to be expected. It’s a time of year when fanboys and fangirls regroup and rearm themselves for another year of Sisyphean debate over the superiority of their OS of choice. While many people are standing in line, hoping for the off chance that they will snag an iPhone 5 today, there are even more people that are waiting patiently for something better to come along. Here’s what we can expect outside of the world of Apple.

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III

The first phone is one that you can get right now. The Samsung Galaxy S III. This phone was released at the beginning of the summer but it is still perhaps the best smartphone on the market. Say what you want about the plastic shell, the overall design of the phone is sleek and the hardware runs smooth. If you absolutely need a new smartphone today, this is the one to get. It is available on all four major U.S. carriers.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Another phone from Samsung is the Galaxy Note 2. This phone will be coming to the U.S. by mid-November to all four major carriers plus U.S. Cellular says Samsung. This phone will build on the success of the original Note. The Note 2 will sport a quad-core 1.6ghz Exynos processor with LTE support and be available in 16gb, 32gb and 64gb varieties. 
HTC Droid Incredible X

The HTC Incredible X

This phone has been teasing Verizon customers for months. It looks to be a 5-inch beast but strangely enough will not be including a stylus or micro-SD card support. I suspect that it will sell at a lower price point than the Samsung Galaxy Note and is meant to bridge the gap between the phablets and slightly smaller screened Android phones. It looks pretty slick, but looks aren’t everything. With a two-year contract hanging over their heads, it will be interesting to see how customers respond to the idea of owning this device.

Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920

Of all the phones that have been announced this phone deserves the trophy for moving the needle the most. Wireless charging, Windows Phone 8 and a distinctive, attractive body. It’s got specs that will compete and best many, if not most of the phones on this list and will likely become a cult favorite phone. Despite all this I don’t think it will sell super well in the United States. Being stuck on AT&T is a very bad for Nokia part as it ignores the nearly 110 million potential customers on Verizon. That’s why I very happy to learn the the Lumia  920 might just be coming to Big Red? Excited?

Droid Razr M

Motorola Razr HD, HD MAXX and Razr M

A refresh to the Razr line, all three of these phones will be very good. The Razr HD MAXX is going to have the best battery life of any smartphone period. However the big story here is not the two big boys but the smaller Razr M. For just $99, you’ll get a fully featured smartphone at an excellent price. This phone is already on Amazon Wireless for $79.99. I expect this phone will be selling for $50 before Christmas.

Jellybean 4.1

The Next Nexus

I expect to see the next Google Nexus Phone by the end of October. While the Nexus phones have never been the top of the line phones in reference to specs, they do have the benefit of having stock Android. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus aside, they usually are the first phones to get updates to the new version of Android. I would not be surprised to see a phone that has

  • Quad-core S4 Processor
  • Android 4.2 (probably still called Jellybean, kinda like Eclair was both 2.0 and 2.1 (Froyo was both 2.1 and 2.2).
  • Made by Samsung, even though I hope that HTC gets another crack at it.
  • 32gb storage
  • Likely no Verizon version. I think Google’s experience with Verizon was negative for the Nexus brand. If I were Google, I would stick with the GSM carriers. 
  • Mediocre camers. The Nexus line has never had the best cameras
  • Probably no wireless charging. The technology is still a little gimmicky in a lot of peoples minds. Plus it will make the Nexus more expensive.
Which phone here are you most excited for? Any phones here that I missed?
Kenny Larson
Onetime Apple/Android/Windows fanboy. Now a firm agnostic when it comes to OS. They all suck in their own special way.

"Be excellent to each other."
--Bill & Ted

This article has 4 Comments

  1. (now for the real comment) Good article. I wish details were more concrete on the HTC Incredible X. Out of this list, that’s the one I’d have (Nexus notwithstanding… no details there so hard to consider it).

    A small correction must be made, however…
    Android 2.0 (not widely released) and Android 2.1 were both Eclair, and Froyo was only 2.2. Perhaps a better example would be Android 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 all being called Honeycomb since all saw public releases.

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