Tech reviews

Sweetest Android Jelly Bean phones

After waiting for what seemed like an eternity for Android Jelly Bean phones to ship, we’re glad to see a flood of handsets with the coveted software. Some older phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Motorola Droid Razr HD Maxx, also have received this significant upgrade, but these smartphones rolled straight off the assembly line boasting Google’s most modern OS. From the pure flavor only a true Nexus device can bring, to the tricked-out tweaks phone designers like to bring to the table, chances are good there’s a Jelly Bean handset here that will suit your tastes.


Rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: This beautifully designed phone features a quad-core processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4G LTE, a sharp 5-inch screen, an excellent camera and long battery life.

The bad: Its large size makes it tricky to fit in tight pockets, and it lacks both an SD card slot and a removable battery.

The cost: $99.99 to $199.99

The bottom line: With quad-core power, 4G LTE, a lovely 5-inch screen and a stunning design, the $199.99 HTC Droid DNA may be Verizon’s best Android deal.

HTC One X+

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: Has a quad-core processor, 64GB of storage and Android Jelly Bean, plus a great camera, all for $199.99.

The bad: The battery life is short. The phone also lacks an SD card slot, and its battery can’t be removed.

The cost: $169.99 to $509

The bottom line: Although it does have some flaws, the $199.99 HTC One X+ is currently the best Android buy on AT&T.

LG Nexus 4

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very good)

The good: The competitively priced phone delivers a pure and polished experience with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, it’s powered by a snappy quad-core processor, and it’s packed with new photo-editing and camera features.

The bad: Construction is solid but uninspiring, its call volume is too low, and it lacks 4G LTE.

The cost: $299 (currently sold out)

The bottom line: While the LG Nexus 4 wins on internal performance and user experience, anyone shopping for an unlocked phone should consider a comparable LTE handset first.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: Oodles of screen real estate make this phone terrific for videos, games, and reading; and its improved stylus aids productivity. A blazing quad-core processor, a great camera and strong battery life round out the advantages of this Android 4.1 phone.

The bad: The huge display makes it unwieldy to carry, and hiccups in the S Pen stylus and apps can slow you down. The pricey Note 2 isn’t a suitable tablet replacement across all categories.

The cost: $139.99 to $299.99

The bottom line: In the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung delivers a powerful, boundary-pushing device that gets a lot right. Yet its complicated features and high price raise questions about its purpose.

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