Make Quick Work of Choosing Your Android
Google has launched its Android phone gallery, a simple tool to locate and compare all of the available smartphones running Google's Android operating system, including the families of Droids and Galaxy S phones.
No more visiting one wireless provider site after another to find who carries the phone you want or trying to select from a nearly indistinguishable array of phones attached to the wall at your local store.
The Google Phone Gallery today includes 22 phones, four manufacturers (HTC , LG, Motorola and Samsung), and five providers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon) for U.S. shoppers.
Users can filter phones by country, manufacturer, and carrier, and compare the features and technical specs of up to three phones side-by-side. Unfortunately, the images are not proportionately sized. For instance, T-Mobile's new Charm, an almost square palm-sized phone, appears more than twice the size of Samsung's Epic 4G when in fact, the Epic is longer, thicker and heavier.
Specs to note
Android version: The most recent version is Android 2.2. The comparison format makes it easy to see which version of the OS each phone runs. Some Android phones such as the Droid Eris will never receive an update. If you want a "future-proof" phone, you'll find 2.2. in Droid 2, Droid X, HTC Evo 4G, Droid Incredible, Nexus One and the original Droid.
Wi-Fi connectivity: Using a media-rich smartphone over Wi-Fi rather than its 3G or 4G connection has become increasingly important as carriers adopt tiered data plans with penalties for exceeding data limits. The older standards for Wi-Fi are 802.11 b/g; the newer standard is denoted by the letter "n". The new standard provides data download speeds at 100 megabits per second, compared with 54Mbps for "g" and 11Mbps for "b". The only 802.11 b/g/n phones in the gallery are Samsung's Epic 4G, Captivate and Vibrant.
Processor: Look for a fast processor to get the best performance from your phone. A 1-gigahertz processor is the new standard with more powerful processors on the way. About one-third of the gallery phones have a 1Ghz processor. These are Epic 4G, Droid 2, Captivate, Vibrant, Droid X, Evo 4G, Desire , Droid Incredible and Nexus One.
Battery life: The longer the talk time, the less risk you'll have of suffering from a dead phone. You can conserve battery life by switching off Wi-Fi when it's not in use and opting for text instead of talk.
New phones will be added as they become available, according to Google.