Our verdict on the best Android phones - constantly updated
There's one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition - the number of phones out there running Google's hot mobile OS.
Samsung makes loads of them. Sony's cut the Ericsson ties but still is cranking out the Google-branded handsets. Then you've got Android-powered phones from Acer, LG, Huawei, ZTE and many others, and while HTC has ceased the practice of releasing more phones than centipedes have shoes (they do wear them, you know) it's still one of the more prominent Android manufacturers.
The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.
Do you physically and emotionally need a QWERTY keyboard? Are you the sort of oddball who prefers the rough pressing needed to make resistive touchscreens work? If so, you won't find much luck here, as those technologies are sadly phased out of the Android world as buyers get enamoured by fancy, glossy capacitive touchscreens.
To help find the best Android phone for you, we've rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.
So here they are - the best Android phones money can buy today. For many, many different reasons.
10. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has now be usurped at the top of Samsung's screen size totem pole by the Galaxy Note 3, but that's not to say this is a bad phone.
Far from it in fact, and its 30 million sales is testament to the fact that people do want a bigger screen on their smartphone.
Now updated to Android Jelly Bean the Note 2 still has a decent reserve of power to see you through those console quality games, plus its still large 5.5-inch display makes it a great multimedia player.
A great phone, as long as you're not easily embarrassed by whipping out something so comically huge in public. The power and customization may be too much for some, but for those wanting a big screen on a budget the Note 2 is a great shout.
9. Sony Xperia Z
Sony's Xperia Z impressed us early this year and the firm has built on this with the Xperia Z1, which is why the Z has taken a tumble down the rankings. It's still a decent smartphone mind.
You can see the Sony influence throughout the handset as it oozes quality and build from the large screen, which fits close to the edges of the bezel, to the intelligent camera that allows you to snap some really premium photos without needing to fiddle about with the settings.
And it's water and dust resistant too, which makes it excellent for general life business, plus it's packing a microSD card slot in an impossibly thin chassis, for which we laud the phone even higher.
Add to that the Bravia Engine 2, which can upscale standard definition movies and bring your content to life, and you've got a real matchwinning phone in your hands.
While it doesn't quite pack the clout of the phones from HTC and Samsung, the Xperia Z is a phone that got Sony back at the sharp end of the smartphone game.
There's a small amount of room for improvement, as the screen can look a bit washed out from some angles, but there's no doubt the Xperia Z gave Sony a decent footing early on this year.
8. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
For those after some Samsung muscle but in a slightly more pocketable format, the S4 Mini's a result. It's had its display size chopped to just 4.3-inches - positively tiny in this age of five-inch slabs - and although the resolution and internal power have also been reduced when compared with the S4 Large, the Mini's everyday performance isn't really compromised at all.
The 1.7GHz dual-core chipset is perfectly capable of handling both Samsung's software tools and the ever-increasing demands of Android, while it outdoes other phones in this mid-range price bracket by having 1.5GB of RAM onboard for solid app, gaming and multitasking performance.
It's not quite a miniature Galaxy S4 in that it's been downgraded a little internally as well as externally, but the good news is the asking price has been chopped accordingly -- making it a low budget scorcher.
7. Sony Xperia Z1
The Sony Xperia Z1 is another powerhouse of a phone. With a 20.7MP camera with G Lens technology, the ability to withstand rain, snow and sand and a superfast Snapdragon 800 processor running the show, it's clearly a great handset to have around.
It also comes in a variety of funky colours, has a pleasing build quality that helps justify the higher price to a degree and basically offers the best of the Sony brand in a smartphone.
We do have a few reservations insofar as the Z1 doesn't really carry the mantle the Xperia Z created; it's got a massively uprated camera and screen technology, but neither particularly wow.
Don't think that this is anything less than a leading phone from Sony. It's just that the added thickness to accommodate the camera doesn't impress enough to plop it into the top five, and after the really great showing from the Xperia Z, we were a little disappointed.
6. Google Nexus 4
Google and LG have worked together to bring to market a fantastic offering last year, one that even Apple fans can't help but coo over when they heard the price.
While the Nexus 4 is running on year old technology, it's new, lower price point simply makes it fantastic value for money.
The Nexus 4 is beautifully designed with a stunning display and rocking the latest version of Android. It has more connectivity than a telephone exchange and even excels in the simple matter of making calls.
We're not fans of the lower memory allowance, and it's not got the best screen on the market, and there will be a few that see stock Android 4.2 as too stripped-down to consider it a valid phone OS choice, but that doesn't mean it's not a fantastic handset - it would have competed even without the insanely low price tag.
Make no mistake – this is the best Nexus handset so far by a long shot. We love it and can't recommend it highly enough.