10 best Android phones - which should you buy?

The top Android phones compared

Best Android phone 2013 which should you buy

Our verdict on the best Android phones - constantly updated

It's a great time to buy an Android phone. Competition is at a fever pitch, with the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 duking it out for the right to be called the best Android phone - or the best selling Android phone, at least.

As a quick primer, Android is Google's mobile operating system, its answer to Apple's iOS which powers the iPhone. Android really came into its own back in 2011, with Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich. The most current version is now, Android 4.2: Jelly Bean and the newest addition soon to be released, Android 4.4 KitKat.

Yes, Google names its mobile software after desserts, and no, the software on every Android phone is not created equal; you'll also encounter software put there by manufacturers and service providers.

So if you're a tad confused, fear not. Our list of the best Android phones is here to help you navigate the somewhat splintered world of Android to find the perfect device for you.

It may seem like a two horse race between HTC and Samsung, but there are plenty of great devices running Google's mobile OS. So sit back and start scrolling - let's find the best Android phone for you.

10. HTC Droid DNA

Best Android phones

The Droid DNA is a very good, very big phone exclusive to Verizon. Its hardware is the definition of consistency, giving snappy load times and overall excellent performance.

The battery was merely ok, which is not surprising on a 4G LTE phone with a humongous screen, but better than other HTC devices like the One X+. Still, if you go easy on the media streaming, the DNA will get you through the day just fine.

A few flaws aside, the Droid DNA by HTC is one of the best deals. You can't get more performance for $199 than with the DNA - for now, at least.

9. LG Nexus 4

LG Nexus 4

Google and LG have worked together to bring to market a fantastic offering. Essentially, this is a handset with world class specs – yet it's at a price you'd expect to get a budget phone for.

Sure, there are a few things that could have been done better, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. Had it not been crippled by silly things like a paltry memory allowance and not-quite-there camera, we'd have recommended it immediately and given it a five star rating. But make no mistake – this is the best Nexus handset so far by a long shot.

8. HTC One X

HTC One X

Oh, where do we begin? The super-thin chassis. The HD screen. The beautiful graphics. The next-generation Android platform, all rolled into one.

Essentially, this is EXACTLY the kind of phone we want to see at the top end of its range if it wants to stay relevant in the smartphone business. Fusing top level CPU power with a beautiful screen (and a whopping one at that) and really thinking about how it wants to strip back its skin on top of the latest version of Android without compromising its identity.

Despite the frustration with the battery and being frugal with the phone to get through the day, it's not an insurmountable problem and the HTC One X manages to be a great device.

7. Motorola Droid Razr M

Droid Razr M

The Droid Razr M is a light, snappy little phone. It's a pleasure to whip across its multiple home screens, and those Circle widgets are just plain adorable.

If there's one thing we love about the Droid Razr M (and there's certainly more than one), it's the satisfying agility of this phone. Small enough to be carried comfortably, yet it packs a screen that's colorful and plenty big. Still, it's not too large that its cumbersome in the hand. Its 1.5 Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM provide snappy performance.

High-quality streaming videos were blurrier than we would have liked, and the indoor pictures taken by the Droid Razr M were nothing to write home about. Finally, since the battery just barely makes it through the day, the option to swap in a fresh cell would have been really nice.

We'd recommend the Droid Razr M to consumers who want a balanced, affordable 4G phone with a premium feel.

6. Galaxy Note 2

Best Android phones

Samsung has taken a product many people expected to sink, due to its sheer size, and made it work. The 6-inch Note 2 is faster, stronger, better looking, and more functional than its predecessor. Thanks to the increased screen size, it now takes the crown in our eyes as the perfect media player.

But keep in mind, it's also expensive, and the kind of handset that we think will struggle to find mass appeal. Yet it does almost everything it sets out to do perfectly, with grace, class and maximum functionality that if you're in the market for a larger smartphone or a small tablet, there really is no better device.