JR Raphael

Top 5 Android phones of the summer

August 14, 2010 9:00 AM EDT

Top Android PhonesAs a guy who writes a blog about Android, I get asked a lot of questions. One of the most common is which Android phone is the best to get. (Well, that and if I ever actually comb my hair. But we're talking about smartphones here. Let's focus.)

The thing about Android is that it's all about choice. From the open approach to apps to the limitless potential for customization, Android is in many ways the antithesis to that other popular smartphone platform. And the same applies to its fleet of devices.

The very nature of Android's open ecosystem means lots of manufacturers are developing phones, and there's always a new handset on the horizon. That, in turn, means you have plenty of choices -- and pretty good odds of finding a phone that's right for you.

At the same time, of course, it also means you have a lot of phones to consider. And Android's mile-high selection can quickly get overwhelming.

So back to our original question: Which Android phone is the best to get? The truth is there is no single best phone -- it all comes down to what you want. Do you want a large device, or one that'll easily fit in your pocket? Do you like a physical keyboard, or are you OK with typing on the screen? (I don't know if you've heard, but Android has some pretty sweet voice input options, too.) Ultimately, the question becomes which Android phone is the best for you.

That said, five devices stand out as the top Android models available right now. (If you want to get technical, there are actually eight, as one of them comes in four different flavors.) When someone asks me which Android phone to get -- after finding out what exactly they're looking for -- I almost always end up recommending one of the models from this list. Whether you're new to Android or thinking about making an upgrade, it'd be tough to go wrong with any of these selections.

Check out the full visual tour of this summer's top five Android devices.