Carriers

What Android phone should I buy for AT&T? [CHART]

December 16, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

AT&T

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AT&T hasn’t exactly warmed up to Android, but it still has one of the largest subscriber bases in America. That’s why it doesn’t surprise me that we field questions from so many people trying to figure out which AT&T Android phone is best.

I’d love to be able to tell them that there’s a stable of options, but it really boils down to a couple of good phones and a few that can get the job done. Here is a quick look at the top phones on AT&T and a comparison chart of some major features to help make your decision.

Samsung Captivate

There’s really no other way to state it plainly: the Samsung Captivate is the best phone available for AT&T. No other device can match its beautiful Super AMOLED screen, zippy Hummingbird processor, and solid build. The Captivate represents Samsung’s goal to have the best Android phone on any carrier, and the carrier unequivocally reaches that goal when it comes to AT&T. Someone who plays games, uses social networks often, or wants a great experience should consider this phone before any other.

The Captivate has had its share of problems, including a long-nagging problem with GPS accuracy that some users still say hasn’t quite been fixed and a delayed wait for Android 2.2. However, pickings are slim at Big Blue and if you refuse to leave the carrier, this is the best move to make.

Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10

Sony Ericsson likes to view the XPERIA is an experience unlike any other. The custom version of Android that it runs – UX, or Timescape colloquially – is a pretty rendition of what the avid cell phone fan wants. The interface on the Xperia, from the contacts and dialer app to the homescreen launcher, are very stylish, and the media player ranks among the best additions to Android made by any phone maker.

However, there’s also the problem of XPERIA feeling like it’s stronger the last generation but not quite up to par with the current crop of devices. Not only is it laggy at time, it’s also running software that debuted a year ago. The X10 is a decent phone if you listen to music often or just really love Sony’s design, but be advised that there are issues.

Motorola Bravo

Motorola has made MOTOBLUR a common occurrence on its Android devices, so its obvious what’s powering the Bravo’s software. But what’s a little surprising is that the hardware is nothing to sneeze at: 2 GB internal storage, 512 MB RAM, a 3.7-inch screen, and a 800 MHz processor that keeps everything chugging along. Sure, the 3 megapixel camera is a little light, but it’s passable.

The Bravo is for someone more interested in the mid-range options. It’s not as powerful as the Captivate or even the X10, but it is good enough for most games and has extensive support for social networking courtesy of MOTOBLUR. If a physical keyboard is not high on your lists of wants, grab this phone. But if you do want to snag a phone with a physical keyboard, consider the Motorola Flipside. It’s not as strong, but you’ll get the same BLUR-y goodness and a keyboard to boot.

HTC Aria

The Aria is another mid-range option for the person who doesn’t need a super phone but wouldn’t mind something with a little more charm than the entry-level stuff floating around. The Aria meets those needs with HTC Sense UI, that offers deep tweaks to Android’s keyboard, music player, and social networks in a stream that brings all links into one place.

A 600 MHz processor and 3.2 inch screen means you won’t be doing much 3D gaming on the Aria. The Aria is not as fast the stronger phones but it’s good enough to get you through the day tweeting, browsing the web, and watching a YouTube video here and there.

Click image below to see comparison chart