Holiday Android Phone Buying Guide, Part 5: Sprint

With the holiday season just around the corner, the carriers are planning their annual rush of new phones. We are just about done with our guide to Android phones on the major carriers,  bringing you handy guides to all the great phones available so it’s easy to compare and make the right decision. Last but certainly not least, we have Sprint. Sprint has been a little late to the Android party but has recently released a few great devices.
LG Optimus S

The Optimus S is an excellent, low-price Android phone

Up until this point, pretty much every good new Android phone cost $200. You just couldn’t get a good smartphone for cheaper. Lower-priced alternatives did exist, but the price savings just wasn’t worth the performance and style bumps. LG is hoping to change that with their Optimus S, which is $50 officially but can be had for much cheaper if you know where to look.
The Optimus S has good reviews, a fast-enough 600Mhz processor, 3.2″ display. 3MP camera and Android 2.2. Most reviews have praised the phone’s build quality, especially Engadget who said that the device shows that ” affordable” doesn’t necessarily mean “cheap.”
The phone comes in several colors (purple!), so they’re great “starter” smartphones for newbies to the platform, and won’t break your bank in the process.

Samsung Epic 4G

The Epic 4G is part of the Galaxy S family, which has a device on every carrier. We’ve gone over the Epic’s brothers in our other roundups, the Fascinate, Captivate and VIbrant. The Epic stands apart from the other devices for 2 reasons. First, it’s the only of the four with a hardware keyboard, and second, it’s equipped with a 4G radio to hook up to Sprint’s new 4-th generation wireless network.

The Epic has the same gorgeous Super-AMOLED display and 1GHz hummingbird processor as the other phones in this line, but the keyboard and 4G speed really make it stand out. The keyboard has large, well spaced keys and while it adds some heft to the phone, the phone overall feels more solid than its counterparts.

The Epic goes for between $100 and $200, but don’t forget Sprint’s $10 “4G” monthly surcharge, which you’ll be paying whether you get 4G or not. Even with the extra fee, the Epic is a phone worth checking out. Samsung has created one of the best lines  all-around Android phones in a while with this Galaxy S lineup.

The EVO 4G is one of the most solid Android phones you can buy


The EVO 4G is a serious phone. Between its gigantic 4.3″ display, 1GHz Snapdragon processor and HDMI output, you can be sure this phone will remain top of the line for at least a little while. The EVO has been out since the spring, but it remains one of the best bangs for your buck on Sprint–it can be had for about $100.

The EVO has been reviewed extensively, and critics generally agree that while the phone has some flaws, it’s one of the best Android phones out right now. HTC’s Sense UI improves on the core Android experience, and the screen is just a joy to look at. The kicker is that the phone comes with a kickstand to prop itself up, so it’s easy to put it on your nightstand and watch a TV show or a YouTube video on your phone without getting out of bed.

Just because the EVO is a few months old doesn’t mean its not a worthy choice. At the speed that the Android device scene moves, it’s pretty impressive that people are still talking about this phone 6 months after it came out.