Atish Patel writes:

I’m going to be buying a smartphone in March of 2013. The problem is that I don’t really want to buy an iOS device because I do not want to be in that ecosystem; however, I will not avoid it if it means a much better experience.

I wanted to get the Nexus smartphone (Nexus 4) when it came out, but Google decided to not support the largest covering carrier in United States, Verizon. I have to stick to Verizon. No choice.

So far, I don’t see any worthy Android phone that can compare to iPhone 5 other than Nexus 4. I need help finding my options for a fantastic experience with my first smartphone. iPhone 5 vs. what?

What is the best “buttery” Android experience I can find other than the Nexus 4 on Verizon? Could you please point me to a couple of Android phones I won’t be disappointed with since Nexus 4 is not on Verizon?

Droid DNAHonestly, I haven’t found any Android experience to match that of the Nexus 4. I know that there are great Android phones (and other great Android experiences) out there, but perhaps I’m just a bit more picky? Don’t let this cause you to give up hope, though. The Android market is constantly changing, and there’s a good chance another option will present itself sometime between now and March.

Before I used the Nexus 4, I was quite happy with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. That’s almost like a different class of machine, too — large screen, stylus, removable battery, etc.

I have no qualms recommending the Note 2 over the Galaxy SIII. They’re basically the same device. The Galaxy Note 2 is a bit faster, though. The larger screen may also be a benefit too, if you don’t mind having something quite a bit larger than the average phone in your hand.

I see things differently than a lot of people do. You could find that any Android device is amazing compared to your previous experiences — as might anybody else. Some people absolutely recommend the HTC Droid DNA over anything else, and that’s certainly a device worth looking into. The Droid Razr by Motorola may also be a compelling choice for you, especially with Google having a stake in Motorola Mobile.

The HTC Droid DNA has a 1080p screen and all the hardware capabilities you could ask for. The downside is that it isn’t a Nexus device, and that means slower updates. Fluidity comes down to the operating system and how it’s optimized in many cases. A faster processor might make the frames drop less, but having an experience that is optimized for the device from stem to stern is one of the reasons the iPhone 5 and Nexus 4 are doing so well right now. Nothing has come close to my Nexus 4 — not even the Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 in terms of fluidity.

Because you said you don’t really want to buy an iOS device, I wouldn’t recommend the iPhone 5 to you (because, after all, you have to be happy with your decision — and if you don’t want it, that should speak volumes).