Video: The Great Canadian Android Smartphone Roundup

Canadians used to have to be jealous of other countries’ phones. We would have to import the top-of-the-line Nokia from Europe, or ask dad to pick up  the latest Sony Ericsson on the way home from Hong Kong.

But since Android’s explosion, and subsequent financial viability, various hardware manufacturers have begun using it as the de facto iPhone competitor, and there has been no shortage of interesting designs and exciting specs.

Some people want sheer speed; others prioritize size; others still, software. Each manufacturer in the Roundup, from HTC to Sony Ericsson, Samsung to Motorola, have succeeded in some way in convincing veteran fans and new admirers that their product is the superior choice.

In the first Great Canadian Roundup series, I take a look at seven flagship Android phones recently introduced to the Canadian market. While there is no distinct winner, and I try to find something to like in every device, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc, HTC Incredible S and Samsung Nexus S seem to come out on top in terms of design, usability and customization respectively.

I break phones down by carrier (this video only deals with Rogers, Bell and Telus* — I will do an AWS Roundup in the future) and then by similarities, and throw in a surprise at the end for good luck. More a hardware overview than software (as there is only so much time) I will come to some very subjective conclusions:

Best screen: Samsung Nexus S / Fascinate 4G (same screen)
Runner-up: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Best hardware performance (benchmarks): Motorola Atrix
Runner-up: Samsung Nexus S

Best software performance (feel of OS): HTC Incredible S
Runner-up: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Best battery life: HTC Incredible S
Runner-up: Samsung Nexus S

Best call quality: Motorola Atrix
Runner-up: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc / Play

Best camera: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc
Runner-up: HTC Incredible S

Best gaming experience: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
Runner-up: Motorola Atrix

Best movie-watching experience: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc
Runner-up: HTC Desire HD

Best overall phone: Samsung Nexus S
Second-place: HTC Incredible S
Third-place: Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

*watch the video to learn more