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Android devices for website developers

The diversity of the Android ecosystem means that it can be tough to pick out which handsets offer the best apps and functionality when you are developing a mobile website. Google`s open source approach to Android means that individual manufacturers can craft very different hardware and software experiences. This has resulted in criticism being leveled against Android for its fragmentary nature as a platform. However, this is something to which developers must adapt, not fight against, with the best method for achieving this being to simply get to grips with the exemplary Android smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is one of the most important Android devices on the market at the moment because it is essentially Google`s flagship phone. It showcases a largely unmodified edition of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It was the first model to feature this updated platform and from a hardware point of view it ticks a lot of the right boxes.

Firstly, the Galaxy Nexus has a large Super AMOLED display that measures 4.65 inches across the diagonal. This gives you plenty of room to work with when you are out and about and is an improvement over the 4-4.3 inch screens that defined the previous generation of smartphones. The display also benefits from a high native resolution of 1280x720, which means that it can be used to playback 720p content in full detail. This is useful when streaming video from the web. This increased pixel count also makes apps and other services on the phone look crisper and ensures that text is easier to read without the need to zoom in and out.

The Galaxy Nexus features a powerful 1.2GHz dual core processor, so it can handle multitasking without breaking a sweat or forcing the user to deal with a laggy UI. GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth connectivity are all featured onboard this phone, which is what you would expect from any modern high-end handset. However, it also packs in an NFC (near field communication) chip that lets you make `contactless` payments and experience other interactive features when near a compatible terminal. NFC is becoming increasingly prevalent in the smartphone market and this is one of the few Android models to support it at the moment.

While the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is available at the moment, it has already been superseded from a technical standpoint by a recently announced model from HTC. The One X is set to be this manufacturer`s main high-end handset for the first half of 2012. With a quad core 1.5GHz processor, a 4.7-inch HD display and an eight megapixel camera, it has some of the best components available today. The One X also features Android 4.0, but this time there is the bespoke Sense 4.0 UI laid over the top of Google`s framework to add even more functionality.

If you are used to using prototyping software, you will appreciate the work that has gone into making Sense a class-leading platform. The immediate availability of the Galaxy Nexus makes it the Android handset of choice for the moment, but soon the HTC One X and an array of other quad core models will be vying for your attention.


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