15 Android Phones Versus the iPhone 5

The iPhone 5: Obsolete Before Release?

Since the original 2G model launched back in 2007, Apple’s iPhone products have typically been the King of the Smartphone Hill. Whether you're talking about the 3G, 3GS or the iPhone 4, there is no denying the success that Apple has enjoyed in this space, much of which is thanks to the potent hardware Apple puts into its products.

But what about Android devices?

The iPhone 2G and 3G wore the Best Hardware crown up until the release of the following model, but that started to change when the iPhone 3GS was arguably bested within several months by devices like the Motorola Droid and Google Nexus One. The iPhone 4 was the fastest smartphone for less than a month when the Samsung Vibrant launched with a larger screen, similar-but-faster CPU, and more potent GPU.

This year the iPhone 5 may be outclassed before it even launches, all thanks to the massive progression of the Android platform as well as the effort put in by chipmakers like Nvidia (Tegra), Texas Instruments (OMAP) and Qualcomm (Snapdragon). We’ve rounded up 15 high-end Android phones - some of which are already available while others are expected sometime later this year - that are ready to give the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 4GS, whatever it's called) a run for its money. We will give each phone an “iPhone Threat Level” of Green, Blue, Yellow, Orange, and Red; Green being little to no threat to the iPhone 5’s success, and Red being a severe threat.

This article is predominantly about the hardware within Apple and Android smartphones...but we do address software, design and UI layers to a certain extent, especially when we're talking about specific manufacturers like HTC. It's hard to talk about smartphone hardware without mentioning other factors, so keep that in mind as you read on.

UPDATE: Reviews for the Samsung Galaxy S II are starting to trickle in. So far it's a very warm reception. [Engadget Review, Slashgear Review]