Top 10 best iPhone alternatives

14th Dec 2011 | 14:28

Top 10 best iPhone alternatives

Looking for a great smartphone that isn't an iPhone?

The iPhone 4S has been a massive success, selling tens of millions of units all over the world, but it's not for everyone and there are some great iPhone alternatives.

In particular, if you want something larger or smaller, or with a physical keyboard, Apple won't be able to help you. Similarly, if you want something more customisable or with widgets, you'll need to look elsewhere.

There are plenty of other manufacturers producing some great devices, however, so you don't have to look far for some worthy iPhone alternatives. So here are our 10 favourites, in no particular order.

Of course, these aren't the only phones on offer – keep your eye on our top 20 mobile phones list for more great options.

1. Samsung Galaxy S2


Samsung galaxy s2

What we think:

What can we say? Superfast dual core processor, superlative screen quality, an 8MP camera with Full HD recording to boot - plus a chassis that comes in at under 8.5mmt thick.

Samsung's entry is right up there as one of the best, earning itself our coveted 5 star review, and running a customised version of Android's 2.3/Gingerbread OS (with ICS already confirmed), it has a full set of features to back up the impressive hardware.

Samsung Galaxy S2 review

2. Motorola Razr

Motorola razr

Running a customised version of Android 2.3, with an 8MP camera, 1GB of RAM and a dual core 1.2GHz processor, this phone sounds very familiar. However if thickness is important to you, it measures in at 7.1mm (at its narrowest point) which is almost 1.4mm thinner than the Galaxy S2.

In all, a very useful overlay coupled with some high end specs and the recently announced ICS update make this a phone that will wow people with its looks and keep you up to date in the future too.

Motorola Razr review

3. HTC Sensation XE

LG optimus 3d


Whilst we could have populated this list almost entirely with HTC Sensation variants, we've gone for the XE.

Newly-purchased Beats audio technology on top of Android Gingerbread in the background and the much loved Sense 3.0 in the foreground running silky smooth on a dual core 1.5GHz processor, HTC has produced a phone worthy of its nametag.

We're fans of the premium build quality and red flashes throughout this handset - it's fast, powerful and the battery doesn't die in seventeen seconds like so many other smartphones around.

HTC Sensation XE review


4. HTC Wildfire S

HTC wildfire s

Following up on the successful original, HTC has provided a nifty little piece of kit in the form of the budget Wildfire S.

From its durable case in a variety of different colours, to Sense 3.0 (coming soon) overlaying Android 2.3, and dropping in with a low, low price tag, HTC shows just how appealing Android can be, to everyone.

This is more of an iPhone 3GS, rather than iPhone 4S, alternative, but if you're into dinky phones this is a real winner.

HTC Wildfire S review

5. Samsung Galaxy Nexus

HTC hd7

Following in the footsteps of its Nexus branded brethren, Samsung's second entry brings another major OS upgrade in the form of Ice Cream Sandwich.

It's hard to talk about this phone without going on about the OS - but packing a 1.2GHz dual core processor, NFC and a 5MP camera that punches above its weight with 1080p video recording, the hardware is more than worth a second look.

It's the iPhone but larger in many ways - with a screen that packs roughly the same resolution as the Retina Display, a faster dual core process and more RAM make it very much worth a gander as an Apple alternative.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus review

6. Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S

Google nexus s

With poor Android beginnings in the form of the X10, the Arc S highlights just how significantly the brand has moved in terms of producing high quality and gorgeously slim phones.

With the flexibility of Android 2.3 (with confirmed ICS upgrade) and Sony's very own and superb Timescape, the Arc S is a phone you won't be ashamed of showing off.

It also features a cracking 8MP camera (capable of 3D panoramas) and that beautiful Reality Display to really bring colours and contrast ratios to life - and with the updated 1.4GHz processor it very rarely wants for grunt too.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S review

7. HTC Titan

HTC desire hd

We have another entry from HTC, but this time in the form of the Windows Phone 7.5-toting Titan. It's yet another phone that lives up to its nametag, measuring in at 131.5mm x 70.7mm to offer gargantuan proportions in the hand.

With such a large body, HTC has managed to cram in some high end specs (such as the fastest Windows Phone processor and HTC audio enhancements), which is all ably shown off with the latest Windows Phone 7.5 Mango software.

Microsoft's new platform offers a really different experience to the simplistic nature of iOS 5 thanks to Live Tiles, but still is easy to pick up and use too.

HTC Titan review

8. Nokia Lumia 800

BlackBerry torch

Playing big brother to the Lumia 710, the more impressive Lumia 800 shows what you can produce when you combine two of the world's tech powerhouses.

This is a true Nokia phone of old, from the fantastic colours to the Carl Zeiss 8MP Camera, modernised with the superb Windows Phone 7.5 Mango software.

It's got a different body to the anonymous black slab phones we're used to, thanks to curved Gorilla Glass and integrated microSIM - it doesn't have the raw power or depth as the iPhone, but it's certainly a phone that stands out from the pack.

Nokia Lumia 800 review

9. BlackBerry Bold 9900

HTC desire s

You can't create a list of smartphones without at least one entry from RIM and the Bold 9900 easily justifies its own inclusion.

Visually, the 9900 is a stereotypical BlackBerry, but iced with a high end 1.2GHz processor and the latest BB OS 7 and topped with a superb touch screen and NFC technology, the latest Bold isn't a standard business phone.

You have to really want a BlackBerry over an iPhone to pick this up, as it's a little expensive, but if you're a keyboard fan, there's really nothing better around.

BlackBerry Bold 9900 review

10. Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray

Orange san francisco

As far as cheaper alternatives go, there are a few options available, such as the aforementioned Wildfire S, but another in that mould is the Xperia Ray.

It's not just the decent 8MP camera on board that we're fans of - it's the fast processor, slick Timescape UI (with the latest version of Android) and most of all: the high-res display that means you've got a phone that fits easily in the pocket but is great for video too.

It's not the most powerful, fastest or most able phone on the market, but for the cash and the size, there's not a lot that comes close.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray review

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