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It’s that time of year again, folks, where we announce the top 5 Android devices that we thought really stood out and performed well. The phones are judged by Team Ausdroid with the following criteria: launched in Australia this year; specs given the time of launch; positive feedback we’ve been given by readers about the device. We thought we’d also throw in a few devices into a list of worst devices to launch this year, just for a few laughs. With all that out of the way, let’s get into it!

Samsung Nexus S (#5)

Available for $399 at MobiCity

The Samsung Nexus S was the second of the Nexii devices manufactured in collaboration with Google — the first being the Nexus One manufactured by HTC. It was released by Vodafone near the start of this year and I was lucky enough to review (and giveaway) one. I wasn’t blown away by the hardware of the device, but the fact it ran stock Android and constantly received updates from Google over the course of the year — it’s is now getting Ice Cream Sandwich OTA before any other device — is what got it into #5 in our list.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc (#4)

Available for $419 at MobiCity

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc was also released earlier on in the year and is still the best single-core Android device we’ve used. The software is not as over-the-top and intrusive as what Sony Ericsson were doing with the Xperia X10 — it was snappy and intuitive. Vodafone also released this device in the first half of this year. The Xperia Arc’s thin, sexy design makes it very appealing to a lot of people and it’s a device I’ve seen people use a fair bit around the streets of Melbourne. The Xperia Arc is pretty much where Sony Ericsson’s hot streak of great phones ended for 2011.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus (#3)

Available for $749 at MobiCity

Why the hell isn’t this phone number 1?! Well, let me explain. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was only launched here in Australia just over a week ago and has yet to really make a mark on the Aussie Android scene — we have no doubts it will in time. So for now it sits at a respective #3 on our list and is still the device we’d recommend to hardcore Android users. Much like the Nexus S, the Galaxy Nexus will be receiving a steady stream of updates from Google over the course of 2012. The Galaxy Nexus was launched first Telstra, followed by Optus and Vodafone.

HTC Sensation (#2)

Available for $549 at MobiCity

The HTC Sensation was HTC’s flagship phone of 2011 and rightly so. HTC changed their vision from making devices that really pushed the limits to making devices that looked good and appealed to the average consumer — the HTC Sensation was really taking hints from both of those visions. It came with all the high-end specs such as a dual-core CPU, a qHD display and an instantaneous 8MP camera. It also came with the over-the-top UI that is Sense, and whilst it appealed to people who loved colourful graphics and floating through clouds, it didn’t appeal to people who just wanted raw horse power from their device. We’ve given the HTC Sensation #2 on our list for being a device that really pushed its way into the average consumer market.

Honorable mentions..

  • Motorola RAZR
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
  • Huawei IDEOS X5

Most disappointing devices of 2011

  1. Motorola Atrix
  2. LG Optimus 2X
  3. HTC EVO 3D
  4. LG Optimus 3D
Companies: HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sony