Best Android phone available as of now?

I get this question quite often lately: ‘What is the best Android phone available?, or ‘What is the fastest Android phone?’

Questions like these are not easy to answer, since there isn’t really a mutually accepted benchmark program out there which works equally good with all Android devices available.
There’s linpack, which is a CPU benchmark reporting Millions of FLoating-point Operations Per Second (aka M-FLOPS). Although this does give a fair indication of processing power, it does not tell us much about the graphics capabilities.
Then there’s Quadrant. Quadrant does provide separate ratings of CPU, memory, I/O and 3D graphics performance, but only in the Advanced edition. There does not seem to be a any website out there that gathers these advanced edition scores in a nice table, but if you’re interested in combined scores, as provided by the standard edition, you should drop by smartphonebenchmarks.com.

Another reason why it’s impossible to say: ‘This is the best phone available’ is that different people have different wishes and requirements. My wishes and requirements (which will be used as guidelines in the remainder of this article) include:

  • large screen, between 4″ and 5″ in diameter
  • Running the latest version of Android (version 2.2.1 aka Froyo), or upgradable to it within a month
  • Fast. In the top 5 of available Android phones on most (if not all) benchmarks.
  • Preferably some kind of flash or led light for the camera, which should be at leasy 5MP
  • Preferable also a front-facing camera for video calls

So… what would be the best Android phone available this month (in Europe. Norway, to be more precise since that’s where I hang out nowadays. I’m sure the phones I will be mentioning are available in other parts of the world as well, but since phone companies (especially in the USA) have the nasty habit of giving them different names you may have to do some Googling…) on the market?

Looks like there are 2 contenders for the title: the Samsung Galaxy S, and the HTC Desire HD.
Both have a big screen, both will be running Android Froyo by the end of the month (if Samsung keeps its promise), and both are in the top 5 of the benchmarks (the Samsung gets even faster after a little filesystem tweak) if Googled results can be trusted.
However… if I want and a front-facing camera, and a flash with the main camera, I’m out of luck! The Samsung has one (front-facing cam), and the HTC has the other (double led-light flash).

What to do now…? Wait for the november models? I’m not sure if I can wait that long… 😎

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