recommend me a smartphone

i got a Sony Xperia z in september for my birthday. great phone, when it works. it died with no explanation and i sent off for a new one, new one worked fine but i dropped it a couple weeks ago and got the dreaded crack in the screen, which renders it useless since it’s a touchscreen.

i’m not too pleased because my feeling is that if i spend $600 on a phone, it should be built to survive a short drop- something that happens to virtually everyone who owns a cell phone at some point. after some back and forth via email my cell phone company offered me a $100 credit if i purchase a new phone.

so i’m in the market. the trouble is, i really know nothing about cell phones aside from how to operate one, and i pretty much took the word of the salesperson who sold me the Xperia. i really loved that phone, but i don’t want to get another because i’m afraid it’ll crack if i breathe on it wrong, and i’m already out $600 from this mess. i looked into the samsung galaxy, which seems nice but i’ve seen some mixed reviews.

what’s important to me: android, good camera(the Xperia has a really really nice camera), fast internet, won’t crack if dropped 2 feet. i use it mainly for my own entertainment(read: electronic pacifier), not for work or anything. recommendations?

For an unlocked off-contract phone at a reasonable price, consider either the Motorola Moto G, or the Nexus 5. The Nexus 5 probably meets the fast internet requirement (the Moto G does not have LTE). The Moto G looks to be quite a bargain though.

No idea on the camera quality on either of these. No phone is going to be drop-proof.

The Nexus 5 has plain white wrapper Android 4.4 KitKat. I have this on my new Nexus 7 tablet and it’s really nice - no bloatware or manufacturer tweaks to the OS.

I just bought a Galaxy S4 - $199 at Verizon with a 2 year renewal. I just took a picture to try out the camera - it looks damn good, but I’m no expert. Nice and fast also. I’m happy so far, but my old phone was crap.

I have had a Droid Razr Hd for 6 months and LOVE it! Zero complaints! Camera good, screen is HUGE,and have dropped it with no problems. I have an awesome rubberized case on it with a stand (which people comment on) which cost me 8 on Ebay! This phone is probably close to free now. I also have Verizon, and never have any problems with.

Same here. I protect mine in an otterbox (water protection). I’ve never dropped it.

I just got a Samsung Note 3 on T-Mobile (coming from a Note 1 on ATT). I love it, I’m very impressed with its ease of use, freedom of control, and power. The battery life is amazing, especially when at home and set up for WiFi calling (which has worked flawlessly so far). I also appreciate that T-Mobile didn’t bog it down too heavily with their own crapware apps.

I’ve had an HTC One for about 7-8 months (I think) and I love it. It’s solid too, went flying out of a car and into the street at about 15mph and only suffered a couple scratches on the corners and a very thin crack across the screen that you can’t even see unless you know to look for it.
I haven’t had a single problem with it the entire time I’ve had it, and I drop it on the regular. Even got tired of the case so it has been naked for a while.

I also have the HTC One and love it. I’ve dropped it many times and it keeps on ticking. I don’t even use a screen protector on it, let alone a case. It has Gorilla Glass, for what that’s worth. It’s my fourth HTC phone (going all the way back to the G1), and they’ve all been very reliable.

My GF has the Galaxy S4, and she loves it. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one. Both are LTE on T-Mo, both have good cameras.

I’ve been happy with my Samsung Galaxy S2, although it would now be classified as an older model and one that I doubt you can still buy. I wouldn’t hesitate to replace it with a newer Galaxy model when the time comes.

As for browsing and streaming performance, my experience has been that this depends as much on local signal strength and stream output capacity as on your device. In terms of memory and processing speed my S2 blasts my previous phone out of the water but I haven’t noticed a huge performance leap in this aspect.

I’m happy with my Samsung Galaxy S3. I’ve had it for about five months now. Paid $399.00 at Walmart, because I didn’t want to be locked into those yearly plans charging $100 a month. I just renew it monthly for $49.00 a month with Straight Talk. Just recently got the one year card, which saved me a bit more, so my monthly total is only $45.52 with tax and everything.