2012 has been a banner year for smartphone releases. Nearly every major manufacturer has done itself proud, with what we consider some of the best mobile handsets ever produced and what we have picked below are without doubt the absolute best.
Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE
It should come as no shock to most of you that the brilliant Samsung Galaxy S3 - voted Best Smartphone at the uSwitch Mobile Awards 2012 - should lead the charge of the year’s very best releases.
Rocking a stunning 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and a quad-core processor that handles multitasking with aplomb, the Galaxy S3 is as powerful as it is cutting-edge. And now with 4G LTE support, the best just got even better.
What’s perhaps even more impressive about the S3 is its amazing array of software that really puts the ‘smart’ back into smartphone and sets it apart from the competition.
From the intelligent SmartStay mode that keeps the screen awake for as long as it’s in use to Pop-up play function that lets you continue watching a video while working on something else, the S3 is packed to the brim with intuitive, well thought out features.
It’s hardly a surprise then that it’s already shifted over 30 million units worldwide and should no doubt be at the forefront of your consideration when picking out a new smartphone.
Apple iPhone 5
Dedicated smartfans need no introduction to Apple’s perpetually best-selling iPhone and the iPhone 5 lives up to its predecessors’ status by packing yet more improvements in an even slicker and slimmer design.
For starters it’s the first ever handset from the Maker of Shiny iThings to offer worldwide LTE connectivity. Secondly, it’s fitted with a dynamic antenna that seamlessly switches between 4G and 3G networks to give you a speedy, uninterrupted mobile internet experience.
Apple has also upped the screen size to four inches, which boasts a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio that makes it ideal for streaming movies and working on the go. The Retina display with an eye-popping 326 pixels per inch density is superb, offering even richer colours and contrast than before.
And if you need more reasons to decide on an iPhone over a sea of iClones, there are literally hundreds of thousands waiting for you at the App Store.
Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia has built its reputation on designing top drawer smartphones known for their sturdy build quality and chic, colourful designs and the Lumia 920 is no exception.
The Finnish phone-maker’s latest flagship kit, featuring a slick, slim and slab-like form factor that comes in an array of bright colours, really is a breath of fresh air in a market saturated with drab and uninspired handsets.
Powered by the latest, snappiest Windows Phone 8 operating system, the 920 makes it a piece of cake to connect with the people and information that matter to you.
And it’s no slouch in the hardware department, with specs that include a 4.5-inch PureMotion+ HD display, an 8.7-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optic that takes excellent snaps and shoots in full HD, and of course, 4G LTE connectivity for blazing fast internet.
If you’re in the market for a great smartphone that’s not an iPhone or an Android, you need not look any further.
HTC Windows Phone 8X
HTC is not one to be left out of the cool parties and it’s very much an A-List presence with the fantastic Windows Phone 8X, home to a 4.3-inch HD Super LCD2 display, a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and an eight-megapixel camera.
Aside from running on the same, superb Windows Phone 8, which is probably not hard to tell from its name, a stylish design and selection of vibrant colourways also makes the 8X very much an effort in the same vein as the Nokia Lumia 920.
What sets the 8X apart, though, is the kind of industrial quality that’s become a hallmark of the HTC brand, and exclusive features, not least of which includes a built-in amplifier for Beats Audio, a 88° ultra-wide-angle front camera that captures almost three times the area of other phones and an advanced image signal processor (ImageChip) that enables speedy autofocus and continuous burst mode.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what the 8X offers, and in our opinion, it’s easily one of the best smartphones HTC has made yet.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE
Even a year ago, very few would have believed that a smartphone equipped with an utterly enormous 5.3-inch display could ever break into the mainstream consciousness, especially following several long-forgotten attempts failed trying, among which only the Dell Streak rings a bell anymore.
Well, that’s exactly what Samsung’s Galaxy Note did, with over 10 million units sold of a device that not only brought the stylus back into fashion but also transformed a formerly ‘niche’ form factor into one that’s increasingly becoming the norm.
The Galaxy Note 2 takes all that its predecessor achieved and enriches it with a better S-Pen stylus, a larger 5.5-inch screen and whole host of features such as MultiView that lets you split the screen into two to keep working while you do something else, Air Play, which enables you to preview content by simply hovering the S-Pen over them and Quick Command, which reveals a list of apposite options with a simple swipe.
Aptly dubbed a ‘phablet’ for combining the size and functionality of a smartphone with the advanced capabilities of a tablet, the Galaxy Note 2 is proof-positive that bigger sometimes really is better.