As the year draws to a close, now is the perfect time to reflect on the smartphones that have succeeded in wowing consumers over the past 12 months. Here are the top 10 releases from this year, each of which offers something special. There can be only one chart topper, but which is the best smartphone of 2012?
10th – Sony Xperia U
Budget smartphones used to be cheap and nasty, but the Xperia U proved that you can get decent performance and solid design without having to raid your savings account. With a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 3.5-inch screen, the Xperia U is powerful enough to run Android 4.0 while still being suitably priced to appeal to pay-as-you-go customers. With removable base caps and a transparent LED strip, Sony’s best budget smartphone of 2012 lights up to match the most dominant colour on the screen.
9th – Orange San Diego
2012 has been a good year for budget smartphones, since the Orange San Diego introduced consumers to the idea that an Intel-powered device could be a good alternative to ARM-based competitors.
A 1.6-GHz single-core chip, high-resolution 4-inch display and impressive 1GB allocation of RAM help to elevate the San Diego above many other budget-price smartphones. Meanwhile, an 8-megapixel camera with full HD 1080p video capture makes it the equal of many more expensive devices.
8th – Motorola RAZR i
More Intel processor goodness is found in the Motorola RAZR i, which also has the distinction of featuring a beautiful edge-to-edge touchscreen display and a big enough battery to help it outlast other devices. This phone is effectively the equal of the Orange San Diego, but with a 4.3-inch display it manages to outdo it in one key area.
7th – Sony Xperia T
Sony’s flagship Xperia devices have always been very attractive and this is certainly true of the Xperia T.
This model also happens to be suitably powerful thanks to its 1.5-GHz dual-core processor. It packs a 4.55-inch display with a HD resolution of 1280×720, so it is just as capable as some of the phones higher up the rankings.
In addition, its 13-megapixel camera is the best around at the moment, combining a high resolution with plenty of great software features. The only thing holding it back is its lack of a quad-core processor.
Get the Sony Xperia T from Mobiles.co.uk
6th – Google Nexus 4
Consumers would be lucky to actually get hold of a Nexus 4 because Google’s aggressive pricing strategy for its new flagship phone has led to product shortages.
On the plus side, if you do get one you can enjoy a quad-core powerhouse contained in a slender chassis, with manufacturer LG really outdoing itself in terms of overall quality. In addition, you get unfettered access to Android with no manufacturer gewgaws included.
5th – Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Samsung only decided to categorise the Galaxy Note range as a smartphone this year, which has helped it to earn a place on this list.
No other phone can match its 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display for size, while the inclusion of the S-Pen stylus is another unique touch that helps to differentiate it from rivals. Because it is so large and expensive it will not be ideal for everyone, but tech-heads will really love what it offers.
4th – Apple iPhone 5
Apple’s sixth iPhone introduces a larger 5-inch display that retains the pixel density of its predecessors.
The result is a widescreen experience with more icons on the home-screen and better media playback. An updated processor and tweaked software, combined with one of the slimmest shells ever seen, allow the iPhone 5 to remain a dominant force.
3rd – Nokia Lumia 920 / 820
Rocking the latest Windows Phone 8 OS, the latest Lumia 820 and 920 double team, offer something a little different. The bright colours from their durable polycarbonate shells are durable and provide a break from the bland, black-and-chrome norm.
With wireless charging, NFC, and the ability to use your phone when wearing gloves, both of these Lumia’s are welcome additions to take on the might of Apple and Android.
The latest Nokia Lumia 820 deals
2nd – HTC One X
HTC came very close to taking the top spot because the One X is worthy of being crowned as the best smartphone of 2012. It is only the presence of the slightly superior Galaxy S3 that is holding it back.
You get a quad-core CPU, large 4.7-inch HD screen and a beautifully sleek handset wrapping all of this up in a neat package.
1st – Samsung Galaxy S3
Which is the best smartphone of 2012? There could be no other answer than the Samsung Galaxy S3. Its 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, quad-core processor and thin, light design are all very appealing on paper, but the excellent levels of functionality and sheer smoothness of the user experience help it rise above its peers.
So there’s a round-up of our favourites. What do you think? Did your handset make our best smartphone of 2012 list? All the latest products available from mobiles.co.uk.
What was the best smartphone of 2012?