By 10 December 2012 | Categories: feature articles



In 2012 we saw the smartphone power shift from Apple to Korean tech-giant Samsung. Their Galaxy S3 received the amount of praise usually reserved for the latest iPhone. But the S3 wasn't the only trick up Samsung's sleeve...


Nokia Lumia 920Nokia Lumia 920

Since tying the knot with Microsoft last year, Nokia's Lumia range of Windows Phone devices has improved steadily, culminating in their flagship, the Windows Phone 8 running Lumia 920 (review).

The 920's 4.5" PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack display is certainly one of the best in the business, accompanying an excellent 8.7 MP camera with PureView technology and wireless charging. But, it is Nokia's range of awesome extras, the likes of Mix Radio and Nokia Drive, that puts the Lumia 920 in a class of its own. Its bulky size prevented any higher placement.



HTC's One X (review) can certainly claim 2012's title of most underrated smartphone. Out marketed by Samsung's top Galaxy S3, in many ways we feel it certainly wasn't out muscled, with the One X coming across faster than its Android counterpart.

Sporting a number of good camera features, a top class 4.7" display, Beats Audio and the beast that is the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, HTC had a flagship to be proud of this year, it's just a shame that they didn't tell more people about it.


Apple iPhone 5Apple iPhone 5

Maybe due to the runaway success of previous versions, the incremental increases Apple made on the iPhone 5 were seen as, well, a bit dull. Nonetheless, its easy-to-hold 4" (yes, only 4") Retina display remains superb, the A6 processor is zippy, while Apple managed to cram everything into a 7.6 mm body that is the current epitome of industrial design.

It does seem that the iPhone has reached maturity, and that other manufacturers, most notably Samsung, has managed to catch-up, and surpass, Apple's icon. Is it time for something completely different from Cupertino?


Samsung Galaxy S3Samsung Galaxy S3

To say that the Galaxy S3 (review) is the 2012 smartphone success story is a bit of an understatement. It commanded the type of respect usually reserved for the latest iPhone, and it did not become uncommon for us to hear of Apple fans switching over.

Apart from its 4.8" Super AMOLED screen, what we liked about the device is the fact that Samsung did not rest on only what the Android platform provides, incorporating a number of useful extras, the likes of Smart stay and Pop up play. Ultimately the S3 left us with the following question: What lies in store for the S4?


Samsung Galaxy Note IISamsung Galaxy Note II

Go big or go home they say. In the case of Samsung's Galaxy Note II (review), no one turned away. In fact, the Note II improved on its 5.3" phablet predecessor by increasing screen size (5.5"), RAM (2 GB vs 1 GB) and processor speed (1.6 GHz quad-core vs 1.4 GHz dual-core) - all in a body that feels much easier to work on.

Granted, the Note II's 5.5" Super AMOLED display might be too big for some, but the screen is so deliciously inviting, almost begging one to read a Kindle ebook or watch movies. Add to this improved functionality on the S Pen stylus, a bigger battery and innovative multitasking features, and you have yourself TechSmart's top smartphone of 2012.

Read also:

Our Top 5 tablets of 2012
Our Top 5 notebooks of 2012.
Our Top 5 smartphones of 2011

Article first appeared in TechSmart 111, December 2012. Read or download here.




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