Every year, we take a look at the top 5 smartphones that made a huge impact in the market. These phones aren’t necessarily the best ones out there or the ones with the latest features, but the ones that generated a lot of buzz (in a positive way), did well in sales, or just plain changed our mobile market.
Without further ado, here’s our top 5 smartphones for 2012.
5. Google Nexus 4
Although the Google Nexus 4 by LG is a latecomer for the year, it deserves a place here as being the most affordable quad-core smartphone from a premium brand. It’s one of the first few handsets that uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 pro chip and also comes with 2GB RAM on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. This 4.7-inch phone retails for around Php23k – Php25k in the local market which is still inexpensive as compared to other quad-core phones when they first arrived.
4. iPhone 5
Another latecomer is Apple’s iPhone 5. It was announced in September but only made its way here this month and got a lot of people lining up. It’s the first iPhone to get a screen size upgrade from 3.5″ to 4″. It’s not much in today’s standards but it’s enough for iPhone fans. You’ll get a gorgeous display, amazing camera, and overall fast performance in one compact and nice-looking package. That’s the iPhone 5 for you.
3. Cherry Mobile Flare
A lot of you may be wondering why I placed the Cherry Mobile Flare this high. Allow me to explain. This phone changed (skewed even) the meaning of “budget” smartphone. If you’re talking about a budget smartphone in today’s standards, it should have at least a 4-inch screen and a dual-core processor. Because of the Flare, people can’t help but compare other phones having almost similar specs to its price and it’s unfair really… to the other brands that is. And because of the Flare, we’ll expect to see more similarly priced and specc’ed smartphones early next year.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note II
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is a nice surprise from this list. I’m seeing a lot of people favoring this big 5.5-inch phone/tablet over smaller ones with conventional sizes. The Galaxy Note II is more than just a smartphone though, the S-Pen and the big screen makes it an easy productivity device filled with cool and fun features from Samsung not seen in other phones. If you’re after a phone and tablet in one device, the Galaxy Note II should be your first choice.
1. Samsung Galaxy S III
And our number 1 smartphone for the year is another one from Samsung, the Galaxy S III (last year it was the Galaxy S II). Released last May, this phone was able to hit the 20 million sales mark in just over 3 months. Even up to now, it’s still a popular choice for people looking for a quad-core Android phone. It has a huge 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD screen display, expandable storage, USB OTG, and already runs on Android Jelly Bean.
I would have to give this to the HTC One X which is still one of the most beautiful phones released this year. It’s the first quad-core Android phone that was made available in the local market but unfortunately, HTC didn’t have that same marketing push Samsung did that propelled their Galaxy S III to the top. Still, whenever I somebody using the 4.7-inch One X, I always have the urge to tell that person, “good choice!”.
Another honorable mention would have to be the Nokia Lumia 920. It’s probably the most promising Windows Phone 8 device launched in 2012. However, it didn’t make the cut because Nokia PH wasn’t able to bring it here this year. While only having a 4.5-inch screen, the Lumia 920 sports some impressive features such as a super-bright, sensitive touch display, wireless charging, and Nokia’s PureView technology on its camera. We’ll see how it performs when it becomes available next year.
Probably the smartphone that didn’t make quite an impact this year is the BlackBerry. Although there are a handful of BlackBerries that RIM released this year (including the first full-touch BlackBerry Curve 9380), nothing came close to competing with the flagship phones from the other mobile platforms. All eyes are on them for next year though as they try to make a comeback with the BlackBerry 10 so we’ll just have to wait and see.