PTB’s Top 5 Smartphones for 2012

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

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

Samsung Galaxy S3

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.

Honorable Mentions


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.

What’s missing?

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.

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  • AwKeiH

    HTC ONE X ftw! xD

  • Marvin

    The unsung iphone killer didnt make it to top 5. How sad.

    • taga-sugbu-ako

      what is that unit sir?

      • dennice

        (iPhone5)bcoz of its price i know..

  • taga-sugbu-ako

    nice listing sir. i was quite amused sa flare, it made to the list despite sa mga bad comments ng mga non-beleivers sa cherry mobile. and wondering why no myphone on the list sir…

    im with you sa lumia 920, sayang and it was not released this year with its specs, cguro it will be also a hit…

  • edsar

    Maybe Top 5 for local brand perhaps?

    • yup… in our mobile market.

      • edsar

        I mean companies like MyPhone,Cherry Mobile, StarMobile etc.?? sana meron din list ng ganoon since most of Pinoys yun ang paniguradong afford

  • Juan

    s3 is cheap looking design (or should i say ugly?), it doesnt feel premium when you hold it, and cheap looking touchwiz ui. I would pick N4 or OneX anytime over that overrated sgs3

    • len

      I agree that HTC One X looks better than S3. It’s display is better but performance wise, I prefer the S3. Had a chance to compare the 2 at a globe store sometime ago (so I am not sure if there was an update with One X) and I could say that S3’s data connection is better than One X. Maybe it depends on your preference. If you like better display, go for HTC but to a person like me who’s always surfing the net, go for S3.

  • onggeo

    Nice article. I agree with the rankings and nice of you to mention the Lumia. Agree rin ako na game changer ang Flare cause of specs to price ratio. The specs aren’t high-end pero compared sa ibang phones na double ang price like LG L7 or Sony Xperia J ay panalong panalo ang specs at price.

  • thejorlanb


    😀 dapat nasa honorable mention din yun!

    • you’re right!! gawan ko later.

  • jhunix

    w0w! im amazed nasali pa ang gamit kong CM Flare at nasa top 3 pa! 🙂

    im so proud to u CM flare! lol

  • go go go flare 🙂

  • roy

    although di talaga philippine made ang CM Flare (karbonn A9?) but it can still be called the people’s android phone, ika nga ehehe.. everyone can afford to buy this phone.. top 3? wow..

  • Jennyca Lou Medalla

    put prizes so that we could think for the quality and also the quantity whenever we want to buy smartphones and availability where can we buy this phones etc..mass specs…

  • neilgm

    cw flare rocks!!!!

  • Jhay

    Sir Calvin ayos naba G sensor ng Flare ngayon ?

    • taga-sugbu-ko

      ok na ang gsensor and messaging rotation ng flare since naglabas sila ng update of their software. after the update, you have to calibrate the gsensor and proximity sensor.

  • Runwachie2

    pde po ba na maglist kayu sa best phones of the year for the budget tight consumers. please

  • pfb

    android to continue to dominate next year and beyond.

    looking forward to samsung s4

  • GaLanT

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is good at the Top 2.
    This monster mostly makes my SGS3 friends say that they should have choose it instead. 🙂

    • len

      Yeah, I actually thought of choosing the Note 2 over S3. Sayang nga lang, late kasi yung Note 2 🙁

      Pero okay lang, wait ko na lang premium suite upgrade. Parang pareho na lang nun minus the SPen ^^

  • dan

    HTC One X not on the top 5? just because it’s not marketed well? 🙁

  • potpot

    dual core lang ba yung flare?hindi ba quad yun?