Best smartphones of 2012

Features 10:57, 24 Dec 2012

We round up the best smartphones of 2012, including the Samsung Galaxy S3, iPhone 5 and Nexus 4

Every year, the range of smartphones on sale doesn't fail to impress us and although you'd expect them to get better to get year-on-year, you may not expect some of the trends we've seen thise year.

Not only are smartphones getting even bigger than we could ever imagine, they're also coming down in price, making sure anyone can get one.

Without further ado, here's our top smartphones list of 2012.

Samsung Galaxy S3 

The Samsung Galaxy series has been a massive hit since the original was launched in 2010, with the Galaxy S2 launched in 2011.

Both were very successful, notching up the highest Android sales to date and the Galaxy S3 was no different when it launched in May.

Boasting a whole range of new Samsung features, including a competitor to Apple's Siri voice recognition service,

After spending some time with the device, we concluded, ‘If you want the essence of the Samsung Galaxy S2 with more oomph or one of the best Android devices of 2012, the Galaxy S3 is for you.'


Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The phablet's popularity has exploded this year with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 taking top spot. in fact, it's two of the writers on Know Your Mobile's device of choice which certainly says something.


it may not be everyone's cup of tea, with a gigantic screen measuring 5.5-inches, but that screen makes it easier to do almost everything on, whether you're surfing the internet, playing a game or writing an email. The only thing you may struggle with is looking good when you're actually on a phone call.

The chassis is almost identical to the Samsung Galaxy S3, another of our 2012 favourite phones too.

We concluded, 'It might have taken Samsung a few attempts to get the formula right but in the end it has definitely paid off,' when we reviewed the beast.

Nexus 4 

The Nexus 4 is the cheapest, most impressive Android phone to date.

Manufactured by LG, it caught everyone by surprise when it launched just hours after the launch event was cancelled.

The Nexus 4 features a glass front and back with a pretty high-resolution 768x1280 pixel, 4.7-inch screen.

It's not at all low-specced for a device costing from £239, just a shame you can't buy it because it's out of stock at the time of writing.

We summed the Nexus 4 up in one sentence: ‘The Google Nexus 4 is without a doubt a landmark phone - quad-core power for a fraction of the price of other flagships, what's not to love?'

HTC One X+

The HTC One X+ is one of the most recent HTC Android devices to launch and although the chassis isn't much to shout about, its super-speedy quad-core processor, newest version of HTC Sense and 64GB of storage is nothing short of wonderful.

Add in the fact the HTC One X+ is free on contracts from £26 per month and for a cheap, highly-specced Android device, you can't go much wrong.


iPhone 5 

The iPhone 5 was probably one of the worst leaks of 2011 into 2010, with pictures, specs and almost ever detail revealed ahead of schedule.


However, we didn't feel as disappointed when this version launched compared to the iPhone 4S last year.

The iPhone 5 launched on iOS 6, the newest version of apple's firmware and added a whole host of new features including a Apple Maps, a 4-inch Retina display and of course a new design with aluminium back plate.

We said, ‘The best iPhone ever produced, bar none - a solid handset that offers an unparalleled user experience.'

We just hope the iPhone 5S builds on this stellar performance.



In all the devices we've reviewed in 2012, the HTC 8X was the one running on Windows Phone we were impressed by.


Windows Phone 8 has a long way to go until it can compete with Android and iOS, but the hardware and design are amazing.

With a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution higher than the iPhone 5's Retina display, it really is a stunner and comes in a wide range of colours to suit any discerning customer.

We said in our verdict, 'A brilliant phone if your app requirements aren't extensive.'


The HTC One S is marketed slightly beneath the One X series of devices, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered.

It's not as big as many of the other devices mentioned here, nor is it as fully-specced, but with a Qualcomm S4 processor, it's fast and 16GB storage onboard (unfortunately no microSD card slot though), it should keep your music collection relatively happy.

Our review said, ‘The HTC One S is the middle child of the range but its performance is anything but middle of the road. If you want a slice of HTC and Android action with all the trimmings and a more pocketable display, the One S is for you.'

Motorola Razr i

Motorola normally doesn't rank in smartphone charts, but that's not for want of trying.

The American manufacturer has scaled back on its UK launches this year but the Razr i is certainly the best we've seen for a long time.

The Motorola Razr i is constructed from Kevlar and aluminium, with a 2GHz Intel Atom processor, a superb 2000mAh battery and an 8-megapixel camera.

We commented, ‘This is the best phone Motorola has produced in years - a true all-rounder with an excellent battery life.'

Huawei Ascend G300

The Huawei Ascend G300 is a super-low priced Android smartphone, with a surprisingly bright and crisp 4-inch TFT LCD touchscreen, 2.5GB internal storage and a slot to extend that up to 34.5GB with microSD cards if you wish.

We ‘We were pleasantly surprised by the Huawei Ascend G300 and for the price tag it is an excellent piece of kit. As we mentioned it reminds us of HTC's better Sensation models, which is a very good thing for a more affordable device and performance-wise it undoubtedly punches above its weight.'


Nokia Pureview 808

The Nokia Pureview represents a technology breakthrough for Noka, even though it doesn't provide the best experience as a smartphone.


First up, the chunky Pureview runs on Symbian Belle, which is a hugely disappointing feature.

It's also not particularly good looking and clunky when you're talking interface.

However, when talking camera quality, nothing comes even remotely close to taking this device down and for that reason alone, we think it's one of the top devices to see the light of day in 2012.

We summed this up in our review nicely, commenting, ‘The camera is hugely impressive, but other key areas are distinctly lacking. The screen is usable but could've been so much better while the processor lacks any real punch even if it ticks over reasonably well.'

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