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2012 Year in Review: Best 5 Android Smartphones

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Dec 19, 2012.

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Which Android smartphone is your favorite of 2012?

  1. Samsung Galaxy S III

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  2. HTC Droid DNA

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  3. Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD

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  4. LG Nexus 4

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  5. Motorola Droid RAZR M

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  6. "Other" - I have a different favorite for this year!

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  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    It's been an exciting year for Android. We had a wide variety of devices come to market this year. Luckily though there wasn't an overabundance of them saturating the market like in 2011. Here at HQ we did some pondering and decided to share what we think are the 5 best Android phones of 2012. Of course, our opinion is subjective and open to debate.

    But, that's what our site is all about... giving all of us a "forum" where we can come together and discuss all the new mobile technologies we are interested in. To that end, we are going to present our five favorites of the year in no particular order. We will leave it up to you guys to share in the thread which order you think these phones should go in from top to bottom. Also, if you feel that your favorite phone did not make the list, or that any of the phones on our list should not be on it, then sound off in the thread. We want to hear your perspective even more than we want to share our own.

    Now, here are the top five Android smartphones of 2012, in no particular order.

    Samsung Galaxy S III - This one almost needs no introduction. Certainly it may not be the most powerful of the devices on this list, but it was one of the top-dogs when it first debuted. This one makes the list on sheer star-power alone. Without a doubt the SGS3 was instrumental in helping Samsung rise above the vaunted iPhone in sell-ability and prove that a single competitor can unseat the mighty Apple.

    HTC Droid DNA - This one was a hard choice. We wanted to make sure to include a phablet style phone in this list, and we almost chose the Samsung Galaxy Note II. In the end, the reason we picked the DNA was because of its gorgeous display, attractive aesthetics and overall advanced build quality and performance (despite its small battery). It barely edges out the GNote2, even though it was Samsung that pioneered the large style devices to begin with. The most impressive thing about this device is how small and light it feels in your hand, even though it is a 5-inch device.

    Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD - This one was a no-brainer. This is without a doubt the best Motorola device ever (aside from the legendary OG Droid, of course). From its slim and lightweight, yet sturdy and strong design, all the way to it's fast performance and insanely good battery life, it would be hard to argue that this device doesn't deserve a space on this list. While the other manufacturers keep pushing fancy bells and whistles, Motorola just makes solid, reliable and powerful devices. You can't go wrong with this device in your pocket.

    LG Nexus 4 - This one was a tough choice. For one, we were a bit miffed it didn't come with LTE for the US markets, and didn't come to Verizon. Two, it doesn't have a microSD card slot or a removable battery. Ultimately though, we have to acknowledge that the world is bigger than just the US, and the other features and performance of this pure android device are very impressive. This phone is easily the best Nexus device available, especially for the international markets. It also happens to be a remarkable value as well! In fact, it's doing so well it's constantly sold out! (Wait, is that another knock against it? Maybe, but it still deserves a spot on this list.)

    Motorola Droid RAZR M - This last one might come as a surprise to a few of you. There were a ton of choices available, but we kept coming back to how impressed we were with the incredible value of this phone. It was light, sturdy, strong and fast, yet could be had for as little as $50 bucks through some of the third party carriers. This phone was another device that blew us away with how small it felt despite having a fairly large display size. In many ways, we think this phone hits that perfect sweet spot for mobile smartphones. It's not too big, and not too small. It's fast and efficient, but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It can appeal to just about anyone, which makes it easily one of the best devices of the year.

    That's it for our list of best smartphones of 2012, but we decided to spice this thread up a bit more to get the discussion going. We are going to include a poll with this one as well. The poll asks the question, which smartphone of 2012 was your favorite? We will include these 5 phones in the poll, and have a sixth slot for the "other" category, just in case you think a different device should be the winner. Also, don't forget to share in your reply post what order you would pick for the five best phones.

    As always, thanks for making this such a fantastic year!
    8 people like this.
  2. xsylus
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    xsylus Active Member

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    I really like my Droid 4 I just wish it had NFC. :nerd:
    1 person likes this.
  3. Narsil
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    Narsil Active Member

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    I voted for some phabletastic Note II love!
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  4. justin82
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    justin82 Super Moderator Premium Member

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    i have the S3 for now .. the only downfall is sammy still does not have radios figured out .. so i will likely be trading for a maxx hd:)
  5. NeoPhoenixTE
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    NeoPhoenixTE New Member

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    I picked other simply because I <3 the Droid 4 way too much. Qwerty keyboard + 4G + JellyBean sometime next year = best investment ever IMHO
  6. smalltowngirl13
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    smalltowngirl13 Administrator Staff Member

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    I voted other :)...The Galaxy Note 2 but the Maxx HD is tied with it for me....
    2 people like this.
  7. TiggerGrrr
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    TiggerGrrr New Member

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    Me too stg. The Samsung inched out the HD for me.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
    1 person likes this.
  8. AdamPA1006
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    AdamPA1006 New Member

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    No Note 2, lol
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  9. jspradling7
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    jspradling7 Active Member

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    Those are some very valid points, but I would vote for the Note II also.
  10. pc747
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    pc747 Administrator Staff Member

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    where the note 2. Yeah I know it is technically a phablet.... but it fo sho is the best phablet of the year :p.
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  11. ChevyNexus
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    ChevyNexus New Member

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    Honestly a horrible list. Not to be rude but it just seems like you took the latest and greatest and made them the "Best" of the years. Most of the phones on here have been out less then half a year. How on earth could you call them the Best of 2012? Just my two cents though.
  12. cobravnm13
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    cobravnm13 Well-Known Member

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    Because the newer phones typically have better specs.
  13. buldog
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    buldog New Member

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    Razrm, just wish it was a Maxx with HDMI:(
  14. Raverrevolution
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    Raverrevolution New Member

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    I might get booed, but I still think the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is the best device out there. The sheer amount of development for this phone is insane and it's STILL going strong. This phone never gets old and stale. Spec-wise it's been trampled to death though by every phone out there, but to me it still performs very well despite the crappy battery life. I haven't been jealous of anything newer yet.
    3 people like this.
  15. xeene
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    xeene Well-Known Member

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    tie between note 2 and maxx hd.
    1 person likes this.
  16. TJF2011
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    TJF2011 New Member

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    sorry but i love my s3... been a great phone and the s beam is awesome. i love Samsung... wish i had the cash to buy the note 2 though

    but the s3 has worked flawless(knock on wood)
  17. Arkbird
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    Arkbird DF News Team Premium Member

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    I personally think it's a pretty good list. Not because the phones are newer or anything but because each of those phones brought something new to the game. The all brought something that made them stand out and made them top sellers.
  18. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Calling it a horrible list without sharing your perspective is a bit trollish my friend. I have zero problem if you disagree with our choices, but please share which phone's you like better and why. These five phones were chosen by several of us at HQ after much discussion. I can definitely see several valid arguments for different phones being on this list. Please weigh in with more than your "two cents" because we want a whole $buck-fifty worth of input! ;)
    3 people like this.
  19. gxyS3_918
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    gxyS3_918 New Member

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    I love my galaxy s 3. Best phone I have ever owned. Anyways here is my opinion on the top 5.

    1. Galaxy S lll
    2. Galaxy Note 2
    3. Motorola razr maxx hd
    4. HTC One X
    5. IPhone 5
  20. hotice
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    hotice New Member

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    I like your choices. I do think a lot of great phones were released in 2012. There are all kinds of options at different price points to serve all different purposes.

    I wouldn't put the Droid DNA in the phablet category. It's definitely more of a phone form factor. The additional 0.2 inch display diagonal over the GS3, with possibly less bezel on the sides, doesn't put it in phablet category. Sure the GNote was at 5" but keep in mind the aspect ratio was different making it wider in the hand. The GNote 2 has the same aspect ratio as the DNA but a difference of 0.5" diagonal over the DNA is pretty large.

    There has never been a Nexus phone that I liked. Even if you go back to the G1, the screen resolution was too low (my WinMo devices were already 480x640 for a number of years and there was no going back), and the OG Droid had a keyboard which I had tried in a mobile years earlier and new that wasn't the form factor for me. The Nexus One had the Snapdragon S1 processor which was terrible - by far the worst of that generation with a 65nm die size (more heat, worse battery life) and lousy GPU (the Adreno 200 was bad). The 1GHz OMAP from TI and 1GHz Hummingbird both had a 45nm die size and much better GPU's, with the one on the Hummingbird being the best. Too bad Samsung didn't know how to integrate a GPS on their phones. As far as Nexus's go we then had the Nexus S which, for some dumb reason didn't have a notification LED - forget that! Then the Galaxy Nexus came out. Nice but battery life wasn't great and it was a very unreliable phone on Verizon making it useless. Also, it's too bad Nexus devices moved to OLED. Everyone should stay with LCD. I have a Maxx HD. Yeah, current OLED tech is very good and the screens look fine and are not bad outside but still, LCD uses less power for a given brightness. Also, Nexus devices need MicroSD slots and what dev doesn't want a real MicroHDMI port!!! I'll take better hardware and wait a little longer for my OS update. Especially since ICS - Android has really grown up!
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