Best Smartphones 2012

Best Smartphones 2012

With the launch of much-anticipated phones like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S III, things have definitely changed a lot over the period of last few months. But have these smartphones, all of which were touted as the iPhone-killers at the time of their launch, really lived up to the expectations?
Nowadays, smartphones are used for a lot more than mere talking or texting. They double up as music players, Internet platforms, digital cameras, personal digital assistants, gaming platforms.... and so on. Such has been the impact of these devices that the manufacturers are left with no option, but to roll out new models or upgraded versions every year. 2012 has been no exception to this rule; while phones like the One X and Galaxy S III have already hit the stores, the latter half of the year is expected to bring in devices like the highly-anticipated iPhone 5 and the Optimus 4X HD.

Best Smartphones Available in the Market 2012

With so many options to choose from, it isn't surprising that you, as the end consumer, are spoiled for choice. In such circumstances, a smartphone guide which shortlists some of the best phones available in the market, and puts forth their specifications and features for you to compare, can be of a great help.

Samsung Galaxy S III (GT-I9300)

Display:
4.8 in. HD SUPER AMOLED with RGBG-Matrix (1280×720 pixels)
Processor:
1.4 GHz quad-core processor
Memory:
1 GB RAM
OS:
Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz 'Nature UX' UI
Storage:
16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB flash memory, Expandable up to 64 GB (microSD Card)
GPU:
ARM Mali-400 M
Camera:
8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 1.9 Megapixel Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Battery Life:
590/790 hours standby (2G/3G), 21/11 hours talktime (2G/3G)
Noteworthy Features:
S Voice, the intelligent personal assistant like the Siri, Smart Stay which detects the movement of your eyes and prevents the phone from timing out when you are looking directly at the screen, and S Beam which allows you share content via NFC and Wi-Fi Direct. If you prefer calling the person instead of replying to his text, you simply have to hold the phone to your ear - the Direct Call feature will do the needful. If the phone is in idle mode, the Smart Alert feature will cause the phone to vibrate and alert you about the pending notifications the moment you pick it up. It is interesting to note that this phone will be available in a different flavor for the North American market. Changes include a 1.5 Ghz dual-core Snapdragon processor paired with an Adreno 225 GPU, and 2 GB of RAM. Also, US carries will miss out on the 64 GB version of the device.

HTC One X

Display:
4.7 in. LCD IPS with RGB matrix (1280×720 pixels)
Processor:
1.5 GHz quad-core processor
Memory:
1 GB RAM
OS:
Android 4.0.3 with HTC Sense 4.0
Storage:
32 GB
GPU:
NVIDIA ULP GeForce/Qualcomm Adreno 225 (North America)
Camera:
8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 1.3 Megapixel Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, NFC with Android Beam
Battery Life:
302 hours standby, 8.5 hours talktime
Noteworthy Features:
Other than the exceptionally fast NVIDIA processor, this phone has also garnered positive reviews for its superfast camera with a startup time of 0.7 seconds, an interval of 0.2 seconds per shot and the ability to click 20 pictures in the continuous shooting mode. It also features Beats Audio from the Wonka-esque lab of Dr Dre, and Dropbox integration with HTC Sense.

Galaxy Nexus

Display:
4.65 in. AMOLED with RGBG-Matrix (1280×720 px)
Processor:
1.2 GHz dual-core processor
Memory:
1 GB RAM
OS:
Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
Storage:
16 GB
GPU:
307 MHz PowerVR SGX540
Camera:
5 Megapixel Rear Camera, 1.3 Megapixel Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Battery Life:
290/270 hours standby (2G/3G), 17/8 hours talktime (2G/3G)
Noteworthy Features:
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Android Beam, Face Recognition, an improved camera app which boasts of zero shutter lag and panoramic mode, ability to access apps directly from lock screen and Google Integration. Being a Google flagship phone, it is always one of the first devices to get new Android updates.

Apple iPhone 4S

Display:
3.5 in. LED backlit IPS TFT LCD (960×640 pixel)
Processor:
1 GHz A5 dual-core processor
Memory:
512 MB
OS:
iOS 5.1.1
Storage:
16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB
GPU:
PowerVR SGX543MP2
Camera:
8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 0.3 MP VGA Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Battery Life:
200 hours standby, 14 hours talktime (2G) and 8 hours talktime (3G)
Noteworthy Features:
An intelligent personal assistant - Siri - which allows voice-control the device, iSight camera, iCloud support - wherein you can store your music, photos, contacts, calendars, apps and documents - and lastly a relatively new feature in form of notifications.

Motorola Droid RAZR Maxx

Display:
Super AMOLED Advanced capacitive touchscreen (960×540 pixel)
Processor:
1.2 GHz dual-core processor
Memory:
1 GB RAM
OS:
Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread (Upgradable to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich)
Storage:
8 GB (Internal), 32 GB (memory card support)
GPU:
PowerVR SGX540
Camera:
8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 1.3 Megapixel Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Battery Life:
380 hours (Standby) and 21 hours 30 minutes (talktime)
Noteworthy Features:
The phone boasts of exceptional battery life, wherein moderate use can help you do without charging for 2 days. The Smart Actions feature allows you to set specific time of the day when you would like your device to be in vibration mode (office) or silent mode (sleep). It also allows you to alter the settings in such a manner that the phone automatically turns off the sync as soon as the battery reaches a specific point.

Sony Xperia S

Display:
4.3 in TFT LCD with mobile Bravia engine (1280×720 px)
Processor:
1.5 Ghz dual-core Scorpion processor
Memory:
1 GB RAM
OS:
Android 2.3 Gingerbread (Upgradable to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich)
Storage:
32 GB
GPU:
Qualcomm Adreno 220
Camera:
12 Megapixel Rear Camera, 1.3 Megapixel Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Battery Life:
450/420 hours standby (2G/3G), 7:30/8:30 hours talktime (2G/3G)
Noteworthy Features:
The 12.0 mega-pixel rear camera is perhaps the USP of the Xperia S. It is a PlayStation Certified phone, which means you get to play PlayStation Suite games on it. You also get to connect it to the Sony Entertainment Network, and get access to music and video download.

Nokia Lumia 900

Display:
4.3 in. ClearBlack AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
Processor:
1.4 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor
Memory:
512 MB RAM
OS:
Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Storage:
16 GB
GPU:
Adreno 205 GPU
Camera:
8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 1 Megapixel Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Battery Life:
300 hours standby (2G/3G), 7 hours talktime (2G/3G)
Noteworthy Features:
Other than the fact that it is available on contract for $99 (AT&T network), the LTE network support, Windows OS and a ClearBlack display with polarization filter make it one of the best smartphones available today.

Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000)

Display:
5.3 in. AMOLED with RGBG-Matrix
Processor:
1.4 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9
Memory:
1 GB RAM
OS:
Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with TouchWiz UI
Storage:
16 GB and 32 GB flash memory, Expandable up to 32 GB (microSD Card)
GPU:
ARM Mali-400 MP
Camera:
8 Megapixel Rear Camera, 2 Megapixel Front Camera
Connectivity:
2G, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, USB
Battery Life:
960/820 hours standby (2G/3G), 26:10/13:30 hours talktime (2G/3G)
Noteworthy Features:
The 5.3 inch screen, owing to which it comes across as a smartphone-tablet hybrid, is considered by many to be its biggest advantage of this device. This 'big' screen, along with the S-Pen (a stylus pen) and the handwriting recognition software, can be useful for a range of tasks; right from taking notes to creating powerpoint presentations. Not to forget, a screen of this size makes navigation a whole lot easy. The variant of Samsung Note (GT-N7003) in the United States sports a 1.5 GHz single-core Qualcomm Scorpion processor and Qualcomm Adreno 205 GPU. The US specific device will also see a slightly different design, with the home button making way a 4 capacitive buttons.

Even if you exclude the Galaxy Note, the biggest smartphone of them all, you get to see a trend of large displays; somewhere in the range of 4-4.5 inches. This trend is expected to continue in the latter half of the year with some 'big' phones lined up for release. Other than these handsets, even the operating systems are pitched against each other in this battle of smartphones. Old foes, Android and iOS have new versions coming up in form of iOS 6 and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). While all these features give a hint that the end user is in for a treat in the months to come, one cannot deny the fact that the choice is going to become all the more difficult.
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