x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best smartphone

PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best smartphone

Posted: , by Nick T.

Tags:

PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best smartphone
Well, folks, the big moment has finally arrived. The last and most exciting category in the PhoneArena Awards of 2011 honors the year's best smartphone. And don't think that we intentionally left out the prestigious title for last just to tease you. In fact, it wasn't easy for us to decide which one should take the prime spot as there were more than a few great smartphones that hit the market over the past 12 months.

However, there can be only one winner in today's category, and our final choice has been made. Of course, we will not omit mentioning the two smartphones that take the second and third place respectively.

But before we begin, let us remind you that we have given out fourteen other awards already. Their list is below, so in case you have missed any of them, feel free to take a look.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is not just an exceptional smartphone. Rather, it is a leader of a revolution. An Android revolution, to be precise. Of course, that is because it is the first smartphone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which unifies the once distant Google smartphone and tablet experiences into one. And that makes the Galaxy Nexus Google's new reference device – the latest yardstick on the Android scene that other companies will be aiming to beat. But the software aspect of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is just half of the whole picture. The smartphone has all the hardware ingredients to be called future-proof, namely a speedy, dual-core processor, tons of RAM, and a humongous HD display. In a nutshell, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is one truly amazing smartphone that well deserves its spot as an industry-leading device.


PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best smartphone
iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S

First runner-up: iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S is a smartphone that needs no introduction. Praised by some and despised by others, it is a nearly ideal blend of potent hardware, great software, and elegant design. Besides, the smartphone is an indivisible part of a flourishing ecosystem and enjoys the broadest app availability that a mobile platform has to offer. However, even though some would say that it deserves getting the top spot in today's category, the fact that the iPhone 4S is just an incremental upgrade of its predecessor and not a device built from the ground up is somewhat disappointing, to say the least.



PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S II

Samsung Galaxy S II

Second runner-up: Samsung Galaxy S II

Today's post would simply feel incomplete if we don't mention the Samsung Galaxy S II, which is undoubtedly among the hottest smartphones of 2011. Once it launched, it landed right on top of the Android food chain thanks to its impressive hardware specs, fluid performance, and great overall user experience. And it keeps on selling well, having ended up in the pockets of over 10 million people around the world and counting. 

And that concludes the PhoneArena Awards of 2011! The year's best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus followed by the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy S II. We hope that you enjoyed our awards series, and here is to another great year!

142 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:52 21

1. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


i notice with every apple products, editors state the "which needs no introduction" part in pretty much every article and as true as that is, don't you think it's getting a bit too repetitive? After all, the iPhone/iPad/iWhatever isn't the only phone, tablet, etc. that doesn't need an introduction... idk maybe it's just me.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 14:03 23

57. abdane (Posts: 474; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


OMGGGG !!! SGS2 3rd ? iPhone 4s which doesn even have 4G is at 2nd ? :O iPhonearena... ! and people voted for SGS2 as the best in previous post, 2nd nexus, 3rd 4s which doesnt deserve it... sensation and RAZR are better than 4s ! -_-

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 19:09 9

94. andro. (Posts: 1935; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Agreed,the galaxy s2 should be second behind the Galaxy nexus,after all the iphone 4s is essentially last years phone in almost everyway besides minor changes.

Guess PA is trying to keep the ifans quiet by placing it in second for the sake of peace which is probably fair enough on their part but a bit of a cop out

posted on 15 Dec 2011, 13:54

122. E.N. (Posts: 2224; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


I personally think the SGII is better than the Nexus. As for iPhone being last year's phone, don't fool yourself. Every Android phone is basically last year's phone with minor changes!

posted on 15 Dec 2011, 14:17 2

123. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5540; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


just where in your mind is 4G LTE minor?

posted on 16 Dec 2011, 09:17 4

126. cristhiansaid (Posts: 30; Member since: 25 Jun 2010)


agree with u.

samsung galaxy s2 score: 9
apple iphone 4s: 8.5

this no have sense.

Ranking for me and for almost everybody here is:

1.- Galaxy nexus.
2.- Samsung galaxy S2
3.- Iphone 4s

who it is possible Iphone Arena???

posted on 18 Dec 2011, 14:34

132. Ivan6479 (Posts: 243; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I have to agree with you there. I bet PA must get some sort of compensation from Apple because they never say anything bad about Apple's product.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 15:11 11

74. rendHELL (Posts: 304; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


1st SGS2
2nd SGS2
3rd SGS2

ranking for me... I'm not biased or anything, no favorites too... XD

posted on 20 Dec 2011, 00:47

135. rjbp64 (Posts: 28; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)


I'm actually pretty disappointed with phonearena as well. I have had both the Rezound and the G. Nexus and for sure the better phone has been the Rezound for multiple reasons.

1. 1.5 dual core processors are much faster that the Nexus 1.2 processors. Run any benchmark with both phones and you'll see the difference. Or you can just YouTube it.

2. The screens are both True HD screens but one has to look at it this way. The Rezound has a screen size that is .35 inches smaller than the 4.65 screen but packing the same amount of pixels. That makes for a much more crisp and true image than the Nexus, not to mentionit uses the entire screen size 100% of the time and not just when you're wathing movies like the Nexus.

3. Cameras both front and back are much better than the Nexus. 8 MP back, 2MP front that both can record in 1080/720p and are leaps better than the 5/1.2MP cameras. Yes I know its not all about the MPs and its about the sensors as well but anyone who has the Rezound and the Nexus can relate.

4. Although only the Nexus has ICS right now, they will both be sporting it by the end of the first quarter of 2012. So that's not an issue at all.

5. Call quality and Ear buds. Rezound runs circles around the Nexus in both areas because of the larger ear speaker from the HTC.

6. Expandable storage. We all know that the Nexus LTE version has a set storage capacity of 32GB and the Rezound comes with 16GB internal and a 16GB SD card out of the box but the Rezound takes the cake due to its Micro SD slot. I have a total of 48GB of storage in my Rezound.

I am currently writing this on my break so if I had more time I would obviously hash out some more reasons but for now, you get the picture of why phonearena dropped the ball!!

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:52 53

2. ilia1986 (unregistered)


How on earth is the iPhone 4S better than the SGS2?!?!

Clarification, please.

And no, Siri is not an answer.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:54 27

3. M1K3YWR19H7 (Posts: 18; Member since: 31 Jan 2011)


i would love to hear this answer as well!!!

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:56 34

6. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


it's to keep the ifans shut up from raging a flame war.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 19:12 5

95. andro. (Posts: 1935; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


PA has to keep the peace despite knowing the iphone 4 really should be third or lower they no doubt had much talks and deliberation on how not to start an ifan outcry and trolling and decided to keep it a look in for the sake of peace. Its a shame Phonearena didn't hold their nerve and speak whats true.

Maybe in hindsight its only fair on ifans in some ways,as they have enough to deal with with faults ever more apparent in their phones

posted on 15 Dec 2011, 02:10 3

110. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 642; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


Or they are ifans themselves. There goes thumbs down..... in 5...4...3...2...1.... begin loading thumbs down

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:56 37

7. Tux4g63 (Posts: 114; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


It must be the revolutionary groundbreaking dual core A5 chipset...wait...no? Ok maybe it is the retina display...wait that was on the iphone4? Ok it has to be the updated iOS 5...wait that isn't revolutionary either? Ermmm....ok u got me, 8 megapixel camera WITH flash. Bam! Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:19 24

23. jove39 (Posts: 1247; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Addition of siri in ip4s is offset by lack of flash...so revised list is (with bumped up razr)

Galaxy Nexus
SGSII
Razr

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:19 16

24. jamrockjones (Posts: 345; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


Ha I agree with GeekMovement, I don't think that an Apple product should even be considered at a Best smartphone. It's not a bad device, but the thing about Apple (as of lately) they seem to be behind on everything. Dual core, 8MP camera, Voice command, pretty sure that's already been done, and a year before the phone released.

posted on 15 Dec 2011, 02:14 7

111. SlimSoulja86 (Posts: 642; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


I guess once you go Apple, you never go back, irrespective of how behind it's technology is.... I love my Apple iPhone 4, but let the truth be told, it's not the best smartphone, yes it has the largest amount of Apps, but who goes through all those apps anyway? Come on now, iPhone lost its touch like a year ago. As an Apple device lover (well only iPhone) I don't think they're the best...... #JustMyOpinionThatsAll

posted on 18 Dec 2011, 14:30 2

130. Ivan6479 (Posts: 243; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


It's nice to finally see an Apple fan that is in touch with reality.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 12:12 4

38. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)


I like the Galaxy's voice command system better than the S2 lol

"Hi Galaxy" is a lot better than "Hi Siri"

posted on 18 Dec 2011, 14:32

131. Ivan6479 (Posts: 243; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I am guessing you meant the iPhone 4s not the S2 because "Hi Galaxy" is the voice command to get the S2's attention.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:54 28

4. mrvid (Posts: 75; Member since: 02 Oct 2008)


How can you rate the Iphone higher than the Galaxy S II? You didn't when you reviewed them!! Iphone 4S 8.5, Samsung Galaxy S II got a nine! So according to you 8.5 is higer than 9?? COME ON NOW!!

posted on 15 Dec 2011, 09:04 1

118. acs2acs2 (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Dec 2011)


PA, can you give a clarification on this.......

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:55 21

5. Synack (Posts: 659; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


Typo:

1. Nexus
2. SGS2
3. iPhone 4S

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 12:18 8

40. Goldeneye (Posts: 348; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


1. Nexus
2. SGS2
3. RAZR/Rezound (tie)

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 18:01 6

87. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


I definetely agree with you goldeneye, well sort of, many people will disagree with me, but i'd put the RAZR above the SGS2, and I'd say the rezound would tie with SGS2, possibly slightly lower.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:57 21

8. jayrownage (Posts: 10; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


come on...

i was expecting sgs2 to be the winner for this category

the polls say so

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 10:59 26

9. henrickrw (Posts: 403; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


This is a complete bulls**t. Phoearena you ashamed me. All the other websites admits the GS2 is the phone of the year.

The GS2 deserved it.

This is ridiculous.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 12:22 3

44. Goldeneye (Posts: 348; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)


The reason the SGS2 is not better than the Nexus is simple: ICS and no TouchWiz, next year would be a different story, but this year the Nexus is the winner

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 13:19 6

53. robinrisk (unregistered)


The Nexus has a better screen, yes. But the SGS2, had more importance on he development of android than the Nexus. Plus, it is the only android phone that still runs with the top dogs, even though it was released very very early in the year.

Its like giving the "phone of the decade award" to the LG Optimus because its better than the Motorola RAZR V3.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:00 14

10. Nickmfnjackson (Posts: 101; Member since: 21 Jan 2010)


I am satisfied. As a sgs2 owner I feel the galaxy should get first or at least second, but I may be biased.
Imo, 1. Sgs2 2. Droid rzr 3. galaxy nexus
Honorable mention for iPhone 4s, you don't place if your product is essentially the same as last years product

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:02 7

11. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


Samsung, as it had the 3 worst phones of the year, should also have the 3 best phones of the year.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 18:03

88. ledbetterp3 (Posts: 466; Member since: 31 Aug 2011)


What other Samsung phone deserves to be up there along with the nexus and SGS2?

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 22:26

102. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


I'm just sayin it'd be interesting if that were the case. Samsung should have had 3 of the best phones made to cover the 3 worst phones of the year. I'm not talking literal because there are obviously no other samsung devices to compete with handsets like the Razr. Some might say Galaxy Note as it was somewhat of a new idea of putting a tablet/phone together, some might say their best selling windows phone handset, but I'd still think Razr beats. Still, would have been interesting if it were to take the 3 spots, i think.

posted on 15 Dec 2011, 12:45

120. SleepingOz (unregistered)


THE GSII HD LTE!

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:02 7

12. doubler86 (Posts: 317; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)


Yep I think every pretty much demands a recount on that one. It's okay to rate the iPhone 4S lower than two phone that you yourself rated better. I know you wanted to make everyone happy on here, with android and apple users alike but the truth is most iPhone users were already disappointed this year by the iPhone 4S not being the iPhone 5. So they'd understand.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:04 5

13. hepresearch (unregistered)


Awwww... Apple fans everywhere will be ticked... poor Nick will be labeled as a biased Android fanboy for the lack of appropriate iOS winning-ish-ness in this category...

Awwww... Android fans everywhere will be ticked... poor Nick will be labeled as a biased Apple fanboy for the fact that the SGS II did not get second place instead of that stupid cliche iPhone 4S...

I don't think Nick was the sole picker here, but they will still beat up the delivery man every time...

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:05 10

14. jayrownage (Posts: 10; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


the GS2 hurdled a year and stayed on top. it turned out fine on the last quarter.

isn't this for the whole 2011 or just for Q4?

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:07 8

15. PaulNotFromSweden (Posts: 51; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


The Nexus isn't even released, so how is it number 1? I really think you guys should stick to released phones. Otherwise, I think my Oct-core with 50 mip download and upload speeds, 22 meg camera with a 4.5 inch bendable screen, all while being only .2 inches thin and made of invisibilium should have been the top phone.

And I agree with the other posts. PA itself ranked the SGS2 higher than the iP4S, so how do you now say it's ranked lower. Is this the new math my kids are talking about, because I don't get it. I'm pretty sure 9 is still greater than 8.5, in any dimension.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:11 9

17. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


The Nexus is released just not on Verizon yet.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 12:44 4

47. robinrisk (unregistered)


The nexus IS released. Go to the UK. The US is not the only country in the world and verizon is not the only carrier.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 13:32 4

55. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1551; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Canada too, dont forget the mounties eh

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 16:14 1

78. Cwebb (Posts: 501; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Eh!!!

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:09 6

16. henrickrw (Posts: 403; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


GS2 will get ICS and will be still the ultimate smartphone for a while.

How in hell you conclude this way?

Not even the Nexus is a better handset overall.

Ashamed of you.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:12 4

18. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


Nexus
Razr
SgsII

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:20 1

26. jamrockjones (Posts: 345; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


I can agree with that!

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:13 4

19. ZayZay (Posts: 555; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


So the winner is a phone not released yet?

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:21 5

27. jamrockjones (Posts: 345; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


We've already been through this, maybe you should read the comments. It's released, just not in the U.S. yet. It's almost been a month now since it's release.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:30 2

28. ZayZay (Posts: 555; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


Oh, my bad.

I'll make sure to get it right next time sir and not clog up your phone arena website.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:13 3

20. tekkie79 (Posts: 11; Member since: 21 Dec 2009)


I'm surprised an honor has been bestowed upon a device which has not been released and vetted by a wide user base.

But most importantly, I'm surprised PA did NOT rate the iPhone as #1. The world is changing...

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:18 4

21. tacohunter (Posts: 408; Member since: 06 Nov 2011)


Simple iphone 4s does have same sesign as iphone 4. So no winner this year.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:19 5

22. ericon2 (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


I would think that the best phone would at least be a phone that has been already out in the US for a better part of the year. The Galaxy Nexus is not even out yet! I don't understand that. It may be the 2012 phone of the year but not this year. I would say the Galaxy S2 , the the razr even though I am stuck with the Bionic.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:19 6

25. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


so even though the sgs2 got a higher score you put the lower scored i4s above it? assholes

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 12:25 3

45. mrvid (Posts: 75; Member since: 02 Oct 2008)


That's what I asked? So now we know they don't know what the hell they are talking about!!

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 13:42 3

56. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


im going to engadget or phonedog from now on -_-

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:31 7

29. aries.phills (Posts: 132; Member since: 17 May 2011)


SGSII
NEXUS
RAZR

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:37 7

30. edpad90 (Posts: 23; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


No way in earth this is right PA. It sounds more like favoritism to the devices instead of real facts. 9>8.5 When did this rule changed in math? and I dont think GN deserves first place... as you know we dont even know how the phone feels like in first place (Not yet released!!) For god's sake!! :/

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 14:05 2

58. henrickrw (Posts: 403; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Lack of credibility from PA

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 11:40 1

31. ngo2dd (Posts: 777; Member since: 08 Jul 2011)


You SGS2 fanboy are as bad as the iPhone fanboy. No your SGS2 is not the best. What is great about it? The processor? That processor can't even run LTE, they need an S3 to rub that. The super amoled plus that is WVGA that have unrealistic color? Or have a blueish haze at low brightness setting. Or maybe it is the camera that is not as good as the HTC Amaze or the iphone 4s. Get over yourself, it is a good phone but it is not a godly phone as all you fanboy would have us to believe.

posted on 14 Dec 2011, 14:08 3

60. henrickrw (Posts: 403; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Shut to f**k up piece of bitch. Youre talking bulls**t

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories