PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone
So there you have it! Manufactured by LG and powered by Android in its purest form, the best phone of 2012 is the Google Nexus 4. And seriously, why wouldn't it be numero uno? Simply put, the Nexus 4 has it all, from the presentable appearance and beautiful display, to the powerful, future-proof processor humming under its hood. But what's no less important is that all this bang can be yours for as little as $300 off contract - an outstanding price-to-performance ratio that you won't get from any other smartphone. Sure, the Google Nexus 4 isn't perfect, but then again, no phone is! Rather, it is the all-around best smartphone that money can buy today.
Do we really have to introduce you to the iPhone 5? It isn't just a phone, it is a status symbol - a device of iconic status that everyone aged 5 to 105 knows about. But it isn't just popular. The iPhone 5 is a good smartphone too - thinner, lighter, and faster than its predecessor, with a beautiful 4-inch display and very potent 8-megapixel camera. But what truly completes the package is that the iPhone 5 is tightly connected to the Apple ecosystem and has access to the vast array of apps, games, and content available in Apple's Appstore.
The HTC Droid DNA for Verizon, also known as the HTC J Butterfly in Japan, or simply as the HTC Butterfly in other parts of the world, has one very significant asset in its arsenal - an asset that slams it straight into the high-end category. It is the first U.S. smartphone blessed with a 1080p display - a trend that we'll be keeping a close eye on throughout 2013. That's 1920 by 1080 pixels, which is as many of them as your HDTV has, tightly packed across 5 inches of display real estate! Yeah, some say it is overkill, but we look at it as the next step in smartphone screen evolution, not to mention that a 1080p display is a feature that can easily make smartphone geeks drool, thus gaining you bragging rights for quite some time.
Without a doubt, this list would be incomplete if we don't mention the Samsung Galaxy S III. And as a matter of fact, we were debating over whether including the Galaxy Note II instead would have been more appropriate since it just as awesome, but you know, the S III is actually more of a phone. And boy what a phone it is! The Samsung Galaxy S III is still one of the hottest Android handsets around, and among of the best-selling ones as well since over 30 million people throughout the world are now holding one in their hands.
Yup! The Nokia Lumia 920 is also on the list, albeit in last place. It may be a bit on the heavy side and the Windows Phone app selection still leaves some room for improvement, but when you weigh in its pros and cons, the Nokia Lumia 920 is still one great, well-built smartphone. You get a pretty nice PureView camera that excels when it comes to video capturing, and a very crisp looking high resolution display. On the software side, we must definitely mention that the device comes loaded with a bunch of handy apps, such as Nokia Drive, Maps, City Lens, and Music. Last but not least, the smartphone comes in a wide variety of flashy colors, unlike the devices we listed above.
1. Captain_Doug (Posts: 732; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
huh, DNA beat out S3? I like the DNA more but it seems like the S3 would've gotten the nod.
5. dsDoan (Posts: 212; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
I have a GS3 myself, but I don't see anything about it that is better than the DNA. Whereas, the DNA has a few impressive hardware advantages over the GS3.
8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6603; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Released 6 months after the Galaxy S3, it SHOULD have better specs.
42. dsDoan (Posts: 212; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
Which device was released first doesn't matter. This list covers all devices released in 2012.
What matters is which device has the best specs today.
105. Sailingmaster (Posts: 24; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)
By that logic, no one should release a phone before November if they want a shot at winning a Phone of the Year award (and the trendy sales that come with it)...
222. TeritorialDemon (Posts: 14; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)
I agree with you. They should take this statement into consideration. Other than that, love the article!
198. Abbath (Posts: 99; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)
if that is the case then where is the Note 2?!? It has many impressive features and is faster than the SGS 3...Huge *removable* Battery, Expandable storage, very useful features along with the stylus,
138. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
1.Y is the Google Nexus 4 & IPhone 5. I question this cuz they seem sucky to me
2.And where the fudge is the GN ll?!?
163. lkjhg755 (Posts: 83; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)
I have the Nexus 4 and can vouch that its way better than the SGS3. I agree though, the only phone I've tried that was better than my Nexus was the Note2. Apparently they don't consider it a phone.
181. iDroid8 (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)
PA puts that in category of phablets, hence GS3 takes its place
199. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)
Agreed. Where is the Note II? Or, as I like to call it, the GS3 on roids.
10. abdane (Posts: 471; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)
GS3 better battery, GS3 removable battery, GS3 sd card slot, GS3 have andorid true multitasking ( HTC removed it because sense lags ) Samsung > HTC
21. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)
You're talking about the One X... Altho I'm not sure if it's the same with DNA.
32. dsDoan (Posts: 212; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
Are you really calling 2100 mAh a victory over a 2020 mAh battery? You won't notice a difference in battery life based on that minuscule battery size difference.
Removable battery and SD card are not features that the masses care about.
Every Android device has the same multitasking capabilities. Any launcher could add the same Samsung feature that you are referring to.
43. doubler86 (Posts: 309; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)
I go to Verizon stores every day and they say that customers always don't buy the DNA because of the fact that it doesn't have removable battery and sd card slot. That is expected with Android.
As far as battery life goes, without rooting and keeping them stock, Samsung does a much better job with power management compared to HTC. I've tested out both phones and the S3 gets about 2 to 3 more hours on the same settings, but if you put samsung's power saving mode which slows down the processor when you're not using it, it out last the DNA by closer to 4 hours
47. dsDoan (Posts: 212; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
I call bollocks on that first statement. Your mainstream consumer is not going to buy a phone based on whether it has an SD card or not. Your or me? Sure, we might. But we're not the average consumer.
I wasn't referring to battery life. The GS3 may well get better battery life. I was referring the to the mundane difference in battery size.
106. Sailingmaster (Posts: 24; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)
"Removable battery and SD card are not features that the masses care about."
You really need to support that with some documentation. My agents gets calls for phone recommendations and the vast majority of them drop interest in the DNA as soon as my agents go over the lack of MicroSD card support or non-removable battery while discussing features.
114. Lboogey6 (Posts: 244; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)
I shouldn't have to add a launcher but this is crazy feature wise what does the dna do a big bright screen big deal tv's have gotten bigger and brighter guess what sales declined they made smart tv's more functionality
156. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
You obviously have no idea on what you talk about.
Oh and if you ever get the chance, try putting this on the DNA:
-1GB of music
-1GB of photos
-1GB of videos
- One full HD movie
..and you'll be left with only about 4GB for apps!
Not even enough for two high end games!
201. lkjhg755 (Posts: 83; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)
The DNA has faster processor, better camera, better screen, more premium design and a better interface than the S3. I think most people can afford to sacrifice 3GB for all that increase in specs.
221. lkjhg755 (Posts: 83; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)
Actually if I am remember correctly it does have NFC, it also has wireless charging which the s3 does not, plus since it is newer device it will be more future proof and most likely get more/faster updates. The s3 isn't even Samsung flagship anymore they had to release the note2 just to compete with the DNA.
164. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
u really out of masses man cause most of the people use android because of very easy file sharing unlike iOS and thats the reason u can download Full HD movies and vids of even higher resolution(like for Nexus 10) and then easily transfer them to either their device via computer or transfer them to their microSD cards and then put em in the device... i myself have 2 64GB cards for my data use... i no longer use USB cause i can take any of my office or personal data on to my tablet or mobile and take that anywhere i want!
THATS the use of microSD cards for masses u dumb ass....
191. metalpoet (unregistered)
My main selling point for most Android phones that my company offers is that they have expandable memory and removable battery compared to a locked down device like the iPhone.
37. true1984 (Posts: 460; Member since: 23 May 2012)
only the verizon version doesnt have an sd card slot
41. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)
The DNA is the Verizon version. If they're talking about the international version, then they should be calling it HTC Butterfly.
53. amiroo (Posts: 269; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
ooo!! my friend htc butterfly have a sd card..its also water resistance..its better if there was butterfly till dna..
butterfly is powerfull in all the way..its not important if s3 s battary is better than dna with only 1 hour higher scores..
instead of full hd display, more power & better performance ,better design & build quality & beat audio & better ui are advanteges dna against s3..
169. htc_prep (Posts: 303; Member since: 09 Oct 2009)
Better is all in the eyes of the beholder I have both the s3 and evo 4g lte. Both sprint. Both rooted. Both stock ROM with respective skins removed ( as in the Rosie and twlaunch apk files removed through root explorer). Apex launcher. same apps on each phone. I track the battery with juice plotter and I can honestly say they have pretty equal battery life with my evo lte lasting longer In stand by and standard cellular use. And both die in 4-5 hours under heavy use.
I don't pull my battery that often so remove able doesn't matter.
And my ego has 16 gigs internal with a hot swap capable SD slot.
Each phone and oems devices have pros and cons
But to say Samsung > HTC is a matter of opinion and jot facts.
64. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
what about the better camera? what about the brighter screen? what about the Super AMOLED? what about the nature UI? what about the expandable memory??? what about lighter weight?what about its slimness?what about USB ON_THE_GO?? what about MHL port connectivity?what about the better Video recording?how about being future proof? how about quadcore processor?how about FM radio with recording? how about choices of colors? how about better browsing cause of better Java engine? how about future updates? how about Resale value? how about S-Voice? how about better and more diversified video and audio Codecs? how about document viewer and editor? how about 50Gb of Free Dropbox space? how about Active-Noise Cancellation with dedicated mic?
how ABOUT BIGGER BATTERY???
HOW ABOUT S3 BEING THE "BENCHMARK THRESHOLD" when ANY new phone comes out??? HOW ABOUT DOUBLE OFFICIAL TALK TIME DUDE?
HOW ABOUT LOWER PRICE POINT??!!!
I can go on and on DNA is a good phone but as a matter of fact DNA is NOT AT ALL BETTER THAN S3!
no matter u take me as a fanboy or something or what PA or you or any one else say, S3 is the best phone! EVER!
81. dsDoan (Posts: 212; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
When I saw you using things like MHL, USB On-the-Go, and noise-cancelling mic as your supporting arguments, I decided not to give a full reply. These, and other features you mentioned, are implemented on both the Galaxy S3 and the Droid DNA.
If you're going to attempt a condescendingly ranting argument, be sure to do your research first.
Both are great devices, but neither one dominates the other as you seem to think.
120. AamirSIII (banned) (Posts: 187; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)
lol dude i just mentioned all the features that are in REALITY the true difference between S3 and DNA! as i have already said, no matter what u say S3 is better!
and btw, just check the comparison done by phonearena itself and u would come to know.
i didnt say DNA is bad, i just said S3 is better and it will remain better for some time...
and its not ONLY about implementation of the features, its about their sound execution with the software which, DNA just could not being HTC device.
its camera is worst, smaller battery, HTC Sense Hiccups, non removable battery and most of all, No expandable memory!
these features are NOT available in DNA!
not gonna reply u any more cause just found how dumb u are...!
dude, u REALLY NEED TO OPEN UR EYES...
67. tedkord (Posts: 3895; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
Personal preference. Where the SGS3 wins for me is in the replaceable battery and microsd slot. Those are must haves for me. (Though I'd forego the battery if it had a 3500 or more built in)
82. Captain_Doug (Posts: 732; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Design and build quality. (my opinion)
173. Zero0 (Posts: 561; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
I'm not a fan of TouchWiz by any means, but Sense is a nightmare.
HTC: It's 2012, not 2010. Android 4.1/4.2, not 2.3. Get with the program.
180. iDroid8 (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)
I see the better Nature UX, better handling, SAMOLED display, native video calls, expandable storage and removable battery
54. MeoCao (unregistered)
My picks are:
1. Nexus 4
2. Droid DNA
3. Note 2
4. Optimus G
5. One X+
142. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
remove optimus G and put Nlumia 920 there and I'm sold.
Again, optimus G is a flop (for me of course). No proper integration of software and hardware.
56. richardyarrell2011 (banned) (Posts: 510; Member since: 16 Mar 2011)
I can't help but laugh at this list. I get 17 to 22hrs daily of battery life with 9 to 11hrs of on screen time daily on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. And they claim these above devices are the best sure it is. None of these above devices get close to the battery life as the Note 2.
85. Captain_Doug (Posts: 732; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Look up the word niche. That's why the note 2 isn't on the list.
99. g2a5b0e (Posts: 1925; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
Then the title should say, "PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone (Except Niche)". Something that the Galaxy Note 2 is not anyway. Please explain to me how a phone that will sell more than 3 out of the 5 on this list is niche. You look up the word.
123. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
look up the word dum azz. bahahahahah!!!
168. Captain_Doug (Posts: 732; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
Really? A 5.5" phone isn't a niche device? Maybe in another year but for now, it isn't mainstream. I haven't met a single person who would actually use it as a daily phone. Again, I'm sure it's a great device, but it is not for everyone... or the majority... or anyone I've talked to... I haven't even seen anyone hold one outside of a store.
170. Khemistry (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)
Well, for starters, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary... pretty much the most respected dictionary out there, out of all of the definitions for 'niche' that are listed, NONE of them have anything to do with numbers or popularity. So that's your first fail.
Next, for the sake of argument, let's assume that the term 'niche' does have to do with numbers and/or popularity. The Note II most certainly will outsell every phone on this list, sans the Galaxy S III and perhaps the Lumia. The Note II has only been on-sale for approximately two months, yet it has sold well over 5 million units. That is very impressive for a device that only had a limited market, according to very early analysts. That's far more than what most other phones will ever see. That's your second fail.
Just because you live in some Joe Block small town where no one owns anything outside an iPhone or some crap Motorola Droid phone, doesn't mean that it speaks for what's going on across the nation. The 2013 Lexus GS is flying off dealership lots, yet, I've only seen TWO. Using your asinine and ignorant logic, I would have to surmise that the 2013 Lexus GS wasn't selling, even though it's an absolute fact they are.
Get a clue, moron. BTW, I own a Note II, and I haven't seen anyone else with one, either. However, I ran across someone who posted a photo taken on the NYC Subway, showing THREE people all talking on the Note II. He could argue exactly the opposite of what your claimed. And does my one experience of seeing no other Note IIs, mean that they aren't selling?
177. Captain_Doug (Posts: 732; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
I checked Merriam-Webster. #2D says a specialized market. Way to leave that out. A specialized market is not mainstream or of commonplace. So, a niche device would mean a device intended for a specialized market.
I also, don't live in a "Joe Block" small town. I live in a large college city with many of the latest and greatest devices parents can afford their kids. Way to assume though.
Also funny how you picked the Lexus GS. Also a Niche automobile. Your average joe certainly won't be dropping 50K on a sedan.
So now you've lied and assumed and belabored the point not to mention resorting to name calling where I was merely stating my opinion and experiences. You should spend more time interacting with real people. Talking to people on the internet has made you lose your manners. Maybe you never had them. Anyway, if you'd like to discuss or debate, I'm in. Just be sure to leave your childish behavior at home.
182. iDroid8 (Posts: 155; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)
At the pace we are going, you just gotta wait 1 year to make it mainstream
144. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
I gotta say that I want to put Note 2 on the list. But not only because of "battery life". If we talk about battery life, RAZR MAXX HD beats note 2 with great margin.
The thing about note 2 is that, the note taking itself and superb multitasking. Multi-window and SPen, not to mention 5.5" screen with the best amoled around (non-pentile), the monster battery, and one of the best call qualities.
Here's my list.
1. Nexus 4
2. Note 2
3. Droid DNA
4. Lumia 920
5. iPhone 5 (we can't remove this from the list. it's still has one of the best GPUs around and great selection of quality apps)
That's my complete 5.
143. darkskoliro (Posts: 885; Member since: 07 May 2012)
smh, samsung fanboys are just about as mindless as apple fans
190. jameshoe (unregistered)
haha!!!!! Sony & Blackberry just lost the war of phone
193. apexKBC (Posts: 84; Member since: 10 Dec 2012)
Phonearena u hav just gone crazy
1) ip 5 better dan DNA,920 & s3
2) wers note II
3) i think phonearena listed these items randomly like a draw>.>>>>>>>>>>
2. abdane (Posts: 471; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)
okay first, where is the GNote 2 ? and how is the iPhone 5 better than the DNA and GSIII and the Lumia ??? My God !!! iPhone is a disgrace to that list ! :P
33. bbblader (Posts: 522; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
not a disgrace dude it may be a disgrace to its predecessor because it almost has nothing new but its still a good phone but the gsiii dna and lumia should have been on top of the iphone
159. apocalypsebc (Posts: 146; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)
PA should set up a poll that lets us give our votes of the top 5 of choises from multiple phones of this year! Then we can all see PA votes and the user/bloggers votes like we do when we rate a phone and PA rate a phone with results showing side by side. I still cant believe the Lumia 920 didn't get the top spot for the camera when the I phone had that purple tint thing going on and it made the list. If someone say it was a fix for that, then Nokia has done the same thing with a fix. So lets fix that PA and Is the Video camera also part of the camera rateing? Again the Lumia 920 beats all with no shake! I see why alot of people critisize PA sometime. Lets get some users award rating going on PA!
3. Just_a_boy (Posts: 183; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
iPhone better than Lumia 920 is that a joke?
12. pkiran1996 (Posts: 160; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Do you think Galaxy S3 is better or worse than Lumia 920?
18. PapaSmurf (Posts: 6603; Member since: 14 May 2012)
In terms of camera, 920 without a doubt. In terms of features, Galaxy S3 is ahead.
19. abdane (Posts: 471; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)
i think its equivalent actually, just GS3 have more advantage in software, i mean, WP8 is still need more improvements, especially the store !