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PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone

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PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone
Cue the drum roll, pop the champagne, and throw the confetti up in the air! Get ready for the grand finale in our PhoneArena Awards of 2012 series because today we are announcing the year's best phone.

And as you might expect, the winner in today's category is a smartphone - a smartphone that is great in many ways, which is why it truly deserves to be honored. It is a smartphone running one of the most versatile mobile operating systems around, powered by one of the beefiest pieces of silicon available to date. Are you excited as much as we are?

All right then! Let's cut straight to the chase. Ladies and gents, the best phone of 2012 is...

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone
Google Nexus 4

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.

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone
Apple iPhone 5

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.

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone

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.

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone
Samsung Galaxy S III

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.

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Phone
Nokia Lumia 920

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.

Story timeline

This story is part of: PhoneArena Awards 2012(11 updates)

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posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:07 21

1. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1031; 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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:12 33

5. dsDoan (Posts: 233; 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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:13 52

8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

Released 6 months after the Galaxy S3, it SHOULD have better specs.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:14 27

10. abdane (Posts: 494; 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

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:18 8

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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:26 4

32. dsDoan (Posts: 233; 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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:28 1

37. true1984 (Posts: 829; Member since: 23 May 2012)

only the verizon version doesnt have an sd card slot

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:30 3

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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:31 16

42. dsDoan (Posts: 233; 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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:32 9

43. doubler86 (Posts: 320; 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

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:44 2

47. dsDoan (Posts: 233; 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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:53 2

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..

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:53 21

54. MeoCao (unregistered)

My picks are:

1. Nexus 4
2. Droid DNA
3. Note 2
4. Optimus G
5. One X+

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 12:55 6

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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 13:14 7

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?
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!

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 13:16 1

67. tedkord (Posts: 13024; 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)

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 13:39 3

81. dsDoan (Posts: 233; 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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 13:41

82. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1031; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Design and build quality. (my opinion)

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 13:45 1

85. Captain_Doug (Posts: 1031; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Look up the word niche. That's why the note 2 isn't on the list.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 14:23 4

99. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3725; 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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 14:48 7

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)...

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 14:51 3

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.

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 15:38

114. Lboogey6 (Posts: 281; 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

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 16:40 3

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...!

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 17:05 1

123. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

look up the word dum azz. bahahahahah!!!

posted on 17 Dec 2012, 22:33 9

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?!?

posted on 18 Dec 2012, 00:13 4

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.

posted on 18 Dec 2012, 00:15 2

143. darkskoliro (Posts: 1079; Member since: 07 May 2012)

smh, samsung fanboys are just about as mindless as apple fans

posted on 18 Dec 2012, 00:18 4

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.

posted on 18 Dec 2012, 03:34 6

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!

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