PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Product Design
We had more than a few devices in mind when picking the best of the best, so we decided to split them into two categories - one for smartphones and one for tablets. And here they are, check them out below and let us know if you agree with the devices we've picked!
HTC One S
Slim, solid, and stylish - that's how we'd describe the HTC One S in a few words. At the time of its release it was among the thinnest Android smartphones one could find. And one of the lightest too, tipping the scales at only 120 grams, despite being mostly made out of anodized metal. But what's more important than raw figures is that the handset is, without a doubt, extremely attractive - both pleasant to hold and a pleasure to admire.
Apple iPhone 5
At first we were somewhat disappointed to know that the iPhone 5 looks exactly like rumors claimed it will. But after getting the chance to check it out first hand, all negative feelings suddenly vanished. Apple's newest iPhone is a great-looking device that is easy to operate and comfortable to hold. At the same time, it is crafted with utmost attention to detail, just like its predecessor and every other product that Apple has released lately.
Nokia Lumia 920
Yeah, it's a Lumia: one can easily tell that the very instant they pick up a Nokia Lumia 920. But is there anything wrong with sticking to the lineup's distinctive design language? Of course not! Nokia's current Windows Phone 8 flagship is a solid, sturdy handset, and unlike many other high-end devices, it is actually available in a multitude of bright, punchy colors.
At first, one might think that the Microsoft Surface is just an ordinary slab with a screen on its front. However, a closer look reveals just how much attention has been paid when Microsoft's team of engineers designed this slate. It is a highly durable gadget that will surely withstand the tests of time thanks to its rigid chassis made out of magnesium composite. Last but not least, the Microsoft surface has a kickstand! Does your tablet have one? We bet it doesn't.
Asus Transformer Pad Infinity
The aluminum patterned body and the solid build construction position the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity right into the premium category. It is a beautiful tablet that grabs your attention the very instant it appears before your eyes. Take this out your back pack on your next visit to Starbucks and just watch how you'll be noticed even by those wielding an iPad.
Apple iPad mini
And speaking of iPads, here's one that we believe deserves to be on this list. The iPad mini is just as well made as its full-sized brother, but it comes in a smaller package, which makes it more compact and easier to carry around.
And these, dear readers, are the 2012 smartphones and tablets, the design of which we like the most! Stay tuned for the next category in the PhoneArena Awards of 2012 will be announced in 24 hours!
41. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
HTC Windows Phone 8X for design really. Nokia's getting quite redundant.
46. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
nokia are getting redundant, the design is solid
but id say HTC 8s for design
60. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
im wit you on this one, the 8s is slimmer and a bit more attractive than the bulky nokia........not hating people just giving my opinion
191. TechCheque (Posts: 10; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
For you all saying Lumia 920 is bulky: The device is using the world's smallest hardware enabled Image Stabilizer, Wireless Charging, NFC, 2000mh battery, and it's still ONLY 3mm thicker than iPhone 5.
It's also pretty funny to look people complaining its bulky size, while they at the same time buy bulky covers for their iPhone's and Android phones and downgrade them to look like somekind of awkward construction rather than a design phone. Lumia 920 does not need any covers, as the torture tests show. It is built like a tank, and can take hits like a tank, unlike some thin phones with need of protective covers.
And please, where did HTC got its ideas for design? It's a direct copy of Lumia
148. lolol (Posts: 64; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)
Yeah HTC 8S looks really cool :D genuine design, I love it :D I was considering Lumia 820 or HTC 8S
93. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
HTC looked too often at Lumias. they ran out of ideas.
153. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
That's cuz Nokia's lumia line has set a standard for the design of every Windows Phone with its iconic Design..
The one that started it all- Lumia 800.
172. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
actually id say the one that started it all is the n9, it deserves the credit for design
192. TechCheque (Posts: 10; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
Actually it was Nokia's N9 which started the design, but yeah Lumia 800 continued where it left
202. Gio1897 (Posts: 5; Member since: 03 Dec 2012)
No, it was the Nokia N9 that started the kind of design.
104. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
HAH!!!!! We all probably know why PA wrote only 2 sentences about the iPad mini, IF u know what u mean.
133. shadez10 (Posts: 386; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)
HTC copies lumia designs... they used to be unique in terms of designs... but now they suck... -_-
155. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)
BAH. Thats a load of B.S. HTC still have their unique designs on the Phones they made, One good example is the Droid DNA... I ask you, how lumia-ish or Nokia-ish are they? Geez.
163. shadez10 (Posts: 386; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)
im comparing the Windows phone line-up of HTC...
193. TechCheque (Posts: 10; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
Lumia 800/900 won an International Design Excellence Award in July 2012 which the Lumia 920 is based on. Where is HTC 8X design based on? What is its design inspiration sources? What are HTC's design principles? Who is the design lead of HTC?
88. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4619; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Need to remember that meaning design is not only about how it looks, it is also about durability and ergonomics!
Talking about the iPhone 5 I agree that it looks good and I also think that it still has conditionally ergonomic design but it has por durability.
And talking about iPad mini there is no ergonomics and no durability so, except conditionally not bad look I don't see what this device is doing in this awards list. I think that Surface is definitely better device in all meanings than iPad mini.
110. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5289; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
JMO, but the physical look of the black iP5 is striking. It is a shame that the finish doesn't wear well. And then there is the horribly dated iOS UI....
132. MeoCao (unregistered)
is the UI included in design? I guess not.
But iP5 is scratchy so I don't think the design is good
134. MeoCao (unregistered)
PA should lay out the criteria it uses to pick the winners. Without common understanding this award will be a mess where personal preference rules.
168. SonyXperiaNexus (Posts: 374; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
sony deserves a place here as well. anyway youre right, the iphone 5 might look good but whats the point if you have to buy covers to protect it....its stupid
120. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
I think the Lumia 900 looks better than 920
150. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
And also because its thinner and lighter . I liked the curved screen of the Lumia 800 too
156. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5487; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i think most of the lower end W8 devices look better than the higher end ones. xD
8S > 8X
Lumia 820 > Lumia 920
162. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
The back of the 820 is ugly . Its also thicker and heavier than the 920
For the 8S case I think the colours combination is a little childish and not mature .
195. TechCheque (Posts: 10; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
Lumia 900 is not thinner than Lumia 920 and there's like 20g weight difference.
Bezel is there on purpose, so you don't hit the buttons accidentally. There is nothing in Lumia 920 design which has not been carefully thought in forehand. Also Lumia 920 has 2.5D curved glass, because the phone should feel natural and comfortable in hand, not sharp corners like on iPhone 5
200. jameshoe (unregistered)
Lumia 920 HAVE GOT TWO AWARD!!!!! THE BEST PHONE & THE BEST PRODUCT DESIGN AWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1037; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
Ya know it doesn't make ya'll biased NOT to include an apple product. IPad mini, really?
12. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5487; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
it's a nice feeling product, thin and metal with very fine touches of quality craftsmanship. just how doesn't it deserve to be here?
80. kdealltheway (Posts: 79; Member since: 21 Oct 2012)
Sure that's all out of your mouth? :-P
85. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
The iPad touch, feel, craftmanship with along Android OS, or vice-versa.™®©
15. OHaZZaR (Posts: 131; Member since: 19 Aug 2011)
I had the same mentality until I held one. It feels really amazing while holding it I almost bought it impulsively had it not been for the A5 chip and lacklustre screen. Really it has an amazing build, it feels great. It's also unbelievably light. Like I thought it wasn't a big deal until I held it.
23. nwright94 (unregistered)
They do have great designs, like it or not. The iPhone 5 has a great feel in hand, you can't appreciate it until you've held one and used it for awhile. I personally think the Nexus 4 should've been up here though, it looks very clean and sophisticated.
121. thelegend6657 (unregistered)
The galaxy s3 is ugly and I always accidentally hitted the menu and back buttons because they are too close the the edge .
Typed from a galaxy S3
196. cripton805 (Posts: 907; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)
You must hold your phone funny. All of the phones are made to be held from the sides. Not from the bottom up. Ive never had any problems and I have large clumsy hands.
I also think the GS3 looks fine. Its shaped like a rectangle like every other one of these phones. I dont think its the best, but I think to call it ugly is a bit dramatic considering rectangle shape and soft keys are standard on every phone nowadays.
86. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5487; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i think everything up there deserves to be up there but with the audition of the Razr M/i for it's compact design and the Razr MAXX HD for it's solid iPhone equivalent construction along with that real nice notification light and maybe LG's recent crop deserves to be up there too.
178. JunitoNH (Posts: 759; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)
You are joking right? About the Nexus 4. You might as well put that ugly S3 up here too.
62. darkkjedii (Posts: 9321; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Nope, but it makes them correct , really!
3. Insignificant (Posts: 189; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
iPad mini? It's a smaller version of a larger version of an iPod.
The iPhone 5? Or is it the iClone 5? 5 years of almost identical phones.
The Lumia 920? 2 iterations of the same design...
HTC One s? Maybe...But nothing outstanding...I'd prefer the one X+, nicer colours...
No surprise iPhoneArena forgets the Xperia P, iconic, good build quality and premium materials...Or the xperia TX/GX...a cool light up logo and a worthy successor of the Arc.
14. danny_a2005 (Posts: 114; Member since: 06 Oct 2011)
And the xperia s... That lighting bar is a great eye catcher...
19. OHaZZaR (Posts: 131; Member since: 19 Aug 2011)
The iPhone 5 also uses premium materials. The xperia p has a decent design at best. And the iPhone 4 is pretty distinct from the previous generations, can't exactly say the same about the iPhone 4S or the 5. Please don't bash on the lumia 920, it looks pretty awesome. Oh and since we're talking about copy cats the iPhone 4S and 5 are less alike than the xperia S and T.
42. Insignificant (Posts: 189; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
I think you were drunk when you wrote that comment. The S has a lighting bar, the T doesn't. The S curves noticeably outwards, the T is literally the opposite. No-one in 10,000 years could ever get confused by them visually. iFail?
161. OHaZZaR (Posts: 131; Member since: 19 Aug 2011)
I'm really sorry for the misunderstanding, I meant S and P, the T does look different. I don't exactly know sony phones like I do Samsung or HTC or LG, so pardon me. I see my flaw though and that the iPhone 4S and 5 aren't exactly alike, but they are similar and it took apple 2 years to change the design incrementally. The time difference is much shorter between the S and P so they are justified if they look alike (like the One S and One X as Aaron pointed out). So yeah I am in the wrong on this one. I'm not biased, trust me, I moved from the iPhone 4 to the GALAXY Note hoping the 4S brought something new to the table, and I have a macbook air. i'm not loyal to a brand, but I do find the iPhone's design iconic at the very least. At most it's eye-catching.
48. Aaron_R96 (Posts: 198; Member since: 22 Jan 2012)
Haha, totally agree with Insignificant, the S and T? You must be joking. In fact it's so outrageous that I'm gonna presume you meant S and P, in which case yeah, they're from the same series of phones! like the One X and One S. But in fact they are different - the aluminium unibody of the P (which is also smaller than the S) but yes, they both share the same design traits..
At least they don't look like someones took a rolling pin to one (iPhone 4/4s) in order to create the other! (iPhone 5)
160. OHaZZaR (Posts: 131; Member since: 19 Aug 2011)
I actually did mean S and P, sorry for the misunderstanding :P
63. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
What about the DNA?? lol I agree that at least one sony should of been up there but hey im not mad about it.......a beauty contest isnt what sony needs from a website, they need sales!! and an improvement in marketing strategy
66. darkkjedii (Posts: 9321; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Face it dude its PA's site the make the choices, u just hate and run ur mouth. Sit down, shut up, and jus chill. We know u hate apple...we know!
81. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
is that in response to me? or someone else?
91. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 4619; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
"Face it dude its PA's site the make the choices, u just hate and run ur mouth. Sit down, shut up, and jus chill. We know u hate apple...we know!"
So the only one person who can have an opinion and comment here is you and anyone who hase different opinion about the Apple shoud shut up? Right?
I suggest you to use your own advice about "shut up" and don't tell people what they can and what they can't do. Because everyone here are free to express their own opinion freely of course while it is not against PhoneArena commenting rules.
103. SleepingOz (Posts: 2484; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Agree One X looks better but well, aesthetic is subjective anyway.
122. darkkjedii (Posts: 9321; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Well dude y don't u start your own site, and do your own editors choice awards. Hmmmm... Then u can pic the arc and the lite up logo.
197. MC1123 (Posts: 1220; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
yeah... sony phones deserve to be there!! but its just that they are not making quite a buzz like these phones!!!
sony should make something to let people flock on them!