PhoneArena Awards 2011: Best smartphone

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.

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.

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!



1. GeekMovement unregistered

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.

57. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 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 ! -_-

94. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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

122. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 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!

123. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

just where in your mind is 4G LTE minor?

126. cristhiansaid

Posts: 30; Member since: Jun 25, 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???

132. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 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.

74. rendHELL

Posts: 304; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

1st SGS2 2nd SGS2 3rd SGS2 ranking for me... I'm not biased or anything, no favorites too... XD

135. rjbp64

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 15, 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!!

2. ilia1986 unregistered

How on earth is the iPhone 4S better than the SGS2?!?! Clarification, please. And no, Siri is not an answer.

3. M1K3YWR19H7

Posts: 18; Member since: Jan 31, 2011

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

6. GeekMovement unregistered

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

95. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 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

110. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

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

7. Tux4g63

Posts: 121; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

It must be the revolutionary groundbreaking dual core A5 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.

23. jove39

Posts: 2148; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Addition of siri in ip4s is offset by lack of revised list is (with bumped up razr) Galaxy Nexus SGSII Razr

24. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

111. SlimSoulja86

Posts: 660; Member since: Nov 03, 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

130. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

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

38. RamyRamz69

Posts: 390; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

I like the Galaxy's voice command system better than the S2 lol "Hi Galaxy" is a lot better than "Hi Siri"

131. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 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.

4. mrvid

Posts: 77; Member since: Oct 02, 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!!

118. acs2acs2

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 15, 2011

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

5. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Typo: 1. Nexus 2. SGS2 3. iPhone 4S

40. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

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

87. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 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.

8. jayrownage

Posts: 10; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

come on... i was expecting sgs2 to be the winner for this category the polls say so

9. henrickrw

Posts: 408; Member since: Sep 16, 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.

44. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 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

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.

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

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