PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Innovation

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Innovation
We have to admit it, folks, we aren't that easy to impress. We are a well-trained team of geeks that has laid hands on much more phones than an average Joe can even name. Simply put, we've all been there and we've all done that, as far as phones are concerned. 

Every once in a while, however, a new product or technology gets announced - something that really make us go "wow". And today, we'll talk about several such solutions: this year's PhoneArena awards begin with the Best Innovation category.

But what exactly is innovation? Well, we can go about defining the term by stating what it isn't. Innovation is not just launching a new handset with a slightly larger screen, or a marginally faster processor. That's just a particular technology evolving, and it happens all the time. Instead, innovation is a new way of doing things - it is when someone dares to bring an alternative concept to the market. It is when a company or an individual has managed to distance itself from the box we all should be thinking out of.

So without further ado, we present you with our winner in the Best Innovation category. And that is...

Nokia PureView camera technology

It didn't take us long to conclude that Nokia should be at the top spot in today's category with its PureView imaging technology. First introduced in the Nokia 808 PureView, it allowed taking photos with outstanding quality and resolution never before seen on a phone. Users can capture massive, 38-megapixel photos, or shrink those pixels down to a marvelous 5- or 8-megapixel image. In addition, the size of the sensor allows zooming in and out while shooting without sacrificing quality. No moving optics needed! Try doing that with any other smartphone! But Nokia didn't stop there because the Nokia Lumia 920 is worthy of carrying the PureView tag as well. Its sensor may not have an outrageous pixel count, but its wide aperture combined with optical image stabilization allow one to take impressive low-light shots.

Second place: Android in cameras, TVs, and other gadgets

Android is not only for smartphones and tablets anymore. In 2012, we saw it powering TV sets, video game consoles, even several point and shoot cameras. One of the first Android TV sets was announced by Lenovo during CES - the Lenovo K91, which had Android Market (now known as Google Play) access and could run apps. Then later in July, a video game console also running Google's platform hit Kickstarter and raised millions of dollars in a month's time. And in August we got to check out the first digital cameras powered by Android, namely the Nikon Coolpix S800c and the Samsung Galaxy Camera. All this makes us wonder which is the next common household appliance that will get supercharged with the power of Android!

Third place: Samsung Galaxy Beam - pico projector phone done right

Previous attempts at making a phone with a built-in projector failed miserably. The Samsung Galaxy Beam, on the other hand, is good at both being a smartphone and at projecting your favorite YouTube videos on the wall. It has a dual-core processor, 4-inch screen, and a large battery, so it is a perfectly usable every-day handset, while the 15-lumen built-in projector can display an image as big as 50 inches in diagonal right on your living room wall.

And these are the innovations that impressed the most this year! We'll be back tomorrow with the next category in the PhoneArena Awards of 2012, so stay tuned!

Story timeline



2. yasir-921

Posts: 81; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

Phone arena is always paid by Samsung. It is always praising Samsung.

9. MeoCao unregistered

Why not praise SS after so many wonderful goodies they brought to the market?

3. ajupurohit

Posts: 11; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

Nokia's PureView camera technology is the best :)

6. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

the moment i opened the article, i knew that the BEAM would be there somewhere. turns out, i was right. :)

7. MalakiMills

Posts: 257; Member since: Jun 15, 2010

All great choices, I would have included Google Now in there as well.

8. MeoCao unregistered

My picks are: 1. Google Now This innovation set new trend for future personal devices and the way people use them. 2. 808 PureView: The future of photography. 3. SS Note 2 docking station Putting the first nail in PC's coffin

10. androidsbiggestfan

Posts: 76; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

100% agree, Google Now should have been #1!!! No question!

60. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Smart dock is nothing new really. Sony made "Live dock" almost a year ago.. it doesn't have as many USB ports but it is much sleeker and far better looking :) I agree with this chart

96. MeoCao unregistered

I agree that this dock is not of its kind, but I picked it for its implication. This dock cannot be separated from JB and SS added features to the OS that make Smart dock the viable alternative to PC.

72. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I think that Samsung projector phone shoulda been one. A projector in a phone? To me that tops improved camera technology. I would give a nod to Google Now too, I dont know about #1 tho.

100. MeoCao unregistered

Phone projector is quite cool, but the implication is very limited.

288. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

your #1 isnt a real innovation..due to the fact that siri make it first! but google now is the best though! #2 is exactly correct!!! i dont know about #3 due to the fact that samsung just make some improvements... but need to add the puremotion tech of nokia that is present in lumia 920!

305. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

That Puremotion tech you Nokia fanboys like to rave about is just a gimick. "There's also the higher than regular refresh rate, which should make scrolling text smoother than ever, though to be honest, we are yet to spot the real-life advantages of that." Straight from GSMArena's review.

12. chapizzo

Posts: 116; Member since: Sep 13, 2011

i knew pureview would be top on that list and i was right.

21. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

i'm gonna sue you for that. #infected-by-apple-sue-flu

290. lolol

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

Same!! As soon as i saw the innovation part, i thought to myself oh nokia is at the top :D

15. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

Wait... Where is iPhone 5 with it's cool new panorama camera? I saw a commercial for it and I have never seen that on a smartphone before...

16. kickgolfer

Posts: 69; Member since: Dec 03, 2012

welcome to 2010, we're only going into 2013 now....

17. superiorbeefjerky

Posts: 14; Member since: Feb 18, 2011

Where's Apple stuff? I thought PA is paid by them per Android user.

23. kartik4u98

Posts: 511; Member since: May 19, 2012

What Apple innovated?? "Crystal SAPPHIRE LENS COVER" !!!!!!

25. Ohrules

Posts: 327; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

how about the stupidest ways to satisfy customers? "you're holding it wrong"

26. kickgolfer

Posts: 69; Member since: Dec 03, 2012

iphone 5 would've been up there only if today was 2009

18. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I would've reversed the order.

29. jimjam unregistered

Can't believe the surface touch and type covers didn't make it. Awesome innovation

50. kirholstov

Posts: 146; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

It's not innovation. Laser projected keyboard - that's innovation

54. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Eh, Asus has been doing that with the Transformer for a while (plus, their keyboards have batteries in them.) I do like the design of the Surface, and my next computer will probably be a Surface Pro, but there's not all that much that stands out about it.

176. jimjam unregistered

Its a freaking cover that's what.

30. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

The pureview camera is amazing but I wouldn't call it the best innovation.

127. samystic

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 2012

so what is your definition of innovation? samystic

164. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Innovation for me is seeing something new that will impact that future, that's useful and not just an upgrade from something, in this case cameras. Like you said: "BTW PhoneArena, as far as i remember even if it failed miserably, projector on Beam is evolution and NOT innovation"

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.