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PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Innovation

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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!

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Story timeline
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    17 December 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...
  • PhoneArena Awards 2012: Worst Phone
    14 December PhoneArena Awards 2012: Worst Phone Our frequent readers are probably well informed as to which of the phones currently on the market are good and which aren't. After all, it is our duty to review as many of them as possible and then tell you which handsets you should avoid or purchase in case you're out looking for one. Speaking of which, the great majority of the phones we got to play with over the past 12 months were actually very decent devices. Some of them, however, weren't that well executed, and today we'll tell you about the ones that underwhelmed us the most...
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    13 December PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Tablet Tablets - they're getting pretty popular, aren't they? Just a couple of years ago, they were regarded mostly as pricey toys rather than gadgets that one actually needed. But as they are getting cheaper by the day and as the number of apps optimized for tablet use rises, more and more people now own one. But not all tablets are made equal, and it is our duty to inform you which ones are actually worth getting. In fact, today we'll tell you which are the best tablets that launched in 2012...
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  • PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Cameraphone
    11 December PhoneArena Awards 2012: Best Cameraphone Phones aren't just for calling anymore, and we bet that even your grandparents are well aware of that. Instead, taking photos is what smartphones are used for the most, as recent surveys have shown. And that should come as no surprise: most high-end smartphones can capture images so good that they are well capable of replacing an entry-level point and shoot camera. Therefore, including a 'Best Cameraphone' category in our PhoneArena Awards of 2012 seems quite logical to us...
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