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



306. sonykov

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

what about the Padfone 2, isn't it an innovation

307. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Not really... just evolution. The first Padfone was innovation.

308. sonykov

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

i meant the Padfone (thing) not just Padfone 2, still the innovation is in favor of Asus

326. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

While the first Padfone was launched in 2012, it was already developed in summer 2011. Not sure if this was taken into account by PA, but its a possibility. That could be the reason its not on the list. The Padfone, however, should definitely be considered otherwise. Asus did a fantastic job with that one.

303. Ivan6479

Posts: 250; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

300. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

stop hating with thhe pureview tech of nokia! it is and will be the best and the greatest and groundbreaking camera on a phone tech ever!!! and symbian isnt that bad... all i want is a call and text with best camera and with simple apps due to the fact that i also have android...and will get an iPod touch 5th gen.. and symbian is a power efficient OS! it my phone(past symbians) could last 2-3 days while android, only a day!

296. lolol

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

lol, people are pathetic :D they are just so frustrated and miserable that Pureview isnt available on other phones, even my really neutral comment got 8 thumbs down LOL :D.. Shows how frustrated they are, thumbs down for any comment that explains the pureview, android fans are really pathetic sometimes Well professionals made their choice and the results are given in the article, they know more than all you losers that keep bashing everything, so lets put a pin in that :) Note : Please dont cry here because you arent the owner of any of these companies and cus you arent paid to waste your time :P

287. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

you android folks just cant accept the fact that the pureview tech will NEVER be available in you platform!!!! bashing the tech that nokia made in 808 pureview dont make your android phone any better! the 808 will just replace compact camera not DSLR! a compact camera with a la DSLR! and for me will replace a DSLR actually since DSLR is huge! i cant use or will carry it with me all the time! and besides the one that is awarded is the camera tech! not the OS! hello!!!

302. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

exactly, this is about the camera tech, that took 5 years to develop and when people heard rumors of a 41mp sensor they all said it must be bs. then it came out and shocked everyone. thats real innovation something that sounds to good to be true and actually living up to it. never been done before and hasnt since. 808 won easily this year

285. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

When it comes to innovation Nokia wins with hands down. They didn't buy technology from someone else. they dreamed it up. Their oversamplin 41 mpx monstrosity does the job excellent and shows what can be done with small optics if you know what you're doing.

268. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

hate all you want and hate all you like!! but you cant deny the fact that 808 pureview is godzillion advance from the competition... and besides..this is made to be a camera phone!! not a superphone for all of you android supporters! 808 will replace compact camera!

198. lolol

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

Love Nokia Pureview, it just rocks :D Good choice Phonearena :)

182. MC1123

Posts: 1256; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

nokia is the leader of all innovation!!! apple apply to patent the things that isnt their own!! while samsung, just next to nokia i suppose! but still nokia is the leader!!! 808 pureview - god of camera phone! lumia 920 - king of camera phone! N8 - retired king!(but still the best) others - just some wannabes! the galaxy camera is good but not even comparable to 808! the only good thing about is is that it got optical zoom..but nokia has loseless zooming that will not damage the quality of the picture of the video!

177. sbw44

Posts: 433; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

I find it funny that people here keep talking about the note2's spen,hovering crap and pop up windows, geez why do I even want a spen? that all has been done previously with styluses and now you people are saying its an innovation? Forget the 41mp thing you samsung/android fanboys keep bashing but what about the fact that the 808 has Rich Recording Technology! being able to record audio up to 140db without distortion! Nobody has done that! not samsung not apple, No one! Or what about the fact that the 808 can render up to 1 billion pixels on a bloody arm11 cpu! Lastly tell me what other smartphone can play and record 1080p videos with lossless zoom on an arm11 1 Ghz single core processor? please? Thats Innovation! thinking outside the box! not updating some stuff that was on previous devices

163. biagnosis

Posts: 106; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

hahaha.. I'm an owner of Nokia 808 PureView since it's day of release (June 2012) and I am very proud. Close to the top spot should be Samsung Galaxy Note 2 because of the S-Pen but I think this was an innovation last year with the 1st Galaxy Note that's why it did not make it. been a loyal Nokia supporter and my last 2 phones were Nokia N82 and Nokia N8 respectively but too bad I'm planning to ditch my Nokia 808 PureView for a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I already pre-ordered on my carrier here in the Philippines and I'll be getting the new Galaxy Note 2 within this week. It will be my 1st time to own an android device saw the YouTube demo's of this monster phablet and holy **** I was easily sold. too many things to do, to many things to discover than just shoot photos. I ain't really a professional photographer in the 1st place. I think if Nokia focused on Symbian and not the very gay WP8 (just like Elop), there are really lots of things that can be done on a Symbian device. It's the OS that really counts now for me.

175. kickgolfer

Posts: 69; Member since: Dec 03, 2012

"It's the OS that really counts now for me" well for most people and this is why Nokia's still dying. Nokia going with Windowns, won't be able to hold em down much longer. They have to go with Android soon or later to have better platform to compete on. I've never used a Windows 8 phone before but since windows phones aren't doing good(beside 920), I'm worried that the app market would be too weak and also have concern about the capabilities of communicating on Windows platform with non Windows users(which are most nowadays). 920 did sell really well in last month over europe but I think the demand will slow down quick just like it did with the 900.

151. Thephonegeek

Posts: 118; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

Asus padfone 2 deserved to be on that list.

146. lumialove

Posts: 75; Member since: May 16, 2012

Clearly Nokia pureview technology wins ..anyday anytime.... :)

143. eddo85

Posts: 11; Member since: Dec 03, 2012

what about airplay or miracast? there is so much potential behind it... wonderful, cablefree future

140. Asvad

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

Where is Lumia 920 ?????

295. lolol

Posts: 64; Member since: Nov 14, 2012

Well, Pureview at the 1st place stands for Both Nokia 808 PureView and Nokia Lumia 920, The 2 most awesome and the best camera phones :)

131. samystic

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 2012

BTW PhoneArena, as far as i remember even if it failed miserably, projector on Beam is evolution and NOT innovation samystic

125. samystic

Posts: 242; Member since: Mar 25, 2012

Apple has done the biggest innovation of the century - patenting flip page, wireless charging and wait round cornered rectangle samystic

110. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Great picks, PA, can't think of anything to critique

104. phil2n

Posts: 519; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

How about the first phone with NFC enabled. Nokia 6131

73. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

There is nothing innovative neither about the nexus 4 nor droid dna. Xiaomi mi2 and oppo find5 had those specs and prices before. Note2 is an improved note. 808 deserves it not only because of camera but also because of audio. Nokia high end audio recording is top notch. The galaxy beam deserves to be there because it is better than the huge ass projector we use at work. Again most of samsung touchwiz software are made possible because of android. They are just fancy names for existing stuff like isight camera in apple. Android deserves to be there too because of its versatility. I would also mention hybrid laptops. They are quite nice

69. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

what should have been up there? The Nexus4 - the first premium build monster phone for less than $400 unlocked at launch. That is a paradigm changer.

80. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

its not innovative though...just because its a bargain doesnt make it innovation do you think the n4 is more innovative then the 808?

93. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

In a way, it is an innovation. It's an innovation to push phones to a lower price point. Shows that affordable phones are possible. Seeing a Galaxy S3 having a $100 price drop is called a bargain, the S4 is something else, it's trying to set the bar... For that purpose, it's an innovation.

101. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

thats not innovation thats more a sales plan, im sorry but the n4 isnt innovation. its a good phone no ones saying otherwise but innovation is pushing the boudaries of tech, incorperating otherwise seperate tech (i.e projector+phone).

* 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.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless