PhoneArena Awards 2012: Game-changing Product

PhoneArena Awards 2012: Game-changing Product
Don't you feel like a new phone or tablet gets announced almost on a weekly basis? Guess what, so do we! A great fraction of these new devices aren't anything special, though – they are often just a model somewhat better than the previous one, meant to occupy the price point of its predecessor. The older version just goes further down the hierarchy until it gets discontinued. Yeah, the whole circle-of-life principle is also valid when it comes to mobile gadgets.

Every once in a while, however, a new product steps in and changes everything. Its impact on the mobile industry is so significant that it causes competing companies to rethink their strategies if they are to survive on the market. And that's when things get really interesting!

The second category in the PhoneArena Awards of 2012 is for the year's game-changing product. In fact, we have not one, not two, but three products to honor today, and they all were made possible by a single company, although three different makers were given the task to produce them. Can you already guess what are the three gadgets we are talking about?

The 2012 Google Nexus family

Powerful hardware and amazing software delivered at an unbelievable price – these are the primary factors that made us pick the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 as the game-changing products of 2012. 

The Google Nexus 7 is the device that launched first. Announced back in June, it was a great, budget-friendly tablet that could be bought for as low as $200. Yeah, we had the identically priced Kindle Fire before it, but unlike Amazon's offering, the Nexus 7 delivered the full-blown Google experience. And its hardware was nothing to complain about either. NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 is still a pretty decent piece of silicon, and the 1280 by 800 pixel IPS LCD screen is more than suitable for a tablet of this class.

Fast forward several months into the future and the Google Nexus 4 gets announced – an outstanding high-end smartphone based on the LG Optimus G. However, it wasn't its powerful quad-core processor that impressed us the most, neither the new Android 4.2 Jelly Bean that ran on the device. What was most astonishing about the Google Nexus 4 was its price – only $350 for the 16GB model. No wonder that the Google Play store ran out of stock shortly after the smartphone was made available for purchase.

And how can we not mention the Google Nexus 10 tablet? It is another beast of a device, blessed with a powerful processor and a gorgeous 2560 by 1600 pixel display. Its $400 price tag is just as impressive as its hardware specifications.

And these, folks, were the three game-changing products of 2012! Would you agree with us, or would you rather say that a different device should have been awarded? Let us know down in the comments! Also, the next category in PhoneArena's Awards of 2012 will be announced in 24 hours, so stay tuned!

Story timeline



1. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

they are not game changers, they "game on" products

15. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

What about setting a new standard, like 1080p HD screens on mobile phones? That is game-changing, don't you think? For Sharp to release a 1080p HD display at 5" is a TRUE definition of "game-changing", to me at least. Do you know how hard it is to fit 2,073,600 pixels in a small 5" diagonal area? Why did miss this on their best innovations of 2012 & now on their game-changing product of 2012? Sharp is responsible for the technology, BUT HTC brought it to the world on their BEAST Droid DNA/J Butterfly smartphones.

24. kickgolfer

Posts: 69; Member since: Dec 03, 2012

HTC's not a game changer. They're just the first buyer for this panel from Sharp. It's 1080p screen is very nice(IMO, best screen out, period) but upgrade from 720p to 1080p was expected. LG, japandisplay, Samsung, other taiwanese &japanese OEMs already all posses the manufacturing ability of 5" 1080p lcd panels, it's just matter of when. Samsung's even working on 1080p SAMOLED panels, which no one in the business is come close to/able to produce at the moment. I hear even Samsung having trouble mass producing it right now.

27. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Can you imagine a beautiful 5.5" or 6" 1080p RGB Super AMOLED display? Can you say Samsung Galaxy Note III? lol

39. kickgolfer

Posts: 69; Member since: Dec 03, 2012

I love my Galaxy Note 2's display but I know it's not the best out there now. I give that title to Sharp's 5" 1080P SLCD3(HTC's Droid DNA/Butterly J) but like I said before everyone's going to have simiar displays on their high-end devices. All going to be 1080p and sweet. IPS panels are really great for being smartphone displays and more but OLED does have it's strong points, too. As most of you here already know, Samsung went with the pentile type on their first Galaxy S and Nexus but used the RGB type on their second generation of Galaxy S line. Before the release of this year's most popular phone, the Samsung's Galaxy S3, Samsung and Google collaborated and released the Samsung Galaxy Nexus S with pentile display. Even though it had pentile display, it did have improvements over Galaxy S2's RGB type display. Samsung used the same type of pentile display on their latest Galaxy S device but still made a lot of improvments over Galaxy Nexus S's display. I know the Note 2 has RGB type display but I'm just amazed by how quickly Samsung's evolving and they're doing it all alone right now. Samsung's OLED tech should be at least 2 yrs ahead of it's competition. I can't wait to see the upcoming S4's beautiful 4.99" SAMOLED Plus display. White should be whiter than now and colors should be more natural and bright.

40. kickgolfer

Posts: 69; Member since: Dec 03, 2012

I love gaming on my Galaxy Note 2 but gaming or watching videos and surfing web on 5.6~6" 1080P SAMOLED Plus display with improved color saturation, balance and whiter white would be pure epic.

29. gwuhua1984

Posts: 1237; Member since: Mar 06, 2012

No no, the phone really is a game changer... Just not innovation. Compared to the Nexus, it's just a bit short of a game changing product.

31. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Not really game-changing, it was an expected evolutionary advancement. Though, it is beautiful, it isn't game-changing, considering that this is just going to be the new standard for flagships in 2013. HTC was just first to make a consumer model with a 1080p display, not a game-changer, it just set a new standard. My definition of game-changing is when a company outs a product that will completely turn the tides for the company and changes that specific industry as a whole. 5" 1080p displays are only evolutionary, not revolutionary.

33. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

A $300 quad core, 2GB RAM, 312 ppi, 4.7 inch, always updated smartphone sounds pretty game-changing to me. 1080p is a nice upgrade, but not earth-shattering. A half-price flagship, that's going to shake things up.

42. Nadr1212

Posts: 741; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

I can see why They didn't mention the Google Nexus 4, It doesn't even deserve an 8

45. Jasonhunterx

Posts: 111; Member since: Jul 20, 2011

Lately you've been really trolling with this 1080P junk we get it it looks great but its surely not a game changer its a cool new improvement but not game changer you can buy a high end and high end phone for 550$ that's a game changer last year we wouldn't be able to say those words now the game is changed let the value/price war begin!

52. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

So the Nexus 10 display at its high res gets no love? Very few actually care about display specs anymore. People like you and me do but the vast majority of people probably cant even tell a difference. I think the real game charger that the Nexus line is pricing. Instead of charging a premium for storage like Apple does, offering a better display, better hardware and an OS that is light years ahead of iOS, theyre undercutting Apple/MS and taking away marketshare.

28. Pings

Posts: 304; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

I agree. The Google Nexus family are "game on" products. I would say Android 4.0,4.1,4.2+ are true game changers.

2. Aaron_R96 unregistered

Agree! Google went all out with kick-ass features on all of the 3 Nexus' they announced this year, using price, form and just pure brilliant technology in them all. In my opinion, it will be especially the pricing of the Nexus 4 which will (hopefully) change the smartphone market for good next year! I do worry about other Android OEM's whose profit margins are already small - and worry this could lead to Apple to pull further ahead in terms of total revenue however..

3. nwright94 unregistered

I agree. Here come the complaints about the galaxy note II not being your pick though :/

4. Aaron_R96 unregistered

Experienced this on the innovation award yesterday didn't we? :/ ready for round 2...?

6. nwright94 unregistered

Yeah that's what I'm referencing haha. He will probably be in here flooding the comments shortly.

18. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I just WANT to at least mention the 1080p HD screens that will be the standard for years to come. Seems we are going to repeat yesterdays innovation fiasco all over. lol

25. Aaron_R96 unregistered

Yeah i agree! I added a comment tonight on the innovation one agreeing with you haha! Can't wait for it to be the new standard for high end next year, DNA, Sony Odin & Yuga, Galaxy S4 (presumably) etc etc

26. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Exactly. Let the 1080p WARS begin! lol +1

49. XiphiasGladius

Posts: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Hey man, you already have the DNA? if so then how good is adreno 320 in processing all that pixels?

54. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

The HTC Droid DNA with the quad-core Qualcomm Krait S4 Pro with the Adreno 320 is just EPIC. The chipset is SO powerful that I can under clock it from 1.5GHz to 1.0GHz & the machine runs incredibly smooth. The 1080p SLCD-3 is so frugal with its power consumption that the battery life is just incredible. The phone with a 5" 1080p HD screen & quad-core processor is almost 3 times more efficient that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I got 2 days 16 hours on a single charge with about 3 to 3 and half hours of screen on time. That is with NORMAL usage. My GNex on normal usage would last 1 day 3 hours with about 1 hour & 6 to 12 minutes of screen on time. I can honestly say the HTC Droid DNA is GREAT with battery usage. Also pushing all those pixels is NO problem.

55. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Welcome to the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuutuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure.. The DNA doesnt have 4.2 on it. You can kiss some of that battery life goodbye when it gets updated. :( I run my nexus4 at 800mhz. Give it a shot. I still get no performance drops. and the difference in battery life from stock speeds is tremendous.

5. gazmatic

Posts: 807; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

yes. high specs but low price... that is what I'm talking about... hopefully the price will drop even further... I still say that $600 for a 64gb phone is too much...

7. MeoCao unregistered

My picks are: 1. Nexus 7: High specs, low price concept has changed the landscape for Android tablets and great value for consumers. It also helped hugely strengthen Google Play. 2. Nexus 4: Affordable price and successful direct selling to consumers threaten to disrupt old sales model where carriers decide everything. 3. HTC Butterfly J/Droid DNA: Set new standard for phone screen.

11. lzsbleach

Posts: 155; Member since: May 20, 2012

HTC butter fly is not a game changer but its a decent phone. The Note 2 would be considered a game changer with its use of S Pen, multi-app use and changing the phablet market from a Niche market to mainstream. The Note series gave birth to the HTC butterfly which is the first phone with a 1080p screen (WOW sarcastically) but they didnt even set a trend because 1080p screens already been in development before the butterfly came out.

16. MeoCao unregistered

Note 2 is a great phone but it changes nothing. It continues the business model of OG Note. OG Note was a game changer. On the other hand HTC Butterfly J has changed the thinking of people about screen resolution. most people were fooled by Apple's Retina marketing ploy according to which anything higher than iPhone's pixel density is waste. HTC Butterfly J has proved that is wrong and set new trend that top phones must follow.

30. richardyarrell2011

Posts: 510; Member since: Mar 16, 2011

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is not a phone it's the ultimate productivity/all purpose device ever made. If you want a phone by the Nexus 4, Htc Dna, Droid Razr Maxx Hd. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is something all together on it's own level.

53. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

I disagree. Sure the Note 1 was the first of its kind, however, Samsung managed to add .5" all the while making it less wide and slimmer. Now that in and of itself isnt a huge deal, but it most definitely makes me more appealing for such a big device. Having full hd display is nice but that does nothing for me. Features and functionality are game changers. Go try out the Galaxy Note 2, s mutli window feature and tell me that that isnt an amazing feature, not to mention a very useful one.

20. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I don't think you get how difficult it is to fit OVER 2 million pixels in a small 5" diagonal screen. I am sorry my good friend but that IS a game changer. It's actually the new world standard for high-end smartphones/phablets. Apple was always given credit for their "Retina" display when in fact it was LG who was responsible NOT Apple. So if it works for Apple then it works for HTC. HTC WAS the first with a TRUE 1080p HD SLCD screen on a mobile device even though the 1080p display is Sharp’s doing. So HTC is due some props.

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