Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2012

Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2012

Summary: There are some fantastic smartphones to choose from, but it is getting a bit easier to pick out a top 10 list as manufacturers work to create high quality products and some platforms drop out of serious contention. Do you agree with my picks and what is your favorite device?


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  • The upcoming HTC One X could surpass the iPhone as the number one device, but it is tough to compete with such an amazing collection of apps.

  • Nokia is back in the smartphone game with the high end Nokia Lumia 900 sporting LTE on AT&T's network.

  • It's tough to beat a Nexus device, but Samsung left something to be desired with this camera.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Smartphones

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  • Windows Phone 7 gets 4 out of 10!

    Not a bad showing.
    Jeff Richardson
    • Windows Phone is great!!!

      Of course....I have a Nokia Lumia fast y very reliable....I like...
    • Of course

      When you pay your advertisers enough money to shill your phone even though it hasn't sold worth a damm, you'd look good too.
  • Wonderful crop of Windows Phones!

    All the phones look great in this article but I love my Titan, wish I had a Nokia too, hear people rave about the Radar and Focus S!!! Nothing against my android phone, or my many friends with iphones (fine OSs) but I am thrlled that the Metro design and intuitive Mango OS are starting to be more available. I have just so enjoyed my experience with it.
    • Titan

      Love my Titan and WP 7.5. Amazing device and OS
  • Quite a few Win7 showings

    I'm impressed quite a few Windows phone 7 showings. They've been ignored because of limited choice.

    I love the simple(almost too simple) interface in many ways. However I think it'll attract more apple people than android people since they love simple as well.
    • I doubt that

      "However I think it'll attract more apple people than android people since they love simple as well. "

      Most of the people that own iPhone's will not want to lose their software investment, by switching to an inferior phone OS. Being WP 7 has not caught up available Apps, it can be considered inferior (Windows fans have been using that exact metric to claim Mac OS is inferior. So it's only fair to use the same metric to judge WP 7.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Not Inferior, Just Different

        In reality the application gap has been bridged between Mac OSX and Windows for most of the major applications. The fact that WP7 does not have as many applications does not make it an inferior phone OS, just as Mac OSX having fewer applications previously did not make it an inferior OS. In the end it is about personal preference. Your first comment of many people not wanting to "lose their software investment" was correct since many people (including myself) have purchased tons of apps and such for iOS devices. However when I purchased an HTC Titan I could not be more pleased with it. Sure it doesn't have some of the games and many of the IT tools which are very convenient on iOS, but given time and a little more exposure to the market the apps will be bridged, just like with Windows and Mac OSX.
  • Not to many good choices there

    The windows phones all blow which is too bad as I loved my old windows phone before the metro destruction. The iphone I don't put in the upper phone world as it s dated boring, small screen and limited.. The HTC x looks most promising but the samsung offerings are always nice phone.
    • choices

      There seem to be a lot of shills here talking up the win phones.

      Nokia, sink? Or swim?
      • choices indeed

        [i]There seem to be a lot of shills here talking up the win phones.[/i]

        True that. I doubt most of them have even used the phones they're talking about.
      • Or maybe they're just passionate

        We WP users are a small but vocal minority. We use WP because we see something there that we don't see in Apple or Google's offerings. For me, it is a distaste for those companies that is greater than my (non-negligible) distaste for MS.

        WP really is fresh and new. Give it a try.
        x I'm tc
      • I'm not buying it

        Passionate about what? A phone one can hardly find?

        And yes, I have an unabashed distaste for Microsoft monopolizing phones the way they monopolize desktops. I don't care how good or bad their phone claims are.
    • WinPhone? Maybe someday...

      While 90% of the market prefers iOS and Android, putting up so many Win7 picks is just embarrassing. (Although, looking at the comments, it does seem to reflect the make-up of the ZDnet audience.)

      Personally, I was a huge fan of WinCE and WinMobile. And I've used WinPhone, given it a fair shot. But once you get past that oh-so pretty tiled facade, it's kind of a mess. Inscrutable round buttons. Enormous text menus. Long text lists of apps. Everything needlessly mushed together into hubs. Ugh. Needs about 2-3 more revisions (optimistically), no matter how good the hardware its running on.
      • Don'y you mean 98%

        as WP 7 hasn't even hit 3% yet. Microsoft still lumps it in with Windows Mobile 6.x. If it was such a great phone Os surely it would have gained more traction in the last 18 months?
        Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Obviously not

        Because it [i]is[/i] such a great phone OS and it hasn't gained traction.

        Too bad.
        x I'm tc
      • Perspective is so Odd..

        Every OS has it's quirks. When my iPhone 3gs was jailbroken I don't think there will ever be a better phone utility wise, but I couldn't get over the girly look and obnoxious wall of icons. I never had an Android phone with ICS on it, but my friend just traded Samsung Galaxy S2 for an iPhone 4. And although it was slick he said it died like crazy. The only android I could ever use would be an HTC one because their stock layout I feel is a mess.
        I will agree that WP has a few jarring differences, but it's moving at a pretty steady pace forward and I still feel like I'm on my phone less and getting more done. So for me it's a win. I wish we were all just rich and could afford them all lol.
  • Not to many good choices here

    Dude you're a fool.

    The Windows Phones here look mighty fine to me. The Lumia 900 and HTC Titan 2 are sweet looking devices. I'm excited about the Lumia 900 and as soon as our contract is up with T-Mobile my wife and I are jumping onboard. Go MS and thanks for making a great phone OS that makes my life easier.
    • Boring wp

      Is it only me who sees no big differentiation between the various windows phones. Different vendors, the same boring screen...

      Android phones are at least different.
      • Nokia phones come with a Navigation app

        I agree that the WP7 phones are all the same. That is why I will only ever actively carry one WP7 phone at a time. I personally like the fact that they are similar. I can know that when I buy a Nokia WP7 (as soon as they offer one with a >3.7 inch screen on T-Mobile) I will like it at least as well as my HTC HD7. There are differences. Nokia gives you a Navigation app with their phones.

        As far as Android phones being different, I have to disagree. If I only use Android from one company, root my phone and install a custom firmware, or install a homescreen replacement, they are quite similar. Even the different manufacturers leave the device pretty similar. They give you slightly different App Drawers, a few widgets, and a few apps. Other than that, they feel mostly the same.
        Patrick Aupperle