Most popular articles, galleries, and top smartphones [2012 in Review]

The smartphone space continues to evolve and improve as more and more people buy these devices. It was a great year for Apple, Google, and Samsung, but others continue to struggle.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

The smartphone world continues to move forward and the devices I tested this year were fantastic. The market has primarily settled on Android and iOS as the major smartphone players with Windows Phone and BlackBerry both just holding on to single digit levels of market share. We saw Android move from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean, iOS move from version 5 to version 6, and Windows Phone from 7 to 7.5 and then 8 while BlackBerry stated around at version 7. My most viewed articles on this blog were related to my top picks or features on updated mobile operating systems. Check out the top post below along with a few of my favorite smartphones and related posts from the year.

Most read articles of 2012

While there are a number of excellent smartphones today, I still find that some stand out above the others and listed those in various top smartphone articles last year and this year. As you can see in the list below, three of my top seven article were related to the iPhone. I was a bit surprised that my 2nd most popular post of 2012 was related to Windows Phone 8 and as a fan of the platform I hope it means that there is sincere interest developing in the platform. Here are my most read articles from 2012:

  1. Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2012
  2. Seven reasons to buy the Nokia Lumia 920
  3. Top 10 smartphones of 2011 ... for now
  4. Android ICS already offers more than what is coming in iOS 6
  5. Apple iPhone 5 first impressions: Beauty is in the hand of the beholder
  6. Verizon iPhone 5 reportedly SIM unlocked out of the box, ready for worldwide use
  7. International travelers: Here is how to SIM unlock your Verizon Apple iPhone 4S

Most viewed image galleries of 2012

Readers also enjoy viewing images of the devices and screenshots from smartphones I use as they appear in my image galleries. These are the top galleries from 2012:

  1. Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2012
  2. Best smartphones of 2011 ... for now
  3. Comparing the Galaxy Nexus camera with others
  4. Top 5 hottest smartphones this summer
  5. The Samsung Galaxy Note is perfect for data centric consumers
  6. iPhone 4S, Nokia N8, Lumia 900, N9, and HTC One X camera phone shootout
  7. Hands-on with the PR 1.2 MeeGo update on the Nokia N9 smartphone
  8. 10 features and functions to enjoy on the Apple iPhone 5

Best of 2012

I have a few titles I would like to award to the devices, accessories, and software I checked out in 2012.

  • Best display: HTC Droid DNA (Takes the best from HTC One X and makes it even better.) and Nokia Lumia 920 (Gotta love a beautiful display with dark blacks and ability to use with winter gloves on.)
  • Device that surprised me: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Large, but extremely useful and responsive for data-centric users like myself.)
  • Best Windows Phone device of the year: Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X (Debated this one for a long time, still can't decide which is best.)
  • Best Android smartphone of the year: Samsung Galaxy Note II
  • Best iOS device of the year: Apple iPhone 5 (Obvious selection here, but I really do like the larger display and sleek design.)
  • Best mobile operating system of the year: Android Jelly Bean (It's the OS I always wanted from Google.)
  • Best accessory of the year: Energizer Qi Dual Inductive Charger pad (Bought this couple years ago, realized potential this year with Lumia 920 and HTC Droid DNA.)
  • Favorite smartphone application: Words with Friends (I enjoy playing this word game with people across multiple platforms.)
  • Favorite smartphone service: Audible (I didn't really get into audio books until this year and am thoroughly enjoying them during my commute and travel.)

Looking ahead to 2013

As we end 2012 and look to 2013, I look at my current active collection of the Samsung Galaxy Note II (T-Mobile), iPhone 5 (Verizon), HTC Droid DNA (Verizon), HTC 8X (AT&T), and Nokia Lumia 920 (AT&T) to acknowledge that I am quite happy with the state of mobile. I am also excited to see what RIM has in store for early 2013 with the BlackBerry 10 release.

2013 will be an interesting year as I look forward to hearing more about the following:

  • Will Windows Phone 8 be successful?
  • What's next for Android?
  • What will Apple bring with iOS 7 and the iPhone 5S or 6?
  • Can RIM get people excited again?
  • How will HTC and Nokia fare in 2013?

What was your favorite mobile smartphone of the year? How about your worst? Any key applications that everyone should install? Can Windows Phone succeed? Are you excited about RIM in 2013?

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