Best smartphones of 2012

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gearburn.com

The California-based company said a small percentage of iPhone 5 models manufactured through March of 2013 may have on-off buttons that stop working or work intermittently, in a posting on its support website.

The average lifespan of most smartphones for the tech obsessed is 18 to 24 months. It’s reaching that time again, when we need a fix for our mobile addiction. The festive season presents a better excuse than any to get our hands on the latest and greatest. We’ve put together a list of the top smartphones currently available to keep users satisfied for the year to come… we hope.

HTC One X+

The HTC One X+ kicks off our list. This smartphone is a finely tuned version of the One X, a phone we’re big fans of. When a manufacturer starts to tinker with a good product, the results are often disappointing… that’s not the case this time round.

The One X+ is HTC’s flagship Android device, running 4.1.1 Jellybean. It features an impressive 1.7Ghz quad-core processor and 4.7-inch Super LCD 2 display. The refined One X+ will cost consumers US$499, offering users the strongest distillation of the HTC Sense UI.

Sony Xperia T

The Sony Xperia T may not be the first handset to spring to mind but it’s loaded with a host of multimedia enhancements that push into the upper realm of the smartphone market. The Xperia T features one of the most beautifully designed UIs we’ve ever seen.

But it’s not just a looker, the Xperia T is fitted with a stunning 13MP camera to capture HD quality content. The latest flagship offering from Sony’s Xperia range of smartphones, the T will set users back US$449 for a high-end Android OS offering. Plus it’s endorsed by James Bond, what more could you ask for?

Samsung Galaxy S III

2012 was the year of the Samsung Galaxy S III: the Korean manufacturer scooped pretty much every award and title as the best smartphone of the past twelve months. It managed to do so, in a year that included the release of the iPhone 5. Although the lawsuits swing back and forth between the two, Samsung can at least claim smartphone dominance.

Users were ultimately won over by the intuitive nature of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich-powered UI. The S III also boasted one of the best screens to ever be fitted to a smartphone. With innovative features like S-Beam, the S III set a benchmark that will take some beating come 2013. Perhaps it will up to Samsung to outdo itself. Those wishing to get the Galaxy S III will have to cough up US$549.

Apple iPhone 5

Possibly the most talked about smartphone of 2012, you knew the iPhone 5 was going to make the list. We struggle to think of one product that is so polarising among consumers. In spite of this, the iPhone 5 still managed to have the most successful opening week in smartphone history. This year’s release has made a few slight modifications to the previous installment, the iPhone 4S.

Chief among them, the elongated display, which is still one of the best currently available on a smartphone. Other changes include the weight and feel, which is believed to be too light for users to become accustomed to. Even though the iPhone came under some harsh criticism, it still performed well, as we all knew it would. That’s the intangible power of Apple products, their ability to induce tech envy in all passers by.

Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia has had a tough year to say the least. Its latest quarterly earnings saw the Finnish manufacturer slump to all time lows, resulting in it having to sell its Espoo headquarters. The Lumia 920 is Nokia’s means of re-invigoration. Running Windows Phone 8 and a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor, the Lumia 920 has the necessary elements to provide to do so.

The simple design of the 920 seems to hark back to the iconic candy bar that made Nokia famous. Its user experience is shaped around its ability to interact with its environment. Fitted with a 8MP image stabilising camera, PureView HD and City Lens, the Nokia Lumia 920 seems the ideal companion for exploring and sharing your surroundings. The Lumia 920 should set interested users back US$399.

Samsung Ativ S

The Samsung Ativ S was the first smartphone to be shown operating Windows Phone 8. Although there is a host of WP8 enabled devices out there, the Ativ S presents a pretty interesting proposition for consumers. The reason being its close match-up to the S III, Samsung’s flagship device.

It features the same 4.8-inch super AMOLED display with the only difference being its dual-core 1.5Ghz processor. Apart from that its essentially a Galaxy S III covered in WP8. Priced at US$549, the Ativ S is a worthwhile alternative to Android.

Windows Phone 8X by HTC

The Windows Phone 8X, as the name would suggest, runs WP8 and is the top smartphone available with Microsoft’s OS. That fact alone puts atop many lists as a drool-worthy smartphone. The HTC 8X is currently, the purest experience of Windows Phone 8, and packs some solid hardware to ensure the UI isn’t diminished.

The 8X features a 4.3-inch super LCD 2 display, dual-core 1.5 Ghz processor and 1GB RAM. It’s also fitted with a 8MP rear and 2.1MP front facing camera, with the former capable of recording HD quality content. Priced at US$499, the HTC Windows Phone 8X is one of the best ways to enjoy Windows Phone 8.

LG Nexus 4

The jury’s still out on the LG Nexus 4, it’s specifically designed for the hardcore Android enthusiast. The Nexus 4 is built around Android 4.2 Jellybean, showcasing the full functionality of the open OS. The Nexus 4 is packing plenty of power to go with its cutting edge OS.

It’s powered by a quad-core 1.5Ghz processor and 2GB RAM. It also features an elite smartphone standard 8MP rear and 1.3MP front facing camera. The one downside of the Nexus cited by many is the lack of 4G/LTE connectivity. This has led many to believe that the Nexus 4 is not a true global device. But a recent has shown that this issue can be easily side stepped. The Nexus 4 carries a US$349 price tag for the 16GB variant. - Gearburn.com

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