By Anton D. Nagy | December 19, 2012 7:12 AM
It’s that time again when we slowly need to get used to writing a new number when mentioning dates; luckily thanks to our smart devices we don’t need to go out and look for a 2013 wallet calendar, unless we really want to. It’s that time when we look back at what happened this year, with all the goods and bads, and anxiously look forward to what next year might bring.
As usual here at Pocketnow we’re happy to tell you what we think, and we’re excitedly waiting to hear your opinions, in our upcoming series which will contain both 2012 recaps and 2013 predictions.
We’ll have something for everyone! Every day this week expect a new piece gathering the thoughts of our team members regarding the topic at hand. We’re continuing our series with the best devices of the year we’re about to leave behind and here’s what the Pocketnow team members think:
For me the best phone of 2012 was the Nokia Lumia 710. It was the most popular Windows Phone of the year, and had a lot of significant advantages over higher-end smartphones besides the $200 no-contract price. It was the most ergonomic design I’ve seen in a very long time; I could change the colors of the shell at a moment’s notice and generate more “nice phone” compliments than anything else; I’ve dropped it more than any other phone I’ve ever had and it remains without a scratch; it had all of the free software/service perks of Nokia phones and I could change the battery out very easily.
For tablets, none of them have been good enough for me since 2009. I’m sticking to an old HP TouchSmart TM2 with Windows 8 until 2013 when the Microsoft Surface Pro is available.
The iPhone 5 is, hands-down, the phone of the year in my book. Apple has managed to take design and execution to a completely new level with a phone made out of glass and aluminum, a combination which works much better for me personally than glass and plastic (regardless of kind). It is incredibly thin and light. Performance-wise it is the snappiest phone I ever laid my hands on and, whether you’re working with apps or just browsing the web, it will instantly do whatever you throw at it.
The 4th generation iPad looks the same as the previous two versions with minor to non-noticeable tweaks. However, it is still the best tablet on the market in terms of performance and application support in my book. The Retina Display has just recently been matched by slates like the Nexus 10, but the tablet-specific app selection for the moment is the best in the Apple ecosystem, hence getting my award of best tablet in 2012.
The iPhone 5 was the most impressive piece of hardware to be released this year. Its remarkable thinness and lightness makes it seem technologically impossible when you hold it in your hand. And while iOS 6 is incredibly stale and boring, the A6 CPU of the iPhone 5 is a beast that outperforms every other CPU in day-to-day performance.
My pick for this year’s Best Device is the Nexus 7 tablet from Google. Not because it’s got amazing specs. Not because it’s got an amazing screen. The Nexus 7 gets my vote because it made full-fledged Android-powered tablets a viable alternative to eBook readers at a very affordable price-point.
Google’s Nexus 7 brought a compact, durable form factor and rock-solid pure-Android OS in a package that was affordable without being cheap. It also, as a Nexus device, didn’t include a burdensome, laggy skin as did the Amazon Kindle Fire. As such, in introduced a whole new legion of consumers to the wonders of tablet computing – and kicked off Google’s big content push, to boot.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II took what was great about the company’s Galaxy S III and made it better in almost every respect: from build quality to screen size to battery life to raw utility, the Note II was the muscled-up version of an already-stunning superphone. The fact that it enhanced the user experience, while simultaneously pushing the “phablet” form factor into mainstream acceptance, makes it an impressive device by any metric, easily earning our glowing 9/10 score in our full review.
Chief News Editor
Nokia had some of the most interesting hardware of the year, and both the PureView 808 and Lumia 920 were devices worth noticing. Sure, I’d rather see them running different platforms, but the handsets themselves managed to stand out in spite of the software. Samsung’s Galaxy S III, though it’s lost a bit of the spotlight this quarter, was one of the biggest smartphone success stories of the year, and along with the Nexus 4 and Droid DNA, take my Android top spots.
The Pocketnow Reader
Let us know of your thoughts in the comments below. Upvote your favorites and we’ll update this post to reflect the best devices (phone, tablet, or both) of 2012, according to You. Top three upvoted will make it here, you know, for posterity!
Update: According to comments, upvotes minus downvotes, The Pocketnow Reader considers the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Asus Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy S III as best devices of 2012. If you don’t agree, contribute in the comments with your own take, upvote or downvote.