Official Smartphone Rankings Expert Spotlight segment

The PhoneDog
Mascot from  Charleston, SC
| Published: December 18, 2012

It has been a few weeks since a large group of new smartphones were added to the Official Smartphone Rankings, and the Samsung Galaxy Note II has gotten comfortable in the number one spot.  Our experts might not all vote it #1 on their list but the total points still sends it up there. 

Alex Wagner - Senior News Editor for  Follow him on twitter @PhoneDog_Alex

Apple's iPhone 5 features an attractive hardware design as well as 4G LTE connectivity on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon here in the U.S. Apple's iOS is starting to show its age, but the quality of apps available in the App Store is high. The iPhone 5 also features an 8-megapixel camera that's one of the better shooters available on a smartphone today.

The Samsung Galaxy S III also makes the cut, packing HSPA+ connectivity on T-Mobile and LTE support for AT&T, Cricket, MetroPCS, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and Verizon. The Galaxy S III also has a 720p display and a nice 8-megapixel camera, but it's also got a glossy plastic design that may be a bit of a turn off for some. The AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile versions of the Galaxy S III have also been updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Next on my list is the HTC DROID DNA for Verizon. The headline feature of the DNA is its 5-inch 1920x1080 Super LCD 3 display, making it the first smartphone in the U.S. with a 1080p display. That's not the only notable feature of the DNA, though, as it also touts a quad-core processor, 4G LTE and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. However, it's doesn't have a microSD card slot for additional storage or any other versions with more built-in memory, so anyone with a large media collection could find the built-in 16GB storage to be a bit cramped.

Also in my rankings is the Samsung Galaxy Note II. The phone-tablet hybrid has a pretty impressive spec list, including a 5.5-inch 1280x720 HD Super AMOLED display, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 4G LTE (except on T-Mobile, which doesn't yet have an LTE network) and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The Note II's size can make it a bit too large for some, so anyone interested in the device may want to try and handle one before buying. The Galaxy Note II is available from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon.

The Nexus 4, the newest Nexus handset from Google, has earned a spot on my list. It boasts a 4.7-inch 1280x768 display, quad-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera that's much improved over the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Also included is Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and the fact that the Nexus 4 will be one of the first devices to get the latest Android updates for some time makes it an attractive phone for hardcore fans of the platform. Unfortunately, two features that didn't make the cut are LTE support and a microSD slot (the Nexus 4 comes with 8GB or 16GB built-in storage), which will be a deal breaker for some.



Cam Bunton- Managing Editor for  Follow him on twitter @TiP_Cam

I may seem a little indecisive. That's for one good reason: I am a little split. Last week the DROID DNA left my Top 5 in favor of the Nexus 4. This week, they've swapped again. The fact is that the DNA is an impressive piece of hardware. The Nexus 4 is incredibly good value for money. 

My top 4 is unchanged. The two flagship Windows Phone devices are 3rd and 4th behind the iPhone 5 and Galaxy Note II. I generally try to keep 'what would I buy' in mind when choosing my list. 

The Note II would be my second choice because it adds a new dimension to our digital life by having practical multi-window multitasking and a very sensitive stylus. The 8X - for me - edges the Lumia 920 because of its smaller form factor. Plus, in the UK, it is a heck of a lot cheaper than its Lumia counterpart.




Nick Stadler - Sales Lead for BestBuyMobileFollow him on twitter @njstadler


The Galaxy Note II still takes top honors with the S-Pen, battery life, and awesome screen! Close behind is HTC's Droid DNA, which like the Note II has a quad-core processor and 2 GB of RAM just wish it had a little better battery, but has one awesome screen! The Optimus G and One X+ both follow with quad-core processors and 2 GB or RAM but not as good of a picture on the screen. Finally the S III still in the top 5 with its 2 GB of RAM!