With the end of year just a few days away, it seems like a good time to reflect on how 2012 went for the mobile industry and talk about which ones were our favorites among the many devices released. Apple, Samsung, LG, and many others found success in some of their most anticipated releases of the year. Did the phone releases of this year meet or exceed your expectations?
For me, there was more than one device that gave me the “got to have it” mentality. Two devices did so for me almost back-to-back earlier this year: The HTC One series and the Samsung Galaxy S III.
The HTC One series was a new and refreshed version of some of the older HTC phones we had been seeing. Although many people don’t like Sense, I’m one of the few people that actually like the interface. I went to a training on the HTC One S and it was fun to compare other phone models (like my iPhone 4S) to the speed of some aspects of the One S. It was also interesting to see how Sense 4.0 compared to its predecessors running on Sense 3.x, such as the EVO 3D or the EVO Design (both of which were out at the same time of the One series’ release). Although the series did run into a bit of trouble arriving on the shelves in the US, once it finally came through the devices seemed to sell rather well (although not well enough, if you look at the numbers). Still, the device was one of my favorites.
The Samsung Galaxy S III has done a phenomenal job of making a name for itself. The device is a true international phone, being available on every major carrier in the United States and more. Samsung really took the initiative in getting rid of carrier exclusives when it came to smartphones – a move that proved to be beneficial on their end, allowing them to replace the Apple iPhone at the number one spot in phone sales this year. The Samsung Galaxy S III was what many smartphone fanatics were looking for in a phone – large screen, Quad core processor, and excellent battery life. The device was considered “worth the hype” by many, but it didn’t come without its flaws. In my opinion, the “Siri killer” S voice didn’t turn out to be much of a Siri killer at all. I would recommend an iPhone with Siri over the Samsung Galaxy S III when it comes to voice command any day, but that’s only if you rely on voice command enough to justify the decision. Otherwise, the Samsung Galaxy S III turned out to be an iconic addition to this year’s list of phone releases.
Underdog company LG even steps it up this year by adding a couple of big name devices, namely the Nexus 4 for Google. The Google native device runs no extra skins or stock applications run by third-party companies, just like its older models, making the Nexus line highly desirable to customers who want nothing to do with the extra bulk that many companies add to our devices. Not only that, but the Nexus line has the devices that will receive the first software updates from Google, giving Nexus owners a leg up on the newest software versions that other phone models may have to wait months before seeing. At first I had my doubts about the Nexus 4, as I wasn’t a big fan of LG for a while, but now I see that the phone does offer great specs and comes at a reasonable price. The Nexus 4 was the “surprise” favorite device for me.
There was one device that I was initially excited for, yet felt rather let down after its actual release: the iPhone 5. I was excited, I was ready, and I thought it was going to be marvelous. I was up a few hours before Apple’s event for the iPhone 5, notepad ready and ready to write about how great the new device from Apple was going to be. As the event wore on and the features talked about became more redundant than revolutionary, my excitement for the device dwindled and it felt more like taking notes for a class rather than for something I actively wanted to write about using my own free time. Although the device ended up being a disappointment for me, it was only because it was exactly what I was expecting. Rumors had been thrown around for weeks before the actual event and, for some crazy reason; I thought maybe Apple had some tricks up their sleeve to wow us at the event. So I take responsibility for getting as hyped up as I did for no good reason. The device is far from being “bad”, I was just expecting something a little bit more exciting.
There are still quite a few devices that I haven’t mentioned in this article that are some of my favorites. The Samsung Galaxy Note II, the Nokia Lumia 920, the HTC DROID DNA, and several others also make my list of favorites – heck, I just like phones. All of them are my favorites! But now I want to know what phones make your favorite list for 2012, readers. Which devices were you most excited for? Did you end up getting the device? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!