1. Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia entered 2012 in a state of disarray. It's opening Windows Phone assault on the Android and iOS dominated smartphone market had failed to have impact the Finnish phone maker had hoped, with stores reporting lower than expected sales of its flagship Lumia 800.
When the company went on to release the Lumia 900, things went from bad to worse with critics and customers seeing the smartphone as little more than a blown up 800.
Suffice to say the Lumia 900 didn't sell well and the company's stock rating and profits plummeted.
However, rather than throw in the towel and giving up, Nokia surprised us all releasing the Lumia 920, a device that in our mind is one of the most innovative smartphones ever created.
The Lumia 920 was the first ever Windows Phone 8 handset ever released by Nokia. Taking advantage of every perk of its shiny new OS the 920 packs a powerful 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor that makes it one of the nippiest smartphones released this year and comes pre-loaded with a host of useful apps, including Microsoft Office.
But Windows Phone 8's features aren't what make the Lumia 920 our smartphone of the year - instead it's the host of innovative technologies and services Nokia's built into the device.
Chief of these is the 920's amazing 8.7MP rear-facing camera. Loaded with Pureview technology and a custom Carl Zeiss lens Nokia claims can absorb more than double the amount of light absorbed by competing lenses. The result is that the 920's camera is the best we've ever seen on a smartphone.
Running the 920 head-to-head with competing devices, including some with higher megapixel counts, we're yet to find a smartphone that can match Nokia's new Lumia.
Nokia's innovation also carries over to the 920's 4.5in 768x1280, 332 ppi display, which thanks to thanks to Clearblack and PureMotion technology, is among the finest ever seen on a mobile device.
Clearblack is custom technology that helps ensure the display remains rich and sharp by producing deep blacks that make primary colours pop out. Text and images are very sharp, a fact aided by the fact that the Lumia 920 features dazzling brightness levels.
This also means that using the 920 outside is far easier than on a number of competing smartphones. While the 920's screen still struggles when being used in direct bright sunlight, it is still far more legible than competing top end devices, like the Galaxy S3.
The device also comes with a wireless charging mat, removing the need for yet more wires to cluttering up your room. Once you've started using this system going back to a traditional plug and socket system seemed positively antiquated and we expect more manufacturers to bring in similar innovations in 2013.
Puremotion is another nice touch that lets users navigate the 920's screen while wearing gloves. While this may not sound like a massive perk, living in dreary, rainy London we thoroughly welcome the fact we don't have to sacrifice our hands' warmth to answer our phone while on the move.
Because of these innovations, combined with the inherent benefits of Windows Phone 8, we feel the 920 deserves the crown of best smartphone 2012.
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