Lots of excellent smartphones have been released this year, so many, that it can be difficult to keep track of the best of the best. Choosing a particular device for yourself at upgrade time, can be especially daunting because there are so many choices out there.
Luckily we’re here to help. We’re going to cover some of the best smartphones that have been released this year and help you decide which phone is right for you.
We may not be Verizon, AT&T or wireless carrier reps, but at least we can give you a little of the information you need to pick out your next phone.
The Best Smartphones of 2012 (Thus Far)
Samsung Galaxy SIII – The Samsung Galaxy SIII is an incredibly beautiful smartphone running the Android OS. Currently the Galaxy SIII is running Android 4.0 ICS, but it is likely Samsung owners will see an OTA update for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The Galaxy SIII is available in a marble white, and pebble blue, finish for $626 without a contract.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, combined with 2GB of installed RAM and a 16GB internal storage capacity. The SIII also includes a 4.8″ HD AMOLED display with a maximum supported resolution of 1280×720 pixels. Needless to say, the screen is large, very vivid, and exceptionally beautiful.
You can’t go wrong here with tons of advanced features included like the wireless S-beam file transfer functionality, Samsung video pop-up play (to watch videos and perform other tasks simultaneously), and the S-Voice functionality which is a Siri-like voice search feature.
For multimedia, the Galaxy SIII offers an 8.0 MP rear facing camera with full 1080p video recording support and a 1.9MP front facing camera for webcam self-shot and video chat support.
The Samsung Galaxy SIII is available through several wireless carriers and can be purchased unlocked for use with any service via Amazon.
Samsung Galaxy Beam – The Samsung Galaxy Beam is a rather attractive device with one prominent feature, it includes a built-in projector.
The Galaxy Beam includes a 15 lumen nHD projector that can display an image up to 50 inches at a resolution of 640×360 under low light settings. The Beam is perfect for those brief moments where you want to present media and content from your phone screen to a large group, and you don’t need the added stress of dealing with other devices.
The Galaxy Beam is powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor combined with 768 MB of installed RAM and is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. In addition, the Beam includes 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot that supports up to 32GB of additional storage.
Galaxy Beam media features include a 5MP rear facing camera with flash, a 1.3MP front facing camera, 720p video playback support, an accelerometer, gyroscope and digital compass.
The Galaxy Beam also includes the standard smartphone features like an integrated Wi-Fi 802.11 radio, Bluetooth 3.0 functionality, USB 2.0 and microUSB support and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
If you would like more information about the Samsung Galaxy Beam, please check out our first impressions of the device, including the phone’s standard features and price.
The Samsung Galaxy Beam is available in the UK.
Nokia Lumia 900 – The Nokia Lumia 900 is running the highly anticipated Windows Phone 7 mobile OS. It is powered by a 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm processor and includes 512MB of installed RAM.
The Lumia 900 is adorned with a large 4.3″ AMOLED touchscreen display with a 480×800 maximum supported resolution. Of course, the Lumia 900 has all the standard features like integrated Wi-Fi, GPS support, Bluetooth functionality and AT&T mobile hotspot support.
The Nokia Lumia 900 includes additional features such as 16GB of internal storage, an 8MP rear facing camera, a 1MP front facing camera (webcam), full HD720p video recording, and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
The biggest feature of the new Windows Phone OS is the integrated Xbox Live support, which allows users to browse the Xbox Live service and play games (with full achievement support) while on the go. With the Windows Phone 8 devices on the way, the price of the Lumia 900 is expected to drop considerably. If you can handle waiting a little longer to pick up one of the newer Windows Phone 8 devices, it might work in your favor.
For more details on the Nokia Lumia 900, please check out our review of the device, including the phone’s standard features and price.
The Anticipated iPhone 5 is Rumored to Launch in September
Apple iPhone 5 – The iPhone 5 is set to launch sometime in September, or at least those are the rumors we’re hearing. Obviously when dealing with the latest iPhone, new hardware and software features are never confirmed until launch so we’ll have to wait for confirmation.
The iPhone 5 is expected to have a 4” 16:9 screen, powered by a 1.2 to 1.5GHz A6 quad-core processor and at least 1GB of installed RAM. The predecessor to the A6 processor, the A5, included an integrated GPU so it’s likely the A6 will include a more advanced GPU which will allow the iPhone 5 to run more graphic intensive games and applications.
The iPhone 5 is also expected to include a 4G or 4G LTE radio for use with advanced wireless speeds, and of course all the standard bells and whistles that the other iPhone devices included.
If you’re looking for more information on the iPhone 5, please check out our briefing of the latest news and rumors.
The Best Smartphones of 2012
So there you have it, those are the best smartphones that have released in 2012, or are set to launch soon. Of course, we haven’t made the decision for you when upgrade time does finally come back around, but at least we’ve narrowed down your view to the best of the best.