web analytics

YugaTech’s Top 10 Smartphones of 2012

The year 2013 is already here and now’s the time to look back at last year’s smartphones that captured the attention of the tech world as well as the hearts and pockets of many consumers. Here is YugaTech’s Top 10 Smartphones of 2012:

When considering the top 10 handsets, we looked at popularity, performance, design, marketability, price and unique value proposition of each candidate.


1. Samsung Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S3 is Samsung’s flagship for 2012 and its first smartphone to be equipped with a quad-core chipset. The S3 immediately became a popular choice due to its impressive set of hardware, great software features and cheaper price tag compared to the iPhone. We don’t have the exact figures yet but last year Samsung projected the S3 sales to top 30 million by the end of 2012. Let’s see if Samsung can keep the trend when they release the Galaxy S4 this year.


2. Apple iPhone 5. Apple’s first post-Jobs smartphone is the iPhone 5. Before it was launched it was plagued with leaks and was criticized as “not different enough.” Apple equipped the iPhone 5 with improved internals as well as a 4-inch display which resulted to a better, thinner, lighter, and taller smartphone. Despite the criticism and high price tag, the iPhone 5 still proved to be a premium and popular handset.


3. Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Samsung lead the phablet market with the release of the Galaxy Note. Like the iPhone 5, the Note received a lot of criticism but still sold like hotcakes. Samsung took this advatage and launched the Galaxy Note 2. The Note 2 took inspiration from the S3’s design and equipped it with a 5.5″ display, twice the processing power, twice the RAM, and better battery capacity than the original Note. The Note 2 is a popular choice for those who believe that size does matter in smartphone.


4. HTC One X+. This spot was originally for the HTC One X – the first HTC smartphone to carry a quad-core processor which was launched in early 2012. Fast forward to October, HTC launched the One X+ which aims to address the shortcomings of the One X. It still has the same amazing Super LCD 2 display and 1GB of RAM as the One X but now sports a faster NVidia Tegra 3 processor, improved camera, higher internal storage, and a bigger battery capacity. The HTC One X+ can be considered a little late in the game but it’s still one of the best smartphones around and deserves the number 4 spot on our list.


5. Nokia 808 PureView. For starters, the 808 sports a 4-inch AMOLED nHD ClearBlack display, 1.3GHz single core processor, 512MB of RAM, 1400mAH battery, and Symbian Belle OS. On paper, that kind of spec is not enough to make you drool. But add a 41 megapixel camera on that list and that would surely raise some eyebrows. In addition, the camera utilizes Nokia’s PureView technology which helps the 808 produce some of the best images out there taken by a smartphone. Nokia obviously didn’t intend to sell a lot of 808s but that help debut the PureView tech which we hope to see in the upcoming Nokia Lumia lines.



6. Nokia Lumia 900. Launched in February, Nokia’s N9-looking, Windows Phone flagship for 2012 is the Lumia 900. At the time it was the best choice for someone who wants to be immersed in a Nokia-induced Windows Phone experience. It sports a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack display, a Snapdragon S2 Scorpion 1.4GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 8 megapixel camera and a 1830mAh battery. Despite the modest specs, the Lumia 900 has a good display, sleek design with color options, and runs WP7.5 very well. Expect this smartphone to be overshadowed by the better WP8-powered Lumia 920 this year.


7. Sony Xperia Ion. The Xperia Ion is Sony’s first handset to have LTE support. Hardware-wise it is almost similar to the Xperia S except for the a bit larger 4.6-inch display, metal construction and better battery. It’s supposed to be a better version of the Xperia S but on our review it fell a bit short on camera performance. It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread but will soon be upgraded to Jellybean this 2013.


8. HTC 8X. Launched last November, the 8X is HTC’s latest and first flagship to carry Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 OS. HTC made sure that the 8X carries the design standards of its Android-powered One series. As a result, the 8X sports a glass panel reminiscent of the HTC One X and a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 display at 341ppi. In addition, it has 1GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel rear, a 2.1 megapixel front, NFC, a matte body with tapered edges, and is offered in different colors like the Nokia Lumias.


9. LG Optimus 4X HD. LG’s Optimus 4X HD is one of the first few Tegra 3 quad-core-powered smartphones to be released in 2012. It is also the successor to the Optimus 2X and it certainly has the specs to go head-to-head with other flagships. It sports a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display at 312ppi, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD, an 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.3 megapixel front, and big battery at 2150mAh. Our review of the device left us satisfied with its performance, long battery life and lower price tag compared to other quad-core handsets at the time. However, its UI and camera needs to be improved.


10. Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL. The Ascend D1 Quad XL was just launched locally last month. It sports a 4.5-inch IPS+ LCD display at 326ppi, Huawei’s K3V2 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage with microSD support of up to 32GB, an 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.3 megapixel front, a big 2600mAh battery, and runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. Although released late in last year’s quad-core games, the Ascend D1 Quad XL is priced under Php19K. One of the cheapest quad-core handset around.

Special Mention:


Google Nexus 4. Google’s latest smartphone offering is the LG-made Nexus 4 which was announced in October. It sports a 4.7-inch True HD IPS+ display at 318ppi, a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, 2GB of RAM, 8/16GB of internal storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.3 megapixel front, a 2100mAh battery, and runs Android 4.2 Jellybean. During our trip to San Diego we were able to get our hands on one and we found the Nexus 4 to be solidly built, Jellybean exprience is smooth, and the camera performance is impressive. Originally, we had the Nexus 4 included in the top list but decided to put it under special mention since it is yet to be available locally.

And there you have it, our list of the top 10 smartphones of 2012. Congratulations to Samsung for claiming two spots on this list, including the top spot, for the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2. As for this year, expect a much heated battle as manufacturers go for the 1080p superphone status.

This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

You may also like...

37 Responses

  1. aki says:

    LG Nexus 4 should be on the top-1,2,0r 3

  2. This is so informative!!!

  3. kit says:

    i wouldnt have it any other way!

    sayang walang htc butterfly (droid dna)
    will prolly be no. 3 or 4 at the list :)

    nice entry btw!

  4. NeutralGuy says:

    where the hell is 920?!

  5. jc says:

    do you have any suggestions on which phones are perfect for the budget conscious? 10k and below phones.

  6. mfc13 says:

    You should have started your list from the 10th and made your way to the 1st. Keeps the suspense. But anyway, great article! :)

    • Mica says:

      I agree. 10 to 1 dapat. Hahaha. But I think we all knew that the S3 was going to take the top spot. Haha.

  7. Yahweh says:

    Why only high-end flagship phones? How about bang for buck devices like the Cherry Mobile Titan and Flare?

  8. Ben Astorga says:

    @ #9. LG OPTIMUS 4X. “..1GB of RAM which can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD..”

    ^Please correct Louie

  9. Shinja says:

    Tignan nyu po ng mabuti sa Google Nexus 4, Akala ko po ba 1.3MP po ung front cam nya.. Bakit 1.9MP d2?.. Nag’guluhan ako hindi ko alam kung 1.3 or 1.9 -_- … Ano ba talaga

  10. steelicon says:


    January 02, 2013

    How Do You Know If Your Strategy Has Failed – The Nokia Form 20-F Submitted to the NY Stock Exchange – Elop, your two-year experiment has failed and so have you

  11. exdas says:

    nexus 4 is available locally.

    mine is effin awesomesauce

  12. iVan says:

    In addition, SAMSUNG GALAXY SIII is the winner of T3 Magazine Gadget Awards Mobile Phone of the Year.

  13. John says:

    Nexus 4 deserves to be king. If only everyone knows Vanilla Android.

  14. Boffill says:

    Being a Nokia fan, I’m still proud that there were 2 Nokia phone’s included on Abe’s list.

  15. Dazed_32 says:

    SG Note 2 on the No. 3 slot. Nice. :-)

  16. ronsterrr says:

    too bad Nokia focused on Windows Phones, I bet this list would have been radically different had Nokia decided to cater to Android too.

    I would have donated an organ just to get an S3 with the rich audio recording and camera of the Pureview 808.

    If this list was all about the camera and the audio recording capabilities, the 808 Pureview would be at the top.

  17. Ivan says:

    Stuff Magazine also named the SIII as its Smartphone of the Year and Gadget of the Year.

  18. GalanT says:

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 should be at the Number 2 Slot as well.

    Popularity – iPhone5 may win this because of its brand name, but Samsung is not to be taken lightly as it has been part of the Top 10 Patent makers for the last 10yrs unlike Apple which has just placed on it once.

    Performance – It is on par or maybe even better than iPhone5.

    Design – The Galaxy Note 2 may be built with Plastic but it is made of strong materials, making it really bendable and can even withstand a Blender! LOL!

    Marketability – Note 2 has been readily available in the Phils since its early lunch.

    Price – Just a couple of thousand more than its little brother, the S3. And this is way cheaper than iPhone5.

    Unique Value Proposition – Software Features and the S-Pen Functionality, aside from the openness of Android. Large estate which is really good for HD video playbacks and HD games. NFC, USB OTG, Standard Bluetooth, Expandable Memory, Removable Battery, ETC.

    Hmmm… What else are you looking for?

    • shakes says:

      LTE? S3 and Note2 do not have LTE, when Apple approves Globe and Smart’s infra, chances are iPhone unli data plans would be able to use LTE at no extra charge.

    • GalanT says:

      GT-N7105 exists sir… And possibility is that, it will still be cheaper than iPhone5. Also, LTE may fully bloom like around 2years from now.

    • shakes says:

      globe and smart are not offering LTE versions of note2 and s3, you would have to buy it from grey market.
      2 years may be a long ways to go, but wouldn’t it be fun to own 2 devices (assuming you are renewing your contract to another LTE device) that are LTE capable by that time?
      have you seen the drop test of s3 vs iphone5 from android authority?
      have you been able to fit the note2 in your pocket and sit properly?
      i love android, i am a proud early owner of htc desire and just purchased nexus 7. i just chose to go iOS this time ;-)

  19. dlsecret25 says:

    Isn’t it that xperia ion runs ICS not gingerbread?

  20. tarush says:

    When you ask others who are not into good apps and secure OS, people tend to say the SIII is the best.

    The credible Time Magazine named the iPhone 5 as the Gadget Of The Year, ditching the SIII for the award. You have probably seen how “slow” is the better spec’d SII against the iPhone 5.

    And in terms of sales, there’s no question who’s the king…

  21. Jesus says:

    Thanks sa list na ito kuya yuga. :)

  22. jaize says:

    Nexus 4 for rank 1, 2 or 3..the true specs beast among the phones listed here…

  23. John says:

    Sana may “Yugatech’s Top 10 Laptop(Computers) of 2012.”

  24. darksen says:

    Nice list and informative.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: