Gizmodo Awards 2012: Mobile Phone Of The Year

This week we're announcing the best tech of the year, starting with the best mobile phone of 2012. And the winner is...

Thousands of votes were cast in our week long poll to find the best mobile phone of 2012, and the winner by a country mile was:

Readers' Choice:

Nokia Lumia 920

Congratulations to Nokia and Microsoft on the win, scoring the top spot with 49 per cent of the vote.

Honourable Mentions:Apple iPhone 5 — 13.5 per cent • Google Nexus 4 — 8.97 per cent

Editor's Choice:

Google Nexus 4

There are superphones like the Lumia 920 and the Samsung Galaxy S III, and then there's the Nexus 4 from Google and LG. For the whole year you could buy a superphone with a processor that would melt steel, a screen that would make grown men weep and a design you'd expect to see on a catwalk. The only problem is that the device would cost you between $600 to $1000. The Nexus 4 is the superphone we deserve.

With its beautiful 4.7-inch 1280×768 True HD IPS Plus screen pumping out 318 ppi, the 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel camera for just $349, it's no wonder that the device sold out in 22 minutes.

The only complaint most have about the Nexus 4 is that it lacks 4G-support, but with HSPA+ on-board, who's missing out?

Google has set the smartphone stage for 2013. No longer is it acceptable to charge $1000 for an amazing handset. It's time to lower the prices and raise the specs. It's time for a war on price.

Congratulations to Google and LG.

Honourable Mention:Nokia Lumia 920



    I have an iPhone 5 and I think they are probably the right choices.

    The iPhone 5 is great, but it's not interesting. It's just a better iPhone. As a gadget fan the Lumia and the Nexus both have an interesting story to tell.

      Yeah I definitely agree. The iPhone 5 is an okay upgrade, but it wasn't anything too ground breaking.
      The Lumia 920 sets a new stage for some interesting hardware advancements such as the screen, the floating lens camera and wireless charging. It also showcases the new Windows Phone 8 software. But, this all comes at a hefty price.
      The Nexus 4 on the other hand is more of a standard, solid, high-end phone. But what has been so stand out about this phone is the price. Such a good new phone at such a great price is practically unheard of, so it's been a breath of fresh air for consumers.

      My pick was the Nexus 4 because of its value for money, but the Lumia 920 is also a very cool contender.

        It's going to be really interesting to see some sales figures for the Lumia. There is a lot riding on it for both Nokia and Microsoft.

        If a great device like the 920 can't inspire people to switch to Windows Phone then I don't know what will.

          Loving my 920. Picked it up on Friday.

          Hopefully the 820 at a lower price will also appeal to people looking at Windows Phone.

          It would be nice if they could get more stock in. The Telstra store and Business center I work at only got black and white. At least with the HTC 8x we got is a nice blue

          My only major gripe with the 920? The earphones are terrible. The iPhone 5's new earpods are actually decent for what is essentially bundled p.o.s.

            If you really are ranting about the earpods that are included with the Lumia 920, you really shouldn't be talking about the quality of the earphones that are included in the iphone 5's and Lumia 920's packaging...

            Last edited 11/12/12 8:06 pm

              Agreed. In the end, if you really want good sound, you should already have your own earphones. Recommend Klipsch S4's

                @mdolley yes. you are definitely right. iPhone 5 has many NEGATIVE stories to tell like its camera, according to other users and an almost the same chassis design just like the 4S. :)))

      It's interesting in terms of Apple's customisations to the ARM cores in the CPU. It certainly puts pressure on the other chip manufacturers (aside from Qualcomm) to keep ramping up performance. It'll be interesting to see also whether we have an instruction set arms race a la the 64 bit extensions to x86.

      I agree. I'm also an iPhone 5 owner which I still value greatly, but iOS is all about the apps. As far as iOS goes, Apple's lack of evolution and innovation (and steps backwards with Maps) has made the iPhone 5 seem a little antiquated when compared to the best WP8 and Jellybean phones available.

      I voted for the Nexus 4 as its incredible device for the money, but the Lumia 920 is equally as impressive for that kick arse camera and Nokia's impressive software suite. I think its great the Lumia 920 is the Australian reader's choice given how Giz US stupidly condemned it for being a "tank"!

    Good choices though I have a soft spot for the Note II because of the stylus

    A well deserved winner.
    The only gripe I have about my Lumia is that it doesn't support swype texting. Everything else is fantastic.So fast, smooth, beautiful, amazing camera.

    Someone give me 10 good reasons why I should buy a Lumia? Working in the industry, I have questioned everyone who wants one and they can only say "It's not an iPhone". Seems to me people only want it for the sake of having a Nokia once again.

      1 - 8.7 MP OIS Pureview Camera
      2 - PureMotion HD+ 331 PPI screen
      3 - Super sensitive screen that can be used with gloves on
      4 - Wireless charging
      5 - Choice of colours like no other phone
      6 - 3 HAAC microphones for rich recording
      7 - 32Gb built in memory, 2000 mAh battery
      8 - Solid build quality
      9 - Nokia Maps + Nokia exclusive apps
      10 - WP 8
      11 - It's not an iPhone :)

        12. MS Office
        13. Bluetooth file transfer
        14. USB MTP file transfer
        15. NFC
        16. Standard micro USB connector

          18. Dolby Technology in sound processing (Virtual Surround))
          19. Sun Light Reading enhancement algorithms, ClearBlack polarization filter
          20. Fingreprint resistant oleophobic coating on the screen
          21. Scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 2 with curved 2.5D glass
          22. High quality polycarbon plastic body used in bullet resistant glasses
          23. NFC Sim Card for secure credit card transfers
          24. The world's first smartphone to support Pentaband LTE
          25. The only design phone in addition to iPhone

          I wrote a tiny blog-post inspired by the announcement

          Last edited 12/12/12 1:05 pm

      try this link
      first part is a joke, rest is very serious comparison.

      Speaking as someone who's had the phone for ~10 days.

      1 - 8.7MP Camera with OIS (mechanical device surrounding the camera that stabilizes the image, works beautifully) & f/2.0 Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, the thing doesn't just take better low light photos, but absolutely blows the competition out of the water.
      2 - Low surface resistance, high sensitivity capacaitive, curved 4.5 inch IPS display with 1280x768 resolution and 331 PPI, also featuring Nokia's Puremotion HD+ technology. Basically no motion blur. Every person who's seen the phone almost instantly comments on the screen.
      3 - The phone is encased in a unibody polycarbone shall with curved edges that comes in a variety of colours (and gloss vs matte finishes), this is more of a personal taste thing here but the look of phone still strikes me everyday. I have red. It's a solid device to hold in your hands, feels great.
      4 - Micro USB connector, Industry standard, always a good thing.
      5 - Exlusive Nokia apps such as Nokia Maps (which is ranked up there with Google maps), Cinemegraph (ability to make .gifs on the go), other augmented reality apps that work with the camera (such as Nokia city view). Nokia are giving 7GB of Skydrive ztorage to each person. There is also Nokia Drive which is a turn-by-turn voice navigator that allows offline use and works really good.
      6 - The Windows ecosystem. Yes, I like Windows, I upgraded to Windows 8, I use the Windows store, I have a Microsoft account and am signed up to xbox music. It's new, it's a baby compared to the Apple and Google ecosystem, but boy is it one mature baby who's growing fast. I have office on the phone and calenders/contact/media is synced instantly between my PC and phone.
      7 - NFC ,Wireless charging & 4G. NFC and Wireless charging are the future. Expect to see Wireless charging terminals in bars and airports and such, and more ways to connect to things via NFC for sharing of information/advertising.
      8 - WP8. Windows Phone 8 has been completely redesigned from the ground up from WP7, literally, now running on the same kernal as W8. I withheld from getting a WP7.x device because it always felt like a half-assed rushed attempt from Microsoft to get something into the market ASAP, The laughable 480x800 max resolution always gets me. This is refined, this is now an actual competitor to the big players (iOS, Android). It runs great, live tiles are great, I love the feel, structure and look of the OS. I was never a big app user but I feel inclined to mentioned that being a new OS/Ecosystem, apps will not be abundant to begin with (though there is already 46/50 top apps on there) but it is an issue that will correct itself over time.
      9 - Competition in the market is always a good thing.
      10 - The 9 other reasons that made be buy a Nokia Lumia 920.

      Last edited 11/12/12 1:32 am

      Since everyone has already given you 10+ reasons, I will just give you the main reason I got it - The HD screen. While comparing it to the other phones, I use the Avengers movie trailer on utube to compare screens...the 920 was by far the best. For reference, I was comparing it to the Note 2, i5, 8x, and S3. As for it not being an iphone wasn't important. I like iphones, but I will say that WP8 is a breath of fresh air. Its very different to what is out there, in fact, it was somewhat frustrating setting it up. But the setup process also showed me what the phone could do and now I really like it. There is an update coming in Q1 of 2013, if they fix the little annoyances this phone will be the best available.

      The Lumia is not just about the amazing phone. But also the amazing software from Microsoft. Windows Phone 8 brings a lot to the table that your iPhone cannot. Resizable tiles, live tiles, Microsoft office, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn; all integrated right into the phone. Nokia also offers a ton of awesome apps for Windows Phone 8. Sharepoint would be a great example. Nokia + Microsoft makes for an awesome workplace.

    The problem with the Nexus 4 is that the retail price set by LG outside the Google store is 600 euro's. That means that the Nexus 4 must be heavily subsidized by Google, which means the price as depicted above isn't representative, so (imho) the pricing is an invalid argument.

      Even if it is subsidised by Google, to most consumers this isn't an issue. The subsidy doesn't change the fact that the phone is ridiculously cheap.
      Given that most people (particularly in Australia) who want to buy the device outright will be buying from someone who has sourced from the play store, the subsidy will go unnoticed. Customers who get the device on a plan won't care about the price that the telco bought the device for since there will be a carrier markup anyway.

    I forgot some reference:

    A 180g device? Really? I like the OS and the device, but they have to drop some 50g, for me to get one.

      I'd prefer if they didn't drop a bunch of features (namely the camera and wireless charging) just to make the phone lighter. I've had it for a week and can't believe how much journo's hyped it up, sure you can tell the difference when you're comparing them but when it's your sole phone you barely even notice.

      It's not that this phone is too heavy just heavier than the rest.

      180 grams is not heavy at all, just heavier than other recente smartphones. There are videos on youtube of even babies holding the phone. And everyone who actually pics it up the first thing they say it "really?!!! that is not heavy at all" Give it a try in a store and you will se what I mean

      The additional weight us due to the superb camera and wireless charging coil. If Jessica Alba can handle one, unless you are an octopus out of water, then so can you.

      Vlad, you should go and hold the phone. Its not heavy, just heavier in comparison to some of today's phone. I did get one and the weight actually was a plus for me. I hope it doesn't lose the heft, it feels good and I'm holding the phone just about all day for work.

        Agree 100%. The heft makes it feel like you're holding on to something of very high quality. Great phone!

      Vlad, it probably weighs about the same as your sleek and sexy iPhone with its 55g case on. You'll be pleased to know the 920 doesn't need a case so its 5g lighter than your current phone and probably slimmer.

        its fascinating when someone thinks that iPhone is sleek and sexy :P or that it boosts your coolness level into something unbelievable. Everyone has an iPhone, from 5 year old kids to grannies. It´s like Toyota Yaris. That´s just not sleek and sexy at all, and not interesting.. when have you last seen someone wondering about someones iPhone? a long time ago. Wow! you have an iPhone! wow :D "my kids and wife have that too, and their friends, and their teacher, and my other relatives"

      @vlad If you find 180g heavy, you really need to hit the gym and lift some weights to strenghten you biceps. Babies can lift the Lumia 920 so can you, once you strenghten your arms.

      a normal smart phone with silicon (or other material) cover weighs the same 180g and looks ugly as hell. With Nokia 920 you just don´t neet any silly covers.

      First of all, I know many cases that make the iPhone 4S 190g.

      Second, if I were given a choice between an iPhone 5 with added features that make it thicker, and a Lumia 920 which dropped the OIS and wireless charging coil to drop 50g, I'd pick the iPhone. Thickness and weight shoudn't be an issue, it's the actual experience of owning one and how it helps you in your work life.

      If you still think it's too heavy, let me tell you - if infants can carry it, and that wafer-thin Jessica Alba is delighted using it as her daily driver, and yet you think this device is too heavy, I feel sorry for you.

    try this link
    first part is joke, rest is very serious comparision.

    A very good choice indeed. Now if only my local Telstra would get some more stock i could finally get my hands on one!

    Going to the gym will fix that allergic reaction to 185g's right up! I've got one, and my iPhone 5 feels like a boring frail antique in comparison. Great device.

    Great result for Nokia but this is just more proof for me that the disconnect between so called consumer technology 'reviewers' and users is HUGE and that the ability of consumer tech sites to write objective articles and reviews in this era has been lost.......

      Well MS advertise heavily on Allure media sites so is it any wonder the Lumia fanboisim is completely disproportionate to anything seen in the real world? Shills aren't just things found on New Zealand beaches.

        in other words, u mad.

    Great result and a well deserved win from Nokia and Microsoft.
    I have the Lumia 920 and to sum it up in one word...quality.
    Hardware is well built, tough and attractive with a great choice of colours. Windows Phone 8 has come a long way since Windows Phone 7 and is only going to get better.

    The iPhone 5 is the first iPhone that I've held that is really a quality built handset. Everything about it just feels right. That said, iOS is getting long in the tooth. The issues with scratches out of the box and poor maps sadly let it down big time.

    I Have an sony xperia ray, and i think i love windows phone UI. and Lumia 920 is perfect, because it's simplicity is awesome. Maybe you wanna check my app i've build recently on Windows Phone on Youtube :P lol

    So much for Sam's review....Now the phone has won best phone of 2012!
    Freaking love my lumia 920 <3

    The Independent yesterday:

    "Nokia 920 Review: It's big, it's beautiful and probably the most advanced smartphone on the market"

    Noki Lumia 920 is amazing phone! i love it already... never go back to android after WP8...

    The suggestion that its time for a war on price at the end of the article is mediocre. Look at what happened to windows when they went for a race to the bottom and competed on nothing but the spec sheet: the products got crappy. Google can do it and give money to lg because they have the ecosystem thing going on but what about every other android producer? Where is their revenue going to come from if they don't make a profit on the handset? Should google really subsidize every phone to lower the barrier of entry? It seems that subsidizing the handset will lead to bigger and bigger walled gardens and android will start to close up.

    I'm keen to get some hands-on time with the lumia.
    Sadly, I'm in a contract for another year, so whatever my next phone is, it'll have to wait....

    i cant afford it. but i'm pllaning to go 620

    So ya all think S3 screen isnt great. No way i am going to iphone because of its boring UI and a big no to Nokia with the same reason.

    1) Gizmodo: 1st Lumia920; 2nd Iphone5
    2) ZDNET: 1st Iphone5; 2nd Galaxynote2
    3) Tech Radar: 1st Galaxys3; 2nd HTC 1x; 3rd Iphone5
    4) Phone arena: 1st Nexus; 2nd Iphone5
    5) cnet: 1st Galaxy3; 2nd iphone5

    Ummmm I dunno, all I know is that I took my lumia 820 back and ordered the Iphone5.

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