Something Ausdroid likes to do around Christmas time is reflect on the year behind us, and throw our thoughts into the ring for the best devices we’ve seen all year. I know I’ve personally seen a good share of handsets this year, and between myself and the team, we’ve probably used 90% of the Android handsets that have been obtainable in Australia from carriers, gray importers, or those we’ve imported ourselves.
Every member of the team has voted, and the results are now in. With no further delay, I’d like to announce the Best Devices of 2012, as judged by Ausdroid.
Best Phone of 2012 – money is no object
Really, there’s no surprises here — I think everyone on the Ausdroid team has either owned or used a Galaxy S III and Geoff’s review clearly sums up why it was such a favourite. Good battery life, good speed, (relatively) prompt software updates — what’s not to like?
That said, the Note II is quickly becoming a new favourite. Anyone who hasn’t seen what the Note II is capable of should be going to their local stockist now and checking it out.
Best Phone of 2012 – budget conscious (i.e. $600 or less)
Even fewer surprises here. The Nexus 4 was always going to win this category. It’s sub $400, and will remain at the cutting edge of Android updates and development for the next year or two at least. The only downside is that they’re like hens teeth in Australia at the moment, and there’s no sign of this changing soon.
Best Tablet of 2012
Just about everyone on the team either has, or had, a Nexus 7. The perfect form factor, mixed with powerful hardware and a battery that lasts for days. The only downside from my personal perspective was the lack of built-in 3G, but the newly released 3G variant will fix that, and will probably see strong sales like the WiFi only model before it.
Best App of 2012
First place: Shifty Jelly’s PocketWeather Australia, available for $1.99 on the Play Store
Runner up: A tie between Rovio’s Angry Birds Star Wars, free on the Play Store, and Google Now, available on all Jelly Bean devices.
We’ve been fond of Shifty Jelly’s apps for some time, starting with PocketCasts, but when Pocket Weather was ported from iOS to Android, we were all thrilled (clearly). Of course, for those moments when we’re gaming on the throne, Angry Birds Star Wars is a worthy runner up.
Best non-phone/tablet Android device of 2012
An odd category, because besides phones and tablets, Android isn’t in too many things. However, this is bound to change in the years ahead.
So there we have it folks. Has the team nailed it for 2012? Do you agree with our choices for the best devices of the year? Let us know in the comments if you think there’s a better option!