Android Central Awards

Having already presented for your approval (or not) our 2012 Android Central's Editor's Choice Awards, it's now time to turn to something even more important -- the Reader's Choice Awards. These are the best smartphones and tablets and apps for which you voted. Over the past few weeks we saw thousands and thousands of votes pour in. Some went as you might expect. Others threw a little bit of a curveball. 

So let's not waste any more time. After the break are your choices. Your picks. Your favorite smartphones and tablets and apps for the past year or so, with a little commentary from your's truly.

Smartphone of the year

  • Your choice: Samsung Galaxy S3
  • Runner-up: Nexus 4

No real surprise here. Your picks mirrored our own. There are arguments to go either way, but there's no comparing them in terms of the number of phones in the field. That and you can actually buy the GS3. 

Oversized smartphone of the year

  • Your choice: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 

We could pretend there's a runner-up here, but, really, there isn't. Or, rather, the only real runner-up to the Galaxy Note 2 is the original Galaxy Note.

Small tablet of the year

  • Your choice: Google Nexus 7
  • Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Was there any doubt? Despite the recent Android 4.2.1 update borking things for some of us, the Nexus 7 is still the 7-inch Android tablet to own -- especially since it starts at $199.

Large tablet of the year

  • Your choice: Samsung Nexus 10
  • Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1/Asus Transformer Infinity

Again, kind of a no-brainer, right? The Galaxy Note 10.1 and ASUS Transformer Infinity are fine tablets -- but the display on the Nexus 10 is a sight to see.

Biggest flop of 2012

  • Your choice: Nexus Q
  • Runner-up: Nexus 4/7/10 ordering process

I still think Google's on the right track with the Nexus Q -- a living room appliance controlled by your phone, and what it does it does well. But you guys and gals are right. The fanfare at its announcement at Google I/O was darkened by its price tag and limited use cases. I might argue that the fustercluck that's been the launch of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 is an even bigger disappointment, given that it's the second time in 12 months Google couldn't get retail right. And I'd argue that the Nexus phones and tablets are the more important products right now.

Game of the year

  • Your choice: Angry Birds Star Wars

Fun fact about Angry Birds: Everybody says they're tired of it. But everybody keeps playing it.

Best Twitter application

  • Your choice: Twitter
  • Runners-up: Falcon Pro, Plume

A little surprising to see the official Twitter app win out here, especially given our readership. But maybe that's another example of how most folks have simpler needs than us bloggers. Falcon Pro and Plume are fine runners-up.

Best photo editor

  • Your choice: Snapseed
  • Runner-up: Instagram

Despite the brouhaha over Instagram, a lot of folks still use it. Snapseed's more of what I'd consider a traditional photo editor, but there's no denying its popularity.

Best travel app

  • Your choice: Google Maps
  • Runner-up: Tripit

For basic travel needs, there's no beating Google Maps. Tie it in to other services, such as Tripit, and you've got to work at getting lost.

Best browser

  • Your choice: Dolphin
  • Runner up: "Browser"

This one's actually a little hard to nail down. Dolphin's a great third-party browser. No complaints from me there. "Browser" means whatever the default browser is on your phone. Some manufacturers say "Browser." Others say "Internet." What you get is a Webkit browser. 

Best keyboard

  • Your choice: Swiftkey
  • Runner-up: Swype

About how I figured it'd end up. If one application is available in Google Play and the other is not, it's easy to see which will win out, right?

Best podcatcher

  • Your choice: Beyondpod
  • Runner-up: Pocket Casts

Tough to go wrong with either one of these. There are another three or four apps that easily could have made the top two, but these are the ones that stood out in your voting.

Google's best feature of 2012

  • Your choice: Google Now
  • Runner up: Google Play

Without question. And I'd add that all roads lead to Google+, or something like that. We're going to see further consolidation of services, I think, and hopefully a branding strategy that makes a little more sense. This is inevitable, of course. Google's never been shy to merge -- or kill -- products. In the end it's good for us as consumers.

So there you have it. Your picks for the top phones, tablets and apps of the past year. And quite a fine list, I believe. Give yourselves a pat on the back, and let's do it all again in 2013, eh?


Reader comments

The 2012 Android Central Reader's Choice Awards


i have it and its not any better than my stock browser... yeah it looks and feels good but in the end, looks aren't everything.... stock aosp browser has better functionality

Chrome has way better features than any other browser. And like above, sync is also my favorite....what I don't like is that if I don't kill chrome after using it my battery could die from a full charge within 2 hours. I'm also getting sick of the insane keyboard lag while using chrome. Yes, chrome is good.....but it is also a giant pile of shit in some aspects!!!

Good points about the lag & battery drain. I prefer the stock browser because I can still sideload Adobe Flash & have Flash support on my Jellybean OS device.

When NOTHING I do uses Flash anymore, then I won't care about using a browser that won't support it.

So what are these features you speak of? I don't see anything that chrome does better than any other browsers.

My stock browser syncs bookmarks with my desktop chrome, renders pages more readable, can zoom and rewrap text, and has a read button.

I have to agree here. Chrome isn't better than most the other major browsers out there. I use Chrome because I really like the sync feature, and I am very comfortable with it, and I am not too picky when it comes to browsers. But to say it is better than the rest is just inaccurate. It is up to par with the rest.

If you use Chrome on your PC it not only syncs your bookmarks it syncs your current open tabs on either device with back/forward history. So if you resume your open tab on your phone and hit the back button it will actually remember the back history from the open tab on the PC.

Chrome does not have "way better features" than Firefox, overall, for example (and just one example).

In the comments for the N7, you have it written as starting price at $299, should be $199 starting price

No best E-Book reader? Wow! Way to miss an important category.
I know a LOT of people read books on their phones and tablets.

BTW I have tried many many of them and only one has worked for me 100% in being able to format everything correctly is: Moon+ Reader Pro So that gets my vote. :)

So how come there's no runner-up for Game of the Year? It seems odd that that's the only category without an honorable mention (aside from over-sized phone, of course).

Also, since it's such a contentious category, I'm curious as to what phone got 3rd place for Smartphone of the Year.

Finally, I still disagree with your classification of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 as a "small tablet." That screen size (~9 inches) is a whole lot closer to that of the Nexus 10 or normal iPad (~10 inches) than it is to that of the Nexus 7 or iPad mini (~7-8 inches). Thus, the 8.9-inch version should be a "large tablet" and the 7-inch version should be a "small tablet."

Chrome has now become a decent browser for mobile, the lack of flash support that I continually find in stock and after market browsers keep chrome second fiddle for me.
And most stock browsers coming with new phones can do all the syncing that chrome does.

Nice article, but i would like to see two things:
1. More categories: ebook, music players, etc.
2. Different regions runner-ups for those with lack of all google services or delivery content (in my region we don't have google navigation as well as google books or play music content). Even samsung Hubs doesn't give any edge.

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