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Best and Worst Mobile Phones of 2011

In Technology on January 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

by:  Brandon Beal

Now, I know it’s kind of strange to start out a blog with a post about old stuff, but I figured what better way to kick of 2012 than to look at the make and break devices of last year. We saw huge innovation from some companies, while others seemed to be stuck in reverse. I will start with the best, in no particular order, and end with the worst.

The Good…

Motorola Droid Razr (Verizon Wireless)

The Razr made a triumphant return after shocking the cell phone world in 2005 with it’s radical design and specs. The new and largely improved Droid Razr became the thinnest smartphone on the market. Motorola put a lot of hard work into the design and it definitely over-achieved.

I’ve talked to a lot of people that own one of these magnificent devices, and they could not say more positive things about it. The ability to shoot brilliant HD photo and video with such a small device is absolutely incredible, and the fact that a phone that is so thin can feel so well built is a testimate to how much work Motorola puts into all their devices. The Droid line brought Motorola back from the verge of extinction, and this mobile is no exception.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Verizon Wireless)

The first phone to be released with Android’s 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and what a device it turned out to be. With an operating system that combined the best of all previous software versions, and a design that remained elegant but simple, the Galaxy Nexus is definitely a show stopper as far as mobile devices are concerned.

Update (1/5): Apparently, it was announced earlier today that a white version of this snazzy 4G game changer will be hitting the stores at your local Verizon store. If you’re one of those people that is in a phone for the aesthetics, the simplicity of a white Nexus might actually make this device your favorite accessory.

HTC Sensation (T-Mobile)

I currently own an HTC Thunderbolt, and I can say that out of every phone I have ever owned, the HTC Sense interface is by far the best. It seamlessly balances beauty with performance, and the Sensation gives you Sense 3.0 (yes, please.) along with a dual-core processor and 4G capability. It is a solid machine, and definitely something needed to keep T-Mobile customers happy and up-to-date.

HTC is also remarkably good at releasing updates with most of their newer generation phones, and how can you argue with the looks of this device? The tri-tone back and assortment of materials  makes for a eye-catching phone with mind-blowing performance.

The Bad…

HP Veer (AT&T)

No. Just… No. The Veer is HP’s attempt to make a WebOS phone with 4G capability, while keeping a smart, small look. What the Veer truly is, is a absolutely ghastly device with a poorly designed screen, slow speeds, a useless keyboard, and worst of all, it requires a special adapter just to use headphones. This kind of technology was out of date a long time ago, and consumers should feel insulted that HP would continue to nickle and dime them after making them pay for an obviously underproductive device.

On top of that, WebOS is now “dead”. It was continued in 2011 with a massive fire sale that involved the newly produced HP TouchPad, another over-hyped device from HP that never lived up to everything it should have been.

LG Cosmos Touch (Verizon Wireless)

The Cosmos Touch could have been good. It really could have. However, LG decided to skimp on improving the phone, and instead decided to add the most over-popularized gimmick in the cell phone world: a touch screen. This gave a frustrating edge to a phone that was already lacking in basically every category. The fact that Verizon felt the need to charge almost a hundred dollars for this phone is a slap in the face to consumers.

Apple iPhone 4S (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless)

As the tech-savvy hipster world sat with nail-biting anticipation awaiting the latest device from the Apple mobile behemoth, the rest of us looked on with a puzzled gaze wondering how anyone could ever consider themselves fortunate to have Apple as the manufacturer of their cell phone. Basically, Apple keeps redesigning the same device every year and adds one minute feature that is already standard on most phones. iOS 5 added the notification center, stripped shamelessly from Android, while the 4S took a iPhone 4 frame and added a gimmicky computer voice. Then they retailed it for the same price you had just paid for your iPhone 4. Why not kick us while we’re down, Apple. At least they decided to finally branch out to Sprint…

So there you have it. The best and worst (in my opinion) of 2011. This is going to be the first of what I hope is a variety of tech subjects posted here, and I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be a revolutionary year for technology… If it isn’t, the world is ending in 351 days so we won’t have much to worry about!

Brandon is the creator of www.wiredallnight.com, his new website.  Check it out if you have time!

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