Regardless of popularity or industry impact, these devices claim the best design, the most-compelling features and the overall most impressive value among all the hundreds of mainstream tech products released in 2012.
Samsung Galaxy S IIIThe good: The Samsung Galaxy S III comes fully loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4G LTE/HSPA+ 42 capability, a zippy dual-core processor and a strong 8-megapixel camera. The bad: The Galaxy S3's screen is too dim, and Samsung's Siri competitor, S Voice, disappointed us.
Apple iPhone 5The good: The iPhone 5 adds everything we wanted in the iPhone 4S: 4G LTE, a longer, larger screen, free turn-by-turn navigation and a faster A6 processor. The bad: Apple Maps feels unfinished and buggy; Sprint and Verizon models can't use voice and data simultaneously. The smaller connector renders current accessories unusable without an adapter. The screen size pales in comparison with jumbo Android models.
Google Nexus 7The good: The Nexus 7 features a sharp screen, a comfortable design and great battery life at a low starting price. Android 4.2 adds some welcome and useful features. The bad: Android still needs more tablet-optimized apps, and HSPA+ speeds seem particularly location-dependent.