Apple's iPhone 4S
Apple's iPhone 4S
Is there any doubt that you should know about the iPhone 4S? Apple sold more than 37 million iPhones during the fourth quarter, making it the most popular smartphone in the world. And until the iPhone 5 launches, it probably won't lose that title.
Apples New iPad
Apple's new iPad, which is launching on March 16, could very well be the biggest tablet launch of 2012. The device looks like its predecessor, the iPad 2, but comes with Apple's wildly popular Retina Display, the A5X processor boasting quad-core graphics, and the same $499-and-up price tag. Best of all, it can access the Web from both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, giving users high-speed connectivity wherever they go. Look for it to be a highly sought-after item this year.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is widely recognized as the best answer to Apple's iPhone. The Android-based device comes with a 4.65-inch display, dual cameras and a design that comes close to matching the iPhone's. And with 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) support, it's the ideal choice for customers who want a top-notch Android-based device.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Those who don't want the iPad might be quite happy with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. That Android-based slate comes with-as you might expect-a 10.1-inch screen and 4G connectivity. Next to the Amazon Kindle Fire, it's the most popular Android-based slate on the market, and one that Apple is extremely concerned about.
Amazon Kindle Fire
The Amazon Kindle Fire is a modern-day sales marvel. When it was announced, few people thought that the small (7-inch) screen and 8GB of storage could stand up to Apple's iPad. But after selling an estimated 6 million units last quarter, Amazon proved it really knows what it's doing in the tablet market.
Nokia's Lumia Line
Those looking to learn more about Microsoft's Windows Phone should start with Nokia's Lumia line. The devices, which span from underpowered to quite capable, are the benchmarks by which all other Windows Phone-based devices are judged. And by the look of things, they could be the products that make or break Microsoft's mobile operating system.
The LG Spectrum isn't necessarily a groundbreaking device, but at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, the smartphone was quite popular among attendees. This was for a good reason. It comes with a solid design, a 4.5-inch high-definition display that has more pixel density than Apple's Retina Display, and runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). It's a strong choice across the board.
Samsung Galaxy Note
So, what is the Galaxy Note? It's not a phone, and some might even say it's not a tablet. The Android-based device is a bit of both. Users can use a stylus to control the on-screen content and do everything from write on it to create documents. Samsung is trying to win on convergence with the Galaxy Note. Whether or not it'll succeed remains to be seen.
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx
The Motorola Droid Razr Maxx is one of the more compelling smartphones in this roundup. It comes with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), includes a nice thin design, and boasts both a dual-core processor and 4G LTE. But it's the "Maxx," which centers on its battery life that might appeal most to users. According to Motorola, the device will last more than 21 hours on a single charge. Nice.
Sony PlayStation Vita
The Sony PlayStation Vita might not match the other products in this roundup. After all, it focuses first on gaming. But the device includes applications and a Web browser, and-according to Sony-the operating system might eventually be used in smartphones and tablets.