Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2010 - Mobile phones
While some people have started to count down the number of shopping days left until Christmas, gadget fans are counting down the days until the annual Pocket-lint Gadget Awards. We'll be announcing the nominations next week, so you'll be able to see which products made the cut.
As always, we want your help with drawing up the all-important nomination list. If your mind has gone blank, then don't worry as we've poured through the Pocket-lint review vaults to highlight some of the best products we've seen over the last year. Now, it's up to you to let us know which ones you'd like to see nominated in the comments box below.
Trawling the archives it soon became fairly obvious that while most handsets on our shortlist are of the smartphone variety, there has been a distinct lack of high-scoring feature phones. Many of these non-smartphones gained relatively respectable scores, but they just couldn't compete against the latest from gems like HTC and Apple. And so to the first sub-category - Android phones.
If you haven't heard of Google's operating system then you must have been living in a cave, as 2010 has seen the shops packed to the rafters with an ever-expanding selection of Android phones. While the HTC was one of the big mobile phone success stories of 2009, this year saw the introduction of a new flagship model - the HTC Desire, while the Hero was superseded by the Legend. One of HTC's newest handsets, the Desire HD, adds high-def video capture to the equation.
Samsung also pleased Android fans by bringing the Galaxy S to market, complete with a whopping 4-inch AMOLED screen. Coming in just at the end of last year, the impressive Motorola Milestone is also a strong contender for our shortlist as is the game-changing Google Nexus One.
Although they didn't score quite as highly as the phones already mentioned, the following Android handsets are certainly worth considering as well: Acer Liquid S100, Huawei Ideos, Motorola Milestone XT720, LG GW620 InTouch Max, Droid X by Motorola and the tablet-like Dell Streak.
Windows Phone 7
Along with the Android onslaught, 2010 also saw Microsoft trying to re-assert itself in the mobile sector with the introduction of its Windows Phone 7 OS, which launched to much fanfare in October. Windows Mobile fell from grace when it failed to evolve and develop, but its clear that Microsoft has really put the hours in on its new offering.
The first wave of handsets are slowly rolling out, and mighty impressive they are too. Widely thought of as the leader of the Windows Phone 7 pack, the HTC HD7 has a gigantic 4.3-inch display, while the LG Optimus 7 set out its stall with the inclusion of DLNA and the Samsung Omnia 7 has marked itself out with its use of an AMOLED screen. Maybe looking to carve out a niche as the key name in the Windows Phone 7 camp, as it has with Android, HTC has also introduced the Mozart and the Trophy.
iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian & the rest
No phone has ever been as highly anticipated as Apple's update to its popular 3GS - the iPhone 4. Despite a few teething troubles to do with reception problems, the device has set the standard that all other phones must try and compete with.
BlackBerry has had a big year in 2010, especially with the news of its own PlayBook tablet. We've seen several new handsets hit the market over the last year, although only the BlackBerry Pearl 3G 9105 garnered a high score, and the BlackBerry Bold 9700 was included in last year's awards, making the deadline by the skin of its teeth.
Nokia's Symbian OS has been on the decline for years, thanks to stiff competition from the likes of iOS and Android. However, the brand is starting to make in-roads again and the Nokia E72 impressed us with its connectivity while the Nokia N900, with its large, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and Maemo 5 OS, is more of a tiny netbook than a phone. We're also looking forward to taking a good look at the N8, which is among Nokia's new wave of handsets, which really needs to impress everyone to put the brand back on the map again.
As well as the big boys, we also saw some good performers sporting other forms of OS such as Samsung's Bada-based Wave GT-S8500 and LG's A-Class GD510 Pop. There were also various other decent handsets released in 2010, such as the Palm Pre Plus, but these didn't quite earn enough marks to make it into our highlights roundup.
Apple's iOS aside, it's rather telling that all of the smaller forms of OS only have one handset in our roundup. With the dominance of Apple's OS, the continuing Android invasion and now the arrival of Windows Phone 7, could this spell the end for some of the smaller players?
These are just some of the fantastic choices we've had in 2010. What would you like to see held aloft as the winner of Pocket-lint Best Best Mobile Phone 2010? What have we missed out? Which are your unsung heroes and, of those we've already mentioned, which would get your vote? Let us know in the comments below and you can help our panel decide which make the shortlist of nominees to be announced here on Pocket-lint on 8 November.
We'll have all our coverage of the Pocket-lint awards 2010 right here. Don't miss a minute of it.