The best smartphones of 2011? Yes and no… part 2

The best smartphones of 2011? Yes and no… part 2Good afternoon to you. Apparently I didn’t make it clear enough in The best smartphones of 2011? Yes and no… part 1 that I was simply listing a synopsis of each and every Mobot handset review from 2011, in plain old chronological order. Also, when I say “part 1”, it’s perfectly safe to assume there’s a second part in the proverbial pipeline. You maniacs.

I listed a total of 18 devices in part 1, and not one – including the Samsung Galaxy S II and iPad 2 – managed a perfect 5/5. Evidently that Dave Oliver is a tough gentleman to please. Will we see a cheeky 5/5 in part 2? I really don’t know. Personally, I’m hoping for a 1/5. Let’s rock!

Again, hyperlinks will hit up the full review. And don't dwell too much on the scores, handsome. It's just a bit of fun.

Motorola Atrix (4/5)

Dave said: Motorola’s first dual-core smartphone may not be sleek, but it’s powerful, and comes with a future-defining range of accessories.

HTC Flyer (4/5)

Dave said: The HTC Flyer marks a strong opening salvo in the tablet wars – light and portable, with an impressive range of features and intriguing use of a stylus, though it could be a bit faster and smoother to stand shoulder to shoulder with the iPad.

HTC ChaCha (4/5)

Dave said: The excellent QWERTY keyboard marks a move on BlackBerry’s territory and the clever Facebook button is a bonus. It’s a pity the screen seems a bit too small to deliver all of Android’s possibilities but for texters and ’bookers this is a must-see.

Samsung Galaxy Mini (3/5)

Dave said: It’s good looking and compact, and as an introduction to Android the Galaxy Ace won’t break the bank, but the performance compromises from the screen and processor will prevent many from loving it.

Orange Rio II (3/5)

Dave said: The Orange Rio II is a budget phone, but it’s still got quite a lot going for it, with a near-Blackberry level keyboard, solid build decent touch screen and an okay 3 megapixel camera. The resistive touch screen is quite a let-down however, mostly for its lack of sensitivity.

HTC Sensation (4/5)

Dave said: A terrific high-end smart phone with a fast and capable dual-core processor, the latest Sense UI and up-to-date Android. It’s a pleasure to use, even if you can get better cameras elsewhere and a dedicated HDMI port would have been useful for streaming those 1080p HD videos.

LG Optimus Black (4/5)

Dave said: The LG Optimus Black is a good-looking handset with a cracking looking screen that’s only let down by its lack of sensitivity.

HTC Salsa (4/5)

Dave said: The HTC Salsa is a solidly built smart phone with a good screen, okay camera and extra social networking capability thanks to its dedicated Facebook button. That aside though, there’s not a lot to distinguish it from its many, many HTC brethren.

BlackBerry PlayBook (3/5)

Dave said: The BlackBerry PlayBook is a mixed bag – good looking and very portable it has the makings of a decent workhorse. But the outrageous lack on an integrated email client and extremely light presence in BlackBerry AppWorld mean it will struggle to make its mark.

HP Pre 3 (3/5)

Dave said: The smartphone market is tough, but it's a shame to see a perfectly good challenger bite the dust before it had a chance to really find its niche. Still, if you can snap one up for a bargain price, it's worth getting your hands on one.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo (4/5)

Dave said: The Neo may not be as sleek looking as its big brother the Arc, but it features much of the same fancy screen and camera technology for a fraction of the price.

RIM BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 (4/5)

Dave said: RIM is struggling to keep up with advances from Apple and Google and with the Bold 9900 they’re just about keeping pace, but certainly not drawing ahead. For BlackBerry fans there’s plenty here to enjoy, especially the very fast pace of the processor, the quality keyboard and the solidly reliable camera, but it’s not likely to entice too many away from their iOS or Android handset.

LG Optimus 3D (3/5)

Dave said: LG’s Optimus 3D is a classy smart phone and it’s made a little bit of history by being the UK’s first 3D phone. But it’s big and bulky, and if you can take or leave the 3D thing, you’d be better off with the likes of LG’s Optimus 2X.

HTC Evo 3D (3/5)

Dave said: The HTC Evo 3D is a powerful smart phone with some good features and one stand-out circus trick. If you really need 3D, it’s worth considering, but if not, your money will go further with the likes of HTC’s Sensation or Incredible S.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (4/5)

Dave said: Apple seems to be worried about the Tab 10.1 eating into the iPad market and so it should. For a full-size tablet design it offers pretty much the best of Android in a sleek, stylish package and leaps to the top of the non-Apple tablet heap.

BlackBerry Torch 9810 (3/5)

Phil said: We find it hard to get excited about using a handset like this, especially when the newer Bold 9900 and Curve 9360 appear to offer so much more in a better chassis. That's not to say the Torch 9810 is a bad phone, it's just not particularly exciting or memorable. And that's half the battle.

HTC Radar (3/5)

Dave said: The first major update to Windows Phone 7 is much more evolution than revolution with some welcome upgrades, but no major changes. The HTC Radar offers it a decent home though, with a good list of features, and it’s certainly more pocketable than the HTC Titan.

Apple iPhone 4S (4/5)

Phil said: It isn't the bright and shiny new iPhone 5 many were hoping for, but that hasn't stopped the iPhone 4S selling by the bucketload and a month on, you still can't get it in stores unless you pre-order. It's a worthy upgrade and a good step forward from the iPhone 4, but with the iPhone 5 likely to arrive next summer, you may want to think twice before signing on for a 24-month contract.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus (4/5)

Phil said: Maybe it's because our expectations were so high but ultimately the Galaxy Nexus just doesn't have the wow factor we were hoping for. It's certainly a premium handset with some great specs, but nothing that truly takes your breath away, and given it costs the other side of £500 we're not sure that's quite good enough.

Read more about: Apple iPhone 4SHTC SensationRIM BlackBerry Bold TouchSamsung Galaxy NexusBlackberry PlaybookHP Pre 3HTC ChaChaHTC Evo 3DHTC FlyerHTC RadarHTC SalsaLG Optimus 3DLG Optimus BlackMotorola AtrixSamsung Galaxy Mini / S5570Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo

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5 comments

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2012 at 13:47

Quite nice summary.

A suggestion for future ratings is to use more granular system. While HTC ChaCha, Salsa and Sensation all have same rating, the real case is Sensation is closer to 4.5, while ChaCha and Salsa is around 3.5.

corgi74  Jan. 4, 2012 at 21:42

Quite nice summary.

A suggestion for future ratings is to use more granular system. While HTC ChaCha, Salsa and Sensation all have same rating, the real case is Sensation is closer to 4.5, while ChaCha and Salsa is around 3.5.


Fanboy!!! The Sensation is at best a 4.2 ;)

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 5, 2012 at 08:24

I never said it's 4.5, it's closer to 4.5 than it is to 4.0

I would rate XE and Bold 9900 @ 4.5

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 09:11

With you on that, CT.
I'd also rate the Torch higher. "Not exciting", "not memorable"... Hmmm. The Torch has a "different" form factor. If it's what you want, it's exciting and memorable.
If you don't need a good qwerty mixed with a usable touchscreen for quick use, well, then don't buy it :p

I (sorry colleagues) completely disagree with punishing a phone for obvious design decisions. What one person calls bland is understated and cool for someone else.
Most people will feel like midgety suckers making a call with the Galaxy Note, but would anyone deduct points for too big? It's OBVIOUSLY big. Don't buy it or buy it.

Now back under my desk...

corgi74  Jan. 5, 2012 at 09:46

I never said it's 4.5, it's closer to 4.5 than it is to 4.0

I would rate XE and Bold 9900 @ 4.5


I think we need an emoticon for 'I'm joking!!!' The winking one doesn't work

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