It's been another bumper year for smartphones – and we don't just mean in terms of the reception issues on the iPhone 4. All the major OS players have released platform upgrades, and the hardware has got bigger, faster, sexier and capable of more than ever before. In short, smartphones are smarter than ever.
So let's remember the great and the good from a fantastic year for mobile phones as we count down the top 10 smartphones of 2010.
10: RIM BlackBerry Torch
The classic BB keyboard in all its glory combined with a full touchscreen sounds like a BlackBerry made in heaven, but the real innovation comes from the all-new BlackBerry OS 6. It's not quite the 'quantum leap' forward RIM says it is, but this is still the most lifestyle-friendly BlackBerry ever made, without sacrificing its core business smarts.
9: RIM BlackBerry Bold 9780
It might seem odd that the 9780 places above the higher-spec Curve, yet the Bold remains the pinnacle of business smartphone usability, and that has nothing to do with the update to OS 6, which of course has merits of its own. The best QWERTY keyboard around, solid build and all the traditional BlackBerry strengths – if you love BlackBerry, you'll love the Bold 9780.
8: Nokia N8
As seems unavoidable with Nokia, it took ages to finally get the N8 out the door, and that does tarnish its shine somewhat, yet this is a superb multimedia phone with one of the best cameras in the business, and represents Symbian at its very best. That said, it remains a frustrating and limited OS to use compared with its rival platforms, which is a shame for the otherwise excellent N8.
7: Samsung Omnia 7
Given Microsoft's hardware spec requirements for WP7, there's not a lot to choose between the initial hardware offerings for the new platform. But you simply can't ignore the Omnia 7's fantastic screen – it plays to the visually appealing OS' strengths, and fronts a solid feature set under the bonnet. Windows Phone 7 will get better, but this isn't a bad start.
6: HTC Legend
The open-ended update schedule for Android has given a number of handsets a far longer shelf life than expected. Witness the HTC Legend – essentially the HTC Hero 2. Now updated to Android 2.2 and with an attractive mid-range price, the Legend deserves its name thanks to a great all-round mix of pleasing design, versatile features and smart performance.
5: Samsung Galaxy S
It's still early days, but the Galaxy S is ageing well – and for one very obvious reason: that wonderful 4in Super AMOLED screen, complete with HD video recording abilities. It makes everything you do on the Galaxy S a pleasure, particularly anything multimedia related – it's just a shame Samsung's TouchWiz UI doesn't quite match its HTC Sense rival.
4: HTC Desire
One of the older smartphones on our list (it came out before mid-year), the Desire still holds its own thanks to its mix of must-have features, and a more affordable price tag than newer competition. Speedy, well made and with a superb 3.7in OLED screen, the powerful Desire is still a fantastic smartphone, and gives the supposedly more upmarket Desire HD a good run for its money.
3: HTC Desire HD
The whopping 4.3in screen may be a drain on the battery, and it's probably not as sharp as it is big, but HTC really has poured the best of the best smartphone technology into the Desire HD. That large screen makes for a near-tablet like interface and browsing experience, and gets the very best out of Android. In short, it's a smartphone that's just begging to be played with.
2: Google Nexus S
The Android 2.3 Gingerbread standard-bearer was always going to be aiming high, but by allying with Samsung, Google has delivered with the Nexus S. Well, on most fronts anyway – the full interactive potential of Gingerbread is shown off to stunning effect, and then there's that Samsung AMOLED screen too, which remains the best in the business. You've also got the luxury of knowing it'll be the first to get future Android updates too. Only a high price – for now – and the lack of a microSD slot let it down.
1: Apple iPhone 4
So, another year gone with the iPhone still top of the tree. But Apple's fourth annual update has had to work very hard to stay clear of the pile. Or to put it another way, the iPhone 4 is a big step forward from the iPhone 3GS (which nonetheless would have taken a decent spot on this list had it been released in 2010). There are genuine hardware highlights on the latest iPhone: the Retina Display – gimmicky name aside – is stunning, multitasking just works and gaming is an increasing highlight. But it remains the ownership experience that keeps the iPhone ahead of the pack and makes people happy to pay what Apple is happy to charge to have one in its pocket. The combination of a superb interface, fantastic OS and the huge add-on potential of the App Store makes the iPhone 4 the class of the smartphone field.