CES 2012 brought us 21 new smartphones of all varieties. LTE was a hit and Ice Cream Sandwich was not, but there was a lot of mobile goodness to go around.
Nokia Lumia 900
Smartphones came fast and furious at CES 2012 with 21 new handsets landing in Las Vegas. If you missed the news earlier, here's the full list.
Quite the star of the show, the Lumia 900 won CNET's Best of CES Award for the cell phone category not only for what it had inside, but also what it promised for Windows Phone 7. It's coming to AT&T's LTE network later this year.
Another Windows Phone 7 for AT&T, the Titan II is a solid successor to the original Titan. It shows a number of design improvements and it impresses with a 4.7-inch display and a staggering 16-megapixel camera. The Titan II was a nominee for CNET's Best of CES award.
Senior Editor Brian Bennett was a big fan of the Droid 4 when he laid his hands on it at Digital Experience the night before CES began. A killer keyboard ("the greatest yet," Brian said), support for Verizon's LTE network, and a dual-core processor made it the third Best Of CES smartphone nominee.
From the moment you pick it up, it's clear that Sony pulled out all the stops when designing the Xperia S. The phone's curved back felt great in my hand, the lighted strip at the bottom is snazzy, and I love how it stands up on its end. And, yeah, the features are pretty high-end, too. It was the last of the four award finalists and will be sold unlocked in the United States.
Sprint used CES to scoop up the Galaxy Nexus Android superphone as one of its first LTE handsets. It has all the features of the Verizon model including Ice Cream Sandwich and 32GB of internal memory, but it beats Big Red by offering full support for NFC and Google Wallet.
Unlike Sony's Xperia S, the Xperia Ion is headed to a U.S. carrier. Though its design isn't quite as slick as its sibling, it's a looker in its own right. There's a lot of multimedia support inside, and you'll be able to use it on AT&T's LTE network.
Powered by Verizon's LTE network, the Spectrum has a 4.5-inch HD display, a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video capture, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Sure, it just has Gingerbread, but CNET's Jessica Dolcourt likes it better than the LG Nitro HD.
Also bound for AT&T's LTE, the Galaxy Note is Samsung's largest smartphone to date. A combination tablet/smartphone (a "phablet," if you will) the Galaxy Note has a 5.3-inch display and admirable features. And in a blast from the past, you even get a stylus. Whether it will find a market is yet to be seen, but it is an interesting product.
One of few Ice Cream Sandwich phones announced at CES, the unlocked Ascend P1S measures in at just 6.68mm (0.26 inch) thick. That makes it the slimmest dual-core smartphone in the world, at least for now. You'll also find a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED (960x540-pixel) touch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass, a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 Cortex A9 processor, an 8-megapixel camera with backlight illuminated sensor and 1080p HD video capture, and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera.
The second handset to support Sprint's new LTE network, the LG Viper 4G LTE sports a standard candy-bar design, a 4-inch WVGA touch screen, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera around back, a second front-facing camera, and support for NFC Google Wallet.
The unlocked Ascend P1 also has a sharp 4.3-inch Super AMOLED (960x540-pixel resolution) touch screen with Corning Gorilla Glass. And in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I welcome Ice Cream Sandwich. It's just a bit thicker than the P1S due to its larger battery.
The Connect 4G is one of MetroPCS' two new LTE Android phones. Features include a 4-inch LG Nova display with Gorilla Glass screen, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 5-megapixel rear-facing HD camera, a front-facing camera, and Dolby Mobile onboard to boost the preloaded Rhapsody Unlimited Music service.
Yet another handset for AT&T, the Eco-friendly Exhilarate is constructed from 80 percent recycled post-consumer materials and features signature tools such as an eco-calendar. You'll also find a 4-inch touch screen with Super AMOLED display, front- and rear-facing cameras, voice recognition, and access to AT&T U-verse Live TV.
The ViewPhone 3's most appealing quality is that it has two SIM card slots. That means that you'll be able to send texts and make calls on two lines. It's perfect for traveling abroad or for keeping your work and home lives separate. Other features on the unlocked device include a 3.5-inch display, an 800MHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera with flash.
T-Mobile didn't show the Blaze to us, and the carrier revealed few specs at its press conference, but we know that it features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a Super AMOLED touch screen, preloaded entertainment content, and support for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network.
Besides being the first Verizon Curve to support world roaming, the Curve 9370 also has 3G support and NFC services, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, the premium version of Documents To Go, GPS, and a microSD card slot.
CNET's Lynn La was impressed with the entry-level Pantech Burst, which sells for just $49 with an AT&T contract. She liked the phone's solid build and decent feature set that includes Android Gingerbread 2.3.5 OS, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4-inch Super AMOLED touch screen, a VGA front-facing camera, and a 5-megapixel camera in the back that shoots HD 720p video.
Lenovo used CES to expand beyond its core laptop and desktop PC business when it announced the K800 Android smartphone. Powered by a 32nm "Medfield" Atom processor, the K800 is just the first of a series of smartphones promised by the two companies. The feature set includes 720p video, HDMI-out, near-field communication (aka NFC), and Intel wireless display technology for streaming video to a compatible HDTV. It will land in China first.