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CNET's Best of CTIA 2012

Despite fewer new products and a low-key atmosphere at CTIA 2012, CNET found plenty to gawk at in New Orleans. Here are our picks for the best products from the show.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director, Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt's career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Kent German
Jessica Dolcourt
Lynn La
Brian Bennett
2 min read

NEW ORLEANS--After three furious days, CTIA 2012 has come to a close. Though a visit to the Crescent City always is enjoyable, this year's event was a little quieter than in past years. But that doesn't mean we didn't see some very cool stuff. Here's what the CNET team picked as the Best of CTIA 2012.

Samsung Galaxy S III buddy share
Samsung Galaxy S III Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Best phone: Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung may have unveiled its Samsung Galaxy S III flagship phone days before CTIA 2012 kicked off, but CTIA was our first chance to handle it. And at the end of the day, the Android Ice Cream Sandwich mega handset was still the best phone we saw here at the show.

Sporting an extra-large 4.8-inch HD AMOLED screen, an 8-megapixel camera with the works, and a quad-core processor on this global version, the phone will be hard to beat -- especially when you also take into account software add-ons like enhanced voice controls and phone-to-phone sharing for files of up to 1GB in size.

Of course, there's still no carrier announcement for the LTE-ready version coming this summer, and the question of quad-core hangs in the balance -- we could see a perfectly speedy dual-core processor at launch instead. What we do know is that the design, the software, and the specs add up to a compelling handset that's sure to sell.

iSound Twist
iSound Twist Brian Bennett/CNET

Best Bluetooth accessory: iSound Twist
Do you really have a hankering for a Jawbone Jambox, but find its $199 sticker price too steep? Fortunately, there is a great alternative in the new iSound Twist. A play on the popular Jambox, the Twist sports a distinctive pretzel shape, fun colors, and a mic for speakerphone capabilities. It also connects to phones wirelessly via Bluetooth, all for $79.99.

Tech21 makes a variety of durable cases. Kent German/CNET

Best iPhone case: Tech21's products
I know, you're probably wondering how we can pick a best case. But with so many such products on display in New Orleans it seemed like a natural category. And out of all the cases we saw it was Tech21's that were the most interesting. Made of a bizarre substance called D30, the cases provide maximum protection. No, we wouldn't say that they're stylish, but that's not really the point of a rugged case in the first place. The company's products range from simple bumpers to a fully watertight case that can float on water.

Kyocera demonstrated its audio technology on a cell phone without a speaker. Lynn La/CNET

Honorable mention: Kyocera hard-tissue conduction audio technology
Using a ceramic transducer to transmit sound vibrations from the phone to your inner ear, Kyocera's novel audio technology boosts sound quality and lowers ambient background noise. Even putting on a pair of noise-canceling headphones won't block out the noise. When pressed up against the headphones, sound can still travel from the handset through the headphones and reach your ear tissue. The new technology also means the phone doesn't need an output speaker, allowing cleaner lines for phone design.

For more, check out CNET's full coverage of CTIA.