The Best Smartphones of 2011
This year, AT&T finally launched its 4G LTE network, while Verizon’s speedy 4G footprint continued to spread across the country. Smartphone processors made the jump from single- to dual-core, while screens ballooned to as large as 4.7 inches (with HD resolution). Last but not least, fresh OS updates let you share content with the cloud more easily (iOS), while Google added much needed to polish to Android with its Ice Cream Sandwich.
In a year filled with groundbreaking handsets, these 7 stood out as the best of the best.
Apple iPhone 4S ($199 16GB)
While it looks just like the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S packs a powerful 8-megapixel camera that can shoot 1080p video, a more powerful dual-core A5 processor, and iCloud for keeping all of your content in sync. But the star of the show is Siri, the voice-activated assistant that lets you do everything from scheduling appointments and setting your alarm to looking up nearby restaurants. Add in the multiple useful features of iOS 5 (especially Notification Center), Apple’s ultra-bright Retina display, FaceTime calls, and hundreds of thousands of apps, and this smartphone is tough to beat.