Top 10 Smartphones of 2010 – Apple iPhone 4, HTC EVO 4G, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus One, Nokia N8 and More

Written By Sam on 9 January 2011

In the matter of phones, the year 2010 proved to be the year of Smartphones. It also witnessed the rise of Android directly competing aggressively with other OS’s. Here’s what we feel are the best devices (in that order) of the year that just passed by:

Apple iPhone 4

Apple had serious contenders from Android-based models last year; but still managed to stay conspicuously ahead with its iOS4-based iPhone 4. what has helped this phone to soar popularity charts is its hardware, which is top quality and the software, as is to be expected, outshines earlier models and also its rivals in a number of areas. Despite initial antenna issues, which Apple managed to cleverly brush aside from the consumer’s memory, the phone shone high and bright in the smartphone firmament.


Claimed to be a premier Android-based device of 2010, the HTC EVO 4G grabbed attention by breaking the 4-inch screen barrier. It was also the first smartphone with an 8 MP camera and a kickstand to view videos. Downsides are its larger than usual size and high power consumption. It is no refined prince charming but it flaunted features that made the others run harder simply to catch up.

Samsung Galaxy

Samsung was in the lead in taking to Android with the release of the Galaxy S smartphone in various form factors on all 4 US wireless operators and also in the international markets. Of the Galaxy series, the Samsung Vibrant and the Samsung Epic 4G stood out, particularly in the US, for their performance and all round features. In fact, very few come near the Galaxy in terms of features.

Google Nexus One

Google’s Nexus exceeded expectations with its Nexus One, which was launched just after the CES 2010 event. Solidly built (from HTC stable) with standard Android OS, updates directly fed by Google, the phone has a fan following. The Nexus was sold as a fully-unlocked model through Google’s online store but their service was not yet up to the mark, especially in the US. The Nexus One quietly receded into the background when Google replaced it with the Nexus S from Samsung, tied in with T-Mobile. Still a decent combination overall.

Nokia N8

Nokia is the big gun of Smartphones with its N8, perhaps the only one to have an 12 MP camera. It brought in the Symbian 3 touch revolution, had facility to shoot 720p video and came with HDMI interface and a 3.5 inch AMOLED display. It is one of the most rugged of phones with mostly aluminum construction with color options and curvy sides blending with straight lines. The camera, with 12 MP sensor and Carl Zeiss Lens, xenon flash, is something to drool over. It also has a true loudspeaker for an enjoyable music experience. Nokia makes phones that last and the N8 is no exception with up to date technical features tied into robust hardware.

Dell Streak

Competitively priced and well featured, the Dell Streak may not be streaking at the speed of lightning but is certainly one of the hot favorites of 2010. It is an Android 1.6-based phone from O2. It has a 5-inch 480×800 display, which can even be used in bright sunlight and an overall thick slab like construction. It is one large pocketable smartphone with lots of appealing features. The Streak from O2 has earned Dell a dedicated following and with upgrades in the offing, it should be well received in 2011 too.

Samsung Focus

Microsoft stopped tottering in the mobile market and was able to find its feet with Windows Phone 7 and contributing to their success in a great measure is the Samsung Focus with some impressive specs and a futuristic form factor. Its user interface brings to mind that of the Galaxy S but this one’s more refined and polished than the Android or Blackberry-based phones. Some feel it comes close to the iPhone… but not quite. Anyway, it is way ahead of others in the league.

HTC Incredible

Since HTC was the source of the Nexus One, the Incredible shared family traits. The tie-up between Nexus One and Verizon did not take off as anticipated; instead Verizon tied up with HTC for their Incredible model on a two-year contract. Incredible scored over the Nexus One in having a Sense UI, which found favor with a lot of people.

Motorola Droid 2

Of course, it has some smart features; but last year we had some amazing Smartphones hitting the stands. While not on the top of the list, the Motorola Droid 2 finds mention in this list because the company upped the specs, gave it a solid build and a unusable form factor – making it a favorite of a section of people who like Motorola phones. In the same range are the Droid Pro and Droid 2 Global.

Blackberry Torch

While enjoying a niche market at one time, last year was a trying time for Blackberry, what with Android and iPhone eating into its market share. RIM came back with its this phone toting the new Blackberry 6 OS and a redesigned form factor with a slide down keyboard. It did not quite meet expectations and is underpowered with no noticeable improvements in the OS. But Blackberry still remains a favorite of a segment that vouches by these phones and, of course, there are enterprises all tied into Blackberry, which will ensure these phones remain favorites. For them, the Torch is a more than good item.

In conclusion, 2010 gave a new momentum to the smartphone market, which is expected to heat up further with new launches in 2011. The wish list for newer models include front cameras with a higher megapixels to complement; larger, higher resolution screens with improved touch capabilities; and usable, intelligent features. And then, of course, users always want more RAM, more storage and ever faster processors and scores of apps. Are the smartphone biggies listening?

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