2011 has been a very exciting year for smartphones thanks to the number of devices that flooded the market, and the trend is expected to continue in 2012.
According to comScore, Samsung was the top manufacturer with 25.6 percent of the U.S. market, followed by LG and Motorola. Apple Inc. came fourth followed by Research In Motion (RIM).
The phones manufactured by Samsung stole majority of the share in the market.
Following are our top 5 Samsung smartphones that enthralled the tech geeks in 2011 - Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, Infuse 4G, and Focus S.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
The much-anticipated Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, is finally available in Verizon Wireless. Google Inc. and Samsung unveiled the first smartphone running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at an event in Hong Kong Oct. 18.
The Galaxy Nexus, which comes with 5.33 x 2.67 x 0.37 inches dimension and weighs 5.1 ounces, is also known as Samsung Google Nexus Prime, Samsung Google Galaxy Nexus I9250, Samsung Google Nexus 3, Samsung Google Nexus 4G and Samsung Nexus Prime 4G LTE.
Galaxy Nexus marks the commencement of the Android 4.0 era. The Ice Cream Sandwich operating system is a combination of two previous incarnations - the smartphone Gingerbread OS and the tablet Honeycomb OS.
The features of Android 4.0 includes widgets in a new tab, a customizable launcher, Gmail with offline search and a two-line preview, a new action bar at the bottom, better voice integration, improved copy-and-paste functions and a new tabbed Web browser that allows up to 16 tabs.
It comes with a 4.65-inch high-definition Super AMOLED Contour display with about 316 ppi pixel density, dual-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 CPU, TI OMAP 4460 chipset, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal memory, NFC, and 4G LTE support.
The smartphone comes with a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p video capture and 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls. On the flip side, the phone will not support Google Wallet.
Galaxy Nexus has an oleophobic surface, a multi-touch input method, an accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, touch-sensitive controls, a proximity sensor for auto turn-off, and a three-axis gyro sensor.
The phone comes with a standard Li-ion 1750 mAh battery that gives more than 8 hours of talk time and 270 hours of standby on 3G networks. Galaxy Nexus is priced $299.99 with a two-year Verizon Wireless contract.
Samsung Galaxy S2
Samsung Galaxy S2 received overwhelming responses from around the world. Galaxy S2 runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and sports Samsung's TouchWiz UI. It has been officially known that Galaxy S2 would be upgradable to Google Inc.'s smartphone operating system.
The Galaxy S2 comes in three variants, on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, whose version is called Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch. All versions of the Galaxy S2 gets the 4G treatment. The T-Mobile Galaxy S2 version has HSDPA 42 Mbps support while the AT&T version has HSDPA 21 Mbps support. And Epic 4G Touch has Rev. A up to 3.1 Mbps.
Both the T-Mobile and Sprint versions of Galaxy S2 have 4.52-inch display screens whereas AT&T version retains 4.3-inch screen of original Galaxy S2 version sold worldwide.
As the AT&T version retained the original display, it has 4.96 x 2.60 x 0.35 inches dimension and weighs 4.13 ounces. Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch on Sprint comes with a 5.1 x 2.7 x 0.38 inches dimension and weighs 4.6 ounces while the T-Mobile version has 5.11 x 2.71 x 0.37 inches dimension and weighs 4.77 ounces.
The Sprint and AT&T variant of the Galaxy S2 is powered by a dual-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU Mali-400MP GPU Exynos C210 chipset while the T-Mobile variant is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Scorpion CPU Adreno 220 GPU Qualcomm APQ8060 Snapdragon chipset.
All the variants of Galaxy S2 sport a rear-facing 8 megapixel LED flash camera with 1080p HD video capture capability and an additional 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat.
The AT&T and T-Mobile variant boasts of 16/32 GB internal storage while the Sprint variant has 16 GB internal memory. The internal storage could be expandable via a microSD card of up to 32 GB.
Samsung Epic Touch 4G has Li-Ion 1800 mAh battery support, which will offer more than 10 hours of talk time, while AT&T versions retain Li-Ion 1650 mAh battery found in original Galaxy S2. The T-Mobile variant of Galaxy S2 has Li-Ion 1850 mAh battery support.
The Sprint and AT&T variant of Galaxy S2 is priced at $199.99 each while the T-Mobile variant is priced at $299.99.
Samsung Galaxy Note
In September, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Note with a huge 5.3-inch display, which is claimed to be the world's largest smartphone screen. Samsung said Thursday that it has shipped more than 1 million units of the tablet/smartphone breed globally.
The phone measures 146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm, and weighs 178 grams. Galaxy Note is adorned with a 1.4GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, Mali-400MP GPU, Exynos chipset with 1 GB RAM, and 5.3-inch Super AMOLED high-definition display that has 1280-by-800-pixel resolution with 285 ppi pixel density.
In addition, the phone runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with the Samsung S Pen interface, which is said to bring a selection of applications designed specifically for the included stylus.
Samsung recently confirmed the smartphone/tablet hybrid would be upgradeable to Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich early next year.
Galaxy Note comes with 8 megapixel auto-focus LED flash rear-facing camera with 1080p video capture and a 2 megapixel front-facing secondary camera for video chat.
The smartphone, available with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage and expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card, has a Gorilla Glass display and Samsung TouchWiz UI 4.0 version.
Samsung Infuse 4G
Samsung showcased its AT&T Infuse 4G phone at CES 2011 in January. The Android 2.2 or Froyo-based phone was then touted as the thinnest phone measuring 0.35-inch thick. However, the thinnest crown is now held by Samsung Galaxy S2 which is 0.33-inch thick.
Infuse 4G, which could be upgradable to Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, comes with 5.2 x 2.8 x 0.35 inches dimension and weighs 4.0 ounces. The phone sports a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive screen with 800 x 480 screen resolution and has about 207 ppi pixel density.
The phone is powered by 1.2 GHz Cortex-A8 processor, Samsung C110 type CPU and offers 512MB RAM and 16GB internal memory with additional 2GB microSD card included in the package that could be expanded up to 32GB.
Infuse 4G has an 8 megapixel LED flash camera with 720p video capture capability and an additional 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling.
The phone comes with a standard Li-ion 1750 mAh battery that has a talk time of up to 8 hours and a standby of up to 400 hours. Infuse 4G is priced at $49.99 with a two-year AT&T contract.
Samsung Focus S
Samsung launched its Focus S smartphone, which runs on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS, Nov. 6. The phone, which is 0.33-inch thick, now shares the thinnest crown title with Samsung Galaxy S2.
The Mango enhancement in the smartphone has built-in Twitter and LinkedIn, a linked inbox to see all email messages in one place and Local Scout, powered by Bing.
Focus S comes with 4.96 x 2.63 x 0.33 inches dimension and weighs 3.90 ounces. The phone sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus capacitive screen with 800 x 480 screen resolution and has about 217 ppi pixel density.
The smartphone is powered by 1.4 GHz Scorpion and offers 512MB RAM and 16/32 GB internal memory. The phone has accelerometer, proximity, and compass sensors.
Focus S has an 8 megapixel LED flash camera with 720p video capture capability and an additional 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calling.
The phone comes with a standard Li-ion 1650 mAh battery that has a talk time of up to 6 hours 30 minutes and a standby of up to 250 hours. Focus S is priced at $199.99 with a two-year AT&T contract.