When the curtain closes on a gadget-filled year, 2011 will be remembered as the year that smartphones stepped up and delivered more power, better graphics and more features than inside Mary Poppins’ handbag.
With that in mind, in no particular order, we felt it was time to look back on some of the best dual-core smartphones of 2011. Here are our picks.
Apple iPhone 4S
OK, so it’s not quite the iPhone 5 that many Apple fans were hoping for, but it’s still quicker, and more feature filled than its predecessor. It comes with Apple’s dual-core A5 chip that Apple claims delivers twice the power and up to seven times faster graphics than the iPhone 4. Launching apps, games and browsing the web is noticeably quicker without having a drain on battery life. The addition of voice assistant Siri, a better eight-megapixel camera with 1080p high definition video recording and Apple’s iCloud cloud storage service makes the iPhone 4S a phone to beat.
Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is a high-class performer packing a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. That means everything boots up and runs quicker than they would on non-dual-core smartphones, even when running multiple apps. Meanwhile the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system makes the Nexus a pleasure to use. A new feature will even let you unlock the Galaxy Nexus by recognising your face. Like the iPhone 4S, it too records 1080p HD video.
Shown-off at the start of the year, the Motorola Atrix may be forgotten by some, but this is one powerful smartphone that claimed to put the power of a PC in users pockets. It could be used with optional docks that enhanced its talents. It features a full Mozilla Firefox browser, Flash, and is adept at creating and editing documents on the go. Other features such as fingerprint recognition, faster web browsing and widgets made it one of the year’s best.
Samsung Galaxy SII
As feature sets go, the Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the smartphones of the year. On top of its dual-core processor, it features 16GB of memory built in, with capacity to upgrade to twice that. An eight-megapixel camera takes some great photos. If you’re not shy, a front-facing camera takes care of video calls. It also records full 1080p high definition, which look fantastic on the Galaxy S II’s 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display.
HTC Sensation XE
The HTC Sensation XE is a bit of an upgrade to the earlier released original Sensation, launched earlier in the year. It packs a punch, and features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and comes bundled with Beats Audio headphones that deliver some serious bass. Those looking for a top-notch phone perfect for browsing the web, watching videos and listening to music won’t find many better.