We Pick The Best Phones & Accessories of 2012

Written by The SmartHouse Team     13/12/2011 | 01:00 | Category: COMMUNICATION

The world is continually changing thanks to the advancements in mobile telecommunications. The application market has been the biggest revolution in the way we use these tools, but there are other technologies knocking at the door ready to make their mark. Mobile GPS keeps us on the road without getting lost while VoIP phones change the way we use phones in the home.

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Best Budget Smartphone
Motorola Defy
$538 | www.motorola.com.au

Motorola defies the idea of the smartphone being an ultra-sensitive piece of delicate technology with its weatherproof Defy that lives up to its durability promise. Fronted by tough Gorilla Glass and encased in a tightly sealed plastic the design is confronting at first, but overall it's quite subtle for a 'heavy duty' phone. Not to be left behind by the smart crowd of phones, this Android beauty pulls sports a display that responds to touch controls all the way to the bezel, making finger swipes all the more intuitive and simple. Motorola has taken Android into their own hands and moulded it to the Defy rather than throwing out a carbon copy of the operating system onto any old device like some rivals do. The Defy-specific widgets embolden the interface, strengthen the user experience and make the phone a whole lot more personal. Clever add-ons like MotoBlur and the media tab that throws in saved music and streamed videos from YouTube into the one widget are what really make this phone shine beyond the 'weatherproof' headline.

Highly Recommended
Samsung Nexus S
$299 | www.samsung.com/au


Best Smartphone was also taken out by Motorola, with the Razr nabbing the top spot. Find out why and who came in at close second here.

Read on for more award-winning phones and accessories that came best-in-class.

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Best Home Phone
Uniden XDECT R055 + 2
$399.95 | www.uniden.com.au

Uniden's XDECT R series is a winner for doing everything a good cordless phone should and then some. Using a diversity antenna it sports a talking range up to 8 times greater than rival phones, offering consistent coverage with minimal dropouts thanks to a Repeater Station built into each charging base. It also accommodates hands free communication thanks to a loudspeaker located on the back of the phone, making it a little convenient for users who have been put on hold. Leading the way in home phone telephony, it is the first to offer a Call Block feature which automatically plays the message "no one is available to take your call" to any number on its blacklist catalogue.

Highly Recommended
Gigaset DX 800A
$499 | www.gigaset.com


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Best Mobile Accessory
Jabra Drive
$59.95 | www.jabra.com/au

It's common for people to associate ease of use with insufficient sophistication, but truth be told it takes a lot of work to produce quality without appearing complicated. To be so refined, Jabra's Drive has to employ very clever technology. Consider its automatic pairing system: the Drive will automatically pair with two nominated Bluetooth devices, answer calls and let users speak with hands free connectivity. Simple. But to produce such an elegant result, the company puts to work a quality microphone and digital signal processing technology that drowns out traffic and chatter interference, while enhancing the call quality through echo reduction and relevant noise cancellation. All that technology works hard to produce a clear hands free conversation. Its façade is characterised by large, visible control buttons and advocates simplicity. It will also read out GPS audio and its remaining battery status. It's quite a big battery too, offering 20 hours of talk time and 30 days of standby time, making it an ideal solution for long drives and road trips.

Highly Recommended
BlueAnt Q2
$129.99 | www.blueant.com.au