Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2011: Manufacturer of the Year

Smartphones, tablets, gadgetry in between... this year was explosive in mobile tech as manufacturers charged out all manner of super smart devices. We were looking for a company that moved mobile technology forward, stirred up consumer excitement and created handsets that stormed the charts at every price point.


Samsung - Best Manufacturer


WINNER: Samsung
Our winner may have created the superphone that scooped up half our awards this year, but Samsung is far more than the Galaxy S II. The Korean company has been a busy manufacturer this year, launching X additions to the Android-powered Galaxy range. On the tablet front, its Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the closest contender to the mindblowingly popular Apple iPad 2 yet. Full Tablet of the Year rundown here.


Nor is it OS-monogamous - Samsung produces handsets on Windows Phone 7 and its own-brand OS, Bada, with the Omnia 7 deemed the best Windows phone from its launch last October.


We've questioned the build quality of Samsung phones in the past, but as it launches increasingly sophisticated tech like its Super AMOLED Plus screens, and phones like the mid-range Galaxy Ace that come with lashes of iPhone-like elegance, we're more than sold.


Samsung was our runner-up last year, and this year, it proves it knows its superphones well enough to take the crown.




Runner-up: HTC 
HTC has hit a plateau - and what an elevated one. The Taiwanese manufacturer has reliably turned out Android phone after Android phone, cementing its rep as the go-to guy for robot-powered smartphone goodness. It's kept momentum by updating its two most popular phones - the Desire and Wildfire - with a right-here-right-now spec list, then went in big with this year's flagship phone and Phone of the Year contender, the Sensation.

It recently unveiled the first next-gen Windows phones, as well as a fully 3D phone, while its excellent HTC Sense interface has had a refresh to include even more of the quirky attention to detail that make HTC phones so charming to use.

Still, in a year of superphone firsts, HTC didn't quite dazzle - though with its spate of recent unveilings, we're excited  about the year ahead.


Sony Ericsson
Talk about sneaking up on you. The under-publicised Xperia Arc is one of our favourite Android phones, with a stunning screen and impressive eight-megapixel camera that easily won it a place in the Best Camera Phone shortlist. But if you weren't up for shelling out for a top-end smartphone, a similarly impressive lens was to be found in the midrange but equally well-built Xperia Neo and its even slinkier sister, the Xperia Ray. All these phones launched on the latest version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread, which is a huge step forward since last year, when Sony E was still releasing phones running on OSes a couple of iterations behind everyone else.  Sony Ericsson's star peeped above the horizon last year and now it's starting to shine.


Way back when, Motorola was one of the first manufacturers to hop aboard the Android train, and it's still a hardcore honcho in the great Google operation, coming to market with the first Honeycomb tablet, the Xoom, which though not perfect, was a powerful and customisable alternative to the original iPad.

Then it launched the Atrix, a superphone with major media features and enough hardware cojones to power an 11.3-inch display and keyboard... almost. But hey, 10,000 of you voted and got the Milestone 2 onto the shortlists for Best Android Phone and Best Handset for Social Networking.

Is Moto back? Not quite - but it's hit enough innovation firsts this year to be one to watch. 

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