The iPhone 5 has, much like all of its predecessors, released to a frenzy of eager consumers. In the vast playing field that is the mobile market, the iPhone is arguably the most sought-after, and according to the annual TIME Magazine list of this year’s greatest gadget releases, also the best. The iPhone 5 is not only first Apple smartphone to offer 4G LTE, but also the only release hitherto to go larger than 3.5-inches with the display, and having scrutinized the device alongside a bunch of other heavily-lauded gizmos, TIME has concluded it as being the Best Gadget of 2012.
Many will refute the results, but Time’s Harry McCracken was full of praise for the iPhone 5. He described it as "one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone’s ever built", and although his talk of the "well-done panorama mode" would seem a negligible feature to be concentrating on, he attributed the device’s overall superiority to the fact Apple designs its hardware, software and services almost as one, concluding that Apple "still has no peer" in this particular field.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Wii U is adjudged to be second, with the Sony CyberShot RX100 completing the podium positions. The tiny computer-on-a-USB-stick Raspberry Pi Model B came fourth, while the the Lytro – the very first consumer camera based on light-field technology, completed the top half of the rankings.
The MacBook Pro with Retina display (15-inch) ranked in sixth, and the RT edition of the Microsoft Surface came in seventh place. The Samsung Galaxy Note II, which offers something of a median between between smartphone and tablet, took eighth place in the top ten – a list which doesn’t include the Galaxy S III. The biggest-selling Android smartphone didn’t make the cut, and although McCracken described it as "nifty", felt innovative products like Nest (9th) and Simple.TV (10th) should complete the list.
Is the iPhone 5 the best gadget of the year? Even as a big fan of Apple products, I would argue the Surface RT – despite its software shortcomings and mediocre processor – should have been ranked higher than, for example, the MacBook Pro with Retina display.
It’s important to remember, however, that these are merely based on opinion, and while we may not agree with the order, all of the products mentioned have brought something good to the tech industry these past twelve months.