CNET's top pick of 2012: Samsung Galaxy S III

What's the best smartphone of 2012? According to CNET, it's not the iPhone 5.

Although the two phones scored neck-in-neck in terms of review scores, CNET picked the Samsung Galaxy S III over Apple's iPhone 5 because it is the "first real iPhone competitor."

The Samsung Galaxy S III runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and features a 4.8-inch screen, 4G LTE support, front- and rear-facing cameras, the S Beam file transfer feature and Tec Tiles.

"Samsung's flagship smartphone successor burst forth this past summer with a surfeit of software features to wow and confound mass-market buyers of premium handsets," CNET editors said.

Apple and Samsung have been fierce competitors, but the battle between the two companies reached new heights in 2012.

Apple sued Samsung for allegedly knocking off its popular iPhone and iPad. The computer giant sought $2.5 billion in damages. Samsung denied the charges and countersued Apple for $422 million. A nine-person federal jury in San Jose, Calif. ruled in favor of Apple on August 24 and awarded the company with $1.05 billion in damages.

The two companies met in court again Dec. 6. Samsung sought to overturn the verdict, while Apple wanted to add an additional $500 million in fines and ban older Samsung products from sale in the United States. CNET named court battle between the tech giants as the top tech story of the year.

Read the full list of CNET's Top 100 at

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