Smartphones – 2012 Ratings

Posted by Canstar Blue December 6th 2012

You are viewing the archived 2012 ratings for smartphones. Go to the current ratings


See Our Ratings Methodology.

Apple wins the hearts of smartphone customers, and our latest award

Most Satisfied Customers 2012: SmartphonesApple has triumphed in our recent survey of smartphone customers, receiving our 2012 customer satisfaction award for this category.

The consumer technology heavyweight was rated against HTC, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, LG and BlackBerry.

In these results, Apple swept the board with five star ratings across all rated criteria – including value for money, smartphone processor speed and user friendliness. Several other brands also performed well in the results:

  • Samsung – who just released its latest offering, the Galaxy S3 – received five stars for value for money, technical support and user friendliness.
  • Both LG and HTC received a five star rating for their smartphone battery life.

Apple released the iPhone 5 into the market earlier this year, which went on to exceed five million units sold in its first weekend on sale.

In other results, we found that most of our respondents were adept at handling their mobile phone bills. Specifically, only one in ten felt they were locked into a mobile phone plan they could not afford.

Furthermore, only eight percent had needed to enter into a payment plan with their mobile phone carrier to pay off a particularly large phone bill.

We discovered three in five respondents did not think it appropriate for children under 16 years of age to own a smartphone. This was the general consensus across all surveyed demographics.Generation Y struggled with a different issue altogether: table manners. We found that 57% of Gen Y’s use their smartphone during meals with friends and loved ones, while a mere 11% of Baby Boomers admitted to doing the same.

Canstar Blue commissions Colmar Brunton to regularly survey 2,500 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have purchased a smartphone in the last 2 years (a mobile phone that can access the Internet) – in this case, 1,423 people.

Brands must receive at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands that received three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of ten.

Overall customer satisfaction

Apple proved the smartest of all the rated mobile phone brands, receiving five stars for overall customer satisfaction in this category. Samsung was next with a four star rating; and HTC, Nokia, Sony, LG and BlackBerry each received three.

Value for money

Apple and Samsung both tallied five stars for value for money in this survey. HTC and Nokia each earned four stars for their value; with Sony, LG and BlackBerry receiving three.

Speed of processor/browser

Five years ago, the only features anyone could access on their mobile phones were calling and text functionality. Smartphones are now powerful enough to be used for everything from video chatting to 3D gaming. Apple and its fleet of iPhones led the pack for satisfaction with smartphone speed in our survey, earning five stars for this criterion. Next were Samsung and HTC with four stars for processor speed, followed by our three star recipients Nokia, Sony, LG and BlackBerry.

Technical support and after sale service

Smartphones are like tiny computers … and not everyone knows how to fix them when something goes wrong. Lucky for customers, there is often a ‘genius’ or two just a phone call away to help; and both Apple and Samsung received top marks in this respect – smartphone technical support. Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Sony and LG were awarded four star ratings, and BlackBerry finished with three.

User friendliness

The user-friendliness of modern day mobile phones is undeniably a big selling factor. In this regard, both Apple and Samsung were out in front – achieving five star ratings for how user friendly their smartphones were to operate. Sony also rated highly for usability, achieving four stars; while HTC, Nokia, LG and BlackBerry were close behind with three.

Camera quality

Nearly half of our respondents declared their smartphone had replaced their camera, which means decent camera functionality is important. Apple received five stars for the quality of the images and videos produced by the smartphone camera. Samsung and Sony were next with four star ratings; Nokia, HTC, LG and BlackBerry achieved three.

Battery life

Customers of LG, HTC and Apple were most satisfied with their smartphone’s battery life – each of these brands being awarded five stars in this area. Samsung received four stars and Nokia, Sony and BlackBerry received three.

Compatibility with other products/services

There’s something satisfying – not to mention convenient – about being able to synchronise calendars, emails and social media accounts across several devices; and many smartphone brands shine when it comes to this. Apple received five stars for its compatibility with other products/services, Samsung was next with four; and then HTC, Nokia, LG, Sony and BlackBerry finished with three.