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MWC 2013: winner of Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 5 best smartphone showdown announced

The best smartphone of 2012 is the Samsung Galaxy S3; the best entry-level phone, the Nokia Asha 305; and the best tablet was the Google Nexus 7. So say the 2013 Global Mobile Awards, the official awards announced at the annual Mobile World Congress tradeshow.

I voted on the panel for these awards, which were selected by a group of about a dozen global journalists and analysts corralled by the GSM Association, the trade association for most of the world's wirelress carriers. We also gave Samsung the "device manufacturer of the year" award.

The award selection process was a multi-tiered affair where we submitted lists through email and then narrowed it all down in a marathon, six-hour, three-continent conference call. The award will be supplemented on Thursday by a "best device at MWC" award - yes, I've already handed in my nominations, and no, I can't tell you what they are.

In handing out the awards, we debated how innovative the devices were, the impact they made on the market and their commercial success. To win, a device had to be globally important, and I spent quite a bit of time balancing my Western perspective with what was successful in Asia and Africa.

The Galaxy S3 won out over the Apple iPhone 5, HTC Droid DNA, Nokia Lumia 920, and Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The Asha 305 bested three other Nokia phones and the Samsung C3312 - Nokia really dominated the feature-phone category this year in terms of quality devices. The tablet debate was especially vibrant, taking in Amazon's Kindle Fire HD, two iPads, the Asus Transformer Infinity and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, which are very different devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera also won an award for the best connected CE device. I didn't vote on that panel, but I've been carrying one around, and I would vote for it. It's really neat.

The awards didn't just recognise phones and devices. There were awards for everything from LTE technology to enterprise mobile services. To see the full list of awards, head to the Global Mobile Awards site.