This past year was an unpredictable one for smartphones. Google captured a majority of the mobile marketshare with its Android platform. Apple proved it didn't need the iPhone 5 to generate record-breaking sales. Microsoft revamped its Windows Phone 7 platform for the better. BlackBerry somehow stayed in business even after suffering a near 70 percent profit drop. Handset manufacturers like HTC, Motorola, and Samsung blessed us with new phones on what seemed like a bi-weekly basis. And we witnessed the evolution of mobile computing in the form of dual-core processing, LTE/4G service, Near-Field Communication technology, mobile cloud services, and voice-recognition software.

That said, it's no easy chore narrowing down a selection of the year's hottest smartphones, especially when 50 percent of the best stuff was rushed into stores within the last four months. Nevertheless, we managed to tackle nearly every major mobile release and ranked the industry's most elite and distinguished handsets of this year. So without further ado, check out the 25 Best Smartphones Of 2011.