In a season of awards, Windows Phones nab some of their own

The Oscars air this Sunday, capping a long month of red carpets and award-season craziness. But Adele and the cast of Argo aren’t the only ones celebrating wins. Windows Phones have also nabbed some accolades that we’re quite jazzed about. If your attention has been elsewhere in recent days, here’s a quick recap.

Tech news site Engadget on Wednesday announced the winners of its annual readers’ choice awards, and Nokia’s Lumia 920 with Windows Phone 8 took the 2012 Smartphone of the Year prize against some pretty tough competition. People’s choice wins are always sweet, especially when you consider the tech-savvy crowd that Engadget tends to draw. Even sweeter: Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone swept its category with more than 43 percent of the 280,000 votes. Of course, the 920 is no stranger to awards—by Nokia’s count, it’s earned at least a dozen in recent months.

One frequently-cited reason for the Lumia 920’s popularity (other than its beautiful operating system) is the phone’s envelope-pushing camera. Which brings us to the next award. This week the tech gurus at Gizmodo concluded the mother of all mobile photography shoot-outs. Vying for the crown of “best smartphone camera” were the Lumia 920, Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, Google Nexus 4, and new Blackberry Z10. When the smoke cleared, the Windows Phone was deemed tops. You can check out the blow-by-blow and sample shots here. But in its wrap up, Gizmodo said this of the Lumia 920: “Using only the automatic setting, it gets an accurate exposure and decent image in all shooting conditions. You can’t beat it.”

Finally, while we can’t count it in the win column just yet, our Redmond, Wash-based design team was gratified to learn that Windows Phone 8 itself was recently nominated by the U.K. Design Museum for its 2013 Design of the Year awards. In a Wall Street Journal story on the nomination, museum curator Pete Collard praised Windows Phone’s “nice, clean, pure color” interface and said it wasn’t “over-designed” like other mobile operating systems (click the link to see who he dinged). The winners will be announced in April. Fingers crossed.

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