The new year is upon us. And with the new year we get to look forward to a new breed of superphones such as the inevitable Galaxy S5, LG G3 and the Sony Zx. But before that, let’s take a look at what surprised us in 2013. We’ll look at phones that made a difference. We’ll pick, the best smartphones of 2013.
Best Budget Smartphone – Motorola Moto G
A budget smartphone is an important device in that it allows the buyer the freedom of not having to commit to devilish carrier contract terms. As such, the phone that really blew us away was the little Moto G. At less than $190, the smartphone gives users a quad-core processor, a Retina display and a very decent rear camera as well. The fact that Motorola now have Google backing them is only the icing on the cake, meaning it’ll be getting updated with the latest in the Android operating system for quite some time.
Honorary Mention: We have to give credit to Nokia for pushing its capable Lumia 520 smartphone at cheap as chips prices. Not only did they provide a very competent smartphone for a small price, but it introduced a new portion of the public to what the Windows Phone experience has to offer. That led to huge success and nearly 30% Windows Phone market share for the Lumia 520 and 521 alone.
Best Phablet – Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Phablets are mutant smartphones, with a display that is on steroids. And a phablet’s all about being brash and bold, and this is where the Sony Xperia Z Ultra excels. It doesn’t have the sophistication or the productivity of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, but what it lacks it more than makes up for it in the style and drama department. With a monstrous 6.4 inch display, this phablet was made to grab attention. And that it does, being an absolutely gorgeous device when seen in person. The fact that it’s ultra fast and absolutely top of the line in terms of specs(except the camera) just seals the deal.
Best Rugged Smartphone – Sony Xperia Z
In our opinion all smartphones should be rugged and durable devices, due to the sensitive nature of the data they harbor. But durability is often overlooked in modern smartphones. Sony however did take durability into account and gave us the Xperia Z. Sure it could stand the elements, but what impressed us the most was that even with the ruggedness factor, it turned to be slim and beautiful device. It might have been behind specs compared to other superphones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, but its rugged nature makes it a much more practical proposition.
Best Flagship – Apple iPhone 5S & HTC One
Apple iPhone 5S: The Apple iPhone 5S might have underwhelmed a lot of people expecting the next big leap in smartphones, it still stood out in its own right. Rather than changing the smartphone, Apple have evolved the already impressive iPhone 5 into a beast that despite having half the number of cores, could still beat the Samsung Galaxy S4 in benchmarks. Not only is it blazing fast, but the TouchID was definitely an innovation that tried to change the way how security worked on smartphones. That part might have been a hit and miss, but the iPhone 5S remains a highly desirable smartphone.
HTC One: You don’t need an expensive beast of a smartphone to get the most out of what mobile computing has to offer. And this is exactly what the HTC One did for us in 2013. It wasn’t the fastest superphone launched, but it had just the right blend of ingredients that made it such a great device. To start off, this is the only Android smartphone that can go against the mighty iPhone 5/5S in terms of looks and still come out ahead. Not only that, but it had a superb camera and was sufficiently fast, relevantly so for at least a couple of other years. HTC didn’t take the brute force route here, they went for sophistication and style, and that’s what made the HTC One a winner.
Best Chinese Smartphone – Oppo N1
The best smartphone to come out of China in 2013 was the Oppo N1 without a doubt. It wasn’t just fast and beautiful, but it featured an exceptionally intriguing swivelling 13 megapixel camera that lets the user the flexibility of taking high quality selfies. And we know how important selfies are. This is exactly what the big smartphone makers should be afraid of, being out-innovated by a Chinese smartphone manufacturer.
Best Potential in 2013 – Firefox OS Smartphones
Firefox OS is a fresh take on the modern mobile operating system. The reason why it stands out is the fact that it’s built on a universal standard: HTML5. The OS is clearly promoting a more open mobile ecosystem in which mobile apps are interoperable between different mobile operating systems. Obviously, this will give users the flexibility of choosing the best hardware rather than especially into a mobile ecosystem.
Let us know what your favourite smartphones of 2013 were in the comments below!