The best smartphones & phablets of 2013 (and what to look for in 2014)
2013 has been a great year for advancements in smartphone technology. With an entire host of ground-breaking new devices available across all of the major operating platforms, consumers have never been faced with such a variety of choice.
Whether you require serious processing power for gaming, 4G connectivity for on-the-go video streaming or a high-definition camera for capturing those perfect moments, chances are one of the big manufacturers (and some of the smaller ones, too) have released a mobile capable of satisfying your every need – which is why Insurance2go have compiled a list of the best of the best below:
5) Sony Xperia Z1
A more powerful update to Sony’s Xperia Z, the Z1 comes with an impressive 5-inch HD display. Although it’s perhaps not quite up to the same standard as the Samsung Galaxy S4, it’s still a joy to stream video on, and comes with a marginally cheaper price tag.
It’s a lightweight device which doesn’t feel too inhibited, despite packing a powerful processor and plenty of battery life. The software tweaks provide a sleeker experience when compared to that of its predecessor, and it’s hard to argue against the Z1, in the entry-level stakes at least.
4) Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Hailed as a cross between a smartphone and a tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 received both praise and criticism this year for attempting to bridge the divide between the two. Its detractors complained that the device was a little on the cumbersome side, although in reality the 5.5” screen makes for an excellent user experience, whilst still being portable enough to fit into your pocket. The stylus is a handy enough feature for those who prefer to take notes down by hand. The very notion of a tablet/phone hybrid aka "phablet" had the potential to fail, although we think Samsung have more than done the concept justice.
3) Apple iPhone 5S
Despite the fact that the 5S is hardly a giant leap from previous models (from an aesthetic perspective at least); some serious technological modifications under the hood and a brand new operating system has ensured that Apple remains well and truly at the forefront of the smartphone game.
The 5S offers something familiar, but with enough new features and tailored apps to make the upgrade worthwhile. Fingerprint technology provides added security, and the battery life is fantastic (when compared to previous incarnations, at least).
2) LG G2
It’s safe to say that LG hasn’t always had its finger on the pulse when it comes to smartphones, although the G2 has served to pull them back into the running. Despite its compact body, the device boasts a 5.2” LCD screen and impressive processing power.
It’s hard to believe, but LG are finally rivaling the big guns. The G2 has everything a smartphone owner could possibly need, without being overly complex. Perhaps it’s only downfall is the camera – those who live for taking photos will undoubtedly feel let down by its poor picture quality.
1) HTC One
The HTC One is essentially a perfect marriage of design and practicality. The Android device may feature a smaller screen than other smartphones released in 2013, but rest assured that things look razor sharp in full HD. It’s powerful enough to handle most tasks, and an absolute joy to use. Most of the clutter of previous HTC devices has been streamlined to provide an immensely pleasurable smartphone experience.
Of course, nothing stands in the way of progress (certainly not where smartphones are concerned), which is why we’ve decided to preview two devices hotly tipped for 2014.
LG Vu 3
Rumours have thrived for months now about LG’s next project, the Vu 3. It’s expected to have a 5.2” screen and a 13MP digital camera, all powered by a Snapdragon 800 chip. The device is thought to be shipping in a translucent case, and is likely to launch at the beginning of next year.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Although Samsung have yet to officially confirm its release, the technology world is buzzing amid the supposed technical specs of the Galaxy S5. Confirmed as packing a 16MP camera featuring ICOCELL technology (which facilitates taking better photos in the dark), it’s probable that the firm are planning on competing with recent camera developments from the likes of Nokia. Little else is known on the technical side of things, although if Samsung follow in the footsteps of the S4 and Note 2, they’ll struggle to put a foot wrong.
Those are our favourite phones from this year, and our most anticipated for next year, but what do you think. We’d love to hear which phone you thought stood out the most this year. Which handsets are you most excited about next year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
This piece was written by Gary Beeston, the director of Insurance2go, the leading online provider of mobile phone insurance.
G+ link: https://plus.google.com/+GaryBeeston
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Va79BpDS6VWaizqTQjUCAZmTm4ca0OnfAGS9-4mV7Sg
Sony Xperia Z1 - http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnkarakatsanis/9938512923/