01
Dec
mystery-phone

Hard to believe, but 2013 is drawing to a close. And with the end of the year comes that same arbitrary question we ask in so many consumer product segments: who did it best? This is a hard question to answer in a truly objective sense, so that's why we're leaving the voting to you.

We've tried to whittle down the list of devices to the major, high-end (and high-profile) Android releases in the current calendar year, though undoubtedly some of you won't find the answer you're looking for in that list. If that's the case, select "other" and let your voice be heard in the comments section.

If there's an option you think is truly obvious (please consider that statement carefully) that is not present on our list, you can request it be added. Please remember, though, that we want the list to be manageable and the results readable, so an option that realistically isn't going to get over 50 votes probably isn't worth the additional clutter.

With that said, let the voting commence!

In your opinion, which Android phone released this year has proven to be the best overall?

View Results

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David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Ibrahim Yusuf

    I fall in love with the Xperia Z1 when I touched it

    • ScooterG

      As did I...and then I turned the screen on.

      • Tuấn Ankh

        lol, true xD

      • Michael Ta

        it was like someone poked in my eyes.

      • numpty

        And then I tried to hear it.

      • Ibrahim Yusuf

        Sad but true

    • anywherehome

      no replaceable battery, so overall for sure SGS4 Google Edition! :)

    • impulse101

      I fell out of love when i saw the 3" bezels

  • Asshole

    LG G2 ftw.

    • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

      Everything the Nexus 5 has, and more/better :)

      • Chris Caldwell

        seriously? dude, the N5 is like the 'play edition' G2, except with updated hardware.

        • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

          Huh? The hardware is lower spec to make it cheaper. The G2 has a larger battery and better camera.

          • SpoorthyVemula

            Not to mention the crappy plastic build with awkward rear keys

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            Knock on is very useful.

          • turdbogls

            it would be if it was consistent....this coming from a friend...i have no personal experience outside of a verizon store where it worked the one time i tried it :)

          • SpoorthyVemula

            Useful or fun?

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            Down voted for telling the truth, you guys will do anything to make yourself feel better about your less than stellar camera and battery haha

      • Rod

        G2 has Kitkat already?

        • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

          I've been running 4.4 AOSP for a little over a week now

          • Rod

            Nice.

            Official?

            Warranty intact?

          • Albin Hermansson

            Yes. Official. Only in Korea for now though.

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            Technically no, but I've never had a problem replacing under warranty before for hardware issues (not flashing issues caused by me). Besides, if you unlock and mod your N5 you lose warranty as well.

      • impulse101

        Except it is way slower and has horrible software on it and it takes 8 months for updates

        • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

          How is it slower? It has the same specs... Software can always be changed, hardware like the battery and camera can not be changed.

          • Bowen Fei

            Have to disagree with you on that. Optimization is a necessity for good battery life and a good camera. The iPhone 5s is a great example. It's less than stellar 8 megapixel camera still takes better shots than the 13 megapixel S4.

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            Thats because of the hardware.

          • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

            Thats because of the hardware.

  • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

    I know we're talking about Android, but I thought the Lumia 1020 put some pressure on Android to make better camera phones. Although it didn't sell, I thought from a hardware point of view that it was pretty impressive.

    • ssj4Gogeta

      Lumia 1020 came out in July this year. Phones have a design and production cycle much longer than that, so it couldn't have influenced any phones that are already in the market. :)

      • http://www.youtube.com/kimirPORTALS kimir

        I'm sure as hell not saying that Android did anything to compete, but I feel like this next year will have a heavier emphasis on camera quality.

  • bL4Ck

    Voted for the Nexus 5, but thinking again, probably the Note 3.

  • http://about.me/xndres Andres

    Moto X

    • ScooterG

      This. I'm posting from my Nexus 5, but the Moto X is beckoning.

      • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

        Posting this from my Nexus 5 that might get replaced by a cyber Monday Moto X...

        • Nathan

          Man, I sure hope they have a lot of those available tomorrow. There seems to be a LOT of interest, but Motorola says "limited quantities."

        • impulse101

          Sorry but that would be retarded

          • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

            Thanks for your opinion!

      • jonathan3579

        Yeah, I have to admit the same thing.

    • Hayden Lueck

      One problem:
      Not available outside of the US.

      That's a pretty major problem.

    • motoridersd

      I have a Moto X and a Nexus 5. I like both. Getting a Dev Edition Moto X so I can unlock the bootloader, then I think I'll have a hard time deciding which one to use as my daily phone. Right now, the Nexus 5 wins.

  • poco

    Simple. Best android is pure android, Nexus 5.

    • Andrei

      Agreed, but with that battery life, I had to turn it down

    • NBM

      I like my Nexus 5, but I wouldn't describe it as the purest Android device. I think it's a fantastic Google device.

  • Jarl

    HTC Butterfly S, shame it didn't get a worldwide release

  • SAM

    Moto G

  • http://www.beling.de/ Thomas Beling

    The best Android is pure Android, for sure. I have a nexus4 but voted for the LG G2 as the best and longest lasting (battery) device outside. Also a better camera is added.

    • Chris Caldwell

      must be a better camera, after all 13 is bigger than 8, and we all know the bigger the 'mp' number, the better the camera........

      • juzio

        No, the G2's camera is really great. Much better than the one in SGS4 and Note 3 despite the same 'mp' number. Meanwhile, Nexus 5 fall behind 2012 flagships like one x and sgs3 in camera department. I know that Google had to make this phone affordable but they should've opted for 720p screen instead of 1080p but better camera and build quality and bigger battery.

        • Chris Caldwell

          You seem really confused. The G2 camera IS the N5 camera. You cannot say the G2 camera is awesome, but the N5 camera sucks. The difference between the two is that the G2 sucks at low light because current sensors cannot support 13MP. The N5 took the SAME sensor but with 8MP, which is why it is so much better in low light than the G2. Same sensor, less pixels = more light per pixel. 60% more in fact. And unless you plan on printing above 8"x11" your 13MP are a complete waste. If you DO plan on printing 10"x15", then you should use a dslr cause your gonna eat it on noise with the G2, so either way its a terrible trade off they made for marketing reasons (cause, 13 is better than 8, right?).

          And btw, Google doesnt NEED to cut the phone quality to offer it cheaper cause they dont have the added bloatware development and support cost, and they make their profit by providing more people better means to use their core services. LG has to make their cash on the G2 cause thats ALL they have to make a profit off.

  • jak_341

    Galaxy Round. Just to be a troll.

    • bprichard

      What? Are you crazy? I think you meant LG G Flex! One can't really compare the horizontal curve to the vertical. The microphone is closer to my mouth!

  • nawa

    I have two favorites this year. Voted for HTC One, but Moto G is my choice for purchase.

  • impure

    Nexus 4. Sure, it was released in 2012, but you couldn't buy it until 2013.

  • Anavil Patel

    GALAXY s4

  • http://www.mscha.nl/ Michael Schaap

    We still have 8% of 2013 to go, so too early to say.

    • herbivoor

      I doubt there will be a lot of devices released between now and the end of the year. Now is the worst time to release a device I think.

  • Christopher Williams

    HTC One still going strong! Can't wait for the 2014 refresh.

    • Valerie Rub

      is it a normal cell phone if you want to more feature you need to choose Android.

      • jeddo45

        Are you smoking crack?

        • bprichard

          Yes, Valerie Rub is just Rob Ford in disguise.

    • Sporttster

      Liked the build quality of the One when I checked it out. I would own one right now if it had a sd slot and a higher MP camera, both deal breakers. Really liked the phone, though.

      • Gabernasher

        Gotta have hundreds of MPs for facebook to downscale em.

        • Sporttster

          Is that all you use your phone camera for; Facebook?!? Wow....

          • Gabernasher

            No, I also print 300x400 foot billboards from the shots I take.

  • Shane Redman

    It may not be the prettiest phone, but what essentially is a 32GB motoX with a larger screen and battery...the droid maxx is the sleeper of the year.

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    Hardware, g2. Entire experience, X.

  • Ashish

    I understand the hardware and screen size are the same, but its a shame to put the Droid Maxx with the Droid Ultra. One is bigger battery version of an awesome phone (Moto X) and the other one...well just sucks.

    • Rich

      Couldn't agree more.

  • herbivoor

    For me it's the HTC One. They've set the bar on how an Android phone should look and I hope other manufacturers take note and release Android devices with high quality materials.

    It also might be interesting to note that I previously was an absolute fan of the Nexus line of devices, but decided to ditch them in favor of an HTC One. In my opinion, the Nexus devices are top notch but don't really innovate in the software department. It has been *more or less* the same old since ICS.
    No Facebook integration with Contacts, no slow motion video (might be hardware related), no infrared sensor (hardware),... Sense offers a few extra features that I really like whilst still looking good and not slowing down the device (as was the case with my S3 that thing lagged like hell).
    Also, I do realize Nexus devices aren't really for the average consumer but more for developers, or at least, they were.

    • Philip Kahn

      As I recall, there is Facebook integration in contacts if you check a box. I can't comment as to that on KitKat, as I haven't let the wretched service touch my last two phones -- but it was there in ICS.

    • Chris Caldwell

      Build quality? eh. Nexus 4 was the best built phone. Not the best specs, although a major competitor, but its just a beautiful, solid phone. You really cant compare the HTC to the Nexus 4 on build quality.

      • SpoorthyVemula

        In pure premium feel there are the same. In actually real world feel the HTC is way better because of curved back. And there is no way I'm going to buy a glass phone. One drop and my phone is done.

    • Zech Zimmerman

      The only hardware that is lacking on nexus devices is the camera. As much as I, a huge phone nerd, wanted the nexus 5 to have an infrared sensor, I don't think the average consumer cares. I told my brother to get an HTC One in June and just the other day I told him it had an IR sensor. In 5 months with the phone he had no idea what additional, "value add" features it had. People get a smartphone so they can read emails, Google things real quick, take pictures, check Facebook/Twitter/etc, listen to music, text, and call. And for the most part all research people put into a new phone purchase is asking friends what they think and asking the guy in the store. They don't care about the quality of the camera, or how fast the phone is, they just want a phone. So for the average consumer it comes down to phone popularity and cost. Hence Apple is killing it while not including "value add" features that us nerds say are must haves.

      • Prototype

        There's no doubt a big part of the problem is marketing. How many HTC One TV, online, or print spots even mention the IR feature? You know if Apple ever gets around to including that on the iPhone it will be front & center in one of their white background add campaigns. Features only add value when they're known, as you said.

  • NBM

    I own a Nexus 5 and voted for the Moto X. It is the device with the most intelligent features separating it from everything else. All the other flagships are flagship parts thrown into different cases of different sizes with different software. The Moto X has unique hardware that serves to enhance near stock android. That said, I wish it had a different camera.

    I'm doing my best to convince myself to wait till the next gen comes out instead of buying a Moto X tomorrow and selling my Nexus 5.

    • Sam Hollis

      Give in. It's worth it. All the Kit Kat of the Nexus 5 with even more features.

      • Chris Caldwell

        nobody seems to ask if youll ACTUALLY use those features. Its $300 more, and not as good hardware, so you better make sure you really want the features first. So, your in your car, you want to make a call or something. Are you gonna just sit there and say "OK Google"? nope, you're gonna use your BT or pull it out of your pocket and hold it in your hand. So, whats the advantage? Are you really ever going to care that you can magically wave your hand over the device and it turns on? gimme a break. Its gimmicks.

        • Sam Hollis

          Tomorrow it's going to be the exact same price, which is why I was suggesting to give in.

          The hardware isn't as nice, but the battery life on the X is much better.

          If I could make the call hands-free in my car(Which doesn't have bluetooth) then why wouldn't I? It's much safer to do so handless via the Moto X than it is to pull it out of my pocket. Aside from being dangerous to look at my phone and drive, it can also get me pulled over where I live.

          The features on the Moto X are anything but gimmicky. They're much more useful than those on the S4(many of which don't work well and are shallow copies of Google's own services). The Migration feature is incredibly useful when it comes to switching to the X. Heard of Moto Connect? Integrated texting from any computer running Chrome. Also gives me battery percentage and call log, all wirelessly without bluetooth. Active Notifications beat the notification LED any day.

    • EWilliams1914

      Same boat, but what I do like a about the n5 is that it still use a micro sim, so I can pull out my n4 if I would like and I continue to be a huge fan of wireless charging which Google seems to have gotten right this time around.

  • bondx99

    HTC One!! No phone comes close to this one in terms of outer beauty and inner strength..Sense 5 is seriously the best optimized skin ever on a phone..performs snappy and looks professional!!..And whats with HTC and updates nowadays? Kitkat rolling already :O..Its been 9 months since its release and i am still in awe

    • PhoenixPath

      Sense 5.5 is even better.

      Almost dreading Sense 6. They better not mess with Quick-Settings. They are *perfect* right now (5.5). The tap-to-toggle and 3-dot to configure is without a doubt the best way that's currently been released to do it. It follows Google's own guidelines (Play Store) better than Google does (tap to ... something, long-press to...something else)...

  • Adam Hawk

    I'm going for the Fairphone. Hope a combination of Fairphone and Phoneblocks will become the trend for Android devices

  • David Monteiro

    I'd say Moto X if it was available worldwide. So, Nexus 5 for me.

  • Frekko

    Voted for Moto X for its intelligent features. Was really impressed with that mobile. Truly built keeping peoples priorities in mind. Though if i was allowed a second vote it would definately go to HTC one for its gorgeous design, excellent speakers, beautiful screen.
    In 2014 i would be looking forward to some really darn innovative Flexible display devices and some high tech battery. Come on great minds impress us

  • Bigup

    LG G2 for me

  • supremekizzle

    LG G2 fo sho.

  • enoch861

    Interesting question.
    Yes, the Nexus 5 wins in price and the pure stock experience, but is it really the best Android phone released this year?
    If you think about it, many people will argue not. Not because its not a good, it actually is, but rather because it has nothing to add overall.
    In fact, a lot of people would argue that the stock Android experience isn't all that its jazzed up to be. Phones from all other manufacturers have skins added on top, yes, but they also add a wealth of value added features not otherwise found in stock Android. On a Nexus device, you'd have to go and hunt for apps to do xyz that most other phones do by default. Also phones like the HTC One are showing that Android phones can also be premium devices and not a plastic-y device. All these other phones actually bring new things to the table while the Nexus 5 hasn't really delivered anything new to the table except for Kit Kat (price point aside). Also Motorola and HTC are changing how fast updates are delivered, so thats starting to be less and less a strength only exclusive to Nexus devices.
    At the end of the day, this years game changers have largely been the HTC One, Moto X, and to a certain extent the LG G2 (The Flex and Galaxy Round would be on the list but these phones aren't really available in the US yet even though you can buy them unlocked).
    One thing we have to remember is with something like the SD800, Android phones, skin or not, are so fast that speed differences are starting to be null. Also, the Moto X has proved that you don't need the fastest processor to have an extremely smooth phone. So its not about speed anymore, its about features. Price aside, what does the Nexus 5 have that makes it better than the Moto X, HTC One, G2, S4, Note 3? Processor doesn't count because the Moto X is making due with a "weaker" processor.

    The best Android isn't pure Android anymore.

    It's been a crazy good year for Android, can't wait to see what 2014 brings!

    • Primalxconvoy

      "On a Nexus device, you'd have to go and hunt for apps to do xyz that most other phones do by default."

      And yet, on the HTC Desire and my current Note 2, I've disabled, hidden or uninstalled most of the stock carrier and even Google apps and hunted down 3rd party apps (like Quickpic, Camera Zoom FX and Go Launcher) that do things my way or have features not in the stock apps.

    • Chris Caldwell

      Totally disagree. Google did it again with the Nexus. A third of the price of the competition, yet better hardware and no bloatware. Oh, sure, you can find this or that part thats better on a specialty phone (ie the speakers on the HTC one), but thats usually the main focus of that camera and the rest of it suffers. Nexus phones continue to provide a no-BS, solid, well rounded best in market phone at a shocking price, and the world is starting to understand, they are "budget phones", there are top, high end phones at budget prices. Theres honestly no reason for other phones to exist. Reviewers and fanboys be damned, for all the garbage being said about Nexus phones, the Nexus 5 is a favorite of the year, and the Nexus 4, now discontinued for some months, sells second hand for more than it ever did new! What other phone has EVER had a resell PROFIT? they are just great phones, plain and simple.

      • enoch861

        They're great phones no question about that. But they're also definitely not the best.

        • Rod

          What are, then?

          The ones that lag?

          • enoch861

            Does a Moto X lag? That should answer your question.

          • turdbogls

            the one that is right for you.
            the nexus 5 is perfect for me because i wanted a light weigh phone, with a large screen, decent camera, and top end specs at a doable price point. and i want it to be hackable...nothing beats a nexus for me.

            If i needed Zoes, or Gesture stuff, i would have bought an HTC one, or S4. if i needed active notifications and always on voice, i would have bought the Moto X....but i dont need, or want those things. I need and want a cheap, yet rediculously powerful phone....and i can only get that in the nexus 5.

            it might not be the phone for you, but it certainly is the phone for me.
            why does one phone have to be the best for everyone? these aren't iOS products :P

        • Nick V

          You can make a Nexus device look like other phones with crazy UIs without the need for rooting or otherwise, but that is a lot harder to do with a Samsung, HTC or LG, where you would need to ROM it to make it more like Nexus.

        • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

          THIS!

          Nexus devices are not intended to be the cream of the crop. The ONLY Nexus device that was indisputably cream of the crop when it launched was the Nexus One. You could also argue that the Nexus 10 is still the single best 10" Android tablet available at any price, but that's debatable.

          Nexus devices are intended to showcase the latest versions of Android in their stock, unfettered form. They have a specific purpose, and though Google has had a lot of success with the Nexus 7, they're still primarily developer devices. For the low off-contract price, they're as good as you'll get, but they're definitely not the best phones or tablets out there.

          I believe the Galaxy Note 8.0 is better than either generation of the Nexus 7 for people who aren't power users. As for phones, I'd recommend an LG G2, Galaxy S4, or a Galaxy Note 3 over a Nexus 5 to a non-power user any day of the week, and this is from someone who owns a Google Play Edition GS4, a 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, and a Nexus 10.

    • PhillipCun

      I agree the Nexus 5 isn't as big of a deal anymore now that HTC and Motorola are also focusing on quick updates. In addition, the GPE S4 and One are also options with quick updates. Look at Moto X and it's 3-week turnaround for updating their phones to 4.4.

      As for speed, I disagree. OEMs like HTC, Samsung and LG love to slap on their skins which bogs down the phone and extends the timeline for OTAs. You still see a bit of lag on phones with the S600 and S800, especially the S4. OEMs are hardware manufacturers but what makes them think they can produce software? They lack a lot of expertise in the software area. Although they add all these features, it's still not an intuitive experience. Stock android is consistent enough (see recent AP post on 4.4), and makes you find some apps that TouchWiz/Sense might have installed. IMO, this is good so people can find apps that suit them better. Bad for users who aren't smart enough to use the app store.

      IMO, the game-changers deserve the crown for 2013. IMO, those are:
      - Moto X
      - HTC One

      • enoch861

        The S4 wasn't a fast phone and it lagged, I agree on that.
        What I was trying to get at was as phones get faster, the performance between them gets smaller and smaller to the point where its getting to be null.
        Just because stock Android is consistent doesn't mean that it provides the experience that people want. And as time goes on, these skins are getting lighter and more intuitive.
        Also, what people are looking for are an integrated experience. Where everything sort of.. fits together. This is why Apple has great devices because they just work together, and work well. This is the same thing ever OEM is trying to emulate, and some with a variance of success. So we, as tech heads, might put TouchWiz/Sense/whateverLGcallsit/whateverMotorolacallsit down but at the end of the day those are the devices selling in millions.

        • Chris Caldwell

          its interesting you praise the iphone experience, which is comparable most to a raw android experience, yet your not a fan of it on Android. You're welcome to your opinion, but id guess 90% of the opinions I read say that the bloatware add ons are something that people either get, and then regret, but didnt know any better because its their first Android, or something that they 'put up with' because they like a certain phone. A lot of folks still prefer contract phones to. Personally, I dont get that, since its more expensive, but I know the play editions werent available on contracts which kinda sucks. TBH if you have Nexus on Verizon, and play editions of the major phones available on contracts I think you would see nearly nobody take the bloat editions. The bloat is self service for manufacturers. They get to dip their toe into developing apps they would need for a fork move without committing, and they get to differentiate themselves in marketing from the other phones. Further, it lets them put a premature mortality on the phone as they can disable OTAs early, and the majority of users wont mess with roms.

      • Mantas

        "OEMs are hardware manufacturers but what makes them think they can produce software?"

        This sentence really irritates me. You really think hardware engineers are making software? Wake up dude, it's 2013, it's been 5 years since HTC started developing Sense.

        Also, you clearly haven't used the One. You most definitely won't see any lag whatsoever. Sense has gotten way better than what it was two years ago. It is very fast and it looks clean, professional, intuitive. Doesn't bog down your phone at all.

        • impulse101

          And Sense is still a bloated mess with a bunch of useslesd garbage that slows down the phone just like Touchwiz. I sold my One and got an N5 and the difference is night and day. The only thing that was a little better is the camera app.

          • Mantas

            I know there are useless apps which you can't uninstall. But it does not slow down the phone, it is very fast without any hiccups. And come on, You can't really compare the camera apps, they're on the opposite end of the spectrum :)

          • anehlo

            I disagree. I have both an HTC One and a Nexus 5 and, at least in my experience, the One doesn't lag at all. And Sense doesn't bother me all that much once I put Nova Launcher on it. But night and day? I don't see it. The One may not be as fast as the Nexus 5, but I've never noticed lag and when using the One, I don't miss the Nexus 5 at all.

            I do agree on one thing: Sense does have a bunch of features that I just don't use. And I've disabled several apps that came with the One that are just wasting space on the phone. But far be it for me to say that these apps or features are useless. They're useless to me, but I know a few people who own the One (my wife and brother being two of those) that use Sense features and specifically buy HTC phones because of these features.

        • anehlo

          I agree. I have not noticed any lag at all with the HTC One. It's an amazing device.

      • Chris Caldwell

        The "quick updates" to HTC were for play edition, and a bit later developer edition. They still havent updated the bloatware edition and 4.4 (plus perhaps a minor bug fix or two) will be the last OTA the HTC one ever gets. Thats the major difference. That and the fact that its $300 cheaper and has better hardware everywhere but the speaker. The moto X got a VERY snappy update, which is great, but then its also Google. It will be interesting how long motorola maintains its phones. As for the Nexus, having the top hardware, the top software, and coming in at half the price is, in my book, a game changer. If you dont like the plastic feel, Im pretty sure you can find a HELL of a case for it for under the remaining $300.

        • PhoenixPath

          "They still havent updated the bloatware edition and 4.4 (plus perhaps a minor bug fix or two) will be the last OTA the HTC one ever gets. "

          Ah, well played, Carnak. I almost didn't recognize you without the crystal ball and and incense... /s

    • Epic Tea

      i have a galaxy s4 flashed with a rom and nova launcher beta, i don't miss any of the features samsung has to offer they are nice but not necessary and mostly gimmicks, only popup play and multi window is useful but even then I almost never used them.

    • Rod

      Answer to your first question: yes

    • Mkvarner

      In Norway the price of the Nexus 5 16 GB is 650 dollars and around 685 for S4 or G2. I still chose the N5 because I like stock Android without all the crap other manufacturers include so I can have the fastest phone with a awesome amount of good devs.

    • https://plus.google.com/+TroyLeonard Troy Leonard

      The nexus 5 is infected the best all around. I base that on seven criteria that matter to me on a scale of 1-5.
      Price 5
      Expected update speed 5
      Call quality 5
      All day battery 4 (it lasts all day for me)
      Data speed 5
      Camera 3
      Looks 5 I love the understated design
      For a total on 32. Plus 5 bonus point for no hardware Nov buttons

      Grand total 37. =winner for me

  • LazarusDark

    I picked Other.
    s/b option of "none".
    I still have not seen a phone that makes me want to pay several hundred dollars to replace mine and my wifes Gnex's. They'll be two years old this february and both have huge spider cracks on the screens, yet I still don't see a phone worth buying to replace them. (note, it would certainly be easier to upgrade once a year if I was by myself, but since I must always upgrade both phones, then I need the replacement to be a worthy upgrade that I feel will last a couple years.)

    • NBM

      2 Moto Gs maybe?

    • Sam Hollis

      Why not a Moto X? It's basically an upgraded Galaxy Nexus.

  • Urko

    Z1 FTW!

  • alamoe

    Galaxy Note 3. Great screen. Great camera. 32GB internal storage, as well as an SD card slot. 3GB RAM for fluid multi-tasking. AptX wireless audio capable. USB 3.0. Great battery life. Tons of accessories available. Available on every carrier. All the features of stock Android plus the added TouchWiz/S-Pen functionality. Its a specs beast in every way.

    I already know the Nexus 5 will win though. It's beginning to become comical how so many people dick-ride the Nexus devices even though they're clearly not the best devices overall. Anyone with at least one eye can see that.

    • Zulqarnain Nizamani

      Because that is a not-e 5.7inch and all other top mobiles are 5inch

    • Roh_Mish

      Although i will be inclined towards Nexus Line, the Note Line is the best. Love the Note2 but Nexus line is better for me.

    • Rod

      You forgot do add bloatware, lag and stuttering.

      • Luqmaan Mathee

        Three note has no lag.

      • CaibreGreyblade

        What lag? I installed 200 apps on mine, am using it rooted and with lots of mods and services running in the background and have yet to see any lagging. It, like apple likes to say, just works. I admit thou, bloatware is, mostly, irritating.

        • impulse101

          Use an n5 next to it and you will see the difference

          • CaibreGreyblade

            I actually went and tried N5 in a shop - and I have to admit that it is "silky smooth" enough to see difference. But I also don't really notice any "stuttering" on my Note in everyday use and I like it's features to much to switch - namely Spen but also microsd slot. I own 64GB wariant of Samsungs phone, with another 64GB added and it's already not enough for me, as streaming is not an option where I live.
            Thou, phone that I would buy now? New budget Moto. It's stupidly cost efficient.

      • alamoe

        Once again, another person that just listens to what people say on the internet instead of actually using the device. You may use all the Google apps but to someone else they could be called bloatware too. Besides, it's got 32gb internal storage, not the measly 16 they put in the Nexus. Even with all the preinstalled apps the Npte 3 has more free space.

        • Gabernasher

          My Nexus 5 has 32GB, it only cost me $400.

      • Sporttster

        Stuttering? I have yet to see one iota of 'stuttering' on my Note 3. This thing is freakishly fast! I love it!

    • Gabernasher

      Funny how many people dickride Samsung and their bloat.

    • jbox

      I vote Note 3 primarily because of stylus, usb host, sdcard, removable battery, multitasking, and various software feature.
      Though I'm not buying Note 3 or any new phone this year, I'm saving money to buy Note 3 next year when price drop. It's bloody expensive right now.

    • vgergo

      Too bad knox and other unwanted samsung garbage ruins it :-( S-Voice instead of Google Now??? It's an expensive joke!

    • Sporttster

      I've got 32g internal and a 64g card; 96gb of monster memory! Moto X doesn't even begin to come close and the Nexus is a joke. The Note 3 is just one killer phone.....

  • Rob Earls

    Popularity contest

  • EH101

    Weird... Just came to the article/poll and it auto-voted LG G2 for me. Lol. Don't tell my Note 2, might get jealous.

  • Jorden Nading

    Ordered the LTE variant of the Z1 from eBay since it's not available in the US (coming from an S4) and I haven't regretted it since. Other than the lack of development support.

  • smeddy

    The Note 3 is the finest piece of hardware I've ever had the pleasure of owning. This one might last me as long as the HD2 did.

    • Primalxconvoy

      I haven't used it, but i based my vote on the note 2, which i love.

      • Roh_Mish

        The note 3 is a worthy successor to the Note 2. I too based my answer on that and not to the mark Nexus 5. I have used N3 many times and looks great.

    • vgergo

      N3 could be the best if not for KNOX, SVOICE, SFIND, archaic looking TW and all other Samsung bloat. The software department nulls the wonderful work of their hardware team.

      • Gabernasher

        Since when is a hard key flanked by capacitive keys "wonderful work"?

        • vgergo

          I like that those keys don't reduce screen space on the device. Having a hardware key for home is convenient, when the phone is lying on the table and I want to turn it on.

          • Gabernasher

            I just use Touch Control with Franco, a simple doubletap to the screen wakes it. PIE can make the keys disappear, giving you the full screen back, no hard keys needed.

  • serotheo

    Personally I want to vote the Note 3, but I think that's me validating my purchase - I like it but I still begrudgingly use Touchwiz, feels more buggy than ever and I don't want to root this one yet.

    At times, I find myself using my Nexus 4 and it is a breathe of fresh air every time - even on 4.3 (I know I need to flash that KitKat!).

    Anyhow, my vote is to the G2, Moto X, or G Flex.
    - So far, IMO, the most innovative devices of the year.

    Edit: Girlfriend got a Moto X - I'm jealous.

    • Roh_Mish

      TouchWiz is not that bad on Note line.

      • serotheo

        I think Touchwiz is the most useful on the Note line, but..

        I feel like Samsung is getting lazier and lazier - things don't feel as optimized as they should be and I get random freezes at times for no reason or where only the notification bar would respond, something that never happened during the time I had an S3.

        There are inexplicable lags that Samsung needs to fix.

        Also - before you say it, I do have most of the add-on features disabled; I use a few of the S Pen features because they are actually useful, otherwise, the rest are just off.

        • Roh_Mish

          I dont say that touchwiz is good (its crap) but they have done good work on SPen features. I dont want TW but Spen features dont work on custom rom.

    • smeddy

      For me (and full disclosure: I did root and froze some things I don't need), I left my Note 3 as stock and replaced the launcher with Nova.

    • vgergo

      With root Note III could really be fixed, but with knox they make sure you loose warranty on this extremely expensive device. It's a wasted opportunity.

  • Johnjunior

    HTC One by a mile

    Poll is open to worldwide but
    Nexus 5 and Moto X are not available worldwide
    So list is flawed?

    • Roh_Mish

      Nexus 5 is not worldwide but in many countries so Nexus 5 can be on the list. But I wouldnt care for Moto X.

    • Chris Caldwell

      interesting that the N5 isnt worldwide, but yet its kicking the crap out of the phones which are, huh?

      • PhoenixPath

        "its kicking the crap out of the phones"

        In what sense?

  • Chris Caldwell

    Seems significant to me that the phone with a fairly large lead is both sans-bloatware, and a third the price of the competition. Why does anyone buy anything else?

    • Sam Hollis

      Coverage? Neither T-Mo nor ATT adequately cover my area, and my family gets a Verizon discount through work that help with the pricing concerns.

      I don't like Verizon anymore than anyone else but you can't beat their network.

  • Roh_Mish

    Although I like Nexus line and id it were 2012 voting i would vote Nexus 4, I think The Note 3 is the best deviced in this year.

  • Laborin_HK

    I personally would have chose the Moto X, however, having not seen it in real life and it not being available in Australia (and many other parts of the world) is a problem for me. I ended up choosing the HTC one.

    To me all the other phones were the expected "last year's model with better specs" type.

  • Dave Harrison

    Out of curiosity, why wouldn't the droid maxx and ultra be listed with the Moto x since they share the same internals?

    • Sam Hollis

      Battery life/size/appearance differences.

  • Valerie Rub

    Where i can read about Android latest model that are effective. what is the price of new brand that you are going to launch.

  • shahid

    Proud to be the user of THE PREMIUM HTC ONE, I would like nexus in some other brand device but not in LG, cause LG makes the most ugly looking devices on this planet...anyways,I believe HTC,Motorola and Nokia are the mobile making companies exclusively unlike Samsung,Sony,LG etc, who makes television,fridges and washing machines....

  • jeddo45

    Other: Project ara

  • Mike

    Oppo Find 5

  • efan

    I bought the Nexus 5 and love it. But i think that for similar reasons the Nexus 5 is great the Moto G is just as great or better. That's taking the cheap device to a whole new level. The same way the Nexus 5 makes the other high end phones sweat, the Moto G takes out everything mid-range and below. No reason to be stuck in a contract with these two phones on the market.

  • matteoriso

    S4 all the way: latest updates made it the faster phone it should have been at launch.

  • Brian

    Moto X

  • Tony T.

    Really kind of surprised MotoX is doing so well... not really sure what people see in that phone, honestly.

  • jamaall

    I don't think the droid ultra and droid maxx should even be in the same category

  • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php rarely online

    Have to be S4 for me expandable storage and removable battery still beat out fixed storage which forces cloud usage and enclosed battery which might cause problems when it needs to be replaced.

  • Teryl Todd

    LG G2, Droid Maxx, Note 3.
    It's all about the battery life.

  • Johnny Bravo

    While my top 3 would have to be nexus, note, and moto, heck even throw in the htc one, but my vote goes to g2 for trying something new with a pretty above average phone. and thats coming from a biased nexus user

  • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

    Only two phones on that list have essential features for me, so between the S4 and the Note 3 I chose the S4.

  • Feby

    Moto G

  • bunnybash

    And while the world votes the Moto X into a close second spot, Motorola won't release the phone outside of North America... sigh... The Moto G is good, but we want the X!!!!

    • papernick

      They've released it here, in my country (Argentina).

      • bunnybash

        Ahhhh I thought it was a North America only release... I wonder why they won't release it here in Australia, it's not like we are part of the developing world, which is apparently the target of the G, we are definitely more a target for the X.

  • SpoorthyVemula

    The nexus 5 is the best all round device because 'all round' factors in price. Top notch performance, beautiful android experience, great build (in terms of look and feel), unrivalled developer support, constant updates from Google, and an unbeatable price more than make up for the OK battery life and camera.

    • alamoe

      Why would a phone that works like it should need "constant updates?" Are you saying the Nexus has software issues that constantly need fixing?

      • Gabernasher

        Are you trolling? I think you're the only one who would complain about updates. Android is an evolving OS, so when a new version comes out, the N5 will get an update for (if they maintain the same development cycle) next 3 versions.

        • alamoe

          Not at all. I'm just saying that there can be a time when updates aren't really necessary. If you look at Android since ICS the updates have really been kind of minor. Besides HCE and ART what has the 4.4 update added that isn't already built-in to other devices?

  • GraveUypo

    2013 was pretty boring with all the evolutionary refreshes, but i really liked the concept of the moto G. that's a direction i'd love to see more companies go.

    if i had to pick something else, i'd say nexus 4 even though it was more of a really-late 2012 thing. but then again, we're missing really-late 2013 here so i guess that works.

  • gspida

    Everybody slept on the LG Optimus G Pro. Better than the G2 which makes it the best imho

  • Andye82

    This was a hard one but vote must go to the HTC One this year. I have been quite enthusiastic Nexus "pure Android" fan before and was waiting Sense 5 with some sort of disgust since the previous sense versions have been horrible.
    To my surprise I actually like Sense more than Stock. It really does add value to the experience.
    Also the build quality is just wonderful. I tried Nexus 5 and it felt "normal" it didn't give any wow factor as my 6 month old HTC One does.
    This is maybe the reason that for the first time in years I haven't found any phone to upgrade even this far. I am usually a phoneholic and change phones every 5-7 months. Now it looks like the next phone I will have is the successor to the HTC One.

    • PhoenixPath

      Same boat.

      I might look at the M8 when that comes out, but honestly, if they mess with the Quick Settings at all (as they currently are in 5.5) I doubt it will be much of an improvement.

      I've seen nothing current or on the near horizon that would make me want to lose my HTC One for.

  • Ahmato27

    I have the Nexus 5, but still strongly believe that the HTC One is the smartphone of 2013.

  • vgergo

    S Voice is the essence of the problem with Samsung phones. Being a blatant knockoff of an already mediocre service (Siri) Samsung aggressively pushes it, instead of letting us use Google Voice Search, which is superior in every way, and one of the top reasons to own an Android.

    "Samsung's S Voice is pretty much a crappy version of Android's native Voice Search tool, right? There's really no reason you'd want to use it over Voice Search." (http://blogs.computerworld.com/smartphones/22921/7-silly-things-galaxy-note-3)

  • Chris Caldwell

    If the HTC ONE beats the motoX Im gonna crap my pants, lol. MotoX was a game changer, HTC One was good speakers on a mediocre phone, with a fragile aluminum body and tons of bloat. Nothing new there.

  • ryallen

    I'd vote Moto G, because it's a One Mini for not even half the price with a better version of Android.

  • Chris Caldwell

    Seriously, what other industry only supports software updates for a year? Sure, you can rom, but if you got the phone for the bloatware, which enoch apparently does, you would lose it. If you bought a laptop for nearly $1k like your phone, would you expect to throw it away and buy a new one every year? THATS the glory of the Nexus phones. That, and the fact that Google doesnt NEED to charge stupid prices for it, or gut the phone to meet a low price. they're happy you use their services. I honestly have no idea why anyone would ever pay 2-3x for a non-nexus phone with the same or worse hardware and bloatware on top. It makes zero sense to me. Even if your somehow convinced your phone is better than a N5, how better really? were talking REALLY picky differences there, cause all the top phones are "enough" now.

    • Gabernasher

      Some people NEED an SD card and removable battery, since you can't get an external battery or use USB OTG. Others just love bloatware.

  • Halin

    Moto G !!!

    • thedosbox

      This. The biggest reason the Nexus 5 is popular is due to its price. Well, the Moto G beats it on that front, while still having respectable specs for the majority of users who aren't gadget freaks.

  • Blowntoaster

    although I recently got a Note 3 , I'd say it's the Moto X/G phones. forcing android not to focus too much on Performance, and rather on experience.
    That's the way to go.
    this whole power war between manufacturers is getting old quick.
    Buying today's flagship only guarantees performance and stability until the next update, after which things start to slow and lag and stutter. Hopefully the 4.4 updates for all manufacturers will bring actual performance and stability. not empty promises as is usually the case.

  • StriderWhite

    Of course the Samsung Galaxy Round! :D

  • LE Sacks

    I voted 'Other' but I really mean 'None' because the thing is, for me personally, I can't find the Android phone I want.

    Just now, I have a N7 and an iPhone. Since getting the N7, the iPhone has demoted itself to be a phone with messaging, mostly, and a bit of an occasional fall-back for a few apps. So, were I (as I'd like) to replace the iPhone with Android, I want the small form-factor... and there's the rub. The small form-factor Androids (Sony xperia Go, Droid Mini etc.) are getting old and not going to 4.4... which is odd, given that 4.4 should give these under-powered objects a boost... and even then, there are no bare-bones, small form-factor Android phones (Samsung really offer too much bloat for me!).

    And that's the thing. Android phones normally (almost all!) cut manufacturing costs by being big. The sales pitch is 'bigger screen, yayyy'.. but it's a cover for (making these things smaller while keeping acceptable performance is expensive as Apple has shown, so we'll make big screens --> phablets trendy instead, ergo, I guess the new N5 and no new N4).

    Someone will twig that a non-cut price, sub 5'' Android will sell. Till then...

    • Gabernasher

      Moto G should be a good option, 4.5" and only $200 for the 16GB.

      • LE Sacks

        Fair comment. It's the closest thing...
        (I should have mentioned that just now I live in Norway and the supply chain & various Play services to here are pretty poor!)

  • Sporttster

    Moto X?!? You're on drugs....no sd card slot, mediocre stats, no HDMI out....no sale..

    • Gabernasher

      No SD card no sale? Something tells me lots of phones without SD cards sell.

      • Sporttster

        Yea, they're called 'iPhones'...go get one if ya don't want storage space....

        • Gabernasher

          I'll stick with my N5. 32GB is plenty, and if I need more, USB OTG.

          • vgergo

            Animals have tails, a phone should have it too ;-) That must be very convenient. The Note 3 has 32GB also, and no one forces me to use a memory card until it gets full. But when it does, I rather plug a tiny card in the inside of mine.

            Google is reversing their stand on this: the new version of Google Music is making use of the memory card again!

    • thedosbox

      It also doesn't have TouchJizz and the associated performance hit (benchmark cheating aside), nor does it have a nasty glossy plastic back.

  • Suhas

    I simply voted for the Nexus 5 given the specs and the user experience the phone brought into play along with the awesome price - bang for the buck! (Biased cuz I ordered one and it's on the way still).

    However, when talking about bang for the buck; the real deal for the ideal price, I think u gotta give it to the all new MOTO G! At $180 none come closer to that phone given the good specs and (near) stock experience! (Ordered one for my dad).

    The rest of the great phones include GN3, G2, One, Moto X & SGS4 (in that order). Despite them being great phones, the most amazing feat from what I see is delivering a good phone with great battery life and good specs for an amazing price (without hindering user experience with a bloated skin) - that in my opinion goes to the Moto G!

  • Varun

    crap......My nexus 5 has a yellowish screen

    • Gabernasher

      RMA

      • Varun

        I bought my device from indian play store and their RMA policy sucks in India, it is not the same as the US....first you have to send your device, then they will keep the device for 3-7 days to find manufacturing fault and if found only then they will release a replacement device.

      • Varun

        Actually the thing is Google has messed up the RMA policy in India........In India you need to send them the device then they will be inspecting it for 3-7 days for manufacturing defects and after that only they will be releasing a new replacement device.

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    It's hard for me to pick against the Galaxy S4. In my opinion, it's a fantastic piece of hardware, it has a great camera, and it's fast as anything. Plus, when you mix in an unlocked bootloader, carrier-unlocked, and a stock Android ROM from the factory that gets updates almost as fast as Nexus devices...yeah...hard for me to pick against it.

  • Shane Newton

    After spending the last two weeks testing the top phones, it was easy to pick the Nexus 5 as my next phone. I couldn't get over the bloatware on the GS4, One and G2. The GS4 was the worst, as the One and G2 at least felt as snappy as the Nexus. The Moto X's touchless control and active display were kinda cool, but the overall speed of the phone felt sluggish compared to the Nexus 5.

    • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

      I got over the bloatware on the GS4 very easily. I bought a Google Play Edition. :D

  • JT3

    While the Nexus 5 is best for me, I had to vote for the Moto X. I can't live without wireless charging, and the Full HD of the N5 is hard to overlook, but otherwise, the Moto X offered the most actually usable new features. Admit it... if you have a phone other than Moto X, you're wishing you had Active Display and Touchless Control, aren't you?

    If we could lock the N5 and Moto X in a room and have them breed, their offspring would be perfect devices. (IMHO, of course)

    • Kostas

      Touchless Control and active Display to Note 3. The winner... right there...

  • http://movilesbaratosbcn.blogspot.com.es/ Moviles Baratos

    i think HTC

  • br_hermon

    The way I see it is there are 3 things that go into what makes a "good" phone: Price, Performance, Innovation. (There could be more but that's what I've got at the moment)

    The Nexus 5 here to me is the clear winner due to outstanding points for Price and Performance. It's weakest category is innovation (though it did incorporate Ok Google into GEL, though not as successfully as Moto did.)

    The Second best phone, to me, is the Moto X. Motorola is changing the way companies to mobile business. Customization, timely updates, pricing, innovative features all make for a strong argument. Specs aren't top of the line, but Moto proved they don't have to be. The Nexus 5 still beats it out in performance and price but the Moto X follows shortly behind due to strong performance in innovation and the other reasons listed above.

    Sure HTC made a premium phone with front facing speakers and maybe "innovated" with Blinkfeed. The S4 / Note 3 has a ton of software features, but it's software, we can get most of that functionality through Play apps or ROMs. Basically, while they offer their own features, I don't see them stacking up to the previously mentioned phones.

    I say the Nexus 5 is the "best phone" According to the 3 categories, it's the most well-rounded. However the "best innovative phone" I would give to the Moto X. The "best software feature set" (gimicky or not) I might give to the S4 / Note 3.

  • Simba

    Nexus hasn't been out long enough to warrant a vote in this discussion.

  • MSmith79

    If Nexus 5 had a better camera and better battery life, it would be the hands down winner in my opinion. If Droid Maxx had a better camera, it would be the winner. If the HTC One had 3 buttons including recent apps, it would be the winner. If the S4 (or Note 3) didn't have a physical button and included a recent apps button, it would be the winner. If Moto X came in 5" and had a better camera, it would be the winner. If Z1 had better viewing angles and supported more carriers, it would be the winner.

    So, to me the winner is: LG G2, but rooted with Stock Android or an AOSP variant.

  • bukithd

    Motorola G. I let my tablet do the heavy lifting of my android needs and having been happy with my GNex for 18 months now has made me realize I don't need a $400 dollar phone that I will only use chrome and facebook on.

  • kyle_gibson

    Another popularity contest.

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