What’s the best Android phone as of June 2013?

We’re quickly approaching the summer, and this is historically an important time for many device owners. The summer months are usually the time where most people look to do their upgrading, and you’re probably wondering what’s the best phone your hard-earned money can buy. Well, we’re here to help with that with our list of the best Android phones available (or soon to be available) as of June 2013.

I will warn you right away — not everyone is going to agree with this list. That’s OK, though, because once we’re all wrapped up we’ll be expecting to hear from you in the comments section below. So without further ado…

5 — Nexus 4

We admit it: Nexus devices typically have a bit of an unfair advantage. Google sells them for super cheap, they have very respectable specs, and you get a completely stock version of Android that is updated as soon as Google gives the green light on new builds. All of that comes together to make the Nexus 4 a very attractive buy for anyone lucky enough to be married to a GSM carrier.

Nexus 4 watermarked wm

So what else makes the Nexus 4 worth putting on this list aside from cost? For a starting price of just $300, you can get a 4.7-inch 720p device that has 2GB of RAM, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 1.3 megapixel front camera, Android 4.2.2 out of the box, NFC, wireless charging, and a lot more. It’s going to be a favorite until the next Nexus rolls around, and as Tupac once put it: “that’s just the way it is.”

4 — Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The Galaxy Note 2 may have launched late last year — around October/November, to be exact — but it has held up as one of the best smartphones you could spend money on today. Samsung’s 5.5-inch 720p pride and joy introduced some very innovative features. Credited with launching this new “phablet” craze, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 isn’t just big and beautiful: it has functionality that most others have yet to be able to emulate.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 watermarked

I’m mainly speaking about the device’s S Pen and the Wacom technology embedded in the display. It’s great for taking notes, drawing, and other productivity features, and it’s helped along by a robust suite of software crafted by Samsung.

For spec buffs, the device features an ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core SoC which, while not nearly as powerful as the latest options from Samsung or Qualcomm, can still hold its own in performance benchmarks. Tie all of that up with 2GB of RAM, a very nice 8 megapixel HD camera and more, and you can see why this device has yet to slip off our radar. Read more about it in our official Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review.

3 — LG Optimus G Pro

LG sought out to make a device that could help dig them out of the hole they got themselves into last year. The LG Optimus G was a good start, but it wasn’t until the Korean manufacturer launched the LG Optimus G Pro that we saw just how serious they were about turning the ship around. This device is easily LG’s best yet, and LG’s best was enough to make our short and exclusive list.

LG Optimus G Pro featured

Coming in at 5.5 inches, this device directly challenges the aforementioned Samsung Galaxy Note 2, but in terms of specs it outclasses the competitor in almost every way. Let me rattle off a quick list of the embedded silicon for you:

  • Qualcomm’s 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 13 megapixel rear camera with 1080p HD video recording
  • 1080p display
  • 32GB of internal storage
  • 3,140mAh battery

Need I say more? Of course, specs don’t always mean the world, but LG’s advancements in software are shining through more brightly here than ever before. The company has really found its groove when it comes to delivering the entirety of the smartphone experience, and there’s little else beating it right now.

2 — Samsung Galaxy S4

It’s no surprise Samsung’s taking up two spots on this list. We’d be fools to exclude the Samsung Galaxy S4 in any list of the “best of” anything in smartphone tech. Even with many believing the Galaxy S4 is more of an iterative device than anything else, the Galaxy S4 turns heads. Samsung was already able to put together quite the impressive smartphone experience with its predecessors, so to build on that even in any moderate way still warrants a spot at #2.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Smart Scroll

Our Samsung Galaxy S4 review should be enough to show anyone why it’s so high on our list, but here’s a quick recap: when you combine a 5-inch 1080p display that can detect your finger hovering over it, a quad-core processor (big.LITTLE Octa Core for non-LTE or Snapdragon 600 for LTE variants), 2GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel rear camera with a 2 megapixel front sensor, awesome new socially-driven camera features, and Samsung’s exhaustive set of learning and productivity tools, you’ve done enough to earn such a high spot on this list.

Sure, it’s not the metal Adonis that a certain other smartphone happens to be, but plastic never hurt anyone and as long as the internals are kept nice and tight we don’t have any issues. PS: even if you don’t like TouchWiz, you can always consider the Nexus experience version of this device that will get you stock Android, an unlockable bootloader and upgrades straight from El Goog in Mountain View.

1 — HTC One (or HTC Won?)

Ah, yes, the coveted #1 spot. A certain electronics manufacturer in Taiwan has decided to step its game up in a very big way in 2013 starting with none other than the HTC One. Chris couldn’t stop gushing about it in our HTC One review, and that’s with good reason — it’s just freaking awesome. We can safely say this is the first Android smartphone that can truly rival the iPhone 5 when it comes to a stunning combination of style, beauty and function.

HTC’s metal, gapless design made for a very slim fit in the hand, and it doesn’t feel like something that’s made for little tykes to handle. This is a grown up’s phone, and we have no problem conceding all the glory to HTC for the time being. So we know it looks good and it feels good, so what else makes this the must have device of the moment?

HTC One front homescreen

For starters, a new and improved version of HTC Sense has things looking more spiffy than ever. HTC Sense 5 includes the all new BlinkFeed, a home-screen aggregate feeding you all the stories that are important to you. It also has an innovative set of features in the camera software called HTC Zoe which, when coupled with the One’s nice UltraPixel camera, can create some stunning and creative photos and video. And, in typical HTC fashion, Beats Audio profile delivers crystal clear sound through the device’s front-facing stereo speakers. Awesomesauce.

If the new, lean and mean HTC Sense 5 wasn’t reason enough to get excited, then perhaps the rest of the device’s tale of the tape will. The HTC One has that “just right” screen size of 4.7 inches, and when you pair that up with the Super LCD 3′s 1080p resolution you get a stunning 468 pixels per inch.

There’s also Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage (64GB with the bootloader unlocked developers’ edition), NFC, an infrared port for controlling your TV and other infrared-enabled devices, and a lot more. Oh, and with the ability to purchase a Nexus experience edition of this phone starting June 26th for $599 in the Google Play Store you have a ton of options. Well, that’s unless you’re a Verizon customer. Sorry folks!

You Shouldn’t Pass up the…

Sony Xperia Z

Sony’s flagship Xperia Z (and, by extension, ZL) isn’t enough to crack the top 5, but this smartphone comes awfully close. Americans probably aren’t quite as interested considering how difficult it has become to get your hands on Sony devices these days, but SIM unlocked and import options are available.

Sony-Xperia-Z

The Xperia Z is a beautiful smartphone that doesn’t try to do too much. Sony has outfitted it with its own custom user experience on top of Android that emphasizes pristine playback of movies, music and games. Oh, and did I mention it’s waterproof? This 5-inch device deserves a few minutes of your time whenever you’re trying to decide which smartphone to go with for the foreseeable future.

HTC DROID DNA

Verizon owners are without an HTC One right now, and although rumors say that should change in the coming months those who prefer HTC devices don’t have a better choice than this at this moment in time. The DROID DNA isn’t a bad phone, it just doesn’t have the same kick that the younger HTC One boasts. Of course, that’s because this particular release came at the tail-end of HTC’s “let’s just get the rest of these phones out so we can start working on our real baby” cycle. You can take a chance on the rumors swirling around if you want, but if you can’t wait any longer then there really isn’t any other choice.

Affordable Alternatives

piggy-bank1

Unfortunately for some people, the best Android phones might not necessarily be the best phones for them. For some people, the devices listed above are priced well beyond their interest. We just want to take some time to highlight some of the more affordable devices that should still get the job done.

Do you agree?

Of course, many of you are bound to have your own opinion. In the event that you do, we want to hear it! Let us know if you agree with our rankings, and if you don’t then be sure to state your case in the comments section below. Let’s help each other pick out a new smartphone for the summer and get on with our Android-filled lives!

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  • IronHorse01

    Totally agree Htc One best all around phone on the planet right now

    • barondebxl

      Yes it is. Coming from a guy who used both phones and is a Samsung guy. HTC really nailed it this year.

      • IronHorse01

        My contract actually expires today, tomorrow ill be picking up my One as soon as the AT&T store opens, can’t wait !!

        • barondebxl

          You’re going to love it. Guaranteed!

          • IronHorse01

            I already and i haven’t opened it get just from playing with the demo ones !

          • Justin W

            Or your money back!

            Edit: I agree, though, the phone is truly amazing. My favorite part: It’s a sexy-ass device.

          • IronHorse01

            It’s beautiful eye candy!

      • simpleas

        Forget the GS4, even my Note 2 beats the One easily with it’s slew of practical features and wacom pen. ^_^

        • IronHorse01

          I prefer the cleaner look of sense as opposed to too bloated touchwiz also prefer the build quality of the One as as well as the screen of the one, its just personal preference that’s just my opinion but hey to each their own ;)

          • simpleas

            Just make sure you don’t mistake build quality with build material. Samsung has great quality.

          • IronHorse01

            I agree I had an S3 before and I know what you’re talking about I’m aware of the difference ;)

          • barondebxl

            Yes they do. Better than HTC usually.

          • simpleas

            Yes, even down to the stuff people don’t see inside the phone. Just check out ifixits stuff. Amazing.

        • No_Nickname90

          I never gave LG the time of day. The LG Optimus G Pro looks promising. Hmm…

          • simpleas

            I agree, lg does look nice. And they proved they can make great phones. I just wish they had better production management.

    • simpleas

      how is it the best all around phone when it has half the practical features of sammy? man, take off your wife beaters makes you look gay lol

      • IronHorse01

        Excuse me? How did we go from a phone debate to you calling me gay?
        Also what you call practical I call bloat or something I won’t use it’s my preference

  • OMFCody

    Agree 100%.

  • drspikes

    Yes – keep being surprised by how good the HTC One is (including Sense overlay)

  • King_James_The_Wicked

    I agree, just wish the One was available for Verizon… I still love my Note 2

  • Sharky

    With sense it was questionable. With stock android it’s undeniable. Wish they’d added the nexus button layout though, still holding out to see what Motorola come up with.

    • Kevin

      Yes, even if the buttons were capacitive and not on-screen, the nexus button layout is superior, though if it was capacitive it would need to be back, home, menu. That crummy menu bar that pops up for some apps is crummy.

      • TheDome

        it’s sad that HTC didn’t learn their lesson from last year’s flagship

      • Sharky

        The menu bar looks bad but this is the fault of any developers still relying on it, I’d prefer to see all manufacturers ditch the Menu button and nearly all apps updated to not require it.

  • rdoid

    HTC one is the 1. Awasome display, cool s/w features and flawless design. Most probably it would be left behind when new version of OS comes along but that is true for almost all android phone. HTC really has a winner here.

    • Martin Lane

      Don’t agree with that at all, the OLED display on the Galaxy S4 is gorgeous, deep blacks, amazing viewing angles and colors that really stand-out and with different screen modes you can adjust colors to whatever you prefer.

      The design isn’t flawless on the HTC One either, curved back means the phone rocks back and forth when on a flat surface when trying to use it, you get an on screen menu button in allot of apps using up your screen space, the power button is in a location you can’t reach with one hand.

      Also those speakers and metal build come at a cost, smaller screen, no removable battery, no sdcard slot, heaver and thicker device.

  • jeremyseattle

    I never thought HTC could put one over on Samsung, but from what I’ve seen of the One, it’s definitely the top phone right now. I just broke the screen on my GS3, so a One might be in my near future…

    • TheJunkie

      I don’t think they did. Those are both great phones. Personally, HTC one would be my clear choice, but I can’t fault people for going either way. I hope HTC can ride the momentum to provide some competition in the near future. As much as I like the galaxy S4, it was made by a company even more evil than Apple.

  • yippiedad

    Oops, you left out the Oppo Find 5 (www.oppostyle.com). For me it’s currently the one true competitor to the HTC One.

    • Shawn Hazen

      s4 pro is like SOOOO totally late 2012!

  • Rockin Rose

    I agree too! I have the HTC One and it’s the best phone I’ve ever had. I am with Sprint and have had all 3 EVO’s and this just is the best all around phone ever.

  • hans

    Yes, Yes, Yes! The HTC One is such a fantastic product – My sister got hers and i can’t wait for my upgrade next month to get mine too :D

  • simpleas

    Online blogs lol… In the real world GS4 owns!

  • Blkegk

    I’ll take the S4 over the one all day everyday.

    • TheJunkie

      Good for you. But I do feel sorry that you got the second best:)

  • toomuchgame441

    It’s unmistakable, the HTC One is the best all around the device. I copped it and I have no regrets at all over choosing it over the S4. And hopefully timely updates can only improve the experience overall

  • fly’nfree

    +1

  • supremekizzle

    FLAWLESS VICTORY.

  • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

    I disagree, respectfully. After having owned the One for three weeks, I traded it in for an S4, and couldn’t be happier. I did love the One, and the feel of cold aluminum, but it’s also noticeably heavier and thicker than the S4. The One’s thick bezels around the screen never stopped bothering me. And I had to return two of them because of wifi issues and build quality issues (screen not flush and uneven; areas of missing polymer between the aluminum plates).

    I can completely understand why someone would prefer the One — I myself switched carriers for it, I had looked forward to it so much. But I think Samsung has gone out of fashion with the tech elite due to their success and focus on bells and whistles. Fair enough, but there’s a reason people love those bright, contrasty AMOLED screens. The S4 is a marvel of engineering — the thing feels like it’s *all screen*, a feeling you’ll never get on the One. And so thin, the S4 feels like a big wafer in your hand. Oh, and its specs outperform the One, if only modestly.

    I love the One, but I think Samsung deserves credit for making a brilliant phone as well. One that I happen to prefer.

    • Babs Oyed

      I couldn’t agree with you more

    • DavidVarghese

      I agree that the S4 is a great piece of engineering, and I’d honestly be happy with the H1 or the S4. Samsung managed to make the phone every bit better than the S3, while managing to keep the micro-SD slot and a removable battery. But what drove me away from the S4 was Touchwiz. Even though it was improved by a ton of features, it still wasn’t as smooth or as clean as Sense 5. HTC has gone out of their way to de-bloat their skin, and make it appealing to the eye; a route I wish Samsung took.

      Sure, one can say to “root it and get over it,” but I don’t usually root/ROM/mod until the OEM stops supporting or takes too long with updates (oh my HTC Hero days…). Also, I don’t buy a phone only having to root it and put a custom ROM on it. It defeats the purpose of buying the S4 (has some cool features), and you lose the warranty on the phone in the process.

      Putting a replacement launcher isn’t the same as the skin overlay by the OEM. Although they are very customizable, it is never as stable as the OEM skin, and it removes cool features from Touchwiz, like multi-window.

      Although what I’ve said was mostly personal preferences, you still can’t deny much of what I’ve said. I don’t buy phones for the hardware, rather, I buy it for the experience. For me to consider Samsung for future Galaxy phones, they really should overhaul Touchwiz to be the best, because in hardware, there’s no doubt Samsung will deliver. Although your experience with the H1 wasn’t too great, mine was fantastic, and HTC has definitely delivered with the experience of the phone: through Sense 5, the solid feel of the phone, and hardware. I’m interested to hear on your take of what I’ve said.

      • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

        I agree that Touchwiz is uglier and more intrusive than Sense 5. I even liked Blinkfeed. And as you mention, there are pros and cons to using replacement launchers. That said, I installed Nova on both, almost immediately. For me, the aesthetic benefits and customization options are just too much to give up, even for Blinkfeed. Samsung made it an easier decision by offering virtually nothing I wanted in Touchwiz. The multi-window thing, like many of the Samsung features, struck me as a gimmick that (for me) provided no real utility, at least not on a phone-sized device.

        That said, I agree with your perspective that we must take the total experience into account, including both hardware and software. Like you, I tend to only root new phones after I see a genuine utility, and I haven’t seen that for the S4 quite yet. But I expect we will soon, and at that point, we may be able to experience the benefits of the S4′s amazing hardware free of those remaining Touchwiz burdens that replacement launchers don’t take care of. And there are plenty of those.

        But the bottom line for me is that they’re both worse than stock, and I knew I’d do whatever I could to get rid of the custom UIs, through launchers and later probably rooting. Given that fact, choosing the lesser of two evils on the software front didn’t make sense for me.

        • Ricardo Moura Rocha

          Considering this then, which would you guys choose from, HTC One Google Edition or the S4 Google Edition from the play store considering that the HTC One is cheaper than the S4??

          • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

            I would choose the S4 because I actually prefer the hardware, but your experience may vary. The One is a lovely object, but I’ve found the S4 works better as an actual phone/internet device, due to the larger screen and thinner, lighter body. It’s really like the phone disappears and you’re holding a giant screen. I also appreciate being able to open it up and replace the battery and memory card. But if you like the One’s styling and aluminum build, there’s no denying it’s pretty cool.

          • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

            I think the point about being able to open it up to replace the battery is a point that a lot of people overlook. It’s incredibly easy and useful to buy a couple spare batteries (OEM and cheap) on Amazon, a standalone battery charger and carry a couple tiny extra batteries with you. Doing this has saved me on so many occasions I’ve lost count. Want to go run around a city with your friends all day and night? Want to go camping? Need to run GPS for a long time and then still have a phone? Need to use your phone a lot but don’t want to be tethered to a charger for some reason? The only way to do this with any assurance of still having battery life is to utilize removable batteries.

        • Martin Lane

          Foldermount, that’s a good enough reason to root the Galaxy S4

          The ability to move apps over to a microsd card is a huge advantage over the HTC One, all my games are on my 64GB microsd card

          You simply can’t do that with the HTC One and we will probably never see the more expensive 64GB versions of either devices in most regions

          • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

            I know that in the past, moving apps to an sdcard has caused lag issues (even if they’re only slight ones). Have you found this to be the case with the S4?

          • Martin Lane

            The loading times will be a little longer but it’s a small trade-ff to have all your favorite games and apps with you, once loaded gameplay is the same.

            NOTE: The Snapdragon version I know doesn’t support UHS-1 speeds, however some Exynos users I’ve spoken to are reporting it does support it and are getting much higher read/write speeds, if that’s the case you won’t notice any difference in loading times.

      • New_Guy777

        Launchers don’t take multi-window out. I know, I have an S3 with Apex Launcher. Multi-window is very smooth. I like scrolling app launcher trays and 9 windows at a pinch, both of which are available through Apex. What that does is put TouchWiz in its proper place. The Camera truly rocks, S-Beam (and company) are available to those that use it, Multi-Window works smoothly, and the menu is a lot prettier than vanilla android, while still holding the same basic format and function.

    • Jmaxku

      You just sold me on the GS4 Google Edition. I was really concerned about the One’s rather large bezel. I understand the front facing speakers are a nice feature that increase the size of the bezel, but I believe front facing speakers are way more beneficial on tablets–like my Nexus 10–because users generally watch more media on tablets–at least I do. Also, the navigation button layout on the One seems less than ideal.

      • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

        Yeah, it goes beyond the speakers, but between them and the additional bezel area, the One’s screen seems to take up so much less of the device’s front face than does the S4′s. It’s like a double-matted photo frame, and it honestly struck me as behind the times, given Samsung, Sony, and LG’s noticably slimmer bezels this year. I agree about the navigation buttons too — the One’s lack of a dedicated menu button causes many apps to create a big, black bar across the bottom of the screen, just to have that three-dot software menu button on screen. Not just obscure apps either — Facebook was one of them. This further reduced the One’s functional screen space.

        Still, I do miss those speakers!

      • Psykhe

        The lack of the multitasking button is also one thing which stops me considering the One. I mean, really, what where they thinking? “Hey, lets put our logo somewhere the user as to look very often. It builds brand recognition if he gets annoyed each time that we removed a button for it!”

        • andddlay

          assuming you’re in favor of the s4 (i love both, just playing the devil’s advocate), how is not having a multitasking button any different than the s4′s button layout? you press and hold the home button on the s4 as well as on the one – one is just physical and the other capacitive.

          wireless G was referring to the menu button, which i agree 100% – it is very annoying.

          • Psykhe

            It is quite possible to dislike both phones ;)

            With Samsung I dislike (like you it seems) their physical home button fetish. Which, sadly, is unlikely to vanish soon, they had it on their phones even before the iPhone.

            But while you could argue about the usability with Samsungs layout (some people do like physical home buttons after all) the one of HTC is nothing but a Designer brainfart, not really different as if they had printed their logo in large letters on the screen. I do not think anyone thinks of the Ones two button layout as a positive thing.

            I myself prefer the 08/15 onscreen button layout like on the Nexus 4. Which I do not have either. I am still suffering my old Nexus S, I think I will manage to avoid throwing it out of the Window till the new Nexus or Motorolas (probably not that impressive) X-Phone. We’ll see.

    • Canon User

      I think people love the bright over-saturated AMOLED screens for the same reason they loved TVs in the store with the sharpness turned up too much.

      I would kill to have the EVO LTE’s SLCD screen in my GS3 :(

      • phinn

        True but the GS4 is a massive improvement over the GS3. The pentile 440ppi makes the sub-pixel density around what the Retina is of 300+. Also the colors are far more accurate and it’s far brighter:

        http://www.displaymate.com/Galaxy_S4_ShootOut_1.htm

        • titanium_man

          It was actually hard for me to go from the Gnex amoled to the N4′s TFT . I was so used to the ink blacks (the actuall pixels turn off) that dont suffer from the wash out that LCD blacks get when the panels light source bleeds through, amoled colors are generally brighter, reds, yellow and oranges, and the viewing angles on my gnex are surprisingly better, easier for me to read black text using me gnex

    • mhmmd123

      I have the HTC One since day one, I never have any issue with it and it has great connection to the Wi-Fi anywhere… And it`s speedy on the 4G network. The screen it is really flash and nice color too. I came from SGS3 And SGNote and SGNote2. But, I love the One and I am not looking back.

    • TheJunkie

      I disagree with your disagreement. Thank you.
      Galaxy S 4 is a great phone and it already got more credit then it deserved. What else do you want?

    • Patrickl69

      Agree completely. I was tempted to get the HTC One, but it just has too many niggling (little) issues that kept me away. I don’t like the edges in the housing, don’t like aluminium as a housing actually (damages too easily), didn’t like the awkward capacitive button arrangement, the camera is poorer in almost all conditions and the battery on a smartphone has to be replaceable (they last too short for it to be a fixed item). I did like the speakers of the HTC One. Amazing sound. The looks were nice too, but I expected more. It looked better in photo’s than when I looked at it in the store. The S4 actually looked better than what I expected from photo’s (or the barrage of haters). Don’t much care for the slippery battery door though. Am looking to have that replaced by a non slip one ($4 from china)

      • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

        I actually found the One to be more slippery than the S4, which doesn’t feel good (sticky, slick plastic) but also doesn’t slip out of my hand easily. Still, I was thinking of getting one of those replacement battery covers, provided it doesn’t add any noticeable thickness. Which one are you planning to get?

    • Martin Lane

      It seems to be the cool thing to like the HTC One and hate Samsung right now.

      I appreciate the boomspeakers but I always have people around me when I’m out so for serious listening i’ll always use headphones so not to annoy people around me, so are boomspeakers really useful? I don’t think so, the only place I could really use them is at home but why would I use a phone to listen to music or watch videos at home? I wouldn’t, I’d use my TV or my computer , simple as that.

      Even though the Galaxy S4 arguably has more advantages over the HTC One everyone loves it because of the material used, yet Android users have been choosing plastic over metal for a long time when comparing to the iPhone.

      Anyway, Seems like a bit of a double standard to me.

      • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

        Yes, I agree, especially among tech blog writers. Aluminum is the cool thing, and I am glad someone finally made a well-designed Android phone out of it too, but that doesn’t mean materials are the only important factor in design. I found the Ones I had (I returned two of them before finally giving in and switching to the S4) suffered from inconsistent build quality with screen mounting and the distribution of the material between the metal plates.

        I completely disagree with the widespread argument that the S4 doesn’t have a “premium” feel to it. True, it’s made of plastic, but it’s so well engineered, I was immediately amazed at how well built it was. Amazing they could support that big a screen with so little bezel, and while keeping it so thin. It may be an “iterative” upgrade from the S3 in some ways (though doubling the number of pixels seems like a big deal to me), but they’re iterating in the right direction.

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      I believe you mentioned it below, but having a removable battery should still be considered a coveted feature. It’s incredibly easy to buy a couple spare batteries (OEM and cheap) on Amazon, along with a standalone battery charger – this enables you to easy charge and carry a few spare, fully charged batteries at all times. They’re small and unobtrusive and they have saved me on so many occasions I’ve lost count.

      .

      Want to go run around a city with your friends all day and night? Want to go camping? Need to run GPS for a long time and then still have a phone? Need to use your phone a lot but don’t want to be tethered to a charger for some reason? The only way to do this with any assurance of still having battery life is to utilize removable batteries. This is going to be the case until we see new battery technology, because right now, more battery life = bigger physical battery and phone manufacturers just aren’t willing to increase the size of their phones that much.

    • Daniel Keane

      Have to agree with you, this site has been very ass-kissy towards the HTC One lately IMO, no way should it ahead of the S4, which is an insanely good phone.

  • Nick Manning

    I opted for the S4 over the HTCOne here in the UK due to the long contracts.

    I wanted to get the One as my Desire was Ace!

    The swinging factor was the lack of removable battery. My Nexus had to have a battery replacement at about 14 months……didnt fancy having a brick or a large bill in a years’ time

  • Dan Fryling

    I had to upgrade because someone stole my S2. I went with the S4 because I lost confidence in HTC years ago. But I want HTC to succeed and hope that they sell as many ones as it takes to stay in business.

  • Christopher Robert

    Note 2 > optimus g pro.

    might not have they pixel density or the mega pixel camera. But the software is better and the sPen is awesome. And the AMOLED is a better screen.

    • Canon User

      AMOLED is certainly not a better screen.

      There are aspects that may be, but not objectively absolutely ‘better’.

      I’m so sick of pentile.

      • DYNK

        Rofl as if you can notice 720p pentile screen and Note II isn’t even Pentile.
        is like a 2011 haters comment when Galaxy II ruled world.

        • Canon User

          I’m specifically thinking of my GS3 versus my wife’s EVO LTE. Clearly and obviously superior. So you can take your nonsense 2011 comment elsewhere.

      • Martin Lane

        You can’t see individual subpixels even with pentile at 1080p so it doesn’t matter anymore.

        • Canon User

          That may be true at this size and that res, but this I also had people telling me that about 720p and the previous generation when it wasn’t true, so I’ll withhold judgement there just yet.

  • Monstet

    Agreed

  • shmigga

    SGS4 for the win! No thank you HTC.

  • Jordan Caviness

    This is the first time i have ever agreed 100% with a “top 5″ anything. I thought you guys would put the GS4 @ no.1, but i agree why the HTC one is. I also like how you put LGN4 @ no.5 as it is a respectable option for those seeking an affordable phone (Im waiting for the white one). 2 of my co-workers have the GN2, and they take notes on them during trainings, combine the functionality with the fact it is older than the LGN4, and it makes sense to place it @ No.4…

  • Ruben Ali Fuenmayor

    Thank you for mentioning the Xperia Z. 5″ full HD Bravia tv that can take pictures and record video underwater. Must have for the summer! I love mine so much i have yet to root it lol.

    • Brian Garlick

      I would love to have this phone……In the US it’s just too bad. It was the best phone of CES easy, and I just got an S4, and the build quality is no where near what the Xperia Z was. If it was on Verizon and LTE, I would be an owner in a heart beat.

      • Ruben Ali Fuenmayor

        I leased my Verizon line to my bro-in-law, sold my Galaxy Nexus for $200, signed a contract with ATT, bought an Xperia TL for $1 which i sold for $300, used those funds to buy an unlocked Xperia Z. Now i am no longer envious of the rest of the world. BTW LTE is faster the HSPA+, unless you are downloading huge files you really wont notice a difference.

        • Ziich

          i got the c6602 on tmobile and get download speed from 15-20mbps and uploads of about 3mbps

  • Rampage1

    Totally agree with your top 5. I purchased the HTC one for my wife and she loves it, the few times she puts it down I run over and play with it even for just a minute I have a hardware upgrade coming soon and I am definitely getting the HTC one. I also like the Galaxy s4 but I am bothered by the reviews that say it lagggs even with a quad core processor, also a lot of reviews say some of the software features don’t work as advertised.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      In my time with both the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, the One is definitely more snappy and light on its feet. Samsung bogged down Android considerably with this new version of TouchWiz…

  • http://twitter.com/troyboytn Troy Owens

    The One being on top is the opinion of many, however, there are well over 5 million “more” consumers who voted with their wallet to confirm the S4 being number 1. I also want to point out before the blabbering about marketing starts that there have been 20 or more HTC One commercials this year to every Samsung S4 commercials…… I used to be the proverbial HTC “fanboy”, but HTC has left a bad taste in my mouth far too many times with previous phones and I feel this to be the case with many, many other consumers. I for one will vote with my cash toward Samsung for the foreseeable future….if and until Samsung leaves me with that bad taste.

    • tarusdg

      More people buy iPhones too. That makes it better than all other phones by your logic. Mcdonalds has billions of customers as well. Ford sells more trucks than anyone. Are they the best, I don’t know.

      • simpleas

        Sammy just offers more.. thats undeniable. If you like aluminum one is for you. If you dont mind, GS4 slaps it left and right.

  • tarusdg

    I think The LG Optimus G should be on the “you shouldn’t pass up the…” list.

  • Ben Lutgens

    There’s no way the One beats the S4! No uSD, no removable battery, Sense bloatware. Compare that with the awesome hardware and new features of the S4. People are all frothy over the metal case of the One. F that noise. They get all scratched up. HTC is circling the drain, who wants to buy hardware from a likely-sinking ship?

    • EarlyMon

      HTC revenue in 2012 was over US$9.6 billion. That’s down from 2011 (when people panicked over the bogus Apple lawsuit) and up from 2010.

      The One this year, while 2-to-1 behind the SGS4 in sales, is close to the sales record of the SGS3 during its same period of sales performance last year. (3 million SGS3′s were sold in 21 days last year, the One moved 5 million already, most in the last month after production increased.)

      I’d hardly call that circling the drain and a sinking ship.

  • tarusdg

    SGS4 may be the best phone, i don’t know. The amount of people that buy the phone doesn’t make it the best though.

  • Jonathan Mallett

    Would have liked to see an honourable mention go to the Oppo Find 5. Great Phone with a really good price point!

  • MrMLK

    Galaxy Note 2. No question. Giant Screen, MicroSD, removable battery. THe HTC doesn’t even tempt me. If I want a smaller screen with no expansion and a built in battery, I’ll go back to the iPhone.

    • xanok

      Seriously? Small screen? I know the One is no Note 2, but comparing it to the iPhone is just silly.

      • MrMLK

        Well, maybe not the screen (although, once you get used to 5.5 inches, 5 inches just doesn’t seem like enough), but that still leaves the MicroSD and the replaceable battery.

  • Crimsonshadow774

    The S4 and One are too evenly matched not to be tied.

  • Tony Lai

    S4 with bunch of design flaws, half-baked and gimmicky software just can’t cut it. The part Samsung wins by far is the marketing, haha~

  • Bill Farrell

    It’s a very subjective question here. I tend to lean towards the Samsung phones but I can agree that both #1 and #2 should both be #1. Depending on your likes and dislikes either of these are the top phone.

    • whirly89

      Couldn’t agree more. S4 wins out in specs, but One owns it in design and quality minus the front facing speakers. A tie would have made more sense in this article as it’s most based upon personal attraction to the phone when it comes to choosing between the two devices. Another phone that should have made the list is the Oppo Find 5

    • http://www.destructoid.com Niero Gonzalez

      Disagree. Specs and software are similar, but you can’t hold both of these phones and pick the S4. Its the difference between a toy and a modern appliance. I’ve owned nothing but Samsung phones and I couldn’t believe how plasticky it felt in comparison; I can’t defend it.

      • Bill Farrell

        But that goes right back to being YOUR personal preference. Mine is for the S4.. They are both should be the best phone as of June 2013!

      • Sean Royce

        Why are people so bent about build quality? Actual build quality counts for whats on the inside, and how well it was put together, and it’s not flimsy and ready to break in your hand.

        • Patrickl69

          Indeed, and the HTC One seems to have a lot of build quality issues. “Build quality” as in “quality of the build” as opposed to “build quality” as in “quality of the housing material used”.

          • Sean Royce

            Definitely a good statement.

        • Martin Lane

          People seem to mistake the two, I’m hearing about loads of people returning HTC One over and over to find one without build quality issues. That’s just not happening with the Galaxy S4.

          • Sean Royce

            Yeah, it’s seems to have been happening a lot. Samsung really got it down.

        • Sonya A. Willis

          Agree. many people are now using the same arguments that iPhone people use. Personal preference is what counts but it’s disingenuous to say that the HTC One is better simply because of the build materials.

          • Sean Royce

            Yeah, and a lot have said that it heaps up a lot, although so does the S4, or any other good smartphone for that matter.

      • Balansi Kherwyn

        You are like my friend.. All they say is how PREMIUM it feels in the hand — thats all it matters. After he got his HTC ONE, the first accessory that he bought is an otterbox case.

        I asked him, “whats the point of that premium aluminum feel if you cover it?” .. He answered, “You have to know that this is an aluminum and if you ding it, even the tiniest ding, it will stay forever”..

        I am really confused.. PREMIUM FEEL then you buy a case.. LOL.. what’s the POINT!?

  • Anthony McKay

    disagree. Nexus 4 is by far the winner in my book! I wrote a self autobiography you can find it in there.

    • HeatFan93

      Best value? Sure, it is #1 in that category. In terms of specs? The S4 takes the cake. The best device overall? HTC One and it is not close between itself and the Nexus 4. Your Nexus argument will be negligible June 26th. Both devices will have the latest software from Google. The One has better specs because it is a generation ahead of the N4.

      • h4rr4r

        Will the HTC one Nexus edition actually get updates from Google? I thought it was just as stock android HTC one that would still be getting software from HTC.

        • Erik Farrell

          Nope, according to the press release it will be getting updates straight from Google at release.

          • h4rr4r

            Thanks, I guess I just misunderstood. Hopefully that will work out better than my VZW GN. I can’t wait until I am out of this contract.

          • Erik Farrell

            I hear ya. I’m in the same boat with my Sprint GN. I got my update two months after release. Faster than Verizon but…

  • JulianZHuang

    im not sure about htc one. my gf’s htc one battery life die so fast. i even bought a pocket/portable battery for her.

    • domatau

      it’s all relative to usage style

    • Erik Farrell

      My wife just bought the ONE and this whole battery debate confuses me. She is a moderate user but as with any new phone it’s getting heavy use right now. When she’s not using it I’m playing with it and having phone envy. This battery last all day, even under our current new phone heavy use scenario. It gets unplug at 6:00am and makes it back to it’s charger by 11:00pm. We do have the battery saver mode enabled and she is at home on wifi all day as well. Her previous phone (Nexus S with an extended 2700mah battery) was a pig and hardly ever made it throughout the whole day. Obviously, there are many variables to consider but her apples to apples comparison holds up for us.

  • dancedroid

    shouldn’t pass up the LG Optimus G either!

  • LL

    Have a Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD and couldn’t be happier. Traded in an S3. No, it doesn’t the fastest processor, biggest screen, best camera or the smoothest interface compared to the Top 5 list. But none of that does any good if the battery goes dead in the middle of a hard usage day. Sure, I carried spare batteries, but it became a pain constantly monitoring battery levels and managing apps to conserve power. Now, I can run my Droid hard all day and never give a second thought to running out of power. It’s not unusual to get two full days of usage out of it.

    • Shawn Hazen

      That’s ONE reason why the s4 should top the list. This little thing called extended batteries that you can install in a non-unibody phone. My bro has a zero lemon in his gnex and gets over 2 days of battery life as a power user, netflix, pandora, etc. The s4 has insane battery life, I can only imagine what it would get with some kind of extended battery…

  • dave

    I’ll take the superior hardware of the Nokia Lumia line with WP8 any day over these. Android phones are all about who’s specs are best to run the OS smoothly enough. WP8 phones ALL run smoothly because the OS is superior and not a cluster #!@$…… or archaic like iOS

    • DavidVarghese

      Aaaahhhahahahahahaa
      Thanks Dave for the lols. You should really do stand-up comedy

      • dave

        Ignorant…

        • OptimusL

          Well hey now, don’t call him ignorant just because he believes in you. I think you’d do great in stand-up, especially with some of the previous material you have posted.

          • dave

            At least I stay on topic instead of posting smarta$$ comments, if you disagree, you would have facts to dispute me, but you don’t. I wonder why that is..

    • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

      I’m a bit of a Microsoft fanboy…but saying that WP8 is superior to Android is ludicrous. It’s clunky, ugly and the Lumia phones are square and heavy like bricks.

      I’ll take the One over a Lumia every day of the week.

      • dave

        Clunky is the appropriate word for Android, thanks for the verbiage assistance. Ugly is a matter of opinion.

        And drop a cheap, plastic Samsung phone from 3ft up, then a Lumia, tell me the results.

        • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

          I dropped my HTC One from six feet up, and all I got was a couple dings.

          I’m glad you enjoy Windows 8…but I’ve only ever seen 2 Lumias out in the wild, and one was the guys work phone, while his personal phone was a GS3. WP8 will always be in 3rd place, because Microsoft doesn’t know how to innovate when it comes to mobile. They’ll always be chasing Android…a real OS that you can actually use as an OS, instead of just a skin.

          • dave

            Of course you’ve only seen 2, I don’t think I have ever in the 2+ years I’ve been using it (WP7).

            WP8 IS innovation actually. Android is fine for tablets, but who wants a “real OS” on a phone? WP8 is all about speed. I can do anything that an Android user can in half the time.
            Plus, nothing beats the camera on a Lumia.

          • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

            Who wants a real OS on a phone? I do…that’s why I went Android. I want an OS that I can tailor to my needs, not one that shoves things down my throat. That’s leaves out both iOS and WP8.

          • dave

            What does WP8 “shove down your throat”? Get over your Android, it’s overrated. It can do no more than what WP8 can do, only slower and clumsier.

          • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

            Alright guy, if you say so. I’ll leave you to your delusions now.

          • dave

            And you’re under the popular and misinformed delusion that Android is god’s gift. Microsoft isn’t “cool” like iOS or Android, so people immediately shun it. Oh well, the people who aren’t sheep benefit.

    • Shawn Hazen

      Yeah my favorite part of WP8 is the app store. It’s so convenient to be able to browse ALL the apps on the market in just a couple hours :-)

      • dave

        That argument would of been good 2 years ago when WP7 came out. But now there are over 150k apps available, with most of the top ios/android apps. If you can’t find an app, or one that does the same thing as that app, you have issues. Saying there are a lack of apps just an ignorant statement

  • Discoverall

    Fairly I have to say HTC One and Galaxy 4 are recently issued phones. They suppose to be better. For further the retailer price of them already told us so apparently.

  • psalms207@gmail.com

    Gotta disagree with your affordable options… At least 2 of them. I work at Verizon. I up talk the RAZR M as a great low end phone – you’re right on there. But I literally tell my customers do not buy the Lucid 2, cuz it has power cycling issues. And the worst possible thing you could do is buy the Perception, cuz just like all the previous Pantech Android phones on Verizon, it’s crap!

  • androidscales

    samsung s4 is on the top beside N4

  • Babs Oyed

    Good article but I must disagree. I own the Galaxy Note II and I’ve spent significant time with the HTC One, and the Nexus 4 and limited time with the Galaxy S4.

    As far as functionality, battery life and just overall usefulness goes I’ll rank the Galaxy Note II 1st. Actually I’ve been spoiled by the Galaxy Note II. All others don’t even measure up

    I’ll rank the Galaxy S IV a very distant 2nd. Don’t get me wrong this is great phone and if there was no Note II, I’d be getting this awesome device.

    The HTC One would be a distant 3rd. I think this is also an awesome phone but in my experience, it bests the Galaxy S4 only in looks and apart from that the S4 actually wipes it’s you know what with this phone. Oh, also the SGS4 also feels much better to hold, it’s much easier to use, has more functions, better battery which is also removable, etc.

    I appreciate the work tech bloggers do, but I must say that they often get it seriously wrong and they seem to just parrot one another.

    I’m glad I actually spend a lot of time (unconscionable amount of time) with these devices myself and reach my own conclusions.

    I wish tech journalists would be more original, more hardworking and more accurate, instead of just following one another almost in lockstep and just all spewing the same revised, revisited and regurgitated mantra.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      “I appreciate the work tech bloggers do, but I must say that they often get it seriously wrong and they seem to just parrot one another.”

      That’s the thing — how can any of us be wrong in this matter? Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I, too, own a Galaxy Note II and am completely satisfied with it despite all the awesome devices being announced, but I just feel like the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 came strong into 2013 with a lot to put onto the table. That’s why I invited you guys to discuss in the comments: there’s bound to be some dispute. That’s fine. You might feel differently, but to say we got it “wrong” is to strip all the fun out of these sorts of posts and evaluations.

      TLDR: There’s no wrong answer.

      • Renkman

        Drops mic, walks away.

        HTC One all day long.

      • simpleas

        Quentyn, there is a wrong answer. And there is a biased answer. Yours fit both. htc one is the wrong answer. But it’s okay because we know HTC pays blogs like this so people can praise it’s aluminum… IF not, not sure why youre tyring to save htc. We need better more legitimate competion to sammy. Htc wasn’t it. They’re too small of a fish. Only online blogs praise the htc over gs4. in the real world, htc sells jack relative to samsung. Quentyn, take off your alumimum blinds and see how the Note 2 (forget gs4) easily beats one as the ultimate phone.

        Heck why don’t you apologize for your biased article? Just read the first comment on this article and see how people feel about GS4 being the best. 75-11 Take that Quentyn. I know you’re listening.

        • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

          I’m biased? I own a Galaxy Note 2, and would probably own an S4 if I didn’t have the Note 2. We aren’t getting paid by anyone for this article. The team simply felt the HTC One was the best all around phone you could buy right now. Sorry if you don’t agree. And sales don’t dictate everything. They’re important for a company’s bottom line, but you can’t use sales as a tool to measure quality or worth.

    • Martin Lane

      Many sites often go with what they consider the safe conclusion that will also generate hits.

      I don’t think being original is something they care much about, impartial reviewing methodology just doesn’t seem to exist when it comes to mobile phones.

      Anandtech do a reasonable job, however I doubt they are above the influence of other sites, we will see what happens with part 2 of their Galaxy S4 review.

  • Brian Burns

    Yeah sorry.. S4 is superior. I tested both, and the S4 won hands down. Just take pictures side-by-side and it’s obvious. The S4 also has for more new “toys” than the One. Who cares that the back is metal vs plastic – who doesnt keep these very expensive devices in a case anyways??

    • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

      The S4 also comes with half of it’s space taken up. Enjoy that 8 GB you have left for apps and games. Touchwiz is bloated and cartoonish and makes the S4 look like a child’s toy.

      I really wanted to like the S4, coming from an S3…but it basically seemed like an incremental upgrade. That’s why I went with the One. Plus, I can actually hear my videos and see my screen in the sun. Bonus!

      • Sean Royce

        Who cares? At least the S4 has capability for an SD slot and replaceable battery, which is not at all possible on the HTC One. Your argument is invalid. As for cartoonish? That’s all based on opinion. Down votes incoming!

        • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

          Sorry…the SD slot and replaceable battery don’t make up for the lag of Touchwiz for me. Down vote me all you want, I’m entitled to my opinion, and that opinion is that Samsung got lazy after selling 50 million S3s and didn’t put nearly enough effort in to the S4.

          Looking around, it seems that a lot of Android sites (including this one and Android Central) agree that the One is the superior phone to the S4.

          • Sean Royce

            I was referring to down votes for me, because that’s what people are like on the internet. Also, the S4 is quite remarkable, and I’ve used one a few times inside and out, and there was no noticeable lag, with exception of the widgets drawer, although I have read the stories.

          • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

            I’m not saying that it’s not a great phone. It certainly is…better than 99.9% of the phones on the market, or the absolute best if a removable battery and SD card are must haves for you. I just prefer the One, which is kind of odd since I’ve usually given up my HTC phones in the past for the Samsung alternative.

          • Sean Royce

            Yeah, I really can’t wait for the Note III. Should be a killer device.

          • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

            No doubt…especially if some of the rumors regarding build materials and specs are true.

          • Sean Royce

            Yeah, it’ll be killer, but I’ve heavily considered going back to iOS. Who knows. I’d go back in a heartbeat if they increased the size of the screen to at least 4.3 inches.

          • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

            I’m sure they will…about 5 years from now. Hahaha

      • Shawn Hazen

        Ummm…. the HTC One also comes with over half it’s storage take up (16gb version) except you CAN’T upgrade the SD card… lol

        • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

          There is no 16 GB version of the One. 32 and 64. I have the 32, and had 28 GB available out of the box.

      • Martin Lane

        No device comes with the full amount the storage advertised but yes the Galaxy S4 gives you a little less.

        But then again that space can be used just for apps because you can move your images, videos and music over to the sdcard.

        Also for advanced users you can move games over to the sdcard and massively expand your storage space with a 64GB microsd card.

        • http://www.standupforkids.org blackroseMD1

          True…the problem is that most people aren’t advanced users, and apps to SD has been disabled since 4.1. I just think that if Touchwiz and stock apps take up ~8 GBs of space, Sammy shouldn’t even have put out a 16 GB model. The minimum should have been 32.

    • simpleas

      Official test by dxolab? also reports S4 has better camera than the iPhone5, google it.

  • William Zoller

    I was going to resist putting my two cents in; but after reading multiple comments, I have to. I had the original HTC G1. Awesome phone. Loved it. Rock solid with few software defects. Then I got the Samsung Vibrant from T-Mo (one for my wife, and one for me). Worst phone EVER! The GPS/CPU integration was horrible. GPS NEVER worked even after the supposed bug fix. On top of that, my wife’s screen went pink/green and had to be sent back. They sent her another one that now has battery charging issues and all kinds of weird software bugs. Due to a mistake on T-Mo’s part, I was able to get rid of mine and get a full upgrade after only having it for a year. So, I got the HTC Sensation 4G. Ugh, another craptastic phone. Had all kinds of charging issues right out of the box (seems to be ok now). The real problem is, GPS stopped working about a year into owning the phone. Cannot lock onto sats at all, in any GPS app, including Google Maps. The phone takes forever to start up and seems to spend half the day auto-syncing. The battery drains super fast with minimal use and gets very hot with that aluminum build. The phone is very laggy at times and has issues in the Gallery department. Pics and videos sometimes show up as an error with an “!” instead of a thumbnail. Video trimming NEVER works, and ends up creating double videos. If you delete one of the doubles, the other one gets deleted too. Facebook for HTC Sense is horrible. Uploads fail all the time. Everybody’s birthday is displayed one day early in my contacts. The list just goes on and on. Moral of the story is, both Samsung and HTC have left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m not sure I’d be willing to sign another contract and fork out $200-$300 for the HTC One or the SGS4. I’ll wait for the Moto X. Let’s see how bad Moto sucks in comparison with Sammy and HTC…LOL. If they suck too, I’ll get an iPhone. Yikes!

    • Shawn Hazen

      Motorola has historically made good quality phones, they always just seem to lack the “wow” factor. but I think they’re working that out with the xfone. I seriously don’t think you’ll regret waiting for that, I was going to, but every time I wait for a phone I ALWAYS end up disappointed, that’s why I just jumped at the s4. I can always sell it if the xphone looks redonkydonk

  • disqus_P1JZFHum2q

    HTC might have made a good phone now, but their previous phones were iffy at best. They’ve lost the consumer’s confidence and they will not be back. I’ve never owned on HTC phone, learned from my friend’s mistakes. Samsung is the clear winner for delivering consistent results and for releasing Android updates periodically.

  • ntegrit

    Coming from a Galaxy Nexus, I wanted the One and was willing to leave Verizon (out of contract) to get “One”. However, due to our rural location, no other carrier was viable. And, finances being what they are, I opted for a FREE DNA. It’s understandable, then, that I would appreciate the inclusion of the DNA in the article, especially since only two of the top 5 are available from Verizon, and one of those seems ridiculously large (please forgive me, all you Note users, but I’m still challenged to understand the popularity of “phablets”). In other words, I find the list stacked against Verizon.

    • umataro42

      I would say that’s Verizon’s doing, since they control what phones will work on their network. I’m still rockin’ the Galaxy Nexus because I want to leave Verizon but it’s not realistic as far as coverage goes and I’m grandfathered into unlimited data.

      • Shawn Hazen

        I upgraded to the S4 from the gnex, I had custom ROM and kernel to get the most out of my phone, added an extended battery, which to be honest was like getting a brand new phone, not having to worry about battery life any more. To be honest… it’s like night and day, the s4 is a power house and a half. I highly recommend at least trying it out.

        Unfortunately (and fortunately) Verizon seems to spend most of their funding on expanding their network in stead of getting all the latest and greatest devices, but the s4 comes equipped and ready for Verizon’s AWS network, so when that switches on internet speeds are specced to at least double. SO, even in the long run this phone could pay off.

        In my opinion for your average user the HTC One MIGHT be a better choice (i think I’d still prefer the s4, i’m more referring to iPhone converts) but for modders like me, I think the s4 wins by a mile, slightly more powerful processor, faster RAM, not only bigger BUT expandable battery, will most likely have way more accessories (one thing I HATED about my gnex was lack of those, I never once was able to use my pogo pins), some of those “gimmick” features are SUPER handy (gesture scrolling is probably my personal fav).

        Yeah, the s4 probably has some issues on stock, but so does the HTC One. They both have storage issues, but at least you can expand the s4 with an SD card. And yeah, both of the companies are looking at ways to reduce this issue (HTC looking to maybe offer flashable AOSP, and Samsung looking to lighten their load somehow too) both good alternatives, but TBH, even as a flash whore (custom ROM flashing crackhead) after using a lot of the TW features, I look for TW based ROMs, rather than AOSP based, because a lot of the features are super cool and extremely handy.

  • Buttfucker iSheep are BUTTHURT

    Read the title, that should tell you what the article is about. I think you’re on the wrong website if you looking for that.

  • Dt Bell

    hmm thats odd no Virgin Mobile phones? Probably because they’re not so good.

  • Buttfucker iSheep are BUTTHURT

    I’d say the S4 and One are a draw based on personal preference, and were not even half way through the year yet so this article is premature.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      What does not being halfway through the year have to do with anything?

      • Buttfucker iSheep are BUTTHURT

        Derp…my fault, i reread the title of the article again, I missed the “as of June” part of it.

    • ryan rochford

      egh….i mean….compareing $199.99 models (on most US carriers *after rebates*) and as a referance for “better” im going with “better for the AVERAGE CUSTOMER”…i think that is fair…

      -The build quality on the One is just better…I don’t think there is much arguing that.
      -The cameras truly are a wash, depending on what kind of pictures you take.
      -The screens are a wash, i think most will prefer the crisp, bright as all heck, slcd3 on the ONE, but i see the argument for the AMOLED deep blacks and “smart cover” capabilities
      -The Storage is a wash, its great that the s4 allows an SD card, but you only have like 9Gb of usable storage out of the box….there are A LOT of average customers that would burn through that. That wont hold apps and a small music collection…. Many customers will NEED an SD card which drives up the cost of the device. The HTC one has about 27GB of storage out of the box. MOST customers will never use that. but if you needed to you would have to rely on the cloud, which will suck until there is 4g EVERYWHERE.
      -Speakers are better on the one….that’s no argument
      -battery is a draw. going off “out of the box” the one gets better batterylife. i dont put too much stock in “talk time” the HTC One is rated for 19hr of talk time, while the gs4 is rated for 15….so apples to apples the one is better. However you have a removable battery on the S4. The thing is, today, a much more practical option then carrying an extra battery in your pocket to swap out when needed, is the charging packs like moto’s new one, or a ’tilt powerplant’. they are a tad more money but can charge any phone, and carry about 2 batteries worth of charge. alsomost people wont have an issue getting through a day with the batteries you go home with on day one.
      -they have the same chipset here in the u.s., so speed is a wash.

      so overall, i think the article is correct. slight edge to the HTC One, but your not going to be unhappy with any phone on the list.

      • Buttfucker iSheep are BUTTHURT

        Alot of good points, I’ve held and used both devices, although I have no plans on buying either, I personally favor the S4 and I agree with jnt’s comment above.

  • sambohhhh

    I had a galaxy s2 for 2 years. sgs3 came outand I really was not that impressed. After doing custom roms and rooting my sgs2 I just got tired of ASOP and touchwiz. I ended up buying the infamous but elegant HTC one and I don’t regret it one bit. It just feels like a premium phone and Sense 5 makes it a user friendly phone experience. Sorry Sgs4… But I definitely found the best fit for me.

  • blue720

    Hey guys, the real winners are us. Look at the amount of debate that we have between Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, and others. It appears that everyone is stepping up and is producing some killer phones. And Google is in partnership to help release the Google experience with the top phones from the OEMS. Whether it is price or functionality, you have to agree that Android has infected the world and an Apple a day won’t keep the doctor away to cure it.

    • http://www.destructoid.com Niero Gonzalez

      Well put!

    • TheJunkie

      Absolutely. When there is competition, we are the only winners. Now if Microsoft and Nokia can just pick up their game, and we will be all set.

    • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

      Good point, and the next hurdle I hope Android OEMs can overcome is the American carrier system. Samsung seems to lead the pack by leveraging carriers to offer the same model phone, and now HTC has almost accomplished the same. If Google can find a way to take OS updates away from carriers, they’ll finally be relegated to competing on the merits of their price and performance, instead of backroom deals and extended contracts.

  • guitarist5122

    Note 2 #4?! Bull****! At least number 3, if not 2. It’s wicked fast and stable. And it’s spen bonus features give it some added bells and whistles that other phones don’t have. I really wish the HTC One would come to Verizon though. I’d love to play around with it and possibly sell my Note 2 for it.

  • Micha Ols

    If I had to choose, #1 would be the ASUS Padfone Infinity.

  • Danny Lewis

    These options really make Android shine. :) I love my Nexus 4 still, btw.

  • Brian S.

    Phandroid isn’t good at Poll.

  • C-Law

    You got it wrong not putting the Samsung gs4 in first! And I’m sure I’m not alone saying that

  • Maximillion82

    HTC One is definitely a very good phone, it really depends on personal taste, if you want a huge screen then the note is the #1 if you want stick Google and not pay a minor fortune it’s the N4 if you want removable battery and SD card it’s the S4. Basically there is not 1 best phone, there are multiple very good phones. But I agree if I’d have yo pick one it would be the One (Stock Edition) or N4

  • Barry Carothers

    Strongly disagree. the LG Optimus Pro G is the best phone on the list. bar none. the software is great, the amazing speeds of the phone is nowhere matched, and the specs speak for themselves. what a great piece of equipment. sad that it isn’t promoted the same as the others. That 1080P screen at 5.5″ is phenomenal. and its thinner than the Note 2. The HTC One doesn’t match it in screen size, and the black bezel around the HTC one is annoying for a 2013 phone. The GS3 is slow, and the Note 2 is nice, but not near the LG side by side.

    • ryan rochford

      tough to say a phablet is the “best phone that someone should consider buying” (which is the point of this atricle, no?) I think people make those giant screen phones out to be such a big deal, but in reality they are for a niche market. Phablets are NOT for everyone, whereas the s4 and ONE are geared more towards the mass public. Just my take…

      • Barry Carothers

        Good point Ryan. I’m older so I like a bigger screen. ..and I have used all phones. If the htc one was larger I wouldnt pick it. For other reasons. But I think you made a good point.

  • WadeDogg

    good to see HTC getting some love with this phone. this is great for consumers because competition is a good thing. companies raising the bar to beat each other means better products for us.

  • taz89

    Personally I think the s4 is the best all round phone but I have no problem with the one being considered best because it itself is a great phone.

  • HeatFan93

    No LG Optimus G for the affordable alternatives?

  • dsgrimes

    Personally I can’t stand Samsung phones with their cheap plastic bodies and the useless Touch Wiz. I recently bought the Nexus 4 and it is the best Android phone I’ve owned. My choice was between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the N4 (The S4 was not out yet) The N4 felt smoother switching between apps, the screen was sharper and it had a superior build quality. Also you can’t tell me the HTC One or the S4 is worth $350 more than the Nexus unlocked.

    • andrew__des_moines

      Touch Wiz lasted about 5 minutes for me before it was covered up with Nova Launcher Prime.

      • ryan rochford

        I can never get custom launchers to run right. there is always a glitch or an issue or redraws.

        unless you consider trebushet on cm10.1, but that comes built in…so …yeah

        • andrew__des_moines

          There is a free version of Nova — I would give it a try. It is considered by many or most to be the best out there. I have had zero issues on my Note 3 or my previous GSII.

  • NightAngel79

    I think Droid DNA deserves more credit honestly. Can you say FIRST phone with 1080 screen :D

  • NorthVandea

    Nexus 4 is disqualified for lack of 4G LTE, Galaxy Nexus takes its place by default. I love Google, but why would you take this technological step backwards? No thank you.

    • ryan rochford

      hpsa+ keeps up with LTE on most levels, and bests it in some. Don’t hate…

  • Deveal2014

    Coming from a Note 2 ….I would say the HTC ONE is the best phone ive ever owned . The speed is just fantastic & the screen is a marvel.

  • http://www.destructoid.com Niero Gonzalez

    Had the HTC One not skimped on the camera it would be the perfect phone. Google Ultrapixel vs Metapixel for comparison shots and you’ll see its just marketing spin for a last-generation camera. I’m holding out until they fix that. The S4 is cool, but after holding an HTC One it feels like a cheap plastic discount phone in comparison.

    • Deveal2014

      The HTC ONE photos are just fine …ive taken amazing photos with the phone. I’ve also seen plenty other amazing shots that people share online.

      • ryan rochford

        i second this. i have played with a one, s4, optimus G, and iphone 5 camera side by side. In my opinion the One had the best cam indoors and in low light followed by the s4, ip5, and then the G.

        Outside in direct sunlight the s4 camera looked better (once you got inside…the Ones screen looks 10000X better in the sun, that slcd3 is the tits)

  • Matt Tanksley

    I died a little when I realized that there hasn’t been a solid keyboard phone since the Droid 4, released a year and a half ago. Marginalized again. :(

  • hoz590

    ok

  • mirage03

    Htc one? #1? Lol i disagree, it’s a nice looking device sure, but it lacks innovation… Not a well crafted device compared to the s4. Aside from the s4′s great engineering, you can call the features gimmicky but their still innovation/advancement.. objectively speaking..

    • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

      lol, I love Samsung and I currently own an S3 dissing the One because it lacks “innovation” when the S4 is ‘basically’ a slightly upgraded S3 is ridiculous. Speakers on the front is innovation. All aluminum gapless frame is innovation. The S3->S4 is pretty much the iPhone 4->iPhone 4s.

      That being said, I am leaving Verizon in the fall and if there isn’t a new Nexus device or awesome Motorola device it would be a hard choice between the One and the S4.

  • jnt

    I had them both for weeks, but for me it boiled down to the camera.

    The front speakers were nice, but hardly a selling point *for me*. Plus, people shouldn’t discount the S4′s speaker. It’s much louder and has much more depth than the S3′s – it’s actually very nice for what it is.

    The software is definitely snappier on the One and the S4 does get a little bogged down at times. But speed up the animations and the S4 feels almost as snappy as the One. But again, not a sticking point for me.

    Are there gimmicks in the S4? You bet. But the one “gimmick” that is extremely useful is being able to use your voice to initiate a photo. It takes out the finger movement blur risk, and makes “self shots” with my kids or whomever 1000x easier.

    In addition to that, the fact of the matter is the S4 simply takes better pictures in more situations for me. The HTC One’s low-light photos, while brighter than others, still came out grainy. It also won’t initiate the flash to focus in extremely low light scenarios, rendering those photos completely useless 99% of the time. The S4′s flash brightens the scene while managing to keep a sense of warmth, better than any other phone flash I’ve seen, and creates incredibly nice, sharp photos. So the “low light” scenarios, for me, are easily won by the S4. And I don’t think anyone would argue about the S4′s well-lit ability.

    Plus a couple of the other “gimmicks” tend to become habits once you’re used to them – like air view, and air preview for example. Don’t get me wrong, though, a few of the others don’t work well most of the time (smart stay, for example).

    And as nice as the One feels and looks, I prefer the thinner, tight feel of the S4. I don’t care about plastic vs. metal – it’s a phone.

    Anyway, both incredible devices, but the S4 won out for me… I do hope HTC has a lot of success with the One – they deserve it, and it helps the whole industry to have another competitor!

  • y

    I notice from the 5 most popular phones the Nokia Lumia series was not included. Why? I own two Nokia Lumia phones, and both has nice features. My Nokia 920, is simply the best in my opinion. My 810, is Good, but its too thick and bulky and the screen is not the best. However, I get beautiful pictures and the 4G runs great on both. I simply love Windows phones. They are so easy to operate, just tap on a window & you right where you want to be you cannot beat that. My Only dislike with both Nokia phones, is that Google Play will not accept windows phones downloads. Nope, you must use your Windows Market App to do your downloading other than this I’d say Windows Phones are freaking great phones for the price.

    • duke69111

      I think you should reread the title ”
      What’s the best Android phone as of June 2013?
      Keyword Android!

  • Joseph Teply

    Any one that doesnt have any skins!!!!!!! I just dont understand why ALL phones, dont have an option to either turn on/off skins??????

    • Buttfucker iSheep are BUTTHURT

      Because its deeply integrated into android, like android is the eggs and sense/touchwiz is the cake mix. Once its mixed you can’t just separate the two anymore. Now I’m hungry.

  • technofreak9

    The only reason why the majority consider the GS4 over the ONE is because of the samsung branding. In terms of design ONE wins but the S4 is a little bit faster than the ONE, only a little bit and you cant see the difference. Samsung is very clever and introduces new motion features to attract people who most of them DONT EVEN USE THEM. Both phones are simply amazing but in the end it goes down to personal preference but let me tell you that dont fall for the Samsung branding. Its not that I am defending HTC. Even I have GS3, so first use both the devices before deciding which one to buy.

    • Adamos Makis

      thats true for alot of users but there are users as well that value removable battery and microSD card way more than the looks and Samsung is one of the few companies that offer those 2 features. Let alone that HTC dev support for their devices isnt as good as samsung ( though in that part the best is Sony that provides documents and release source files for its phones in order for dev community to release custom roms etc )

  • rectal bleeding

    Meh

  • substring

    I simply cannot understand why a metal case is so important, when the first thing a consumer does after buying a smart phone is to put a 3rd party case like Otterbox over the phone!!! So who cares what the phone case is made of?!?!?! Besides, most people only keep their smart phones for two years and then trade up for newer versions, thanks to the carriers’ subsidies. So the phone case material is really irrelevant. What’s really important are the functionality and the user experience. And the Galaxy phones are clearly better than the HTC phones.

    • http://www.techmantis.net/ Minja Miketa

      I never throw my phone into a case. I’ve owned a ton of smart phones and the only time I throw it into a case is if I find a really cool case to change up the look of the phone when I get tired of it. I’ve also never broken a phone.
      So yes, I would like a phone with an aluminum case because I will be handling it and it will be visible.

  • phinn

    Provided it’s supported by AOSP projects like CyanogenMod, I’d say the Galaxy S4.

  • patapongirl

    Xperia Z should really be on the list.

  • zabihjan

    GALAXY S4

  • Ziich

    5. Lg Optimus g pro4.oppo find 5,
    3.xperia z,
    2. HTC One
    1 Samsung Galaxy S4 exynos version
    Honorable mentions go to the nexus 4, droid dna and the note 2.
    It is unfortunate that the Find 5 and the Z do not get much recognition because they are not in carrier networks.
    Different people have different tastes and hence prefer different phones. My phone of choice is the Xperia z

  • Jimmy Drew

    Own the Note 2 and looking at the S4 and the LG Pro and the T 6 of course but will wait for the Note 3. Once again, I love the Note 2 but would like a better daylight screen and more battery life. Note 2 not bad but will update for: 1. More battery life. 2. Better daylight screen. 3. Faster processor. Everything else can stay the same.

  • http://twitter.com/Patfactorx David Pat

    Droid 4 for business users

  • eclipsenyou

    I agree with your list for the most part, though I am partial to Samsung so I’d probably switch out the number 1 & 2 spots. I can’t believe you put the Nexus four in the top 5, being that it was released without LTE, removable battery and lack of a micro sd slot. Regardless of it being a pure Google experience, the lack of those 3 features alone should have dropped it to the 9th or 10th spot.
    That being said, I’ve got another year left on my contract so until then, I’ll be enjoying the still amazing Galaxy S3. It does everything I need it to do, so I’m set for easily another year. This phone is a beast and with the Beans Rom/build 15, it’s tough to beat. This time next year the Galaxy S5 will be out and I can’t wait to see what Samsung has in store for us. On top of that, I’m enjoying my S3 with blazing fast LTE speeds through Verizon with Unlimited Data.
    Regardless of what device you prefer, it’s great to have so many choices with Android. :)
    Thanks for the great article Phandroid!!

  • titanium_man

    I was at best buy recently and saw all the phones except for the N4 (wich I own) I would have too say I was extremely impressed by the Optimus G, seemed much smoother that the S4 and HTC one, but I cant get over how good the blacks are on the Samsung phones, just the fact that there displays dont have to be back lit is a winner in my books, kinda waiting for the Moto X , it will have a Amoled display as well. but still waiting for the final specs. I think Motorola is capable of pushing out a killer phone. it will be assembled in Texas so thats another plus for me.

  • Wapc

    I’ve been unimpressed by almost everything that’s come out in the last 2 years by everyone their just too large, even my sgs2 is too big by my standards but at the moment if you want the specs there your only options manufacturers are going down the bigger is better ideology shame really.

  • Tony

    Just a comment on the Htc one front facing speakers. Its about time they wised up and put the speakers on the front of the phone where you can actually hear your video or your speaker chat with someone. I’m willing to give up a little screen size for the better front facing speakers. I own a galaxy, and like all other phones i’ve had including the galaxy, its really hard to hear that rear facing speaker. I have to plug in a headset if there is any ambiant noise at all. Sometimes its just nice to be able to play & hear the videos without having to strain closer to listen. My question is what took them so long to put the speakers on the front. Finally some smart engineers! LOL I can deal with a little thicker phone for this convenience, it makes it a little easier to hold too.

  • NardVa

    Best phone outright is the Nexus 4 @ 350 from the Play Store.

  • RW

    Sheesh.
    Reminds me of being six years old and everybody arguing over who is the best superhero, Superman or Spiderman. Which was really just a pretext for arguing why the other guy was obviously an idiot because he disagreed with you.

    Meanwhile, I decided to pretend I could actually afford to buy a top line phone, and read the article to see what I could learn. If you read the article ( and even some of the comments!) to see what you can learn from what they actually say, instead of how this proves the other guy is an idio. It’s actually a pretty good article. Even though Quentin made clear this was, after all, just an opinion, he gave the reasoning behind the opinion.

    That being said, you must all be idiots !!$##!,

    My HTC One V is the absolute bestest smart phone ever. Better than any of these phones. ‘Cause I’m broke and I bought it Cyber Monday for $38. It was a little rough having to wait the thirty days for the $12 rebate, but I managed to just make it. And Virgin Mobile is, of course, the best service provider. Their customer service is both the least informed and most mis-informed in the history of the planet. (How’s that for an accompishment!) The local tower is down–again, but when it works, I hit data rates that remind me of my old Commodore 64 on dial-up.

    Nobody else has a $35 Smart phone plan with data. The 300 talk minutes is more than adequate, when you consider the number of days you can actually get a signal to make phone calls.

    P.S. The answer is Superman, of course. Otherwise , you don’t know nothin’.

  • GOODASGREEN

    Note 2 the best

  • toomuchgame441

    This article should have included a poll too

  • flamencoguy

    oppo find 5

  • Sonya A. Willis

    Look maybe HTC has finally fixed the Sense reloading issues. Maybe they finally fixed the charging port issues that affected many phones including the EVO LTE. I however have had a miserable HTC experience with a phone still under contract until 2014. I have all of the above mentioned problems and they really kicked started about six months in. I will never again purchase an HTC phone. It is not worth the headache and sheer frustration of trying to make the phone work at times.

    This is coming from a former HTC fan who actually chose a HTC Merge over an Samsung GSII because I liked HTC so much. Yes the Merge is a mid range phone but as I said, those problems affected many higher end phones too. I will be biting the bullet and picking up a Samsung. Still debating between the GS4 or the Note II.

  • Stephen Freeman

    Honestly, I think the iphone is starting to be the best android phone. Good Hardware, and almost all of googles services are being offered for it.

    • Damien

      Only if you like small screens though :-( Would jump on it if they made a 4.5″-5″ iPhone.

  • Robb Nice

    As long as AT&T hold the exclusive on the 64gb I can’t give it to the HTC one, I have a lot music and movies I like to keep on my phone. and would easily run thru a 32 gb HTC, which is actually 22gb once you take into account how much space Sense 5 takes up.

  • Tim B.

    I disagree with allowing Samsung and HTC on the list at all. Part of an android experience is openness, and given that both Samsung and HTC have caved in to carrier requests to encrypt bootloaders, this goes against the very nature of the open handset alliance where the statement about Android is “It was built to be truly open” and “Android does not differentiate between the phone’s core applications and third-party applications” and especially “With devices built on the Android Platform, users are able to fully tailor the phone to their interests.”