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What’s the best Android phone to buy as of December 2013?

We’re right in the thick of this Holiday season, and there are sure to be a ton of you who are looking to upgrade to their next smartphone. There are a lot of choices out there that can make any Christmas merry, but what’s the cream of the crop? It’s our best phones list for December 2013, the last one you’ll be able to reference before deciding on your Christmas purchases for the year. Let’s get into it!

5 – HTC One

HTC One rocks 2

HTC One’s big brother One Max isn’t on this list, but that’s because it offers nearly nothing over the more pocketable 4.7-inch version. The HTC One is still a fine phone by this year’s standards. The HTC One is HTC’s main focus for the year, so it was no surprise that the company was able to deliver a KitKat upgrade for the unlocked and developer editions in a timely manner.

It’ll take a while longer for it to make its way to carrier-branded versions, but the fact that HTC only has 3 main devices to support this year makes us hopeful that it won’t take long to get everyone up and running on the latest and greatest.

4 – Motorola Moto X

The Moto X spent a ton of time on our runner-up list, but it’s about time it gets graduated back to top 5 status. In fact, it’s done so by leap-frogging the HTC One that once dominated this list. The Moto X’s specs still pale in comparison to the One, but we’ve always given it props for its unique features such as Touchless Controls and Active notifications.

Motorola Moto X Boot animation DSC00738

So what warranted a two spot jump? Because KitKat, that’s what. Motorola was the first OEM to deliver Android 4.4 KitKat to a non-Nexus device. The Moto X even beat out a couple of Nexus devices, which made us award tons of brownie points to the Illinois-based company. Software support is always an important factor in any smartphone purchasing decision, and Motorola’s haste in bringing KitKat to the Moto X is worth a lot more than most people think.

3 – Samsung Galaxy Note 3

galaxy-note-3-multiwindow

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 did enough to maintain its throne at the number 3 spot for a second straight month. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 13 megapixel camera and more will always keep our interests piqued, as no other phone currently provides this same level of power in nearly every spec category there is to consider.

2 – LG G2

lg-g2-6

The LG G2 retains its second spot in the list, as it’s still one of the better purchase decisions you can make in this day and age. It’s expensive, but you get a lot for your hard-earned dollars. A 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel camera and more make sure of that.

1 – Nexus 5 by LG

nexus-5-picture

We weren’t sure where the Nexus 5 would end up after we had some quality time to use it, but we’re still leaning toward this being the best pound-for-pound, dollar-for-dollar smartphone option on the market. We won’t lie — there are some quirks and other minor nuances keeping us from being totally in love with the Nexus 5. Battery life could be better, the speakers could be better, and the camera could be better, but for a starting price point of $350 we’re not sure there’s much room to complain about the rest of the spec sheet. That list includes a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and more.

Runner-ups

  1. Samsung Galaxy S4This marks the first time the Galaxy S4 slips out of the top 5. It’s still a great phone, but we’re just about ready to see what’s in store with the Galaxy S5.
  2. Motorola DROID Maxx — Think Moto X, except with two full days of battery life, a bigger display and sweet Kevlar back-coated goodness.
  3. Sony Xperia Z1 — Sony’s “Ultra” variant of the Z is a bit too much for our tastes, but the Z1 is still a fine device. We wish Sony would find a way to chop that bezel down, though.
  4. Oppo N1Decent phone with decent specs, but a swivel camera isn’t enough for us to give it a higher spot in the standings.
  5. Motorola Moto G$179 off-contract. ‘Nuff said.

Phones to look forward to

These phones aren’t available yet, but we know they’re on their way and we know we’re anticipating them a great deal. Said to be out at some point this fall, let’s take a look at two of  the most exciting devices on the horizon (which isn’t saying much, but work with me here).

LG G Flex

LG’s first smartphone with a virtually unbreakable display, the curvaceous LG G Flex is like a G2… except curvy. While some might not be moved or impressed by the unique contours of this thing, it’s still going to be a powerhouse for at least a few months. We’re not sure when to expect it, nor are we exactly sure where to expect it, but it’s coming.

Samsung Galaxy Round

Samsung has a curvy smartphone of their own coming, except its curve is more… weird. The Galaxy Round features a horizontal curve, which we guess is good for those who want a phone that can hug the contours of your backside more effectively. It remains to be seen if this unorthodox form factor will make people flock, but one thing’s for sure — it has our attention.

Sony Xperia Z1 Mini

This small handset will be taking a serious crack at the DROID Mini’s crown once it launches. The 4.3 inch 720p Xperia Z1 Mini packs a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, Bluetooth 4.0, a 2,300 mAh battery and more. Sony (or Sony Ericsson) has always been known for creating great “mini” phones, and it looks like the trend won’t stop whenever this thing launches. We should be seeing it in mere weeks.

Amazon’s Best Sellers

These phones are selling like hot cakes on Amazon. Note that these aren’t necessarily Amazon’s true best-sellers, but best sellers out of the ones we haven’t already mentioned. Take a look and see if some of these other hot phones are worth your time and money:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  2. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
  3. Samsung Galaxy Mega
  4. Samsung Galaxy S3
  5. HTC One Mini
  6. HTC One Max
  7. Motorola DROID Mini
  8. Motorola DROID Ultra
  9. Casio G’zOne Commando
  10. Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro

What say you?

And that’s a wrap! There were a lot of changes this month. You may agree with some, you may agree with all, or you may think this list is pretty much worthless. We don’t care which side of the line you stand on — we just want to hear your thoughts! Let them be heard in the comments section below. Don’t forget that some of these great devices are on sale for Cyber Monday today! Be sure to find some great deals in our roundup post here.




  • Bassenza

    Droid 2 is deff the best phone 2013

    • Chippah

      No, YOURE WRONG!
      the Droid x Unlock is out.
      KITKAT!

      • multiplechaos

        Droid X is not unlockable.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      It’s all about the LG Ally these days, bro!

    • zifnab

      Mmmm, HTC Magic please.

  • Scott Stafford

    HTC one is still the best all around phone in my opinion.

  • Sean Royce

    I personally think the Moto X should be around number 2 or 1.

  • Jonathan Agoot

    Nexus 5 ftw.

    • scoter man1

      Its great to be back at #1 again. (From the n4)

  • C-Law

    Moto x should be next to the N5 imho. The n5 vs moto x poll on droid life yesterday put the moto x 300 votes above the n5

    I had a note 2 and didn’t like the size or skin so I had to unlock and root and rom. Can’t say anything would be different with the note 3.

    • dreadnatty08

      Cause they ain’t no N5 on Verizon. Eesh.

  • Asimoalex

    Really the g2 better than the note ??
    I can see in camera but that’s about it

    • Socalnighter

      Did you look at the screen too, by any chance?

  • AGx

    How the hell did you rate the G2 better than the Note 3?

    • Chippah

      Cuz the G2 is a much better device than the Note 3.
      I sold my Note 3 to get into a G2 myself.

      Have you seen the laughable development for the note 3?
      PFFFTT!

      Also – take both screens to 100% brightness and compare.
      G2 wins and Can be had for $399 RETAIL today in white @ vzw if you have a decent corp discount.

      • aznmode1

        I think the only reason the note 3 isn’t selling as well as most phones is due to it’s size and price. But if it were the same size and price as the G2 the n3 is the better device of the two. I’ve had both for a month and return the G2. There are so many options on the n3 that are quite useful that the G2 lacks: voice answering (just say answer and it goes to speaker mode), s-voice launch with screen off including announce messages or even to reply to it (both awesome if your hands aren’t free), more app for multiview, s-pen, drag drop images from web to text/email, drag and drop files in file manager, sd card, removable battery (good for when your out where you don’t have access to an outlet for a few days), better IR transmitter range, and I’m probably missing more…

        As far as screen goes G2 looks better but not by landslide. Also when you set to auto brightness the n3 actually becomes brighter under direct sunlight than if you have it set to manual at full brightness.

        And dont ever drop the G2. In most drop test after the screen cracks, the touch screen becomes unusable.

        • Lou_Sasshole

          To be fair those drops tests don’t mean jack, its all in a controlled environment and doesn’t replicate an actual fall at all. Whether or not the screen will crack in a realistic scenario, the drop tests don’t really prove that.

        • RussianDroid

          Note 3 is a niche product and I happen to be in that niche. It is amazing as a business accessory and a personal entertainment device.

    • Jeffrey Evans

      I strongly considered a Note 3 but picked up the G2 instead because it’s a more manageable size. Both are outstanding, but as a daily driver, G2 is easier to use (not speaking of features, but size).

    • Edgar Cervantes

      I believe the G2 is the best phone around right now (for most people). The Note 3 serves a specific niche, and it’s an amazing phone. But like the others said. Not everyone wants a gigantic phone.

      I was a Galaxy Note 2 user and was very happy with the phone. When I tested the Note 3 I just wasn’t that impressed. The G2 really caught my eye. I love the tap-to-unlock feature, the screen is more stunning (even if a bit smaller) than the Note 3, battery life is pretty much the same and in my opinion the G2 looks much sexier.

      The rest of the specs are pretty much on par. The stylus… I almost never used anyways. The same applies to all the extra features on the Note 3 (which really just take up space for me).

  • Ben Baranovsky

    I still think you can’t go wrong with the HTC One Google Play edition.

    Excellent hardware paired with stock Android.

    • Chippah

      You CAN go wrong with a htc one developer edition when you can get a sweet
      Snap 800 device now. and prob cheaper.

      • Ben Baranovsky

        The Snapdragon 800 is fantastic, but keep in mind I didn’t say developer edition. I said Google Play edition. It ships with stock Android.

        Edit: And has already been updated to 4.4.

        • Chippah

          Nah i gotcha! Dev/play edition= aosp.

          G2 is rockin AOSP 4.4 and can be had on contract for free or 399-499 retail, and cheaper used. Its Nexus 5 pricing but on better hardware.

          • Chad Vincent

            No, the One Dev Edition is Sense, and 4.4 + Sense 5.5 for it is already out.

        • zifnab

          I never checked out the One Play Edition, mainly over the really big price tag… But I do have to ask, does the camera still work decent? Without HTC Zoe isn’t it just a 5mp camera which kind of puts it on the low end without HTC’s software?

  • Craig Becker

    This was about best phone not best value. Price aside Nexus 5 is not a winner. For this far into the android high end phone game having a crappy camera, crappy battery life and audio that is weak. I think Nexus 5 gets bumped and s4 gets on this list IMO. Nexus lost its luster to me when I had the Galaxy Nexus. Nexus 4 and 5 is not blowing my skirt up.

    • malcmilli

      Again… best phone to BUY means that value matters.

      • M0nk

        well, if value is considered then resell value after a year or 6 months should also be considered. Nothing beats Samsung and maybe the nexus brands in resale price. LG not so much

        • malcmilli

          that’s a fair argument as well.

    • MineIsBetterThanYours

      Agreed. And if your carrier doesn’t support what’s great about the nexus 5 then it’s basically worthless! NO, I’m not getting another Carrier. I LIKE reception ;)

  • Charles Sweeney

    My iPhone 2nd Gen will run smoke around all these devices and while they’re playing catchup, my iPhone will blow circles up their asses! Get Some!

    • New_Guy777

      Trolling without facts or imagination, I see. Try naming ANYTHING an iPhone can that my SGS3 can’t. And I’ll start off with a list for you… Boots in 45 second, has a file browser, plays YouTube videos with screen off, true multi tasking (I’ve run 4 videos simultaneously on it), replaceable battery, swiping keyboards, NFC, Beaming data, widgets, multi screen, intents for better sharing, true & accurate screen touches, etc (I could go on all night)

      • Lou_Sasshole

        Dude don’t fall for the troll.

        • Charles Sweeney

          Ohhhhh…..he fell for the troll. Hey I don’t own Apple anything, never have and don’t ever plan on it.

      • Charles Sweeney

        I thought mixing up smoke and circles was a dead giveaway.

        • TimmyB44

          Charles, Charles, Charles… Dude, it’s the holiday season, and you’re getting these people all wound up! I know what you’re getting in your stocking!!! ;)

      • Covert Hops Society

        It’s only trolling if you fall for it.

    • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

      Lol this was a good one, I’d love to see your April fools material.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      OMG I haven’t seen someone use a second gen iPhone in many a year. I don’t think even Apple fans would agree with your statement, bro.

    • Guest

      lol troll

  • No_Nickname90

    I think the GS4 should have made it to the list. But then that’s getting rid of the Nexus 5, which should be on the list. =.=

  • Peter Elder

    I’m completely in love with my Nexus 5. I don’t see what everyone’s issue is with the battery life. Seems time to me!

    • Matt Isaacs

      I’m with you, N5 lasts all day and then some, that includes a few youtube videos, some quick gaming here and there plus email all day and lots of phone calls.

    • LostHawkGSW

      I’m having the same experience. my only complaints for the phone are the screen and camera software. I’d prefer a lower power screen that can handle active notifications and a camera with faster focus. other than those two things, one of which may potentially be fixed, I love my phone!

  • REVS

    i still like htc one

    • frhow

      Agreed, no other phone is that much better to warrant a new handset purchase.

    • TimmyB44

      The BEST phone is the one YOU like for yourself! That being said, the One is still my pick, and I’ve seen NOTHING in the 2nd half of 2013 that made me say, “Gotta have it!”

      I love my (ATT) HTC One. No need to upgrade in the near future, AFAIK. :)

  • Morris

    Note 3 still on top

  • john

    In my opinion, the galaxy s4 is the top phone. Had mine for 3 months & is awesome. The only thing I “may” like more would be the note 3.

  • kishan

    Best phone? G2 for Cam and Screen. Note 3 for battery. HTC One for build quality, Moto for unique feature. Nexus 5 for pure android. Thats it.

    • dreadnatty08

      G2′s battery life is stellar, not far behind the Note 3 in most drain tests.

      • Jeffrey Evans

        Exactly, 3,000 mAh battery in a relatively small phone is awesome. I often go two days before charging.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      Yeah bro. The G2 matches the Note 3 in battery life (or beats it).

    • Toss3

      G2′s camera is rubbish and the screen isn’t calibrated properly (Nexus 5 looks better).

      • droidify

        I own both. In my opinion it isn’t even close. G2 hands down.

  • JointhePredacons

    I see that they caved to pressure to put the MX ahead of the ONE. Sad, the ONE still is the better phone, especially the GPE version.

  • Mark

    Nexus 5? with its sub par camera, oddball launcher, and don’t even get me started on how bad hangouts is! And the G2 is trying to be the Galaxy S4, but had to do something BOLD like putting the buttons on the BACK!! LMFAO!!

    • malcmilli

      yeah lets ignore the fact that the g2 is faster and last much longer than the s4.

    • AndroidUser00110001

      Ha…the G2 blows the S4 away. Better camera, better screen, so much better battery life and the latest internals. Coming from S4 to G2 I would say the stock UI is even better but I ROM my phone anyways so does not matter to me.

      And for the button placement, it takes a second to get use to and realize how much more natural it is to have the buttons on the back.

    • QuyxAnh

      the G2 is an awesome phone. I am using it for two month now and really enjoy the long lasting battery life.

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    Honestly when we can make an argument for so many phones to be number 1 we all win. Its a great time to be an android user.

  • Corey Phelan

    Galaxy note 3 is where it’s at

    • Boris

      How do you carry one though is my question. I’m skiddish of using a phone without a decent protective case such as an Otterbox. But I’d really like to hear from Note owners themselves.

      • T4rd

        Like any other phone really. Fits in my pockets fine and I have a slim TPU case on it. I can even type and do most things one-handedly with my small hands thanks to being able to shrink most keyboards to one side of the screen and gestures in Nova Launcher.

        • Boris

          Interesting. Well I hope to pick one up soon!

      • WoodyGrape

        I don’t get it….It’s just like iPhone nerds saying “How do you use android when it’s so buggy”… jesus

        • Boris

          What’s this have to do with how to carry a phablet?

          • WoodyGrape

            Because you are asking a question about something that makes no sense. It’s not to big, it fits in pockets just fine. You are asking a question that has no answer because the question itself is flawed, ie. “How do you use android when it is so bugy…” It’s not, so your question cant be answered….How do you carry one? Just like any other phone

      • RussianDroid

        So far I carried it in every pocket except the back pockets. Fits fine and it’s slim enough with the generic gel cover that it doesn’t stand out. I haven’t gotten any “is that a Note 3 in your pocket or …”.

        Extremly comfortable to use and a gorgeous phone overall.

        PS.
        Gf switched from iPhone5 and can’t get enough of that gorgeous screen, although if iPhone had 5″+ screen phone i think she would go back to the fruit.

    • Toss3

      Anything with region locks and locked knox bootloader that makes it harder to install custom roms don’t deserve to be on the list.

  • Ali Ali

    nexus 5 and moto x over the gs4? if the list included affordability then yes, otherwise these phones are inferior to the s4

    • Matt Isaacs

      S4 is better than the N5? I agree specs wise it’s better than the X, but the X has better features and an overall better experience. The N5 deserves the #1 spot.

      • Toss3

        The Nexus 5 is really limited though with only 2300mAh battery and 16 or 32Gb of storage. The S4 GE is imho the better phone of the two.

      • Martin Lane

        The Nexus 5 is a great phone but it was still built with a lower budget in mind so some things do suffer.

    • Dylan

      Don’t forget to include design. The GS4 is the smartphone equivelant of a beige box!

      “Top X Phone” lists are completly subjective, and don’t take into account the different use cases. Sure the GS4 is probably better than the X, but I’m not going to reccomend either of them to my Great Grandmother when she just wants something to talk with. From her perspective I imagine the Jitterbug should be topping this list.

      • Gideon Waxfarb

        ‘Don’t forget to include design. The GS4 is the smartphone equivelant of a beige box!’

        Eh, what difference does it make? Does it have tits? Do you need to get an erection every time you look at it? This obsession with cosmetics just baffles me.

        • Dylan

          I think you missed the point I was making about the list in general. You don’t value cosmetics in a phone. I don’t value them all that much. But somebody somewhere does. More so than they do for a quad core vs dual core CPU. Some people still value physical keyboards, or think it’s absurd to spend more than $50 on a new phone. If you have a bunch of Samsung stuff already you may like all those sync/streaming features built into Touchwiz. Those people my find the phones in this list somewhat lacking.

          Build quality, audio quality, cosmetics, specs, price, etc…opinions of brands and even where the phone is assembled…all will influence people’s opinions of what makes a better phone.

          • Gideon Waxfarb

            I think this is a ‘best in general’ list, not a ‘best under $50′ list or ‘best if you like physical keyboards’ list. They probably consider the best/worst aspects of every phone, and try to rank them based on those merits. I personally think the HTC One shouldn’t be on this list; if it wasn’t aluminum, they wouldn’t have sold 5 units, so despite its good qualities, it’s a phone that is marketed purely based on cosmetics.

          • Dylan

            Spec and feature(less) wise, the HTC One seems to be on par with the MotoX. Higher screen resolution LCD, decent front facing speakers, optical image stabilization, and quad core on the One vs AMOLED screen with active notifications, higher resolution camera, and dual cores plus whatever additional CPU optimization they did for their always listening stuff for the X. Some could argue that a replaceable battery and expandable memory puts the S4 ahead of the X.

            Had either the S4 or One had unlocked versions on Verizon around a $400 price point, I would have probably jumped on either of them months ago and maybe not even considered the X.

            Related tangent, would you consider front facing speakers cosmetic or a feature? I find it funny nobody has borrowed that given how people raved about them.

          • Gideon Waxfarb

            I’m not saying that the HTC One doesn’t have its good points – in fact, it probably has the best speakers on any smartphone. And it runs quite smoothly as well.

            My issue with it is that its primary draw (the aluminum) is purely cosmetic with no practical benefit whatsoever, and without it, nobody would care about this phone. In my book, that makes it more of a fashion accessory than a high-end smartphone. In other words, no aluminum = no sales. It practically defines this phone.

            If you put the S4′s plastic on it, people would’ve turned their noses up at it, which is really a shame, since I have seen no compelling evidence whatsoever that it’s any more durable than the S4′s ‘cheap plastic’.

            As for the Moto X, I use that as a work phone, and it’s awesome. It has a lot of the features I loved on iOS that are missing in stock Android, and it is what Kitkat should’ve been, IMO.

          • Martin Lane

            Agreed, without the the aluminum design the HTC One would have been forgotten very quickly.

            Your also right that it doesn’t make the phone any stronger either, just means if you drop it your stuck with whatever damage you receive until you get a new phone as nothing is repairable or replaceable on the HTC One.

      • Martin Lane

        Allot of people like the design on the Galaxy S4, it’s massively outsold other Android devices,

        I prefer it to devices like the HTC One, it’s more ergonomic, doesn’t rock side to side when on a flat surface, buttons are easier to reach and generally feels better in hand.

        It was also one of the first devices with the very thin bezel so it feels like your just carrying around a screen.

        The LG G2 design wise looks like a copy of the Galaxy S4 to me.

    • John Wentworth

      I traded a gs4 for a nexus 5 and it is indeed a better phone in my opinion.
      Less bloated software, faster updates, faster processor, faster gpu

    • zifnab

      Nope, touchwiz. All it takes to make a phone inferior.

      • Fel Pe

        U can get a stock gs4 and/or you could install a rom in it. Now, can u install a decent camera on a nexus 5? What about a battery that lasts more than 5h? Memory card slot? Hmmmm…

        • Chris Eager

          Had an S2, ran CM 10.1 – was nothing but a headache for me and battery life was terrible…burned through over half a battery by lunch time. Bluetooth was so sketchy with connecting and disconnecting…I drive for a living and need Bluetooth to work all the time.
          It’s all subjective.
          Don’t care about a micro SD slot, I use (free) cloud storage and have 5 gigs of data. As for a camera, – it’s a phone! – 8mp is plenty. Photography is a hobby of mine, so if I want to take great pics, I’ll use my Nikon DSLR…not like I’m gonna print any off from my Nexus anyways.
          You ever owned a Nexus? Updated first, buttery smooth, very affordable and most importantly, no Touchwiz/bloatware (other than a few gapps I’d download anyways).
          …works for me, but again, it’s all subjective.

      • Chris Eager

        I agree, had Touchwiz, don’t really like it. Now have a N4, love it…I ordered the N5 last night. Considered the Note 3 because of the reviews but in the end, it’s still Touchwiz and I can afford to buy the N5 outright without contract just as I did with my N4.
        After owning a Nexus device, I just can’t see myself using anything but…there may be specs from other devices that interest me but so far not more than the “want” for speedy updates and buttery smoothness of pure Nexus.

      • Martin Lane

        Touchwiz has advantages like the better camera software. The stock Android camera isn’t fit for purpose, it’s junk.

  • Jay

    Kitkat or no Kitkat, the Note 3 is still the best smartphone on the market bar none.

    • zifnab

      except that’s pure opinion. I’d never buy a note, too big and don’t need or have a use for a stylus. Yes i’ve used it, and no I don’t like it. So it can’t even make the top 100 list for me, which is also pure opinion just like this article.

      • Jay

        Well everything is subjective but objectively it trumps every phone in nearly every category. Just the awesomeness of the s-pen features alone is worth the price of admission.

        • Dark Tlaloc

          To be technical, a touchscreen tablet would objectively trump every phone in almost every category (minus, you know, making calls). The issue that Zifnab is pointing out is that at a certain point, size becomes the killer feature. I have an HTC One, and have purchased a new Android phone almost every year (from the original G1 to the Hero to the Evo, until now), and am getting tired of the convention of increasing screen size with every “upgrade.” 4.7 inches is already more than I’d like to use on a phone I use one-handed, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to do the same with a Note (nor would I want to put one up to my ear), which makes it a no-go for me (and probably for a lot of other people).

          I’m not denying how cool the Note 3 is; I really like the S-Pen, and I think it’s an awesome device overall. However, I have a smartphone because I want something super portable but powerful, and the Note 3 would have trouble fitting in the pants pocket of some of my pants, rendering it relatively useless for my needs, specs be damned.

          • Jay

            Its really not as bad as people make it out to be. I also thought it would be unwieldy at first but after using it for a month now, I don’t know how I managed without it. There’s software available that turns it into a one handed device by shrinking the screen to fit either side so that shouldn’t be an issue. Yes it might be slightly too big to fit comfortably in your pants but it’s not out of the norm big. I carry mine on a case-clip holster combo and I hardly ever notice it.

          • Dark Tlaloc

            Yeah, I’m not trying to say it’s a terrible size (because in some ways it’s a really GOOD size), I’m just saying for some people, it’s definitely too big. That one-handed software is interesting though; I’d never heard of that.

          • RussianDroid

            Completely agree. I was very cautious when i bought Note 3 due to the size, I was considering using it for a few weeks and selling it and getting G2 or Nexus 5. Now, i can’t imagine having a different phone. It took about 2 days for me to get used to the size, i can use it one handed for 90% of all functionality and apps (most games exuded). The phone is amazing and I can say that this is the best phone i owned so far. I seriously couldn’t care less about KitKat as this phone performs and looks beautiful. If it wasn’t for clunky ToughWiz I would have married it.

    • TONY ALDO

      The price of the Note 3 matches it’s screen size to.

  • Dom

    Note 3 > everything

  • Mike

    G2 all the way. The one issue is that if you drop it the screen really will be unusable as someone mentioned. Happened to me. Used an HTC one while I was waiting for my new g2 and didn’t like the one nearly as much. Much poorer camera, screen, and battery life. Those 3 areas are where the g2 excels and those are the most important to me. The G2 is perfect besides the build quality IMO. Make it metal and it’s perfect.

  • Fel Pe

    Technically speaking the Note 3 is the most powerful hardware and also the most featured software. Period. Now you girls can go back chit chatting. ;P

  • ChicagoBob

    The 350 price starts me wondering.. I wonder if phone prices will continue to fall like TV’s? Will we see a Snapdragon 800 with a meager 1920×1080 screen for $250 years end? Interesting times.

  • TechSwagg

    I personally think that the Note 3 should be number 1..

    • Jeff C

      i personally think you are correct. or at least #2

      • TechSwagg

        I agree, at least #2 only because of the price…

    • jfrov11

      Yep. This year I’ve had the HTC One (now the wife’s), S4 and the Note 3. The Note 3 is the best I’ve used/seen.

    • TheJunkie

      Doesn’t even fit in your pocket unless you shop in the big and wide store.

      • Fel Pe

        People used to say that about the Evo 4G (4.3″ screen) when it first came out.

      • WoodyGrape

        It just makes you sound ignorant…

      • jfrov11

        I’m 5’7″ and it fits in all my pockets. You must wear skin tight leather pants.

  • MineIsBetterThanYours

    I’d still take my S4 over a G2 (HATE that back rocker!) or an N5 ANY day.

  • Toss3

    HTC One GE and S4 GE should be on there, and the Note 3 definitely shouldn’t be on there.

    • Martin Lane

      There only available in the US, it’s easy to turn a stock Galaxy S4 into the GE by flashing but that’s not the point.

  • harold

    One thing for sure you can’t go wrong with any from those android phones

  • Kofi Williams

    Take out HTC One and replace it with any other runner-up phone. That phone is shite.

    • Martin Lane

      I wouldn’t say it was shite but I would say it’s over-rated. I would say the camera is shite though. :)

  • Freepat 75014

    I just bought 2 x Sony Xperia Z1 for Christmas gifts, including mine …. that I already started to use. This is for me the best phone at this time. A bit big and heavy, but really fast and crisp and it has got EVERYTHING I could dream of this quarter… except may be the 4K video recording, but since I won’t have a 4K TV before the end of next year…. That should be OK.
    I had an HTC EV3 3D before (rare in Europe !), and I will not buy again a Smartphone from a company who could have ever built an Androïd Smartphone with such a small ridiculous battery and only 1GB of real internal storage (The 8GB SD shipped as std could not help the mess generated by only 1GB RAM real internal storage as so many apps can’t move to SD entirely). It’s been a pain to use for 2 years. Only good point was 3D Videos and Photos for the familly… and they dropped it ! Forget HTC for now.
    Then Samsung S4 and Notes 3 and LG G2 have everything on paper, but their PLASTIC quality disquelify them for me, entirely.
    And I never understood the medias interest for both Moto X and Nexus 5 that put superb Software on top of far too cheap & out-dated Hardware, hence are out for me too. Last, I agree Sony Xperia Z Ultra is too big for men. Need a purse to carry them…

    • josh_yth

      uh…outdated hardware, I can give you the camera, but it still got OIS…and the rest is pretty much on the same level as the Z1. Well, the screen on the N5 actually look much better than the Z1.

      • Freepat 75014

        I pulled the “outdated HW” comment for you… LoL. Just it’s lower end compared to my beloved high end Broadcom Snapdragon 800. I took a 4G subscription for this phone, and I travel the world a bit for my work, so I want to make sure it supports the maximum modes and bands available World Wide, and this for me mandates a High End Snapdragon 800 chip.

        I really LOVE this Z1 phone, really the greatest smartphone I ever had so far. I recommend it.

        Only disappointment so far was when I bought a set of 4 x NFC v3 smart tags from Sony… The features available today on Sony Smart Connect SW are just pityfull ! But I expect serious SW up-grades to improve that soon (I would like not just to turn WiFi on and Bluetooth off automatically when I arrive at home, but also attach to my own box Wifi SSID, and not the other SSIDs I can access too, and STICK TO IT, means if it fails reconnect to it as soon as back again…etc. Same for Bluetooth, I’d like to program what device I want it to connect to, at home, or in the car… Plus I would like many other functions using the Apps I installed on my phone. Plus I would like not no need data network access to use the tags, and have that data stored locally between Phone and NFC Tag, since one of the purposes of these tags for me is to put Data on again in some cases….). Phandroïd should review these NFC SW !

  • David Gray

    REALLY…….Nexus 4′s not even on the list???? Are you F’n kidding me, is it really that old now??? I love my Nexus 4…I’d trade it for the Nexus 5 in a second BUT I think my Nexus 4 is better than my brother HTC One. Kid can’t even make it through the day cause that huge screen drains his battery like a monster. Seriously who wrote this article…

    • grumpyfuzz

      you realize the Nexus 4 and HTC one have the same sized screen…?

      • David Gray

        Ya……just realized that. But his screen is much brighter I’ve noticed so there ya go. You do have me on the screen size tho…could’ve sworn it was a 5″er

      • remnem

        +1 lol

    • barondebxl

      Theres the nexus 5 there. Sucks your phone didnt make it.

      • David Gray

        I think the Nexus 4 is far better than the Moto X…should’ve at least made the honorable mentions

        • barondebxl

          To each his own. Personally i cant think of anything better on the nexus 4 vs the moto x.

          • Martin Lane

            Only thing that comes to mind is that the Nexus 4 has a quad core cpu and the moto x has a dual core.

          • barondebxl

            Yep, and that is really nullified because the moto x performs as good as the nexus 4 if not better because of the optimization made by motorola.

          • Martin Lane

            That’s nonsense, the truth is most apps don’t take advantage of multiple cores so unless your running a benchmark users won’t notice the difference.

            Also helps because it’s dual core they could increase the clockspeed slightly to 1.7GHz, that said if an application or game utilizes all cores the Nexus 4 will be allot faster. There are apps that use all cores now like media editing and encoding software.

            In that regard the Nexus 4 is more future proof, it’s just matter of time.

          • barondebxl

            Thats what i just pretty much said. So the quadcore advantage youre talking about is nullified. The nexus 4 and moto x use the same exact GPU for gaming. The nexus has extra processing power but today most apps dont need all four cores.

          • Martin Lane

            No it’s not nullified, that’s not what I said.

            The same thing was discussed around a year and a half ago with regards to quad core vs dual core and back then there were four games that used quad core, we don’t know which games released between now and then use all four cores because nobody bothers to test actual game performance on Android, they just run pointless benchmarks.

            If I had to choose between a Nexus 4 and Moto X, I would choose the Nexus 4 because I’m almost certain some of the more demanding games released recently are using more than two cores.

          • barondebxl

            Well i guess you misunderstood me. In day to day usage there isnt any difference in terms of performance with the nexus 4. There is one with the nexus 5 ( just a little). Unless wireless charging is a must, the moto x is definitely the better choice between those 2.

          • Martin Lane

            Neither of them are “definitely better” overall, the Nexus edges out in performance (Quad Core CPU), build quality (Glass back vs Plastic, Gorilla Glass 2 on front), software updates and well calibrated IPS display with slightly higher resolution.

            While the Moto X does have a better camera, comes with more storage at the same price point and has slightly better battery life.

            Which is a better choice depends on the user but I have to give it to the Nexus 4 personally. :p

          • barondebxl

            I couldnt disagree anymore with you. Build quality to the nexus 4? I dont think so. The moto x is very sturdy and well built, not to mention the moto maker. Well calibrated IPS display? Im sorry but that is so far from the tuth. The nexus 4 has a washed out display, BIG TIME. Thats why kernels from paranoid android came out and fixed those colors.

            Again, there’s no difference in day to day usage between the nexus 4 and moto x.

          • Guest

            I already told everyone here about your aids and how you got it. They all laughed.

        • remnem

          it is,but the galaxy s4 is better than both and didnt make it haha

  • ineptone

    I’m a little surprised to see the N5 top the list. Not that it isn’t great, but so many others lord its small faults over it. Yeah, the camera isn’t the best, though it holds up to the S3 to my eye. Sure, the speaker isn’t as polished as the HTC One’s Boom Sound speakers, but on my unit it’s loud and decent enough for a small mono speaker. And, yes, the vibration is a little weaker than I’d like. But, everything else has been great, including battery life at a full day to a day and a bit. That being said, I love my N5 and couldn’t be happier with my decision to have it replace my S3.

  • Martin Lane

    Don’t agree with that, this is the top 5

    #1 Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    #2 Google Nexus 5
    #3 LG G2
    #4 Sony Xperia Z1
    #5 Samsung Galaxy S4

    Moto X Shouldn’t be in the top 5, it’s a good budget phone for the money but don’t compare to the high end because it’s just not as good, Google Nexus 4 is a better device. Also it’s only available in the US, If you want to include devices from every market then the best phone is the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9506) Snapdragon 800 version.

    Also HTC One with it’s over-rated camera and build quality shouldn’t be in the top 5 either.

    • David Gray

      Nexus 4 rules….good comment!!!

      • Martin Lane

        Nexus 4 is still great device.

        It may only have a 768p display but it’s more than good enough and actually gives it advantages as well, it’s faster for gaming than any of the snapdragon 600 devices with 1080p displays and still has a very capable Quad Core processor.

        It should have been much more popular than it was.

    • remnem

      i totally agree with you in every spect. moto x is a mid range phone, in that case the moto g is better and cheaper. the htc one highly overrated

    • waleed300

      I totally agree, Galaxy Note 3 is unmatched, there isn’t a phone that even comes remotely close to it in terms of what it can do and what it offers.

      And who the hell voted the HTC One a top 5? I used that phone for a day, the awful positioning of the power button long reach made me want to chuck it at a wall! The HTC User interface is just ugly and confusing, they really dropped the ball on that one. The camera on that thing sucks more than the Jacksonville Jaguars!! (sure it’s good in the dark) but a majority of your photos aren’t going to be hey let’s take a picture in the closet with no lights turned on. It doesn’t get good detail, you can’t zoom or crop at all or all you get is a big ultra pixel blurred photo. 4MP is 4MP doesn’t matter about ultrapixel, it can be super duper ultra mega pixels, at the end of the day, you can’ do any zooming or cropping or editing.

      The Moto X is a good bargain phone, definitely not top 5, maybe not even top 10. Last years specs, a little too late to play with the big boys if you ask me. Only thing that it’s good for is updates, but a majority of the users on here and other tech sites hardly ever use stock firmware, we root and use custom roms. So it’s not that big of a deal anymore. The Moto X is something that you get because you can’t afford or don’t want to spend $300+ (on contract) or $700-$800 dollars (off contract) on a real phone. Might as well get a Nexus Five. I work at Best Buy Mobile, and it’s the least selling Android phone we have. When it first came out, it was $199, less than a month later, it dropped to $99 because no one was buying it. Shortly after, it dropped to $49.99, then it went for free for a long time until people started buying it, so we put the price back up to see if we can make some money off of it since it started selling, and what do you know, they stopped selling again.

      I agree with Martin, if we’re doing top Android phones in the world, I would definitely rank the Galaxy S4- Snapdragon 800 LTE Advanced version at #2.

      Here is my top 5

      1. Galaxy Note 3
      2. LG G2 or (Galaxy S4 LTE-A Snapdragon 800 variant)
      3. Galaxy S4
      4. Nexus 5
      5. Sony Xperia

      • Azeem

        Specs aren’t everything. The Moto X has more than proven itself in that regard. It is perfect for a vast majority of the people. Not everyone wants an S Pen or a big screen. The list is good as is IMO.

  • Kyle

    G2 number 1 spot for me, top specs while keeping the size pocketable and best battery life out of the bunch by far.

  • rajendra82

    I think Nexus 4 should be on the list, or at least should be mentioned in the runner ups list. It can be had for the same price as the Moto G, and in this video, almost keeps up with the Nexus 5. Build quality is better than most of the other phones on the list too.

    http://gizmodo.com/watch-every-single-nexus-phone-speed-tested-at-the-same-1459387869

  • peter g

    Nexus 5 better than sg4 no way.

  • Segroukin

    My Top 5
    #1 Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    #2 LG G2
    #3 LG Nexus 5
    #4 Sony Xperia Z1
    #5 Samsung Galaxy S4

    Notable mentions: HTC One, Moto X, IPhone 5s

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/NFS13EPIC AfterDark DJ

    My top 5
    #1 HTC One
    #2 LG nexus 5
    #3 LG G2
    #4 Note 3
    #5 Sony Xperia Z1

    Dat HTC build!!