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


Halloween has come and gone, and Google has delivered the tasty treat we’ve all been waiting for. We’re talking about the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KITKAT, of course. You can find out every single thing you need to know about those beautiful concoctions in our round-up post, where Edgar wraps up everything there is to know about the release (including some cool system apps and wallpapers that you can already download!). Now that all of that is out of the way, it’s time to run through our best Android phones list for November. Buckle up!

5 – Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 Design

It might be a bit alarming that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has dropped to number 5 on our list this month, but the Samsung Galaxy S4 is getting… old. Not quite old enough to knock it out of the top 5, mind you, but old. Samsung is doing some good things lately, with the company delivering timely Android OS upgrades. Some users are already getting set up with Android 4.3, which brings a Premium Suite upgrade that improves camera features and adds compatibility for the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch.

4 – 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, and like Samsung is doing with the Galaxy S4, HTC is getting serious about Android upgrades. 4.3 is rolling out to most users right now (though Verizon faithful will have to wait until the end of this month after an unfortunate delay). With HTC already promising Android 4.4 KitKat down the line, this is still one attractive pickup (and the Snapdragon 600 processor inside this thing is still strong enough to keep it ticking as smoothly as any other).

3 – Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Surprised to see the Galaxy Note 3 jump back two spots this month? This is still a fine phone, folks, but a certain other South Korean company has been coming with some major heat lately — more on that later. It was hard to put the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in the middle of the pack considering it doesn’t have “middle of the pack” specs. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 13 megapixel camera aren’t middle of the pack specs, but I could still do without a lot of Samsung’s TouchWiz. And 5.7 inches is just big enough to be uncomfortable (despite the phone being the same overall size as the Galaxy Note 2).

2 – LG G2

Last month, I applauded LG for a finely crafted phone, but didn’t think their software was the bee’s knees. It still isn’t the light coat of paint I’d prefer, but it has grown on me, and I find it to be more lightweight and pain-free to use than Samsung’s TouchWiz.



The G2’s Snapdragon 800 processor makes this thing ridiculously fast, and the beautiful 5.2-inch 1080p display is absolutely scrumptious. Gimmicks like the back-facing buttons and LG KnockOn don’t phase me, so they didn’t factor in here — it was pure smartphone mastery that made me award LG the number two slot.

1 – Nexus 5 by LG

I bet you saw this coming. The Nexus 5 is but a few days old, but it’s one exciting device for many different reasons. It’ll be the absolute first phone with Android 4.4 KITKAT. It’ll be the fastest Nexus smartphone ever, with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 quad-core chipset and 2GB of RAM.



It’ll have the most beautiful display of any Nexus handset with a 4.95-inch 1080p HD display. And while the 8 megapixel backside-illuminated camera with Optical Image Stabilization might not be the best camera in the world, it should suffice for most modest cell-phone photographers’ needs.

Specs alone aren’t the only thing to consider, though (which is why the Note 3 isn’t number one on this list). To get all of this in a package that starts at just $350 is astounding. It makes the Nexus 5 the best value in smartphones, and considering you’ll be promised the latest Android upgrades as soon as you can get them,we’d say there’s no reason to consider anything else (unless, you know, you’re stuck with someone like Verizon).


  1. Moto X — It slipped outside the top 5 thanks to some very strong launches last month, but the Moto X is still one of the best Android phones you can get. Great battery life, Touchless Controls and Active Notifications make sure of that.
  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. Nexus 4 by LG — Yes, it’s been handily outclassed by the Nexus 5, but the Nexus 4 will be a force for quite some time. You might have to take to eBay to get yours at this point, though, as Google has taken it off the Play Store.
  5. Motorola DROID Mini — Let’s face it: not everyone is impressed by a bigger display. This 4.3-inch smartphone was considered “big” by 2010’s standards, but if you need a smaller-than-average smartphone you can’t get much better than this.

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.

Oppo N1

This device has a lot of firsts attached to its name. It’s one of the first phones with a rotating camera, giving you a suitable camera for both front and rear facing shots. It’ll also be the first phone that will come with the ability to flash CyanogenMod out of the box. (There will also be a special edition of the device that comes with CyanogenMod pre-installed.) Its specs will include 2GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and more. December is the last known launch window.

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 S3
  2. LG Optimus G
  3. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  4. LG Optimus G Pro
  5. Motorola DROID Ultra
  6. HTC One Mini
  7. Pantech Perception
  9. Sony Xperia Ion
  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. Here’s to a great forthcoming holiday season!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I know it’s been said 1000 times already, but GOOD HEAVENS VERIZON!!! It is by far the best network where I live but the Nexus 5 might actually push me over the edge of the big red ship.

    1. and that is how Google is getting revenge for Verizon tainting it’s Galaxy Nexus…

      1. ;) no doubt. I drank the Koolaid for the partnership 2yrs ago when I grabbed my GNex. Silly me for hoping this marriage would last. I’m guessing TMobile will be getting a call soon. I love the Nexus line.

        1. i jumped ship from vzw galaxy nexus to tmobile N5. she arrives on monday!

    2. I already said my goodbyes to big red and went all magenta for the Nexus 4. I should be getting the N5 in a month or so as well, once all the fervor dies down and I can get it in 3-5 days instead of weeks.

  2. Still loving my HTC One, just cant get bored with Sense UI… Still a snappy device as well. I really contemplated opting for a Nexus 5… But I want to see some in-depth comparisons of it against the One.

  3. You rubbing my Verizon life in my face. Uncool dude. Uncool.

  4. Sorry but I can’t get on board with a phone that doesn’t have the micro SD card option. Unless they offer a 128 GB internal storage.

    1. Honestly, since I have been using my Nexus 4, I get the whole reason for no SD card. I didn’t get the Galaxy Nexus or Droid M because the didn’t have expandable memory, and I believe I was wrong in not getting them and getting my LG Lucid.

    2. Don’t you dare apologize for that sentiment. It is so unbelievably out of touch to sell devices with a mere 16 or even 32GB internal with no option of expansion.

  5. I’m glad the Nexus 4 is on the runner up list. I’m still in love with mine, even after playing with a One and an S4.

    1. N4 is a good phone still. Only reason I’m getting a Nexus 5 is because I dropped my N4 and broke the back so I’ll just buy a new phone instead of repairing my old one. Well that’s my excuse anyways! lol

  6. UI shouldn’t ever be considered a reason to rank a phone, especially by people in the industry. Inform customers of what Android can do to make the experience on the phone less bloated. The TouchWiz UI, I’ve never cared for, but that has never stopped me from considering Samsung. None of the OEM UI’s have ever stopped me. 3rd party launchers solve many of the UI issues that I don’t care for. The menu, for any android phone, is fairly straight forward.

    1. I couldn’t disagree more. UI (and build quality) are really the only things that truly matter. If I have the fastest processor or the 2nd fastest processor available I’m not going to be able to tell a difference in my day to day use.

      That’s why the Nexus 5 is #1 in my book. No bullshit right out the box.

      1. That isn’ta great comparison though. Vanilla Android is a baseline for OEM’s to build their UI on top of. The whole beauty of Android having an open system is so consumers aren’t confined to just what the manufacturer provides. And consumers should be aware that unlike ios and the iPhone, they aren’t confined to a “what you see is what you get” structure. With Android, they should be made aware that what they see isn’t all they get and they have options that cost little to no money. And majority aren’t made aware that they can customize their device beyond what the OEM software provides because they are just told the bare basics. I think important for people in the industry, that are more knowledgeable than the average consumer, to educate them on this.

        Now, with your take on stock Android, I do agree that the vanilla experience has its advanteges, but that may not be what an average consumer is looking for. Again, it still points out the beauty of Android. To put out the impression that a phone is lesser due to the OEM’s UI placed on top of vanilla Android is a bit much. Truth is, the average consumer will look at a list like this and say, “I’ll get the phone that the experts say is #1”, without even comprehensively understanding majority the comparisons.

        Q has every right to place his rankings as he sees fit and that is fine. My main point is, were I not such a tech addict and just an average consumer, reviews on a product could influence me in the wrong direction.

        Fwiw, I would prefer vanilla Android on my note 3 as well, simply because Nova prime adds more to the UI than touchwiz does. That said, my decisions on phone purchases always stem from the productivity the device can give me for personal and work business.

        1. Fair enough. I can see the advantages to the stylus/large screen combo of the Note for some, but IMO the majority of manufacturer skins are software gimics that offer little to no value.

          The #1 complaint I hear from non-tech friends about Android is the carrier bloatware and confusing UI. As soon as I show them a Nexus device (stock launcher) they ask why their phone isn’t as sleek and straightforward to operate. Many of my iPhone friends wouldn’t have left Android if they knew about the Nexus line.

    2. I disagree, ui shouldn’t be the be all end all but it should definitely be considered as a bullet point. not everyone roots, and some people prefer some skins over others. and sometimes those skins do add useful features or negative changes (like the HTC one x multi tasking issues) or simply bog down the resources

      1. Who said anything about rooting? Another misnomer regarding customization. 3rd party launchers (e.g. replacement UI’s) do not require root to have a fully customizable experience. In my 4 years on Android, I still have yet to root, but I have had no problems customizing.

        1. i was simply alluding to the fact that unless you root you still have to deal with the system level changes that these manufacturers make. For example, when i used to have my Evo LTE, i put on a launcher, however my multitasking UI was still the 3d card style and was not part of the launcher, and i still had to deal with the aggressive app refresh issue. And if you’re using a samsung phone you might still experience the battery draining tweaks of touch whiz.

          Launcher’s are great but they only cover up but so much. That’s why, in my opinion, the skin should still be a bullet point.

          1. Will the average consumer really notice that though? It’s like I was saying…it really comes down to the user experience. In my experience, using 3rd party launchers have actually helped the performance, as compared to some lag that I’ve experienced in my past phones (e.g. Evo and Photon). It wasn’t as much an issue on the Note 2 or Note 3, but the main point is that, the general consumer should be informed of changes that can be made (should they not particularly care for the front UI that they’ll be using). That’s something that can’t be done on an iPhone without jailbreaking.

          2. The average consumer also doesn’t use launchers. So i feel like we are in a big grey area here. The average consumer buys their phone and uses it as is. I for one did notice the multitasking annoyance, where i would open up an website n then go on the subway and when i switched back to the website i couldnt because it would want to reload it and i was underground. Or because i was on sprint 3g at the time, anytime i switched to respond to a text and then switched back i had to wait a minute for the page to refresh and i’d lose my spot if it was a longer article. then i looked online n found out it was an HTC sense aggressive multitasking issue. So even if you cover up the UI with a launcher, the skin of the manufacturer still affects the performance. Whether you realize it or not. So that’s why i think UI should be considered. Because you can have a gs3 and i could have an Evo 4g LTE, with the same launcher, the same processor, except my web pages will reload 3x as fast as yours do.

          3. Exactly. But that’s why I feel it’s important for those in the industry to inform the average consumers. Majority don’t use them because they don’t know about them or get the impression that they are “too complicated,” when that’s usually further from the truth.

            And yes, I understand what you’re saying regarding the aggressive multi-tasking issue. I had the original EVO, but found the issue more prominent when using Sense vs. using Launcher Pro Plus (at that time). Since moving to the Note 2, that was my first experience with Nova Prime and I haven’t looked back since. The launcher was developed by a developer team that I trust (TeslaCoil) and have almost every app they have made.

            Again, my main point is that, I feel it’s just as important to inform the average consumers, when they might be put off, just by a UI.

          4. That’s why it’s important for the average consumers to be informed of what they do. I guarantee that majority of the average consumers don’t use launchers, simply because they don’t know what they do or how it can improve their android experience.

          5. i totally get that everything you’re saying. i just think that’s a separate argument though.

          6. Here’s the thing. If we look at Windows PC’s in the past, they weren’t sold based on the UI. Why should Android phones be knocked down or up, based on the UI, and mentioned to consumers as a factor for their not considering one phone over the other? So, while I understand where you are coming from, I really don’t feel it’s a separate argument because Android is the only OS that allows for a general consumer to almost have the ability to customize their phone completely to their liking (and with the Moto X, that includes some hardware elements). I’m really not trying to argue a point one way or another because I think all the phones listed are fantastic. I just personally feel that there is too much emphasis placed on UI, in many of the reviews I see/read nowadays.

          7. I’m not familiar with window’s PC’s of the past, so i cannot comment on that/ However, a general review judges the phones on how they are stock. Straight out of the box. Just like when a car or computer is reviewed its reviewed how you get it from the dealer/store instead of how much you can add to it through after market parts to make it better. And performance is in fact affected by the UI and kernal even if there’s a different launcher on top. Also some people don’t really like stock android and like custom skins, and go for the skin with the coolest new features that stock android lacks. The UI’s are only a bullet point anyway, not the whole shebang. So i don’t think too much emphasis is put on them anyway personally. I do think its noteworthy to mention though.

            This isnt an argument, its just a friendly debate.

          8. Didn’t mean to imply that you were trying to argue with me, was trying to explain that my “stance” on reviews putting much emphasis on UI is a little overstated, for what it should provide to the general consumers. If reviewers might not care for a UI, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the general consumer won’t prefer it. Opinions and options are great, but I personally feel that when people are in an industry, like mobile/tech, they have an added responsibility that others might not. That’s the only reason I feel that the hardware should be majority of the review and the software should have less influenec and more emphasis on “personal preference” whenever it comes to reviewing the UI’s.

  7. I think it’s a little too early to put the Nexus 5 on this list. I mean, do you guys even have one yet? Who knows what kind of widespread defects it or Android 4.4 will have once it hits the wild.

    1. I’ve had zero problems on runnig 4.4 on my N4 and it’s far from an official build. Everything seems insanely well polished.

      1. Right, so since it works on your N4, I think we can safely assume that the hundreds of thousands of others getting the N5 won’t have any issues either, be it hardware or software.

        Thanks for putting our minds at ease :P

        1. Read the many reviews out there.
          And if it does have a ‘defect’, return it. Or sell it for a lot more than you paid for it on a site like swappa. There is literally no risk at all to being an early adopter in this case. There is a massive risk not being an early adopter. I waited with the Nexus 4 because I was worried about the glass back. Well guess what, it didn’t come back into stock for 3 months and they were going for $400 used. That is a mistake I’m not making twice. So, you go right ahead and wait for the defects. I’ll have my N5 on Monday and you will not be able to get it for months.

          1. I didn’t say you should/shouldn’t wait to get one. I said until we know if it has any widespread issues, it’s probably too early to put it on the ‘best phone’ list, esp as it wasn’t clear that they even had one in hand at the time.

            BTW: I also didn’t get the N4 at launch and had to wait a few months for it. Surprisingly, the world didn’t end, and I’m still alive.

          2. Ah, you were talking about the article listing top phones before even having one. That I agree with you is probably not very professional of phandroid.
            As for not getting the first batch, I strongly disagree. Only 5 months after you (we) bought your Nexus 4, Google cut the price by $100. 3 months after that, the Nexus 5 came out. I was already in that situation and I hated it. Not doing it again. Ever. Good job on having way more patience than me. I love the latest and greatest and won’t do it any other way.

          3. IDK, I’ll probably order an N5 once I see that there are no widespread issues with the launch units. If that means I don’t get mine until January, no big deal. My Nexus 4 still runs buttery smooth and probably won’t stop working before then :)

    2. There’s a ton of reviews out so far, so although no one (or not many) received theirs quite yet, it’s safe to say the Nexus 5 is king for now.

      1. Nah, most anticipated for sure… but I cant crown it king yet. HTC One has been tried and proven, this is the kind of device that you can still recommend in November.

      2. Can you post a link to a good review our two? I’m kind of waiting for MKBHD tho

    3. I agree. How can you put a phone on the “best of” before you have it in hand. I understand that it probably will rightfully be on the list, but this is a bit premature. I remember not to long ago everyone heralding Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace the best movie ever before watching it, and look how that turned out!

      1. I don’t remember that, I remember that people were excited to see it, but still approached it with trepidation because it was treading on “hallowed” ground.

        1. Yeah everyone thought making Episode 1 was sacrilegious. Horrible analogy.

  8. Any phone with battery less than 3000mah should not be considered, Nexuseless 5 is far behind to the best phone at the moment LG G2

    1. Why? Because we should all tend to your needs?

  9. HTC One still king in my books.

  10. I just have to ask, do you even have the nexus 5 in your hands yet? how can you say it’s screen “will be” the most beautiful of them all? I’ve seen a few hands on things saying it’s not as nice as the One, and although nice, it’s not the best screen out there. I just don’t see how we can justify putting it at number 1 before anyone’s even gotten one..

    1. People have already gotten them in their hands, especially if they work at carrier stores. Additionally, I’ve never seen a RGB IPS screen look bad.

      1. look, I love nexus devices, and own a gnex, have two nexus 7s in my house and a nexus 7 2013, but i really think people just love drinking the nexus kool-aid before there’s even a single review on the phone yet. putting it at number 1 without even having a review unit to do a full test with? nah, I don’t see that.

    2. CNET says the Nexus 5 screen is the dimmest of all flagship phones. Thats a deal breaker for me

  11. I’d have the Moto X in second place and, depending on the battery and camera of the Nexus 5, first.

  12. The Moto X belongs in number 2 or 3. This is one of the fastest and best Android phones i ever held.

    1. I disagree, I think it should be #1. Its clearly the most groundbreaking phone of the year.

  13. The fact the X isn’t in here is wrong.

    1. sorry, the X looks like a toy.

      1. I’ve owned all of these devices minus the Nexus 5. I can have an opinion about all of them. Don’t take it as fact, but it’s an opinion that is based upon actual usage.

  14. I love how the list favors ui more than anything. imo, the note 3 is the best. It has way more to offer than anything else. I am a graphics designer so the s pen gets used a lot. I do feel the one and s4 are 4 and 5, though I feel the s4 should be 4. The lg g2 should be number 2. The nexus 5, the only one I don’t have right now is I think to early to put on a list line this. Give it time to know the device, if it has flaws. I hated the nexus 4 all because that glass on the back. I do feel all the other phones belong on this list though, but doing this list you should give a more in depth explanation went you put them in that order, and not use ui as the sole culprit.

  15. Nope, sorry, the Note 3 is still far and away the best of the bunch.

    I applaud the Nexus 5 for what it is and for the price but you don’t say a Honda is better than an Acura just because it’s cheaper and or a “better value”. Price has nothing to do when comparing features and performance.

    1. ughh you know they are the same company right. one is just the luxury version of the other.

      1. Yes, I suppose you would rather me say Toyota? The point isn’t who makes it. Its that price doesn’t have anything to do with determining what is a better product. We arent comparing value but features and performance.

        1. i completely agree with you. i’m a man who goes for the best bang for your buck. The nexus 5 is hands down that. I love what the Note 3 brings to the table, expandable storage is a huge plus and some of its other features. I like going for the all-rounder type of phones. For me that is the Nexus 5.

    2. You see, the note 3 has to have 3GB of ram to deal with the bloat that is touchwiz. Stock kitkat can run on devices with much less ram. The note 3 should be called the overkill 3.

      1. Hate on touchwiz all you want, multi-window and s-pen are incredibly handy features that I use daily. The display is fantastic and the camera rocks.

        1. I agree with you, I`m in the medical field,I use the Note 3 S-pen to take notes and multi-tasking, I can`t do it on other phone at all. I did try the LG G2 next to Note3 at Best Buy, I didn`t see any much difference in between them.

      2. serious? just root / de-bloat and shut your face!

        1. I agree with this mostly, but not everyone wants to root.

    3. best phone to buy means best phone to buy. Its an overall factor, price included. Best car to buy 2013 damn sure won’t have the bugatti veyron on the list.

      Also, Note 3 being “far and away the best” is quite subjective. Spec wise, it’s pretty identical to the G2. Sounds like the rest comes down to preference.

      1. Alright, point taken. Still, $300 on contract pricing for a Note 3 bests $350 off contract for an N5, at least when you have no intention of leaving your carrier.

        And yeah, its subjective. But there is no need to put “in my opinion” after every comment.

        1. fair enough. although i know a gentlemen on one of these posts stated that he renews his contract with a note3/G2 and then sells it at full price, he then buys the nexus and with the cash and has a few hundred left over.

          It’s not as good as a deal for everyone of course, but it’s worth mentioning. Especially when on contract pricing will still probably be half that of the note’s, Like the rumored price tag on sprint.

    4. I just don’t see the note 3 as a luxury device. Its plastic, it looks cheap, and it lags despite all that hardware. Until Samsung makes touchwiz use less resources and stop having stuttering frame rates I just can’t take any of their devices serious.

      1. Lol whatever you say man, phones don’t need to exude luxury to be top-tier. And I think its a great looking phone, faux leather and fake stitching and all. Besides there are things called cases.

        And there is barely any lag worth complaining about. Yes touchwiz may use more resources and yes thats why it has 3GB of Ram which has handled everything quite well in my experience since it launched.

  16. @jayochs he said the best display on any Nexus. Not every phone.

    1. ah you’re right, I misread, my apologies. and psh, please, I doubt this thing can be any better than my amoled yellow tinted, horribly burned in, super banding 720p screen on my galaxy nexus ;-)

  17. Samsung fanboys are grabbing their pitchforks…

    1. Definitely not this one… Thinking of switching to the Nexus 5 & the LG G Pad. Have a Galaxy S3 and had a Galaxy Tab 7.7 (failed a water test) now a have a temporary Nook HD+.

      1. Play with the Gpad before you buy. I had it for 4 days and its so laggy, I had to return it.

        1. Thnx for the FYI, I definitely will. Now that the rumors about an 8″ Nexus are appearing I will just hold on to my semi laggy Nook HD+ until it arrives.

  18. lg actually allows someone to have more then 4 across on a stock home screen? nice, that’s one thing i disliked when trying the note 3 in a store, everything on the screen is way too massive. with that size screen i would like to have at-least like 6 or so across (or does the note 3 do it and i just don’t know about it, from only using a store model?)

  19. Why is everyone saying “How will anyone know what the Nexus 5 is like if they don’t have one in there hand” ????
    LOADS OF PEOPLE have it. I could of had mine this morning but had to work so changed delivery to Monday. Carphone warehouse uk have them in stock

  20. Uhhhhhh…… Really Phandroid Now we all know good and well the Note 3 is by far the best. Then Nexus 5 and LGG2 are tied for second just depends on preference (Most prefer Stock) and 4 and 5 Don’t Matter lol

    1. No one is going to take you seriously with that all those spelling and grammar errors.

      1. Last time I checked you did not have to use correct grammar and punctuation to have an opinion.

        1. No but don’t expect anyone to take you seriously when you can’t even string a proper sentence together.

  21. Love my Note 3! . I don’t understand the gripe about Touchwiz. . I root, install custom roms and different launchers on different phones that I have had over the years. Some features are better than others, but a UI is not a deal breaker for me. Just my opinion.

  22. i still the the ONEs best

  23. IMHO, the Note 3 is too big for my tastes, don’t care much for non-stock UI’s, and really enjoy timely updates. Consequently I agree with your rankings.

    Still sitting on the fence between a Nexus 5 and G2 (even with it’s UI and it will interesting to see how fast the G2 gets a 4.4 update). The G2 is still getting very positive reviews and I want to read about “every day use” battery life experiences for the N5.

  24. my mom just bought an awesome green Chevrolet SS Sedan just by some part-time working online with a pc. discover this….fb29.com

  25. LOVE the battery life on the DROID MAXX. Best phone imo.

    1. It’s definitely a great device that gets less love than it deserves since its a Verizon exclusive. I honestly think its the best looking phone out there, build quality surpassing even the much vaunted One.

      I have one as my work phone and definitely wouldn’t ask for anything else (except a Note 3 but thats already my personal device) between the rock solid performance and insane battery life. I turn my work phone off when I’m not on the clock so I have to charge my work phone once a week in some cases which is amazing.

      Where it fails a bit is the camera but since I have no need to take pics for work its not a problem. But were it my personal device I wouldn’t buy it based on that alone.. hopefully a software update improves it.

  26. As a current Note 2 owner I don’t know whether to go with the Nexus 5 or the Note 3…

    1. As a former Note 2 owner I knew there was no choice to make… Note 3 all the way. Unless you are buying full retail, then there is definitely some reason to consider the N5.

    2. Well did you enjoy having the note 2? If you did note 3 is probably the way to go. If Touchwiz lag or the huge screen turned you off, the Nexus 5 will run smoother and has a more comfortable screen size.

  27. I tried waiting for the N5, but Best Buy had the G2 on sale for $100 last week & offered a $50 gift card with purchase. In addition to that, I got another $50 card on the spot because I reserved purchasing any phone through them earlier this year so I paid $50 out of pocket. I may use the other card on the case. With the PS4 & my anniversary coming this month, this was the best option, for my pockets. I just hope KitKat gets pushed ot the G2 soon. I don’t think I’ll be doing a custom rom, but I’ll definitely root to get rid of the bloat.

    I may get the N5 for my wife with Sprint’s One Up plan if they offer it. If not, she’s really interested in the Note 3

  28. Note 3 number 3? Lol you’re stupid!

    1. How dare someone have a different opinion than you! Oh, and you’re stupid.

      1. Yeah ok moron.

        1. Well how can I compete with that razor sharp wit? My hat is of to you, you expert name-caller.

        2. Name calling ? Your mommie needs to monitor your on line usage more ..

  29. What is with all the hate spewing here? This is opinion, no one said you had to agree. If you don’t agree that is fine, but quit insulting Quentyn for posting what he (or the staff at Phandroid) believes is the best phone currently available.

    1. I agree its all opinion, but posting an article like this is essentially asking for an argument amongst all the factions fanboys.

  30. The only advantage the Nexus 5 has over the Note 3 is that it has vanilla Android being updated directly from Google. Every other area it’s worse. The G2 only has optical image stabilization as a strength. What a dumb list.

    1. You can also buy 2 Nexus 5 units for the price of a single Note 3. Price does factor in as well.

      1. Actually it doesn’t. The title of the list is best phones available not best value. Price isn’t a factor.

        1. You should improve your reading ability.
          ‘Best phones to buy’……

          1. Best phone to buy means best phone idiot. Maybe you need some remedial reading comprehension classes.

          2. How do you feel that i comprehend English better than you?

          3. “Now that all of that is out of the way, it’s time to run through our best Android phones list for November.” What does that say idiot? Now stfu!

          4. I have to say i feel that it should be the best overall phone, thats the way it was last year, note 2 vs nexus 4, note 2 won overall…

          5. What does that quote mean in the context of the entire article? Priçe is clearly a theme in the article.

          6. best phone to buy means best phone to BUY. Not best specc’d phone means best specc’d phone.

          7. Best phone to buy means the best phone available. If he wanted to say best value phone he should’ve stated so.

          8. best phone available means best android phone available. They have had lists before with that criteria in the past. Best phone to buy means best phone in which you will be paying for. Whenever “buying” is part of the criteria, then value is always considered.

          9. Yes “best phone to buy”, so of course price is going to be a factor. You really came into this thread, read the article and still couldn’t understand that price was a factor in this list? Really? And you are criticising other people’s reading comprehension?

            I’d call you dumb but that would be an insult to dumb people.

          10. I’d call you dumb for saying the price of a phone has anything to do with whether a phone is good or not or better than another phone. Then leave out obvious factors like no microsd card slot, smaller non removable battery, worse camera, etc…

          11. I said the price of a phone is a factor in purchasing a phone, which is a criteria for this list. I never mentioned anything about one phone being better than another, again you fail at reading comprehension.

          12. If something is a factor then it can be used to say something is better. You fail at common sense. Price should not be a factor period.

          13. I never claimed anything to better, I merely explained to you that price is a factor in purchasing decisions, whether or not you agree with that I don’t care but he fact that you call others out for pointing out your stupidity is cringe worthy.

          14. Clearly you have a reading problem. So I’ll post this again for you to read slowly. “If something is a factor then it can be used to say something is better.” Where did I include anything about you in there idiot? This list is saying the Nexus 5 is a better phone based solely on it’s price. Something external to the device that should not be taken into account. If you can’t understand this simple point then you are just hopeless.

          15. The list is about which phones to BUY, get it? Of course price is a factor here, if this was a list based on specs and features alone then it would be different. This is a simple point which you clearly failed to comprehend and instead of just admitting that you’re wrong you’re simply insulting others and making a fool of yourself. Go to sleep Roy.

        2. Quoted directly from the article: “Specs alone aren’t the only thing to consider, though (which is why the Note 3 isn’t number one on this list). To get all of this in a package that starts at just $350 is astounding. It makes the Nexus 5 the best value in smartphones…”

          So yes, it certainly appears that price is a factor.

          1. Best value doesn’t equal best phone. I can give away dumb phone for free, that doesn’t make it the best phone on the market. If Samsung were to sell the phone for a $1 is it all of a sudden a better phone? The writer is dumb. I can say the Nexus 5 isn’t available in pink. Does that make it a worse phone?

          2. Nobody is making that argument though. It’s not a matter of what the best specced phone is, as sheer numbers tell us the Nexus 5 won’t win that crown. You can’t discount cost value though, as how we spend our dollars is an equally important criteria. The reality is that the Nexus 5 is an amazing value for the cost. The Note 3 is absolutely a better specced device, but it’s double the cost, so it really should be.

  31. HTC One before Motorola X? Wow.

    1. No so wow if you’ve used the One. Maybe the best designed android ever.

      1. That button lay-out kills the best designed android statement. HTC One is impressive but at this point it’s not top 5. It’s best feature are it’s speakers. It doesn’t stand out really after that. Nothing innovative just looks.

        1. Whats wrong with the button layout ?

          1. Honestly nothing although its the only phone with two buttons. The issue is if your saying it’s the best designed android (not you someone else) and you take the button lay-out into equation well then it ceases to be true. It was sloppy. At least the Samsung phones give you a physical button to work with but if your going all capacitive you probably should have just gone on-screen instead.

          2. Oh ok, i dont mind the capacitive, i got used to them on the ONE S, but i was a physical button, physical keyboard dude for a long time. Im still trying to master the virtual keyboard on these non keyboard devices. Maybe in the next flagship from HTC they will incorporate just on screen buttons. Im still hoping for a Nexus from HTC.

  32. Still loving my galaxy nexus! :)

    1. Although I just upgraded to an HTC One, I still reach for my Gnex daily. I’m sure if it will be my primary gaming device or if I’ll just stick it in my car as a permanent media streaming device.

      1. I wish for the day when im rich enough to have 2 smartphones.

  33. This list is laughable.

    1. I hope you have an S4 Active. It can be submerged in 3.28 feet of drool for 30 mins while your at the bar.

  34. I love this list! #1 is going to soon be in my hands.

  35. Agree wholeheartedly !
    Love my Nexus 4 still but if I was in the market the new N5 would be my choice …

  36. Really? Have you spec checked the note 3? Seriously, I am not butt hurt or anything but I spent quite a bit of time with the lg G2 and I own the note 3. This is the first site I’ve seen where the G2 beat the note 3. even those who hate touch wiz ui were still fare in their comparison. Well at least your original.

  37. You guys are absolutely nuts for leaving the moto x or if the top 5. Clearly ur going by specs only if u think the s4 is better than the moto x! I sold my s4 for the moto x and could not be happier. It blows the s4 away in every way, at least in my eyes

  38. A Motorola Nexus would be nice…How many times do we have to say it. Do it already Google.

  39. When I saw the note 3 in 3rd I know all the Sammy fan boys would blow a gasket they just don’t get that the phone is just too big for most people plus the price unlocked for a 32gb is near $800 ouch, I agree with the list and would even be swayed to say that the moto x jumps to 5th and the s4 to honorable mention. The G2 battery and camera both are amazing so #2 is a good spot maybe even #1 with the nexus.

    1. I like this list but its not something official so samsung fanboys probably dont care.

  40. htc one

    1. Agreed, still the best phone. But i understand how the newer phones would be further up the list. Theyre new.

  41. Here’s my list NOTE III, Z1, LG NEXUS 5

  42. This is the only list I’ve seen on all the phone sites that has the note 3 at 3. lol!!!!! that’s laughable

  43. Interesting. The title of this story is “What’s the best Android phone to buy as of November 2013?” Yet, the Nexus 5 is chosen #1 because “Nexus 5 the best value in smartphones”. Its cheaper because yes, it does have lesser specs, and yes, it should be cheaper. Title should be “What’s the best value Android phone to buy as of November 2013”. Thus, your choice for #1 makes sense.

    1. It has better specs in some areas (the ones that matter) and it takes a loss on the camera and battery size. I’m fine with that.

      1. The only specs the Nexus 5 betters is size (debatable) and more pixels. Are those the areas you speak of? Don’t misunderstand me, not bashing Nexus 5, just saying, it is what it is. But what it isn’t, is the best Android smartphone of 2013. Link to specs >> http://www.phonearena.com/phones/compare/Google-Nexus-5,Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3/phones/8148,7984

        1. How is it fair comparing two devices of different classes itself? One is a phablet, another is a phone.

          1. If you’ve read my original post, surely you see that in principal, I agree with your question. In staying with authors title of story is why I’m able to draw that comparison.

        2. Despite all that hardware touchwiz still makes the device lag, its a damn shame.

        3. Well technically the Nexus 5 is the best Android smartphone as it has the latest update and is created by the company that created Android. Every other vendor uses AOSP and then tosses a memory-hogging UI and some even more memory-hogging bloatware. It’s no wonder the Note 3 needs 3GB of ram.

    2. Snapdragon 800, 2GB of ram, and has OIS. How is this not as good or battery than almost AOL the competition? The only thing that beats the nexus 5 is the note 3 because of the extra ram. The note 3 might not have as much available ram though.

  44. 1) Note 3
    2) S4
    3) Nexus 5
    4) HTC One
    5) Moto X

    Wouldn’t consider anything other than these top 5. A removable battery and 64/128GB SDcard slots are powerful factors.

    1. Reasons against the g2?

      1. yeah, seriously. the G2 is hands down one of the best phones out there right now. super quick, fast, amazing screen and awesome battery life in a 5.2 inch device..hell, it’s smaller than my 5 inch DNA lol

        1. you can adjust the screen settings on the note 3. displaymate says its pretty much up there in terms of screen

      2. G2 has even much better screen than amoleds(horrible colors)

  45. Guys, you never seem to mention Asus in these lists, is it because they don’t have carrier support in the states?!?
    The new Asus Infinity (A86) seems to be a match for any of the mainstream handsets, any thoughts on this ??

  46. am not sure if this list is a joke but note 3 deserves to be #1 no way is the nexus better than this beast

  47. Note 3 beats g2

  48. Can’t work out why the Z1 isn’t in the top 5, ok might be the best phone out there but says who, everyone’s opinion is different…. Seems this case the LG Nexus 5 is number 1 mainly due to price….. Z1 imo should be ahead of HTC One and S4 as it has higher spec, just cos it has a big bezel shouldn’t be the the main negative reason.


    1. Note 3
    2. Z1
    3. LG Nexus 5
    4. LG G2
    5. S4

    1. Price and it will likely run the smoothest since it doesn’t have manufacturer bloated skins on it. Note doesn’t even enter into my list because the form factor is entirely too large to be comfortable to carry or use, touchwiz is an insane resource hog that leaves stuttering frames even with all the Note 3 hardware in tow, and I don’t care what the stylus does, I left that behind with the palm pilot. Not to mention the fake leather plastic back just looks and feels cheap.

  49. Actually, the fastest phone there is the Note 3, because it is the only phone on the list that has 3GB of RAM. However, the Nexus 5 probably feels the fastest because it has kit kat and a very lightweight version of android without any of the crap the Note 3 ships with. Also, it might have the most free RAM because Samsung’s touchwiz eats up a ton of RAM.

    1. well… it was the BEST phone… not the fastest… speed isn’t everything. i’d rather have a list that started with the N5, then moto x then n4 then droid mini then G2 because the “BEST” phone in my opinion is the one that runs a nice clean smooth copy of STOCK android, bloat annoys me and gets in the way and just irritates my experience

      1. I completely agree with you. I prefer stock android versus other overlays. However, going back to your topic of the best smartphone, the Note 3 and LG G2 have a better camera than this, and the Note 3 has an SD card slot. However, I agree with you on that the Nexus 5 is the best because it has the best version of android of any phone.

        1. i think it should be more of a “top android phones of november” article and read without rankings and include phones with unique features …. 1 or 2 stock phones that are good… a good camera shooter, a “fast” phone and then a functionality phone like the note 3 that adds something different…

          don’t rank them because it just makes no sense… just give us a narrowed list of what is the best of whats available.

          1. Exactly, thank you. You are very intelligent.

  50. Can you not use this on Verizon or is it they are slow with updates because that is every phone they have so I am not that worried about that part. Just looking for clarification since all Verizon phones are unlocked any unlocked phone should work on Verizon

    1. But Verizon’s voice service still relies on CDMA, doesn’t it? The “unlocked” part (and the part that uses the SIM) refers to the LTE network which only provides the data portion of their service.
      Correct me if I’m wrong.

    2. Uh, what? Pretty much all Verizon phones are locked and pretty much no unlocked phones (that are not Verizon branded) work on Verizon. This is why we hate them. This is why there will never be another Verizon Nexus.

  51. I vote for Note 3. I don’t know why its not on the list.

    1. It is…@ number 3.

  52. You should have renamed this to The CHEAPEST Android phone to buy… Lol
    You cheapskate….. It’s not the best and for starters I would prefer my Note 2 with NOVA Launcher. Oh and one more thing, getting ready to buy my Note 3

  53. So is this from a person who actually has all of these phones? I think the Note 3 should have been number one on that list…. The GOOGLE Launcher is still in its early stages in the Nexus device. NOVA Launcher is Awesome!!!!! Experience is part of the equation for me. I tried Google’s Launcher and went back to Nova in one day. Note 3 will be my next Phone…. Silly man!!!!

  54. I voted for NOTE 3 as the best Device to buy.

  55. I disagree. The note 3 should be tied with the Nexus5. No other phone has 3GB of RAM. In comparison with the LG G2 it at least offers wireless charging, larger battery, and the stylus is far more than just a gimmick. The handwriting recognition on the device is nothing short of amazing. A removable battery, sd card storage, and the RAM capacity made me choose the Note3 over Nexus5…but it was a close call.

    1. LG2 has much better screen, fits in my poquet, has most of the things of note3 in a smaller factor and does not have that horrible leader back, personally the stylus does not make a difference but the price you pay yes, G2 is cheaper.

      1. define “better” for the screen. They are the same resolution. Both are great looking in real world experience. Any technology difference is not truly perceptible. The note 3 is a little larger but not as drastically as people act like it is. The fact that this article acts like the SOC is better in the G2 than Nexus5 and Note 3 is absurd, note 3 has higher clock cycle. The G2 has “most” things and is less expensive…well duh. Less stuff means less money.


        1. You can continue thinking in that way, in the mean time I have bought my LG G2, there is not point of comparison with Note 3, G2 is much better!… My use is mostly for business and I never will take a look to Note 3, G2 has a screen and color that Samsung only dreams to. When I say most things I mean G2 does not have the stylus, only that for the rest, from my point of view G2 is hands down the best phone at the moment. Last point, who designed the Note 3?… because is really awfull, that leader back is the worse I have found in a phone!!!….

        2. Yes, they are the same resolution but the technology difference between IPS and AMOLED is perceptible. “Better” is relative as both have their pros and cons.

          They work on completely different technologies and thus have opposite problems. LCD works like a screen door effect. They have a white backlight and then the subpixel crystals make that white light into red, green, blue, etc. Therefore LCD never gets perfect blacks including IPS.

          AMOLED works by have each individual subpixel create its own light. Therefore you can have complete black by turning all 3/4 subpixels off with AMOLED. The problem with AMOLED is that the subpixels have a limited lifespan (although it’s getting better). Having a subpixel on max brightness causes that subpixel to wear out faster.

          AMOLED has better blacks but IPS has better colors/whites. People argue that AMOLED can have accurate colors but current phones and tablets don’t always keep the color constant in fear of damaging the subpixels. (Oversaturation of the Note 3 makes the colors pop out)

          TL;DR “Better” is relative lol.

    2. Note 3 is very large, so from a consumer stand point its just not a good buy for some consumers. It’s on the list because it is in indeed a good device, but I personally couldn’t buy one regardless of what they put in it, i don’t need to carry a tablet around all day.

      1. Personally I’d have preferred it a little smaller but that’s one negative against it vs several more with the other models here. Lacking removable battery, sd card storage, RAM, CPU speed, stylus, wireless charging….

        1. The Note 3 IS a great phone but as a personal preference I don’t like the TouchWiz UI and some of the S-Pen features are tempting but others seem to be gimmicky and just act as bloatware.

          Regardless, I flash roms on my phones after a while anyways and Nexus phones usually have better dev support compared to other companies.

          BTW – CPU speed on Nexus 5 is the same as the Note 3 and it has wireless charging capabilities as well.

  56. In all honesty the note 3 should be on top of that list. Sent from my beloved G2.

    1. lol

  57. Give up Verizon Unlimited and get the Nexus 5 or stay and choose between the LG G2 or the Moto X?

    1. Hi Oak, Get the Droid Maxx, the Moto Assist and X8 processor for voice recognition is great and even greater when you can stream and hotspot all day.

    2. Depends on which company you plan on switching to. T-Mobile has a cheaper unlimited plan but the speeds vary greatly depending on the area.

      If not T-Mobile, definitely stay with your grandfathered plan and like Justin said, get the Droid Maxx. It has the exact same features the Moto X does except with a larger battery and larger storage space. If the size is too big then definitely go with the Moto X.

  58. Sorry, this list gets an epic FAIL IMO. I’ve never agreed with the HTC one “beating” the S4 (Though I haven’t tried one since they “fixed” blinkfeed) The note 3 should have been #1. PERIOD. That phone is large yet damn comfortable to hold. Only issue is it’s finally too big to fit in a man’s front pant pocket (back pocket is begging for trouble IMO) really. The G2’s back controls are an abomination. I couldn’t put it down fast enough! That Nexus 5 shouldn’t be top of ANYTHING with that pathetic camera, no SD slot, and battery that’s now kinda skimpy. You guys are starting to smell fanboish for the “new thing” whether it’s actually “better” or NOT.

    1. I disagree that it’s too big to be pocketable. Most of my pockets accommodate my Nexus 7.

    2. Exactly how does the Blinkfeed put the ONE behind the GS4 ? I dont use it all that much but i dont get how “fixing” blink feed would help the ONE beat the GS4. The GS4 is fine, its just bogged down with too many useless features. Its a fine phone nonetheless.

      1. I’m with you. Blinkfeed originally couldn’t be removed or even disabled. That took the phone out of the running for me. There were other reasons too, but that was the dealbreaker. The whole point of an Android phone is to set it up how YOU want IMO ;)

        1. Very true. HTC says in the Sense 5.5 update the option to toggle Blink Feed on/off will be available. I dont use it often enough to justify it taking up a whole screen. But it doesnt phase me, the speed and power of the phone and the sturdiness, and of the course the front facing speakers make it a keeper in my book.

    3. The S4 is built like a ballerina, one small drop =’s death…. HTC because of build quality and Motorola devices because of call quality should be included more… who cares if you phones have specs if they have junk call quality.

    4. They’re all great phones and like you said in a later post “The whole point of an Android phone is to set it up how YOU want”.

      Now, as for the Nexus 5, megapixels aren’t everything for a camera that’s in a phone. Software behind the camera matters tremendously nowadays. SD slot is a negative but you can utilize USB OTG to store more data and apps (possibly even classify separate drives for different applications). Battery life depends on screen size, resolution, and the background processes that are running (bloatware from vendors and/or carriers come to mind). It would be logical for a 5.7″ phone to have a 3200mAh battery and a 4.9″ phone to have a smaller battery (granted, it would’ve been nice for the Nexus 5 to come with a larger battery).

      The Nexus 5 is all about introducing a new version of android, dev support, vanilla Android, and the price point. I highly doubt, based on who the Nexus 5 is marketed for, that it ‘shouldn’t be top of ANYTHING’.

  59. Putting Nexus 5 being #1 is a no brainer, but has Phandroid got a chance to test and review one of them yet? If Phandroid does not have a chance to review, it wouldn’t really justify the fact that it is calling N5 the #1 android to get in 2013.

  60. HTC ONE should still be #2 or 3. I know you want to avoid people bitching but this is ridiculous. Also the inclusion of the Nexus 5 is of course a kneejerk reaction, no one has tested or used it.

  61. I probably will stick with HTC even through future phone purchases. I started with the G1, went to the G2, then the ONE S, and now the ONE. Still hoping that the Nexus 6 or whatever they call it will be made by HTC.

  62. Might as well wait for the gs5 given this article. Norhing to really write home about.

  63. 1) Droid Maxx — Have you heard the call quality, battery life, speed..
    2) Note 3– S-pen is awesome, call quality of my Note 2.. crap..
    3) HTC One
    4) Nexus 5
    5) S4 – Crappy build quality but some of the features are great..

  64. That is great evaluation! But I think note 3 deserves a better spot. By comparing the features, utility and specs mentioned here in the link, I see that note 3 is better than lg g2. I don’t know about nexus 5 though

  65. I would only buy the Nexus 5 because of the vanilla UI and the obvious dev support it will receive. Actually, I’d get the Moto X if I knew for sure that devs could utilize Touchless Control and Active Display in future roms. Those features, as simple as they are, are fantastic in my opinion.

    As great as the specs are for all the other phones in this article, I can’t stand the overlays that other companies place on their phones as well as the bloatware they install. Plus, dev support isn’t as great as the Nexus line based on past experience.

  66. Price shouldn’t be a factor in a “best of” list. If people want the”best” they’ll pay. LG G2 should have the top spot.

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