Dec 26th, 2013

best android phone 2013

After a few long, hard days of voting at the polls, you guys weighed in on the top Android phones of 2013 and let your voice be heard. We tallied up the votes — over 8,400 of them — and it’s time to reveal what you all considered to be the best Android phones of 2013. We’ll first take a look at and talk about the top five phones, and then we’ll reveal the full breakdown once we’re doing yappin’. Let’s get to it!

5 –   LG G2

This was a personal favorite of our own Edgar Cervantes. The LG G2 was LG’s first phone following the Korean company’s new device strategy. They opted to streamline their portfolio and focus on just a few devices, and the G2 ended up being the one to lead the way. The device featured a 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel camera and more.

4 – Motorola Moto X

Motorola was another company that decided they had enough of their failing device strategy, and sought to do something about it with a major change. That’s what brought us the Moto X, a phone that breaks all the rules in all the right ways.

Motorola broke those rules by offering truly customizable phones, giving buyers tons of color combinations to make a phone that’s uniquely theirs. Of course, those options didn’t come to everyone immediately (AT&T had a timed exclusive and everyone had to wait quite some time on the wooden back plates), but it was better late than never.


They broke more rules by declaring that the specs war was irrelevant. That declaration was made by the Motorola X8 computing system, which was a custom dual-core SoC by Qualcomm outfitted with two other separate cores — one that enables the low-power always-listening voice commands, and one that “listened” for gestures for things like activating the camera and automatically enabling and disabling Active Notifications.

Let’s not forget the company’s breakneck speed in getting Android 4.4 KitKat rolled out, a pace that not even most of the Nexus devices out there can say they were able to match (although they weren’t very far behind). Simply put, we like the new Google-backed Motorola, and so did a great deal of you based on the reception the Moto X got in this poll.

3 – HTC One

HTC came into 2013 on a mission — to stop drowning the market with tons of smartphone releases. Like Motorola and LG, they wanted to streamline their portfolio and focus on just a few key devices to maximize marketing and development efforts. The result of that is the HTC One, a beautiful 4.7-inch device that still has folks in smartphone bliss today.

HTC One rocks

The device’s aluminum chassis, crisp 1080p display, and solid internals have kept it going this far. It had a Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM, which is enough to do just about anything in this day and age. And while the HTC One got some flak for lack of removable battery and no expandable storage, that particular configuration has become a bit of an industry trend, so no harm no foul.

2 – Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Part of me wants to believe that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is favored because of the ridiculousness of it. A massive 5.7-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, USB 3.0 and more. We weren’t terribly surprised as the latest Note phones are always a bit ahead of their time, but Samsung pulled out all of the stops that literally no one else did.


In terms of everything else (software and overaal features), the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 didn’t really deliver anything that we haven’t already seen out of the Samsung Galaxy S4, but the South Korean company tightened everything up to bring us one solid, yet familiar experience.

1 – Nexus 5

While some may argue that the Nexus 5 has an unfair advantage, the facts can’t be ignored — it’s damned hard to find a better package than this for its cost. For as little as $350, you’re getting a 5-inch 1080p HD display with a Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM.

You’re getting KitKat in its purest form, with a couple of exclusive bits (such as the new Google Experience Launcher) added in. You’re getting updates right from the horse’s mouth.

Nexus 5 games

The Nexus 5’s journey was interesting, with its fair share of problems well-documented among worrywarts everywhere. Not the least of those problems was the device’s camera, which suffered from slow shutter speeds, slow startup times and poor low-light performance. A great deal of those issues were later eradicated with a software upgrade.

The Nexus 5 has also been knocked for its weak speaker, questionable battery life and more. The sum of all those things might scare most folks off, but there’s little doubt Google will look to improve the experience with more upgrades over time.

Regardless, the fact that the Nexus 5 was able to snap up the #1 spot with that kind of uncertainty speaks volumes about the value of the Nexus brand around the Android community. Way to go, LG and Google.

The Rest

Want to see how everything else fared? Here’s the full breakdown of votes, sorted from most to least:

votes chart

The Nexus 5 took up a whopping 25% of the votes, which is pretty impressive considering we collected over 8,000 of them. The race was a bit tighter the further down the list we go, with the Note 3, HTC One, and Moto X all coming in with just over 100 votes ahead of the next guy.

Looking at some of the unsung heroes, you can see that the Samsung Galaxy S4 still took a respectable sixth place, beating out the likes of the DROID MAXX by more than 6%. Beyond that, votes were spread thin between the rest of the pack. It’s worth noting that quite a few of the votes in that “other” category were for the Moto G, which lends credence to the fact that the price/performance ratio that phone provides is just as satisfactory as Motorola advertised.

2014 and beyond

And that’s a wrap for 2013, folks. We’re riding high into 2014, with the first order of business being what should be a phone-filled, fun-filled CES in Las Vegas. We’ll be hitting that rodeo up to bring you all the latest that these companies and more will have to offer for what should be yet another great year in tech. In the meantime, let’s hear your thoughts about the way these results turned out in the comments below!