Top 10 smartphones of 2013: There's One that's best

Summary:We have seen some fantastic smartphones in 2013 and one phone remained clearly at the top of my list. Another one recently knocked it out of my pocket, but it still remains in my collection.

Number 6: Nokia Lumia 1020

Image: Nokia

I am still a fan of Windows Phone and it seems almost daily apps that I find essential, such as USAA bank, appear in the Windows Phone Store. While the Nokia Lumia 1520 is the newest high-end device, AT&T messed it up and it is just too large to be comfortable as a daily device so the Nokia Lumia 1020 remains my top Windows Phone device.

You can't beat the camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the additional Nokia services make it a great smartphone option. I honestly like the hardware design of the Lumia 925 even better, but the 1020 has more memory and a better camera.

Number 7: Samsung Galaxy S4

Image: Samsung

Samsung rolled out the Galaxy S4 with a rather strange launch event, but millions of people purchased the device. The hardware is excellent and Samsung pushes the limits with its software.

Friends and family that purchased the Galaxy S4 earlier this year are still pleased with their smartphone purchase and the S4 deserves a place in the top 10 of this year.

Number 8: LG G2

Image: T-Mobile

LG did great with the Nexus 5 and LG G2 in 2013.

The minimal side bezel, long battery life, and solid camera experience are compelling on the LG G2. The button design makes sense, but I couldn't get used to it while I was testing it out. I have considered buying another a couple of times though because of the great camera and gorgeous display.

Like Samsung, LG overwhelms consumers a bit with their software options. Then again, people who like to tweak and customize their device may enjoy the LG experience.

Number 9: Motorola Droid Maxx

Image: Verizon

I own several phones from this top 10 list, but none of them can go longer than a day of heavy usage. Thus, the Motorola Droid Maxx deserves a spot as a top phone this year thanks to its large internal 3,500 mAh capacity battery that did let me go more than a day.

The Droid Maxx gets the great Motorola software functions with a large display. Unfortunately, it is only available on Verizon Wireless so it has limited appeal. It is well constructed, feels great in your hand, and offers an experience similar to the Moto X.

Number 10: BlackBerry Z30

Image: BlackBerry

BlackBerry hasn't had a great year, but their BlackBerry 10 OS is actually very useful for communications and I find their OS to be user friendly and enjoyable. Their best piece of hardware is the BlackBerry Z30.

I have used the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 and enjoy going back to a full QWERTY solution from time-to-time. The Z30 improves on the Z10 with a larger five inch display, long battery life, dual speakers, and multiple microphones.

BlackBerry continues to struggle and figure out where it is going, but their operating system and hardware still meets the needs of many folks and deserves consideration in the top 10 of 2013.

Related ZDNet posts

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone, Microsoft, Samsung, Smartphones, Innovation


Matthew Miller started using mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host, with ZDNet's Kevin Tofel, of the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned more than 2... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.