Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2013

Summary:I post my top 10 lists of smartphones a couple times a year and now that the HTC One has been revealed I can provide you with my current top 10. I've had the iPhone at the top of my lists for quite a while, but not this time.

Number 8: HTC Droid DNA


Verizon's HTC Droid DNA looks very similar to the newly announced HTC One, which may be why Verizon didn't want to join the HTC One party at this time. I have been using it instead of my iPhone 5 because it is the best HTC hardware I have ever used.

The Droid DNA was the first device to launch with a 1080p display and HTC was able to put the large 5 inch size display into a device that feels like a much smaller smartphone. The DNA has an 8 megapixel camera, 16GB integrated storage, 2GB RAM, quad-core processor, integrated 2020 mAh battery, NFC, and more. While the hardware is fantastic, I couldn't rate the Droid DNA higher because of the limited integrated storage capacity and limited battery life with non-removable battery. A high end smartphone like this should have at least 32GB of memory and larger or removable battery.

The HTC Droid DNA comes with Android Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4.0+. The user interface is great and everything flows well on the device. Google Now is easily accessible by pressing and holding the Home button too. You can pick up the HTC Droid DNA for $199.99 on Verizon.

Number 9: HTC 8X


Microsoft and HTC launched the HTC 8X on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon when Windows Phone 8 was launched. It is one of the slimmest, most pocketable devices I have held and is a great alternative for people looking for a well designed smartphone. I like the bold colors and modern materials used by HTC. The 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 looks great with 720x1280 pixel resolution display.

HTC includes Beats Audio with an additional amp on the headphone jack for the ultimate audio experience. I never thought much about front-facing cameras until my wife and daughters started to take lots of self-portraits to include on Facebook. HTC provides a wide angle 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera so you can include all of your friends in the shot.

Windows Phone 8 runs even smoother than Windows Phone 7 and improves on an already great operating system. You likely won't find any other WP8 device Start screen looking like yours and the OS is very functional.

Kid's Corner is a great idea and if your children are often handed your phone then you may want to take a serious look at the 8X. You can now find the HTC 8X in the $50 to $100 price range on the three major US wireless carriers.

Number 10: HTC One X+


The HTC One X was on of my favorite HTC devices ever and it never seemed to get the respect it deserved. This may have had to do with the AT&T exclusivity and unfortunately once again the updated HTC One X+ is also only available on AT&T. The One X+ fixes a couple of the issues with the One X, including a faster processor, longer battery life, and more internal storage capacity (64GB now compared to just 16GB on the One X).

The One X+ has that gorgeous 4.7 inch 720p LCD display. The processor upgrade moves to NVIDIA from Qualcomm. The battery capacity increased from 1800 mAh to 2020 mAh. Android Jelly Bean is included on the device out of the box. You can buy the HTC One X+ in black from AT&T for $199.99 with a 2-year contract.

What is your favorite smartphones at this time? What smartphone do you see coming down the rumor mill that has your interest? I am looking forward to seeing what Samsung has with the next Galaxy, but it is going to be tough to knock the Note II from my hands. I plan to spend more time with the HTC One and BlackBerry Z10 over the next month or two as well.

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


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

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