Best Android smartphones (October 2013 edition)

Best Android smartphones (October 2013 edition)

Summary: Time once again to take a tour of a handful of the best Android smartphones currently available on the market (October 2013). There are a few new handsets, including one for all you pure Android fans. There's also a phablet to keep an eye on!

TOPICS: Mobility, Android

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  • (Image: ZDNet)


    We have a updated version of this gallery: Top 10 Android phones (November 2013 edition)


    Looking to replace your aging Android companion with something newer and with a little more "oomph"? Here are five excellent Android-powered smartphones from Google, Motorola, and Samsung.

    No matter whether you are looking for a consumer handset or something that will be suited to a BYOD role, you're bound to find something of interest here.

    The handsets are arranged in no particular order. My current favorite continues to be the Nexus 4. It's a powerful package that delivers what I believe to be the best, purest Android experience possible. Unfortunately, it now seems discontinued while we await for the Nexus 5. That's a shame.

    However, I have to admit that some of the features present on the Samsung Galaxy S4 make it a great choice for the BYOD crowd. 

  • (Image: Samsung)

    One to watch: Samsung Galaxy Note 3

    While internationally the Galaxy Note 3 has been available for some time, it is only just hitting stores in the U.S.

    The Galaxy Note 3 is, as you can probably gather, a sequel to the Galaxy Note 2. It brings a whole raft of improvements to the table, and it is currently the only phone or phablet that's compatible with Samsung's new Galaxy Gear smartwatch (support for devices such as the Note 2, and the Galaxy S3 and S4 should arrive before the end of the year).

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.3)
    • 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor
    • 5.7-inch  1920 x 1080 display with 388 pixels-per-inch
    • 3GB of RAM
    • Stylus (a pro or a con depending on your view of them)
    • 13MP rear camera
    • 2MP front camera
    • 4G LTE
    • NFC
    • 32/64GB or internal storage
    • microSD card slot for expansion
  • (Image: Google)

    Google Nexus 4

    The Nexus 4 is the smartphone that Google thinks Android should be loaded on.

    One of the downsides to the Nexus 4 is that it doesn't come with LTE support, despite having a supporting integrated modem. According to LG, the manufacturer of the Nexus 4, the LTE modem requires a signal amplifier and filter to work, and these components have been omitted to keep the cost of the handset down.

    Despite this, the Nexus 4 is a solid, well-made Android handset. Unfortunatly, it is now discontinued, presumably while we wait for the Nexus 5. Still, for now it is my ffavorite Android handset.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.2)
    • 1.5GHz quad-core Krait processor
    • 4.7-inch WXGA IPS display
    • 8MP rear camera
    • 1.3MP front camera
    • 8/16GB internal storage

Topics: Mobility, Android

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  • Simple

    there is only One phone to own today :)
  • LG G2???

    Did you forget the G2?
  • a pox on this format

    Sorry, not clicking through, despite being in the market for a new phone
    • Yes,

      Can we please get rid of the gallery format, so that everything is on one page. I know it might mean a little less Ad revenue, but in all reality, most of us aren't going through the lists anyway, so you won't get the Ad revenue from that.
      • Agreed...

        I second (third!) this motion. You're not even getting my page clicks now, how about that?
        • Make easier to read, Please

          Please make this easier to read with a single-page-formatted document.
  • Micromax Canvas 4

    Micromax Canvas 4 is also the best phone, which is missing here ...
  • Not a story

    - this is a photo gallery. And the execution is terrible. Why is this so difficult for you to understand and correct? Another "story" I won't be reading.
  • I don't think that word means what you think it does....

    You're listing the stylus of the Galaxy Note 3 as a "a pro or a con depending on your view of them". The optional stylus. The your-fingers-also-work-just-dandy-this-is-an-option stylus. Just how does that every wind up as a con?
    • your quote

      Two points for a Princess Bride quote. Unless it wasn't intentional in which case only 1 point. ;)
  • HTC One

    The HTC One is the best phone I've ever used, so far.
  • Really!

    The RAZR is from last year. All the new Droids are out. Did you forget about them? Or was this written before Oct 1? The LG G2, forget about that too? In other words, do you have a clue?
  • Spelling and Grammar errors - Did an editor review this?

    I can't believe an editor let this article be published with the grammar and spelling errors. I thought this was supposed to be a reputable, professional site. I didn't think is was some internationally published technology author's blog. What a shame.
    • Proofread much??

      You, caddy, also did not proofread your statement [I didn't think is was some...] ;)
  • The One

    There is only the One......the best of the best.
  • confused

    The Note 3 has not released yet. The Nexus 4 has been discontinued. HTC has a shady OS update history. How can these be your recommended choices?
  • No LTE on Nexus 4?!?!? Seriously?!?!?

    So Apple is criticized like crazy for not rushing an LTE iPhone to the market right as LTE was starting to expand across the US, and here we are in 2013 and the so-called premiere android phone doesn't even support it? I am LMAO right now.
    • Works On Custom ROMs....

      Developers decided to go ahead & activate & use the LTE modem in most all of the custom ROMs I've used. Don't get TOO wound up......It's just the initial release that doesn't have it. REAL easy to fix it being open source.'s that message app glitch going? Any developers fixed that for you with a patch yet or are you still waiting to the entire OS patch to cover it? LMAO now, rspin.
      • No issues for me

        I've yet to have a message problem. Very small percentage of users affected. You do realize your average user has no clue about custom ROMs, right? They just accept 3G speeds I guess.

        Enjoy your malware filled, outdated version on android. I love how > 50% of iDevices were updated to iOS7 within a week while less than 3% of android devices out there have the latest version. Pretty pathetic.
        • @rpsin, from time to time, Apple sucks even when they distribute updates

          I have a Galaxy Nexus (Android 4.3), an iPhone 4S (iOS 7) and an HTC Windows Phone 8X.

          Updates are important from security reasons. I do not want to get stuck with an old OS, so all the Androids that do not receive OS updates are no-gos for me.

          Latest Apple IOS7 update: I got a set of 4 new EULAs that I was told to "read carefully" and then agree to them. Each of them about 17 letter pages of text. Would have taken me a full weekend to read them, including the time needed to check sources to help me understand the legaleese they use.

          I get the Android updates just when they are released. Google tells me for each new EULA the changes to the previous EULA. So, if I trusted the old EULA and can accept the deltas in the new one, I can agree to them well informed in minutes.

          I am not sure how Microsoft will handle this in future but hope that they will take Google as a role model, not Apple.

          I guess, my next phone will be the Nexus 5, simply to make sure that I get a user-friendly update experience when a new OS version is released.

          I hope, Google, Apple and Microsoft follow this discussion. OK, may be a bit overly optimistic.