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: Sony)

    Sony Xperia Z Ultra

    A newcomer to the list. Sony's Xperia Z Ultra packs a lot of cool features under the hood, sporting the sharpest LCD panel on the market, and a 13-megapixel camera capable of capturing HDR video.

    This handset is also thin, coming in at a svelte 6.5-milimeters. But don't the thinness fool you, the Xperia Z Ultra is tough, featuring tempered glass, and a dustproof and waterproof build, rated to with IP58.

    This is the smartphone you need if you want to be able to submerge it in 1 meter of water and still have a working handset.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.2)
    • 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor
    • 6.4-inch TFT 1920 x 1080 display, powered by an updated Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 with 342 pixels-per-inch
    • 8MP rear-facing camera
    • 2MP front-facing 1080p HD video capture
    • 16GB internal storage
    • Compatible with the Sony SmartWatch 2
    • microSD card slot
  • (Image: Samsung)

    Samsung Galaxy Note II

    The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the Android smartphone for those people with large hands to hold it with, and large pockets to keep it in.

    The Samsung Galaxy Note II really is a solid handset packed with an array of high-end features. It even comes with the S Pen that can be used to copy text, crop images, and to share content.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)
    • 1.6 GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor
    • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD display
    • 8MP rear camera
    • 1.9MP front camera
    • 16/32/64GB internal storage
    • microSD slot
  • (Image: Motorola)

    Motorola Razr i

    Perhaps not the best — or best made — handset around, but the Razr i is nonetheless a decent, solid smartphone that won't break the bank.

    The DuPont Kevlar fibre and Corning Gorilla Glass construction gives it a good feel in the hand, and it comes with an SD-card slot for storage expansion, something that the Nexus 4 doesn't have.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.2)
    • 2GHz Intel Atom Z2460
    • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED 540x960 display
    • 8MP rear camera
    • VGA front camera
    • 8GB 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.