Best Android smartphones (September 2013 edition)

Best Android smartphones (September 2013 edition)

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

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TOPICS: Android, Smartphones
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  • (Image: Samsung)

    Samsung Galaxy S4

    The second new kid on the block — Samsung's new and long-awaited Galaxy S4.

    There's an awful lot to like about the Galaxy S4 — the powerful CPU, plenty of storage space, a user-replaceable battery, the microSD slot, the fact that it can be used as a remote control for a DVR. It is very much like HTC's new One handset, except marginally better in almost every way (except, perhaps, for the plastic shell).

    Another quality handset from the company that is now the king of the Android smartphones.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.2.2)
    • 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (1.6GHz octa-core processor offered in some markets)
    • 5-inch Super AMOLED high-pixel-density (441ppi) display
    • 13MP rear camera
    • 2MP front camera
    • 16/32/64GB internal storage
    • MicroSD slot
  • (Image: HTC)

    HTC One

    The all-new HTC One is the first of two new kids on the block in terms of Android-powered smartphones.

    Under the hood, the HTC One isn't all that different to Samsung's new Galaxy S4 — it features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU (although it runs a little slower), 2GB of RAM, and a 1080p screen — but it is also a very different beast thanks to Sense, the bold new user interface HTC has loaded into the smartphone. It also features an aluminum shell, unlike the Samsung Galaxy S4, which has a plastic shell.

    This handset is confirmed as coming to Verizon later this summer.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.2) with HTC's Sense user interface
    • 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600
    • 4.7-inch Super LCD, Full HD, high-pixel-density (468ppi) display
    • 4MP rear camera
    • 2.1MP front camera
    • 32/64GB internal storage
  • (Image: Sony)

    Sony Xperia Z

    A newcomer to the list. Sony's Xperia Z 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 7.9-milimeters. But don't the thinness fool you, the Xperia Z is tough, featuring tempered glass, and a dustproof and waterproof build.

    • Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)
    • 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor
    • 5-inch TFT 1080p (1920 x 1080) display, powered by the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
    • 13MP rear-facing camera
    • 2MP front-facing 1080p HD video capture
    • 16GB internal storage
    • MicroSD card slot

Topics: Android, Smartphones

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19 comments
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  • Shouldn't this be the August Edition

    Given all the new phones yet to be released since Sept is hardly more than a day old.
    greywolf7
    • ??? Pedantry ???

      Perhaps the August Edition was published on 1st August?

      And maybe it doesn't really matter?
      Zogg
    • This report only covers...

      ...the 793 Android phones that have been released so far this month.
      Userama
  • My thoughts...

    For the most part, I agree. However, as a tech enthusiast, let me add my two cents worth.

    First off, expect to catch some crap over the Galaxy S4 better in almost every way than the HTC One comment. For the most part, I agree, but there is room for debate. It mostly comes down to preference, things like the screen. HTC One has a truer to life colored screen that is naturally brighter and has a higher resolution. The GS4 argues that its higher saturation and much better contrast ratios reduce the need for brightness, and that although there is a higher PPI count on the HTC Once, the GS4 is actually the smaller phone with a matching full HD screen. So, give and take, depending on your preference. I personally prefer the amazing look of the AMOLED screens, regardless of the saturation value, but there is no denying that the HTC One is slightly more visible in direct sunlight.

    One other note...your last phone was completely unnecessary. Either the Google Play edition of the HTC One (amazingly left out when you included the Play edition of the GS4) or the brand-new LG G2 would have been MUCH better phones to include in that last slot. Yes, it has dual SIM, but so does the HTC Desire 600, which offers a fairly decent experience overall (Boom Sound and 8MP Camera, anyone?)
    Kevin McClain
    • AGREED WITH YOUR THOUGHTS, ON ANOTHER NOTE!

      Galaxy S4 is probably the new big thing and is by far one of the best android phones on the market. But you don't always have to pay for the american brand name. I just bought a Generic Star N9500 - 5.0 inch (1280*720) HD IPS screen Android 4.2 1.2GHz Quad Core, and It blew me away at a 80% cheaper price. But I am one of those people that does not believe in signing a contract to get a phone cheap. I would rather pay for it out of pocket then spend $45 a month on an unlimited plan and have no obligations to anyone. I encourage you guys to do your research and try this phone out. It might just blow you away as it did me!
      jjmudge
  • Galaxy SIII

    The Samsung Galaxy SIII has become a fairly affordable device for post-paid phone customers. I got the Cricket version not too long ago. Still a great device. As one of the best phones you can get on Virgin, Boost, Cricket and a few other post paid carriers I think it deserves a mention.
    dsf3g
  • A little misleading...

    The article is a little misleading when it claims phones other than the MotoX compute everything on a single CPU while the Motorola does so across 4 chips.

    It's true that the Motorola spreads certain tasks to 2 additional low power processors, but ALL the phones listed use a separate graphics processor, and most the exact same Adreno 320 that the Motorola uses. They are not, as the article states, a single multicore cpu doing all the work.

    So most phones use a quad core cpu + a quag core gpu, while the MotoX uses a dual core cpu + a quad core GPU + two low power processors.
    PC987
  • Old News

    Most of these have been out for months, so pretty old news. HTC One has already been available at Verizon for a while now. Get tired of these guys sending out 'refreshed' articles just to fill up our mailboxes.
    kburrows
  • sad and dissappointing piece of electronic.

    Have had the Samsung Galaxy S4 16gb from t-mobile for 9 days brand new and already these problems below:

    Phone shuts down by itself when not in use, even though it's
    fully charged and it won't turn on. I have
    to remove cover, remove battery and place it back
    then turn on the phone.

    Touchwiz doesn't respond (touch screen). Have remove
    battery and place it back then turn on the phone.

    Having phone on standby, the battery drains quickly. And the battery drainage is higher WITH the wifi on.
    And don't get me started on how delicate this item is. It's the thickness of two saltine cookies and no gorilla glass. You drop it once and it's a wrap. Gotta get a new one. Oh decision, decisions. Really don't wanna get the iPhone cause it's like a car. Everyone has a BMW cause others have it. I prefer a Ferrari.
    nuno808
    • Check for spam wair

      Did you buy your Samsung from Europe? If you did not buy it from the store and it is an unlocked phone it most likely did. These phones had spamware already installed from the manufacture and can easily be deleted. They can easily be removed, simply call the provider you bought the phone from and they will most likely walk you through the process to remove the spamware or you can simply do your research online. There should be reviews and videos on You Tube to help you remove them. If this does not fix your issue and you did not buy the phone from the store. Hurry, because most providers only give you 14 days to return for a new phone/ refund. Like all electronics brand new models will have their issues and need some tweaking. That is one risk of buying brand new technologies!
      jjmudge
    • HTC

      should have gotten the HTC One. the Samsung is excellent, but the HTC is a bit more refined.
      Chris Rosa
  • why only big name phones?

    Lenovo and Zoppo have 2 of the best phones on the market atm yet aren't listed. Did you do any actual research or did you just look at the back page of a shop brochure to see what's for sale near you?
    Andrew Hargrave
    • Lenovo?

      The reviews by users of the Lenovo are much different from the reviewers reviews of the Lenovo mobile, a lot of people are regretting buying that, have a look around!
      http://www.gsmarena.com/lenovo_k900-reviews-5241.php
      dookus
      • Yes, Lenovo?

        The first page has nothing but praise. I admit I haven't used the k900 but still, the specs are super impressive.

        @louis - Xiaomi make some nicely specced phones too!
        Andrew Hargrave
        • Lenovo

          Read on, as the pages go along, the reviews of problems increase, many people rant and rave about an item when they receive it, many of the ranters are complainers further along, have a look.
          dookus
      • Yes, Lenovo?

        The first page has nothing but praise. I admit I haven't used the k900 but still, the specs are super impressive.

        @louis - Xiaomi make some nicely specced phones too!
        Andrew Hargrave
  • These slide shows...

    These slide shows are tedious and self-defeating because I almost always abort after the 2nd slide. Clicking next, the whole page reloads, auto-scrolls up and down until it settles, and then you click next again. There has got to be a better way for you guys to display information than these terrible slide shows.
    chris_black
  • Nokia Lumia 920

    is the best Phone I ever had
    TELLUS-SE
  • HTC

    doesn't matter what you get, its obselete as soon as you buy it.
    Chris Rosa