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With the year now drawing to a close, it's time to take a look at some of the best tech for the year, and now I move my gaze to smartphones.
Smartphones are the device that kick-started the post-PC revolution, and as screen resolution, processing power and battery life has increased, these devices are taking over tasks that previously required a desktop or notebook PC.
Here all operating system prejudices have been left at the door, and there are smartphones running Android, iOS and Windows Phone in the listing.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
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).
Probably the biggest downside to this handset is that it feels plasticky and a little bit cheap in the hand, this shouldn't put you off.
- 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
- 32/64GB or internal storage
- microSD card slot for expansion
Google Nexus 5
Hot off the production line is Google's latest smartphone, the Nexus 5.
Not only has it been put together using some of the best components currently available, it also offers the purest Android experience possible, and gives owners access to the latest Android 4.4 KitKat. Owners also will get their updates direct from Google and won't need to wait for hardware OEMs or carriers to release customized updates (or just never receive updates, as is still the case with many handsets).
I've always found Nexus-branded hardware to be solid and reliable, but I'd give this a few weeks for Google to shake out any potential bugs before recommending it to anyone other than hardcore Android enthusiasts.
- KitKat (Android 4.4)
- 2.23GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU
- 4.95-inch 1920x1080 display with a pixel density of 445 pixels-per-inch
- 8MP rear camera
- 1.3MP front camera
- 16/32GB internal storage