Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2013

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, Android, Apple, Google, HTC, iPhone, Nokia, Samsung, Smartphones

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  • Seriously you are doing a smart phone top 10 now?

    The week before MWC and you choose to do one now? I suppose this will give you reason to do a post show top 10 after MWC.
    • Don't expect anything at MWC

      Unlike previous years, I highly doubt we will see any high end smartphones at MWC. HTC and BlackBerry already announced, Samsung may be doing so in March, and Apple won't for a few months. Google will likely show something at I/O in May. What is it you expect to see at MWC? Seems to me it is a good time to compare, with the exception of the new Galaxy that I talked about.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • +1

        and may be Nokia has something to show or not.
        Ram U
      • various odds and ins

        Wish list:

        new Nokia phone
        Other various WP8 phones
        Samsung Galaxy Note 3
        Samsung Galaxy 4

        I could see either the Note or the SG4 but not both coming out for MWC. Nokia will have something new. hopefully it is not a mid tiered/lowend phone.

        Maybe a WP8 HTC One?

        It is just a really strange time to do a "top 10" right before a "major" industry event.
        • Nokia maybe, but not Samsung

          Samsung will have an event after MWC. There is no way HTC will announce a One WP device yet. Really not expecting much, especially for US market.
          palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        • Nokia Lumia 7xx

          The Nokia Lumia 7xx series is still missing in the WP8 line-up.
          So I would expect that midrange phone (250$-300$) to be announced pretty soon.

          Also a aluminium limited edition of the Lumia 920 might be on the cards if romours are to be believed.
  • Seriously you are doing a smart phone top 10 now?

    The week before MWC and you choose to do one now? I suppose this will give you reason to do a post show top 10 after MWC.
  • Blackberry

    Number 6, out of 10; for a phone & Company that was written-off, summarily, by pundits
    not long ago, Blackberry is set to make a strong comeback. Since almost everybody hates
    Microsoft, they are in the most jeopardy from the new Blackberry Line. Windows 8 blows,
    by the way.
    • I can see why you're well sought after in the cell phone world.

      Oh wait, you're not?
      William Farrel
    • Re: Blackberry

      You know what, BlackBerry fanbois are still such a novelty on this site that I'm going to upvote this one, just for once.
  • The best = 7th place?

    How does the "best Android smartphone available" rank #7? That doen't seem balanced...
    • Because

      Because clearly BlackBerry had to be better than the best!
  • My List

    1. LG Nexus 4
    2. LG Nexus 4
    3. LG Nexus 4
    4. LG Nexus 4
    5. LG Nexus 4
    6. LG Nexus 4
    7. LG Nexus 4
    8. LG Nexus 4
    9. LG Nexus 4
    10. LG Nexus 4

    $350 for the phone and with $30 unlimited data per month with T-Mobile. Nothing beats that, Life is GOOD. Thank You!
    • Nexus 4 has worst camera and microphones of all ten phones

      I think the Nexus 4 should not be in this list.
      It's camera and microphones are by far the worst of all the phones in this top ten. At least ten high end phones not in this list can have better camera and microphones than the Nexus 4.

      It is fairly cheap but this is not a list of cheap phones but of the best phones.
  • I agree with most of the choices, except for the Galaxy Note II

    personally, for me it's a little too big to be using on a regular basis, and I really don't consider it a smartphone, instead a small tablet with calling capabilities.
    William Farrel
  • Too bad HTC is trying to be Apple

    Too bad HTC has decided to go the Apple route & make all their phones w/non-removable batteries & unexpandable memory (obviously so they can charge more for their higher memory options & make you buy a new phone when the battery dies). Such a shame because they look like nice phones. Unfortunately, I will NEVER buy a phone w/o a changeable battery. After a device's non-removable battery loses its ability to hold a good charge, the phone becomes unusable. Until HTC gets their head out of their a$$es & realize they do not have a cult following like Apple (which allows Apple to get away w/cr@p like that), I will not but any of their devices & recommend that all my clients stay away. I guess Samsung only for now...
    • If you're Apple....

      When the battery dies (and it will die, if you're a power user anyway, before your contract dies), Apple charges a cool $80 to replace a $5.00 battery (plus shipping, if you send it in rather than trek to an Apple store). That's a profit center.
    • Scoop on battery

      Most Li-Poly cells will last for about 500 full charge/discharge cycles.... "last" is officially the time to 80% of the original capacity, after which the cell dies very fast. If, like me, you charge your phone every day, take note that 500 days != Full Contract.

      If you're less of a power user, or recharge during the day, it probably lasts out your contract. And that's pretty much what Apple's counting on. In fact, some new phones offer your choice of maximum runtime or maximum battery life. Choose the later, and the phone won't discharge all the way, and will tell you its full when it's not. That's the same thing hybrid cars do... NiMh and Lithium cells lose most of their life near the charging extremes. Eliminate those extremes and you extend the life of the cell.

      That's completely in normal use. Lithium cells have a secondary problem; if they're ever discharged too much, they slowly self-destruct. Systems protect against this... this is different than the aging mechanisms.
  • No Sony?

    You must have been fairly unimpressed by the xperia z, though it has got praise from many... What are your reasons for,it not making the grade against several older phones?
    • Its just that I was contemplating getting one...

      be interested in your take on it.