2013 in review: Top stories, devices, and questions for next year

2013 saw Android continue to roll, BlackBerry stumble, and Apple remain steady. What were some of your favorite smartphone memories from 2013?
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer
2013 in review: Top stories, devices, and questions for next year
Image: HTC

Android continued to dominate the smartphone world in 2013 with iOS holding steady. Windows Phone looks to finally be making some serious progress, while BlackBerry struggles and continues to lose market share.

Despite the specific order I rank phones in a few times a year, tt seems readers appreciate my numbered lists with five of these types of posts making it in my top 10 most viewed posts of the year.

Most viewed articles of 2013

My Apple iPhone articles usually have a high number of views, but it is interesting to see that Android, in particular HTC articles, did very well in 2013. I am a huge fan of HTC's products, especially the One, and despite their financial struggles readers still seem to enjoy the articles I write about their products. Here are my most read articles from 2013:

  1. 15 reasons the HTC Droid DNA keeps my SIM out of the Apple iPhone 5
  2. Top 10 smartphones to kick off 2013
  3. 10 features and functions to enjoy on the Apple iPhone 5
  4. Top 10 hottest smartphones of summer 2013
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review: World's most capable Android smartphone gets even better
  6. Camera phone comparison; HTC One, BlackBerry Z10, iPhone 5, Lumia 920, and Note II
  7. Google Nexus 5, first take: Latest specs and Android OS at a low price
  8. The HTC One is the best smartphone I have ever used (review)
  9. Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on: Some gimmicks are useful, others are just silly
  10. Top 10 smartphones for the 2013 holiday season

Best of 2013

I have a few titles I would like to award to the devices, accessories, and software I checked out in 2013.

  • Best overall smartphone of the year: I just posted my Top 10 smartphones of 2013 and the HTC One took the title since it stayed in my pocket for nearly the entire year.
  • Best display: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (There's just something about the eye-popping colors of Samsung's OLED technology.)
  • Device that surprised me: Moto X (The customization options and Moto special touches make this one of my favorite phones ever.)
  • Best Windows Phone device of the year: Nokia Lumia 1020 (It's not the newest, but it's still the best that was offered up this year.)
  • Best Android smartphone of the year: HTC One
  • Best iOS device of the year: Apple iPhone 5s (Obvious selection here, but Apple's TouchID and improved camera are still great to see.)
  • Best mobile operating system of the year: Android Kit Kat (Google continues to improve and offers an OS for the tweaker and standard consumer.)
  • Least favorite phone I reviewed: HTC One Max (We don't need a large phone for the sake of size, especially when quality is compromised.)
  • Favorite smartphone application: Pocket Casts (Outstanding podcatcher that syncs across iOS and Android platforms.)
  • Favorite smartphone service: Flipboard (Another cross platform offering that now even works on Windows 8.1 and soon coming to Windows Phone.)

Looking ahead to 2014

As we end 2013 and look to 2014, I look at my current active collection of the Nokia Lumia 1020, Lumia 925, custom Moto X, HTC One, and Apple iPhone 5s and acknowledge that I am quite happy with the state of mobile.

I know we will see continued evolution in the smartphone space in 2014 and have the following questions that I will be looking to answer:

  • Will Windows Phone 8 continue to gain market share?
  • What's going to happen when Microsoft owns Nokia's smartphone division?
  • What will Apple bring with iOS 8 and the iPhone 6?
  • What will BlackBerry look like in 2014 and will we see anymore BB 10 devices?
  • What's coming next to Android?
  • Will the HTC One II (or Two) be as great as the One?

What was your favorite smartphone of the year? How about your worst? Any key applications that everyone should install?

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