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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best product designs

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PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best product designs
Designing a high-quality device, be it a smartphone, a tablet, or anything you can think of that goes beep, is a process more sophisticated than it seems. That's because coming up with a product that is truly good-looking, well-built, and easy to use at the same time usually takes quite a lot of research and experience. Yet ultimately, the effort invested in product design does pay off. After all, a gadget that has been designed well has a much higher chance at becoming a best-seller in its class. This brings us to today's category in the PhoneArena awards of 2013, honoring the smartphones and tablets that managed to stand out and receive the attention they deserve with their design. Are your favorites on the list? Let us know in the comments!

HTC One


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best product designs
The mobile landscape is filled with smartphones that look ordinary, boring, even generic as the case is with some devices. The HTC One, however, easily stands out above the rest with its award-winning design, build quality, and construction. Simply put, it is different. Made of machine-milled aluminum, the HTC One is a gorgeous-looking slender device that lays in the hand almost organically. It is ergonomic and even though it is a phone of above average size, it is comfortable to hold and operate. But above all, the HTC One is a smartphone that feels unique as soon as it is picked up, which makes it well worthy of being on this list. 


iPad Air


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best product designs
If there's a tablet that can make us go "Wow!" with its design (and believe us when we say that we're pretty hard to impress), that would be the iPad Air. Its very existence is a technological achievement worthy of applause – all the power of a full-sized iPad has been packed, as if by magic, into a body that is super slim and almost unbelievably light. In other words, the iPad Air is a tablet well worthy of its name, being the lightest full-sized tablet on the market. Furthermore, Apple's slate is put together really well, which is why the device is a pleasure to use and admire. Every inch of it has been designed and constructed with extreme attention to detail, as is typical for all of the company's products. 


iPhone 5s


PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best product designs
Yes, the iPhone 5s is being honored today as well. Sure, it looks and feels almost exactly like its predecessor, the iPhone 5, but that doesn't make it any less worthy of being awarded for its iconic design. As many would agree, the iPhone 5s is a gorgeous, well-built phone loved by millions worldwide for its outstanding looks, premium feel, and flawless build quality. Then there's its ease of use – while smartphones in general are getting bigger and bigger, many are still quite fond of the iPhone's compact form factor. And last but not least, how many high-end smartphones available in gold color can you think of?

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This story is part of: PhoneArena Awards 2013(10 updates)

101 Comments
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posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:04 12

1. Ninetysix (Posts: 1465; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Oh man..this is going to be good :)

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:12 1

6. Finalflash (Posts: 1568; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Well so far people haven't taken the hate bait so much yet. Going to track this a bit though to hopefully get a reading on the amount and type of people that fall for it.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 16:51

68. darkkjedii (Posts: 10375; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


FF what do you think of these awardees?

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:16 22

14. Damitel (Posts: 65; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)


I love Samsung and I never expected to see them here, thank God that PA did excellent job by being professionally neutral and objectively responsive. HTC one my hats off, Apples always know the best design-wise! Kudos PA!

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 13:26 16

49. tusshharish (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


1.nokia lumia 925
2.nokia 515
3.sony xperia z1
4.oppo n1
5.lenovo k900
This phones should be added in above list in my opinion..............

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 16:25 1

66. cdgm2509 (Posts: 30; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


I agree with you

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 17:45 2

72. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 692; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


I agree, especially with Nokia 515. I think the Lumia 1520 also deserves a mention here

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 05:00

93. tusshharish (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


6.nokia 1520
7.nokia 2520 (instead of ipad)
8.sony xperia tablet z
You can suggest also........................

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 05:59

96. Piotrek007 (Posts: 80; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


How the f**k iPhone get design award if every each one is nearly the same ??!!! This is some kind of a joke ? o.0

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:08 19

2. Jason2k13 (Posts: 633; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


apple should keep their designs for a few more years to come, PA will always praise them no matter how minimal the changes are.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:40 17

43. gustavoace (Posts: 90; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


I would agree with PA if the award was "most beautiful phones of 2013".... But Best product design of 2013? iPhone 5s uses a 4 years old design (or 2 years old, if you couldn't use PCA)...

Xperia tablet Z is sexy, IMHO

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 13:51 5

52. theoak (Posts: 320; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Product design however is more than looks. 5s has:

1. New front camera
2. New back camera
3. A7
4. M7
5. Fingerprint scanner - that works
6. iOS 7
7. One version being able to support more carriers
8. First 64 bit OS based phone

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 15:34 10

62. maccess (Posts: 583; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)


we didn't talk about spec here sir.. design is design.. if spec matters then the note 3 will came on top..

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 16:53 1

69. darkkjedii (Posts: 10375; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


+1. I loved #5 lol.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:08

3. imnotascammer (Posts: 31; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


Oh...kay.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:08 12

4. aayupanday (Posts: 513; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


HTC One deserves this one...
Hats off to that iconic Aluminium Design...

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:11 18

5. Assa7inKing (Posts: 26; Member since: 23 Feb 2013)


Oh yeah ! And FORGET the MOST GORGEOUS MOBILE the XPERIA Z1.... c'mon PA ??

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:12 4

7. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7683; Member since: 14 May 2012)


That's definitely subjunctive to your opinion.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:40 5

25. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3512; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


I agree❕ I love the Nokia phones the most, but I think the the Z1 is simply one of the best designs ever..

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:42 13

27. xperiance (Posts: 44; Member since: 22 Oct 2013)


Z1 deserved more than 5s

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 04:53

92. aayupanday (Posts: 513; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


The current Xperia Z range do look a hell lot better when they're kept turned off.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 14:08

55. jellmoo (Posts: 648; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


It's a pretty nice looking phone, but the size of it is an issue. It is way bigger than other 5 inchers on the market, and not exactly the most ergonomic device available (killer corners).

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:13 6

8. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7683; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Champaign iPhone 5S for me.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:15 4

12. saurik (Posts: 86; Member since: 13 May 2013)


Me too!

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:04 2

35. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Black&Gold for me, but I have the all black version.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 14:43

58. N.Reynolds (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)


You mean "Space Gray"....

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 15:51

64. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Nope, not the space grey, but all pure black. Like the iP5.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:14

9. mobileharan (Posts: 18; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Samsung Galaxy S Zoom

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:16 31

16. saurik (Posts: 86; Member since: 13 May 2013)


Dude?! This article isn't about the worst product designs!

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 14:02

53. amats69 (Posts: 1007; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Man thank you for making me laugh before the day finish...lol

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:14 6

10. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


The HTC One is the best feeling smartphone I have ever owned. I would have definitely kept it had it not been for the heating problem. I couldn't stop picking it up! I loved the cold touch in the morning and the smoothness of the back and front. The boom sound speakers were incredible and I very much liked the UI as well (coming from lots of Touchwiz).

I also agree that the iPhone 5/5s has a great design and always have since the iPhone 4, but I am more attracted to the Sony Xperia Z/Z1 design now than the iPhone. It's much more classy and sophisticated in appearance to me (not to mention dust/water proof).

I haven't seen the iPad air in person, so no comments, but having the iPad 4, I can bet that the air feels great. Since Apple is usually known for its design, I will look forward to the iPhone 6. I hope it will not be a disappointment.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:16

17. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


(The Pantech Vega Iron had a pretty sweet design too)

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:14 3

11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7683; Member since: 14 May 2012)


"And last but not least, how many high-end smartphones available in gold color can you think of?"

Lol PA is a joke.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:00 1

33. quakan (Posts: 1156; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


*PA made a joke

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:38

42. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7683; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Did you just try to correct the Grammar Nazi?

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:50

46. troutsy (Posts: 248; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)


*Whooosh*

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 07:04 1

94. Lauticol (Posts: 182; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)


You can find the HTC One in gold too

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:15 7

13. joaolx (Posts: 351; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Old or not, the design of the iPhone 5s is still one of the best designs I've ever seen and I couldn't agree more about the iPad Air, I have the iPad Mini for over a year and I still fall in love with the design, it's beautiful. There are other great designs as well on any other platform, I'm not bias or leaned towards a brand, I like all platforms so don't even think of calling me a fanboy or something like that.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:16

15. BlueForce (Posts: 14; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)


Who cares about a plastic case anyways? My phone is in a hard phone case 24/7 so how would you notice if its metal or not? You wouldn't. I'll take that plastic case if it saves me a chunk of money any day. Phone case only costs 15-20 bucks and lasts forever.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:25 9

18. kareivis (Posts: 31; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


Sony XPERIA Tablet Z? Anyone? No?

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:27 2

19. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


+1 the z tab was awesome as well. I hope they make their next tablet with similar design features as the z.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:34 1

23. kareivis (Posts: 31; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


It looks amazing, it is the thinest & lightest 10 incher out there (iPad Air is a bit lighter) and is water-proof. `Cmon, it must be in this list!

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:51 1

30. PBXtech (Posts: 970; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


+1 I own a Z and love it. Thinner than the Air, and it's waterproof but doesn't get any credit in this article. Both the Z and Air should have been given side by side awards.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:33 4

20. N-fanboy (Posts: 536; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)


Are you effing kidding me??? The iphone 5s? Its almost the same (or worst) as the 5. Htc one, Nokia Lumia 925.... Or the Note 3 for God's sake. PA, U R DRUNK.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:33 1

21. avin007 (Posts: 139; Member since: 28 Feb 2013)


Galaxy s4!!!.......lol

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:34 6

22. trickster_qc (Posts: 80; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


why is the iphone 5S in the list? it's the same design as the iphone 5 from last year.

also, no Moto X? it's described as one of the best designs in term of phone pretty much everywhere.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:48 3

29. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3512; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Because it's a good design that's still in production.. Just because the new 2014 Corvette is a good design now, that doesn't mean that the 2015 model won't still make the list of outstanding automotive design next year..

posted on 03 Dec 2013, 11:08

95. trickster_qc (Posts: 80; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


the thing is that if there would have been no other phones with better/more original design, maybe you'd be right. maybe.

but since there is the LG G2 ( almost no bezel + controls on the back ) or the Oppo N1 with the swivel camera or the LG G Flex with it's self-healing back plate and even the galaxy round with it's curve display.

they are all better designs than the Iphone 5S who is last year's design.

clearly it was included in the last just to please Apple fans.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:36 1

24. GeekMovement (Posts: 1499; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)


LG G2's slim bezel front was pretty spectacular for design not to mention awesome display with it. They just could've made the rear a bit more appealing.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:41 11

26. xperiance (Posts: 44; Member since: 22 Oct 2013)


Seriously?? iphone 5s???? And pa doesnt add xperia z/z1???? Unbelievable!!!!

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:45 1

28. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3512; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


I love the design of the 1020, 925, HTC One, and the Z1, and 5s.. Although the 5s is a little older design it's still good.. If we can include it then the 920 should be on the list as well because the 5s is basically a design from 2012.. But, they are all still good.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:56

32. PBXtech (Posts: 970; Member since: 21 Oct 2013)


I would have added the 1020, it's a solid design, awesome camera, and looks really good. Typically here, any phone that isn't aluminum never gets the credit they deserve though.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:07

36. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Out of all, L925 is the sexiest, modern concept looking device like Sony.
Sharp edges look great than curves.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:42

44. elitewolverine (Posts: 1334; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


love the lumia 925

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 11:53 7

31. buccob (Posts: 1347; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Sony Xperia Tablet Z over iPad Air... IMO

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:02 1

34. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2450; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


OMG iPhone!!!!!??!?!? PA! Why? It's the same design for like 6 years already and it's just getting so boring! How about Xperia line? Why didn't you include it??

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:08

37. Username. (banned) (Posts: 74; Member since: 25 Nov 2013)


Out of all, L925 is the sexiest, modern concept looking device like Sony.
Sharp edges look great than curves.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:17 2

38. the_s2 (Posts: 205; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I dont see any Sony devices here, P.A! Where's the Xperia Z Ultra, Z1 and the tablet Z?

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 12:18

39. YodhaMali (Posts: 41; Member since: 05 Jan 2013)


I never liked HTC's designs, but got to say HTC One is one of the best designs I have ever seen. If only it had Snapdragon 800 coupled with Adreno 330, and a better camera, it would have been mine already.

Although Xperia Z1 has more premium looks than Xperia Z, I feel the former kinda ruins the experience with those enormous bezels. Apart from those $hitty bezels, it's among the best designs ever.

posted on 02 Dec 2013, 14:05

54. amats69 (Posts: 1007; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


Watch out for HTC One's successor.....HTC's next flagship

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