Whether you are celebrating Christmas or not, you do
know that one of its traditional colors is red - also the color of love, passion and generally positive things. Well, okay, your phone's battery status indicator going red is definitely not on the positive side, but that's a whole different story. Anyhow, we totally understand why smartphone manufacturers, from major to less important ones, are continuously looking to include red among the color versions of their products. So, with Christmas upon us, we thought this would be a great time for putting together a list of the best red smartphones out there.
Unsurprisingly, you'll find more than just one Samsung handset in the list. The South Korean company is well-known for offering various color option for many of its devices, and red hasn't been forgotten. HTC, Nokia, Motorola and Sony are also present.
Missing from the sea of devices that you're about to discover below is Apple. Although Cupertino has diversified its iPhone color range with this year's two new models, it has yet to make a red phone. Sure, we have the pink iPhone 5C, but pink is just not what we're after right now.
We left out the Moto G - because, to get it in red, you need to pay an extra $14.99 for a changeable back shell, while all the other handsets can be had in this color at their regular prices. Yes, we know that even with the extra $14.99 the Moto G remains very affordable, but, still, it does not count as a red smartphone.
All clarifications being made, let's dive in and see what red smartphones you should consider as a gift this Christmas - there's still time! - or as a regular purchase after the holiday season ends (if you really like the color, nothing should stop you from getting a red handset at any time of the year).
The best red smartphones, 2013 edition
The best red smartphones, 2013 edition
1. Samsung Galaxy S4
Anyone making a "best 2013 smartphones" list is usually going to include Samsung's Galaxy S4 in it. And this list right here is no exception, because the S4 has a red version (called Red Aurora).
More than 40 million of all Galaxy S4 variants have been purchased globally since April, making it Samsung's best-selling smartphone ever. And it's no wonder, since the S4 packs the best hardware and software that Samsung had to offer in the first half of 2013.
The red S4 is sold in the US by AT&T and various retailers, while internationally it's available via lots of operators and sellers.
Price: $200 on contract, ~$640 off contract.Samsung Galaxy S4 review
2. HTC One
Pretty much everyone is praising the HTC One for its excellent aluminum construction. Of course, the handset comes with way more than that, including a very crisp 4.7-inch 1080p display and a pair of BoomSound speakers on the front. Luckily for those who want some color in their lives, the One is available in red (alongside black, silver, blue and gold).
In the US, the red HTC One is currently sold only through Sprint.
Price: $200 on contract, $550 to $600 off contract.HTC One review
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The first Galaxy Note was released in 2011 as a phablet, but the line between smartphones and phablets is so blurred at the moment that you're not going to be wrong in calling the new Note 3 a smartphone. Following the initial black, white and pink variants, the Galaxy Note 3 now also has a Merlot Red edition. Sadly, this has been officially released only in South Korea, but we shouldn't rule out a wider availability (including in the US, where all major carriers are already selling the Note 3 in black or white).
With its powerful processor, 3GB of RAM, the excellent 5.7-inch 1080p display and the S Pen stylus (for which lots of special functions have been created), the Note 3 already established itself as one of the best extra-large handsets money can buy.
Price: $300 on contract, ~$700 off contract. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
4. Nokia Lumia 1520
The Lumia 1520 seems to be the best Windows Phone 8 device to date. Yes, it is really large, but its 6-inch 1080p ClearBlack display really allows WP 8 (GDR3) to show off its charms. Moreover, the 20MP rear camera - which makes use of Nokia's PureView technology - is there to provide photos at a quality that's hard to beat in the smartphone world (although it's not better than the camera found on Nokia's older Lumia 1020).
Price: $200 on contract, ~$550 off contract.Nokia Lumia 1520 review
5. Motorola Moto X
While the handset doesn't have a red version per se, Moto Maker allows you to create your very own red Moto X at no extra cost (the front of the device won't be red, of course, but you can choose between black and white).
The Moto X is the first smartphone that's manufactured in the US, and it's already running Android 4.4 KitKat. It doesn't have a 1080p display like today's flagships, however, its 4.7-inch 720p AMOLED screen will not disappoint you.
Price: (as low as) $100 on contract, $450 off contract.Moto X review
6. Samsung Galaxy S III
The old Galaxy S III can be a great choice if you're not looking for the latest specs but still want a good sartphone. Yes, the S III was released in May 2012 with Android Ice Cream Sandwich on board - but it will be updated to KitKat (presumably starting early next year), so it's not going to become obsolete yet. Plus, its 4.8 inch Super AMOLED 720p display and its processor (dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon, or quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos 4412 - depending on model) still provide a nice smartphone experience even at today's standards.
The red version of the S III can be found in many markets around the world.
Price: $100 on contract, ~$380 off contract.Samsung Galaxy S III (US) reviewSamsung Galaxy S III (international) review
7. Sony Xperia ZL
Sony seems to be loving purple more than red, thus its only recent high-end smartphone that's available in the latter color is the Xperia ZL. Essentially, the ZL is a slightly smaller Xperia Z, packing most of its features, including the 5-inch 1080p display, but sans the waterproof and dustproof capabilities.
The Xperia ZL runs Android Jelly Bean at this very moment. It will be updated to KitKat come next year, though. Its price dropped considerably since launch, so it's definitely worth a look.
Price: $500 off contract.Sony Xperia ZL review
8. HTC One Max
Sitting next to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Nokia Lumia 1520 in the extra-large handset category, the HTC One Max is, really, a magnified HTC One. It does come with a noticeable addition, though, and that is the fingerprint scanner found on its back. Unfortunately, the red One Max seems to be available only in select Asian markets for now.
Price: $250 on contract, $600 off contract.HTC One Max review
9. Motorola Droid Ultra
The 7.2mm-thin Droid Ultra by Motorola is available only at Verizon Wireless - just like all the other Droid-branded devices. It won't offer you the latest and greatest specs, but it remains a good mid-range smartphone, and an Android KitKat update for it is already rolling out. We must also mention that its splash-proof Kevlar coating does look unique in red.
Price: $50 on contract, $400 off contract.Motorola Droid Ultra review
10. Nokia Lumia 520
The newly announced Nokia Lumia 525 is sparsely available at the moment. In fact, it appears that it's out only in Singapore. So if you're looking for a red smartphone that's extremely cheap while still being able to provide a decent user experience, the slightly older Lumia 520 is the only choice you have (including in the US).
For its price range (sub $100), the Lumia 520 is quite a capable device, featuring Windows Phone 8, a 4-inch WVGA display, dual-core 1GHz Qualcomm processor, and a 5MP rear camera.
Price: as low as $59 off
contract.Nokia Lumia 520 review
11. Sony Xperia L
Sony Xperia L's curved back and overall design may fool you into thinking that it's a high-end smartphone. But of course it isn't, as it only offers a 4.3 inch display with 480 x 854 pixels, dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear camera that won't wow anyone. Still, the Xperia L will be updated to Android KitKat eventually, and it should be checked out if you don't plan to spend more than $300 on a new (and red, if you want) smartphone.
Price: as low as $280 off contract (in the US, directly from Sony Store)Sony Xperia L review
12. Alcatel One Touch Idol X
We know: Alcatel smartphones don't really come to mind when you're thinking about premium devices. But this doesn't stop the super thin (6.9mm) Alcatel One Touch Idol X from being a really good handset, while costing significantly less than a high-end Android phone from famous brands.
The Idol X offers a frame made out of titanium alloy, a 5-inch 1080p display, quad-core MediaTek processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP rear camera. The handset doesn't seem to be available in the US as we type this, despite the fact that an official Alcatel OneTouch US website exists.
Price: $350 to $400, off contract.Acatel One Touch Idol X review