PhoneArena Awards 2013: Best Smartphones

This is it, guys! It is time for the culmination in our PhoneArena Awards of 2013. We're pleased to announce the final and most exciting category in our series, and as you can probably tell already, today we'll be announcing the year's best smartphones. Before we get to it, we have to admit that picking today's winners was a pretty difficult task. That's because we got to play with a ton of smartphones over the past 12 months and we did like many of them. Only a few of this year's smartphones, however, truly stood out...
This is a discussion for a news article. To read the whole news, click here


56. shyguy3763

Posts: 52; Member since: Oct 27, 2013

What? Not ONE LUMIA?

58. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

For those wanting the S4 to be a chosen phone, do tell, which version you are referring to? Fault lays with Samsung on this one, too many dam variants.

59. MANGUELPR unregistered

The Smartphones Killer A.K.A LG G2 Pape!

60. riddhishgore

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

In my opinion htc one, Gs4 & nexus 5 are the smartphones of 2013. iphone 5s should not be on this list. If iphone 5s's fingerprint scanner that impressed phonearena then Gs4 had multi window , air view, air gestures, watchon & many more features to attract the customers. Gs4>>>>>>I5s

62. WiNDiR

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

What about the Samsung Galaxy S4 ?

63. WiNDiR

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

S4 I9505 Snapdragon 600

66. jameshoe unregistered

So sad Nokia Lumia 929 still yet to be announced by Nokia, it may bring down either iPhone 5s or Nexus 5.

67. frayo unregistered

Have used most of these had a 6 month run with the htc one,excellent phone using the g2 and s4 last few months both good but imo g2 is the best,well deserved award!

70. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

imho: 1) G2 2) Lumia 1020 3) Nexus 5

74. Netolic

Posts: 152; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Lg usa facebook page thanked you guys, phonearena, for choosing their phone

79. darknight307rc

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

IPhone 5s!!!! Haha r u kidding me its one of the biggest epic fails out much did Apple paid u to put it in the list? No Xperia Z1 which is much better in every single detail than the i$*%t..maybe I'm a big fan of Sony but even Samsung note 3 is better than iphone5s...been following this site for years but now cannot trust this site rating or reviews any more

81. harigrg33

Posts: 188; Member since: May 20, 2013

S4 already got old. . . Battery is aweful, and most of its gimmick features is in off mode (always). -S4 user-

83. Blitz

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 02, 2013

no mention of Oppo N1 !!!

89. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

LG taking the top 2 spots?! I'm shocked, but it's hard not to argue with that point. I'm usually one of LG's toughest critics, but after seeing their new devices I have very few complaints. I was completely sold on a Nexus tablet again this year, but after playing with the LG G Pad I'm definitely switching gears and going with the G Pad. Good Job LG.

91. jellmoo

Posts: 2541; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Just to play devil's advocate: Does the Nexus 5 deserve the spot? It's one defining feature is an amazingly low outright price. But other than that, it doesn't really win in any categories. It comes out with a strong "good" in most categories, but lacks dominance in any of them. Is that price point alone enough to really warrant contention for Smartphone of the Year?

98. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Yes. Even though it's "just" up to par in most categories compared to other smartphones, it's insanely low price point puts it ahead of everything else. Plus, you get stock Android with updates straight from Google. That means you get guaranteed fast updates, overall better performance than phones with similar hardware but comparatively bloated software (cough, Samsung), and an overall more polished and consistent experience. The camera might be average and the battery life may be questionable, but the perks of Google supported stock Android are great, and that price point is unmatched. Unless you're on a carrier that doesn't support it (like I am, sadly), you can't go wrong with a Nexus phone.

104. jellmoo

Posts: 2541; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

The question on my mind though, is the following: Is there a distinction to be made between the "best smartphone of the year" and the "best smartphone value of the year"? The sheer value for the price is absolutely without question. But does that propel it into a category where value may not be the prime motivator, quality is. When the Nexus 5 doesn't do any one thing "best", can we really call it the best smartphone of the year? Do the combination of things it does "well" give it that distinction?

105. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

The best smartphone should be the one that gives the most well rounded experience, rather than just be the "best" at a few things and lacking in others. The Nexus 5 delivers on that better than any other device on the market, except for maybe the Moto X. Everything about it is average or above average; solid build quality, amazing processing power, average battery life, decent camera, good display quality, etc. But, the one area where the Nexus is perfect (in my opinion) is software, and that's the most important part of the device; if you don't have a good balance of software support, optimization, functionality, and aesthetics, your device is a pain to use. That's why I think the Nexus deserves best smartphone, even if it was priced just as high as other flagships, the lower price is just a bonus. It's just the overall best experience.

99. Muayyad

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

I think they just choose the most recent phones. Not the ones who made an impact on the industry and set new standards.

106. WiNDiR

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 03, 2013

+1 TRUE!

100. LuckyS

Posts: 154; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

LG G2. I second that. Beautiful powerful beast.

107. utg001 unregistered

I don't really get the system behind the PA awards. If they left out S4 for bugs and lags, any Lumia should have been there. If they left out HTC One for camera, Lumia 1020 should be there! All I think is that Nexus should not be here. Maybe any other Android but not that.

108. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

I agree about the inclusion of G2 and Nexus 5 but iPhone 5s? I wasn't surprised about the inclusion of it since from what I've seen, PA seems to be in favor of Apple constantly. I just don't think it deserves to be considered as one of the 'best' smartphones of 2013.

112. romeo1

Posts: 809; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

The best phones of 2013 should consider everything. The iphone should not make it in the top. G2,note3 and z1 should be up there. G2 because it has a good screen is fast and camera. Note 3 is big also has a good camera and allot of extra features. Z1 has a good screen if viewing from the front (angles aren't as bad as most reviewers are claiming) fast, waterproof and the best camera after the nokia 41mps. These three are all better than q1 phones. The iphone has same screen (some people still find it good i think its barely acceptable) same case it got faster and has fingerprint. Don't think that is worth a spot in the top three.

113. EarnYourLeather

Posts: 87; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

I knew I was right picking the G2. Best cellphone I've ever owned, easily. Although I am quite interested in a Moto X, this is the first time I chose not to go with one of their flagships.

114. jameshoe unregistered

I consider Nexus 5 isn't the best smartphone of the year but the most valuable smartphone, I don't like Samsung but I'd choose its S4 to replace the Nexus 5.

119. afrizal

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

have you guys ever heard about galaxy J...unfortunately they didn't releasing galaxy j worldwide yet,and im afraid it wouldn't be worldwide,i heard it has been released in japan and taiwan,i think if they releasing galaxy J wordwide that would be the best smartphone of 2013 since they have similar specs like galaxy s4 but with 3 gig of ram,and premium body like xperia z1 or iphones,im not fan of samsung im using G2 but i admit it that galaxy J is best smartphone of 2013 if note 3 didn't included as a smartphone.

120. afrizal

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 11, 2013

one thing..this is not list of best selling of smartphone,thats why they didn't including s4,best selling doesn't always the best smartphone,best selling could be s4,iphone,nexus devices bcoz they have their own loyal customer.

121. Achilis

Posts: 65; Member since: Oct 05, 2013

It is not wise to create 2 seperate category as Best Phablets n best Smart Phones as they rae mailnly categorised by size and the size difference is fast diminishing. Almost all current top level smart phones are not usable with one hand comfortably. Mean time some intelligent software tricks in Phablet like Note 3 makes it usable with one hand.The media once ridiculed the concept of phablets.Now they are relactent My pick of Best phones 2013 1) Note 3 (Without a doubt the best smart phone ever). 2) Nexus 5 3) G2

122. Bretts

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

No Galaxy S4!!!??? Are you crazy? This was the best phone of 2013 period. Ridiculous.
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.