PhoneArena Reader's Awards: vote for best smartphone and tablet of 2013

PhoneArena Reader's Awards: vote for best smartphone and tablet of 2013

Have you ever noticed how even a simple, straightforward question can be quite challenging to answer? You probably have. Here's a couple of relevant examples: what is the best smartphone of 2013? What about the year's best tablet? 

Giving a proper, justified answer to these questions is tricky due to the number of factors one has to consider – popularity and sales figures, price to performance ratio, design and build quality, hardware specs and software features, how innovative a given device is... and the list goes on. Alternatively, one can simply listen to their geeky inside voice and cheer for the phone or tablet they find most deserving – to follow their techy instincts, in other words. 

Regardless of which method you'd rather stick with, we'd love to have your input in today's two polls. Cast your votes below and let us know which you think are the best smartphone and tablet of 2013! In a few days' time, we'll follow up with a new post presenting the winners as chosen by our readers. 

Note: both polls are open to registered PhoneArena users only.

Which is the best smartphone of 2013?

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Google Nexus 5
Sony Xperia Z1
Nokia Lumia 1520
Apple iPhone 5s
Samsung Galaxy S4
Motorola Moto X
Nokia Lumia 1020
BlackBerry Z30
HTC One Max
Sony Xperia Z Ultra
Motorola Droid Ultra
None of the above

Which is the best tablet of 2013?

Google Nexus 7 (2013)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition)
Apple iPad Air
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Nokia Lumia 2520
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
LG G Pad 8.3
Apple iPad mini 2
Microsoft Surface 2
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
None of the above



1. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

The Note 3. Sorry I doubted it when I got a iPhone 5S. What a mistake that was. Maybe next year Apple (and I keep saying that every year).

22. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

What was wrong with the iPhone 5S? Whenever I used it, I found it to be excellent.

31. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

The iPhone 5s is one of the very few devices I've ever returned, because: 01) The iPhone 5S offers very little discernible/Real World performance difference from the iPhone 5 (which I already had), and It Most certainly Does Pause, Stutter and Lag During Many Mundane Operations. Not to mention all the frustrating web page reloads. Note: Blame iOS 7's Unnecessary 'Eye Candy' or the device's Paltry 1 gb RAM... or Both. 02) The camera 'improvements' were/are completely negligible for those of us who's pics are taken 99% during the day/good lighting. 03) The whole Apple 'aesthetic' is just tired, cold, and boring at this point. Not to mention that the Aluminum alloy they utilize scratches/dents far too easily, especially when compared to the modern/more durable polycarbonates/composites used by Motorola, Samsung and Nokia. 04) Apple's insistance on charging exorbitant amounts of money for capacity upgrades (US 100.00 to go from 16gb to 32gb = WTH?) is simply ridiculous and unjustified given the current price of memory these days. 05) The FACT that the iPhone 5s still utilizes a sub-720p screen resolution is utterly embarrassing for a (flagship) device costing this much money... Regardless of it having a 4 ich display. 06) The iPhone 5s' design currently stands as the single most egregious imbalance of body to useable touchscreen of any device from any major smartphone manufacturer. The (masterfully designed) Moto X is almost the same physical size but easily accommodates a 4.7 inch HD display, yet Apple's seemingly endless resources/engineering team has yet to come up with a more efficient design. Anyway: Best Smartphone 2013: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ... Runner Up: Motorola Moto X Best Larger Tablet 2013: Nokia Lumia 2025 ... Runner Up: iPad Air Best Smaller Tablet 2013: Dell Venue 8 Pro ... Runner Up: Google Nexus 7

41. robinlim85

Posts: 86; Member since: May 03, 2013

u already know most of that from the web and u still go and grab one and then complaint and take the trouble to return,that's piece of smart consumer behavior there i doubt u ever own an iphone,there are enough guy here pretend to have an iphone then comment bout it

44. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You know, sometimes someone will do something strange, something rare. Even though they read negative things about a product or service, they may go ahead and take a chance on that product or service anyway, in case the issues they hear or read about aren't actually enough of an issue to ruin the product or service for them. Then, they do something even weirder: once they have the product or service, they may notice that the issues they heard and read about actually are a big enough deal to ruin the product or service. Then they'll do the most shocking thing of all. Since they don't want to be stuck with the product or service forever, they will *gasp!* RETURN it. I know it's unthinkable. I know it's nearly impossible to comprehend. But it happens. Quit being a judgmental asshat because he doesn't worship the iPhone.

54. robinlim85

Posts: 86; Member since: May 03, 2013

oh yea...strange things only happens to iphone bashers,oh nono,its not strange at all very logically, he can't try the sample unit in the showroom he has to buy it to realize the aesthetic "is just tired",u can't see it from the web,logically he has to buy it to realize apple charge "exorbitant amounts of money for capacity upgrades",logically he has to buy it to realize the screen is not a "4.7 inch" all of it is completely logical,people tend to do that,i guess both of u are completely "normal" i'm the weirdo to survey everything before i actually buy some stuff worth $650

58. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You just need to cool your jets there, Mister. I just explained that he probably took a chance on the product despite his misgivings. You mean you've never done so, just so you could be a well rounded consumer? Hell, if I had the money I'd even buy an iPhone and use it for a month if only to form a more objective opinion. And for your information, I have seen iPhone owners do the same all the time. So no, it doesn't "just happen to iPhone bashers."

81. robinlim85

Posts: 86; Member since: May 03, 2013

now i do know that these kind of people exist,they don't read they don't try and they buy,then they complaint.yea no problem,its 0.20 cents peanuts there are words used to describe these kind of people(and the people who think this is cool),its call a "dum*as*" and they usually prefer android,good association i noticed your troll everywhere,still pretend to be objective yea right mister

82. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

You really just do not know when to quit, do you? You're so laughably stupid that you aren't worth further engagement. Good day to you.

87. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

I do exactly that; buy and use all sorts of devices (the recent crop of Android devices has been Moto G, Nexus 5 and an S4). And I do so so that I have an informed opinion of these devics. They still aren't as good as my iPhone 5 though, which is why I use the iPhone as my main device and the S4 and Nexus 5 went back for a refund. I've kept the Moto G as a backup phone as it was so cheap.


Posts: 99; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

I have owned IPHONE 4, 4S, 5, 5S. I have also owned countless other top phones when they were just out. The 4 I will say was a good phone when it came out because it was innovative. Anything since the 4S has been the same goods in a slightly modified package. APPLE is about money, not user experience. They are control freaks who leave the user with very little room for creativity. Something that APPLE now lacks itself from a business perspective and is seeing it through the loss of market share. I owned the 5S for two days and sent it back. The new HTC with blink feed? Same. Although the HTC looked like what APPLE should have been working on. APPLE is Boring. Steve Jobs would have never released that 5S phone. The new processor is for future heavyweight programs and useless right now. Phones like the HTC one , LG G2, MOTO X, even the wishy washy N5 (screen) all put the IPHONE to shame and deem it a dinosaur. It had its time. The stores aren't as busy this Christmas at APPLE as people bail in favor of new innovators creating exciting technology from some excellent companies. It will be interesting to see what happens to NOKIA with Microsoft. Somewhere along the way APPLE lost the passion and are now yesterdays news. Three obstacles for APPLE? 1. CEO with no creativity. 2. Too much money in the bank leading to lack of motivation. 3. Overconfidence in old technology. Hey Google now! They are the new King and are only going to get bigger. Microsoft is also poised to do well with Windows phone format at #2 and #3? Maybe APPLE if they can hold on to what's left. For now and at least another year their "core" clientele continue to slowly slip away due to pure lack of creativity and laziness.

62. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

robinlim85 at it again. He just can't fathom that anyone would return an iPhone I see. Maybe the person you're upset about is lying and never owned the phone, maybe he didn't, but why are you acting as if you know anything for certain? Not everyone does everything like you buddy. You may know for a fact that if the screen isn't a certain size you don't want it. That does not mean that everyone else does it that way. Some have to buy and use and hold for a few days to make a decision. Some learn by listening and some by watching and doing, I see you just don't learn at all. I can't wait for you to attempt to put a logical post together yourself.

118. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

it just happen that the reasons he gave for returning the iphone seems to be copied/paste instead of giving jhis own opinion.. (ex.. the price he should have known this... the price different per GB,. ) I could be wqrong but thats how it came across. btw the lag does exist in Android so if he didnt like the iphone for that reason.. he will be surprise if he grabs an Android,.

57. DaHarder

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 10, 2009

I really don't appreciate having my veracity questioned by the likes of some silly little biased gadget fanatic on the internet so... Here are just a few of the devices I keep in my office, and the one at the front left is indeed my iPhone 5 64gb that I was intending to replace with the iPhone 5s until I recieved it (after having pre-ordered as I do almost all of my devices) and determined that the 'update' was simply not great enough to bother keeping it. http: //imageshack. us/a/img42/7163/zntv. jpg Note: You'll also see my: Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Mini (1st generation), Dell Venue 8 Pro, MicroSoft Surface Pro 2, and Nokia Lumia 2520, as those particular devices are the ones that just happen to be closest in proximity at the moment. This should quite effectively debunk any of your inane claims as to who's telling the truth regarding these matters. Now Please... P.O.

111. Leo_MC

Posts: 6623; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

If I may: why do you have more than 1 phone (ok, 2 - with the business line) and 1 tablet/laptop? Unless you're a dealler.

50. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

You summed it up better than I could. Good job! But I did not knock Apple hard on the screen resolution because the screen quality was pretty good for a device being so small. And I was able to use the device with one hand which I do miss with my Note 3. But with such a big device I'm able to comfortably watch movies on the elliptical when working out. I dare not try to watch a movie with the iphone 5s in the same spot; just too small from arms distance. And your so correct about the lack of speed difference between the 5 and 5s. On paper it kills the 5 but in real life you could not tell the difference. You can tell the difference between the Note 2 and Note 3 and it's pushing many more pixels.

99. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

One of the best and honest comments that I have seen on this or any website. Bravo Sir. Best Phone: Note 3 even though I love my Droid Ultra which is the best phone for me. Best Tablet: LG G Pad 8.3 bought one of those instead of a Nexus 7 2013, and I absolutely love it!!!

108. GoGoGalaxyNexus

Posts: 80; Member since: Nov 01, 2013


109. W.P._Android_in_that_Order

Posts: 208; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

+1 @DaHarder! I especially agree with points 3 and 5. Polycarbonites are more durable. I'm not a teenage girl where my phone needs to look pretty. And its hard to believe that they don't even have a 720p display. Also, Note3 is clearly the best of the year.

39. darkkjedii

Posts: 30833; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It is excellent +1

49. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

It was not the hardware. It was actually refreshing to have a smaller high quality device. It was iOS 7. After being with Android for so long I went through all the Android growing pains until Android 4.0 made the platform "elite". But with the iPhone it was like going backwards. All iOS 7 did was add a paint job, a few widgets and created instability. It was so frustrating to have people say how reliable the iPhone was but it crashed every day when using Apple's own apps. My original Note 2 felt more reliable. And then I woke up one day and realized that even if Apple released a larger iPhone, iOS would still be a weakness. I even started to dislike the iPad's because of iOS 7. I gave Apple a long 2 month trial and it was more than enough to come to a unbiased conclusion. When I talked bad about Apple prior to owning the iPhone it was more fanboy talk. But after owning it I now have personal experiences to back up my dislikes about the platform. I actually have more respect for the Motorola X after owning the iPhone 5s. It's not all about specs but I had an opportunity for an even Note 3 trade so I took it.

67. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

Fair enough. Nobody in my family has had problems with iOS 7, I am personally a huge fan of how it looks....and it fixed a large amount of my problems with iOS 6, however my iPhone is still on iOS 6 so I can keep my jailbreak (As I also want more functionality.) I feel like Ive's team made iOS 7 to bring a more modern look, and iOS 8 will bring more polish and functionality. I had been curious about you saying the Note 3 after you said you owned the iPhone 5S, since usually people looking at the iPhone want a smaller phone. And was going to make the Moto X suggestion as Android's alternative to the iPhone (I voted the Moto X as the best phone of the year, iPad Air as the best tablet). Really wish that fingerprint scanner would come to more phones, it is a great feature for easy security (When you dont need more secure locking than keeping your friends out of your phone.) I have actually been wanting to move back to Android since 4.0, I had the OG Samsung Galaxy S when it was rocking eclair-gingerbread and the thing just at through battery, creaked too much...had a horrible screen, os was laggy and ugly at the time. But I loved the customization and functionality that android had, especially how seamlessly it integrates into my google services (not that the iphone does a bad job with this, android just does it better). So I plan on getting the Nexus 5 off contract latter this winter and using my upgrade next fall after the new iPhones and Android models come out to see which I want....if Apple comes out with a bigger iPhone and does a few more things to the os, I would probably switch back since I have never had anything but great experiences with all my Apple products (Every company needs their customer support).

88. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

I'm exactly the same, except the other way around! I always have a renewed appreciation for Apple when I switch my sim back into the iPhone after realising just how much other manufacturers don't 'get it' when it comes to making consumer electronics devices. I wish these other manufactures would move away from Android already, it's such a boring and stale OS!

42. danny_a2005

Posts: 349; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

Smartphones: 1st. Xperia Z1 2nd. Note 3 3rd. Nexus 5 Runner ups: iPhone 5S & HTC One Tablets: 1st. Nexus 7 (2013) 2nd. Xperia Tablet Z 3rd. Note 10.1 (2014) Runner ups: iPad Air & iPad Mini (Retina) My votes were for Z1 and tablet Z :)

94. LGisgood

Posts: 833; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

i voted Best smartphone OVERALL! LG G2! LG Nexus 5! i voted Best Mini pad LG G Pad.

65. mikelemon

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

Of course Note 3. The readers here show a CLEAR BIAS FOR ANDROID AND SAMSUNG.

68. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I actually voted for the Moto X. Note, however, how strong of a showing Nokia and the iPhone are getting.

85. Pedro0x

Posts: 271; Member since: Oct 19, 2012

That is because Phonearena is full of Nokia fanboys which are trying to save a dead platform. Iphones are being voted on because they deserve it. I have yet found a phone that is as smooth as Iphone except LG G2, nexus 5, nexus 4 and moto x. Iphone 5s got my vote for the build quality, SoC and the superb call quality.

98. VLaRueC

Posts: 189; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

I'm willing to bet my Lumia 920 loads websites faster than your iPhone. I also bet I can turn on my camera, take a picture, and post it to facebook faster than all the other phones. Oh...and I bet my Lumia has a better map pack than your phones do. See Navteq. Regardless of what you may think, this site is full of everyday electronic purist and wireless phone sales professionals. A better poll would have required voters to log the details of their personal phones before voting. For me, I voted for the Lumia 1020 from my Verizon Note 3. Oh, and I'm posting this from my HP Windows 8.1 desktop computer. And another thing, webOS was the best operating system every developed, which I also carried for 3 years. This is not me boasting, this is me letting you know that the site isn't full of Nokia fanboys. Now run along before I take iTunes away from you.

84. decent4u

Posts: 75; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Everyone has their own preferences, what did u voted for?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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