Best Android SmartPhones of 2013 – Pros and Cons

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It’s December and 2013 has come to an end. It has been a very exciting year for smartphones. Full HD displays and quad core processors have become the standard features of Top-end devices these days . Manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, LG, Sony, Oppo etc have managed to amaze us with their Amazing Android devices, especially their flagships. To round this year off , we’ve decided to rank some of the best android smartphones of 2013.

Here are the 7 Best Android Phones of 2013 . .


7. Samsung Galaxy S4

Best android smartphones 2013 samsung galaxy s4 1

Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched in the month of April 2013. The Galaxy S4 is the Samsung’s flagship of the year. Touting a slightly over saturated yet brilliant 4.99″ Super AMOLED HD display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 which gives  a pixel density of 441 PPI, the Galaxy S4 was released in 2 major versions . One has the so-called Octacore processor inside, while the other one relies on Snapdragon 600 for processing. The phone puts up some impressive benchmarks maybe because of some samsung’s under the hood tweaks.

Anyways. S4 has touchwiz UI as its designed by Samsung. Touchwiz is very laggy and this also overheats the device. Samsung designed the S4 with only software in their mind because they think software sells their smartphones. Also, there are tons of gimmicks which were bragged before and after the release of Galaxy S4. There are host of ‘Features’ ( Gimmicks for many) like the Air view, Air gestures and all.

Best android smartphones 2013 samsung galaxy s4 4

Galaxy s4 out of the box runs 4.2.2 and is currently running on 4.3 Jellybean and has bugs that need to be addressed. There are people who are facing issues with the camera and force closes with some games. Galaxy S4 has a 13Megapixel rear Camera and front facing 2 megapixel camera. The camera packs punch, but the low light performance is disappointing . The audio on the phone is pretty mediocre .  The biggest letdowns of the Galaxy S4 are the Filmsy build quality and the Touchwiz UI . For a price you pay , the Galaxy S4 feels pretty mediocre to hold .

Touchwiz has managed to be the Most Bloated Custom Skin in my opinion . For every App that Google has in Android, Samsung puts their own thing for exactly doing the same thing. The phone occasionally lags but its a great phone nevertheless, and totally deserves a spot in our top 7 list of best android smartphones of 2013!

Lets have a look on the key specifications , followed by Pros and Cons of the Samsung Galaxy S4  –

  • Network – Supports 3G and 4G (Depends on your variant)
  • Display – 4.99 Inch Super AMOLED Display with a resolution of  1080 x 1920. (441 PPI)
  • Processor and CPU – Quadcore 1.6 GHz / 1.2GHz – exynos 5 octa 5410 or Quadcore 1.9GHz – Snapdragon 600.
  • Ram – 2GB.
  • Camera – Rear 13 Megapixel camera,  front facing 2 Megapixel camera.
  • Battery – removable 2600mAh battery.
  • Storage – 16GB/32GB/64GB with micro sdcard slot.
  • Weight – 130 Grams.
  • Colors availability – White Frost, Black mist, artic blue etc.

Pros –

  1. Good Camera.
  2. Smart gestures and other gimmicks.
  3. Great benchmark results
  4. Great standby time.

Cons –

  1. Not so good battery life!
  2. Laggy interface!
  3. Plasticky feel.


6. Sony Xperia Z1

 Best android smartphones 2013 sony xperia z1 3

The Sony Xperia Z1 was launched in september 2013, It is a successor to its elder brother, Xperia Z. The phone has a 5 inch Triluminous display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 which gives a pixel count of 441PPI. It also has X-reality engine. Xperia Z1 is waterproof and dustproof just like the xperia z (Water resistant over 1 meter and 30 minutes ) but you need to make sure that all the ports are closed so that no water gets into the device.

For the storage and processor, Xperia Z1 comes in 16GB internal storage with expandable storage upto 64GB via sdcard, It has 2GB Ram and  for processing , the Z1 relies on the Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 gpu which is arguably the best processor amongst android devices right now. The phone follows Sony’s 2013 design language. It feels and looks a really premium phone. The glass on the front, back and the aluminium frame in the middle really do the thing quite well. Looks apart, the Xperia Z1 is a big phone! More so due to the big bezels. While other manufacturers have managed to chop off the bezels considerably, Sony seems to have ignored it.

Xperia Z1 has quite a list of features to improve, the bezels and weight of the phone as we mentioned earlier are disappointing. The user interface has occasional lags and sometimes the screen starts flickering too. The display is a improvement over the one on the Xperia Z but the angles are still nowhere as good as the ones on HTC one or the Galaxy S4. Some users have reported washed out colors as well. The device packs a 3000 mAh battery, but the actual battery life is not so great.

Best android smartphones 2013 sony xperia z1

The phone flaunts a rear facing 20.7 Megapixel camera , which does sound impressive on paper but the photos taken show high quantity of noise. on the front z1 has a 2 megapixel camera which is produces some great images and is very great for video calls. The Putting this aside , The Z1 is still a great phone and is a pretty cool gadget to own. We just wish that Sony listens to what customers want , just like HTC and LG did!

Best android smartphones 2013  sony xperia z1 4

Lets have a look on the key specifications , followed by Pros and Cons of the Sony Xperia Z1  –

  • Network – Supports 3G and 4G (Depends on your variant)
  • Display – 5 Inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, Triluminous display with a resolution of  1080 x 1920. (441 PPI)
  • Processor and CPU – Quadcore 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor
  • Ram – 2GB.
  • Camera – 20.7 Megapixel with Image stabilizer, 2 Megapixel front camera.
  • Battery – Non removable 3000mAh battery.
  • Storage – 16GB only with micro sdcard slot.
  • Weight – 170 Grams.
  • Colors availability – Black,White,Purple etc.

Pros –

  1. Awesome build quality!
  2. Clicks great pictures in low light conditions
  3. Above average camera.
  4. X-Reality Engine.
  5. Waterproof
  6. dustproof

Cons –

  1. Side viewing angles are dim and rough.
  2. Screen is dull and has washed out colors.
  3. not so great battery life even with 3000mAh battery.
  4. Only 16GB variant available.
  5. Large bezels!


5. Oppo N1


best android smartphones 2013 oppo n1 1

Oppo N1 is the first CyanogenMod Smartphone manufactured by Oppo and was launched in the month of October. The phone is built very well with high quality plastic material. It has the largest display in this list as it sports a huge  5.9 Inch screen with resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels which gives a pixel count of 373 PPI. Oppo is a chinese manufacturer, they manufactured some great android smartphones earlier too. They are very well-known for their flagship device of 2012, Oppo Find 5.

Oppo and CyanogenMod collaborated to design this masterpiece. Oppo also has future plans of releasing an exclusive,special edition Oppo N1 which will run CyanogenMod out of the box. Currently Oppo N1 is running a custom android skin designed by oppo and named ‘Color OS’. The skin has great animations and has a very smooth experience. If you’re not happy with it then you can flash official cyanogenMod rom from the Oppo website. If you’re into rooting and custom roms you’re already familiar with CyanogenMod and its components.

best android smartphones 2013 oppo n1 4

Oppo N1 has some unique features such as the O-Touch functionality, it is a little button device that lets you click photos without touching the phone, this feature will have future development too. also, Oppo N1 has a touch sensitive area at the back which supports long press,sliding and double tap, users can scroll through pages and scroll web pages. Oppo has released the sdk for these 2 features so that developers can integrate them into their apps and games. Its a welcome feature here on android smartphones.

Oppo N1 has a 13 Megapixel Rear-cum front facing camera which is rotatable. Users can simply rotate the rear facing camera to the front and vice versa. Oppo promises that the camera piece can rotate more than 1Million times. The camera quality is impressive but it could be better if the N1 had optical image stabilization.

best android smartphones 2013 oppo n1 3

N1 has a 3610mAh battery which can easily last you all-day long! Seriously! Overall, Oppo N1 is a perfect device for you if you’re a CyanogenMod Fan or just another fanatic who loves to be unique in someway. The most unique feature is ofcourse the rotatable camera and the O-Touch.

Lets have a look on the key specifications , followed by Pros and Cons of the Oppo N1 –

  • Network – Supports 2G and 3G.
  • Display – 5.9 Inch, IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels display (373 PPI)
  • Processor and CPU – Quadcore 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor
  • Ram – 2GB.
  • Camera – 13 Megapixel Rear-Cum front facing camera which is rotatable.
  • Battery –  3610mAh battery.
  • Storage – 16GB or 32GB version only. (No Memory Card Slot!)
  • Weight – 213 Grams.
  • Colors availability – Black and White.

Pros –

  1. Very big screen!
  2. Large Battery and better battery life!
  3. Official CyanogenMod ROM Support.
  4. O-Touch Feature!
  5. Back touch sensitive area!
  6. Dual LED Flash!
  7. 13MP Rear/Front facing camera!

Cons –

  1. Weighs 213grams, that’s little heavy.
  2. No Memory card Slot!
  3. No 4G Network support!
  4. No Service centers available in all countries.


4. LG G2 

best android smartphones 2013  lg g2 1

Lg’s flagship device of the year has to be the LG G2. which was released before the Google Nexus 5 which is also manufactured by LG itself, that is the reason Nexus5 has some resemblance to its elder brother Lg G2. G2 was released in September 2013. It has a similar design of Nexus 5. The build quality is above average but it could have been better. LG also introduced a new back functional button which is placed on the back of the phone, it allows new functionalities.

Lg G2 has a 5.2 Inch, HD-IPS + LCD Display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels which gives a ppi count of 424PPI. The LG G2 out of the box runs Android 4.2.2 Jellybean and is currently running on the same (Lg has a bad impression in updating their devices to the latest android version and that may follow here too), 4.4 KitKat update is expected in Q1 2014. The display on G2 is very close to the edge, next to no bezel. Its main focus is based on the camera and on the genius  back button which needs some time for the user to adjust with it. G2 Sports a rear facing 13Megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and a front facing camera of 2.1 megapixel. It has great capabilities but it does heavy noise reduction on the images it produces even at base iso, personally i prefer details with some noise and blotches.

best android smartphones 2013 lg g2 2

Lg G2 packs a 3000mAh battery which can last throughout a day on a single charge. G2 runs a modified android software version just like samsung’s touchwiz and htc’s sense. Lg’s UI has some good compelling features like the Q-Slide etc are great additions to the user experience.

overall, LG G2 is a good device with new button placements and sexy design, the camera could have been better in some parts.
It would be great if LG decides to update their devices to the latest and greatest android version.

Lets have a look on the key specifications , followed by Pros and Cons of the LG G2 –

  • Network – Supports 3G and 4G (Depends on your variant)
  • Display – 5.2 Inch, True IPS HD + LCD capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels display (424 PPI)
  • Processor and CPU – Quadcore 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor
  • Ram – 2GB.
  • Camera – 13 Megapixel Rear camera with Optical Image stabilizer, 2.1 Megapixel front camera.
  • Battery – Non removable 3000mAh battery.
  • Storage – 16GB or 32GB version only. (No Memory Card Slot!)
  • Weight – 143 Grams.
  • Colors availability – Black and White.

Pros –

  1. Lovely design.
  2. Great camera performance in low-light as well as in day-light.
  3. Awesome battery life!
  4. Large screen with almost no bezel.
  5. Light in weight.

Cons –

  1. No quick updates from LG.
  2. Currently running on 4.2.2 where as other high end devices are running on 4.3 Jellybean.
  3. Too much noise reduction on images produced by camera.
  4. Not so loud speaker.
  5. No micro SD Slot.


3. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

best android smartphones 2013 samsung galaxy note3 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a successor to its predecessors, Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Note. Note3 is more of a phablet with its growing size, The Galaxy Note 2 had a 5.5 inch screen but it had a very poor pixel density of 267 PPI thats even lower than the Original Galaxy Note phablet. Note 3 now has a pixel density of 386 PPI with a 5.7 inch,1080 x 1920 pixel Super AMOLED Display.

With Quadcore processor and 3GB Ram, This huge beast can multitask heavily without a hiccup, ofcourse samsung’s touchwiz is subjected to lag 2 times out of 10times but that is not noticeable to normal smartphone users. Samsung is known for its gimmicky software on all its smartphones, like on previous galaxy devices, galaxy note3 also has some of its best multi-tasking gimmicks such as the new improved multiwindow feature, group play, action memo, etc but that’s not all, Note3 also features a rear 13 Megapixel camera and a 2Megapixel front camera.

Camera performance is amazing in moderate light conditions but in low light conditions its not upto the mark. Even the camera app (designed by samsung) has gimmicky features such as best photo, etc.. All these features add a pretty good functionality but some of them are useless, atleast for me.

S-Pen is the most useful feature on the Galaxy note3, It is actually the specialty of a Note Device. with a S-pen the device flies high above the ground, you can write,scribble, sketch and do anything you would with a pen. on Note3 S-Pen’s functionality has been improved drastically. Just Tap the button on spen while hovering on the screen and you get to see a menu with 5 amazing features. If you’re a fan of stylus or if you want to show-off your geekiness then Note3 has to be yours!

best android smartphones 2013 samsung galaxy note3 1

Note 3 also has amazing battery life. on a single charge i managed to get through a whole day thanks to its 3200mAh battery. The phablet also has USB 3.0 which enables faster charging and faster file transfer though you will need a USB 3.0 port on your pc too! Note 3 out of the box runs 4.3 Jellybean and is currently running on the same, 4.4 KitKat update has been confirmed and it will be available for note3 as well as s4 users in Q1 2014.  Samsung has a very low reputation when it comes to updating devices to the latest android version as samsung heavily customizes the android software with its Touchwiz user interface. Some people might love touchwiz for its heavy graphics and animations personally i’m not a fan of touchwiz. overall, Note 3 is a perfect device for a person who wants better battery life, multi-tasking tools and extra-ordinary camera.

best android smartphones 2013 samsung galaxy note3 3

Lets have a look on the key specifications , followed by Pros and Cons of the galaxy note 3 –

  • Network – Supports 3G and 4G. (Depends on your note3 variant)
  • Display – 5.7 Inch, Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels display (385 PPI)
  • Processor and CPU – Snapdragon 800 – Quadcore 2.3 GHz,  (Model – N9005, N9002) and Exyonos 5 – octacore 1.9GHz cortex A15 and 1.3 GHz cortex A7 (Model – N9000)
  • Ram – 3GB.
  • Camera – 13 Megapixel Rear camera with 4K video recording (only available on N9005,N9002) , 2 Megapixel front camera.
  • Battery – Removable 3200mAh battery.
  • Storage – 32GB or 64GB version, Expandable via sdcard slot upto 64GB.
  • Weight – 168 Grams.
  • Colors availability – Black, White, Pink, Merlot Red, Rose Gold black, Rose Gold White etc..

Pros –

  1. 5.7 inch screen with Super AMOLED display.
  2. Camera is at its best in daylight but falls short in low light.
  3. Very strong battery life!
  4. Options for Easy one handed use.
  5. 3GB Ram, which gives plenty of room for gaming and multitasking!
  6. Sd Card Slot!
  7. USB 3.0
  8. S-Pen
  9. Tons of accessories support.

Cons –

  1. Plasticky feel.
  2. Slightly Laggy UI
  3. Slower Software updates.
  4. Bulky Device
  5. May not fit in one hand for some users.
  6. Low light performance of camera is poor.
  7. Expensive pricing.
  8. No 4K video recording on N9000 Variant. Also those variants who can record 4k videos need a 4K monitor/TV its not useful at present.


2. Htc One (Dual Sim)

best android smartphones 2013 htc one

Htc One is the flagship smartphone of HTC. It was released  in August 2013 (Dual-sim variant).  The build quality is very premium, no plastic and no leather but just aluminium finish which gives a very elegant and rich feel to the user experience. I can say that this is the best built android smartphone yet. It has one of the best display ever! It sports a 4.7 Inch, Super LCD3 Capacitive Touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 resolution which gives a pixel count of 471PPI along with corning gorilla glass 2. The display is vibrant and has no over-saturation issues whatsoever.

Also, Htc one has great side viewing angles. HTC has its own custom android skin on top of the Android software and it has been named ‘HTC Sense ‘. Htc one has HTC Sense V5 on its flagship smartphone. The User interface is simply smooth and there are no lags in the user interface anywhere! Seriously, Its amazingly smooth!

Htc One packs a non removable 2300mAh battery which is of same size of the Nexus5. Surprisingly, Battery life on Htc one is better than nexus 5 in our testing. That clearly states that htc has good battery performance. The newly launched dual-sim variant of htc one has dual sim connectivity and expandable storage too!

Htc one has the best speakers available on the smartphone platform. It has’Beats Audio’ sound enhancement enabled and has the best audio performance. You can clearly feel the huge difference of these high quality speakers. Htc one (Dual sim version) has 32GB internal storage and has microSD card support that supports upto 64GB. Htc one packs 2GB Ram, which is enough for the device to game at high graphics but i still feel 3GB would do much better at performance.

HTC one packs a rear facing 4Megapixel also known as 4 Ultrapixel (That’s what htc likes to call its new technology) with Optical image stabilization and a front facing camera of 2.1 Megapixel. Camera performance is mediocre in daylight and is fabulous in low light conditions. If you’re a serious photo freak you might want to skip this smartphone for its not so great camera!

best android smartphones 2013 htc one 2

Htc one out of the box runs 4.1.2 Jellybean and is currently running on 4.3 Jellybean, Also the 4.4 KitKat update is on the way and may gradually roll-out in January 2014. overall, Htc one is a great smartphone! It is a beast with extreme power and has the most premium feel. The only downside i see is the camera.

Lets have a look on the key specifications , followed by Pros and Cons of the Htc One –

  • Network – Supports 3G and 4G (depends on your variant)
  • Display – 4.7 Inch, Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels display (471 PPI)
  • Processor and CPU – Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 – Quadcore 1.7 GHz.
  • Ram – 2GB.
  • Camera – 4 Megapixel A.K.A Ultrapixel Rear camera and a 2.1 Megapixel front camera.
  • Battery – Non Removable 2300mAh battery.
  • Storage – 32GB or 64GB version, Expandable via sdcard slot upto 64GB. (Depends on your htc one variant)
  • Weight – 156 Grams.
  • Colors availability – Silver,Black, Gold, etc..

Pros –

  1. Aluminium build smartphone with amazing build quality!
  2. Great screen quality!
  3. Great side viewing angles.
  4. Good battery life.
  5. No Lag at All!

Cons –

  1. Fragile! may cause damage to the aluminum casing when dropped.
  2. Camera is great only in low light conditions. In daylight its mediocre.
  3. Slow updates from HTC.
  4. Small Screen!


1. Google Nexus 5


best android smartphones 2013 nexus5 1

As expected Google unveiled its highly anticipated Android Smartphone The Google Nexus 5, in October. The build quality of this phone is truly fantastic. It’s sleek and very light. It has an amazing True HD IPS display with 1080 x 1920 pixels which gives a mindblowing 445 ppi. It has a blazing fast processor with Stock Android (A.K.A Vanilla Android) user experience that has No Custom Skin layers like Samsung’s touchwiz UI or Htc’s Sense UI but just pure android experience which keeps the device super responsive and amazingly fast!

Nexus5 sports a 8Megapixel Camera with OIS, The camera is not the best of all but it delivers good pictures. Camera was never good on any nexus device. mostly because of the price, google has to cut down something. That doesn’t mean that the camera on nexus5 is not upto the mark, but considering other high end camera smartphones it could have been better. last week google released 4.4.2 firmware for nexus5 and it fixed and improved the camera UI. Google will hopefully improve the camera experience in the future too!

best android smartphones 2013 nexus 3

It runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box and is currently running on the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware. Nexus devices are always ahead when it comes to Software updates as its google who pushes Android updates to these devices, if you want to live on the latest android version with an amazing price then nexus 5 has to be your smart choice!

best android smartphones 2013 nexus5 2

Lets look at some key specifications followed by pros and cons of The Google Nexus 5 –

  • Network – Supports 3G and 4G.
  • Display – 4.9 Inch, True IPS HD capacitive touchscreen with 1080 x 1920 pixels display (445 PPI)
  • Processor and CPU – Quadcore 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor
  • Ram – 2GB.
  • Camera – 8 Megapixel Rear camera with Optical Image stabilizer, 1.3 Megapixel front camera.
  • Battery – Non removable 2300mAh battery.
  • Storage – 16GB or 32GB version only. (No Memory Card Slot!)
  • Weight – 130 Grams.
  • Colors availability – Black and White.

Pros –

  1. Awesome Display with Blazing fast processor!
  2. High Build Quality
  3. Stock Android user experience.
  4. Fastest Android updates, directly from Google.
  5. Great Android Development (which includes Custom roms, root apps and much more!)
  6. Sexy Looks!
  7. Very good price!

Cons –

  1. No memory card slot!
  2. Not so big battery (which also says not so great battery life)
  3. Not so great camera!


These are the best android smartphones of 2013! All these smartphones are high-end devices and all have atleast quadcore processors with atleast 2GB ram. Also there are some great smartphones such as Moto X that is also a great device but its not in our list because of its mid-range specs.

What are your thoughts ? Which phone do you think deserves the number 1 spot? Sound off in the comment section below!!!

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Rohit Pawar

Rohit Pawar is the CEO of TheAndroidCop and an Android Developer. He has extensive knowledge about Android Operating System.He is very passionate about Technology.