Top 10 Best Android Smartphones Buyers Guide: October 2013 Edition


Another month and not a lot has changed in the Android world. We're still waiting for the Nexus 5 to be announced by Google and for people all over the world to break their F5 keys trying to use the Play Store. However, HTC have finally announced the One Max and well, it seems to be more of the same – both literally and figuratively. Without further a do, let's get on with October's list, shall we?

10. HTC One Mini

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So, what's wrong with the One Mini? Well, nothing's wrong with it but, at 4.3-inches it's not really "mini", and thanks to the BoomSound speakers, it isn't that much smaller than the original One. As we found in our review, the device's battery isn't fantastic however, performance was quite good for a device at this price point and size. What you do get from the One Mini is a great device with great build that's a little bit smaller. It's such a shame that the device is only available to buy from AT&T in the States but, we suppose it's one more device AT&T customers have to choose from.

  • 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 resolution Super LCD2
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage; no microSD card slot
  • 4MP (UltraPixel) camera on the back; 1.6MP camera on the front
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 dual-core procesor clocked at 1.4GHz
  • 1800mAh battery
  • Android 4.2.2 – Jelly Bean

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09. Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX



With the Moto X available on pretty much every carrier in the US, and the device still packing great battery life, there are only a few reasons why you would buy a Droid these days. One of them is that you're a die-hard Verizon customer and their service is brilliant for you – which is a pretty great deciding factor. Another is that you liked the previous Droid devices and you just need more. The problem with this year's Droid devices is that they're no better than any other smartphone, time was the Droid device would make people switch to Verizon but now, with the Moto X available on Big Red – these aren't the Droids many of you are looking for.

  • 5-inch 1280 x 720 AMOLED Display
  • 1.7 GHz Dual Core with Quad-Core Graphics, attention hub, & 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2,130 mAh in the Ultra, 3,500 mAh in the MAXX
  • Usage: Up to 28 hours or 48 hours with the MAXX
  • 10MP RGBC camera with quick capture
  • 2MP Full HD Recording Front Facing Camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE +EDR,
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

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08. Sony Xperia Z1



Perfecting upon the original Xperia Z, the Xperia Z1 packs some fantastic processing power in the same stunning design that debuted this CES. Improvements have been made to the camera this time around as well – there's a 20.7 MP camera with a "G" lens inside of the Z1. It might have all of the right boxes ticked but, Sony just don't know whow to sell their devices in the US. Placing a listing on your own website and selling it on Amazon just doesn't cut it. Users want to go into stores and try out the device and until Sony gets cosy with the carriers, we doubt they'll go far in the US market. Which is an awful shame, as they make brilliant smartphones.

  • 5-inch 1080p Triluminos Display
  • Water/dust/scratch/shatter resistant rated IP55/IP58
  • One-piece aluminum frame
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor
  • Adreno 330 graphics processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage with microSD card slot
  • 3,000mAh battery with Sony's STAMINA mode
  • 20.7 megapixel 1/2.3-inch Exmor RSCMOS image sensor
  • Sony G-Lens at 27mm with F2.0 aperture

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07. HTC One Max



After months and months of leaks, the One Max is finally official. Unsurprisingly, the device has turned out to be exactly what we thought it was going to be – a larger HTC One. Just as the One Mini was smaller, the One Max is larger. However, at 5.9-inches, the One Max is much larger than the One and for some, will just be too big to hold comfortably. The headlining feature here is the fingerprint scanner but, this has yet to prove itself as anything more than a novelty. When developers start releasing apps to take advantage of this new tech, it might be worth something but right now, it's another way of unlocking your phone. Also, the One Max features the same Snapdragon 600 as the One does, eschewing the more popular and more powerful Snapdragon 800 in other similar devices, like the Note 3.

  • 5.9-inch Full HD Display
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon 600 at 1.7 Ghz
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32GB of Storage with support for microSD cards up to 64GB
  • BoomSound Speakers, Fingerprint Scanner and an UltraPixel Camera
  • Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5
  • 3,300 mAh – non-removable

06. Moto X


The Moto X has been on sale for a while now, and it seems to be doing quite well. If Motorola and Google's goal was to create an Android smartphone that's truly "for everyone" then they seem to have done a pretty good with the X. With the ability to truly customize your device, talk to it whenever you want and enjoy stock Android on whichever carrier you like is a true breath of fresh air. For some, it's a shame about the 720p AMOLED display and the disproportionate unlocked price but, as we found out in our review, for the vast majority the Moto X is more than good enough.

  • 4.7″ AMOLED Display at 720p
  • Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 10 Megapixel Rear-Facing Camera with "Clearpixel" technology; 2 Megapixel front-facing camera
  • 16 and 32GB Storage options with 50 GB free with Google Drive
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR
  • WiFi 802.11a/g/b/n/ac (dual band capable), mobile hotspot
  • Bands GSM/GPRS/EDGE UMTS/HSPA + up to 42 Mbps
  • CDMA/EVDO Rev. A (CDMA model only)
  • 4G LTE
  • Android 4.2.2
  • 2,200 mAh battery

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05. Samsung Galaxy S4

If it ain't broke, then don't fix it. That's probably the ethos that went through Samsung's mind as they designed the Galaxy S4 and frankly, we can't blame them. If something is working as well as the Galaxy S III is, then why change things? The Galaxy S4 is still a great device, even if it wasn't much of a departure from the Galaxy S III. Sure, it might be a little "unexciting" but, what Samsung is offering everyone with the Galaxy S4 is a device that has a great-looking screen, decent battery life and features that the average user cares about. So no, this isn't the most exciting devices to come from Samsung in recent memory but, it's easily one of the best. You can read our review here.

  • 5-inch 1080p displayHD Super AMOLED Display 440PPI
  • 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600/Exynos 5 Octa for the International Version
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage; Expandable via MicroSD card up to 64GB
  • 13MP camera on the back, 2MP on the front
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0
  • IR LED (remote control like in the HTC One)
  • MHL 2.0
  • 2600mAh battery
  • Android 4.2.2 – Jelly Bean

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04. Google Nexus 4


While we wait for the Nexus 5 to finally emerge as an official device, the Nexus 4 still holds its own as one of the best smartphones out there. Sure, the camera and battery life of the device aren't all that great but, it's the best way to get a quality device with the latest Android software without emptying your wallet. With KitKat launching shortly, Nexus 4 owners are about to be reassured of their investment as they'll be among the first users to get their hands on the latest treats from Google. It might be getting old – compared to today's standards – but the Nexus 4 has plenty of steam left in it, that's for sure.

  • 4.7″1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi)
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with 1.3 MP front-facing
  • 4G HSPA+ up to 42mbps
  • 16 GB storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • NFC
  • 2,100 mAh
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean

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03. HTC One


HTC isn't in great shape right now and it doesn't look like they'll be able to keep a hold of their top-tier status for much longer. Which is a real shame as the HTC One is a pretty great device. We discovered this much earlier on in the year when we reviewed the One, and we're hoping that HTC gets to shift a fair few units this holiday season. Thanks to a unique and fresh design, the HTC One is one of the best built, and best-looking devices on shelves right now. Considering HTC has updated the device to Android 4.3 as well now, it seems their update problem has been fixed. Hopefully, we see more of this from HTC in the near future.

  • 4.7-inch 1080p display giving it a 468ppi
  • 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB internal storage; No microSD card slot
  • Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS and GLONASS
  • 2,300mAh battery
  • Android 4.1.2, updated to 4.2.2 and now Android 4.3
  • Sense 5.0
  • IR Reciever allowing you to use the HTC One as a TV remote

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02. LG G2


The G2 is the best phone that LG has ever shipped and it has some features that other smartphones don't. For instance, the G2 places the buttons round the back of the phone and has some seriously slim bezels. With a higher capacity battery than most others, the G2 can last the distance and thanks to the Snapdragon 800 inside, it's a snappy device, too. One area LG needs to work on is software but, things are manageable at list with the G2. We reviewed the G2 and we were mightily impressed with what LG have put together.

  • 5.2-inch Full HD IPS Panel
  • Quad-Core Snapdragon 800 at 2.26 Ghz
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32GB of Storage
  • A 13MP rear-facing camera with full OIS and a 2.1MP front-facing camera
  • Android 4.2.2
  • Support for 24 bit "HiFi Quality" Playback
  • 3,000 mAh battery

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01. Samsung Galaxy Note 3


When we reviewed the Galaxy Note 3, we spent a lot of time comparing it to the Note II, and while Samsung have kept a lot the same, more has changed than many think it has. For one thing, the S-Pen is more powerful than it was before, the display is larger yet the device hasn't physically grown larger. It's thinner, has a better battery life and is much, much faster than the Note II. If you're looking for the sort of smartphone that can do more than your average device and look good doing it, look no further than Samsung's latest Note.

  • 5.7-inch display, Full HD Super AMOLED (1920—1080)
  • Processor: Snapdragon 800 quad-core clocked at 2.3GHz, or Exynos 5 Octa octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB or 64GB of internal storage
  • 13MP rear-facing Camera with 2MP front-facing
  • 3,200mAh battery
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz

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Former Editor-in-Chief

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.

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