Summer is coming to an end. Those “Back to School” sales are winding down. We’ve spent a couple months playing with the newest premier handsets from Nokia, Samsung, LG, and HTC. Were you considering shopping a new phone for the fall? Here are the current cream of the crop!
05 Nokia’s Lumia 1020 – Monster Camera
A Windows Phone in the top five? You bet!
Microsoft recently clawed their way into the number three spot, surpassing Blackberry in number of phones sold, but it’s really Nokia’s hardware keeping the boat afloat. While the Windows Phone ecosystem is still lacking some apps and services we take for granted on other platforms, Nokia has radically pushed the envelope in terms of smartphone camera tech.
The Lumia 1020 features an audacious 41 megapixel shooter with image stabilization, which provides unparalleled low light sensitivity, incredible digital zoom, and buttery smooth handheld video. Those looking for an uncompromising camera experience should certainly check this phone out
04 Samsung Galaxy S 4 – Evolution
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will be one of the highest selling phones of the year. No doubt about it. The only individual phone which can hope to give the GS4 a run for its money will be Apple’s next iPhone.
The Galaxy S 4 is an improvement in every regard over its predecessor the Galaxy S III. If it suffers any criticism, Samsung took a fairly conservative approach to improving their Galaxy line. This is really good evolution, but it’s not revolution, and people on the street would be hard pressed to tell the GS4 from the older GS3. That said, it is a premier handset, and phones don’t get much better than this.
03 LG’s Optimus G Pro – An LG Phablet!
Samsung popularized the LARGE screen phone with the Galaxy Note. Lovingly nicknamed a “phablet”, we’re still waiting for the follow up to last year’s Note 2. In the meantime LG is happy to provide a cutting edge solution for those looking to step up their screen size.
The Optimus G Pro is a monster phone with just about every trick you might want in a modern smartphone. A 5.5 inch 1080p screen, 32GB of built in storage (upgrade-able), quad-core processor, HUGE battery life, and even an infrared port to use it as a universal remote. It’s a bold entry from LG, and is sure to gain them a little more mind-share in this competitive market.
02 Samsung Galaxy S4 Active – Waterproof!
If the standard GS4 is evolution, the GS4 Active does offer us something revolutionary: waterproofing! We all know at least one person who has destroyed their expensive nice phone with liquid. The GS4 active separates itself from the rest of the smartphone pack with the nifty trick of being a completely submersible smartphone.
There are compromises to make, a lower resolution camera and a quieter speaker, but in every other aspect it’s simply a more rugged Galaxy. It feels more solid in the hand, and compared to Samsung’s lightweight plastic builds, many people will appreciate the extra heft. It feels premium.
If you’re tough on your phones, live an active outdoorsy lifestyle, or have kids who routinely get your phone sticky the GS4 Active is far more likely to last the life of a two year contract.
01 The HTC One – A touch of style
We love a good underdog story. HTC used to rule the smartphone roost, but in recent years they’ve lost their footing. The One represents a company refocusing their efforts on producing competitive phones. Unlike previous HTC’s, this is the first handset of theirs to maintain consistent branding across all carriers.
A host of tricks boosts this phone into our top spot. The camera is the first on an Android to use image stabilization offering terrific low light performance and smooth video. The BoomSound front facing stereo speakers are a revelation. The first time you hear them, you’ll wonder why it took us so long to get a phone with speakers like these. Lastly the build is sleek and refined. The uni-body aluminum casing feels fantastic. If the Galaxy S4 is premium in plastic, the One feels like a luxury car.
Top 5 Phones for August 2013 – Wrap Up
HTC takes the top spot, but it’s not a decisive victory. There are plenty of reasons to pick any of the other handsets mentioned. Not to mention that we should see some exciting developments soon from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Apple. Motorola will also try to build a little buzz around their new Moto X!
Summer might be ending, but that only means we’ll be walking into the Holiday buying season. As the temperature drops, the tech market will be heating up for some brutal competition!
Did we miss your favorite phone? Would you rank another phone higher? Leave us a comment below!