1) Apple iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S features Apple's new A7 chip, making it "the world’s first smartphone", according to Apple, with a 64-bit processor for blazing fast performance. It includes an 8-megapixel iSight camera with True Tone flash and Touch ID, a new way to unlock your phone with just the touch of a finger. iPhone 5S comes with iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone, and new features such as Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop, enhanced Photos, Safari, Siri and iTunes Radio. It also includes the new M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7 for improved power efficiency. iPhone 5S is available in three metallic finishes including gold, silver and Space Grey.
Screen: 4" 1136x640, Processor: A7, Storage: 16 / 32 / 64GB, Camera: 8MP, 1080p, Size: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, 158g
2) Apple iPhone 5C
The iPhone 5C has a plastic body with a steel reinforced frame and comes in five colours—blue, green, pink, yellow and white. It has a 4-inch Retina display, an 8 megapixel iSight camera and runs on the A6 chip. iPhone 5C comes with more 4G LTE bands than any other smartphone in the world, according to Apple, as well as a new FaceTime HD camera, and iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone. The iPhone offers 10 hours of talk time on 3G networks, up to 10 hours of web browsing on Wi-Fi and LTE networks and up to 8 hours on 3G networks, and up to 10 hours of video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback. iOS 7 has many new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop, enhanced Photos, Safari, Siri and iTunes Radio. iPhoto, iMovie, Pages, Numbers and Keynote are also available as free downloads.
Screen: 4" 1136x640, Processor: A6, Storage: 16 / 32GB; Camera: 8MP, 1080p, Size: 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97 mm, 132g
3) Sony Xperia Z1
Running Android 4.2, the Z1 was announced by Sony at the IFA electronics fair in Berlin and is expected to be picked up by a range of major carriers in the UK, including EE who will offer their ‘double-speed’ 4G service on the device for £41 per month plus £29.99 up front. It also features a 3,000mAh battery and 14GB of internal memory, with a quad core 2.2GHz processor. The new device continues Sony’s aim to improve its smartphone line-up, and is the first mainstream such device to feature a 21-megapixel camera.
Screen: 5” 1920x1080, Processor: 2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8974 Quad Core, Storage: Up to 16GB, 2GB RAM, Camera: 20.7MP with Sony Exmor RS, Size: 144.4 x 73.9 x 8.5 mm; 169g
4) Samsung Galaxy S4
There’s a 13MP camera and a 5” screen packed into a smaller, lighter, thinner body than the S3, and there’s new eye-tracking technology that simply means you have to tilt your head to scroll on the screen. It’s not perfect but it works. Hovering your finger above a photo or email lets you preview more of it, which works rather more consistently. And there are health features that track how far you’ve walked, a built-in remote control and a deal to print out your photographs. Just in case you feel the need, you can now even take pictures with both the front and the rear cameras at the same time. It packs more screen into the hand than has ever been possible before, and that 5” display offers more pixels per inch than any previous device, and more than the eye can see anyway. It’s compelling in a way that is becoming standard on top of the range mobiles, regardless of the specifications. I think Samsung’s design is excellent, and focusing purely on plastic is to value style over the substance of features, camera, battery life and more.
Screen: 5” Full HD Storage: 2GB RAM; 16/32/64GB + microSD Camera: 13MP (rear); 2MP (front) Size: 69.8 x 136.6 x 7.9mm; 130g
5) HTC One
The latest phone from struggling giant HTC is in a sense a return to form – the new camera is dubbed ultrapixel because of its remarkable low-light performance, and called Zoe after the zoetrope. There’s also a new interface that adds to Android and seeks to aggregate all your social media and news feeds into a single place, great sound and a screen as good as the Xperia Z. HTC knows that much of this is to try to fill idle moments when you’d be fiddling with your phone anyway but the effect is to nudge towards a very different kind of feel for software. It’s user-friendly and design-wise there’s also a lot to like in the solid aluminium unibody construction and a lovely screen. HTC deserves to do well with this device, and may yet recapture its glory days.
Screen: 4.7”, 1920x1080; Processor: 1.7GHz quadcore; Storage: 16/32GB; Camera: 4MP Ultrapixel, 2688x1520; Size: 137x68x9.3mm, 143g
6) HTC One Mini
The HTC One Mini is now also available, sporting a slower processor, a 1.4Ghz dual core, less storage at just 16GB and a lower resolution display. But it retains Blinkfeed, the social aggregator that combines all your news and social feeds into one place, the Boomsound speakers, and the ultrapixel camera that takes really excellent photographs, particularly in low light, and offers the ‘Zoe’ mini films. Samsung has cut back more features for its equivalent device, the S4 Mini.
Screen: 4.3”, 1280x720; Processor: 1.4 GHz dual-core Snapdragon; Storage: 16GB; Camera: 8MP, 1080p; Size: 132x63.2x9.3mm, 122g
7) Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Galaxy Note 3 is, as the name implies, Samsung's third generation of a product that attempts to make pen and paper redundant – I really liked the Note 2, and the Note 3 is even better. What the new model adds is a good number of particularly useful new ideas: S Note, the notetaking programme is now accompanied by ‘Action Memo’. Perhaps most useful is Pen Window, which allows you to draw a rectangle whatever size you want and then have another programme running in it. On one level the Galaxy Note 3 is simply an iterative improvement over the existing, excellent models – but those improvements are pretty substantial leaps.
Screen: 5.7”, 1080x1920; Processor: 1.6GHz quadcore; Storage: 16/32/64GB, MicroSD; Camera: 13MP, 1080p; Size: 151x79x8.3mm, 168g
8) Motorola Moto G
The Moto G is a solidly built plastic phone with a 4.5” screen, running the latest version of Android to be in any sort of widespread circulation. So far, so unexciting if you’re in the market for a Galaxy S4 or an HTC One. But the Moto G is £135: compared to its rivals at that price, it’s in another league. It would be easy to say the Moto G is not a device to excite geeks: that would be wrong. This is a phone that shows the potential for technology to get better and cheaper. And it’s also the phone to recommend to everyone on a budget, or to anyone who wants to enter the smartphone world for the first time.
Screen 4.5-inch display, 1280 x 720 LCD screen, 329ppi Processor quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Storage 8/16GB Camera 5MP Size 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6mm
9) Google Nexus 5
The underlying impression is that with the Nexus 5 Google is producing yet another smartphone that proves a point: its software can not only power premium devices sold for a decent price, but it can also lead the way with innovative ideas that will come to fruition in the future and probably in devices made by others. At this price, that sort of innovation is easy to get excited about.
Display 4.95-inch Full HD IPS (1920×1080, 445ppi), Gorilla Glass 3 OS Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) Camera 8MP rear facing with Optical Image Stabilization (1.3MP front) Battery 2,300mAh (17 hours talk time, 7 hours internet on LTE) CPU 2.3Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (quad-core)Weight: 4.59oz (130g) Dimensions 69.17 x 137.84 x 8.59mm Storage 16GB or 32GB
10) Nokia Lumia 1520
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better screen than that on the Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphone. And if all the main operating systems were starting with no apps and zero momentum, I’m not sure I’ve seen a better operating system than the latest version of Windows Phone. Add to that Nokia’s famous build quality and the 1520 ought surely to be the top large-screen mobile on the market.
Dimensions: 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7mm Display size: 6 '' (1920 x 1080) Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad-core 2.2 GHz User data storage: In device, Memory card, SkyDrive cloud storage RAM: 2 GB Mass memory: 32 GB