Forget about who makes the
best smartphone. What company is innovating the most?
While there were dozens of new smartphone launches this year, a handful of devices experimented with new features that might actually be useful.
Here’s a ranking of the most innovative phones to launch in 2013.
The iPhone 5S is the best smartphone for most people, but it didn't exactly push the envelope over last year's iPhone 5. The iPhone 5S looks and feels the same as the iPhone 5, but has a faster processor and a fingerprint sensor that lets you unlock the device without a passcode.
Those are two nice features, but they're not profoundly innovative.
Some tech snoots might laugh when confronted with a keyboard-equipped phone, but there are still plenty of people who want one. BlackBerry is the best at making keyboard phones, and the one on the BlackBerry Q10 is its best yet.
For those of you prone to destroying your phones, the Xperia Z from Sony might be a good choice. It's not shatterproof, but it can withstand being submerged in liquid for several minutes.
By most accounts, Nokia's Lumia 1020 Windows Phone has the best camera of any smartphone. The only drawback is that the fancy camera adds a hefty bulge to the back of the phone, which could be annoying for some users.
Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 has so many features in it, you'll probably never use them all. Critics blasted the phone for being too bloated with features, but it does have some useful tricks like a bunch of clever camera modes and the ability to keep the screen from switching off just by keeping your eyes on it.
Samsung proved people love giant-screen phones with the original Galaxy Note smartphone, and its latest incarnation, the Galaxy Note III, is the best one you can buy.
The Moto X is Motorola's first flagship device since Motorola joined Google. The Moto X lets you design your device with a variety of colourful casings and trimmings. It also has a unique notifications feature that gives you a snapshot of unread texts, emails, tweets, etc. automatically when you pick up the phone.
LG's latest flagship phone, the G2, may have a weird design quirk with its power/volume buttons on the back, but it does have an incredible screen. The 5.2-inch display is the best we've ever seen on a phone, thanks in part to the super-narrow border around it. It feels like the screen is floating in your hand.
Google's newest flagship phone, the Nexus 5, is an incredible bargain. You can buy it unlocked starting at just $US349. That means it'll work on many carriers just by popping in a SIM card. For comparison's sake, the iPhone 5S costs about $US300 more if you buy it unlocked.
The Nexus 5 also runs the latest version of Android, called KitKat, and comes with a guarantee that you'll get software updates directly from Google.
Until the HTC One came along, most Android phones were just ugly hunks of cheap-feeling plastic. HTC changed that trend with its all-all metal design on the One. It's also one of the best-looking phones we've ever seen.