The smartphone industry is gearing up to debut the latest and greatest handsets that will appeal to consumers looking to upgrade in 2013. Here are five of the best smartphones for 2013, released or rumoured, to be arriving at some point next year. Take a look and decide for yourself which will make the biggest impact.
Apple iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5 may only be a few months old, but there is already talk of Apple’s next mobile landing sooner than anticipated. In the past the iPhone has enjoyed yearly updates, but this annual cycle might be broken, since Apple released the iPad 4 just over half a year after its predecessor went on sale.
The iPhone 5S is likely to be an incremental upgrade rather than a total reworking of the current iPhone 5. This means you can expect it to use the same four-inch Retina Display, along with the slim and stylish design.
The main reason for the quick update is that Apple’s manufacturing partners cannot keep up with the demand for the iPhone 5, which is proving more difficult to make than initially thought. The iPhone 5S should essentially be quicker to build in the large numbers required.
Samsung Galaxy S4
In 2012 the Samsung Galaxy S3 was the undisputed king of the smartphone market, even managing to outsell the iPhone 5 for a period. Samsung is not one to rest on its laurels and the Galaxy S4 is undoubtedly in development at this very moment.
While nothing official is known about the device, most believe that it will be equipped with a five-inch touchscreen display with a full HD 1080p resolution and Super AMOLED panel. This will easily outstrip the performance of the 4.8-inch 720p screen of the Galaxy S3 in terms of pixel density.
The jury is out on whether the Galaxy S4 will harness a new quad-core processor or take the leap to an eight-core solution. For the moment, the quad-core route seems more sensible, since this is already provides more than enough power for a mobile device and paired with new flash memory technology it should keep the Galaxy S4 feeling pretty quick.
If the best smartphones for 2013 boils down to an Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4 head to head, the latter will have the technical upper hand. Even the meagre update of the iPhone 5S will not be enough to stop Samsung asserting its dominance.
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2013 will be a bit of a make-or-break year for BlackBerry, but they certainly have brought their best game to the table with their latest flagship; the BlackBerry Z10.
This device runs the new BB 10 operating system, which is based on the software found on RIM’s PlayBook tablet. As such, the phone should have a well-optimised, finger-friendly interface that uses gesture-based controls and offers some of the best multitasking on the market.
The Z10 will buck the BlackBerry trend and feature a touch-only display with no physical keyboard in sight, but it will be accompanied on the market by a more traditional RIM handset that does fulfil all of your QWERTY typing needs. More info on BlackBerry Z10 features.
Sony Xperia Z
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will not be the only device to utilise a full HD screen next year, as the Sony Xperia Z offers similar tech specs to impress.
As well as a high-resolution display, the Xperia Z packs a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and even a 13-megapixel camera, which should give it the edge over the current crop of high-end smartphones.
Microsoft Surface Phone
Microsoft entered the tablet hardware market with its Surface in the autumn of 2012 and now it looks like it will be pulling the same trick in the smartphone sector.
At the moment the new Windows Phone 8 operating system is being supported by third-party handsets built by Nokia, HTC and Samsung. If Microsoft creates an own-brand smartphone as part of the Surface range, as is currently rumoured, it will compete directly with its manufacturing partners, much to their chagrin.
Of course, Google has proven that putting its name to a smartphone range is a recipe for success, as long as you get the pricing right; the LG-manufactured Nexus 4 is selling faster than it can be produced, with long waiting lists.
The main problem for manufacturers looking to build the best smartphones for 2013 is that people will be focused on Apple iPhone 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S4.
So there’s our round up of the best smartphones for 2013. Which releases are you looking forward to? Who will win between Apple iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S4? It’s an exciting year ahead and we’re glad to be covering it.