HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2013: Editor's Choice - Part 1


Best High-End Smartphone

Best High-End Smartphone

Choosing the best smartphone of the year is all about finding the right balance between design, performance and most importantly, usability. The contenders for this year includes smartphones from Samsung, Apple, ASUS, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia and Sony Mobile, all of which have shown compelling reasons to win the prestigious Best High-end Smartphone award.

2012 is the year where we saw the rise of smartphones powered by quad-core processors, refreshed operating systems, advanced camera technology, larger and more power-efficient displays with optimal screen technology and LTE connectivity taking their places in the spotlight. As we shortlist the nominees for this year, we evaluated each device beyond the standard performance and usability, to its supporting apps ecosystem. This year, the following devices have made it to the list:

Nominees: 

 

  • Apple iPhone 5
  • ASUS PadFone 2
  • HTC One X+
  • LG Nexus 4
  • Nokia Lumia 920
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE
  • Sony Xperia Ion

 

And the Winner Is...

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is not only a phone that does it all, it does with finesse. The smaller Galaxy S III was already a phenomenal hit when it came out and the Galaxy Note II brings this unparalleled experience to another notch. The main sphere of excellence starts from its exceptional 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display and innovative TouchWiz software additions (such as multi-screen capabilities).

That plus its efficient power management and large battery capacity (tops the list at 769 minutes) ensures that it will be able to attend to your needs throughout a busy day. In terms of software innovations, Samsung continues to outdo itself with the introduction of Smart Stay, Multiple Windows, Popup Play, and the S Pen.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model Apple iPhone 5 ASUS PadFone 2 HTC One X+ LG Nexus 4 Nokia Lumia 920 Samsung Note II LTE Sony Xperia Ion
Design 8.0 8.5 9.0 8.5 7.5 8.5 7.0
Features 8.5 9.0 8.5 9.0 8.5 9.5 8.0
User-Friendliness 9.0 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.0 8.0 7.5
Performance 9.0 8.5 8.5 7.5 9.0 9.5 8.0
Value 8.5 8.5 9.0 9.0 8.5 9.0 7.0
Overall 8.5 8.5 9.0 8.5 8.5 9.0 7.5
Price S$948 (16GB) / S$1,088 (32GB) / S$1,238 (64GB) S$848 (16GB) / S$988 (64GB) S$868 US$299 (8GB) / US$349 (16GB) S$899 S$998 S$798

*Note: Prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of product evaluation.

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.