AS 2013 DRAWS TO A CLOSE the mobile market can look back on a busy 12 months that were full of disruption, innovation, madcap ideas, trendsetting concepts and the release of some groundbreaking products.
With Christmas here, many might be wondering which phones they should get next or considering an upgrade to see in 2014 in style, especially if there are any good deals to be had in the January sales.
Whatever your reasons, The INQUIRER has put together a definitive list of smartphones from the past year to see which firms we think have earned the right to a break and a pint of eggnog. And don't forget, if it's a tablet you're after, we've covered that market too.
10. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung has had the phablet market pretty well cornered for the past couple of years. Its Galaxy Note devices have generally set the standard for technical quality and stylus excellence, but they suffered from gimmicky software and odd design choices.
Samsung's third attempt is no different. While the Galaxy Note 3's HD 1080p display is excellent and it runs like a dream on its quad-core processor, the Korean firm's insistence on skinning Android with its sub-par Touchwiz user interface is lamentable. Nonetheless, a couple of handy note-taking and clipping features do at least add some functionality and make the most of the device's big screen.
The faux stitched leather on the back of the device will divide opinion, too. It will face stiff competition in the next year as other phone makers latch on to the concept and perfect their own designs, but for now the Galaxy Note 3 continues to hold its edge in the phablet market.
9. Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia shocked the technology industry in 2012 when it unveiled its first 41MP camera phone, the 808 Pureview. However come its release the overall appeal of the 808 Pureview was hampered by its use of the outdated Symbian operating system and it remained a niche item.
One year on, Nokia moved to bring 41MP to masses by releasing its flagship Lumia 1020 smartphone. Running the Windows Phone OS and featuring a completely reworked 41MP rear camera sensor, the Lumia 1020 offers exellent imaging quality. The Lumia 1020's characterful design, crisp Clearblack screen and useful Nokia apps also make it one of the most innovative phones released this year.
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