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Put a Ringtone on It: The Top 5 Phones to Die for in 2013



The Christmas holidays are coming up fast, but who says you have to wait until Black Friday for that new phone you or your loved one have been longing for. Beat the post-Thanksgiving crowds to the goodies and spend your long weekend relaxing instead of body-checking a rabid bargain hunter at the local electronics store.

There are many tempting offers out there, and each company is touting its latest and greatest phone to the masses of holiday buyers. However, in the end it’s the consumer who defines with their spending power just what ‘latest and greatest’ truly means. Thanks to competing carriers, Internet shopping portals with cutthroat pricing, and online-only discount codes like Flipkart coupons, a canny consumer doesn’t have to get up at dark o’clock and can have a Thanksgiving dinner at home instead of the local mall’s parking lot. So grab a slice of pumpkin pie, put your feet up, and check out the most solid mobile picks of 2013.


We Knew That. What Else Have You Got?

While it’s no longer a novelty to talk about how well a Smartphone integrates with everyone’s favorite time-gobblers like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, SnapChat, and Instagram, there is a lot to discuss on the hardware front and brand-specific features. Apple’s iPhone S5 of course runs iOS7, and has access to branded goodies like iTunes, iCloud, and programs specific to Apple’s proprietary hardware. Phones running Android have an equally large array of options that include Google Play, Google Wallet, Google Drive, and Gmail. Both have access to thousands of applications via Apple’s App Store and Google Play, respectively, so finding the latest game or widget is far from being a struggle.



Not Far From the Tree

Apple iPhone 5s

iphone 5S

Released in September 2013, Apple’s loyal customer base stood in line for hours in order to get their hot little hands on the 5s. The 5s features the 64-bit dual-core A7 processing chip with M7 coprocessor for speedy and crisp graphic rendering, and 1GB of RAM. The 5s also has Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint recognition, the iSight camera and a FaceTime HD videochat camera, and a 4- inch Multi-Touch Retina display. Siri, Apple’s personal assistant app, is included. With 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB of internal memory, the 5s does not, however, come with an expansion slot.


Siblings Duke It Out

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Galaxy Note 3

Released in September 2013, five days after Apple’s rival iPhone 5s, the Galaxy Note 3 has also been locked in intense sibling rivalry with the Galaxy S4. Operating on Android 4.3, the Galaxy Note 3 is part of the emerging ‘phablet’ market. Weighing in with a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, a 13MP outward facing camera plus a user-facing 2MP camera, and 3GB of RAM, the Galaxy Note 3 also offers 32GB of internal memory with a microSD expansion slot supporting up to 64GB. The device sports an on-board stylus holder for the point-and-click S-Pen, a curved 5.7 inch Full HD AMOLED display, direct pen input, a wealth of S-Pen on-board apps, and multi-window ability for multitaskers.

Samsung Galaxy s4


Released in March 2013, the s4 has tangled with Apple’s best and held its own. The Galaxy Note 3’s older sibling, they share many features such as the 13MP camera, the curved AMOLED screen in a slightly smaller 5 inch size, and Android 4.3 operating system. The processor is a still-impressive 1.9GHz quad core for rich media experiences and nearly console quality gaming, with 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory with the same expansion capabilities as the Galaxy Note 3.



Runners-Up, but Not Also-Rans



Released in March 2013, the Smartphone pioneer still has it, and the proof is in the HTC One. Running Android 4.1 with a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB internal storage, the One lacks an expansion slot, but still impresses with a 4.7 inch Full HD screen. The battery, however, is not removable and that can be a deal breaker.

Motorola Moto X

Motorola Moto X

Released in August 2013, the super-customizable Moto X runs Android 4.2 on a 1.7GHz Qualcom quad-core processor with 2GB of Ram and a choice of either 16GB or 32gb of internal storage, but as with the HTC one, it lacks an expansion slot. The 4.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen is 720×1280, and the rear camera is runner-up only at 10MP.

Now sit back, relax, and look forward to three days of turkey sandwiches and doing things you actually want to do.

Unless you actually like body-checking rabid bargain hunters at the local electronics store.