Android phones of the year

We’re nearly halfway through 2013, and that means it’s time for a round-up of the most impressive Android smartphone releases so far. Whether you’re preparing to buy your first Android handset or just updating your old one, here’s our quick guide to some of the best money can buy.

Samsung Galaxy S4

It’s hard to talk about big smartphone releases without mentioning the Galaxy S4, and for good reason: while it’s definitely more evolution than revolution compared to the wildly popular S3, it’s still an extremely solid phone packed full of useful features. It packs a bigger and sharper screen than its predecessor, but the most significant updates came in the form of a super-fast processor and a highly improved camera.

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If you already own an S3 and aren’t too bothered about its slightly shonky camera, there’s no pressing need to upgrade just yet – but if not, the S4 is definitely worth your consideration.

HTC One

The other front-runner in the Android race, the HTC One marries outstanding design with a crystal-clear display and an innovative camera interface for a phone that really stands out. The much-hyped HTC Boomsound, which provides dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers is really impressive, too, turning your phone into a mini portable stereo (that doesn’t sound like the music’s coming from a tiny metal box).

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If you need any more reason to buy it, the Techradar recently named it the “best phone on the market full stop”, complaining only about the lack of expandable memory.

LG Nexus 4

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The Nexus is Google’s flagship phone, and one of the best things going for it is the cost. For a smartphone at this price point, you’d expect some heavy slashing on features and hardware, but the Nexus 4 is surprisingly beefy on the inside and beautiful on the outside, with a crisp 4.7-inch screen and quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. While perhaps a little chunkier and heavier than competing models, and lacking in storage space, it’s undoubtedly the best phone you’re going to get for the money.

It’s comparable in power to the Galaxy S3, which may be a last-generation model but is still holding its own in terms of popularity.