Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

The Sony Xperia Z Steve Kovach/Business Insider

Forget about who makes the best smartphone. What company is innovating the most? 

While there were dozens of new smartphone launches this year, a handful of devices experimented with new features that might actually be useful.

Here’s a ranking of the most innovative phones to launch in 2013.

#10 The iPhone 5S was an incremental improvement over last year’s model.

William Wei, Business Insider

The iPhone 5S is the best smartphone for most people, but it didn’t exactly push the envelope over last year’s iPhone 5. The iPhone 5S looks and feels the same as the iPhone 5, but has a faster processor and a fingerprint sensor that lets you unlock the device without a passcode. 

Those are two nice features, but they’re not profoundly innovative.

#9 The BlackBerry Q10 is the best keyboard phone you can buy.

Steve Kovach/Business Insider

Some tech snoots might laugh when confronted with a keyboard-equipped phone, but there are still plenty of people who want one. BlackBerry is the best at making keyboard phones, and the one on the BlackBerry Q10 is its best yet. 

#8 The Sony Xperia Z won’t break if you drop it in the toilet.

The Sony Xperia Z Steve Kovach/Business Insider

For those of you prone to destroying your phones, the Xperia Z from Sony might be a good choice. It’s not shatterproof, but it can withstand being submerged in liquid for several minutes.

#7 The Nokia Lumia 1020 proved smartphone cameras can be amazing.


By most accounts, Nokia’s Lumia 1020 Windows Phone has the best camera of any smartphone. The only drawback is that the fancy camera adds a hefty bulge to the back of the phone, which could be annoying for some users.

#6 Samsung packed more features into the Galaxy S4 than you could possibly use.

Robert Libetti/ Business Insider

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 has so many features in it, you’ll probably never use them all. Critics blasted the phone for being too bloated with features, but it does have some useful tricks like a bunch of clever camera modes and the ability to keep the screen from switching off just by keeping your eyes on it.

#5 Samsung’s Galaxy Note III is the best phablet you can buy.


Samsung proved people love giant-screen phones with the original Galaxy Note smartphone, and its latest incarnation, the Galaxy Note III, is the best one you can buy.

#4 The Moto X lets you customize the look of your phone.

Steve Kovach/Business Insider

The Moto X is Motorola’s first flagship device since Motorola joined Google. The Moto X lets you design your device with a variety of colorful casings and trimmings. It also has a unique notifications feature that gives you a snapshot of unread texts, emails, tweets, etc. automatically when you pick up the phone.

#3 The LG G2 has the most gorgeous screen we’ve ever seen on a phone.

Kevin Smith/Business Insider

LG’s latest flagship phone, the G2, may have a weird design quirk with its power/volume buttons on the back, but it does have an incredible screen. The 5.2-inch display is the best we’ve ever seen on a phone, thanks in part to the super-narrow border around it. It feels like the screen is floating in your hand.

#2 Google’s Nexus 5 proved you can get an amazing device on the cheap.

Nexus 5

Google’s newest flagship phone, the Nexus 5, is an incredible bargain. You can buy it unlocked starting at just $349. That means it’ll work on many carriers just by popping in a SIM card. For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 5S costs about $300 more if you buy it unlocked. 

The Nexus 5 also runs the latest version of Android, called KitKat, and comes with a guarantee that you’ll get software updates directly from Google.

#1 The HTC One proved Android phones can be beautiful.

William Wei, Business Insider

Until the HTC One came along, most Android phones were just ugly hunks of cheap-feeling plastic. HTC changed that trend with its all-all metal design on the One. It’s also one of the best-looking phones we’ve ever seen.

Now check out some cool apps…

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

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