Samsung Galaxy S4

5. Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung managed to hold off HTC at the top in 2012, but in 2013 the supreme stylings of the HTC One proved too strong against a phone that's a slightly-better-version of its predecessor, especially when you consider the design.

There's a lot, a lot, to love with the Samsung Galaxy S4 though: whether it's a powerful camera, a brilliant screen, a long-lasting battery or just a fluid experience, there's a lot you could want in a smartphone right here.

The cost is a tad higher than on other smartphones, but still cheaper than iPhone level and is descending as the S5 appears. If only it was made out of something a little more premium...

LG, Sony and Google have come out with some attractive propositions and overtaken the best the South Koreans can manage, but that hasn't stopped this being one of the most popular phones of 2013 and the price is ever lower.

Verdict

There's no doubt that, despite the design criticism, this is one of the best smartphones ever made - it's clear, powerful and does everything we'd expect a flagship phone from Samsung to do.

It's just a shame that the perceived 'innovation' doesn't really add anything: motion gestures, smart scroll and it's other non-contact bedfellows didn't take smartphones to the next level, which is what we needed in the face of Ultrapixels and BoomSound.

Make no mistake though: you'll love the Samsung Galaxy S4 if you choose to go for it, as it's a decent phone with some really cutting-edge features - but remember there's something better thanks to the Galaxy S5.