3. Sony Xperia Z
Sony's new handset is most definitely the most impressive the firm has launched either in its current guise or as Sony Ericsson. The latest handset should always be the best, obviously, but the Xperia Z is a real, real step forward.
You can see the Sony influence throughout the handset as it oozes quality and build from the large screen, which fits close to the edges of the bezel, to the intelligent camera that allows you to snap some really premium photos without needing to fiddle about with the settings.
And it's water and dust resistant too, which makes it excellent for general life business. There's a certain freedom that comes from knowing that the heart-stopping moment of your phone falling in a pint of beer is gone for good.
It's also packing a microSD card slot in an impossibly thin chassis, for which we laud the phone even higher. Add to that the Bravia Engine 2, which can upscale standard definition movies and bring your content to life, and you've got a real matchwinning phone in your hands.
There will be an outcry from many that wonder how it's managed to climb above the iPhone - we deliberated for a long time between the two, but the fact is that spec for spec, the Xperia Z beats the iPhone 5 down.
It's not all about the numbers though, which is why the fact the Xperia Z uses those specs so well - a crisper video experience, a more powerful camera, being waterproof, expandable memory - gives it the boost it needed to enter the top three.
While it doesn't quite pack the clout of the phones from HTC and Samsung, the Xperia Z is a phone that says Sony is definitely back at the sharp end of the smartphone game.
There's still (a small amount of) room for improvement, as the screen can look a bit washed out from some angles, but there's no doubt that if Sony keeps us this pace it will be vying for the top spot in no time at all - we just don't know what Sony will call it.