5. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Samsung took screen size to a ridiculous new level with the Galaxy Note, offering us a huge 5.3-inch display that's by far the largest of any smartphone out there today.
Now that trick has been taken to the next level, by offering a 5.5-inch screen within the same footprint. The S Pen Stylus has been updated to include more than 1,000 pressure sensitivity levels, and the screen resolution is impressively boosted, too.
As with many of Samsung's Android phones, the Note II is a solid performer, and also came complete with Android Jelly Bean out of the box, along with updates to the Touchwiz overlay.
The Super AMOLED HD Plus resolution, combined with a more intuitive S Pen and greater range of software, shows we writers don't always know what we're talking about: Samsung has made a success of a category most of us had written off.
A great phone, as long as you're not easily embarrassed by whipping out something so comically huge in public. The power and customization may be too much for some, but for others this is the hypercharged handset they'll want to try.
4. Google Nexus 4
Google and LG have worked together to bring to market a fantastic offering, one that even Apple fans can't help but coo over when they hear the price.
The fact of the matter is that this is a handset with world class specs – yet it's at a cost you'd expect to get a budget phone for. Sure, there are a few things that could have been done better, but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.
The Nexus 4 is beautifully designed with a stunning display and rocking the latest version of Android. It has more connectivity than a telephone exchange and even excels in the simple matter of making calls.
We're not fans of the lower memory allowance, and it's not got the best screen on the market, and there will be a few that see stock Android 4.2 as too stripped-down to consider it a valid phone OS choice, but that doesn't mean it's not a fantastic handset - it would have competed even without the insanely low price tag.
Make no mistake – this is the best Nexus handset so far by a long shot. We love it and can't recommend it highly enough.
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.
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, plus it's 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.
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.
2. Samsung Galaxy S4
Hold the phone, what's happen here? Samsung may have been top dog in 2012, but this year the sultry stylings of the HTC One have proven too strong against a phone that's a slightly-better-version of its predecessor.
Ok so it's only really looks that the S4 is too similar, and sadly that was one of the biggest issues most users had with the S3. It's not the biggest smartphone crime, but that coupled with some other minor niggles means it misses out on being number one.
There's a lot to love with the Samsung Galaxy S4 with its super sharp screen, powerful camera, long-lasting battery and fluid user interface - it's got everything you could ever want in a smartphone.
It may be a little more costly than some of its direct rivals, but thankfully it's still cheaper than the iPhone. If only it was made out of something a little more premium...
There's no doubt that this is one of the best smartphone ever made - it's clear, powerful and does everything we'd expect a flagship Samsung mobile to do.
It's just a shame that the perceived 'innovation' doesn't really add anything, but make no mistake you'll love the Samsung Galaxy S4 if you decide to plump for it.
1. HTC One
Well, here's something of a shock if you're a Samsung fan – after nearly two years of dominance, the Korean brand has fallen from the top spot.
It's nothing to do with the quality of the S4 – it's still an outstanding phone – but more the fact HTC has managed to bring out a smartphone that's worthy of any user's consideration with a supreme aluminium chassis, Full HD screen and simplified version of Sense 5.0 sitting on top of Android Jelly Bean.
The new innovations are also pleasingly more than just marketing gimmicks; Zoe functionality allows the creation of delightful video highlight reels, and the Ultrapixel camera means you've got a much wider range of shots available thanks to being stunning in low light.
The only reason this isn't a five star phone is the slightly off-key battery, which can leak juice if you're power-creating videos or watching reams of video, but for day to day use it will be acceptable for most.
With power, poise and beauty all combined in this innovative phone, HTC has proved it can more than still cut it with the big boys when it comes to bringing out a lust-worthy flagship smartphone.