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Gear of the year: TechRadar's top tech from 2013

gear of the year
TechRadar's favourite products of 2013

That's it, folks. It's all gone. The tech year of 2013 is over and we now look ahead to 2014.

It's been an astonishing year in the world of consumer tech.

Smartphones have moved forward another step as specs iterate and more importantly, build quality has become a headline factor. Our best in class phone - the HTC One - is the best example of this. It was the first Android handset to really match Apple on build quality and it still sits at the top of our best phone rankings.

Ultrabooks have gone touchscreen in the last 12 months, with some truly stunning products from the likes of Asus, Samsung and Lenovo. Cameras are getting smarter, sat navs are getting bigger and let's not forget we have two next gen consoles on our hands now as well.

Join us as we run down our list of all the best in class products from the last 12 months.



best in class

Best in class: Smartphone
Released: March 2013

Top of the list has to be the HTC One - the best phone of the year without a doubt. It's got the wow-factor that made us fall in love with the HTC Desire, and manages to bring Sense back to a level that shows off the best of Android, rather than obfuscating it. There are those who pine for stock Android Jelly Bean, but earlier Android updates aside, we happen to think that Sense is better.

The camera is a great addition for on the spot shooting - if you want to take the photos and blow them up somewhere, it's not the phone for you, but if you want to be able to snap your friends in pubs without it being a blurry, dark mess, the HTC One comes into its own.

The Galaxy S4 is sleeker, the iPhone 5 is, well, Apple-ier, and the Nexus 5 is cheaper. But for the overall package of smartphone design and functionality, the HTC One stands head and shoulders above the rest.
HTC One review

Moto G

Moto G

best in class

Best in class: Budget smartphone
Released: November 2013

Yes, it's a Motorola phone in our best in class list! The Motorola brand is back folks, it's official. It may not be the return we would have predicted - there's no flagship phone stuffed full of the latest tech - but arguably what the now Google-owned firm has done is even better.

The Moto G is a top notch, low cost smartphone and we wholeheartedly recommend this as the best budget mobile currently on the market.

We were genuinely impressed with the feature set on the Moto G, so if you're looking for a low cost phone you can stop searching - just go out and grab a Moto G right now. Moto G review

iPad Air

iPad Air

best in class

Best in class: Tablet
Released: November 2013

Our best tablet was a no-contest. It's the iPad Air. From the clever construction to the fast processor to the improved user interface, Apple has found an answer to every criticism we had of the device and then some.

The fact it's not even more expensive than its large-screen brethren is really impressive for an Apple product, and the suite of apps that are now free, coupled with the excellent App Store and premium build, make this a no brainer for anyone looking to enter the tablet market.

We'd advise that you get the largest capacity your budget can manage - although at the top end you're verging on Macbook territory, so make sure you're ready to use a tablet and think about getting an external keyboard to make full use of the extra apps you've now got.

You've seen the score, and for those keeping tabs you'll realise this is TechRadar's first five-star tablet. It's a device with almost no flaws - it's not just Apple's best tablet, it's the only tablet you should be considering this Christmas if you're keen on a larger screen. iPad Air review

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future.