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Top Flagship Phones of 2013 Reviewed Here

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
So I have recently had the pleasure of playing with all the top Verizon phones recently. I bought one played with it for about a week, than returned it for a different one. Both from apple and android. I figured I would collect my thoughts and impressions here as a benefit to anyone looking to purchase a phone. These phones where the top phones for Verizon but a lot are on other carriers as well. The only top tier phone not reviewed is the LG G2. Apologies will hopefully be able to add that down the line.

**Disclaimer I have been known to have a "biased" opinion towards apple. I disagree, but felt like I needed to disclose.\

HTC One:



Pros-
The phone carries great specs with a quad core CPU, and adreno 320 GPU. Play all the games on its 1080P screen perfectly. Has no issues in the performance department. It has dual front facing speakers that sounded absolutely amazing. Blew every other phone away in sound quality. The phone has a premium feel with an aluminum unibody. and front gorilla glass. If you tend to lean towards media such as youtube and music this phone is perfect for you. IR blaster, amazing thing to have on a phone as it becomes a remote to your TV. or any other device that needs a remote, even your DSLR cameras.

Cons-
Does not have a micro SD slot. One of the main attractions to android is removable storage so this was a major drag to me. Also no removable battery. Since the newest update battery life has become better, but is still no contender for devices like the droid Maxx or note 3 in term's of battery. Lastly HTC blink feed is not removable from the stock OS. This is kind of a bummer, as it takes away a bit of customizability.


iPhone 5s:



Pros-
Build quality that is second to none, with an aluminum body, gorilla glass 3, this phone is great in the hand. Fingerprint sensor is so tastefully ingrained into the phone without becoming gimmicky. Has a 64bit CPU that sets the standard for future phones. Only a dual core, but keeps up with the mighty note 3's quad core monster. Streamlined OS that gets you to what needs to be done fast. First phone with multi-path TCP. This allows the phone to switch between data connection's such as 4G and or wifi seamlessly with no interruption. The app market tends to get exclusives first before a lot of android apps. This can be a pro to the apple user but a con to the community as a whole. Instant updates, as soon as a new version of the OS becomes available, you don't have to wait for your carrier to approve. Apple also tends to have support for your device for years to come, unlike most android phones that stop seeing support after a year or two tops. Accessories ecosystem is a lot bigger than most android phones.

Cons-
4inch screen.....In todays market having a small screen or at least lack of an option to choose seems a bit dumb. Non removable battery, no SD slot for expanding the storage. iOS 7 is great but seems to ad a bit of buggy-ness. Multiple times on my 5s and my 5, and also my wifes 5, we have had lag and some crashes. Not often but enough to note here. No customization to speak of, set a wallpaper and that's about it. This is more subjective I suppose but still a Con to most people.


Droid Maxx:



Pros-
THE MASSIVE BATTERY!!!!! I cannot overstate that enough. the 3500mah battery gets me to the end of my day with 60% still left on my phone and im a huge power user. Active notification's, a notification lightly glows in the center of the screen, and only when you press on the icon does it reveal more info. Owned by Google, this is a good thing as it has the closest to stock android on the market other than the nexus. Has Kevlar back that protects against dings, and scratches, and is coated with soft touch to resist finger prints, and does its job well. The phone is also water resistant, so if you are in the rain you don't have to worry as much. Moto assist, is a feature that reads your texts to you if it detects that you are driving, and is really handy. Also has hands free Google now, a feature to give commands to your phone from across the room. Twist or flick your wrist to activate the camera, comes in handy for those quick moments you want to capture. This phone is simple, yet sophisticated and is one of my top favorite phones.

Cons-
Again no removable battery or expandable memory. This is a disturbing new trend in android IMO. Although the 3500mah battery should do just fine. The specs are mediocre at best. Only has a dual core (Modified quad, one core for voice, and another for touch I believe, the other two left are for general use) but still technically a dual core. The big 5inch screen only has 720p, a bit of a drag considering most 5inch phones are 1080p. The price is up there in the realm of note 3, and other heavy hitters, yet the specs just don't back it up. high end price for a mid spec'd phone.


Galaxy Note 3:



Pros-
Where to begin....Seriously this phone packs a impressive resume. 5.7 inch super AMOLED 1080p screen, S-pen stylus with its own set of features, removable back to replace battery, or expand storage memory. A ton of features like airswipe, smartstay, and other hands free gestures that make you feel like you have a futuristic phone. a 3200 mah battery, 2.3Ghz quad core CPU (4G version) and a adreno 330 GPU. Wi-Fi direct, 3GB of ram, fastest wifi I have used on a phone yet, Dual windows for extreme multi tasking, a new faux leather back that feels like a massive step up from the typical Samsung plastic.BIG but still fits in your pockets. Increased screen size from its predecessor yet maintains same dimensions. Feels a lot more high end, although a bit plasticy still. I could go on and on about the pros and features in this phone but that's another thread.

Cons-
For its price Samsung could have done more to the feel of the phone IMO. a 650 dollar HTC One or Iphone 5 feels better in the hand than a 700-800 dollar stock note 3. A bit subjective I know. In drop tests this phone has proven to be fragile in comparison to other flagships. Meaning if your the clumsy type a case is needed which in turn makes the phone even bigger. mad.gif
Touchwiz again screams problems and lag when its sloppily thrown ontop of android. An OS within an OS......I really wish Samsung would just stop. That being said this phone has enough brute force to power through it. Never notice to much lag on this phone.(Touchwizz does have cool features but more bad than good IMO) Can be a bit bulky but once you get use to it you don't even notice. Not much cons as there is not much downsides to this phone


Ok so now that you have a rough opinion on each phone I will give my opinion from best to worst.
1 Galaxy Note 3 - takes the crown easily with its arsenal of features and customizations.

2. Droid Maxx - With its built for the long haul approach and android simplicity, you simply cannot go wrong.

3. iPhone 5s - Sleek, simple, and screams high end, I wouldn't mind using this phone for years to come.

4. HTC One - Great speakers and build quality but too lacking in battery performance at time of review and blink feed is intrusive.


These opinions are really subjective, and will change from user to user. These are my rankings for the top new phones I have tested. Obviously a missed some (G2 and S4) but ran out of returns. I deal with phones on a daily and next time I buy an S4 or G2 will add it to these impressions. If I missed something feel free to let me know so I can add or change the OP. Hope this has helped some of you decide on a phone.

I was a very happy apple user and coming back to android after some years I was really impressed with how android has grown. I have noticed slight lag on some devices, but nothing to write home about. Gone are the days of old, and a new welcomed experience I am pleased to have. I am now running with the Note 3 as my daily driver, as it suits my needs. This says a lot of how great the note is that it made me a convert. thumb.gif
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post #2 of 4
No S4 review?!
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 3570k 4.5GHz @1.272v MSI Z77A-GD55 EVGA GTX780Ti ACX 8GB Corsair Vengance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
64GB Crucial M4 x2 RAID0 500GB Seagate Barracuda 2TB Samsung Spinpoint EK Supremacy Plexi CSQ CPU Block 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK FC-670GTX Plexi CSQ GPU Block x2 EK XT240 EK X3 250 Res Laing D5 Vario 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
EK D5 Pump Top Plexi Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 24" BenQ XL2420T CM Quickfire TK MX Browns 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic G Series 600W CM storm trooper Saitek R.A.T 5 Razer Goliathus Control Edition 
AudioAudioOther
Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Schiit Modi/Magni Razer Naga Molten Edition 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i5 3317U 640M 4GB DDR3 128gb crucial m4 
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Windows 8 Pro 64bit Razer Naga Molten 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magical Eskimo View Post

No S4 review?!

Its coming be patient. wont take me but a week to get an s4, G2 and Z1 will take a bit longer. thumb.gif
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post #4 of 4
awesome. Will you do a Nexus 5 review when it comes out? My contract ends in december and I wanna ditch the iphone 4s, so it's either gonna be an S4 or the Nexus 5, if the price is right for the Nexus 5 I'll definitely get that because I can get an amazing sim only contract from virgin, £15 a month, unlimited texts, calls and data.
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 3570k 4.5GHz @1.272v MSI Z77A-GD55 EVGA GTX780Ti ACX 8GB Corsair Vengance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
64GB Crucial M4 x2 RAID0 500GB Seagate Barracuda 2TB Samsung Spinpoint EK Supremacy Plexi CSQ CPU Block 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK FC-670GTX Plexi CSQ GPU Block x2 EK XT240 EK X3 250 Res Laing D5 Vario 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
EK D5 Pump Top Plexi Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 24" BenQ XL2420T CM Quickfire TK MX Browns 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic G Series 600W CM storm trooper Saitek R.A.T 5 Razer Goliathus Control Edition 
AudioAudioOther
Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Schiit Modi/Magni Razer Naga Molten Edition 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i5 3317U 640M 4GB DDR3 128gb crucial m4 
OSMouse
Windows 8 Pro 64bit Razer Naga Molten 
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Reply
STORMTIDE
(23 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 3570k 4.5GHz @1.272v MSI Z77A-GD55 EVGA GTX780Ti ACX 8GB Corsair Vengance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
64GB Crucial M4 x2 RAID0 500GB Seagate Barracuda 2TB Samsung Spinpoint EK Supremacy Plexi CSQ CPU Block 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK FC-670GTX Plexi CSQ GPU Block x2 EK XT240 EK X3 250 Res Laing D5 Vario 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
EK D5 Pump Top Plexi Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 24" BenQ XL2420T CM Quickfire TK MX Browns 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Seasonic G Series 600W CM storm trooper Saitek R.A.T 5 Razer Goliathus Control Edition 
AudioAudioOther
Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro Schiit Modi/Magni Razer Naga Molten Edition 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i5 3317U 640M 4GB DDR3 128gb crucial m4 
OSMouse
Windows 8 Pro 64bit Razer Naga Molten 
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