Best Android Phones for 2013
Updated: Our pick of the best Android phones has grown to accomadate more handsets
With so many Android devices on the market today, business users face a difficult choice when it comes to picking out their next smartphone.
So, if you’re looking for inspiration about what Android phone to get next, check out our top ten list of business-focused Android phones for a few pointers.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is a phone and tablet hybrid – or ‘phablet’ - which packs a large display into a slim-form factor, making it ideal for those who’re constantly working on the go. Launched at the IFA tech show in Berlin last month, it packs 4G capabilities, a high-end Snapdragon processor and a mammoth 5.7in HD display, which is ideal for viewing emails and documents (not forgetting the odd movie on your commute).
The stylus is a welcome accessory as it makes jotting down notes and scrawling through long documents and web pages hassle-free.
Sony Xperia Z
Much has been made of Sony’s declarations about the Xperia Z being water and dust resistant, but - given how fragile most smartphones seem to be - the robustness of this device makes it a standout device for us.
It’s Near-Field Communications (NFC) capabilities are worth taking note of as well, as they will allow business users to send photos, videos, contact information and other content to compatible devices.
The Xperia Z’s Link software also uses the NFC setting to provide tethered web access to other Xperia tablets and smartphones, while its Bluetooth connectivity offers similar functionality with a wider range of branded devices.
- Read our full Sony Xperia Z review
Samsung Galaxy S4
The latest addition to the all-conquering Samsung Galaxy family has been lauded by tech reviewers, with the refreshed design, improved battery life and new features - including Smart Stay and Scroll - leading many to crown it a worthy successor to the S3.
On top of this, business users will soon be able to take advantage of Samsung’s Knox software, which will provide them with separate, secure workspaces on the device for work and personal apps and data.
The software is reportedly compatible with widely used MDM, VPN and directory services, and is being hailed as an answer to the prayers of IT departments that are trying to embrace the BYOD trend in a secure way.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy S4 review
HTC One Max
When the HTC One was unveiled earlier this year, reviewers fell in love with its premium-looking form factor - made from a single piece of aluminum. This not only gives the device a sleek look but also makes it feel robust. It’s no wonder why HTC decided not to mess with this winning formula when designing the HTC One Max, which has the same aluminum unibody as the One, but with a few extras: most noticeably, a giant 5.9in screen.
For those who store sensitive information on their smartphones, the One Max is ideal as it contains a finger print scanner which is locked to a single user – so if it ever goes missing, you’ll find comfort in the fact that only you can open it.
The HTC One’s BlinkFeed feature has nearly as many detractors as it does fans, with some complaining its constant updates are a distraction and a zap on the device’s battery life.
However, for time-poor business users that prefer an at-a-glance update on what’s happening in the news, in their social networks and when their next appointment is, we think it’s a neat little feature.
- Read our full HTC One review
Google Nexus 4
With a SIM-free starting price of £239, the Google Nexus 4 was hailed as one of the cheapest quad core phones on the market when it made its debut in November 2012.
That, coupled with its impressive 4.7in, 720p display, will undoubtedly have made it a popular choice with cash-conscious business users, as the screen makes for a pleasing web browsing experience. It also makes responding to emails and checking through documents light work too.
The device also supports most major cloud storage brands, including Google Drive, SkyDrive, Box and DropBox, which also makes sharing and editing documents on the move easier.
Nexus branded devices usually receive Google’s operating system updates ahead of other Android phones, which gives it another tick in the box, as far as we’re concerned.
- Read our full Nexus 4 review