Sony has been a bit of a quieter player in this year’s smartphone arena, releasing just two devices this year. The first flagship model, the Sony Xperia Z, offers a premium-built, smart-looking mobile phone, with a crystal-clear 5-inch screen and tempered glass body.
With one of the world’s first 13 megapixel cameras, the Xperia Z upped the ante, forcing other manufacturers to follow suit.
What’s more, Sony has ensured that the Xperia Z flagship is a symbol of quality and durability, which is why the model is both dust and waterproof, meaning those accidental spills and drops won’t mean saying goodbye to your phone.
I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little more than sceptical about the Samsung Galaxy Mega, mainly due to its bordering on ridiculous dimensions. With a 6.3-inch screen, the Mega (cleverly named by Samsung…) is one of the largest phablets on the market. In fact, it only just fits into the phablet category, with the typical tablet measuring in at just 0.7-inches larger.
That said, I really enjoyed using the Galaxy Mega, and the huge screen did make it really easy to use the phone for business- most widgets can be displayed in full on a home screen, eliminating the need to manually launch apps to access, say, your calendar, or calculator.
And for a mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy Mega didn’t have too bad a set of specs, either. With an 8MP camera and dual-core 1.7GHz processor, it’s in many ways a budget version of the Note 3.
BlackBerry has come under fire lately after it was announced that the Canadian company is considering putting itself up for sale, cutting thousands of jobs in the process. However, although the BB10 platform evidentially failed to have the impact that BlackBerry needed, the devices launched this year aren’t entirely disappointing.
The BlackBerry Q10 embodies all that is good about BlackBerry: the BB10 OS and the physical QWERTY keyboard that we all know and love from BlackBerry.
The new operating system has revolutionised the way that BlackBerry users navigate around their phones; removing the permanent control buttons means that users can seamlessly glide through apps, opening and exiting programs with a swipe of the finger.
In at number 9 is the iPhone 5c. As mentioned above, 2013 is the first year that Apple has ever released two smartphones in the same year, which makes it one exciting time for Apple fans all over the world.
The iPhone 5c is a slightly cheaper (though not as cheap as originally anticipated) version of the iPhone available in 5 fun and vibrant colours, including pink, blue, green, white and yellow.
The device is in many ways just like the iPhone 5 but with a colourful plastic body in place of the premium aluminium casing donned by every other iPhone.
And with iOS 7 preloaded onto the device, the iPhone 5c truly marks a break from Apple’s corporate, serious-looking user interface, providing more choice for Apple users.
Why not take a look at our best iPhone deals, with contracts for the iPhone 5c starting from just £33/month.
Last but not least is the Sony Xperia Z1, Sony’s latest flagship model to follow on from the Xperia Z. Launched at a jam-packed press event at IFA last month, the Xperia Z1 looks set to become one of the most impressive, high quality smartphones this year.
The Xperia Z1 looks in many ways like the current Xperia Z; it features a 5-inch screen, water and dustproof capabilities, and a whopping 20 megapixel camera.
Sony is really bringing out all the tricks in its book with the Xperia Z1, and its camera is no exception. Not only does it pack in 20 megapixels, but the device also allows users to add fun animations onto their photos, alongside enacting the Timeshift Burst features, which takes 61 shots in 2 seconds. If that’s not enough, you can also attach Sony’s Q10 and Q100 lenses to your smartphone using a bracket, transforming your device into an even more impressive camera.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel