[Ask The Readers] iPhone 5s vs. 5c vs. HTC One vs. Galaxy S4 vs. Note 3: Which Smartphone Are You Getting?

These past two months have been really heavy on new smartphone announcements. Two days ago, Apple announced the iPhone 5s and 5c; the previous week at IFA, we saw the Galaxy Note 3 and Xperia Z1. Other, smaller manufacturers – LG, Acer and Xiomi - have been introducing their own flagship phones as well. With all these announcements, a good fraction of smartphone owners have made their mind to upgrade their devices to the latest and greatest. We are here to discuss with you which is your next smartphone, and why.

iPhone-5s-vs-5c-vs-HTC-One-vs-SGS4-vs-Note-3

I really have no strict “X platform only, forever and ever” policy like some people do; I don’t mind shifting to a different platform if it offers better features. It is just that for the year 2011, and now 2013, I believe iOS is ahead of Android in two key areas: a higher-quality apps and media ecosystem, and absolutely stellar hardware. Despite Eric Schmidt’s old claim of developers going Android-first, the majority of high-quality apps still come to iOS first. Good recent examples include VSCOcam, Mailbox, and Yahoo! Weather.

iPhone 5s is the biggest “S” iPhone leap so far. Besides the standard 2x bump in general performance, it comes with a ‘motion co-processor’ that will give birth to a whole new genre of exciting health and fitness tracking apps, a significantly improved camera system, and a fingerprint scanner embedded right into the home button. Its camera alone makes it a worthy upgrade from my currently-owned iPhone 4s.

The only other phone that seems close to it in image quality is the Sony Xperia Z1. From the outset, it may appear as if Sony is still waging the megapixel war, but they mentioned repeatedly in their keynote announcement that the phone is using hardware tech taken straight from their Cybershot division.


Then there’s the LG G2, which definitely ranks among the latest flagships based on its killer specs, especially given the success of Nexus 4 that has had a positive effect on how LG devices are perceived by the masses now, along with the likelihood of the upcoming Nexus 5 being a variant of the G2. Though LG’s software customization of Android that the device will ship with is dismal, to say the least, and the hardware design seems to be nowhere close to what we saw in case of the Nexus 4.

I will wait for the final reviews on iPhone 5s and Xperia Z1 before I make my absolute final decision. The rest of the crop has deal-breaking features that just don’t click with me anymore: the HTC One’s camera is mediocre; the TouchWiz customization in Galaxy S4 is just repulsive; the Galaxy Note 3 just might be a little too big, and the iPhone 5c is just a recycled iPhone 5, essentially.

That’s it for me. Now it is your turn. If you are upgrading your phone soon, which one are you going for, and why?

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  • http://thaswapfiles.com/ Faisal B. Ahmed

    Lumia 1020. Kinda unfair you didn’t include a Windows phone

    • bobby6155

      same here, why isn’t Windows phone on this list?

  • Raheem

    Ain’t nobody got time for a colorful iPhone.

  • Lee

    Got the HTC and S4 cameras the wrong way around

    • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Sameed Khan

      Thanks, Lee. Someone else pointed the mistake out on Facebook too. It’s fixed now. Added more colors for the HTC One too.

  • Nathan

    I’ll wait for the Nexus 5, thx

  • Dan

    If I were upgrading right now, it would be the Note 3. But I’m waiting for the new Sony Z-series phone.

  • ElectromagneticMelaniePulse

    Possibly the Nexus 5 if it’s another low cost / low profit margin like the Nexus 4. Here’s hoping…

  • ShahrezRafiq

    Camera specifications of HTC One and GS4 are other way around.
    Plus HTC One technically has, an UltraPixel camera, calling it a 4MP just doesn’t do it justice.

    • http://www.addictivetips.com/ Sameed Khan

      Fixed. Thanks!

  • http://kawangeek.com/ EddyGeek

    Lol, why the awesome Xperia Z Ultra not included?

  • Chaz

    I’m offended; you didn’t even include the best phones in your poll: BlackBerry 10 phones! Sure, call them “dead” or that “BlackBerry doesn’t have a mature ecosystem”, but the fact remains that 95% of Android phones will run on BB10–it’s just a matter of side-loading them, which is simple.

    Once you actually USE a BB10 phone you’ll see how good they are. They have quite a selection too: the Q10 with a physical keyboard, the all-touch Z10, the lower-cost keyboard Q5, and coming in the next few days, the 5″ all-touch screen Z30.

    And how come AddictiveTips doesn’t include BB10 applications in its reviews? Bias? You include the #4 platform (WP) but not #3 (BB). I’d better see BlackBerry Messenger reviewed on this site when it goes multi-platform in the coming days/week (right now Apple is holding the release date back by slowing it’s application review process). It will be free and released on Android and Apple phones simultaneously, with WP probably coming in a few months.

    #IChooseBlackBerry10

  • ericflores

    Nexus 5 (or whatever is the name). If you cannot wait, then the Moto X is the closest that you can get on a contract phone. You forgot that one.

  • danix180

    Nexus 5

  • Average_geek

    I will wait for the Nexus 5 release and/or Xperia f at 4.3 inch. I am on an HTC 4.7 inch screen, which is too big already.