LG honored for its innovation, AT&T lauded as well

Mobile World Congress

We're all patiently awaiting HTC's March 25 events in London and New York, where it's all but official that we'll get a new version of one of our favorite smartphones of the past year. (We did get a smaller announcement this week, with the Desire 816.) But today, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, HTC's current (and very much still relevant) flagship is receiving a pretty major accolade by the GSMA, the group that puts on this little show that we call MWC.

The HTC One wins "Best Smartphone," breaking Samsung's two-year winning streak (for the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3).

For HTC and the smartphone industry, from the folks in the suits to the boots on the ground, this is a pretty big deal. 

We all have our favorites, of course. And while some of us here at Android Central were leaning in other directions toward the end of the year (hello, Moto), nobody — and I do mean nobody — would not recommend the HTC One. That's a pretty strong statement by us, and validated today by the GSMA, we believe.

And it's also worth another mention that the HTC One is one of the first carrier-branded phones (this really goes for us in the U.S.) to be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat. That's not a small thing, either.

Other winners of note:

AT&T and Filip Technologies Inc. for FiLIP, and AT&T for Digital Life

A wearable for children that gives them emergency contact capability and parents a little more piece of mind. We've got one in to review, by the way, which will happen once we're home from Spain. Here's a very short preview.

AT&T also was honored for best consumer mobile service with its Digital Life offerings, which tie your home into your smartphone.

LG, most innovative device manufacturer of the year

LG G2 buttons

LG moved the volume and power buttons to the back of the phone starting with the G2 and taught us all to knock-on to wake our devices — and it worked!

Not a bad showing at all from the Android manufacturers.

 

Reader comments

HTC One wins GSMA's top smartphone of the year at Mobile World Congress

102 Comments

The Note 3 was excluded from consideration due to being classed as a phablet. The One would have been decimated otherwise.

+6,+7,+8

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Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

I think its overall build quality, materials and design, dual speakers, innovative camera features, excellent screen and smoothness of OS really put this phone at the top of the heap. It's the only Android phone that can compete with Apple in terms of physical looks and feel imo.

I'm glad to see LG getting some industry love for Knock-On. I like that feature a lot, and I'd love to see something similar from other manufacturers.

I recently got the G2 and loving Knock-On. Though I am going to have a tough time using any other smartphone now that doesn't have the feature.

+1 I'm seriously considering the G2 PRO, when my next JUMP upgrade comes around.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Fair enough, brother. You're right.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Downgrade if you use the pen

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

I think the Knock on feature would nearly be enough for me make the jump to The GPro. But I'll probably get the HTC M8 when my Jump! Rolls around.

I miss double tap to wake from my L928

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Sent from inside a cave. Yes, T-Mobile covers caves. N5

I recently installed a new kernel on my HTC One and it's now got the "double tap anywhere on the screen to wake" and "swipe to sleep" functionality. I hated having to rely on the badly placed power button. It's like the perfect phone now, really.

That's what I'm talking about! All you have to do if you want knock on, is root and install a custom kernel on almost any flagship phone. You can have knock on, or sweep to wake if you want. Plus it works better than LG's knock on.

Posted via Android Central App

It's because the HTC One is probably one of the sexiest looking phone ever. Everyone screams they want aluminum or metal and not plastic and HTC delivered. Not the mention the Beats Sound doesn't hurt. I'm not really a fan of HTC but I still think they have beautiful looking phones. They did come out with the google play edition too.

Hoping HTC M8 will have a big improvement in battery size and camera hardware.
Either it or nexus for my next device.

Bye bye sammy. Been a good ride but everything comes to an end.

That last sentence: I'm not a regular buyer of Samsung's products, but, if the Note 4 doesn't impress me, then it's either HTC, LG, or the next Nexus as my next device.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Waiting for their announcement. I love my One But it's been beat to Hell and needs replacing :)

Posted via Android Central App

Congrats to HTC!!!

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Your mom. Lol sorry couldn't resist trading one negative stupid comment for another. ;).

Posted via Android Central App

Mercedes i am replying to your comment because of the app, sorry about that.

I love the look of the One, I hate the scratch and dent nature of the metal "premium" case. That being said, if the m8 is decent, I will buy it for the spare phone. I really want the camera to be good. If it is a minor upgrade from the horrible last version I guess I have to go g2

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You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

I don't like the look of the speakers, and I'm not a fan of silver. The red one is OK, but I prefer black for phones. So I'll agree with the stupid ugly comment.

BaAAH

Whatever! I had three of the one and every one of them had dead pixels. Just to be clear the dead pixels happened within 12 hrs of having the phone. I'm not saying I didn't like the design. But it is what it is.

HTC One > Z1 > G2 looks wise anyway
everything else factored in (specs, availability, looks, functions, etc)
G2 > Z1 > HTC one

The G2 is a beast!

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

I hate Sense UI
Hate no access to battery.
Hate the button layout.

But I Love build quality.
Love smart ideas (speakers)
Love functionality and fluidity.
Love when a company pays attention to me.

HTC deserved this. Congrats. Bring on the M8.

Posted from my Galaxy s4... sigh.

Posted via Android Central App

Even though lg got away from copying a couple things from Samsung. I have to admit, buttons on the back and treated with the knock on/code feature really made them stand out. Coupled with the first flexible smartphone.

posted from my VZW g2

Great choice. Well deserved. Just wish the buying public would look past all the Samsung stuff... The HTC One is such a different beast to the phone before it and that is why it's great, just sticking with the same looking design for Galaxy is boring. Will be interesting to see what comes our from HTC with the new one, next month.

Posted via Android Central App

If you're expecting a completely different design every generation, then you're going to be disappointed in the next HTC phone. The redesigns always come in baby steps or big leaps. They only change if there is a need to, as well they should.

But without Samsung's life-choking sales figures, HTC had no reason to push the design and the tech the way they did. Hopefully this pushes Samsung, though I suspect next year's models are already in development and changes based on the One's critical success are already there. A rising tide can float all boats. Eventually.

From the look of the leaks, it will look close to the same. All the manufacturers are falling in line with one design scheme. Apple, Sony, Samsung, LG appears to be doing the same. Let's just gave it, design updates are gonna be on a way longer time table than in the past.

BaAAH

LG's Knock On features wins over Moto's Active Display? AD is far more innovative and game changing than knock on. Why have to even knock when it can turn on automatically when you take it out of your pocket or just tilt it if it's already out.

I'm thinking they didn't consider the Moto X or its innovations because it's still, I believe, not available in Europe. I think it's only recently been made available in England but still not Europe.

This is well deserved in terms of build quality it's only matched by Apple thus far. They Brought something new and fresh with brilliant front facing speakers and something new with the UI.

I'm looking forward to the M8 to see what tweaks are in place.

Congrats to HTC :-)

Posted via Android Central App

I'd like to see HTC work with the carriers to have a large poster/placard/sign/trophy/banner etc... (you get the idea) touting this "win" in the stores. It certainly could help with shifting some momentum to HTC.

David

HTC built one of the most compelling devices in years. It's been a joy to carry this phone around. It totally restored my faith in Android devices. Nearly 11 months later and I still love this phone. Congratulations HTC on a much deserved win!

:: Posted via HTC One ::

I was a huge fan of Samsung but after the S4 and now the S5, I kinda hate Samsung for their lies about listening to customers, they've said this a lot but they are always lying, if they were really listening to what customers want then they would have made their phones with a new beautiful design with great build materials and would have included great speakers and so and so

But they've always lied and they're going to continue doing that unless they get a hard hit and then be a respectful company

Look at HTC they've listened to what customers really want and they've won the phone off the year prize

Posted via Android Central App

As well as the customers' annoyance at having an OS/pre-installed apps footmap of over half the phone's built in memory...

Yeah, I don't think they (Samsung) are listening to that complaint/desire either. Just sayin'...

Posted via Android Central App

and they still can't make any profits... obviously there's something wrong with that company. They don't have name recognition, they can't make it just making beautiful phones. Everything else they seem clueless

The One gets my vote, as well. I think it's a gorgeous device, and I haven't had any issues with it. Great job, HTC.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming flagship.

While its the best built phone of 2013, I have owned 3 htc one's and hated every single one of them because of Sense and the lack of a 3rd/menu button. Very poor decision. I could get over Sense by slapping cm11 on it but the lack of a button was terrible decision, also I don't know if its just me but the HTC One has way to much bezel. I used to love HTC but not a fan anymore and just so you don't start flaming, Samsung can fck themselfs with this garbage Apple upgrade with the GS5.

But, would you agree that LG popularized it?

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

So proud of my phone. She surprises me all the time. Simple. Clean. Smart. Perfect.

Posted via Android Central App

This is the best phone I've ever used. Sense is great, and that's coming from an AOSP fanboy. The build quality is outstanding. The dual front speakers are incredible. Yes, the camera is wonky, but it was a gamble. I recommend this phone to everyone.

Great job, HTC.

Posted via Android Central App

HTC got the prize and Samsung got the profits...I think HTC would rather have the profits because we all know they need it. Congrats anyway on your win HTC.

From my Note 2 to you

I love this thing. I am waiting on the new One! Then I'll have two Ones. They'll make me an 11…! Haha. Seriously though.

Posted via My Smartphone of the year HTC One GPe

Congrats HTC!

Fantastic build quality, awesome speakers, and great device support from a company widely criticized for that. I personally run CM11 on mine, but Sense is a great OEM skin. Good looking and very well optimized, compared to others like TouchWiz.

Shame having all the awards did not help them sell more phones than the Samsung phones.

Posted via Android Central App on my HTC One running CM11.

I agree with it being the phone of the year..
I don't know if I will grab the M8 though HTC doesn't sync as easy as Samsung or Apple to certain devices like a beats speaker or Xbox streaming video. I can get these things to work it's just a headache or I get many error msgs. Also I need more memory. I use a cloud but I don't want to stream all day.. so getting the 64g M8 device on more carriers is a must..
But again I personally agree it's the phone of the year 2013

Posted via Android Central App

Great awards ... Unfortunately they will have next to no impact on either companies sales because no one outside of industry insiders and the tech enthusiasts who read sites knows about them and we already know how great they are.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

People know about HTC ...EVO , Incredible, and many others ... HTC had the main stream spotlight ... They 1 didn't hit their peak at a time like now when it was completely smart domination and 2 they could not keep up with the marketing and innovation of Samsung and Apple. Now that they have a great phone people just aren't willing to trust them they're going to have to earn that back.. they got me for a year ..

Posted via Android Central App

Congrats HTC. I had to think long and hard about getting another HTC device after what they did with the Desire HD/Inspire 4G. They promised us Ice Cream Sandwich and then reneged when the due date came around. Went to a Play Store Gnex for a year+ but fell in love with the HTC One after playing with it at Wal Mart and got it. Best device I have owned to date.

Love my HTC One.

Also Digital Life is friggin sweet man. Glad to see such an awesome service get some recognition from the geek community. :)

Congrats HTC! Loving my One and even after a year there is no phone sexier than it. Plus it's a smooth beast, no complaints with it.

Posted via Android Central App

HTC wins device of the year and LG is most innovative. What does that say about Samsung? It seems that the S4 was a bit of a dud.

On another note great job HTC! The One is a great phone!

Posted via Android Central App

Very nice for htc, I dig my ONE.
My only issue..... Well more of a wish/preference..... Super AMOLED :-)

Posted via Android Central App

Congrats HTC, I chose this phone for my first experience into android and I am so happy I did.. HTC One is highly recommended..

Posted via Android Central App

I was a Galaxy Nexus owner prior to buying my HTC One. I was very skeptical of HTC because I always thought they made crappy phones and they had the nerve to lock the bootloader. Well, I bought one, I enjoyed it will locked. I enjoy it even better now that I have unlocked it. I even have doubletaptowake working on my HTC one. Its the best build of an android I have ever had as far as hardware. Believe or not, I even like Sense.

This should come as no suprise to HYC One owners. It is a flawlessly beautiful phone and the spell-touch is simply amazing.

Posted via Android Central App

I just recommended and my husband bought the HTC One last weekend. Now I have phone envy even though my Galaxy S3 is very nice.