Best of 2013

The cream of the crop in the Android world, chosen by you

As the year starts to wind down, we take some time to make up a list of the "Best of 2013" in the Android world. We've taken the approach of using surveys to ask you, our members, to narrow down the potential winners over a few rounds. Phones, tablets, apps, accessories and more — if it has to do with Android, you can vote on it in our awards survey.

If you're in the mood for helping pick the Best of 2013, grab your favorite device, hit the link below and take a few minutes to give your feedback. The voting will stay open until Friday, December 27th. We'll of course be sharing the definitive list of winners, and you'll be able to see that on Monday, December 30th.

Take the Best of 2013 Awards Survey


Reader comments

Vote now for the Android Central Best of 2013 Awards


Very limited suggestions IMO. Should have expanded more with state your own suggestions etc

Posted via Android Central App

IMO someone needs to pay attention to what's happening on the site instead of being out to sea so much.

Yeah... they already had a survey with user suggestions. This survey is about the most popular suggestions.

There were FAR more options in the earlier rounds of surveys, of which the low performers were dropped from the lists. This is the list of finalists. It happens :-/ .

I got to agree....... ( But I was thinking the sports category might have wanted a more broader range of sports, not just baseball. & TuneIn Radio are also good ones!

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

why is the galaxy note 3 listed both as "over-sized smartphone" and a "smartphone"? Why is the Moto G listed when it wasn't even out when readers where asked to submit their choices? Dead Trigger 2 is not a RPG game (and it is listed in two categories). and if i were the president of crescent moon games or ubisoft and saw that "bards tale" made the cut with its 1980s graphics whilst aralon, ravensword and assassins creed pirates did not i'd be banging my head hard against the wall right about now.

Its all user based submissions...not enough picked those that you'd bang your head against the wall for and more picked the note 3 and dead trigger for each of those categories.

And how is dead trigger not a role playing game?

Posted via Android Central App

The two are not always mutually exclusive. I haven't played the game but have played several that can firmly be put in both categories.

Posted via Android Central App

A lot of my suggestions were there. I knew I had great picks!

Posted via my oldie but goodie Nexii 4 using the Android Central App

What's that cloud icon, next to the padlock icon, in the notification bar that are in most of Android Central's screenshot/photos?

Nice, it is Notification Weather! I've been trialing Skiplock Beta which is the complete rewrite of Unlock with Wifi from the same author. Fantastic app!

That survey needed to be ten times better. No offense AC, but it was quite terrible. Include the Omate Truesmart under smartwatches.

Stealth Droid - Working in the Nexus Lab

The options we're already narrowed down from a previous survey. Looks like what you're asking for didn't make the cut.

Posted via Android Central App

Smartwatches are the biggest rip - off and scam in technology right now!!!!

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I find it a bit of a conflict of interest that the Android Central app is one of the options. Don't get me wrong; it's a great app and I use it all the time. I'm sure many people voted for it in earlier rounds, which I didn't participate in, but I think it would have best if AC had excluded itself, considering this site is full of Android Central readers. That'd be like Apple or Google hosting a poll on its main website on what is the best smartphone OS of the year. Of course users of that OS will pick them.

These are entries narrowed down from a previous survey. Looks like enough people voted for Android Central.

Posted via Android Central App

I know it came from previous surveys and that plenty of people use the app. What I'm saying is it would have been less biased if Android Central graciously excluded itself, considering that they themselves are hosting the survey.

Example: Consider if PC Magazine hosted a "Best Magazine of the Year" poll with itself included. Of course PC Mag will be one of the top choices; its own readers are voting.

Use it all the time? You didn't use it to post this comment. . .

Posted via Android Central App Using my Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile

I don't have that "Posted by blah blah" thing enabled. Plus I was on my home PC at the time so there's no need to use it.

1. Select the best Android smartphone of 2013 - I wonder if Nexus 5 and Moto X splitting votes will give the Galaxy Note 3 or Galaxy S4 the win here.

2. Select the best over-sized Android smartphone of 2013 - This is the Galaxy Note 3's category. It has to win.

3. Select the best small Android tablet of 2013 - The Nexus 7 (2013) trumps the rest.

4. Select the best large Android tablet of 2013 - This one is probably a toss up. I really don't think that "large" Android tablets are popular.

5. Select the best overall Android app of 2013 - We have to vote for Android Central, right? :)

6. Select the best Android business app of 2013 - Weird seeing Drive, Keep, and Quickoffice as separate entries but I guess since they're separate apps, it'll have to be this way. Do I vote for Keep because I use it to take notes at work or do I vote for Drive for it's cloud collaboration?


8. Select the best Android entertainment app of 2013 - Chromecast really isn't an app though. The app is a setup tool.

11. Select the best Android music or audio app of 2013 - Curious to see how Google Play Music will fare here. It's great especially if you subscribe to All Access but I don't think it does a good job of predicting what you'll want to hear.

12. Select the best Android news or reading app of 2013 - RIP Currents.

13. Select the best Android photography or video app of 2013 - I wonder if people are going to vote on editing or on access to content.

14. Select the best Android productivity app of 2013 - Same dilema I have with number 6, but I'll probably vote for Google Keep here because it's reminders keep me productive.

15. Select the best Android social or communications app of 2013 - Google+

16. Select the best Android sports app of 2013 - Too bad NFL Mobile didn't make the cut.

17. Select the best Android utility app of 2013 - casual vs. "hardcore"?

23. Select the best Android strategy game of 2013 - Ingress!

24. Select the best-designed Android app of 2013 - duh. Android Central!

25. Select the most innovative Android app of 2013 - surprised to see Chromecast again, same reasons for number 8. Too bad Touchless Control, Motorola Assist, and Active Notifications didn't make the cut.

28. Select the best Android smartwatch of 2013 - this is worded like all of the watches run Android, which isn't the case.

Posted via Android Central App

Your first couple about hardware are spot on, I would, and did vote for, the X.

The note 3 wins

The n7 wins

I really was torn on the 10", none wowd me.

Vote for swiftkey

No real games listed that I played

Chromecast isn't an app

Dammit man, I am a commenter not a clairvoyant!

Wow everyone's getting so angry over the choices. Did you guys not read the big letters in bold at the beginning of the article? It says "CHOSEN BY YOU." These are not AC's choices, these are the choices that YOU guys nominated. So stop blaming AC for all of this.

Posted via Android Central App

Not a fair survey, when you are forced to pick out of a list of things you may have never tried.

Posted via Android Central App

You don't have to select an answer for every category if you don't want to. If you have never used any of the options in a category, don't answer it.

You have to answer ever question. If you dont it just spits you back and says you need to put an answer. I tried. I quit the survey because i refuse to just put something at random and skew the results which im sure has happened wich make this survey innacurate and worthless.

Posted via Android Central App

It let me skip several and completed. No loop and no error, perhaps try again?

Posted via Android Central App

Tasker and AutoVoice, nuff said, and with that I have to give it to the Moto X (even though not owning it) for it's features.

android central app

How is the Moto X better than the Galaxy Note 3 in features? Please explain. By the way, in my household, we currently have both and I still choose the Note 3. Not only because of the better screen (size, type, pixel density etc) and the better camera.
Not only because of the quad core Snapdragon 800 versus the dual core snapdragon s4 pro.
Not only for the 3gb of ram versus 2gb of ram in the X
Not only because of the better battery (which is removable).
Not only for the ability to record video in 4k (super HD for the uninitiated).
Not only for the LTE Cat4 technology.
Not only for the inclusion of USB 3.0
Not only for the infrared capabilities.

No, I'll tell you what seals the deal for me. The Note 3 still has a microSD slot meaning it is expandable. Yes, I may never need to expand my storage, but it is nice to have my music, pictures and other media stored on a removable card just in case something happens to the phone.

So, again, please tell me which features the Moto X has that makes it better than the Note 3 (Ok, it does have some cool colors that you can "pick" yourself, assuming they are available)

I am a Motorola fan. I have gone from the original Razr (the flip clam shell one) to the droid to the droid X to the Droid X2 to the Droid Razr (wife has a Razr M). When it was time for my new phone a few weeks ago I had intended on getting a Moto X as well but the loss of the microSD slot was a game changer. Then I started to compare the specs and it became a no brainer. The only negative I can say about the Note 3 is the multimedai speaker position. And yes, I know some will fault the size. But, I actually wanted the bigger screen. So IMHO, Note 3 is the top of the line absolute best phone available now. Too bad it will be obsolete in about 15 minutes

It's always funny to see the level of butthurt Note 3 users experience when someone else dares to suggest that their phone isn't the best.

Seriously. Almost every. single. time.

I only asked for a simple justification for naming the Moto X as the best phone. Specs wise, there is nothing out that compares to the Note 3. Justify your fanboyism is all I wanted. And again, you might want to reread my post as I made it clear that I am a Moto fan as well.

Right. You asked why someone would think the Moto X is better, and then you basically followed up that question with all the reasons why you think it is impossible for someone else to have an opinion contrary to yours--and all of that is related to specs.

It's not about specs, Mr. Spec Whore. So many Note 3 and G2 users simply refuse to or cannot get past specs.

no reason to get "past the specs" when the specs speak for themselves and are at the top of the food chain. My understanding was that this survey was asking for the "best" in a given category and each category had a selection. Yes, our opinions inevitibly enter the picture so that skews the results a bit. Many of the categories had selections I didnt agree with but I still looked at each one and decided based on what I know about each item presented. I never said that you shouldn't like the Moto X because it was inferior. I wanted justification for someone saying that a product that has a clear disadvantage in every single category could be rated as the best. I am far from being a fan boy of Samsung. As you will note in my post, I have had Motorola phones exclusively for the last 8 years or more so clearly I think Motorola has something going for it. I just think that "The best Phone out there" requires , you know, some best in category features, which the moto X does not. Oh, and by the way, if you dont want a phablet (love it, another troll who reads Android all day). Put a Moto X on top of a Note 3 and you find that there is not much difference in the physical size of each one. Less than 1 inch in length and a half inch in width, and the Note 3 is actually thinner. Maybe the guy was pining for the old days of Black Berry postage stamp size screens and 10 minute boot times.

Top of the line specs do absolutely nothing for you if you hate TouchWiz. Not to mention, the Moto X has several awesome features that the Note 3 doesn't have. If those features interest you more than the features of the Note 3, then you're going to choose the Moto X.

Not to mention the fact that the experience of the Moto X has proven that a specced out phone is not necessary for an awesome experience.

But specwhores are blinded by specs. That's all they can see.

Not much difference in physical size? Now I know you're smoking the crack haha. When your thumb is 2 inches long, an inch kind of makes a big difference. Can't believe I wasted so much time responding to this troll. I'm out.

Two things:

Size, I don't want a phablet and the x has the overall perfect form factor for me. (Last two words are key, which by your list you don't quite grasp)

Active notifications, how did I ever live without this??

Posted via Android Central App

I wouldn't say the Moto X is flat out better than the Note 3, nor would I say the Note 3 is better than the X. I would say the Moto X is better for some people and the Note 3 is better for others. It depends on personal preference. The Moto X has plenty of desirable traits that the Note 3 doesn't have though.

The Moto X is much easier to use one handed.

The Moto X automatically turns on its screen when you pick it up or pull it out of your pocket, saving you from having to hit the power button each time you want to use your phone.

When you have notifications, the Moto X shows them on screen in a battery efficient way. One touch and you can act on them or dismiss them.

Touchless Control allows you to use Google Now any time, anywhere. You don't have to go to the app first. You don't even have to touch or turn on the phone first. This is huge. It's beyond cool being able to play music, make calls, send texts, set alarms and reminders, get the weather, and about 1000 other things without having to touch the phone at all. Hello, future.

The Moto X knows when you're in a car, whether you're connected to its bluetooth or not, and can read texts to you and tell you who's calling, or auto-reply for you. This is extremely convenient when driving.

It has built in features to automatically silence your phone while you're sleeping or in meetings.

It has a built in feature that allows you to read and reply to text messages from your computer.

You can access the camera and take a picture super fast without even having to look at the phone by using the wrist flick gesture.

The Moto X has the stock Android UI, which a lot of people like for various reasons. Personally, I appreciate a clean, minimal UI. Touchwiz disgusts me.

The Moto X gets quicker Android updates than the Note 3. This is important to some people.

The Moto X is probably the best Android phone you can buy when it comes to reception. Motorola radio / antennae technology is second to none.

The Moto X has a better speaker than the Note 3.

The Moto X is way cheaper than the Note 3, especially if you used the $150 off deal in the past couple weeks.

Despite the vast difference in specs, the Moto X feels just as fast as the Note 3 because it's so well optimized and not so bloated down with software most people will never use. A lot of people that have switched from the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 to the Moto X have said it feels faster to them!

Most people don't need more than 32GB of storage. What if something happens to the phone? Ever heard of auto-backup? You can have Dropbox or Google+ automatically back up any pictures you take to the cloud. Any music you purchase through Google Play is always available from the cloud as well.

Don't you get it? It's IMPOSSIBLE for the Moto X to be considered better by anyone because the Note 3 has MOAR CORES!!1!!1!!1!1!!!!

Obviously the survey is what is it - user selected etc. In some categories laughably lacking or off-base. But that's just an observation, not a criticism or slam on AC.

But I would look forward to a 'curated' survey. Not least to get some ideas for new acquisitions.

No I don't wish for those days. Like I said the x is the perfect size, so anything more is too much for me, an inch in length is a huge difference. And no, the note doesn't beat the x in every category. Active notifications, touch less controls, an unbloated ui, quick updates, Motorola radios, a perfectly curved back (which BTW feels great in my front jeans pocket, I couldn't say the same for the note 3) and all assembled in the US. However you want to define the note 3 it is and always will be a phablet, and that's not a bad word. A good friend of mine swears by his because that's what he needs.

I would put the x over the note every day because FOR ME it is the better phone. My vote reflects that.

Posted via Android Central App

Had to stop the survey.

Why are we forced to put an answer for every catagory. It would be nice to pass on catagories i have never used any of those apps. You get people just picking an answer at random to continue and as a result it makes the survey more innacurate

Posted via Android Central App

#12 Select the best Android news or reading app of 2013
Google Currents
Google Play Newsstand

>>> Am I the only one who uses Press? I utterly can't stand the ones mentioned.

* I think I'll need to pay a little more attention next year to see where the choices are picked from..*

Agreed.. I use Pocket with Press. Can't live without them...

Posted via a Nexus 5. Don't believe the haters. It Rocks.......

Has anyone ever tried the OneNote app? It works amazingly for me i don't understand the snub all the time just because it is a microsoft product?

And I don't see how Google PLay music can be a nomination for best music app when it can barely do what Rhapsody has been doing for years. Rhapsody matured incredibly well this year and for it to be snubbed is a mystery to me.

Horrible survey... Very limited options, couldn't skip some like the big tablet question that I had no input on, and when I hit submit: "OOPS, Chrome could not find!" W T F.