A look back at some of our most-read content from the past year

2013 is drawing to a close, and we're about to begin another year of Android goodness, starting with CES 2014 in the next week or so. So there's just time to reflect on some of our top content from the past year. It's certainly been a busy year, with what seemed like an endless string of high-profile device launches, big reviews every few weeks and more than its share of trade shows and other events. We've had a lot going on, and the pace shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.

The list after the break details Android Central's most popular stories of 2013. These aren't necessarily the most important or the most recent, but they're are what you, the Android Central readers have been clicking on the most this past year. Enjoy!

1. The best free Android games


Mobile Nations gaming guru Simon Sage has been stepping up our gaming content this past year, with round-ups of the top titles for Android in various categories. Although this article is technically from Dec. 2012, it become one of our most read throughout 2013, and with good reason. Check it out for a by-genre breakdown of some of the best Android games available for nothing at all. Read the full article

2. The best Android phone you can buy

Best Android phones

We published several of our semi-regular "best Android phones" articles in 2013. Early in the year the HTC One dominated thanks to its unmatched build, display and sound quality. Later on we were wooed by the Moto X's hand-friendly form factor, useful features, quick updates and near-stock Android experience. In other categories, the LG G Pro ranked as the best oversized Android phone around until the Galaxy Note 3 arrived in September to claim that title. And the Nexus 4 was the best value Android phone you could buy for most of 2013, before being deposed by the Moto G and Nexus 5. Read our latest "best Android phone" feature

3. Megapixels and Ultrapixels: The HTC One versus Galaxy S4 photo shootout

GS4, HTC One

Smartphone camera quality is important. It's one of the key areas in which there's still plenty of room for improvement. So this May we took two of the top handsets of the day, the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, and compared the image quality on offer. The tl;dr version, which holds true today, is this — the HTC One is the one to beat in low light and in terms of camera features, while the GS4 is the best all-rounder. Check out the full comparison

4. Exclusive first look: Pics and video of the new Nexus 7

Nexus 7 leak

This summer we brought you a world-exclusive first look at what would become the 2013 Nexus 7.  The images revealed a 7-inch tablet running stock Android, with the word "Nexus" plastered across the back, along with some fairly detailed info on the device's specs. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later the device shown in our images and video emerged as the latest ASUS-built Nexus tablet. Check out the exclusive first look and our Nexus 7 review

5. Ten basic Android terminal commands you should know


If you're going to start hacking your Android phone, unlocking your bootloader or running custom ROMs, you'll need to mess around with the command line at some point. In this February 2013 article, Jerry Hildenbrand walks through the drivers, commands and other tricks you'll need to get started. Check out the full article

6. Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Galaxy S4

No surprise to see this one make the list — the GS4 was one of the most important Android phones of the year, and almost certainly the best-selling. For our review this April, I spent the week in New York City getting to know Samsung's latest (and gatecrashing the Talk Mobile 2013 production), and 6,600-words, a few dozen photos and a bunch of video on the GS4 are what followed, in our exhaustive Galaxy S4 review. Read the full review

7. Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One?

GS4, HTC One

This question dominated the Android world throughout much of the year, as buyers tried to decide which of these high-end contenders was worth their phone-buying cash. In this, our first comparison of the two at the New York launch event for the GS4, Phil Nickinson takes us through the differences between these two very divergent smartphones. Check out the full comparison article

8. HTC One review


With the 2013 HTC One, HTC flipped the reset switch on its branding, its hardware and its software. What we saw from the Taiwanese company this March was a gorgeous metal smartphone with speedy internals, a flatter, pared-down HTC Sense and a bold new camera experience. As we discuss in our review, the HTC One wasn't a slam-dunk in every category, but there's no denying it was one of the most important Android phones of the year — and arguably a device superior to its better-known Korean rival. Read the full review

9. Nexus 5 review

Nexus 5

Another of the year's big reviews, the LG-made Nexus 5 marked the start of the Android 4.4 KitKat era, the most significant change to the OS since 2011's Ice Cream Sandwich release. Significantly, the Nexus 5 also lets buyers in the U.S. and Europe get hold of a high-end Android phone with the latest OS for around half the cost of rival devices. And while the Nexus 5 falls a little short in battery life and camera software, the overall package offered is unbeatable at this price point. Read the full review

10. Moto X review

Moto X

The Moto X's hardware wasn't as flashy as its competitors, but the new Motorola — now a Google company — soon won us over with speedy performance, a hand-friendly design and some genuinely useful software features. Touchless control and always-on listening allowed the Moto X to react to voice commands, even when asleep. And active notifications offered a new way to view alerts without unlocking the phone. In the U.S., too, buyers had the option to customize their Moto X through the Moto Maker site. Read the full review

Blast from the past