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The State of Smartphones in 2013
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Old 18th November 2013, 16:29   #1
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Default The State of Smartphones in 2013

The smartphone market in 2013 is surprisingly stable. Both Apple and Google, the major players in the space, continue to iterate on and improve their products in useful ways, even if none of the big updates that have been released in the last year or so have greatly affected the balance of power between the two.

We continue to wish that Windows Phone would begin to do better in the market because it's an intriguing operating system that suffers from a lack of applications. Plus, Apple and Google could use a third, external source of competitive pressure. There are many smaller hardware and software companies competing in this field, but Microsoft continues to be one of the few with the resources to battle such entrenched competitors (another might be Amazon if those perennial rumors about a Kindle phone ever come true, but that's another article). Microsoft's emphasis on cameras is encouraging as well. While some of the Android OEMs are finally starting to put in some real effort here, the cameras from the biggest Android player (Samsung) are among the worst of the phones we compared, particularly in low light.

What's really nice is that even though most of our categories still have clear-cut winners, none of these phones are truly bad at any of the things they do. A phone like the Galaxy S 4 may not have topped any of these lists, but that doesn't mean it's a bad phone for gaming, editing documents, or taking pictures. iPhones may be more restrictive when it comes to sharing and editing documents, but especially since iWork became free, you can still be productive on an iPhone. In short, as long as you don't start dumpster diving, it's hard to find a truly bad smartphone these days.

There are still some app gaps in Windows Phone 8, but most of the time, you can walk into a store, grab whatever high-end phone you want, and walk out with something that will get the job done no matter what you're using it for. We're still waiting on that perfect, one-size-fits-all, do-everything phone, but in the absence of that, you'd be well served by any of our contenders.
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