The Apple iPhone 5S is a powerful, fast phone, but it�s not for
everyone. Fortunately, there are a ton of smartphone
competitors out there who are eager to turn the iPhone�s off-year
to their advantage.
I�m Donald Bell, and in this Top 5 we�re counting down the best
smartphone alternatives to the iPhone 5, picked by CNET Senior
Editor, Jessica Dolcourt.
5. LG G2
Starting off at #5: the LG G2. Released in September on AT&T
and T-Mobile, the G2 delivers a whopping 5.2 inch screen and
runs the latest flavor of Android Jelly Bean. Behind it all you have
a the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which received
high marks from CNET Labs.
On the downside, the volume buttons are oddly located on the
back of the phone, and LG didn�t include a memory card slot. But
if you want something big and speedy, the G2 is a great choice.
4. HTC One
Coming in at #4: the HTC One. Ooooh man, do we love this
phone. In my humble opinion, this is best looking smartphone on
the market, including the iPhone. If you�re a sucker for Apple�s
knack for design and materials, the HTC One carries that spirit
through to a bigger, Android-powered phone.
You also get Beats audio, some killer camera features, and a
skinning of Android that actually gets it right. And unlike that LG
G2, there�s a version of this phone on every carrier.
The only real downside here is that, like the iPhone, the case is
sealed. So that means no memory expansion, and no
replaceable battery. But if you want the beauty of the iPhone,
without all the Apple baggage, that�s the HTC One.
3. Samsung Galaxy S4
Or maybe you want this one. At #3: the Samsung Galaxy S4. It
may be in the middle of this list, but when it comes to Android
phones, nothing gets our unqualified recommendation more than
the Galaxy S4.
You get a 5-inch screen, 13-megapixel camera, a replaceable
battery, and something none of the other phones so far have
included: a microSD card slot for extra storage. Now, it�s not the
sexiest phone on this list, or the fastest, or the biggest, and I�m
personally not thrilled with Samsung�s take on Android, but this is
a very popular phone that is easy to recommend.
2. Motorola Droid Maxx HD
But why ditch the iPhone just to go with something obvious? For
maximum Android smugness, go with #2: the Droid Maxx HD.
You want to stop an Apple Fanboy in their tracks, show them a
phone that can handle 48 hours of use without a recharge. Even
under our most stressful HD video playback test, the Droid Maxx
HD flew in at nearly 16 hours. On top of that, you�ve got a fast
processor, a separate dedicated graphics chip, 2 gigs of RAM
and 32 gigs of storage.
The downside: it�s not cheap. Around $300 on contract, and that
contract is with Verizon, since this phone is exclusive. But that
battery life may be worth it.
----INT: Best reasons to buy the iPhone 5S.-----
Now before we get to our #1 iPhone 5S alternative, I should take
a moment to acknowledge that the iPhone 5S is a great phone.
It�s a 4-star review from us, it has some truly groundbreaking
features, such as that 64-bit processor and the TouchID
For all you Android fans that found your way here out of some
knee-jerk Apple-bashing instinct, do yourself a favor and just
check out our iPhone 5S review to see what all the fuss is about.
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Alright, and now, the #1 iPhone 5S alternative for smartphone
fans truly looking for something powerful and different: the
Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Now here�s a phone that will get you noticed. A 5.7-inch screen
backed by a 2.3GHz processor and 3 gigs of RAM. This isn�t a
smartphone, this is a computer for your pocket. It even comes
with a built-in stylus, hence the whole Note thing.
Is it for everyone? Hell no. Half of you can�t even hold this thing.
But if you�re looking for speed, power, and something very
different from what Apple is offering, the Note 3 takes you to the
So there you have it, five phones that will help you scratch the
itch for something new and interesting, in a year when Apple is
basically serving leftovers.
For all the latest phone reviews head over to phones.cnet.com,
and for more Top 5s from me, Top5.CNET.com. I�m Donald Bell,
thanks for watching.