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2013 is almost upon us. And while this year has seen a bumper crop of stunning smartphones, next year promises to serve up even better, faster, more technologically advanced handsets.

Every major player is lining up an upgrade to their best blowers in 2013, so here’s our pick of the five that you should really be getting excited about.

1 Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 placeholder

Possibly the most anticipated handset of 2013, the Samsung Galaxy S4 looks set to be revealed at January’s Consumer Electronics Show.

A new official teaser trailer, called ‘Get Ready’, suggests the device will debut between January 8th-11th, the dates of CES.

Samsung is wasting little time in getting the successor to the S3 out of the door, less than a year after its release, capitalising on its new position as smartphone top dog.

A flexible screen, five-inch display, snappier processor and Android Jelly Bean are all expected to form part of the package.

2 iPhone 5S/iPhone 6

iPhone 5S leaked rear panel vs iPhone 5

Apple’s next phone is already the subject of leaks and rumours, its casing apparently snapped by a French fan site.

Like the iPhone 4S before it, it’s set to be an iterative upgrade. But seeing as the iPhone 5 felt like little more than a minor bump, Apple will need to either serve up something spectacular or placate fans by making this the first of two releases in 2012.

The latter is more likely, with the iPhone 5S arriving earlier in the year with a full-on upgrade following later. Apple must now dance to the Android tune of regular, tech-tastic upgrades.

3 HTC M7

htc m7

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s success has seemingly enticed key rival HTC into unleashing its own, dare we say it, ‘phablet’.

It has already released the HTC Butterfly in Japan and the US, but a different five-inch effort, the HTC M7, has really got smartphone-watchers buzzing.

This hulking device will apparently pack a full HD display, 4G, quad-core Qualcomm tech and a unibody aluminium design, much like the old-school HTC Legend, an early Android winner.

HTC needs a big 2013 and the M7 looks a good bet to help kickstart its ailing fortunes.

4 Nokia Lumia 940

nokia lumia 940

Nokia will doubtless be looking to make an even bigger push with its Windows Phones in 2013.

The Lumia 940 is for now only a concept, but one with a stunning carbon fibre frame and beefed up screen.

Espoo has done such a great job with its native apps and in trying to push the Windows Phone platform, but it really needs a design-led device that doesn’t come in a range of plasticky colours to give it that extra edge.

Hopefully the Lumia 940 is it.

5 BlackBerry 10 touchscreen

blackberry 10

BlackBerry 10 has already been widely trailed, with the next-gen OS set to be officially unveiled at the end of January. A touchscreen phone, touting new multimedia access, improved apps and better typing is expected to follow in the spring.

BlackBerry has really been in the doldrums for the past few years, but this is a cool new handset that’s well worth getting excited about.

Expect it to be sleek and work-focused and give RIM new impetus in the smartphone wars.

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