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Picking the best five phones of the year is never an easy task. Especially in 2013, when the standard of devices released by every major mobile-maker has been absurdly high.

Despite financial woes, BlackBerry, Nokia and HTC all launched handsets that were critical smashes.

Apple’s efforts remained world class and Google and Samsung continued to push boundaries.

So, which five have made our final list? Read on and we’ll reveal all

1 Apple iPhone 5S

iphone 5s gold large

Cupertino’s new flagship had so much riding on it. A new version of iOS to be tested, a new gold finish to try and woo new customers.

And while the design may have remained pretty much the same as last year’s iPhone 5, there’s simply no escaping the fact that Apple continues to produce the best, most well-rounded phones on the planet.

The inclusion of Touch ID sensor tech gave the phone something new for power users to get excited about, while the rejigged processor ensured that this was the fastest iPhone ever.

The camera continues to be a cut above, not just because of its lens tech, but also because of the beautifully realised camera app. A triumph.

2 Google Nexus 5

google nexus 5 large

The Big G’s flagship phone was leaked so extensively that when it finally did come out, there was little left to be surprised about. But that’s not to say this wasn’t a phone which made everyone stand up and take notice.

The speedy specs helped matters, but the 445 pixels per inch display was the thing that really made it stand out from the crowd.

Android KitKat’s inclusion meant that this was the phone of choice for Google fans looking to get the very latest tech (including a superb voice assistant and the ever-improving Google Now) the OS has to offer.

A planned camera software update should ensure any remaining niggles are dealt with in the New Year. But the best bit? That £299 price tag.

3 Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 black and white official (front and back)

Picking a Samsung phone out of its huge roster of Galaxy devices is tough. And while the superb Galaxy Note 3 came close, the Galaxy S4 sneaked in thanks to its slew of amazing new tech.

The eye scroll feature alone got us hugely excited and that’s before we got to the gesture tech and the astonishingly good camera.

The simultaneous HD video and still shot functionality is great, while the overall build is every bit as good as anything Samsung has released in the past. A phone absolutely laden with goodies.

4 HTC One

htc one red official

By anyone’s standards, HTC has had a pretty average year. Profits are sliding and sales bans are being enforced in the UK after the Taiwanese giant lost a patent battle with Nokia.

But that didn’t stop it releasing one of the year’s finest phones. The HTC One’s gorgeous aluminium design, coupled with a stunning screen and a bold new Ultra Pixel camera made it the go to device for those in the know.

The snapper in particle set it apart from its rivals, the company bravely dropping the megapixel count to four, but using its own tech to boost performance and deliver crisp and clear images.

The Google Edition, without HTC’s Sense overlay, is surely the best version.

5 Moto G

moto g official

Motorola’s re-entry into the mobile market might have come with its US-only Moto X. But it’s the budget Moto G that helped grab it major attention as the year came to an end.

This budget device rewrote the rulebook on what should be included on a basic blower. Proper Android, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a bright screen and a decent camera, all for £130.

The Google-owned brand has lots of work to do to regain its position at the top of the smartphone tree, but the Moto G proves it has the wherewithal to do so.

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