With the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S IV yesterday, the lineup of 2013 Android flagships was completed, if we limit ourselves to the major

Mister Mo’s 2013 Android Flagship Of Choice

Posted by

2013 Android Flagships

With the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S IV yesterday, the lineup of 2013 Android flagships was completed, if we limit ourselves to the major brands. My list of the top contenders will include: LG Optimus G Pro, Sony Xperia Z, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S IV. They are all huge, quad-core beasts, and cover all the basics anyone would expect. As such, it boils down to individual preferences. Here is a quick run through each of them.

LG Optimus G Pro

LG-Optimus-G-ProI have never used or reviewed a flagship or mid-range smartphone from LG, so among the four, this brand is the one that I have the least experience with. The Optimus G Pro is biggest of the three. At 5.5 inches, I consider it way above my usability threshold.

There’s a 13 megapixel camera on board, but again I haven’t been impressed much with LG’s cameras. However, with a 3140 mAh capacity battery in the picture, can this dude outshine the competition in battery performance?

Sony Xperia Z

Sony-Xperia-ZThe Xperia Z is classic Sony in terms of hardware: classy. I expect good audio too. I particularly enjoy the extensive feature sets in the built-in Walkman-branded music player. However, Sony’s Android smartphones have not been known for outstanding battery performance, which is a bit worrying. Also, the user interface has only been tweaked from standard Android in subtle ways.


As far as hardware is concerned, the HTC One seems to have it nailed down. It is the classiest and most luxurious looking of the four. Those forward facing loudspeakers have got my attention too, as I love good audio production on my mobiles. Rear-facing speakers just don’t cut it. The display is simply stunning too.

HTC claim to have streamlined Sense UI with the version 5 on the One. I remember enjoying Sense UI on the One X, and I even like better what I am seeing with version 5 right now. I still consider the Android UI ugly and Sense UI hides it away very well. I however do not have much faith in the 4 megapixel “UltraPixel” camera though. It may produce passable results, but I doubt if it will produce anything outstanding.

Samsung Galaxy S IV

The most recently announced of the four, the S IV’s design appeals to me the least. That aside, the rest of the hardware is definitely up-to-date. As far as I can see, the Galaxy S IV’s key attraction is in Samsung’s built-in custom softwares, namely: S-Voice commands and dictation, Smart stay, Smart pause, Smart scroll, and Air gestures. I used these on the Samsung Galaxy Note II earlier this year and didn’t find them to be things that I needed day-to-day.

But Samsung seems to be on a roll with battery life on their most recent smartphones. Battery performance is something that I value, and this makes the Galaxy S IV attractive to me. Also, for the first time, Samsung has a camera that’s larger than 8 megapixels. That 13 megapixel camera should be something!

My Choice

HTC-One vs Xperia-Z
I am certain that any of the above devices will meet my most generic needs. However, of the four listed flagships, I have narrowed down my interests to just two devices that I would love to have: the Sony Xperia Z and/or the HTC One. My preferred choice is the HTC One, with the Xperia Z towing behind. The Samsung Galaxy S IV takes 3rd place on my wishlist, and at the bottom of that list is LG’s G Pro.

And in the shameless begging spirit that Emmanuel instituted recently, can someone send me an HTC One or a Sony Xperia Z please? Even better still, why not just send both? Yeah; why not?

Share This Article


  1. . why not just send both?
    Yeah; why not?

    Who wrote than music “e ba mi k’igbe ole, ole, ole”

    (help me shout, THIEF, THIEF, THIEF)

    now, I wonder why that music came to my head so invidiously.

    obviously, it has no bearing, no?

  2. How on earth would Mr Mo say pure android is ugly and sense is better? It’s good looking by any stretch of imagination.

    I read several other respectable tech blogs and they mostly think it’s well designed. I’ve used sense a couple of times and I’ll say vanilla android is better. I’ve used touch wiz, it ain’t bad but I think vanilla android is still better.

    Mr Mo.. You’ve been disliking vanilla android for a while and that’s not good. I may be forced to write a referral to the ophthalmologist and Neurologist o!

    Take another look at vanilla android and maybe with an eye of faith you’ll see the beauty we all have been seeing for a while.

  3. Mr Alade, if i have to look closely to see the beauty in a UI then it just isn’t there, that aside i agree with Mr Mo. HTC One is definitely my flagship of choice also, they seem like they’re the only ones to actually put an effort into making their flagship a flagship, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has merely cosmetic changes and gimmicks, especially considering that the SIII is going to be getting the same update in the near future.

  4. My choice is SGS4
    Even though I like the superior build quality of the HTC One, two factors are mitigating against it in my book
    1. Battery is not user replaceable
    2. No micro SD card slot
    As for screen size, I have been using galaxy Note 2, and believe me when you get used to it, you will agree that 5.5inches is not too big for a phone.
    LG phones don’t cut it for me at all, so that’s a no go area for now.

  5. For me, HTC One > SGS4 > Xperia Z > Optimus G Pro.

    And @CallMeAlade – I don’t think you should say Mr Mo is wrong for not liking Android’s default UI. That’s his own opinion. Even the Android leaders and designers are realistic enough to accept that not everyone will like everything about android.

  6. @Emmanuel. Gsmarena says HTC one doesnot support microsd card. I honestly dont see why you guys prefer design over quality. Sg4 has cornilla glass 3, which is the latest and strongest, quad core, slimmer, lighter etc. Htc one does not have removable battery. I go for quality over beauty, you guys are just girls jo, choosing beauty over quality smh.

  7. @Emmanuel
    I don’t know where you got the information that the HTC One had micro SD card slot.
    Every review I have read days otherwise.

  8. @mark it’s called corning gorilla glass 3, and talking about Quality, the galaxy s4 is just an upgraded s3, the HTC one is what a flagship device should be, it’s not only about design, it’s about innovation, if you even want to talk about design it’s the s4 that looks like a phone that would appeal to women.

  9. @Emmanuel.What so new about the htc one besides the design? Weather corila or corniling glass you at least get the message. Yes sg4 is ugly but it is has powerful as a beast. Am waiting to hear what the htc has besides beauty. Camera fail, battery fail, software fail, durability of d glass fail, expandability of memory fail, screen size fail, should i go on?

  10. Least i forget over 32million sg3 sold. Weather sg4 is an upgrade or not, it beats htc one in functionality, people think its easy to make software, think again.

  11. The 2013 Android Flagship is awesome to say the least.

    My selection is
    HTC One > SGS4 > Optimus G Pro > Xperia Z

    Cant wait to see what Apple wants to use to fight this bad boys

  12. Both HTC One and Galaxy S4 are great phones, and have their competitive advantages. But I am sure Galaxy S4 will still end up being the best smartphone of the year, capturing consumers’ hearts and winning awards like Galaxy S3 did in 2012. The Galaxies have always been unduly under-rated and berated.

    When Galaxy S3 was unveiled in May 2012, the same downplay sentiment was expressed by some people about it: it was ugly, it was not fantastic. But when the phone came to stores and people held it and experienced it, it captured people’s hearts and went on to become a best-seller.
    So, a Samsung Galaxy doesn’t impress you at first unveil and on online pictures and previews, until you SEE IT, HOLD IT and EXPERIENCE IT. In terms of SOFTWARE and FEATURES, Galaxy S4 is certainly far way ahead of any other phone right now. By the way, how come all major Samsung rivals are attacking it just before and after the Galaxy S4 unveil in New York? Apple, HTC, Nokia, LG are all releasing attack ads on Samsung. There must be something about S4 they are all afraid of. Time will tell.

  13. you guys are talking about what YOU like and what YOU can afford. the above range is not accessible for 70% of the Nigerian market. maybe you should focus on what Nigerians can afford and mention brands like Mi-Fone who have an amazing low cost quality range of Android phones . These are not chinese phones . i understand there is a 5.3 inch dual core Mi-fone available soon at 1/3rd of the price of the above brands.

  14. Honestly, this is a good debate. From what am reading, it has nothing to do with LG, and SONY ERICSSON – but HTC and S4.

    To be realistic, u have to go with what’s obtainable in Nigeria, and its market share… Which every one would tend to S4. Going through all that Mr Month has highlighted, you can’t but agree with him. Remove sentiments and face facts… HTC has being branding phones like these even before samsumg started smart-phones… Talking about S4,it arguements are majorly it has this and that. It battery is removable, and all… If u have a sure product u shouldn’t be scared battery would need replacement in 2years. So why disturb the back panel.
    If u look at the design, its plastic and has a larger screen… What’s protective about the body and screen? When it drops, God help u find the screen around in a jify and won’t cost a fortune.

    The HTC on the other hand, has what is called blinkfield… Is anyone talking about that? The casing is metal like that of the Iphone, and give room for protection. Ur S4 drops and scatters on the floor. Ur HTC and its still intact.
    I use HTC one X, and I can tell u that I have equally used the S3 just to compare, and I dropped the S3 faster than I picked it up.

    If u haven’t used the HTC phone u won’t understand.

    The only edge SGS has over HTC, is marketting. SGS push more money to sell their product that HTC does.

    Take it or leave it, samsung is only in peoples faces cos of their marketting… And they have done well in this regard.

    But the HTC says quietly Brilliant! U need to use it to understand.

  15. Côme on…..guys
    how can you forget the nexus 4 from your list!
    OK I understand that you make your own choice but Nexus is what an Android phone should be!

  16. As much as I love Nexus 4, this is no league for virgins, we need more than just the basics here.

    Nexus4 no way, may be Nexus5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *