The quality, scope and intelligence of our mobile phones continues to increase at a frantic pace and 2013 has been another landmark year for handsets. If you’re looking at the contract phones available right now, these are the mobiles you should be putting near the top of your shortlist.
Samsung Galaxy S4
One of the standout contract phones of 2013, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 takes everything that was great about the S3 and improves on it: there’s a huge 5-inch display (with a full HD 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution), a 13 megapixel camera for great shots on the go and a quad-core 2.3 GHz processor that keeps everything running smoothly.
Despite the phone’s size, it’s comfortable to hold in one hand and the Samsung-tweaked edition of Android 4.2.2 gives you access to thousands of apps from Google Play. There are also some nifty extras, such as the Smart Stay technology that detects when you’re looking at the screen.
Sony Xperia Z1
The Z1 is one of the best-looking mobiles currently on the market, with its classy metal frame and front-and-back glass panels. The gorgeous-looking 5-inch screen comes in at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and the 20.7 megapixel camera is one of the best around. The quad-core 2.2GHz CPU powering everything makes for a silky-smooth experience, with Sony’s tweaked version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
What sets the Z1 apart from its competitors is that it’s both dust- and water-resistant, so you don’t have to panic if it falls in the bath or down the toilet. It offers great looks, performance and battery life (a big phone means room for a big camera), and despite its class, it remains one of the most affordable contract phones on the market.
Apple iPhone 5S
Apple split its phone line in two for the first time in 2013 and the 5S is the model that remains at the very top of the company’s line up. It includes a new 64-bit A7 CPU to cope with the demanding apps of the future and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, so you can log in using your finger (or thumb), rather than a passcode.
If you’re looking for contract phones that exude elegance, the smartly designed iPhone range is difficult to ignore. The 5S is available in grey, silver or a new “champagne gold” colour that will really set your handset apart from the crowd.
Nokia Lumia 720
There’s much to like about the Lumia 720 and the always-improving Windows Phone platform: despite its mid-range price in the contract phones market, there’s a stylish-looking 4.3-inch screen, an impressive 6-megapixel camera that makes use of all Nokia’s optics expertise and 8GB of internal memory that can be expanded to up to 64GB with a memory card. Then there’s Windows Phone 8, a refreshing alternative to Android and iOS that offers tight integration with other Microsoft services such as Xbox and Outlook.
LG Nexus 5
The newest of the contract phones in our line up, the Nexus 5 runs pure Google Android 4.4 KitKat and builds on the work done by last year’s Nexus 4 (also manufactured by LG). The 4.95-inch screen, 2.28 GHz processor and 2GB of RAM all combine to make a smooth mobile experience, while the 8-megapixel camera is one of the best shooters you’ll find in an Android device. The mobile also comes with 16GB or 32GB of on-board storage.
As you can see from our list, when it comes to purchasing contract phones, you really are spoilt for choice. With a big wide world of confusing choices out there, our shortlist is packed with a range of contract phones that are equally unique and mind-blowing in their own special way. Happy shopping!