Big, smart and sensor-packed, the Galaxy S4 is an eye-widening slab of future tech
With a stunning screen and plenty of power, this is one of our favourite smartphones. The Xperia Z even stands tall in a downpour.
Not one for design geeks but for everyone else this is the absolute best of Android
Enhanced, refined and more powerful than ever, but mapping issues keep the iPhone 5 off the top spot
The Note 2 is easy to love thanks to one huge screen, speedy multi-tasking and the S Pen
The Q10 will turn BlackBerry die-hards into multitasking messaging gods, free from the world of convoluted apps and never-ending spec wars
Like Windows Phone 8 itself the Lumia 920 is exciting, enticing and full of great ideas, but a few flaws hold it back from greatness
A stylish and powerful Android that's just one step behind the leaders of the pack
The HTC 8X is a brilliant handset, but while Windows Phone 8 shows great potential it needs more apps to make it great
When RIM announced that the next version of its BlackBerry OS wouldn't be ready until early 2013, many seemed quick to want to pen the Canadian company's obituary. But recent previews of BB10 suggest that the smartphone maker is far from finito. Its radically overhauled OS looks to be a fine compromise between the simplicity of iOS and the 'glanceability' of Android's widgets. The new Flow interface has big 'active frames' that automatically update with live info, while the powerful Peek feature allows you to pull in important notifications from anywhere. But the big deal could be the instant toggling between 'work' and 'personal' accounts. Could this be the work phone you want to keep?
Recent BB10 previews suggest BlackBerry is far from finito
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
1. Operating system Apple's iOS has the edge on simplicity and apps, while Android is better for live widgets and personalisation. But the two new dark horses, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10, are making big strides in OS design and usability.
2. Connectivity Bluetooth is handy. Wi-Fi powers internet and email, HSDPA provides mobile broadband everywhere and A-GPS means sat-nav. Look for compasses, too.
3. Screen Standard resolution is up to 800x480 these days, but few phones in this list would be seen dead with anything less than 1280x720. Bigger might seem better for screen size but the small-handed might want to try before they buy.
4. Apps As important as the phones are the applications they can run. The iTunes App Store is still marginally ahead, but Google's Play Store isn't far behind.