Sometimes only the best phone will do when you’re looking to upgrade your mobile, but which one should you pick? Apple’s iPhone 5s is the best-selling handset on the market, having shifted millions of units in its first week of sale.
With contracts for the iPhone 5s starting from around £42 per month, there are several excellent mobile alternatives. From the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the Google Nexus 5, we list the top five flagship phones and how much they cost on contract.
How to buy the best mobile phone – our expert guide
HTC One – free from £29 per month
With a powerful quad-core processor and 2GB of Ram, the HTC One Android handset packs in more than enough power to handle any smartphone task you can imagine. Its aluminium casing gives it a premium feel – especially when compared to those phones with a plastic finish – and its 4.7-inch Full HD screen makes it a great choice for watching movies on the go.
The HTC One runs on the Android OS, though HTC has overlaid it with its own Sense 5 interface. This includes its BlinkFeed feature that collates the news from all your favourite websites, Facebook and Twitter into one convenient homescreen stream.
HTC One review – read our verdict on the slick aluminium handset
Samsung Galaxy S4 – free from £32 per month
An update of last year’s Galaxy S3, the 4G-capable Galaxy S4 has a huge 5-inch, full-HD screen, an improved 13-megapixel camera, a higher capacity battery and a faster processor. Despite this, it all fits into as slim a case as its predecessor.
The phone runs on the latest version of Google’s Android operating system but has lots of clever features you won’t find on other Android phones. ‘Smart Pause’ stops videos when you look away from your phone’s screen and resumes the clip when you look back for example; while eye-tracking gesture control lets you scroll through content by tilting the handset up and down.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review – find out how it compares to the iPhone 5s
Google Nexus 5 – free from £21 per month
Google’s flagship collaboration with LG is a steal at £299 for the 16GB Sim-free model. Featuring a dazzling 4.95-inch touchscreen, 2.3 GHz processor and 2GB Ram, the Nexus 5 is well-equipped to handle the latest apps.
Unlike similar phones from Samsung and HTC, the Nexus 5 runs a pure version of Android straight from Google. This means you get to use the latest KitKat operating system before anyone else and also avoid any so-called ‘bloatware’ – non-essential software that manufacturers are often guilty of loading onto their handsets.
Although the Nexus 5 isn’t quite as powerful as the other handsets mentioned here, it sure is a lot cheaper.
Google Nexus 5 – our first look preview
Apple iPhone 5s – free from £42 per month
The iPhone 5s is the successor to last year’s iPhone 5, featuring an all-new fingerprint scanner and processor – in fact it’s the fastest phone we’ve ever tested. Aside from these headline changes, there’s not much different about Apple’s latest mobile.
Its slimline aluminium aluminium design is still stunning to look at, but being 7.6 mm thin does have its drawbacks. The iPhone 5s ranked behind its top Android competitors in our recent mobile battery life round-up. Still, with its dual-LED flash for better low light photography and comprehensive App Store, this remains an attractive handset.
Apple iPhone 5s review – see how the phone fared in our tough lab tests.
Nokia Lumia 1020 – free from £33 per month
You’ll have no doubt heard about the Nokia Lumia 1020’s key selling point: its 41-megapixel camera. This means it has over five times the megapixels of the iPhone 5s. More importantly still the 1020 makes these improvements count and is capable of capturing some truly superb snaps.
Elsewhere, this Windows Phone isn’t quite as outstanding. Its 1.5GHz processor and 2000 mAh battery are fine when it comes to using current apps, but the handset feels outpaced when compared to its rivals. The Windows Phone Store also isn’t blessed with the same abundance or quality of apps as Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store.
Nokia Lumia 1020 – our hands-on first look with the flagship phone