At the Mobile World Conference, Apple and HTC took home the top awards for tablets and phones, respectively. The new iPad Air was named the best tablet of the year, and the HTC One won the phone of the year award. The judges decided on the iPad Air after considering the new A7 processor, speed, and battery life, all somehow crammed into a skinny tablet. They also mentioned the app ecosystem on iOS, and the impressive number of apps that are end signed specifically for the iPad (no Androod tablet has this feature). It’s curious then, that they didn’t think the iPhone was worthy of the top prize, as it’s the first smartphone to feature a 64 bit processor and an accurate and secure fingerprint scanner. But then again, the HTC One was the first phone that I thought was designed well enough to be in the league with the iPhone. It really is the best Android phone on the market, combining a beautiful screen, the best smartphone speakers, a great camera, and all in a aluminum enclosure that feels very nice in your hand.
I’m not implying that Apple’s iPhone 5s didn’t deserve the prize of top smartphone, it’s an amazing phone with features that other smartphone manufacturers won’t have for years. But perhaps the tiny speakers or the small screen held it back. Besides, it’s also possible the judges didn’t want to award both prizes to Apple, as it would be easy to accuse them of bias if they did, and would take from the perceived prestige of the award. If not the iPhone 5s, the HTC One is truly the only other option, as it’s a device that is both powerful and beautiful. Both of these are great devices, and definitely deserving of recognition this year.