WINDOWS PHONE CENTRAL PRESENTS

THE BEST OF 2013 AWARDS

2013 was a break-out year for Windows Phone and Windows. Not only did more Windows-powered smartphones and tablets end up in the hands of eager users, but developers big and small jumped on board. Not just that, but we saw a whole range of new hardware, from smartphones packed with more megapixels than a mighty DSLR to handsets so affordable they almost seem like they could be bought with the change in your pocket. It was quite a year, that 2013.

So we asked you to help us recognize the best if the best for the year in Windows Phone. We took your nominations, and you voted on the finalists, and with more than 110,00 votes logged, it's time to reveal the winners.



DEVICES

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE SMARTPHONE OF 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020

It’s hard to argue with you all voting the Nokia Lumia 1020 as the Windows Phone smartphone of the year. To make the Lumia 1020, Nokia took the best of the Nokia Lumia 920’s industrial design and their imaging know-how from the 808 PureView. The result is a smartphone with enough photography prowess to change what we think is possible with mobile photography.

Runner-up: Nokia Lumia 1520

THE BEST WINDOWS TABLET OF 2013

Microsoft Surface Pro 2

We can argue that the Surface Pro 2 is more of an ultrabook than a true tablet, but it’s an amazing machine regardless of how we class it. The Surface Pro 2 takes the solid foundation of the original Surface Pro and improves on the two most important aspects: battery life and power. The new Haswell chips from Intel inside the Surface Pro 2 give us amazing battery while increasing power.

Runner-up: Nokia Lumia 2520

APPS

THE BEST OVERALL WINDOWS PHONE APP OF 2013

Nokia Camera

Nokia pushed the Windows Phone platform to new heights this year. Their top-of-the-line Lumia devices are known for great imaging capabilities. Nokia Camera was introduced alongside the Lumia 1020 as an app to really give photographs control over the capabilities of their advanced smartphone cameras.

Runner-up: 6tag

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE BUSINESS APP OF 2013

Microsoft Office

It’s hard argue here. By default, the core Microsoft Office experience found in Windows Phone 8 is a great way to stay productive in business while on the go. Tie in the ability to keep documents automatically synced with SkyDrive and you’ve got the best business app on the platform.

Runner-up: Microsoft OneNote

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE EDUCATION APP OF 2013

Wikipedia

Rudy Huyn was a coding machine this past year for Windows Phone. His Wikipedia app for Windows Phone is endorsed by the Wikimedia Foundation and therefore is the closest thing to an “official” Wikipedia app we’ve got. Wikipedia for Windows Phone is the must-have education app of the year.

Runner-up: Advanced English Dictionary

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE ENTERTAINMENT APP OF 2013

Nokia MixRadio

There are a handful of great health and fitness apps in the Windows Phone Store. However, Runtastic really worked hard this past year on Windows Phone. Earlier in the year the fitness startup hired a full-time Windows Phone developer. All you need to do is look at Runtastic to see how well that move paid off.

Runner-up: Adidas miCoach

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE KIDS APP OF 2013

Fresh Paint

Fresh Paint had a big year as a creative tool. Its biggest change was coming to Windows Phone and picking up SkyDrive sync so your work carries from phone to tablet to desktop. It’s great for all ages, but kids especially love the color book feature.

Runner-up: My Talking Tom

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE MUSIC OR AUDIO APP OF 2013

Nokia MixRadio

You guys and gals really loved MixRadio from Nokia. Not only did you vote it in as best entertainment app, but as best music/audio app for the year. Again, not surprisingly seeing as how good the service actually is. No algorithm picking your playlists for you, Nokia uses real humans to curate playlists.

Runner-up: Xbox Music

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE NEWS OR READING APP OF 2013

Bing News

There are dozens and dozens of news apps in the Windows Phone Store. Bing wins out for its clean design and ease of use. Stories are pulled in from the largest news organizations around the world, so you probably won’t miss the big stories with this app.

Runner-up: WPCentral
(when the votes were tallied, WPCentral actually won this category; as flattering as that is, we're declining the prize so others can get the chance to shine)

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEO APP OF 2013

Nokia Camera

Best way to take pictures on Windows Phone? With Nokia Camera and the power over exposure, shutter length, ISO, and more. Which is why you’ve made it best photography app for this past year.

Runner-up: 6tag

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE PRODUCTIVITY APP OF 2013

Microsoft Office

Need to be productive? Looks like Microsoft Office is your favorite app on Windows Phone for getting work done. With the ability to edit PowerPoint, Word, and Excel documents we can see why.

Runner-up: Microsoft SkyDrive

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE SOCIAL OR COMMUNICATIONS APP OF 2013

Whatsapp

No Skype? It’s no surprise that WhatsApp took the crown from you guys and gals for best social/communication app for 2013. Any post garners a ton of interest and comments from the community. WhatsApp itself has become integral to how many of you communicate with friends and family.

Runner-up: Facebook

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE SPORTS APP OF 2013

Bing Sports

Microsoft spent most of 2013 really improved the selection and quality of apps in the Windows Phone Store. Bing Sports is a great way to check out the scores, news, and highlights from your favorite teams and leagues.

Runner-up: ESPN Hub

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE UTILITY APP OF 2013

Quick Settings

The OS settings for Windows Phone are quite cumbersome. It takes more than a few swipes and taps to either enable or disable things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or airplane mode. Quick Settings is an app that puts common settings on your Start screen for quick access.

Runner-up: Jack of Tools Pro

GAMES

THE BEST OVERALL WINDOWS PHONE GAME OF 2013

Halo: Spartan Assault

Halo on Windows Phone. There isn’t more you could want from a mobile gaming on any platform. When Halo: Spartan Assault launched on Windows Phone it quickly shot up the ranks as best game. Turns out it was everyone’s favorite game this past year on Windows Phone.

Runner-up: Asphalt 8: Airborne

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE PUZZLE GAME OF 2013

Cut The Rope

Cut the Rope came to our platform for the first time this year. It quickly won over hearts as best puzzle game. It’s hard to ignore the cute character and addictive gameplay of this puzzler.

Runner-up: Wordament

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE RACING GAME OF 2013

Asphalt 8: Airborne

Gameloft’s Asphalt racing series is the pinnacle of mobile racing on all platforms. So it’s no surprise that their latest game, Asphalt 8: Airborne, won out as best racing game for Windows Phone this past year. Take the successful formula of previous Asphalt titles and mix in some new gameplay twists for a great experience.

Runner-up: Hill Climb Racing

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE RPG OF 2013

Six-Guns

Open world? Check. Wild West theme? Check. Guns? Check. Six-Guns is your favorite role-playing game for 2013 on Windows Phone. Why wouldn’t it be? It’s a free title that has all of you hooked.

Runner-up: Dungeon Hunter 4

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE SHOOTER GAME OF 2013

Halo: Spartan Assault

Shooters on mobile platforms are hard. Your fingers take up half the display so first-person shooters are more miss than hit. Spartan Assault switched things up a bit by giving us a top down perspective for this Halo title on Windows Phone. That and a few other things made Halo: Spartan Assault your favorite shooter for 2013.

Runner-up: Modern Combat 4

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE STRATEGY GAME OF 2013

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star

Tiny Death Star is relatively new to Windows Phone, but quickly captured our hearts and attention. It’s addictive gameplay made it your favorite strategy game for the year.

Runner-up: Kingdom and Lords

TECHNICAL

THE BEST-DESIGNED WINDOWS PHONE APP OF 2013

Nokia Camera

How does Nokia Camera combine dozens of complex features into one app? With a healthy dose of good design, that's how.

Runner-up: 6tag

THE MOST INNOVATIVE WINDOWS PHONE APP OF 2013

Nokia Camera

Nokia Camera not only gives you full manual control over your Lumia’s camera, but it combines some pretty innovative features like smart camera into the mix. Action shots, best shot, changing faces, removing moving objects and more are possible with this highly innovative app.

Runner-up: Nokia Refocus

ACCESSORIES

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE OR TABLET CASE OF 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Grip

2013 was the year for the Lumia 1020. Not only did it introduce new fan favorite apps (Nokia Camera), but it changed our perception of mobile photography. The Camera Grip for the Lumia 1020 adds more battery capacity and a way to attach your Lumia 1020 to your tripod.

Runner-up: Microsoft Surface Touch Cover 2

THE BEST WINDOWS PHONE CHARGER OR DOCK OF 2013

JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker

Wireless charging was one on of the biggest accessory requirements for 2013. Accessories became even better when they combined multiple features into one product. Which is probably why you all selected the JBL PowerUp wireless charging speaker as your favorite. Not only does it wirelessly pair to your Windows Phone over Bluetooth via NFC, but you can place your phone on top to automatically start charging.

Runner-up: Nokia DC-50 Portable Wireless Charging Plate

THE BEST MOBILE SPEAKER OF 2013

Nokia Play 360

The Nokia Play 360 is one of the best mobile speakers ever. Individually they’re great speakers for parties at the beach or wherever you happen to be. Have two? Pair them together to create a surround sound system with the power of Bluetooth and Nokia.

Runner-up: JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker

CONCLUSION

So there you have it - the best of Windows and Windows Phone for 2013. There were some surprises, and there were that we saw from a mile out. But it still recognizes the very greatest that Microsoft, Windows Phone manufacturers, and Windows Phone app developers brought to the field in 2013.

Just imagine how great 2014 is going to be.

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