• Nexus 5

Nexus 5 (Photo : YouTube)

Early Christmas shoppers who are on strict budget do not need to settle for less as they can certainly take home top-tier devices without overspending. They only need to go back and take a second look on the best flagship smartphones to come out in 2013. Apple's iPhone 5S and Google's Nexus 5S quickly come to mind. 

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Google Nexus 5

One word that is always connected to the LG-assembled Nexus 5 is beloved. Even the immediate successor in the series of Google's vanilla Android smartphone, the Motorola Nexus 6, failed to even match the Nexus 5 stature despite having the better specs.

Android fans fell in love with the device that sports a perfect profile - not too big and not too small. The specifications provided by Google at the time it was released were among the best. In fact, the phone is well-equipped to slug out with 2015 rivals and come out beaming with pride, thanks also to its elegant design and solid build.

But among the notable features of the Nexus 5 is its pure Android operating system that ensures two things - buttery Google mobile device experience and the assurance of getting the latest firmware support without delay.

The Nexus 5 is such a lingering hit device that Google decided to give it a second coming - the Nexus 5X that LG again supplied. The original Nexus 5 has stopped production and the Google Play Store is not displaying the device anymore. Thankfully, eBay sellers still offer the device at a significantly lower price from its already solid asking price when first rolled out.

Apple iPhone 5S

Described by Apple as a forward-looking when it debuted, the iPhone 5S introduced many new smartphone features and among them is the Touch ID fingerprint sensor that eventually became a standard in many flagship Android devices.

When it was unboxed, the iPhone 5S was out-specced by Android rivals but the iOS flagship phone flew off the shelves and outsold everything that other device vendors threw at its path, chief among them Samsung. Buyers were enraptured by the elegant beauty that the 5S exuded back in 2013 and the same appeal remains in effect to this day. Not to mention that Apple's signature of tight hardware and software integration makes for an optimal device experience.

Apple still sells freshly-minted iPhone 5S that runs on the latest iOS 9 version starting at $450 for the 16GB version while the 32GB edition is available at $499. Both storage configurations are SIM-free but for those wanting to connect via Sprint or Verizon, the 16GB model is free to take home while the 32GB variant only asks $49 as initial payment.