Best Tech of 2013

With a few exceptions, 2013 wasn’t about all-new groundbreaking products and services. Instead we saw a lot of improvements and refinements. Our favorite tech products from 2013 range from affordable phone accessories all the way up to a $1,500 pair of high-tech glasses.

We have more Apple products in our list than from any other company. Apple refreshed its entire product lineup, improving both its OS X and iOS lineup. The only mobile Apple product to get a serious redesign was the full-sized iPad. Otherwise, Apple’s updates were mostly all about improving performance and battery life.

Android device selection is much better than a year ago. Android users jealous of the iPhone’s build quality were treated to the HTC One, while those who think bigger is better got the updated Galaxy Note 3. We also saw a couple of very good affordable Android phones in 2013.

Here's a look at the best tech of 2013.
Here’s a look at the best tech of 2013.

The Ps4 and XBox One were both launched late in the year, ushering in a new era of console gaming and living room entertainment. But in our opinion, only one of them is a much more complete experience.

One trend that we like about tech products in 2013 is that a lot of good tech is getting more and more affordable. Amongst our favorite affordable tech products is a device that turns almost any car into a smart car for just $99.


Will we see even better consumer tech in 2014? Almost certainly, but a lot of the products launched in 2013 will make a huge mark on the industry for years to come.

Here’s our list of our favorite products and services from 2013:

Moto X

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Moto X

The Moto X arrived in the shadows of bigger name phones with useful features and a mass customization option that allows users to pick the color of the phone without adding a case.

Motorola shakes up notifications with a new Active Display which will turn on the display when it senses motion to show you your missed notifications, and can light it up when a new one comes in. This is vastly better than a blinking LED notification that doesn’t tell you anything about the notification.

 Read: Moto X Review

Add in a great design, wonderful looking screen and the ability to say Ok Google Now at anytime to wake up the phone and start a Google Now search and it’s no wonder the Moto X made our best of the year list.

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  1. The iPad Air was my top device. Really leaps and bounds ahead of the first gen iPad. Hard to believe they’ve only been around for three years!

  2. In my opinion, the best tech of 2013 is automatic link. It makes the road safer, less accidents. They’re are a lot of bad drivers out there and i feel the automatic link will be very helpful. Also beneficial for a person who’s learning how to drive.

  3. HTC One is my favorite although me having one may make me a little biased. It is the best phon I have ever had!

  4. Google Glass is my favorite. I love new tech. While my phone is not exactly new, Samsung galaxy s3, with the recent jelly bean update I know have gotten the gear watch and am fascinated by this tech. Can’t wait for Glass to become affordable for me

  5. Hands down the best product of 2013 is the galaxy note 3. It’s far ahead of the game. It has over half of these other products built into it. Sometimes you cant haul around a tablet, camera, laptop, gaming system because it’s just too much, but the note 3 makes it easy. I’m pretty sure apps will be hitting the market soon for the other products. & Google Glass is not even a factor until they work out those kinks.

  6. I love Apples solid and proven hardware designs which when combined with their awesome software, makes an unbeatable combination!
    My favorite is the iPhone 5S and the
    iPad mini with the retina display!

  7. The PS4 is my top pick, have been excited about it since before it launched and haven’t heard a bad thing yet. :)

  8. Love my iPad mini! And my next phone will be the 5s
    I like the idea of the Xbox one, but we already own a wii and not wanting to purchase all new games on top of the purchase price of the console. And I really like the vent phone holder: that would make a great stocking stuffer!

  9. The Automatic Link is easily the best tech in this list. Even if it didn’t give you detailed feedback about how you drive, it would still be worth the $99 price tag just because it dials 911 when it detects a collision. I’d say the Automatic Link is a must have for anyone who doesn’t already have OnStar or something similar. I’ll be purchasing one!

  10. I Still prefer the PS4 over the Xbox one. Eventhough the PS4 had trouble with the blue light of death at launch.

  11. HTC One Has to be my favorite here. HTC makes great products and they really hear their consumers when they come up with new phones the HTC One is a perfect example of this!

  12. The iPhone 5s is my favorite. Probably a bit biased here based on the fact that I have the product.

  13. The PS4 that I’m going to win for my kids will be my “Best Tech” pick for 2013. Thanks in advance. Merry Christmas!

  14. My favourite from the list is definitely the MacBook Air 13-inch, just looks incredible still, although to be fair I’d happily have any of these!

  15. I would say that the PS4 is infact the best tech of 2013. It really is leaps and bounds ahead of the game and is a good device.

  16. The HTC was my top favorite. I did not see much difference between sense 3.0 and 4.1. Sense 5 gave it a more modern look and feel.

  17. Nexus 5 for sure. I could not be happier with mine, and as a very nitpicky computer engineer that says a lot. Also, for the price it absolutely cannot beat!

  18. Google glass has to take the cake for most inventive! It totally looks like something straight out of a sci-fi but has practical purposes!

    That being said, my favorite in the list is LastPass. It’s great that you can use different strong passwords for every site and not have to remember them all. The added security is fantastic!

  19. I think the best item is the nexus 5…its a good all around device with great specs…cheaper than most of the current gen phones off contract so its a bargain for a xmas gift..

  20. Best Tech 2013 for me would have to be Google glass. I can’t wait until they have fine tuned them and of course dropped the price.

  21. I like the Galxy Note 3 as the best tech of 2013. I have the Note 2 and its awesome and I can’t wait to upgrade to the Note 3 or maybe 4 next year.

  22. Im sorry but in my opinion best tech was not even on this list and that would be the ps4 how could you put xbox one on here and not the ps4

  23. Google Chromecast is my favorite piece of tech this year. It streams Netflix in 1080p and Dolby digital plus for the sound, which is better than any way to watch Netflix. Super small and cheap at they bucks.

  24. I think the iPad Mini with Retina display is the best. It’s a slick device backed up with a ton of useful apps.

  25. For me, it is a tie between the iPad Air and the Galaxy Note 3. I upgraded to both this year, and I have to say that I did so without intending to. I was very happy with my iPad 3rd gen, but when I held the iPad Air in my hands, I bought it on the spot at the Apple Store. The same happened with the Note 3. I upgraded from the Note 2 after a few secs of playing with it at a Best Buy. These products are so good you are able to realize the improvements literally after seconds of holding them!

  26. I like everything on this list, but I think i’m most excited about the Note 3. I have the Note 2 now, and I LOVE it.

  27. Note 3 for me. I fell in love when I saw I could add a phone number to my contacts in 6 seconds.

  28. HTC ONE. I’ve had this phone diode early summer and have never been more satisfied with a phone. If you must get a new phone consider the HTC ONE.

  29. I think the Nexus 5 is a great device and glad to see it makes the list. Would’ve liked to see LG G2, Nexus 7, and Surface

  30. hands Down Automatic link.. It has made the world around you more safer. Technology can be developed for comfort and usage but gadgets like these make your world much more safe. The spirit of christmas is the well being of your dear and near ones and this gadget is one of a kind.

  31. I love my HTC one. I love the front facing speakers being able to hear in the front and not in the back is awesome. I also like the blinkfeed with the updates for sports and other info.

  32. Nexus 5! From the first review I saw, I had to buy it. Screen is amazing and also the phone catches peoples’ attention in public, they always ask what model phone I have.

  33. In my opinion I would say google nexus 5 is the best tech in 2013 as it has reached most of the people with the best features that are actually used by the people….

  34. The nexus 5 has gotta be my choice for favorite.. Not just for the pure google experience and its new features that make me want to upgrade from my N4 but the price is great for an unlocked no contact phone so I’m sure I’ll be buying one soon

  35. I have to say the best of 2013 was the Samsung Note 3. Not only did it really make you want to buy it even though you had a Note 2 the Air command feature sold it. Plus you have virtually the best smart phone on the market in speed size software and features. You had full 100 p recording 32 gb on board and can put a 64 gb sd card in it. It helps with your day to day tasks very long battery and the best phablet. There are other big phones that came out but this phone crash web conferences and Samsung actually listens to it’s users unlike other phones that only comes out with one or 2 features. It is a multi tasking beast. What is not mentioned is the Galaxy Gear which made the Note 3 even more valuable. This phone has became an essential part of my life.

  36. The best for 2013 was the nexus 5. Latest hardware at an awesome price. You can beat as it is the best bang for buck off 2013.

  37. I like this compilation, my favorites are the Nexus 5 and the iPad mini with retina display.

  38. Apple products get my vote the make great products but technology is moveing fast and it was a great year for them all

  39. I think the iPad mini will be Apples strong offering this season. Ivsay this as I type in my nexus 7 :)

  40. I actually think that LastPass is an ingenious idea. Its not a good idea to use the same password for everything so this is perfect.

  41. Google glasses. As we have become a society of instant information, why have to think about looking at a screen, when it is always infront of you. Soon we will just have a Google chip interface to the brain to provide a more integrated solution.

  42. Best tech product of 2013 i would vote it to nexus 5 because of its resolution, android kit kat version, technical specs and at that low price too … Also google glasses comes close just because of the new concept tried …

  43. These techs are truely awesome but u forgot th e watch. The galaxy gear, sony smart watch 2 and the neptune pine. And also im looking forward to winning that PS4!!

  44. Google glass is my favorite because like all products reviewed it continues to push the boundaries of where technology is going.

  45. Great year ! I’ve personally had lots of cellphone upgrades this year, since it’s hard for me not to want something new.

  46. As an iPhone/Mac user, I cannot argue with the Moto X’s high placement. It’s just as innovative as anything Apple produced recently. I can’t wait for that kind of technology to trickle out to the other manufacturer’s – I’d have a Moto X right now if not for my deep Apple integration.

  47. My boyfirend bought the Nexus 5; it has to be the best smartphone I’ve ever had the privilege of using. Here’s hoping for another fantastic year of technology.

  48. i would say the Xbox one is my pick i mean i would no longer need to change imputs or have a lot of cords just use voice commands

  49. The Nexus 5 is an amazing piece of technology. The combination of solid hardware with great software makes it an absolute monster. And at the price point Google is selling it for, it’s a steal.

  50. Google Glass is the gamechanger for me because it has opened the worlds eyes to a completely new concept!

  51. Hands down this is he best tech review I seen this year makes me think twice of Christmas shopping at Best Buy lol

  52. Note 3 is the deal breaker with. Its overwhelming features. I wish i had the money to own one. Way to go Samsung!

  53. Great list. Just got an iPhone 5s last night, so my vote is for that, but I want to explore some of the other things in the article

  54. I gotta say the HTC one is my favorite, this thing is like an iPhone for android users. You have the build quality without the cheap plastic feel of say a Samsung device. With all the performance of a high end phone just the right size not ridiculously big. Not overly “gimmicky” it just feels good in your hand especially with the curved back to fit your palms, 1080p screen looks amazing, apps run smoothly with no delays or “choppiness”. I had an HTC before this and swore I would never buy another, but this definitely changed my mind. Hands down favorite tech.. well not counting that is.

  55. Samsung galaxy note 3,
    it has every thing.speed looks . creativity. Everything. Like air view. air gesture.
    Smart stay. Smart scroll . Muti window. Pen window. Air command ..etc etc etc…
    people says about fingerprint scanner etc missing but people forgot that it’s just a phone not a bank locker and if you use it carefully then no need of scanner..
    screen size resolution weight everything about samsung galaxy note 3 is perfect. .
    Samsung galaxy tab 3 should also be included because it is sleek beautiful gadget. …

  56. Google Glass, for sure. It’s cool, because it’s just the first iteration, and like Google showed with Android, they tend to improve over time.

    PS: I would have loved for SteamOS to be up here, but since the beta only just came out, I cant fault you. Something to look out for in 2014, then.

  57. Google Shopping Express is my favorite tech of the year as it helps you multi task with the best of deals.

  58. My pick is the iPhone 5s. The HTC One is a close second, but falls a little short in a couple of ways. First, it’s running Android, and second, build quality isn’t always that great…mine’s flimsy little speaker cover is coming off, and the holes are not even close to being lined up, it’s as if the robot that manufactured it was drunk.

    My iPhone 5s feels like the perfection of the iPhone concept in many ways. The A7 is just kind of ridiculously fast for this class of device, and it enables the phone to feel like the sci-fi rendition of information technology. You know, those special effects they used to make the computers instantly responsive–it’s real now. I’m actually starting to miss seeing loading screens where I used to expect them. Safari seems to load a page in the time it takes to press the button to go there.

  59. I really liked the iPhone 5s, simply because I love the camera. It’s nice to be able to get great shots and do slow mo video with out lugging around my dslr and gopro everywhere just in case.

  60. The Google glasses are easily the most intriguing. Now whether they will catch on or not is the key to its future.

    Apple products are far overrated as usual and do not really belong on the list. Especially their phones.

  61. The HTC One is the best phone I ever had. The only complaint is that you can not attach a micro SD card.

  62. Oh, I hadn’t kept up with LastPass and so I’m glad to see they now have multi-factor authentication. Think I’ll be dropping by and checking it out. Thanks!

  63. Google Glass!! I don’t care what the nay-sayers are touting, this will be the next big step in technological brilliance.

  64. I’d have to go with the latest MacBook, since I’d get the most use out of it. I think I’d have to sample each of these to give you a more accurate favorite :P

  65. Though not listed I have to go with the Surface Pro 2 with it’s increased memory and drive space. The ability to easily switch between the new metro apps and older windows apps makes it a winner for me. I carry mine everywhere. One Note is my primary note taking app and it works great on the surface pro. I can do my work on it or take a break and watch movies or play games. It’s portable yet powerful.

  66. I’m going with the HTC One. A very good phone loaded with features that compare to all the big ones.

  67. The Nexus 5 is my favorite, recently switched from an iPhone to the Nexus 5 and have not regretted my decision

  68. I personally have to go with the Note 3. I just recently upgraded from my Note 2 and it’s a huge improvement to me. The new features with the S-Pen are great, love being able to use it on the menu/back buttons finally. The screen is beautiful and improves upon what the Note 2 had, not just in resolution, but colors and brightness as well. I don’t care for the fake leather styled back, I personally am probably the only person would would have been fine with a plain back like before but maybe matte rather than glossy. In the end it doesn’t matter though since I have a case on it. USB 3.0 is great, and the ultimate deal sealer to me. I can transfer stuff blazing fast from my PC and it only takes just over two hours to charge from dead, though I never run it that though so it takes a lot less. The great thing is it lasts for two days before I need to charge it, unless I play some heavy use games for extended periods of time.

  69. The HTC One’s sleek and modern design is perfect for the every-day worker. Not only is it able to store important files but is also for relaxing at home.

  70. I was really rooting for HTC to make a comeback; they make great phones, but with their financial problems, let’s hope.

  71. I love the outer box wallet that would be great for me so I dont have to bring my purse with ne when I go out. I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 but I hear the htc one is definitely a great buy that maybe my next phone.

  72. First of all, I have one qustion why give a ps4 away when its not on the list? Anyway I liked some of the picks, i noticed a lot of apple stuff not a big fan of apple products. So here’s what I think should have been on the list. First, the new google gear is sweet. Second, chrome cast should be on as well. I have a s3 and now finally getting 4.3 ota on it.

    • Forgot a few others that could b on the list. The windows and android laptops that convert into a tablet by disconnecting the screen. I did also like the automatic link, google glass and google express.

    • Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Not because of the Gear (it’s like a bonus), but because of its better RAM and higher internal memory than its predecessor–note 2.

  73. The iPad mini with retina display is truly one of the best devices out there ,with a great display and just perfect size makes it really portable to take anywhere with so many great things you can do with it . This 2013 list is pretty good ,just one thing ,seeing how you guys have the x box one there ,then the PS4 should definitely be on there too.

  74. I enjoyed the article, thanks. I’d go for the X-box One. But if you were going to include something, I’d include MOGA, the Bluetooth controllers for iPhones and Androids.

  75. The XBox 1 is my favorite its the best gaming technology out, being able to play your games and control your tv at the same time is insanely incredible!!!!! I want one!!!!

  76. Good selection of tech items. Might add some info on software/apps/utilities. Ipad air in my stocking would be nice.

  77. Many nice things in that link. Nexus 5 is my choice it takes the best of mobile tech and make it a great price to boot which puts it in more people’s hands.

  78. I think the iPhone 5s has it. I don’t look at any other object and see Elegance, Precision, and Finesse. Not even speaking about the OS. I’ve been on android for a few years, and having tried rooting(on KitKat now) I still don’t feel like Android is Quality.

  79. Great list! I agree with the review of the Note 3 (posting from one now). I am surprised to see xbox 1 without a mention of ps4 though.

    • There are some really awesome new home automation products that came out this year that could be on this list. Nevertheless, it’s a great roundup of this year’s gadgets. Right now I only have one of the items on the list: the HTC One.. but if I’m lucky I might get the Xbox One for Christmas and then I’ll have two Ones! :)

  80. ******************** (PICK MY COMMENT PLEASE) ********************
    ******************** ********************
    ******************** The Note 3 is a very nice piece of equipment as well as all the ********************
    ******************** Apple stuff, but realistically the PS4 is technologically the ********************
    ******************** Best Tech of 2013 hands down. ********************
    ******************** ********************

  81. I was excited about getting iphone 5s, once I bought I had to return 4 x iphone 5s’s due to issues like static noise during phone calls, heating issue, unexpected crashes such as spring board crashes… Well still not given up on the fact that ios works better on my iphone 5 and sound quality is great on it… Exploring other option for Android…. and still toggling between ios… no doubt there are plenty of option available this year like G2…

  82. I’d have to agree that Automatic Link is pretty much the best thing, although I do really wish I had a HTC One.

  83. I’m looking forward to the Samsung S4 with the watch. It reminds me of Knight Rider cool watch!!!

  84. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the best of technology 2013. USB 3.0 speed, huge 1080p display, 3200 mah battery, 3gb ram all in a slim, light and portable package. All this and the S pen. Winner !!!

  85. HTC One is definitely the winner for 2013. I feel like this is the only phone that took the focus off gimmicky software and instead delivered a great and durable phone in terms of hardware with a couple of software features that I actually use. PS4? :)

  86. PS4 should have been on the list and not Xbox One. Too many phones were on that list in my opinion. I think there are some really neat unheard of gadgets somewhere worthy of a spot.

  87. A very good hand pick of products, although personally I think the Galaxy Note 3 is most definately the top product I have seen.

  88. All in all there are some really great products that made the list. But I definitely would have to say hands down my favorite is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It has awesome spec’s and it has something to offer everyone. Since the release of the Galaxy Note series I have been a fan.

  89. Xbox one is my favorite, although I don’t have a PS4 to compare it to. I’m lovin’ me some forza right now.

  90. I absolutely adore my galaxy note 3!! It’s everything I could want from a phone and a tablet in 1… I also love my galaxy gear “inspector gadget watch” … wish I could do like face time or something like that on it… but it’s the 1st generation. .. does everything the commercial b says and more… and takes surprisingly good pics for a camera on your wrist

  91. My favourite Gadget would be Samsung Galaxy Note 3 of course.
    The super power house processor, multitasking, amazing new pen features and even the phone itself makes you feel like you are holding a vintage diary note book.
    With the combination of incredible software and hardware features Note 3 is my favorite product of the year 2013 <3 <3 <3.

  92. What about Chromecast? It may still be in its early stages but it could be a game changer before it’s done.

  93. Nexus 5 — while iPad gets more stale but just as expensive, the Nexus pushes new features at a competitive price point. They’re forcing the hand of other tablet makers to make better alternatives at relative prices, which is welcome news in this industry segment.

  94. I would have to go with the xbox one… It is the all around entertainment system and gaming console. Turns your tv into a super smart tv.

  95. I would say the iPhone 5s, it is the first phone that has a 64 bit processor, is able to record slow motion video at 120 fps, has a finger print scanner to make your phone even more secure. Best Phone out there, glad I got mine

  96. I think the note 3 was a great choice. I went out of my way to pick up the device, and felt like I made a great decision because it does everything I want it to do plus more. Well worth the wait.

  97. While 2013 was a great tech year, I think the coming year will really showcase some amazing products…

  98. Nexus 5 continues to be a solid flagship for the android platform…
    And, while I love the Xbone, I think it’s odd that the ps4 was excluded from the list…

  99. For the tech of 2013, I’m very conflicted. For game systems, the PS4 wins. It’s is a major upgrade of one of the best systems made. For computers, MacBook Air definitely takes the cake. Combining amazing hardware, design, battery life, and one of the best operating systems available, it had very little competition this year. Finally, for accessories, I must mention the Leap Motion Controller. It is the nearly perfect marriage of human movement and graphical interface interaction. In short, it changes the way we interact with our computers and keyboards. Honorable mention: Software- “Flutter”.

  100. I believe the most revolutionary of all these would have to be Google Glass, but I’m still a big fan of the iPhone 5S, and the latest generation consoles.

  101. My favorite would definitely be Google Glass. I think it would be the coolest thing to own from this list.

  102. The PS4 will be the tech gadget of the year..I also love all Android phones!!!

  103. Really liked the auto attachments, password keeper and the otterbox stuff. I am a big fan of new things that are really new …and useful.

  104. I found the Automatic link to be the most useful amazing product I’ve seen come from Apple it’s so innovative and different it changes my opinion of them.

  105. Nexus 5. I think Google’s Nexus pricing has been one of the forces driving major carriers to begin moving away from the carrier subsidy model and embrace bring your own phone plans.

  106. My favorite among these would be the samsung galaxy note 3. Surprised that the ps4 was not on here. Also, I wouldn’t put google glass in there as it’s not had a wide public release yet.

  107. My favorite of the products listed is the iPad air. I believe that this was a huge update for the iPad, and provides a great future for Apple and their products.

  108. Apple always delivers such stellar products but they have allowed their competition to make up slot of ground … I’ve been an Apple fan for so many years but have lately felt “bored” with what always feels like so much of the same. As a result I’ve switched to Android devices and found that I LOVE them. THAT being said I hope Apple takes the opportunity in 2014 to wow us all again… it feels like it’s been some time since we felt that.

  109. Apple does have the lion’s share of devices, but only the %s, iPad Retina Mini and iPad Air are really innovative. The Sony PS4 is tops in my book.

  110. My favorite is the Sony DSC-RX100M camera. It is versatile and would allow a user considerable freedom to be creative.

  111. I would say the Macbook Pro Retina! The design and the perfection of the product with Mac OS X is perfect! Defiantly my favorite.

  112. The Outerbox case sounds like a great option for when I travel for business. Keeping cards secure while traveling with minimal accessories can be tricky.

  113. I think I’ll go with the LG G2 with the Snapdragon processor, and GIANT battery. No one said anything about it, and it is a BEAST

  114. Truthfully most of the products on the list are rehashes of things from before.. just faster or improved. That said I do like the nexus 5 for its price/feature ratio and the Galaxy Note 3 for its screen and sensitive pen that you can draw and take written notes with. I personally carry the S4 but i don’t think it’s the best phone.. just what i got at the time. Google Glass has intriguing possibilities for the future. I would like to think about this all further while playing a new PS4 though.

  115. Well, I’m a big apple fan, and upgrading from my teenie tiny iPhone 4S to the holy grained iphone 5s… The iphone was the winner for me, with the new MacBook as my next runner up!!

  116. The nexus 5! Everything about its awesome, the camera wasn’t my favorite but for under $400 you can’t beat it

  117. in My opinion it would have to be the galaxy s3 its still the best phone better than iphone and windows phone

  118. Although Google glass is a really great piece of technology, it has some distance to go before it can be groundbreaking. As of this year, bringing android to a whole new experience is Nexus 5, pitting it against the greatest phones and yet delivering magnificent performance at a low price tag.

    Google and LG have nailed the art of creating the best smartphone. Nexus 5 is my tech of the year and I own it too. Its power to the consumer.

  119. The thing on my list that isn’t here is the WD My Cloud. Then maybe the XboxOne since I’ve already preordered TitanFall.

  120. If a consumer wishes to own one of these techs, it would definitely be Nexus 5, most refined and extraordinary experience of android. I love it.

  121. One of the best launch of the year in this ever changing smartphone world has to be Nexus 5. That tech is here to stay and is a precedent that great tech can be delivered at affordable price.

  122. The top 5 in my list would be –
    1. Nexus 5
    2. Google Glass
    3. IPad mini retina
    4. Moto X
    5. Cyanogen Mod (OS)

  123. My most favorite one would be the 5s because it has everything you need in modern technology. plus the jailbreak just came out today so it’s way betterrrrrr

  124. I would be cool if Razer product where on the list. I’d go with the Xbox One, my 360 broke along time ago

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