A few years ago, there were no smartphones. They were just cell phones. You were able to send messages and call people wirelessly with them and we thought it was groundbreaking. For those times, it was, and it was a luxury to own one. But the world has changed – what yesterday was considered to be groundbreaking is now outdated and what was considered to be a luxury is now banal. Smartphones have evolved a lot and 2014 was a year with great releases, from Apple to HTC, so without further ado, here are our rankings of the best smartphones released this year.
Who would have thought that Motorola would found its way back on a “Best Of” list? Sorry we doubted you Motorola, because your upgraded Moto X is quite awesome. The Super AMOLED clarity of the 5.2-inch screen, fit in a curvaceous design, won us over; combined with the Motorola Active Display that lets you slide your finger on the display to see the most important notifications, it’s a winner. Thankfully, they ditched the plastic design in favor of the aluminum one, so that it feels natural and even smaller in your hand. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 is pure power and the 2GB RAM is not too shabby either. Too bad the camera is pretty sub-par and the battery will barely get you through one day, because the smartphone is remarkable in all the other aspects.
As smartphones keep increasing in size, we felt compelled to add a well-built smartphone which has ‘compact’ in its name. It has slightly less power and resolution than its bigger brother Xperia Z3, so why is this phone on the list, you might wonder? It’s just the classic saying of good things coming in small packages and in this case, it’s a 20.7MP camera, Remote Play for PS4, an impressive IPS LCD screen at an accessible price.
Samsung once again shows why it’s a dominant force on the mobile market, by pulling out all the aces from its sleeves and packing them into the Galaxy Note 4. The QHD resolution and a Super AMOLED screen make it hard not to stare at it; the wide-angle 3.7MP front camera allows you to take better selfies than ever and the 16MP rear one has built-in Optical Image Stabilization. It’s one of the best phablets and it would be close to perfection if only the price would be lower.
Shock! The iPhone 6 is not the number one on the list. It’s not that it’s a bad smartphone by any means – after all, it’s our number two, but it’s just that for the oh-so-very-expensive price tag, we had slightly higher hopes. It is of course a step forward from the previous releases and the iOS is probably the best operating system at the moment; the interface manages to be both intuitive and simple. However, the low-res display and camera, which for the given price should have been stellar, prevent it from taking the top spot.
HTC One M8 deservingly takes the first spot; the most impressive aspect of the M8 is that it actually managed to improve an already spectacular smartphone, like their previous HTC One. The Boomsound system brings the clarity of the audio to a whole new level and the Duo Lens camera with UltraPixels ensures that all your special moments will be beautifully captured. The Snapdragon 801 processor speeds up everything, from photo processing to gaming experience. One can only wonder how much harder the M9 will crush the competition.