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Top 10 Smartphones of 2014

This year has seen an extravaganza of smartphones, not just from the established players such as Samsung, Apple, LG and Sony and Indian smartphone makers, but also the growing bunch of Chinese handset makers. The year 2014 was also the year Chinese handset makers truly arrived in India, with Xiaomi leading from the front followed by Oppo, Lenovo (which completed the acquisition of Motorola devices division this year), Gionee (which had entered the Indian market in 2013), Huawei and most recently OnePlus. Their aggressive pricing took most of the big companies by surprise and allowed consumers to buy some pretty neat smartphones in the under Rs 10k price bracket.

So let us take a look at the best phones that came out this year.

1) Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung may not have had a stellar 2014, what with its books showing the worst financial performance in three years. But its flagship phone – the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – impressed on all fronts. Be it performance, software, battery life, innovations on the S-pen, camera performance, the Note 4 came away with shining colours. The fast charging feature which lets you charge your phone in under two hours was is a great value addition. The only feature missing would be the water and dust resistance that was seen on the Galaxy S5, but then the advantages offered by the Note 4 far outweighed the omission of the IP67 certification. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has no equal when it comes to phones with stylus functionality.

Key Features of Samsung Galaxy Note 4

  • 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED Touchscreen
  • 16 MP Primary Camera
  • Android v4.4 (KitKat) OS
  • 3.5 MP Secondary Camera
  • 2.7 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805::Exynos 5433, Quad Core Processor
  • Internal Storage Capacity of 32 GB
  • 3220 mAh Battery

2) Apple iPhone 6

Apple finally succumbed to the trend of large screen smartphones and launched not one but two iPhone’s this year — the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus. Globally, the iPhone 6 sales outstripped those of the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 started at Rs 53,500, which was around the same price at which the iPhone 5s was launched last year. Considering the limited storage and the fact that you couldn’t expand the memory, the price seemed like it could be a deal breaker for many.

Apart from that, the iPhone 6 surpassed expectations in most areas, making it one of the best smartphones to get this year. It has a brilliant display, one of the best cameras you’ll find on a smartphone, excellent call sound quality and it’s super-fast to use. It’s definitely the best iPhone you can buy. On the downside, the iPhone 6 lacks features compared to rivals. For example, it’s not waterproof, you can’t expand the storage and you can’t use NFC to transfer data.

Key Features of Apple iPhone 6

  • 1.2 MP Secondary Camera
  • 4.7-inch Touchscreen
  • Bluetooth Support
  • Full HD Recording
  • iOS 8
  • 8 MP Primary Camera
  • Wi-Fi Enabled

3) Sony Xperia Z3

Sony’s flagship phone the Xperia Z3 impressed on most fronts and is the only phone in the winners list which comes with an IP68 certification. The overall performance, display quality, camera performance and battery life were great. Even the design improvements were impressive. One thing we disliked was the pricing for the device, considering other flagship phones were priced much lower, most of which were offering a somewhat similar performance. For camera enthusiasts, this phone is particularly great.

Key Features of Sony Xperia Z3

  • 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Krait 400 Quad Core Processor
  • Android v4.4 (KitKat) OS
  • Expandable Storage Capacity of 128 GB
  • 2.2 MP Secondary Camera
  • Wi-Fi Enabled
  • 20.7 MP Primary Camera
  • 4K Video Recording
  • 5.2-inch Touchscreen

4) LG G3

LG G3 is the LG’s best smartphone offering for the premium segment. The G3 boasts of the highest pixel density screen of any smartphone along with super-slim bezels and laser assisted focus system for instant focusing.
Key Features of LG G3

  • 5.5-inch LCD Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 13 MP Primary Camera
  • Android v4.4.2 (KitKat) OS
  • 2.1 MP Secondary Camera
  • 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad Core Processor
  • Expandable Storage Capacity of 128 GB
  • Wi-Fi Enabled

5) BlackBerry Passport

This phone’s design made you do a double take. BlackBerry was swimming against the flow with this one and it was also clear that they understood that a purpose-built smartphone for a niche audience wouldn’t exactly appeal to every consumer, nor make any major dent in overall smartphone sales figures. If productivity is what you are after, and want a different looking phone, the Passport has you covered.

Key Features of BlackBerry Passport

  • BlackBerry 10.3 OS
  • Full HD Recording
  • QWERTY Keypad
  • 13 MP Primary Camera and 2 MP Secondary Camera
  • Expandable Storage Capacity of 128 GB
  • 4.5-inch LCD Touchscreen
  • 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad Core Processor

6) HTC One (M8)

The new HTC One is a great smartphone that does a lot of fantastic things. We can tell that the company listened to feedback, focused on areas that needed improvement and added some innovative new features that are actually useful along the way. The new design looks fresh and inviting; the Duo Camera’s new abilities are fun and useful (a rare combination, it seems); the performance is fantastic; battery life has improved significantly; the new version of HTC Sense is even better than the last (but please, HTC, don’t make “Sixth Sense” a thing, okay?); and the company continues to improve features like BoomSound and BlinkFeed. Naturally, these factors are convincing enough for us to give high marks on the new One.

Key Features of HTC One M8
  • HTC UltraPixel Primary Camera
  • 5-inch Touchscreen
  • Expandable Storage Capacity of 128 GB
  • 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad Core Processor
  • 5 MP Secondary Camera
  • Wi-Fi Enabled
  • Full HD Recording
  • Android v4.4.2 OS

7) OnePlus One

While this phone was launched in China in April this year, it only launched officially in India this month. Its invite-only system can be annoying, but after having reviewed the device, the price point of Rs 21,999 makes it a phone we must recommend. Sure, it will not get Cyanogen updates officially in India, but then OnePlus will release their own custom ROM by February 2015. If you want a large screen device with great specs at an affordable price, this is the One to go for.

Also Read: OnePlus One Review


Key Features of OnePlus One

  • 5.5-inch HD Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 13 MP Primary Camera
  • CyanogenMod 11S OS (Pre-Rooted)
  • 5 MP Secondary Camera
  • 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Processor
  • Internal Storage Capacity of 64 GB
  • 3100 mAh Battery

8) Motorola Moto X (2014)

The second generation Moto X came with a lot of improvements both internally and on the design front. Performance was great, camera output was decent, almost stock UI with proprietary Motorola features was a pleasure to use and battery life could last over a day. Overall the Moto X was a complete package and at a price of Rs 31,999 was able to hold its own against flagships such as Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3 and so on.

Key Features of Moto X (2nd Gen)
  • Android v4.4.4 (KitKat) OS
  • 2 MP Secondary Camera
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Dual Ring LED Flash
  • 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974-AC Quad Core Processor
  • 5.2-inch Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 13 MP Primary Camera

9) Xiaomi Mi3

This was the phone that started Xiaomi’s onslaught in India. At Rs 13,999 it offered specifications that were seen on flagship devices which were almost twice or three times its price. Indian consumers lapped up Xiaomi handsets and the success of the Mi3 has rubbed on to the Redmi 1S and the Redmi Note as well. Although the Mi3 no longer sells, Xiaomi is getting ready to launch the Mi4 in India as soon as it gets over its current case with Ericsson in the Delhi HC.

Key Features of Xiaomi Mi3

  • 5.0-inch IPS LCD Capacitive Touchscreen
  • 13 MP Primary Camera
  • MIUI 5.0 OS (Android v4.4.2 OS)
  • 2 MP Secondary Camera
  • 2.3 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Processor
  • Internal Storage Capacity of 16/64 GB
  • 3050 mAh Battery

10) LG Nexus 5

The LG Nexus 5 is the best Android phone recommendation for stock Android fans. Apart from the pure Android experience, the Nexus 5 also gets the advantage of receiving the latest Android updates directly from Google.
Key Features of Google Nexus 5
  • Android v4.4 (KitKat) OS
  • 4.95-inch Full HD IPS Touchscreen
  • 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Processor
  • 8 MP Primary Camera
  • NFC Support and Built-in Wireless Charging
  • Wi-Fi Enabled and 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB Internal Storage
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Shubham Mishra

Founder and Chief Editor at PaidFreeDroid. Shubham likes to keep on top of the tech world and loves to help people around him who face day to day trouble with technology.

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