It’s been years since the original iPhone hit the market and the innovation just keeps on coming. Consumers have become so accustomed to increasingly full-featured and powerful phones, that it takes a lot to get them excited these days. Of all the smartphones released thus far in 2014, the following models are without question the best on the market.
Google Nexus 5
If you’re an Android fanatic, Google’s Nexus 5 is the best of the bunch. Though plenty of phones can beat the Nexus 5 in terms of computing firepower, few can best its minimalist yet appealing aesthetics and its tight integration with core Google features. Best of all, off-contract Nexus 5 prices are surprisingly affordable.
Nokia Lumia 1520
The Lumia 1520 is a big, bright monster of a phone that’s equipped with a 6-inch IPS LCD capable of 1920×1080-pixel resolution. It’s also one of the best Windows 8 phones you can get your hands on. For photography buffs, the Lumia 1520’s 20MP primary camera with Carl Zeiss optics is tough to pass up.
Samsung Galaxy S5
If you want a bit more than a stock installation of Android can offer, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is the best alternative. Thanks to its 2.5GHz, quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM, the Galaxy S5 is one of the fastest Androids around. It also boasts a 5.1-inch FHD AMOLED display and an HDR-capable 16MP camera.
HTC One M8
Easily the equal of the Galaxy S5 in the performance department, the HTC One M8 throws in good looks to sweeten the pot. Its gorgeous 5-inch, 1920×1080-pixel display allows users to take full advantage of the powerful on-board Adreno 330 graphics. On an HSDPA network, the HTC One M8 can pull down 42Mbps without skipping a beat.
Though it may not be the gold standard for smartphones any more, and many are opting to sell their iPhones to AppleShark and other traders, it’s still one of the most appealing devices out there. The app ecosystem is unparalleled, the hardware is unimpeachable, and the user experience is slicker than ever. Thanks to unique features like Siri, combined with falling prices, the iPhone 5S has never been a better bargain.
The Choice Is (Mostly) Clear
While best-in-show smartphone candidates can be narrowed down to a relatively small group, there’s no way to determine a definitive winner. The best smartphone for you depends on a variety of factors like price, preferred operating system, and carriers available in your area. Regardless, any of these models will deliver an excellent experience.