TIME Phones

These Are the 9 Best Android Phones of 2014

Samsung

Here's how to choose the best phone for you

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This post is in partnership with Trusted Reviews. The article below was originally published at Trusted Reviews.com.

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The “big four” high-end Android smartphones are the HTC One M8, the Samsung Galaxy S5 the Sony Xperia Z2 and the LG G3. But then there’s a whole host of cheaper, smaller and, in fact, bigger alternatives too, and they come from all manner of different manufacturers. It seems like everyone is making a Google-running phone these days, which makes the selection process even more of a headache.

If you are happy to spend big on a monthly contract or buy a high-end Android smartphone outright, then you’ve plenty of options and you‘ll get the hardware that pushes the operating system to its limits. Think lightning-fast quad-core processors, huge HD touchscreens and the kind of camera that means you can finally ditch the compact. Some of these handsets are even waterproof now.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can save yourself several hundred pounds and still get a great Android phone – one that is a more pocket-friendly size and runs on a slightly older version of Android. Crucially though, it will still let you play games, watch YouTube videos, check Facebook and browse the web.

The Android operating system has been praised for letting you truly customize your phone. It has for some time though lacked the polished, good looks of Apple’s iOS. Google has upped its game recently, though, and in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and more recently Android 4.4 KitKat we have the cleanest and most user-friendly version of the operating system since it was released back in 2008.

If you really don’t fancy owning an iPhone 5S or a Windows Phone 8 phone, then maybe it’s time to go Google. Hunting out the top rated high end and mid-range handsets, we’ve selected the 10 best Android phones to buy right now.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Originally reviewed by 27 September 2013

Best Big Android Phone

Key features:

  • 5.7-inch 1080p Full HD screen
  • 13-megapixel main camera with LED flash
  • Best stylus experience on a phone
  • 32GB of storage with microSD card support

The big phone that keeps on getting better, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is once again equipped with the excellent S-Pen stylus and is laden with features to make it a tech head’s dream.

Featuring a 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen, the Note 3 is powered by a Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz CPU and has 32GB and 3GB of RAM to take care of multitasking. The key design change from the Note 2 is the leather-effect battery cover which is purely cosmetic. There’s a 13-megapixel main camera to shoot photos and 1080p video, putting it on par with the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The S Pen is once again the star of the show and has more apps to utilize its stylus powers. If you are after a big screen Android phone to get creative with, the Galaxy Note 3 is the best to go for.

Google Nexus 5

Originally reviewed by 04 November 2013

Best Google Experience Phone

Key features:

  • 5-inch full HD 1080p screen
  • 8-megapixel camera with decent low-light camera performance
  • Runs on Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Powerful enough to run apps smoothly

The Google Nexus 5 is the current Google-branded phone that replaced the Nexus 4. It’s cheaper SIM-free than all the other Android big hitters like the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5. It’s an excellent performer overall, has a smart design and is undoubtedly one of the best Android phones you can buy, even if it is getting a little old now.

Designed by LG, the Nexus 5 is just 8.6mm thick and has a super-slim bezel making it far from a chunky affair. The screen is exceptionally sharp and viewing angles are perfect making it primed for movie-watching.

It runs on the latest Android 4.4 KitKat operating system and will always be the first to get the latest updates, while users of other Androids may have to wait months for the latest software to arrive.

It will give you around a day’s battery life, which isn’t quite up there with the best, and the camera doesn’t quite compete either but it still has everything to make it a high-end Android phone bargain.

For the rest of the list, please go to TrustedReviews.com.

 

 

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