7 of the Best Mobiles for 2014

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It’s been a big year for mobile phones, with some new entries really shaking things up a bit, while others just sort of flopped (yes Samsung Alpha, we’re looking at you). In part this has been due to the strange intersection of rivalries between Apple, Google, and Samsung, but there is more too, with new contenders, entries, and changes you might not even have realised were out there. Below we’ve looked over 7 of the best phones out there, and given a brief overview of each. Some you’ll love, while some you might love to hate. Let us know in the comments section.

1) One Plus One – £250 (64GB): This is a great device that is on par with flagship phones that cost twice as much. For instance, you can get a 64GB version of this phone for around £250 if you know where to shop and can find one, which is far less than the £500 you’d spend on a top brand version of the same phone. Of course, it is missing a few things, like a micro SD slot – so you’ll want to have the 64GB version. Though at this price, considering everything else it offers, this is a phone you can’t go wrong with.

2) Google Nexus 6 – £550 (64GB): This is a great device, although it’s more than just a little bit huge in comparison to past offerings from Google. Ok, it’s actually a lot huge, coming in at 5.96 inches (effectively 6 inches). That’s enormous, making an otherwise amazing phone a little less great in terms of use, unless you have big hands. It’s basically a giant Moto X, with more of everything – which may be good if you’re the sort who likes to have a large phone. Another plus is that like all Nexus devices, it was designed specifically for Android, in this case shipping with the latest Android OS, Lollipop Android 5.0.

3) Motorola Moto X – £230 (16GB): Generally upgrades are upgrades and not that much to announce or talk about. However, in the case of this phone there’s a lot to talk about. Overall it’s one of the most solid price point mobiles available in it’s category and even though it doesn’t have a micro SD slot, it’s a great alternative to other more expensive devices in the 16GB+ range, such as the iPhone. Another very strong selling point for the phone is the 5.2-inch super AMOLED screen (which is stunning, and better than anything else at this price point).

4) Sony Xperia Z3 – £480: Sony’s release of the Z3 was a bit of surprise, as it came about six months after the Z2 was released. This left a lot of people wondering just what Sony was thinking – but in tests the Z3 is a great device. Maybe not enough to warrant a full upgrade, but either way it’s a solid device. The battery has an excellent lifespan, and the camera as always is superb, offering 20.7MP native and having its own dedicated ‘camera’ button, letting you instantly snap shots. That camera button is one of our favourite things about the Sony Xperia.

5) BlackBerry Passport – £529: Seeing BlackBerry anywhere on this list is something we would have put odds against just a year ago, but the company has made an amazing comeback, releasing the Passport, which is an outstanding device. It’s got a very large screen, and a keyboard that also acts as a touch extension. Great for viewing large documents, like PDF files and such, and paired with the BlackBerry award winning security, this is a great phone that’s definitely worth the trip.

6) Apple iPhone 6 – £799 (128GB): The entire mobile market was revolutionised by iPhone; so having one is a bit like having Rolls Royce – even if it isn’t the best thing out there. The iPhone 6 once more falls into that category, with a screen that’s just not as great as some of the other top phones out there, and some other tech specs that, while nice, aren’t at the absolute top of the tech pile. However, the price is at the absolute top. So while this is a really great mobile, there are missing elements that the price tag doesn’t justify (but we still got one because, you know, it’s an iPhone!).

7) HTC One M8 – £450: This is an all around great phone, is either equal to or better than almost any other phone on the market right now in overall cost versus function and specifications comparisons. It offers high end everything (literally, everything), including 2 GB of RAM, a 128 GB micro SD slot, near limitless network bands, and a blazing fast quad core processor. The only real downside to the phone is that the camera is somewhat less powerful than competing models – but then MP isn’t everything. Plus, HTC is using an interesting technology, where their dual rear cameras actually let you refocus a photo you’ve already taken – which is pretty cool technology.

Remember that everyone’s usage needs are different, and so is his or her taste in phones. While some prefer a phablet, others want a more manageable or smaller mobile. Still others prefer a particular OS, such as Android, iOS, or Windows. Each of these things can cause a person to have an extreme preference for one model to another, or feel that two technically similar devices are have a clear winner. After all, a phone’s OS is what makes it work, and in addition to the device aesthetics and technical specs we all want, the OS is really how we interact with our phones. Keep that in mind when considering which of these mobiles you’re most interested in.

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