PhoneRadar Awards 2014 – Best SmartPhone of the Year

by Amit Bhawani 12

Best SmartPhone 2014 Award

Let’s talk about the best smartphones of 2014. But first take a look at what smartphones were in the list to compete for this title of the year. There were around 12 smartphones that made it to the list this year. First being from the South Korean giant Galaxy S5, it was launched in February, but, unfortunately, didn’t make it to the list. The second being the Gionee S5.5, which was the slimmest smartphone announced at that time of the year.

It was followed by HTC One M8, the successor to the M7 of last year. While the Oppo was the first to announce the 2K display in 2014, right, then, it was easily said that this year would be a year of 2K display phones. And we did saw that happening with announcement of LG G3 in the month of May. But before that the flagship killer was already announced in April, which we known as OnePlus One. Later, we saw launch of Xiaomi Mi4 in China, along with the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro with 2K display. After IFA expo in Berlin this year we saw announcement of some amazing smartphones, like Note 4 and Xperia Z3. In the same month of September, Apple unveiled the iPhone Plus, its first biggest screen smartphone, which was followed by Motorola announcing the Second Generation Moto X.

Well, it was a long list of smartphones that we saw this year and as well as reviewed too. But then, again the list comes down to the five smartphones that went down on the ultimate showdown to fight for the crown of Best Smartphone of the year 2014. These are the Top 5 smartphones that we felt should be in the list of top 5 smartphones of 2014 – Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G3, OnePlus One, iPhone 6 Plus, Sony Xperia Z3. And we would be talking about these in the aspects of specifications.

Display

As we said this was the year of 2K display, and we saw it in the likes of Galaxy Note 4 and the LG G3. While the other contenders in the list, OnePlus One, iPhone 6 Plus and Sony Xperia Z3 have the Full HD. Now talking about the better display among Note 4 and G3. There would be a clear winner if we see the PPI of G3, which is the maximum – 534. But considering the fact that Note 4 comes with Super AMOLED 2K display, you have to count it in too.

Internal Memory/ External Memory

Internal memory is one of the aspects that should be of prime importance. Note that we have taken in account the standard variants of the models. Talking about the memory, the devices like Note 4 and G3 comes with same 32GB. While OnePlus One, Xperia Z3 and iPhone 6 Plus comes with only 16GB of internal storage, though, Xperia Z3 does have expandable storage option of up to 128GB, whereas OnePlus One and iPhone 6 Plus doesn’t have. There is a clash between the Note 4 and G3, when we talk about the memory aspect, as they both have 32GB internal storage as well as well as 128GB expandable storage options. So, it is a tie here.

Design

Coming down to the design aspect. The smartphone should be comfortable to hold and yet provide a large display size, which is such a case with LG G3. Whereas it is not the case with iPhone 6 Plus, which is an overly sized device, as it is even larger than the 5.7-inch Note 4. We also saw the bent gate possibility, which was come into the light when the Lewis of UnboxTherapy channel posted about it. Making the iPhone 6 Plus design a fail.

LG G3 Hands-on

Talking about OnePlus One sandstone black variant, it has pretty good build quality as touted by the company. We used OnePlus One for quite a time, and it was pretty comfortable to use the device in one hand during some conditions. But ultimately, the winner comes out to be the LG G3, even though, the Note 4’s design is incredible, and it has comfortable leather back.

Hardware

The clear winner comes out in the hardware aspect is the Galaxy Note 4, which is powered by Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 805 processor, complemented by Adreno 420 and the 3GB of RAM. While the LG G3, OnePlus One and Sony Xperia Z3 are powered by a Snapdragon 801 and the 3GB of RAM. But the iPhone 6 Plus runs the Dual-core A8 processor, and moreover it has only 1GB of RAM. So, the clear winner in the hardware aspect is the Galaxy Note 4.

Camera

In the camera department, Sony easily managed to be on top by offering 20.7MP rear camera and 2.2MP front camera. But considering the selfies are popular these days, the Galaxy Note 4 is the ultimate package as it comes with 3.7MP front snapper and a great 16MP rear shooter. Whereas the contenders, LG G3 and OnePlus One, comes with 13MP rear shooter. But the flagship killer sports a better 5MP front module. While the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is still stuck at a lower 8MP resolution rear cam, and a 1.2MP front cam.

Battery

The most important aspect of all is the battery. If your smartphone doesn’t have a good battery life, then what would be the use of all the features that you won’t be able to use because your phone runs out of juice too fast. Another aspect where Galaxy Note 4 is the clear winner, as it sports a larger 3220mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - Power Saving Mode

Talking about its competition, the OnePlus One and the Xperia Z3 sport the same 3100mAh battery rating. Though, OnePlus has optimized the battery performance due to the accessibility of CyangenMod. The LG G3 still manages to give decent battery performance with 3000mAh battery even with 2K display, but iPhone 6 Plus fails to give a good battery backup with its 2800mAh battery.

Connectivity – OTG, 4G

There is no clear winner when coming to the connectivity features as four smartphones out of the five in the list have the OTG and 4G LTE functionality support, as we have taken in account only these two things. There is only one smartphone out of these five that doesn’t support the OTG functionality is the iPhone 6 Plus. While it has its charm, the iPhone 6 lack in connectivity features like the OTG functionality.

Additional Features

The last aspect that we took in account isn’t the common aspect, as the additional features like Stylus on Note 4 and Laser Autofocus, should be taken in account when a showdown is going on. Isn’t that, right? The OnePlus One has the customized CyanogenMod installed as its working ROM. It basically allows the user to take the most benefit out of the hardware. Meaning you can do a lot of things with a powerful Snapdragon 801 on OnePlus One, which are restricted on the Stock UIs.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus Control Center

Talking about the iPhone 6 plus, its unique feature is its operating system, just like OnePlus one. Though, the iOS is more polished and tend to crash less than any mobile platform in the market. And if we talk about the additional feature on Sony Xperia Z3, the device is waterproof. For whoever likes to have waterproof smartphone, it is the best one you can get right now.

Verdict

So, the winner out of this smartphone showdown came to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, considering all the important aspects that should be on a best smartphone. And therefore, we recommend you to check out the Note 4 before you get any other flagship handset. And if you are looking for an alternative of Note 4, then, LG G3 is the runner up on this list. As in terms of the form factor it is the best smartphone that we have liked this year.

Amit Bhawani

Editor-in-chief

Amit Bhawani is a Professional Blogger & Founder of PhoneRadar, Android Advices & Gizmo Report. He has received various awards like the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award & Samsung Mobilers Award. He covers more on the subject of value of mobile phones to consumers and gives insights to mobile buyers helping them to buy the right device.

  • Bastian

    Note 4 : Samsung’s true flagship. Exquisite, sleek design. Quad HD display beautiful, the best on the market. TouchWiz I like how it works (oh rare hahaha) but only in the Note’s. The S Pen is more useful than ever and Its fast charging will be a standard among future smartphones.

    For me, it’s the almost perfect smarphone. Excellent election Phoneradar.

  • oc

    The ipone 6 has less ram but keep in mind that apps are written in C languages while android apps are written in Java and therefore could use more ram.

  • Shanky Yadav

    One plus dead in India and this is done by micromax so leave one plus , now second LG G3the best smartphone of the year before Note 4 take off.. Sony Z3 may be not best or better as I think its like a lingual word ‘ kam Chalao’ as it has a heating problem for which the phone get hot within 5or 10min of hardcore use..but its water proof so it can’t be ignored .
    Now next talking about iPhone , it has a very new look , better camera ever but not the best as compared to note 4 but IPhone already a ruler on the hearts of people so they might miss the fantastic taste of note 4. Design, may be iPhone 6 takes its path here but LG and And Samsung are there to beat it. Battery, which is the main reason of some of all people to buy a smartphone with which they can do their business stuff too. so its again cryastal clear that note 4 is the best among all .
    Connectivity of all these phone except Iphone, all have 4G LTE and OTG support so its mentioned above that their is no wiiner but has loser that is IPhone 6.
    Now final verdict for me Samsung galaxy note 4 is the smartphone which still leads and the winner among all smartphone by beating them in all aspects .. So Note 4 best phone ever made..

  • Suraj Racharla

    Woot Woot to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Yet another year where Samsung dominates the smartphone market with their Note series phone. The Note 4 is the most sophisticated smartphone in the world and still provides the simplicity we the consumers are looking for. The build of the Note 4 is astonishing and the metal build is a great improvment but it was very expected. Also i love the back and the leather feeling makes the phone look so premium and feel so great that you cant keep it out of your hand!!! Also the LG G3 also has an amazing design but i would have loved to see more metal integrated onto the device because it just gives the bang in your hand. Another aspect of the phone that is probably the most important to me is the screen .The Note 4’s screen resolution is crazy good and the quad hd goes hand in hand with the Super Amoled display!!! I beleive Super Amoled is the best screen technology you can buy and the note 4 delivers all that we need. The Note 4’s camera is also spectacular and i love the pics that come out and i have to say the pics looks better on the phone than in real life!!! The software of the Note 4 is no less tho!! The Touchwiz UI is really good and i love it!!! It provides a nice interface for the consumer and makes it easy to communicate with your phone. By far right now the Note 4 interface is the best and nothing can beat it!!! Battery life is also great on the Note 4 and can run you easily for a day!!! This is where the LG G3 comes down in and the Quad hd display really kills the G3 and pushes the Note 4 to the top. All in all i agree that the Note 4 is the best phone of 2014 hands down!!! The LG G3 is also great but there are a few hiccups here and there that you need research if you are buying this phone.
    Great job Phone Radar for making the PhoneRadar awards a reality and i love how you presented unbiased reviews and showed the true colors in a smartphone. Way to go to the whole team including the writers,editors,video recorders, and its great to see people writing top notch articles and making great videos and still proceed on with their job and career. Hats off to PhoneRadar. This article is something that everyone should share!!!!

  • This was an amazing year for smart phones and I’m really elated the Phoneradar thought that way too. They have laid forth an incredible article here to show is just how competitive the smartphone race was. Naturally the best phone deservingly won the race. In really thanlfulnfor finding for Phoneradar as not many sites go deep into such a wide pletora of devices. Its stunning how much they are able to cover. And with all this information they have put up a completely fair and unbiased award deservingly going to the Note 4!! Kudos to Phoneradar and the Phone of the Year. 2014:Best year for phones! Can’t wait for 2015!

  • Shashank Chourey

    You spoke my heart out.. 🙂 Yes Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the best smartphone of 2014.

    If I had to select 5 best, here’s my pick:

    1. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2. Motorola Moto X (2nd Gen)
    3. Google or Motorola Nexus 6
    4. LG G3
    5. HTC One M8 Android

    Although, Sony Xperia Z3, and Apple iPhone 6 are classy devices.

    • Kiran Kumar

      Samsung Galaxy Note 4

  • Following in the footsteps of Shashank Chourey and Phoneradar my top 5 of 2014 are:
    1. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2.Motorola Moto X 2nd Gen (Awesome device!)
    3.Google Nexus 6 with Motorola
    4.Sony Xperia Z3
    5.LG G3

    Gotten to experience my friend’s Z3 for extended periods and I really love it over HTC and LG! All opinion!

  • thebrain

    The Note 4 deserves this title. Samsung has done a great job with the 4th generation of its Phablet. The gossips will say that there is little difference between the previous model and this one, and there are only simple improvements; I found that these improvements make the difference and make the “Note” experience even better and effective, especially with the Spen who was doubled sensitivity. The screen is beautiful, the battery life is very decent for a smartphone of this type, the photo sensor is excellent; connectivities are first orders and rapid charging very efficient. It has some flaws, such as the location of the HP, but its qualities are largely sufficient to completely hidden.

    The Galaxy Note 4 Best Smartphone of the Year : Totally AGREE

  • Shanky Yadav

    There are no doubts that Samsung galaxy Note 4 is the best smartphone of the year and also you can say that its the giant who eats everyone which come in front of it. Like a giant it maintains its position .. The Note series by Samsung always being the best series I know and also know even Note 2 is getting lollipop update 5.0.2 and some of the devices are still waiting to get the taste. Samsung is always as fast as mail services like here we sent a mail and at other side it is seen as same as here a new android comes, they are ready to roll it out.

  • Definitely, hands down an absolutely stunning device that outshines anything else in its field. Really there is not much of a comparison to this stunner which means simply that Samsung has done a remarkable job this year!! Only problem is Apple as usual will get ore sales for doubling the price of their phone!

  • Jugal Mudoi

    Great innovation by Samsung ever! I believe Samsung has changed the definition of a smartphone or a phablet. I still wonder how Samsung first creatured something between phone and tablet and now literally their dominance on this sector. It’s apparent that Samsung put their best in making the Galaxy Note 4 as the best device ever. I’m happy because who were first time accusing of Samsung on making a large size phone at the time of first Note laundered, those are now surprised by its efficiency. No doubt Note 4 is not only the best phone of the year but I also got to known it’s the best performing phone in terms of hardware. Overall Note 4 is a beast, because what would I say about it.. The design is very attractive with metal on edges and as well a robust build. The display qhd with super AMOLED means it’s superior and despite having more PPI on G3, Note 4 is still very strong in producing beautiful colors. The 16mp camera with OIS is no doubt a superb one, even I found it better when compared to iPhone 6 in terms of capture quality and other specs seemingly have the ability to make this a true flagship device. A must mention is its vastly improved S pen and its functionality… This is enough to make anyone fall in love with Galaxy Note 4. I totally agree the runner up should be the LG G3 and I loved it once when I didn’t see the Note 4. But it’s now clear that Note 4 easily defeat the G3 or any other its predecessor. However I was wordless after reading this post but now I want to appreciate your amazing work and loving to read this and sharing this with everyone. I honestly didn’t expect about Phoneradar awards and this was really above my expectations. I think PhoneRadar too capable of winning the award of best tech site and I want to see that from my heart because I understand about the sacrifices of every member belongs to this great site. Wish you a Happy New Year with my best wishes to the whole team of PhoneRadar. This was really a mouthwatering article!