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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.