Best Mobile phones in the World
1. HTC One M8
What to say about the HTC One M8? They often say the second album is the hardest, but the follow up to the all conquering HTC One takes the best of that phone and yet still re invents things enough to make it a massive recommendation over the old model. We love the speed of the camera, the Duo Camera is smart as a tack, the Boomsound upgrade is impressive and the design... well, you have to hold it. The Snapdragon 801 processor has boosted battery dramatically compared to the 600 of last year, and that means that photos also process much more quickly as well even the front facing camera is much better. Gaming, movies, photography, browsing all work really well, and in a phone that thats easily going to destroy whatever anyone else can design. LG ran it close with the G3, and unless Apple has got some dark sorcery up its sleeves when the iPhone 6 appears later in the year, HTC has got 2014 sewn up. Quick Verdict If we were to criticise the One M8, it would be the cameras lack of a megapixel upgrade, which means pictures are a little less sharp than they might otherwise be. That said, its a minor point in a phone that has barely any flaws. The lower megapixel camera means faster shutter speeds, and if you dont want to zoom in a lot, most will enjoy the depth perception and background de focus ability to make some pro looking snaps. We urge you to hold this phone for a few seconds and try not to feel at least a small flicker of smartphone attraction. Its got great specs, a splendid design and some clever hardware innovation where the competition is relying on software to do the same thing. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2 failed to take the top spot, and we honestly dont know if the iPhone 6 will be good enough to head straight to the top of the pile when it appears? It looks like youre going to be spoilt for choice in 2014
2. LG G3
The LG G3 needed to be good, as it was based on the hard work of the G2, which was a strong, well made phone that didnt cost a huge amount of money. So what does LG do with the G3? Goes and sticks the worlds sharpest display on there. Its a QHD screen, which means its got four times the pixels of some phones on this list, and it also comes with a number of other enhancements too. Laser based auto focus? Check. Improved design? Check. Overhauled and simplified UI? Double check. Its going to be a little bit too big for some hands, as its packing in a 5.5 inch screen, so were verging on phablet territory. But dont let that take away from a terrific phone, one that has a sleek, refined air about it and adds in fan favourite features like a removable battery and memory card slot, where both were missing on the predecessor. Quick verdict The screen on the LG G3, when used properly to display high resolution content, is immense... LG knew that, and has been rightly making a big deal about it. The overall design of the phone is vastly improved too, with the faux metal cover not necessarily feeling great but certainly looks the part when laid on a table. The camera is powerful too, leading to some great snaps and wont let you down when you need to just capture the moment here and there. In short, its a necessary step on LGs quest to make the ultimate smartphone... if you want the best display out there with a good enough battery and strong camera, this is your next phone.
3. Sony Xperia Z2
Sony has something of a slump last year, following up the impressive Xperia Z with the lacklustre Xperia Z1 just a few months later. The camera, which was supposed to be the headline feature, didnt impress as much as wed hoped, and the screen was still lacking the IPS clout that the Xperia Z Ultra managed meaning muted colours and poor viewing angles. Anyway, enough about last year Sonys back in 2014 and comes with an excellent phone in the shape of the Xperia Z2. Tipped to be the third of the stellar smartphone triumverate, alongside the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) we were intrigued to see how it shaped up. And the good news is its impressive. Really impressive. The industrial design is a little chunky but oozes premium quality in a way that Samsungs plastic shell doesnt, and its a little more robust than its Galactical rival thanks to being IP58 rated. Great battery life, strong power and a good camera all are present and correct with most phones in this list, but Sony stays in the top three simply by being a great all rounder. It doesnt have the polish of the HTC One M8, nor the more functional UI, but it does whats asked with top end specs. Thats what we like. Quick verdict What did Sony need to do to impress? Not a lot, but that screen and camera needed a fix as well as adding in some other features. Front facing speakers, a new screen with better colour reproduction, 4K video recording and inbuilt noise cancellation all make a great device that should be right on your possible upgrade list. Make sure you check it out in store before purchase, as some wont like the larger build, but for a good all round experience the Xperia Z2 excels.
4. OnePlus One
Youve probably never heard of OnePlus... but if you have, youll know why this unknown brand is suddenly sitting at number four of our list of best smartphones in the world. The reason is simple: its a phone that has all the power, specs and functionality of the top dogs, adds in super customisable software and does it at nearly half the price. Were talking big savings on cost (?229 for the 16GB version and ?269 for the 64GB variant) without much in the way of compromise. In fact, the only things its really missing are a microSD slot and removable battery, and those are elements more for the purists that absolutely necessary. If were being super picky, its not got the greatest camera set up and the design is a bit... efficient, but at this price point it really doesnt matter. And given the target audience is those that care about raw power over style, it makes sense that this is where the costs could be saved. Quick verdict We love the fact that a new contender can maintain such a high place in the ranking of the best phones in the world it means that its not just a case of big budget means best phone. We were debating whether the OnePlus could even have gone higher, but theres one big problem that youll have if you want to get your hands on one: theyre impossible to find. Numbers wont ramp up for a while, and probably never to the level of availability of the better known names. But if you want a phone that offers supreme power at a really low cost: the OnePlus One is it. Its what the Nexus range used to be, and if Google ditches that program, then thankfully the likes of OnePlus have shown there will be brands to pick up the slack.
5. Samsung Galaxy S5
2014 is turning out to be a stellar year for the prospective smartphone user, as the HTC One (M8) was joined by the Samsung Galaxy S5 in our best smartphone list, and with the Xperia Z2, LG G3 and more entering the fray things just keep getting better. There was a lot of hype around the new Galaxy, and rightly s its by far the best phone Samsung has ever produced, with a blazing fast core, a strong result in the benchmarks and a larger 5.1 inch screen. Then theres the fact that with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU the Galaxy S5 is one of the best phones on the market when it comes to battery life, besting the already impressive One M8 in the power stakes. Samsung has also dropped the innovation of the air gestures from last year (well, they are in there but not the main focus) and improved the hardware with a better camera, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor too. The last addition is pretty pointless... but hey, its fun for down the pub. Quick verdict The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a good phone, apart from the design. Its something that needs to be updated sorely, and while it doesnt have to be an all metal shell, it needs to evolve. The S5 has a clear UI, powerful innards and is also waterproof... the rivals might edge it slightly overall, but its very, very tight at the top and whichever handset you end up with wont disappoint.
6. Google Nexus 5
So weve updated our review with the new phone software, and thankfully things are a lot better now. The battery is improved, the camera a little more stable, and the low cost is still in place. You already know we like Android 4.4, the clever implementation and the ?299 price tag. We love the high power CPU, the quality screen; even the rubberised outer shell. You can get the LG G2 for around the same price now though, and that offers a far superior camera, better battery life and a huge slew of extra features it really depends if youre a fan of the stripped down experience. Quick verdict Were glad to put this smartphone higher up in the rankings, as its one of the cheapest out there in terms of bang for buck. Its a great phone that hits the marks well it lacks something in terms of innovation, but thats not a problem for those that want to be able to run all manner of apps and games at a decent price. It doesnt come in at the same price point as previous Nexii, but its still jolly cheap.
7. Nokia Lumia 930
Hey Nokia, good to see you back in the top 10. Although we wont see you for much longer (thanks to the Microsoft buyout) its great that the Lumia line is still pushing the power of Windows Phone. The Lumia 930 does lack compared to the competition, but only in a couple of areas. Windows Phone is still a sub par operating system for most people, thanks to the poorer apps and lower amount of control. But then again, for a lot of people the improved Office functionality and simple interface is a boon. The Lumia 930 is a strong phone in both design and power, although a little last gen on the latter element, and coupled with a very capable camera, is a phone thats easy to recommend to those looking for something different. Quick verdict Windows Phone aside, theres a great deal on show here to make this a top rated smartphone. The build quality is excellent and iconic, and the camera is powerful and results in mostly great snaps. We like that 32GB is on offer as the base model, and wireless charging built in is perfect. The price is pretty good too, and if youre a fan of Windows Phone there is nothing better right now.
8. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
Hey Sony...whats this? A phone without a 1080p screen? A smaller battery? Are you MAD? Wait, we get it. This is the mildly nonplussing Xperia Z1 shoved into a smaller frame, with almost nothing compromised (the above two points aside). With a 4.3 inch screen its one of the most easy to use devices in the hand, coming in next to the iPhone 5S, but it does it with a much lower cost and a great battery life to boot. On top of that its waterproof and has expandable memory, plus a superb screen. Its been usurped in some ways by the Xperia Z2 insofar that if you want that Bravia powered IPS screen, the G Lens camera or just general access to Sonys tight band of media apps, this is no longer the best Sony phone on the market and has dropped a few places as a result. However, if youre more about size then this is still the best of the mid range players... check it out if you want to save a bit of cash over the bigger brother flagship too. Quick verdict Want a great phone thats just a little bit smaller without losing all the power? If so, then weve found your ideal device. Strong CPU, great battery and expandable memory are traits we love to see. Its not got the same screen sharpness as some of the others on show here, and the camera can oddly throw in a little noise here and there, but these are minor gripes indeed. Its been launched with a palatable price tag as well so head on down to your local emporium and throw it in some water. Because its waterproof too, not because youre a vandal.
9. iPhone 5S
Never has a company polarised opinion in the smartphone world like Apple and with the iPhone 5S, so many are quick to decry it while others know it to be the smartphone theyve been waiting for. And lets make no bones about it: this is a stunning phone, with a gorgeous two tone finish, a high res screen with good colour reproduction, a 64 bit chip and that all powerful TouchID sensor that lets you unlock your phone with a simple fingerprint. The iOS 7 update is one that we sorely, sorely needed and does bring a lot more power and control as shown by the impressive and pervasive Control Center. We really like TouchID, the 64 bit processor might be a little useless now but definitely brings a touch more zip to things, and the M7 chip gives developers something to play with in terms of fitness, with the likes of FitBit taking advantage already. Youd have to be desperate to buy one right now though, as the iPhone 6 is so nearly here that it would be a much better idea to wait and see if you want the new one, or if not, hang on until the cost of the iPhone 5S drops. Quick verdict Lets not beat around the bush here: the iPhone 5S is still one of the great smartphones in the world thanks to a great package of technology, design and UI intuition. iOS 7 is the update weve needed for a while, and does a lot to help keep Apple current at the sharp end of the market but we still cant wait to see what the iPhone 6 will bring, as essentially this is still the same phone as the iPhone 5 but with a better engine under the hood.
10. HTC One Mini 2
You want the best smartphone, right? Weve whittled our constantly updated selection down to the 10 best handsets you can get your hands on right now but after youve checked out number one, weve still got plenty of other options to feast your eyes on. Weve all got at least one mobile phone each, right? Weve probably got about three or four nowadays, and that counts giving your old Nokia 3310 to your Mum a few years ago. But while you used to be able to just bank on the new Nokia or always get the next Sony Ericsson because it had a half decent camera, there are now so many great options out there from loads of manufacturers. The trouble is, how do you decide which is the best one for you? Well, this is where we make it easy: weve played with nearly every device on the market and have found the ten best you can spend your money on. It needs to be good, after all, given it will reside in your pocket for the next two years. Our ranking of the best mobile phones available in the UK today celebrates the brilliance of the smartphone: we love handsets that add in functionality to enrich our lives in so many different ways. We also partially take into account the price of the phone too meaning a low price handset doesnt always need to have high spec functions to be in our top 10. The HTC One was the star of last year, staying at the top of the charts for nearly 10 months, seeing off the challenge from the likes of Nokia, Sony, LG and Samsung (namely the Galaxy S4) showing the smartphone market still has a fair few players. The iPhone 5S proved to still be a little too pricey with a smaller screen, and the iPhone 5C was cheaper but with some ageing hardware. And now Google is playing fast and loose with consumers wallets, thanks to offering the ultra cheap Nexus 5 and the even ultra cheaper Moto G could those be the phones for you? But now were in 2014, and the game has changed. Relentless design reimagination from HTC has led to the excellent HTC One M8 landing right at the top of the tree, but now the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 are here can either take the crown? Not so good news if you cant wait for the iPhone 6: thats not coming for a few months, so if you want something shiny and new from Apple now, youll either need to go for the iPhone 5S (which is still a decent phone) or one of the plethora of high end Android handsets. If that still doesnt help, well, theres always our extensive mobile phone reviews pages as well or check out our personally crafted smartphone buyers guide:
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