The very best of 2014

While there’s no such thing as a future-proof smartphone, the very best models will keep you very happy months and months down the road.
To help you make the right call, we’ve picked the top smartphones available right now, whether you’re looking for a big-screen phablet, the most advanced camera, or a compact powerhouse.

Best overall smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 looks pretty similar to the Galaxy S4 at first glance, but there are lots of improvements here that add up to our favourite smartphone. There’s a faster 16-megapixel camera with real-time HDR capability, a built-in fingerprint sensor that works with PayPal and a built-in heart rate monitor that can help you keep better tabs on your fitness.

Best looking smartphone: HTC One M8
The HTC One M8 is the sexiest Android phone ever, packing a 5-inch full HD display and a fast new snapdragon 801 processor into a sleek metal body available in three colours. Photographers will have a blast with the dual-lens camera, which lets you focus on the foreground or background after you shoot.

A beefier 2 600 mAh battery allows this flagship to last nearly 10 hours on a charge.

Best phablet: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Galaxy Note 3 is so powerful and long-lasting you may not need a tablet. This Android device packs a big and bright 5,7-inch display, and you can take notes with ease using the built-in S Pen. The Note 3 is also a multi-tasking maestro, thanks to its blazing Snapdragon 800 processor.

With Samsung’s Multi Window feature, you can run two apps side by side and drag content between apps.

You can even run a third app on top of all that with the Pen Window feature.

Best compact smartphone: Apple iPhone 5s
The iPhone 5s doesn’t seem much different from its predecessor.

However, the A7 chip inside this sleek beast blows the doors off most Android phones, and there’s a growing number of games and apps that take advantage of its 64-bit architecture. Add in a touch ID sensor that makes it a cinch to unlock your phone and make purchases, and it’s easy to see why the iPhone 5s is one of the best smartphones.

Best value: Motorola Moto X
Say “OK, Google Now” to the Moto X, and you’ll unleash this smartphone’s greatest power. This device can answer all sorts of questions (“What’s the weather today?”) and execute commands (“Send text to John”) without you lifting a finger.

It is complete with an eye-popping 4,7-inch HD screen and active notifications that deliver alerts before you even unlock the phone.

Best advanced camera: Nokia Lumia 1020
For photographers, the Nokia Lumia 1020 represents the pinnacle of smartphones. The 41-megapixel camera sensor not only takes breath-taking photos, but lets you zoom in after the shot to reframe your photo and still enjoy amazing detail.

Best off-contract phone: Google Nexus 5

It’s not just a device for Android purists.

The Nexus 5 is simply one of the best smartphone values anywhere.

You get cutting-edge specs such as a Snapdragon 800 processor and a 5-inch 1080p display.

Android 4,4 KitKat brings some cool new features to the table, too, including the ability to perform searches, send text messages and more using just your voice from the home screen.

Best innovative phone Design: LG G Flex
The LG G Flex is the world’s first smartphone that’s not only curved but flexible.

This makes the handset more comfortable when holding it up to your face to make calls, and you can literally apply up to 80 pounds of pressure to the back without worrying about breakage. The G Flex also has a self-healing chassis, so you can scratch the back with keys and the marks will start to disappear within minutes. – tomsguide.com.

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