2014 was quite the year for smartphones. Just when it looked like they had plateaued in all the key areas, phone-makers hit us with several amazing handsets during the last few months of the year. Read a general synopsis of these flagships.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
As phablets continue to become the norm, perhaps it’s appropriate that the quintessential phablet took a big step forward this year. At first glance the Galaxy Note 4 may look like a minor update over its predecessor, but it’s Samsung’s focus on the finer details – especially its more responsive S Pen – that make it one of the best mobile devices we’ve used.
Apple iPhones 6 and 6 Plus
Apple finally joined the big smartphone party in 2014, and what an entrance it was. The 4.7-in iPhone 6 and 5.5-in iPhone 6 Plus combine three of Apple’s favorite things: light, thin and aluminum. Combine that with excellent cameras, Touch ID fingerprint sensors and iOS 8, and you have Apple’s two best phones – by a very wide margin.
Motorola Moto X (2nd-gen)
Motorola may not be as popular as Apple or Samsung, but the transitional company (Google recently sold it to Lenovo) delivered one hell of a handset in the 2nd-generation Moto X. It doesn’t break as much new ground as its 2013 predecessor, but it does combine the same core ingredients with higher-end specs and aggressive pricing.
HTC One (M8)
HTC didn’t reinvent the wheel with the One (M8), but it did manage to improve upon its excellent 2013 predecessor. With a curvy and premium aluminum design, along with HTC’s subtle and sophisticated Sense 6 UI, the M8 still holds up well nine months after its launch.
Google/Motorola Nexus 6
Motorola had several big releases in the last few months, and none were bigger (in a literal sense) than the Nexus 6. The Lollipop-running handset is as much small tablet as it is big phone, with a screen that’s about 9 percent bigger than the Galaxy Note’s. And though Google axed the bargain bin pricing we saw in the Nexus 5, the Nexus 6 is still a little cheaper than its rivals from Apple and Samsung.
LG’s latest flagship has a dazzling Quad HD display, a great balance between phone size and screen size, and one of the best cameras of any phone we handled this year, with its laser-based auto-focus.
Samsung Galaxy S5: Though it was later upstaged by the Note 4, the GS5 is still one of the top flagships of the year, with its impressive camera and IP67 water resistance.
Courtesy of Gizmag
New BlackBerry Classic
If you’re willing to trade screen size for a superior physical keyboard, the BlackBerry Classic is a fantastic productivity phone for old-school QWERTY junkies.
The phone is similar in design to the early BlackBerry phones, with a qwerty keypad, track pad and a relatively small screen of 3.5 inches. The company said the phone is an upgrade of the BlackBerry Bold 9900, but with a three times faster browser, 60 percent more screen space and 50 percent longer battery life.
The Classic runs BlackBerry 10.3.1 and a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm processor and comes with 2GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage plus a microSD card slot, an 8 megapixel back camera and 2 megapixel front camera. It will support both BlackBerry apps as well as Android apps from the Amazon store. The Classic also comes with BlackBerry Blend, to extend messages and notifications to the desktop, and BlackBerry Assistant with voice and text commands to manage a personal calendar, contacts and messages.
The BlackBerry Classic is now available through local carriers around the world and online through ShopBlackBerry.com and Amazon.com.