Best Android smartphones (August 2014 edition)

Best Android smartphones (August 2014 edition)

Summary: Time once again to take a tour of the best Android phones currently available on the market (August 2014). Whether you're after a handset for personal use, or one suited to BYOD, there is bound to be one here for you.


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  • (Image: ZDNet)


    Time once again to take a tour of the best Android phones currently available on the market (August 2014). There are a few new handsets, including a couple for all you pure Android fans. Carrying space limited? If so, you might want to check out the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact with its 4.3-inch display!

    CNET Reviews: Best Android phones of 2014

    If I had to choose one of these, I'd still more than likely go for Google's Nexus 5 because it is a powerful, fully-featured handset packed that offers the purest Android experience possible. It's the only handset that will guarantee that I see Android updates over the course of its lifespan.

    However, I have to admit that some of the features present on the Samsung Galaxy S5 make it a great choice for the BYOD crowd. Not only is it water- and dust-resistant – something Samsung doesn't talk much about – but it is also crammed with cool features and software. If you like to geek out over smartphones, this is the one to geek out over.

  • (Image: Amazon)

    Amazon Fire Phone

    As we'd expect from Amazon, we have a device built using quality but widely used parts, but with the emphasis put on delivering a product that is itself unique, functional and tightly bound to the Amazon ecosystem.

    The screen is, and is always the case with Amazon products, the highlight. It is a 4.7-inch industry-leading ultra-bright display making the handset suited to use in bright sunshine. It features dynamic image contrast to keep the image clear – as opposed to just altering the brightness which is what most smartphones do) and also features a circular polarizer to reduce glare.

    The camera too is a big feature. The F2.0 lens gives it excellent low-light capability, beating what Apple and Samsung can go in tests carried out by Amazon.

    It's clear that Amazon has once again put the hardware focus on the bit that users see the most – the screen.

    • Quad-core 2.2GHz processor
    • Adremo 330 GPU
    • 2GB RAM
    • 4.7-inch IPS 1,280 x 720 retina display with 315 pixels-per-inch, dynamic contrast and circular polarizer for outdoor use (the rumored 3D display turns out to be a software-driven dynamic perspective effect as opposed to true 3D) 
    • Gorilla Glass 3 scratch-resistant screen with rubber frame
    • 13MP rear-facing camera with F2.0 five element lens (giving it good low-light capability) and optical stabilization, and can capture full HD video at 30FPS
    • Four 120-degree field-of-view front-facing cameras with IR illumination for head tracking for the dynamic perspective feature
    • Sensors include: Dynamic Perspective sensor system with invisible infrared illumination, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor
    • Fire OS 3.5
    • Dual-stereo speakers
    • Tangle-free flat cabled headphones
    • 32/64GB internal storage
    • 2400mAh battery offering 22 hours of talk time, up to 285 hours of standby, up to 11 hours of video playback, and up to 65 hours of audio playback.


    More Amazon Fire Phone coverage


Topics: Mobility, Android, Smartphones

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  • Plastic...

    Is the best thing you can make a smartphone out of in my opinion. I think what throw some people off is that makes it so light. Which I love by the way. Also improves things like radio and wifi signals over a metal casing. Give me plastic any day over some metal or glass that scratches and breaks easily. I am a little OCD I will admit but I hate scratches on a phone or computer more than anything. Why I will never buy anything aluminum that scratches and dents so easily.
    • Agreed

      I agree. Reviewers rave about the HTC One series and the forged metal casing, but honestly, the phone feels cold and hard in my hand. For all the knocks that Samsung has taken as far as materials is concerned, I much prefer the feel of plastic or rubber in the hand.
    • Plastic, Metal, Glass who cares

      While I might agree with you of a plastic phone been better, I have notice most people buy a cover for their phone. A beautiful glass and metal phone is cover in a rubber or other kind of cover. So sometimes it does not matter the material a phone is made off.
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  • So is this a quarterly or monthly thing?

    Best Android smartphones that is...
    Are new phones being added that often?
    Just see these headlines so frequently.
    • Monthly

      Since Adrian is an Android fan, he will write as many article of Android as he can. Problem is there is not much to talk about, so reason for the monthly article of the best Android. Any other phone he will criticize. IPhone, only one model and it suppose to be better then the oldest version. Windows phone, they will close shop according to Adrian. It does not matter there are some WP choices, not only from Nokia, but Samsung, HTC, LG, etc.
  • One plus one?

    Although hard to get, the phone is amazingly fast (at least compared to me GS5). I had the opportunity to handle one for a couple of days and I was amazed at how fluid the phone is. No delays, stutters or hang ups. The phone is too big for my taste, but I was impressed.
  • With zero security, investing in Android is silly

    • Really?

      Tim Cook please use your real name when posting.........
  • Update the Nexus 5 blurb!

    It's been out long enough that the second paragraph (" ... but I'd give this a few weeks for Google to shake out any potential bugs ...") doesn't apply anymore.
  • How can I compare them myself?

    Is there a place to go to compare them for myself? I'd also like to see the best of Android compared to the iPhone.

    I've been waiting for these products to mature and so I haven't owned one yet. I still have a flip phone but I may need a smartphone soon because of my business.
    • my advice

      get any smartphones. They are all great. Even the mid range phone amazing. Android, iOS, windows phones, it doesnt matter really. Your life will not be different if you choose one over the other.
    • for your business?

      You might want to look at wp8.1.. the lumia 1520 is my daily driver, although it is HUGE it is a fantastic phone with all you need as a business phone (office included btw)
    • Go thru your local carrier

      My suggestion is check with your carrier of choice. See what they have and compare. At the end is your phone carrier that will make your choice phone great or a flop. What is the point if where your work and live there is hardly any signal for the best phone.
  • I just saw an article that said Amazon Phone was terrible

    but good for purchasing stuff from Amazon.
  • all the android phones are SUCK!!

    All the piece of crap!! IPhone's the best.
    • And... thank you for speaking for everyone everywhere... NOT!

      What a fanboi tool you must be to think that a one-size-fits-all mid-range phone with a picture of a piece of fruit on it is what everyone should buy, at highly inflated prices. I'm sure that you enjoy enriching Apple shareholders by throwing a huge profit at them whenever you purchase a product, but many, many (about 85% world-wide) do not.

      Please refrain from trying to speak (out of your a$$?) for the rest of us. I'm glad that you like your phone and feel the need to recommend it to others, but your attitude towards the choices of others makes your opinion utterly worthless.
    • Suck?

      I am not an Android fan, but that is a strong world for a phone. Each phone has some better features than others. IPhone has been left behind on features by every other phone out there. We will see when the new IPhone 6 comes out. Samsung water resistant is better than IPhone repelling water, and there are many other features. Windows Phone, now with Cortana is 10 times better than Siris. My daughter have IPhone with Siris and cannot compete against my wife Nokia 1520 with Cortana. There is a big difference there. There is no phone or even point and shoot camera that can compete with Nokia 1020 with 41 megapixels camera and coming soon Cortana.
    • Apple fanboi alert

      I have recently owned or used a work phone from Apple, Android (HTC and LG), and Windows Nokia Lumia (2 models). Ready for a new personal phone, and I am 51%/49% split on a Windows or an Android phone. 0% for Apple. It is a hard choice between Windows or Android, but the speed, live tiles, and lack of system problems on the Windows phone probably will win out. I have all the apps I want on Windows, so the number of Apple apps or Google Play Store are not that important to me. Having MS Windows apps instead of clones is a big plus, especially Outlook and Excel.
  • Moto X

    The Moto X is currently running KitKat 4.4.4 and with this update is an awesome phone. It more than meets my needs for a BYOD smartphone. Rugged, good apps/design and battery life more than last through the day. Better WiFi than with iPhone.
    Gregory Bottoms