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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.
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
- Amazon's gutsy phone fails to ignite
- Amazon's Fire Phone launch: Hits, misses, and takeaways
- Amazon Fire Phone review: Excellent for Amazon shopping and media services, but not a great smartphone