Now that all of the new smartphones have been announced or released, for the most part, we can finally start to pre-rank them by initial statistics. Like usual this will be a top five list of what I think are this year’s best phone releases. To be honest all of these phones are early in their lifespan so this list will probably change by the next time I touch on it (which I plan to do in January). Of course the big kid on the block, Apple, has put out its yearly representative. I have been impressed with some of the phones released leading up to the Apple event and by the time I finish this blog you will be either agreeing or lining up to throw tomatoes. Without any further ado let’s get right into it.
Just missed the cut:
The new Moto x is a phone that offers great materials and software at a really good price along with the automation of Moto Voice. Like the Lumia it mixes the metal and polycarbonate flawlessly. The camera is lacking and the ring flash seems a little gimmicky to me. I liked the dimple on the old phone but this new one is a little too much to be honest and looks out of place on otherwise a great design. Pricing starts at $499 – off contract pricing varies depending on the character.
#5 Nokia Lumia 830:
As you know I love the windows phone line but it’s been lacking a phone that can establish an identity for Microsoft. The 830 might just change that as it brings great quality specs at midrange prices. It packs a 5-inch 720 HD LCD screen, 10 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens with auto focus, 16 GB of space, 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, Windows 8.1 Denim, and 1 GB of ram. It’s not the most powerful phone but with Windows being one of the most efficient on the market this phone is quite impressive. Wrapped in a metal and polycarbonate body this Nokia branded phone could be a great bow out for the company. Official pricing has not been released but expected cost of the phone is $400-$430.
#4 iPhone 6 and 6 plus:
Don’t call me a hater I am just not impressed with this new iPhone in many different ways. First let’s cover the positives: it’s thinner, faster, bigger, and overall a high quality product. One has a 4.7 inch screen along with the 5.5 phablet as the other. It’s a sleek and dare I say a gorgeous phone with just amazing lines and feel. The iOS 8 running on it seems decent but initial murmurs are it’s just what iOS 7 should have been and we don’t know about any glitches that could be in the system, for now. With all its design and beauty many of us techies aren’t impressed by the new phone which frankly tries to make old features seem new again. The design looks great except for the gold edition with the white antenna lines just making it look unnatural and toyish. While the camera, well let’s just say it kills the design as it sticks out like a sore thumb, literally. Specs seem average at best and we are still left wondering why Apple made some parts of the plus exclusive and left them out on the smaller 6. Apple doesn’t seem to innovating or shaping the market. But I’ll get more into this in my next blog dedicated to the iPhone. Contract pricing is $199 for the iPhone 6 and $299 for the 6 plus. Off contract pricing should be well north of $600 range for both phones.
#3: HTC one M8:
This phone is a piece of craftsmanship from HTC as it just shines in its metal uni-body. You can now get it in the Android or Windows variants which just opens up its market share in many positive ways for the consumer. The M8 is no slouch either with one of the latest Snapdragon 800’s series inside 32GB of storage which is expandable and also the great speakers on the front that just dominate over any other. The rear camera is super disappointing for the price point and we hope HTC can improve upon the design. But that selfie cam is amazing for all you who take such pictures. The five inch screen at full HD is great and with a 2600 milliamp battery, I see the M8 as one of best overall on the market. Pricing like the iPhone is $199 on contract and $600 dollars and up depending on the place you get it from.
#2 Samsung Galaxy s5:
I really expected the iPhone to end up here but I see the Samsung as number two on the market because it just does so much more than the iPhone at this point. Its waterproof, packs a full HD screen, has a removable back cover and feels great in the hand. The 16 megapixel camera is pretty great but some just wish its low light performance could be better. The phone does lack the premium feel of some other phones along with that weird dimpled back faux leather. But it does win in the durability department and being waterproof to 1 meter is amazing. It also offers USB 3.0 for faster file transfer and I love its battery life. It’s a phone that I think is shaping the market on its own now instead of following in Apple’s footsteps. If it can solve some of its build quality, I think the phone could soar. Pricing comes in at $199 on contract and around $609-$660 off contract.
#1 Samsung Note 4:
This phablet which shattered the market back in 2011 is again bringing the heat with its newest version. Sure it has all the great stuff newest processor, bigger screen at 5.7 inches, heart rate monitor, and high quality materials. Then we get to the screen which is the highest resolution of any phone in the world at 2K. This screen is one of the most vivid on the market and I believe this phone may make some iPhone 6 plus users actually question their decision. I think Samsung is leading the market right now with Apple falling behind. Official pricing has not been released on Samsung’s website but I expect this phone to be around $299 on contract and well over $600 off contract. Could be wrong but I would be surprised.
Samsung is impressing all of us in the tech world by releasing several phones to the market that solve many of the problems they have faced in the past. Better than that though they seem to be innovating with the Note and Galaxy line pushing the limits of phone technology. This is why I’m so disappointed with Apple. It seems they aren’t creating but rather copying. For the first time the tables seemed to have turned and I think the consumer can get so much more from another company besides Apple. But Apple is the money making king and I don’t see that changing just yet.