If you were planning to purchase a new smartphone this month, then you have arrived at the right place. Our monthly Best Android Smartphones column aims to bring you an insight over the most noteworthy smartphones currently on the market.
The Android smartphone market is already crowded and, with the manufacturers releasing new terminals almost every month, it’s pretty hard to choose the device that fits your needs. In the Best Android Phones list below you will be able to find both expensive and affordable devices, so you would probably be able to find one to fit your budget.
Let’s have a look at our list of Best Android Phones in August 2014. If you believe that there are certain smartphones we should have included in the list, feel free to let us know in the comments section below.
Amazon Fire Phone
After years of rumors and speculations, the folks at Amazons have finally released their first Android smartphone. The new handset is called Fire Phone and, even though is not the most powerful smartphone around, it arrives with a couple of neat features.
The Fire Phone runs Amazon’s Android based Fire OS v3.5 which relies on the 4 front-facing cameras to offer a 3D dynamic perspective interface. You will be able to scroll, pop out different menus, or control other functions without touching the display.
The handset measures 139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9 mm and weighs 160 grams, while being powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2 GHz. The smartphone’s technical specifications also include a 720p 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, 2 GB of RAM, 32/64 GB of internal storage, and a 13 MP primary camera with OIS, 2.1 MP secondary cam, and a 2,400 mAh battery.
Connectivity-wise, the Amazon Fire Phone arrives with HSPA+, LTE, WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, and microUSB 2.0. You can grab the Fire Phone from Amazon for free if you agree to sign a two-year contract with AT&T, or contract-free at a price of $649.
The LG G3 was released on the market back in June and it managed to become one of the most popular smartphones. The new LG flagship also received a lot of great reviews from the tech publications and enthusiasts alike.
The main selling point of the LG G3 is probably the amazing 5.5-inch True HD-IPS + LCD display with 1440 x 2560 resolution and 534 ppi pixel density. The handset is 146.3 mm tall, 74.6 mm wide, and 8.9 mm thin, while having a weight of 149 grams.
The LG G3 is powered by a quad-core 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU and its available with either 16 GB storage and 2 GB RAM or 32 GB storage and 3 GB of RAM. It comes with microSD support (up to 128 GB), has a 13 MP rear-facing camera with OIS, laser autofocus, and 4K video recording support, and a 2.1 MP front shooter.
The smartphone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box and features all the connectivity options worthy of a high-end smartphone: HSPA+, LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 2.0. The smartphone is kept alive by a 3,000 mAh battery.
The LG G2 was officially introduced in August 2013 and released on the market a month later. Even though the G2 is one year old it’s still a powerful and highly-appreciated smartphone.
The phone features a 5.2-inch True HD-IPS + LCD display with Full HD resolution, 424 ppi, and Gorilla Glass 2 protection. The processing tasks are handled by a Snapdragon 800 SoC with quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU, it comes with 2 GB of RAM, 16/32 GB storage, and it’s upgradable to Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
LG G2 has a 13 MP primary camera with OIS and 1080p@60fps video recording support, a 2.1 MP secondary cam, and a 3,000 mAh battery. The connectivity features include HSPA+, LTE, WiFi, NFC, infra red port, and microUSB 2.0.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 is Samsung’s flagship smartphone for 2014 and it has been one of the most anticipated devices of the year. It’s available for purchase since April, therefore its price dropped quite a bit. Amazon is offering the AT&T variant for free with a two-year contract, while the Verizon and Sprint models are priced $89 and $99, respectively.
The Samsung handset packs a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5 GHz. It has a rear-mounted heart rate monitor, a fingerprint sensor embedded on the Home button, 2 GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB storage, and support for microSD cards up to 128 GB.
On the back there’s a 16 MP camera with phase detection autofocus, LED flash, 1/2.6” sensor size, 1.12 µm pixel size, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, HDR, and 4K video recording support. The front panel accommodates a 2 MP camera.
In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy S5 brings HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC, infrared port, and microUSB 3.0. It measures 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, weighs 145 grams, and has a 2,800 mAh battery. It comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 KitKat with TouchWiz UI on top of it.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 was officially unveiled in March 2013 and released on the market in April the same year. It was labelled the best selling Android smartphone of 2013.
The handset is 136.6 mm tall, 69.8 mm wide, 7.9 mm thin and has a weigh of 130 grams. It features a 5.0-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, 13 MP primary camera with 1080p@30fps video recording support, 2 MP front camera, and it’s available with either 16 or 32 GB storage. It also has support for microSD cards up to 64 GB and packs 2 GB of RAM.
Samsung Galaxy S4 is compatible with HSPA+, LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC, microUSB 2.0, and features an IR port. It comes with a 2,600 mAh battery and it’s upgradable to Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the latest and greatest high-end phablet of the South Korean phone maker and since it’s on the market for almost a year, it can be purchased at special prices from Amazon. The AT&T Note 3 is available for free with a two-year contract, the Verizon model costs $99, while the Sprint variant has a price of $149.
Because it’s equipped with a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED display, the Galaxy Note 3 is a bit larger than your average smartphone, measuring 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm and having a weight of 168 grams. The device is upgradable to Android 4.4.2 KitKat and it arrives with a 3,200 mAh battery. It has a quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of native storage, and microSD support (up to 64 GB).
On the faux-leather back you will be able to find a 13 MP camera with autofocus LED flash, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, panorama, HDR, and 4K video recording support. The front-facing camera has a 2 MP sensor.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, NFC, IR blaster, and microUSB 3.0. It also comes with an S Pen stylus.
HTC One M8
The HTC One M8 is no doubt on of the best-looking smartphones on the market. The new HTC flagship was officially introduced in March and released on the market the same month.
HTC One M8 features a SuperLCD3 display measuring 5.0 inches diagonally and sporting a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The handset is 146.4 mm tall, 70.6 mm wide, 9.4 mm thin, and weighs 160 grams. It is build using zero-gap aluminium construction.
The device is kept alive by a 2,600 mAh battery, while the processing tasks are performed by a Snapdragon 801 chipset based on four Krait 400 cores clocked at 2.5 GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU. It has 2 GB of RAM, 16/32 GB storage, and support for microSD cards up to 128 GB.
The connectivity options of the smartphone include HSPA+, LTE, WiFi, NFC, IR blaster, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and microUSB 2.0. It has Dual 4 MP UltraPixel rear shooter with autofocus, dual LED flash, 1/3” sensor size, 2µm pixel size, automatic simultaneous video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, HDR, panorama, and 1080p@30fps video recording capabilities. It has a 5 MP user-facing camera.
HTC One M8 comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 and it’s upgradable to Android 4.4.3 KitKat. On Amazon, you will be able to find the AT&T model for free with two-year service agreement, the Sprint variant at $79, or the Verizon One M8 also at $79.
HTC One M7
As you may know, the HTC One M7 is the predecessor of the One M8. Just like its successor, the HTC One M7 was highly appreciated for its design.
The device measures 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm and has a weigh of 143 grams. It features a 1080 x 1920 4.7-inch Super LCD3 with Gorilla Glass 2, 2 GB RAM, 32/64 GB of internal storage, and a quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor. It was launched with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on board, but it’s upgradable to Android 4.4 KitKat with Sense 6.0 UI.
HTC One M7 has a 4 MP UltraPixel camera with autofocus, OIS, LED flash, 1/3” sensor size, 2µm pixel size, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, and support for Full HD video recording. There’s a 2.1 MP camera placed on the front panel. Underneath its aluminium body you will be able to find a 2,300 mAh battery and connectivity features such as LTE, HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, IR blaster, and WiFi in all standards.
Because it’s more than one year old, Amazon is offering the HTC One M7 for free after you agree with a two-year contract with Verizon or Sprint. You can purchase the One 7 from Amazon using the links here and here.
HTC One Max
One Max is HTC’s take at the phablet market and its a competitor against Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3. HTC One Max was released in October 2013 and it features a fingerprint sensor on the back.
The device sports a 5.9-inch Super LCD3 screen with 1080 x 1920 resolution and measures 164.5 x 82.5 x 10.3 mm. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (customized with HTC’s Sense UI), has a quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, 2 GB RAM, 16/32 GB storage, and microSD slot (up to 64 GB supported). On the back there’s a 4 MP UltraPixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, and support for Full HD video recording, while the front panel accommodates a 2.1 MP shooter.
HTC One Max has a 3,300 mAh battery. Its connectivity features include HSPA+, LTE, NFC, IR blaster, Bluetooth 4.0 and microUSB 2.0.
The Sprint HTC One Max 32 GB has a price of $99 on Amazon. The deal also involves a 2-year service agreement with the carrier. The off-contract price is of $599.
The Nexus 5 is the latest smartphone of the Nexus family. It was released synchronized with the debut of Android 4.4 KitKat and it’s manufactured by LG.
The Nexus 5 measures 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm and has a weight of 130 grams. It arrives with a 5.0-inch True HD IPS+ display with 1080 x 1920 resolution and 445 ppi pixel density, a quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 or 32 GB native storage.
The smartphone is upgradable to the latest Android version and it packs a 2,300 mAh battery. On the back there’s an 8 MP camera with OIS, HDR+, and Full HD video recording, while the front-facing camera has a 1.3 MP sensor. You’ll get connectivity features such as LTE, WiFi, NFC, microUSB 2.0, and Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy.
Amazon has cut off the price of the Sprint Nexus 5 to $19. The off-contract price was set to $399.
Motorola Moto X
Moto X is Motorola’s flagship smartphone for 2013 and it was advertised as “Made in the USA.” One of the main selling points of the device was the Moto Maker customization tool that allowed users to choose the design of their Moto X.
Motorola Moto X boasts about a 4.7-inch AMOLED display with 720p resolution and protective Gorilla Glass 3 layer. The smartphone has 16/32/64 GB of storage, 2 GB of RAM, and a 2,200 mAh battery.
The smartphone is powered by Motorola’s proprietary X8 mobile computing system, which is basically a customized Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset. It has 4 graphic cores, two 1.7 GHz Krait cores for app processing, and two low-power cores for natural language and contextual computing.
Moto X comes with a 10 MP ClearPixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, 1.4 µm pixel size and support for full HD video recording and a 2 MP user-facing camera. The connectivity features include HSPA+, LTE, NFC, WiFi, BT 4.0, and microUSB 2.0.
Moto X measures 129.3 x 65.3 x 10.4 mm, weighs 130 grams, and it’s upgradable to Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The Moto X can be yours for only $0.01 if you purchase it from Amazon and agree to sign a two-year contract with Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T.
Motorola Moto G
Moto G is probably Motorola’s most popular smartphone. Because the device brings decent technical specifications for a relatively low price, it managed to sell pretty well.
Amazon is selling the Global GSM Moto G 8 GB for $176, while the 16 GB model is $197. The US GSM 8 GB model costs $173, and if you want 16 GB you’ll have to pay $199. There’s also a 4G LTE-enabled model that costs $219. You can order any of the aforementioned models here. If you’re a Verizon prepaied user, the Moto G can be yours for only $75.
Moto G is upgradable to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, measures 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm, weighs 143 grams, and it’s kept alive by a 2,070 mAh battery. It has a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with 720 x 1280 resolution, 8 or 16 GB of storage, and 1 GB of RAM.
The smartphone is powered by a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, has 5 MP primary cam, and 1.3 MP secondary cam. It also features HSPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and microUSB.
Sony Xperia Z1
The Sony Xperia Z1 was officially introduced back in September 2013 and it’s still a powerful device. Moreover, it has received a lot of praises for its classic design.
Sony Xperia Z1 measures 144 x 74 x 8.5 mm and weighs 170 grams. It has a 5.0-inch TFT screen with Full HD resolution and X-Reality Engine. It packs 2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage, and microSD card support up to 64 GB. The device is powered by a quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor.
The Sony smartphone brings a 20.7 MP primary camera with autofocus, LED flash, 1/2.3” sensor size, geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, image stabilization, HDR, panorama, and 1080p@30fsp video recording. You’ll be able to take selfies with the 2 MP front-facing camera.
In terms of connectivity you will get LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and microUSB 2.0. The device is upgradable to Android 4.4.4 KitKat and has a 3,000 mAh battery. You can grab an unlocked Xperia Z1 from Amazon at a price of $406.
Sony Xperia Z2
Sony Xperia Z2 was officially introduced at Mobile World Congress event in February. Just like its predecessor, it has an all-glass body with sharp edges and rounded corners.
Sony Xperia Z2 features a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS LCD display with 424 ppi pixel density, 16 GB of microSD-expandable storage, 3 GB of RAM, 20.7 MP primary camera with 4K video recording support, 2.2 MP secondary camera, and a 3,200 mAh battery.
Sony’s latest flagship is powered by a Snapdragon 801 SoC with quad-core 2.3 Krait 400 CPU and Adreno 330 GPU. It runs Android 4.4.2 out of the box, has all the connectivity features worthy of a modern smartphone including LTE, WiFi, BT 4.0, NFC, and microUSB 2.0, and it’s available on amazon, factory unlocked, at a price of $584.