Wow we’ve had a busy couple of months, haven’t we? The last time we brought you our Top 5 Android Smartphones was three months ago, back in April, when we had a few entries that were brand new to the market, like the HTC One (M8) and the Galaxy S5. Technology doesn’t slow down, though, and neither do we.
That’s why we’re back with the Top 5 Android Smartphones of July 2014. Sure, there’s going to be some overlap because we still think some of our other choices belong in the top 5 now. Keep in mind, as usual, please, that these are not in any specific order. There always seems to be some confusion about that, and the reason we do this is because we know that different people prefer different phones for their own reasons.
OK, let’s go.
HTC One (M8)
We have a feeling the HTC One (M8) is going to be sticking around on our top phones lists for quite a while. There’s just not another metal Android smartphone on the market like it, and we love some of its unique features. BoomSound speakers still crush the competition, for example, and the Ultrapixel camera enables for some really unique photography. Plus, for Sense lovers, Sense 6 is the best iteration of the company’s software ever. A solid wide-angle front-facing camera, 5-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel screen resolution, 2GB of RAM and 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 processor all round out this bold beauty.
The Galaxy S5 is another top pick that’s likely to stick around these charts for a while. It was criticized early for its design but, frankly, you’ll spend most of your time entranced with its 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel screen resolution Super AMOLED screen, which is among the best you’ll find on the market right now. We also love that it’s one of the few flagships that’s resistant to water and dust, which means you don’t have to worry about a drop in the pool this summer. You’ll also find a fingerprint reader,a heart rate monitor, a solid 16-megapixel camera and a 2.5GHz Snapdragon processor under the hood, all of which help make this a top choice.
We walked away so impressed with the LG G3 that, in our review, we called it “the superphone you’ve been waiting for.” It also received the highest rating of any recent Android phone we’ve reviewed, 9.5/10, which is just further proof this list is in no particular order. The Quad HD screen resolution that nearly eliminates the bezels along the edges, is the sharpest you’ll find on a smartphone today. The 13-megapixel camera features some options we haven’t seen on a smartphone before, too, like laser autofocus and a unique ways to grab selfies of yourself. The G3 is about as high-end as you can get right now, and should be a consideration among all smartphone buyers.
Sony Xperia Z2
We wish the Xperia Z2 was available in the U.S., because it’s a hot ticket item around the rest of the world – and for good reason. It packs a 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 screen resolution display, an amazing 20.7-megapixel camera that’s capable of not only recording 4K video (just like the Galaxy S5 and LG G3), but 2K video for smaller file sizes. It’s also water resistant, a feature we hope Sony continues to add to its flagship smartphones, and offers 3GB of RAM, more than some of the other phones on this list, and a Snapdragon 801 processor. This phone may soon be replaced on the list, though. We hear Sony has the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact coming down the pipes soon.
We’ve taken heat in the past for removing the Nexus 5, though at that time we thought for good reason. Well guess what – it’s back! Why? Because the Android L Developer Preview is now here, which means the Nexus 5 is going to give you the first look at Google’s brand new operating system. That also means that when it’s official, if you decide to skip the developer preview, you’ll also probably have it far earlier than your friends with competing smartphones. The hardware might seem a little dated compared to the newest handsets out there, but at its price right now the Nexus 5 is still a great choice for anyone looking to avoid a contract.
You really can’t go wrong with a lot of other Android smartphones out there right now. The Note 3 is still an excellent choice, as is the Moto X, which is among our favorite Android smartphones ever. Still, we’re wary on both because we expect the Moto X+1 any month now, and Samsung will likely reveal the Galaxy Note 4, which may also pack a quad HD screen resolution, in September during the IFA trade show in Berlin, where it usually unveils its next Note smartphone.
We think you’ll be happy with any of the phones on these list for different reasons, so be sure to check them all out if you’re in the market for a new device. Oh, want to read something fun? Check out our Top 5 Android Smartphones from July 2013. My, how things have changed.