This year has seen an extravaganza of smartphones, not just from the established players such as Samsung, Apple, LG and Sony and Indian smartphone makers, but also the growing bunch of Chinese handset makers.
So let us take a look at the best phones that came out this year. We haven’t kept any budget constraints, as we have seen prices drop significantly since the phone launches.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung may not have had a stellar 2014, what with its books showing the worst financial performance in three years. But its flagship phone – the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – impressed on all fronts.
Android Lollipop was another update one would have expected from the Note 4, but that should come out anytime next year. Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has no equal when it comes to phones with stylus functionality.
Apple iPhone 6
The iPhone 6 sales outstripped those of the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 started at Rs 53,500, which was around the same price at which the iPhone 5s was launched last year. Considering the limited storage and the fact that you couldn’t expand the memory, the price seemed like it could be a deal breaker for many.
On the downside, the iPhone 6 lacks features compared to rivals. For example, it’s not waterproof, you can’t expand the storage and you can’t use NFC to transfer data. Read out full review of the Apple iPhone 6.
Sony Xperia Z3
Sony’s flagship phone the Xperia Z3 impressed on most fronts and is the only phone in the winners list which comes with an IP68 certification. The overall performance, display quality, camera performance and battery life were great.
One thing we disliked was the pricing for the device, considering other flagship phones were priced much lower, most of which were offering a somewhat similar performance. For camera enthusiasts, this phone is particularly great. Read our full review of the Sony Xperia Z3.
BlackBerry was swimming against the flow with this one and it was also clear that they understood that a purpose-built smartphone for a niche audience wouldn’t exactly appeal to every consumer, nor make any major dent in overall smartphone sales figures.
While this phone was launched in China in April this year, it only launched officially in India this month. Its invite-only system can be annoying, but after having reviewed the device, the price point of Rs 21,999 makes it a phone we must recommend.
Motorola Moto X (2014)
The second generation Moto X came with a lot of improvements both internally and on the design front. Performance was great, camera output was decent, almost stock UI with proprietary Motorola features was a pleasure to use and battery life could last over a day. Overall the Moto X was a complete package and at a price of Rs 31,999 was able to hold its own against flagships such as Sony Xperia Z3, LG G3 and so on.
This was the phone that started Xiaomi’s onslaught in India. At Rs 13,999 it offered specifications that were seen on flagship devices which were almost twice or three times its price. Indian consumers lapped up Xiaomi handsets and the success of the Mi3 has rubbed on to the Redmi 1S and the Redmi Note as well.