Every quarter, or at least a rough approximation of a season, we like to bring you a list of our top Android phones, to help guide you in your quest for a new phone. For spring 2014, we’re happy to present you with our top five Android phones of the moment, as voted upon by the members of our staff. With each pick comes a short explanation as to why we love it, and buy links for all four major US carriers (when available), as well as an unlocked version. With that covered, let’s dive right in with number one!
1. HTC One (M8)
Topping the list is HTC’s flagship for 2014, the HTC One (M8). With its premium metal design, gorgeous Sense software, and set of nifty features such as BoomSound, the HTC One (M8) climbed to the top of the pile to stand out as our number one phone for spring 2014. With availability across all four carriers, a developer edition, and a Google Play edition, the HTC One (M8) has most of the bases covered when it comes to availability. While some feel that the camera is a tad disappointing, that doesn’t stop the One (M8) from standing out from the crowd and making sure that it reigns supreme.
2. OnePlus One
Regardless of the fact that we haven’t been able to get a full hands-on and review yet, the OnePlus One managed to sell us on its gorgeous design, high-powered specs, and commitment to great software through CyanogenMod. While OnePlus has yet to be tested in the mass market, it’s made some bold claims and we’re betting that it’ll stay true to them. That’s why the OnePlus One, even untested, manages to snag the number two spot on our list.
Since the OnePlus One isn’t really available yet (If you feel like trying to apply to smash your phone, by all means, go here), we don’t have any buy links.
3. Nexus 5
Coming in at a respectable third place is the Nexus 5. While some may argue that the Nexus 5 has been out for a while, there’s no doubt that it’s still a great phone. Moreover, it’s the phone to have if you want a premier stock Android experience. Updates come straight from Google and you’ll never have to wait for them like everyone else. Aside from that, the Nexus 5 features a decent set of specs including an extremely color-accurate display. Regardless of its older age in comparison to many other devices on this list, the Nexus 5 is well deserving of the third spot on this list.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
In fourth place, we find Samsung’s third generation phablet that sets the precedent for all others. Like the Nexus 5, the Note 3 has been around for a bit. Yet, the Galaxy Note 3 continues to garner praise and respect from the tech community. Likewise, its large screen and top-shelf specs caught the attention of many of our staff who have fallen in love with the device and continue to recommend it, even if it has been available for a few months.
5. Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 is actually one of our two fifth place phones, due to a perfect tie for fifth place. The Galaxy S5 features plenty of neat features and some practical ideas such as waterproofing and a certain level of ruggedization. It also has one of the best displays that we’ve seen on a smartphone. Unfortunately, the S5 didn’t make it higher on the list due to many of us feeling that the design is uninspired and bland. Another common complaint was the software, which brought up many comments about its cluttered nature and the fact that many of the design choices seemed exaggerated and slightly reminiscent of a toy phone. Nonetheless, nobody can deny that the Galaxy S5 has powerful internals and one of the best cameras on a smartphone, thus securing it a respectable fifth place.
5. Motorola Moto X
The second of our two fifth place phones, the Moto X continues to make the list even after several months of availability. With a magical blend of simple software and hardware, the Moto X provides one of the best experiences found on a smartphone. While the specs are becoming a bit upstaged these days, the phone runs itself beautifully with the provided hardware. If you’re looking for a perfect mesh of hardware and software, look no further than the Moto X. As an added bonus, you have the option to customize the phone through MotoMaker. All of those added up to help the Moto X eek onto our top five list.
Hopefully this list will be of some help to you in your smartphone buying endeavors. As always, feel free to leave your list of the top five Android phones down in the comments section!