2015-03-10



Number 10: OnePlus One

We know why you’re here: you want to find out the best smartphone 2015. Come on, it makes sense: we’ve all got at least one mobile phone, right? We’ve probably got about three or four nowadays, and that counts giving your old Nokia 3310 to your Mum a few years ago.

The current crop of phones have been here for a while, but with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge arriving, along with the HTC One M9, Apple’s challengers have suddenly got some stiff competition.

This is where we make it easy: we thoroughly test hundreds of top smartphones and have found the ten best you can spend your money on. It needs to be good, after all, given it will reside in your pocket for the next two years.

Our ranking of the best mobile phones available in the UK today celebrates the brilliance of the smartphone. We only feature the latest handsets available (unless an older model has become hyper-cheap and still offers decent functionality) as the newer models will stay serviced with software updates for longer, safeguarding you from having a broken phone with no hope of updates in a year’s time.

Here’s a quick video roundup of our current top 10.

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM_hf-sHfwY

If that still doesn’t help, well, there’s always our extensive mobile phone reviews pages as well.

Here are our rankings for the best mobile phones around, currently available in the UK.



10. OnePlus One

A seriously excellent smartphone for an astonishingly good price

OS: Android | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 3GB | Storage:16GB/64GB | Battery: 3,100mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

You’ve probably never heard of OnePlus… but if you have, you’ll know why this unknown brand is suddenly sitting in our list of best smartphones in the world.

The reason is simple: it’s a phone that has all the power, specs and functionality of the top dogs, adds in super-customisable software and does it at nearly half the price. We’re talking big savings on cost (£229 for the 16GB version and £269 for the 64GB variant) without much in the way of compromise.

In fact, the only things it’s really missing are a microSD slot and removable battery, and those are elements more for the purists than absolutely necessary.

If we’re being super picky, it’s not got the greatest camera set up and the design is a bit… efficient, but at this price point it really doesn’t matter. And given the target audience is those that care about raw power over style, it makes sense that this is where the costs could be saved.

Quick verdict

We love the fact that a new contender can maintain such a high place in the ranking of the best phones in the world – it means that it’s not just a case of ‘big budget means best phone’.

We were debating whether the OnePlus One could even have gone higher, but there’s one big problem that you’ll have if you want to get your hands on one: they’re impossible to find. Numbers won’t ramp up for a while, and probably never to the level of availability of the better-known names.

But if you want a phone that offers supreme power at a really low cost: the OnePlus One is it. It’s what the Nexus range used to be, and if Google ditches that program, then thankfully OnePlus has shown there will be brands to pick up the slack.

OnePlus One review

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Number 9: Moto X



9. Moto X (2014)

The brilliant pure Android experience

OS: Android | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 2,300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 2MP

It’s a big win for Motorola at the moment, now it’s stolen in with two places in our rankings list. It feels like a smaller smartphone, despite packing a 5.2-inch screen, as the front is mostly all bezel.

That screen is one of the standout features here, as it not only has superb Super AMOLED clarity (courtesy of Samsung) but it also has the very clever Motorola Active Display, which lets you wave your hand over the screen to see vital info and then press to preview messages.

It’s not got all the bells and whistles of most smartphones – for instance, there’s no way to restart the phone and the camera is rather basic – but as a day to day device it’s very strong.

Quick verdict

Don’t think that just because the Moto X 2014 name didn’t get much of a change that the phone is just a basic specs bump.

Motorola’s new flagship smartphone proves that the reinvented company is listening to customer feedback with a bigger screen and aluminum metal frame, all for a price that’s better than its competition.

It’s not widely available yet in the UK, and it still could do with a microSD slot and a better camera, but for a phone that doesn’t cost as much, allows you to customise nearly everything stylish about the design and works well, it’s one of the best.

Moto X (2014) review

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Number 8: Sony Xperia Z3

8. Sony Xperia Z3

A solid phone with a good screen and excellent battery life

OS: Android | Screen size: 5.15-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 3,100mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera: 2.2MP

The Xperia Z3 has arrived a little too soon since the Z2 was launched, with not a huge amount of upgrades – but it’s still a very nice phone.

The design is slimmed down and the screen is insanely bright, and you’ve still got all the lovely Sony gubbins, like Bravia tech in the screen and improved audio output.

The camera, sadly, hasn’t been upgraded and still packs some of the inconsistencies we’d hoped would be ironed out by Sony’s amazing camera team, and it’s still not up the power of the others on the market. That said, with Remote Play now enabled, it’s bounced up the rankings slightly.

Quick verdict

The Z3 is a brilliant phone with a few rough edges – if you like a powerful camera that rewards learning the intricacies and want a really bright screen (with Remote Play on top) then the Z3 is very much worth looking at.

Sony Xperia Z3 review

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Number 7: Nexus 6

7. Nexus 6

Google’s best ever phone is also its biggest ever

OS: Android | Screen size: 5.96-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3,220mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 2MP

The new Nexus is here: good news, the camera is finally half-decent on a Nexus phone. Bad news, it’s no longer a super-cheap superphone, hence it not landing higher up the rankings.

It does have an excellent screen, a very, very beefy Snapdragon 805 chipset to run nearly anything you want and the media capabilities are excellent. And that’s without even talking about the fact it will be getting the latest Android upgrades thanks to being Google’s flagship handset.

The only downside (and it’s not going to be a hindrance to some people) is that it’s got a whopping 5.96-inch screen. It’s still roughly the same size as the iPhone 6 Plus, and if you prefer a smaller phone, it’s based on the same design as the Moto X, thanks to being made by Motorola.

Quick verdict

The death of the Google Nexus program has been greatly exaggerated, and this year’s stock Android phone ironically resulted in an exaggerated Moto X. Its tremendous display, premium specs and debut of Android 5.0 Lollipop make one of the best phablets to date.

It’s not cheap, but it’s the best Nexus ever made. And, when you think about it, you’re not going to need to hold onto your money, as you’ll require both hands to grab onto this two-handed monster.

Nexus 6 review

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Number 6: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

6. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

A small Android phone packed with large features

OS: Android | Screen size: 4.6-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 720 | Memory: 2GB | Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2,600mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera: 2.2MP

Less powerful with a lower-res screen than its bigger brother? How is the Z3 Compact ahead?

Well, it’s simple: this thing is all the power (well, mostly) of the larger model, with a smaller body. This means Remote Play for your PS4, a 20.7MP camera, the clear IPS LCD screen… it’s got it all and it’s much, much nicer to hold.

The price is a lot lower too, so unless you want the brightness of the Full HD screen nearly every other feature is in this smaller phone, meaning it will have less impact on your pocket – both literally and figuratively.

Quick verdict

The best of Sony in a smartphone – if that’s what you’re after, this is the phone to go for. It’s the ergonomics and the price that impress, and while it’s not quite got the spec sheet of the main Z3, it’s a lot more polished for some reason.

On top of that it now packs Remote Play to make it a real winner if you’re a PS4 owner – definitely one to check out if you fancy your power a bit more portable.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review

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Number 5: iPhone 6 Plus

5. iPhone 6 Plus

Apple’s first bigscreen phone is a stunner

OS: iOS 8 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 1GB | Storage:16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2,915mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

While not quite as impressive as the smaller version, the first Apple phablet is jam-packed with things to love.

The Plus takes all the best bits of the iPhone 6 – design, beautiful UI, strong camera performance – and improves upon them by packing an even better camera, a Full HD screen and much larger battery.

The drawbacks are few, but pivotal: it’s a little harder to hold in one hand thanks to being a little too wide, plus it’s a lot more expensive. But with the same internal power, great graphical performance and access to Apple’s amazing media / app library, this tablet-phone hybrid is perfect for those that can’t decide between the two formats.

Quick verdict

While the ergonomics of this phone aren’t brilliant, there’s another reason it’s below the LG G3 and others: the price. It’s very, very expensive and you’ll have to really be up for a phone of this calibre, and really want the extra space to merit a purchase.

Of course, if you’re an Apple fan and want a bigger iPhone, then you should shut your laptop or throw down your tablet immediately and run down to buy one of these (providing you can afford it, of course). It’s a great phone made larger, and improved along the way too.

iPhone 6 Plus review

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Number 4: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung’s latest phablet is the best bigscreen phone available

OS: Android | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: removable 3,220mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 3.7MP

Hello Samsung. Nice to see you back up the list – and with the Note 4, the brand has managed to pack so much into the (well, still large) frame.

The main thing is the screen: Super AMOLED technology combined with QHD resolution means a pin sharp display, and one that we just can’t take our eyes off.

The camera is nice, the power is next-gen and the whole thing is backed up by the ever-more-useful S Pen to help you clip and jot all day.

Quick verdict

While it’s got a big hold over the LG G3 in many ways, it can’t compete on price with the South Korean rival – and that’s the big drawback for this phablet.

But it’s the closest phablet to the ‘average’ smartphone we’ve seen so far, and it packs the most into that limited palm space. Well done Samsung – here’s hoping the Galaxy S6 is even more impressive.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review

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Number 3: LG G3

3. LG G3

A superb flagship phone for an excellent price

OS: Android | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 2GB/3GB | Storage:16GB/32GB | Battery: removable 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera:2.1MP

The LG G3 needed to be good, as it was based on the hard work of the G2, which was a strong, well-made phone that didn’t cost a huge amount of money.

So what does LG do with the G3? Goes and sticks the world’s sharpest display on there (well, there are others now, but it was first).

It’s a QHD screen, which means it’s got four times the pixels of some phones on this list, and it also comes with a number of other enhancements too – although with those extra pixels packed in, the display is a tiny bit darker than others on the market.

Laser-based auto-focus? Check. Improved design? Check. Overhauled and simplified UI? Double check. It’s going to be a little bit too big for some hands, as it’s packing in a 5.5-inch screen, so we’re verging on phablet territory.

But don’t let that take away from a terrific phone, one that has a sleek, refined air about it and adds in fan favourite features like a removable battery and memory card slot, where both were missing on the predecessor.

Quick verdict

The screen on the LG G3, when used properly to display high-resolution content, is immense… LG knew that, and has been rightly making a big deal about it.

The overall design of the phone is vastly improved too, with the faux-metal cover not necessarily feeling great but certainly looks the part when laid on a table.

The camera is powerful too, leading to some great snaps and won’t let you down when you need to just capture the moment here and there. And it’s really dropping in price now, too.

In short, it’s a necessary step on LG’s quest to make the ultimate smartphone… if you want the best display out there with a good enough battery and strong camera, this is your next phone.

LG G3 review

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Number 2: iPhone 6

2. iPhone 6

Bigger, better, sleeker and faster than the iPhone 5S

OS: iOS 8 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 1334 x 750 | Memory: 1GB |Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 1,810mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

The iPhone 6 – a real step forward for Apple and a phone that’s a real joy to use, hold and feel.

It’s got all the same ingredients that make iPhones special: while it doesn’t excel in any given part of the smartphone recipe (except perhaps when it comes to the interface, which with iOS 8 is probably the best out there with it’s clever mix of intuition and simplicity) it just works.

The camera is lower-res but fast and bright and easy to use. The screen is too low-res compared to the phones around it, but pops and fizzes with colour and brightness.

And that design – we have to keep coming back to it as it feels beautiful in the hand.

Quick verdict

Why is the iPhone not number one? Simple: price, combined with a lower-res screen. The phone that does everything well in a great package is brilliant, but not significantly more than anything out there, which means you can’t justify the higher tag.

And if you are paying that much, we’d expect it to be a brilliant, top-spec phone, which it isn’t when it comes to the display.

But don’t let that put you off: if you’re in the market for an iPhone, or just been tempted by one in the past: buy this one. It’s excellent, a pure joy to use.

iPhone 6 review

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Number 1: HTC One M8

1. HTC One M8

A stunning phone with very few flaws

OS: Android | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 2,600mAh | Rear camera: 4MP dual | Front camera: 5MP

What to say about the HTC One M8? They often say the second album is the hardest, but the follow up to the all-conquering HTC One takes the best of that phone and yet still re-invents things enough to make it a massive recommendation over the old model.

We love the speed of the camera, the Duo Camera is smart as a tack, the Boomsound upgrade is impressive and the design… well, you have to hold it.

The Snapdragon 801 processor has boosted battery dramatically compared to the 600 of last year, and that means that photos also process much more quickly as well – even the front-facing camera is much better.

Gaming, movies, photography, browsing all work really well, and in a phone that that’s easily going to destroy whatever anyone else can design. LG ran it close with the G3 but ultimately wasn’t the best package, and the iPhone 6 still suffers on price and, inexplicably, a lower-res screen.

Quick Verdict

If we were to criticise the One M8, it would be the camera’s lack of a megapixel upgrade, which means pictures are a little less sharp than they might otherwise be, and the bright light performance isn’t top – and that sounds like something that will be fixed in the imminent upgrade that’s appearing in the shape of the HTC One M9.

That said, it’s a minor point in a phone that has barely any flaws. The lower megapixel camera means faster shutter speeds, and if you don’t want to zoom in a lot, most will enjoy the depth perception and background de-focus ability to make some pro-looking snaps.

We urge you to hold this phone for a few seconds and try not to feel at least a small flicker of smartphone attraction. It’s got great specs, a splendid design and some clever hardware innovation where the competition is relying on software to do the same thing.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Xperia Z3 failed to take the top spot, and the iPhone 6 didn’t manage the feat either – so the big question now is whether the HTC One M9 can actually get much better than this.

HTC One M8 review

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You might also like…

If a phone isn’t in the top 10 best phones in the world list, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving two hoots about.

Here’s a few handsets you might want to think about should none of the above tickle your fancy… although you’re clearly VERY hard to please:

Samsung Galaxy S5

There was a lot of hype around the new Galaxy, and rightly so: it was by far the best phone Samsung has ever produced, with a blazing fast core, a strong result in the benchmarks and a larger 5.1-inch screen.

Then there’s the fact that with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, which is still a really good CPU for any smartphone, and even now the Galaxy S5 is one of the best phones on the market when it comes to battery life, besting the already impressive One M8 in the power stakes. The Note 4 is a better option now, if you can handle the size, though.

Samsung has also dropped the ‘innovation’ of the air gestures from last year (well, they are in there but not the main focus) and improved the hardware with a better camera, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor too.

The last addition is pretty pointless… but hey, it’s fun for down the pub.

Quick verdict

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a good phone, apart from the design. It’s something that needs to be updated sorely, and while it doesn’t have to be an all-metal shell, it needs to evolve.

The S5 has a clear UI, powerful innards and is also waterproof… it’s by far not the best phone on the market any more, but it’s still a mean device that’s now getting a much tastier price off contract.

Samsung Galaxy S5 review

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Nokia Lumia 930

Hey Nokia, (now Microsoft), nice flagship phone!

The Lumia 930 does lack compared to the competition, but only in a couple of areas. Windows Phone is still a sub-par operating system for most people, thanks to the poorer apps and lower amount of control. But then again, for a lot of people the improved Office functionality and simple interface is a boon.

The Lumia 930 is a strong phone in both design and power, although a little last-gen on the latter element, and coupled with a very capable camera, is a phone that’s easy to recommend to those looking for something different.

Quick verdict

Windows Phone aside, there’s a great deal on show here to make this a top-rated smartphone. The build quality is excellent and iconic, and the camera is powerful and results in mostly great snaps. We like that 32GB is on offer as the base model, and wireless charging built in is perfect.

The price is pretty good too, and if you’re a fan of Windows Phone there is nothing better right now.

Nokia Lumia 930 review

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iPhone 5S

Remember this? After the furore with the iPhone 6, it’s easy to forget that the Apple iPhone 5S is still alive and kicking.

It’s still a bit expensive, coming in at least £459 from Apple and contracts happily pushing over £30 a month, even with paying a little for the phone.

That said, it’s sucked down the iOS 8 software pretty well, and is still pushing on as a decent option for a slightly cheaper iPhone, especially if you like the smaller sized screen.

Plus, you can use it with the Apple Watch and pay for things on the go using the cunningly named Apple Pay – although for some reason TouchID won’t be enabled to work online, where it will be for the iPad Air 2 and friends.

Quick verdict

An ageing phone but one that still deserves a look simply because Apple will support it for so long – it’s powerful enough to carry on for a few years yet.

It’s still the best option if you like a smaller screen on an Apple device, but the iPhone 6 is worth a look for the improved battery alone.

Apple iPhone 5S review

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Sony Xperia Z2

Sony had something of a slump in 2013, following up the impressive Xperia Z with the lacklustre Xperia Z1 just a few months later.

The camera, which was supposed to be the headline feature, didn’t impress as much as we’d hoped, and the screen was still lacking the IPS clout that the Xperia Z Ultra managed – meaning muted colours and poor viewing angles.

Anyway, enough about 2013 – Sony mounted a comeback in 2014 with an excellent phone in the shape of the Xperia Z2.

And the good news is it’s impressive. Really impressive. The industrial design is a little chunky but oozes premium quality in a way that Samsung’s plastic shell doesn’t, and it’s a little more robust than its Galactical rival thanks to being IP58 rated.

Great battery life, strong power and a good camera all are present and correct with most phones in this list, but Sony stays in the top three simply by being a great all-rounder.

It doesn’t have the polish of the HTC One M8, nor the more functional UI, but it does what’s asked with top-end specs. That’s what we like.

Quick verdict

What did Sony need to do to impress? Not a lot, but that screen and camera needed a fix as well as adding in some other features.

Front facing speakers, a new screen with better colour reproduction, 4K video recording and inbuilt noise cancellation all make a great device that should be right on your possible upgrade list.

Make sure you check it out in-store before purchase, as some won’t like the larger build, but for a good all-round experience the Xperia Z2 excels.

Sony Xperia Z2 review

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Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Another Samsung phone enters the fray, and it’s a slightly odd one: the Galaxy Alpha has a price tag that’s even higher than the iPhone 6, and yet doesn’t really out-spec it in many ways.

That said, it’s still a premium phone. The second you hold it, you’ll feel that the updated metal design really works, with clever effort made to improve the way it feels in your hand.

The 4.7-inch screen isn’t as high-res as the rivals, but does the job well thanks to Super AMOLED technology making the contrast ratio and colours pop out.

And the battery is removable – bonus!

Quick Verdict

There’s a lot to like about the way the Alpha looks, but there are some quibbles: why is there no microSD slot or larger capacity on offer to help out?

Why does it cost so much? Is the metal band (and, to be fair, blazingly fast internal speeds) really enough to warrant a purchase?

A really nice phone that needs a little more to be at the sharp end of this list: but if you want a premium-feeling Android phone with a strong camera, the Alpha is a great place to start.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha review

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LG G2

LG has made a phone that not only impressed us but ran the HTC One very, very close for the top spot in 2013 – and held a strong place into 2014 too.

We don’t know where to start in terms of extolling the virtues of this new handset from the South Korean firm: it’s got an insanely good screen, quality camera, the best audio pumping out from its speakers and headphone jack… the list goes on.

We even came to tolerate, then love, the power and volume buttons being placed on the rear. These aren’t ideal, but the ability to knock on the screen makes it really easy to interact with this impressive device.

The LG G3 is here now, and blows this out of the water in terms of price and power (it’s even got a next-gen QHD screen) but given the lower cost the G2 is still an excellent choice.

Verdict

There’s so much on offer here that we can’t help but recommend it to anyone looking for a cheaper smartphone powerhouse.

The only things that we dislike are the cluttered UI (pull down the notifications bar and you’ll see why) and the plastic casing, which drops the premium feel of the phone a lot, especially compared to the handset that sits one place above.

But launching at £400 on PAYG (and even cheaper with a few third party retailers), along with comparable contracts older phones, is a really nice touch from LG, and we reckon it’s going to pay dividends.

LG G2 review

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HTC One

It’s quite a tumble from the top spot for the HTC One, especially given it was our top smartphone for so long. However unless you’re desperate to pay a little less per month, the newer One M8 does everything the original did, but so much better.

It’s nothing to do with the quality of the One – which is still one of the outstanding phones on the market – but more the fact that if you like Boomsound, and Ultrapixel camera, a sharp and bright screen or a powerful processor, the M8 has improved in every way there.

But let’s not forget what made this phone so great: the supreme aluminium chassis, the Full HD screen and the simplified version of Sense 5.0 sitting now on top of Android KitKat means it’s still a pleasure to use and recommend this handset – but again, only if price is your main driver and you simply must have a One.

The innovations are also more than just marketing gimmicks; Zoe functionality allows the creation of delightful video highlight reels, and the Ultrapixel camera means you’ve got a much wider range of shots available thanks to being stunning in low light – and none of that is diminished with time.

Quick Verdict

With power, poise and beauty all combined in this innovative phone, HTC has proved it can still more than cut it with the big boys when it comes to bringing out a lust-worthy flagship smartphone.

However, remember that this has one year fewer in terms of HTC promising to keep it upgraded, so if you pick it up now you might not get the newer versions of the software in 12 months time. The battery is also not as strong as on the One M8 – but it’s still got a lot to offer.

HTC One review

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Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung managed to hold off HTC at the top in 2012, but in 2013 the supreme stylings of the HTC One proved too strong against a phone that’s a slightly-better-version of its predecessor, especially when you consider the design.

There’s a lot, a lot, to love with the Samsung Galaxy S4 though: whether it’s a powerful camera, a brilliant screen, a long-lasting battery or just a fluid experience, there’s a lot you could want in a smartphone right here.

The cost is a tad higher than on other smartphones, but still cheaper than iPhone level and is descending now the S5 is available. If only it was made out of something a little more premium…

LG, Sony and Google have come out with some attractive propositions and overtaken the best the South Koreans can manage, but that hasn’t stopped this being one of the most popular phones of 2013 and the price is ever lower.

Quick verdict

There’s no doubt that, despite the design criticism, this is one of the best smartphones ever made – it’s clear, powerful and does everything we’d expect a flagship phone from Samsung to do.

It’s just a shame that the perceived ‘innovation’ doesn’t really add anything: motion gestures, smart scroll and it’s other non-contact bedfellows didn’t take smartphones to the next level, which is what we needed in the face of Ultrapixels and BoomSound.

Make no mistake though: you’ll love the Samsung Galaxy S4 if you choose to go for it, as it’s a decent phone with some really cutting-edge features – but remember there’s something better thanks to the Galaxy S5.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 breathes yet more life into a mobile form factor many thought would be dead on arrival, ramping up the specs and the size to give us a new monolith of mobile.

It may be big, but the 5.7-inch display is fantastic and the Full HD Super AMOLED technology makes everything pop from websites to movies.

You’re able to fit a lot more on screen at a time and that means less scrolling in messages, on websites and down your long contact list and that can only be a good thing.

What really impressed us with the Galaxy Note 3 though was its battery life and sheer speed under the finger. We’re used to a day at best when hardcore using the device, but we got far past that without breaking a sweat throughout our tests.

The speed of the Snapdragon 800 quad core processor, combined with 3GB of RAM, means this is the least-slouchy phone we’ve encountered in a while.

Quick verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a great phone and if you were to own one you wouldn’t be disappointed. It provides a great onscreen experience – as long as your hands are big enough to reach across it – and it’s stuffed so full of tech to almost warrant its lofty price tag – which refuses to tumble much.

Its size will be a real stumbling point for many and we’d recommend going into a store and just holding the Note 3 for a while to see if it’s something you can cope with – in short, we want all this but in a form that we can hold easily, at a lower price and without the S Pen.

If that’s you, then just go ahead and buy the Galaxy S5.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

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Nokia Lumia 1520

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a trailblazing 6-inch smartphone that forges a path for Windows Phone 8 into true high-end territory. And what a swathe this oversized phablet cuts – it’s huge.

Its 6-inch 1080p display is a thing of beauty, and is a great way to watch videos and view photos on the go.

Nokia has produced another excellent camera phone here, learning lessons from the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Nokia Lumia 925 to produce a very well balanced snapper.

However, there’s also no denying that this is a ridiculously large phone, and whipping one out in public will be as embarrassing as it is tricky to wield for those who appreciate a little subtly and mobility from their phones.

Quick verdict

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is an absolute beast of a phone that we suspect only the large-handed and generous pocketed will be able to live with day to day.

Those who accept the challenge will find the most capable Windows Phone 8 device yet, with top-of-the-range specs that include a stunning 1080p display and a superb 20-megapixel camera.

Nokia Lumia 1520 review

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