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Best smartphones 2014: Nexus 6, Galaxy Note 4, iPhone 6, Galaxy S5 and more

Updated We rank the best handsets available today
Wed Nov 12 2014, 16:18

THE SMARTPHONE MARKET is becoming increasingly competitive, make it hard for buyers to choose which handset is the right one for them.

With smartphone buyers being spoiled for choice, we have compiled a list of our favourite 2014 smartphones available for you to buy, so you can see which one best fits your needs, depending on whether you're after a smartphone with a high-resolution display like the LG G3 or Nexus 6, or a phone that can withstand the elements, like the Galaxy S5

Keep this page bookmarked, as we'll update it when another worthy contender is launched.

Google Nexus 6 with Android 5.0 Lollipop in white

Nexus 6
The Nexus 6 is Google's flagship Android 5.0 Lollipop smartphone, and with a 6in display, it's also the firm's largest smartphone to date.

While some may be put off by the large screen size, many likely will be won over by the handset's top-end specifications. The Nexus 6's mamoth display boasts a 1440x2560 resolution, and comes powered by a nippy quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor.

Of course, it's also the first phone to arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop onboard, equipping the handset with Google's new Material Design language, a battery saving mode, improved notifications and improved security measures, including Samsung's Knox suite baked-in.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with Android 4.4 KitkatGalaxy Note 4
Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 is the firm's most-impressive phablet to date. It rivals the Nexus 6 with a similar 5.7in QHD resolution display, and also comes powered by Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon 805 chip.

Unlike the Nexus 6, the Galaxy Note 4 comes equipped with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface and a bundled-in stylus, which combined make the device great for professionals who want to note-take on the go.

That's not all the Galaxy Note 4 has got going for it. There's also dual 16MP and 3.7MP cameras, 4G LTE support and up to 128GB expandable storage.

Check out our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review


iPhone 6 Plus design in goldiPhone 6
The iPhone 6 is the first time Apple has gone beyond a screen size of 4in, with the smartphone boasting a 4.7in Retina display. Of course, for those who scoff at a 4.7in screen, the iPhone 6 Plus comes with an even-bigger 5.5in offering.

It may be bigger than the iPhone 5S, but it's also slimmer, measuring in at a mere 6.9mm thick. This is thanks in part to its new design, with the iPhone 6 featuring a curvier look than its predecessor. In terms of specifications, Apple hasn't skimped, kitting out the iPhone 6 with an A8 processor, improved 8MP and 1.2MP cameras, an improved screen resolution, a beefier 1,810mAh battery and a built-in NFC for making mobile payments.

Check out our iPhone 6 review. 

Samsung Galaxy S5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat in goldSamsung Galaxy S5
The Galaxy S5 was always going to be one of the biggest smartphones of 2014, and Samsung didn't disappoint. Improving on its Galaxy S4 predecessor, the Galaxy S5 boasts a built-in fingerprint scanner, a heart rate monitor and IP67 certification that it's resistant against water and dust.

Looking to win over those after a high-specification smartphone, the Galaxy S5 also boasts a 5.1in HD 1080p screen, a quad-core 2.5GHz processor, Google's Android 4.4 Kitkat mobile operating system and a 16MP rear-facing camera capable of shooting 4K video. The Galaxy S5 also pairs with Samsung's wearable devices, including the Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit.

Check out our full Samsung Galaxy S5 review.

Silent Circle BlackphoneBlackphone
Since news of the PRISM spying scandal broke, privacy has been at the forefront of many people's minds. The surveillance revelations have made people more concerned than ever about what happens to their data. Enter Silent Circle, which has launched the 'NSA-proof' Android-powered Blackphone.

The Blackphone, which boasts a 4.5in HD screen and a quad-core 2GHz chip, runs a custom version of Android dubbed Private OS, which will allow users to make and receive secure phone calls, exchange encrypted texts and browse the web anonymously through a virtual private network (VPN).

In addition for those all about security, Silent Circle chucks in around £400 worth of free apps, including 2GB of encrypted data via Spikderoak, a two-year subscription to its own security application suite and 1GB of free Disconnect storage each month.

Check out our Blackphone hands-on review


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