THE SMARTPHONE MARKET is becoming increasingly competitive, which in turn can make it hard for buyers to choose among the leading handsets to pick the right smartphone.
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 a phone that can withstand the elements, like the Galaxy S5.
The Amazon Fire Phone was released on 18 June, so we'll be deciding whether this new 3D smartphone deserves a place on the list if it makes its way to the UK, and once we've got our hands on it.
Keep this page bookmarked, as we'll update it when another worthy contender is launched.
Samsung 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.
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.
The LG G3 is one of the newest smartphones on our list, but also one of the most impressive. Making the Galaxy S5 look low resolution, the LG G3 boasts a 2560x1440 Quad HD resolution display that features a pixel density of 548ppi, compared to the Galaxy S5's 432ppi screen. It's also the first smartphone to feature a laser autofocus in its 13MP camera, which the firm claims means the snapper can focus on objects in less than three milliseconds.
LG is also looking to win over buyers with its custom Android skin, which adds unique features such as Knock Code and Smart Notice, an app that claims to know what you want before you do. It's not just software where LG has innovated, as the G3 also features its hardware controls on its rear, which the firm claims makes them more comfortable to use.
Check out our LG G3 hands-on review.
Nokia Lumia 930
The Lumia 930 is arguably the most exciting Windows Phone handset yet. It arrives running the latest version of Microsoft's mobile operating system, Windows Phone 8.1, which adds a number of new features. These include Microsoft's Siri rival Cortana; a pull-down notifications menu called Action Center; support for on-screen capacitive keys; custom Live Tile backgrounds; a Swype-esque keyboard feature called Work Flow; and WiFi Sense data management tool.
While the Lumia 930 lacks the 41MP camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020, there's an impressive 20MP camera on the rear of the handset, complete with Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilisation and HD 1080p video capture.
The Lumia 930 is Nokia's highest-specification smartphone today, as beyond its software and camera, the device touts a 5in HD 1080p screen, a quad-core processor, 4G LTE support and a 2,420mAh battery offering 15.5 hours of talk time.
Check out our Nokia Lumia 930 hands-on review.
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