HTC’s One (M8) and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 are two of the best Android smartphones that will launch in 2014. In fact, they’re two of the best smartphones that have ever existed, period. But there are plenty of other fantastic phones set to debut this year and people in the market for a new handset might want to think twice before rushing into a new contract right now.
For smartphone lovers, 2014 is shaping up to be a pretty boring year in terms of real innovation. That said, we will still see plenty of great new smartphones launch in 2014 that are faster, thinner, more powerful and sleeker than anything we’ve seen before.
So far, smartphone power users have a few solid new options to choose from.
The Galaxy S5 is probably the most impressive smartphone Samsung has launched to date. It’s not without its problems, of course, but its thin case, top-notch performance and gorgeous display make it a terrific option for those in the market for a new handset.
Then there’s the HTC One (M8), which BGR recently named the best Android smartphone on the planet. This phone is as powerful as it is gorgeous and it has received critical acclaim across the board.
But if you think the best of 2014 is behind us, think again.
As is often the case in the smartphone market, we already know about just about every big Android phone set to launch this year thanks to various leaks. There certainly could be a few surprises here and there, but odds are very good that just about every important base has been covered at this point.
So, what are the best Android smartphones of 2014 that haven’t yet been released?
Huawei Ascend P7
Smartphone users in the U.S. are likely out of luck with this one, but the Ascend P7 is easily one of the most exciting and unexpected Android phones of the year.
Huawei just unveiled the P7 on Wednesday but it won’t begin launching until next week. When it does, it could very well be the thinnest and sexiest Android phone on the market. As we noted in our Ascend P7 review, it also looks a heck of a lot like the iPhone.
The new Ascend P7 might make its way to the U.S. unofficially if importers start to pick it up. If that’s the case, Android fans should definitely go out of their way to check it out.
The CyanogenMod-powered OnePlus One is another fantastic Android phone that has already been unveiled but hasn’t yet launched.
This puppy is shaping up to be an Android enthusiast’s dream, packed with powerful specs and a sleek case. The phone will feature a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, a 5.5-inch full HD display, 3GB of DDR3 RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 3,100 mAh battery.
And somehow, it will start at just $299 off contract.
OnePlus’ upcoming One is definitely going to give Google’s Nexus lineup a run for its money.
Let’s face it: the LG G2 was a huge letdown. It had a big gorgeous display, a nice design and relatively impressive performance, but there was absolutely nothing special about the G2.
With the upcoming flagship G3 smartphone, LG will look to make amends.
The new G3 will reportedly feature buttons on the back just like the G2, but apparently LG has now realized that no one really cares about buttons on the back of the handset. Thankfully, LG’s new flagship phone will apparently have a few new features this time around that may pique shoppers’ interest.
Rumors suggest that the G3 will feature a metal housing, a removable battery, a 5.5-inch quad HD display, a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
LG is set to unveil the G3 during a press conference on May 27th.
Motorola Moto X+1
Last year’s Moto X was a great phone and a terrific value, but its successor is shaping up to blow it out of the water.
Set to launch in the coming weeks, the Motorola Moto X+1 will reportedly feature a 5.2-inch full HD display, a 2.3GHz quad-core processor, a 12-megapixel camera and 2GB of RAM.
Mix in customization options and a shockingly affordable price point, and you’ve got yourself a smartphone worth checking out.
Galaxy Note 4
Phablet fans, you’ll likely have a few solid options this year. Somewhere near the top of the list is Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4.
The Note 3 is easily one of the best phablets that has ever existed at this point, and Samsung’s next flagship phablet will likely best it in every way. With things heating up so much in the phablet space, its pioneer has to make a solid showing in 2014.
It’s still a bit to early for us to know what to expect with the Galaxy Note 4, but one rumor suggested that we could be looking at a 2K display, a 64-bit processor, a 20.1 megapixel camera and Android 4.5.
HTC One (M8) Prime
The other big Android phablet launch we can look forward to in 2014 is the HTC One (M8) Prime.
HTC’s new phablet’s name will apparently be a mouthful, and the device itself will likely be a handful considering how gigantic the One max is. Recent rumors suggest that the One (M8) Prime’s specs will include a 5.5-inch quad HD display, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, a USB 3.0 port and a new and improved version of HTC’s Duo Camera.
Also set to debut this year is the latest and greatest from Google and its hardware partner du jour.
Google’s Nexus 5 was a terrific phone available at a terrific price and word is the Nexus 6 will be even better. It will likely be built by LG and based on its flagship G3 smartphone, but nothing is confirmed at this point.
Last but certainly not least is Amazon’s smartphone, which might just be the only widely available smartphone of the year that features any new technology that is truly innovative. Whether or not those innovative new features will help Amazon sell phones remains to be seen.
BGR has exclusively reported just about everything there is to know about Amazon’s first own-brand smartphone.
Want to know what to expect? Check out our exclusive photos of the phone, everything you need to know about its custom software, details on the Amazon phone’s secret weapon called Prime Data, and the world’s first unobscured image of the unreleased handset.