One of the primary reasons sites like Pocketnow exist is to review and evaluate the vast array of smartphones on the market at any given time, compile our findings, and report our thoughts and observations back to you. We do the hard work and heavy lifting so you can make the most informed decision when you go to by a smartphone for yourself. If this were a static, unchanging list, the task would be fairly easy, but it’s not. The smartphones available t0 buy at any given time can easily rise into the dozens for mainstream devices, and into the hundreds when looking at everything that’s available. What makes things really challenging is that this collection of devices keeps changing! Perhaps the question is better asked: What is the best smartphone money can buy – right now?
I took that question to the Pocketnow team, and as you might expect, responses were wide and varied.
True to his Windows Phone preferences, Adam Lein says he won’t buy anything with less than a 41 megapixel sensor in the camera.
Stephen favors the Galaxy Note models, which have become Samsung’s fall flagships for good reason. The larger platform the phablet provides gives the manufacturer room to experiment with new technology. With the Note 4 (which you can pre-order, so it technically falls under the “can buy right now” restriction), that means quad HD finally going mainstream. Users will probably never stop debating whether all those extra pixels are worth it, but you can’t deny that a physically larger display will help us appreciate them more than a smaller one – and at 5.7 inches, the Note 4 is headed in the right direction.
Taylor is on the same page, though he thinks it’s “tricky’. The Galaxy Note 4 gets his first consideration simply based on how good the Note 3 has been. Add to that all the improvements Samsung has made to the hardware and software, and he’s past the tipping point. Although he can pre-order the Note 4, if he had to spend his money today, he would go with the HTC One M8. The build quality and design are second to none, the phone simply never lags, the software is quite good, and the battery life is manageable. The S-LCD3 screen and speakers make this phone better than any other for multimedia playback, and the base storage is 32GB (plus it has a microSD card slot). The One M8 is a balanced offering for everyone.
Rithvik is torn between the LG G3, iPhone 6, and Moto X (2014). However, if he had to choose, his cash is on the new Moto X, despite the fact that he hasn’t even held it in his hands yet. Most reviews are signalling generally good things about the phone – the combination of flagship specs, Motorola’s fluid hardware/software matchup, and the software experience have won him over. “Needless to say, I’m looking forward to getting my hands all over the new X.”
Since almost everyone has unveiled their phones for this year (except maybe a new Nexus or a device or two from HTC), Tony would probably go for the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. That’s based on faith though. Tony hasn’t used an iPhone as his daily driver since last year. He skipped the iPhone 5s and iOS 7. If you were to take “faith” out of the equation, Tony’s go-to device would be the Sony Xperia Z3. He uses the Xperia Z2 all the time and is quite happy with it. However, since the differences between the Z2 and Z3 are so incremental, Tony would probably stick with his Z2 for the time being. If he suddenly found himself without it, he’d spring for the Z3 without hesitation.
For Jaime, this year is probably one of the toughest when it comes to choosing the best phone. “For the first time ever, I can honestly say there are decent amount to choose from.” If you made Jaime use his own money, he’d go for the iPhone 6. In his estimation, it’s not too big, not too small, and has a ton of “cool enhancements if you live in the Apple world”.
Michael is stuck somewhere between the HTC One M8 and the Moto X (2014). The M8 offers the look and feel of a luxury item and bundles in a ton of awesome stuff to boot: BoomSound is unparalleled, the display is gorgeous, and even the Duo Camera has its moments. And if you’re going to “put up” with an Android skin, Michael thinks Sense is the best one there is: classy looks meet slick responsiveness. On the other hand, the new Moto X still provides what Michael calls “the best possible Android experience”. Moto Display, Moto Voice, and Moto Assist are so insanely useful and smart that they should be standard on every Android smartphone. Ironically, he’s glad they’re not because this, he feels, would make owning the Moto X somewhat less “special”. As he said in today’s comparison, “the Moto X is like an iPhone for Android users … and I mean that in the best possible way”.
For me, the diehard Android guy in the group, I’m still using my Nexus 5. I’m eagerly awaiting the “next Nexus” which we may see in less than a month. So, if it were my money on the line, I’d probably hold on to it until I saw what the next Nexus has to offer. I’m not holding my breath though. Google has an “every other one is good” track record with its Nexus lineup (the “odd numbered” ones). Since this one would be “6″, I might just pass on it and go with something else, but for now, I’m okay with my “wait and see” attitude.
What about you?
Now that you’ve heard our thoughts, if you were go out and order a new phone today, what would it be (and why)? Would you go with one of the phones we mentioned above, or would you go for something entirely different? Head down to the comments, and let us know!