The best smartphone of 2014: Five glorious contenders, One clear winner

It's any company's game.

The title of "best smartphone" could go to any manufacturer this year. Apple and Samsung previously dominated the smartphone scene. Now, as strategies initiated years ago by rivals come to fruition, every brand is delivering a killer smartphone. The title could belong to anyone, but only one can be crowned the Best Smartphone of 2014.

5. LG G3

LG had long trailed its rivals in the smartphone space. The company went back to the drawing board, realigned different business divisions and bounced back with the G3, a smartphone that leapfrogged the competition.

Many firsts were marked by the LG G3. It was the first smartphone in Australia to have a 1440p display, and the 5.5-inch display was packed tightly into a body comparable to 5-inch smartphones. The 13 megapixel camera introduced the laser autofocus; a feature that represents genuine innovation to the smartphone camera.

Undermining the plethora of innovations is one flaw we could not look past: lacklustre battery life. The battery life was so short we tested two G3s in the hope our first unit was faulty. That was not the case. The two smartphones averaged 13.5 hours of life under moderate-to-heavy use. If the G3 had a bigger battery, there’s no doubt it would’ve been a front runner.

Read the full review of the LG G3

4. Sony Xperia Z3

The art of Zen is at play with the Xperia Z3. We say this because of all the Android smartphones, it is the most focussed. No gimmicks or superfluous features will be found here. The Z3 offers only what you need — nothing more, nor less.

Though what it offers is among the best in the industry, such as its 20.7 megapixel camera. It goes a little further with a fantastic screen, commendable battery life, top-tier waterproofing and, for its loyal PlayStation 4 fans, Remote Play capabilities.

Read the full review of the Sony Xperia Z3

3. Apple iPhone 6

Read more: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6

This list is dominated by smartphones running open source Android. The fact one manufacturer has managed to take on an entire ecosystem stands testament to the calibre of Apple’s iPhone.

Seven years on and Apple is still doing the legacy justice. The iPhone 6 has matured, with its larger screen and curved corners. It is a shame Apple Pay was not made available in Australia, which is Apple’s most recent innovation. Touch ID and Siri may not be new to this generation iPhone, but they’re still features that give it a competitive edge.

Letting the iPhone down, like the LG G3, is the score of its battery, which delivered 17 hours during testing.

Read the full review of the Apple iPhone 6

Click over for the Smartphone of the Year

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Apple iPhone 6HTC One M8Sony Xperia Z3 CompactSony Xperia Z3

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Tony Ibrahim

Tony Ibrahim

Good Gear Guide

@slicktonyi

Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?