What a year it’s shaping up to be for smartphones already. Several high profile releases, including the HTC One M8, LG G3 and Sony Z2, have come and gone, and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 also made it to the third most popular smartphone in the UK after the iPhone 5S and 5C.
There has also been an influx of more budget-orientated smartphones that thankfully nowadays come with many enticing features that were once reserved for their more expensive counterparts: 4G, high quality cameras, and lots of storage. Motorola released its Moto E, a cheaper little version of the Moto G. Microsoft and Nokia have also brought into the market some solid handsets with updates to the Lumia series of Windows Phones.
Amazon also introduced its very first smartphone to the market: the Amazon Fire Phone. The phone marks the initial shift of consumer habits. One of the features on the smartphone is called Firefly, and uses visual scanning to identify items, then taking you the Amazon’s shopping website. From there users can order and pay straight away. CEO Jeff Bezos said that FIrefly will soon be able to recognise over 100 million items, including 245,000 movies and TV episodes, 35 million songs and 70 million products. WHat will this mean for the traditional high street shop? Recent research reckons that by 2019, almost a third of all UK transaction will be made with mobile payments, and Amazon are cashing in early with the Fire Phone.
Here are CBR’s top picks as of July. We’ve tried to cover most budgets and included multiple operating systems.
Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon’s much anticipated smartphone is now on the market. With a 4.7-inch screen, 13MP camera, and a Quad-core 2.2GHz processor, it’s clear Amazon is not messing about with its initial smartphone offering.
However, the real showstopper here is the dynamic perspective effect which emulates a 3D screen.
LG’s latest flagship boasts probably the best smartphone display currently available – a Quad HD 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, giving 538ppi – which places the LG G3 higher up the definition scale than both the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5.
The back may feel metallic but it’s actually mainly polycarbonate with some metal mixed in, meaning it feels very smooth but also sturdy. The slightly curved back means that it’s easy to hold and should allay any fears that you won’t be able to reach across the entire of that immense screen.
Nokia Lumia 630
On a budget? The brand new Nokia Lumia 630 is the latest gadget from the Microsoft Nokia marriage. It comes ready to go with Windows Phone 8.1 and features a 4.5-inch, 1.2GHz quar-core processor, and 512MB of RAM.
All for a price of £130 SIM free, and there’s also a dual-SIM option.
Downsides? No NFC, no camera flash, and no front-facing camera.
Japan’s Sony gave us the Z2 a few months back, and it’s a worthy successor to the Z1.
It’s got a 20.7MP camera, 5.2-inch display, runs on Android 4.4 KitKat, and uses a 2.3GHz quad-core processor.
A standout feature is the IP55 and IP58 water and dustproofing.
Motorola dropped the Moto E this year, beating the price of its already budget Moto G. Setting you back just £89, this smart little handset has a 4.3-inch screen and 4GB of internal storage.
It’s limited to 3G but a 5MP HD camera and Android 4.4 KitKat makes up for that if you’re on a shoestring.