Best Android Phones [June 2014]

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As June begins we enter a period of calm during the smartphone release cycle. Flagship handsets from HTC, LG, and Samsung have all been announced and released to some extent while little else remains on our radar. That could all change by the end of the month with Google’s annual I/O conference, but for now we present our picks for best Android phones as of June 2014.

Previously: May | April | March | February 

5. Nexus 5

Nexus 5 front

Will the Nexus 5 ever leave our list? It’s unlikely until the next great stock Android flagship comes along. With specs that still hold up despite the onslaught of recent competition — Snapdragon 800 quad-core processing, 1080p display — the Nexus 5 remains a fine choice for buyers seeking a device sure to receive quick Android updates. Even better, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg at $350 with out a wireless contract. It lacks some of the sophistication and advanced features found in phones higher on our list, but the type of person that favors the Nexus 5’s simple, refined experience doesn’t need them.

4. Sony Xperia Z2

sony-xperia-z2-1

The Sony Xperia Z2 remains the best Android phone that you probably won’t be able to get your hands on — at least if you live in the United States. With a stellar camera, crisp and colorful display, and solid performance, the Z2’s internal prowess is matched only by its exquisite Sony design. Sony insists a US release isn’t on their slate, but rumors (and leaks) persist that the flagship could see a Verizon launch in due time.

3. Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 wood DSC05783

Samsung, arguably the king of Android, sees its 2014 flagship slip to #3 after debuting as the second ranked phone on last month’s list. We’ll find out why a little further down the page, but let’s not ignore the solid device that is the Galaxy S5. Top-notch hardware including a 1080p Super AMOLED display and extras like a fingerprint scanner and heart rate sensor provide plenty of intrigue, but a finicky, complicated TouchWiz interface holds this one back from its full potential.

2. HTC One M8

htc one m8 wm_1

In recent months, the HTC One M8 quietly established itself as the Android phone to beat. HTC’s brilliant handling of their simplified Sense UI in conjunction with a sharp, classy design and hardware that could go head-to-head with the best of them makes for a phone that is as much a joy to use as it is to look at.

1. LG G3

LG G3 hands on IMG_5374

What could knock the HTC One M8 off of its throne? The newly announced LG G3, of course. Currently only available in Korea, time will tell if the G3’s Snapdragon 801 and 5.5-inch Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixels) display keep it on top, but the early showing has been impressive. LG has upped their game from the G2 with a brushed metal design, improved rear button, and overhauled UI, bringing it more in line with the premium Android experiences we are used to. Look for the G3 to see a global launch in the coming weeks.   

Honorable Mention

Oppo-Find-7a-Front

We only have room for five on our list, but there are plenty of other great phones to consider. Here are five more that barely missed out on being one of our top phones for the month of June.

  1. OnePlus One — There are plenty of reasons to like the OnePlus One — if you can manage to get your hands on one. The phone’s launch has been plagued with issues when it comes to getting the device in users’ hands, but it offers a great mix of affordability and high-end specs.
  2. Oppo Find 7a — Similar to the OnePlus One, and possibly the basis from which that phone was developed, the Oppo Find 7a has the hardware to square off with any phone on this list. Also like the OnePlus One, it remains elusive for buyers.
  3. LG G Pro 2 — LG’s phablet-sized device drops off the main list to make room for the LG G3, but with similar design and features, it remains a great option for those looking for a big big screen.
  4. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 — Speaking of big big screens, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is another option to consider in the phablet category. Not quite the Galaxy S5 in terms of hardware, the Note 3’s include S Pen stylus offers a refreshingly different method of interacting with your Android device.
  5. Moto X — Customizability, affordable pricing, and a clean, simple Android implementation make the Moto X a phone to consider for Android purists on a budget.

Phones to look forward to

With Samsung, HTC, and LG all pushing their flagship phones for 2014 within the past few months alongside offerings from newer manufacturers like Oppo and OnePlus, our slate of anticipated smartphones has been wiped clean. If we didn’t mention it above or if it’s not mentioned among the rumored devices below, chances are it hasn’t featured as even a blip on our radar. The good news? With so many stellar options on the market and nothing in the pipeline to provide cause for second guessing a purchasing decision, now is a great time to buy an Android smartphone.

Rumor Mill

We know what’s available. We know there hasn’t been much announced that we can’t already get our hands on, but what else is out there. Here are a couple more devices that are starting to gain some buzz in anticipation of their rumored launches.

Moto X+1

motoxplus1-peek

Motorola’s Moto X followup has been making the rounds on the rumor mill with several leaks giving us our first purported look at the next chapter. Those leaks as a reference, it appears the phone will feature a larger display than the 4.7-inch one found on the Moto X, possibly pushing beyond the 5-inch threshold. Can we expect a similar Moto Maker experience with even more customization options? The closing of Motorola’s Texas plant raises some doubts, but we reckon we’ll be hearing plenty more on the Moto X+1 soon.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

galaxy-note 4-concept-2014

Is it too early to start hyping the Samsung Galaxy Note 4? Not much is currently known about the handset, but if Samsung stays on schedule we should expect a fall release. The Note 4 could incorporate technologies introduced with the Galaxy S5 (namely a fingerprint scanner and health-oriented sensors), feature a Quad HD display, and take on an entirely new form factor (like the concept render above). The handset is also rumored to launch alongside Samsung’s next volley of wearables — a Google Glass competitor could debut among them.

Amazon Best Sellers

So what are people actually buying? Amazon has the list for us. The retailer’s Best Sellers list reflect many of the same devices we named above, but what about the ones that didn’t grace our rankings? Below are the top-selling smartphones on Amazon that we didn’t already mention above.

  1. Samsung Galaxy S4
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  3. Motorola Droid MAXX
  4. Samsung Galaxy Mega
  5. HTC One M7
  6. LG G2
  7. Samsung Galaxy S3
  8. Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
  9. Motorola Droid RAZR M
  10. HTC Droid Incredible

What say you?

Another month, another list. What did we get right? What did we get wrong? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you consider the best Android phone available as of June 2014!

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  • Tony Lai

    Can’t wait for G3. Seeing its strong launch in Korea is a good news.

  • KOLIO

    Almost half of these phones shouldn’t even be mentioned until they’re more widely available.

    Omitting the G2 is a major WTF…….

    • Captain Spaulding

      I agree completely, the G2 is still an amazing phone. I can’t believe the Moto X beat the G2 on the honorable mentions list. I have both and I can honestly say that they’re both great phones, but the Moto X doesn’t hold a candle to the G2.

  • Pam Oakea

    It’s not even available in most of the world… In the US, the reviewers don’t even have the phone, so how is it already the best?

    • malcmilli

      they didnt say anything about a US only list

  • shmigga

    The G3 isn’t even out yet. How come the S5 didn’t make the list for March and April of this year? It wasn’t until it was released that it made your list. Pretty dumb!

    • Martin Lane

      They really don’t like Samsung, different rules for them. :p

      • TDN

        Really? Phandroid doesn’t like Samsung? Then why do they always sing the praises of the devices as a whole. Just because they point out things that some users may not like (ie TouchWiz, build materials, etc) doesn’t mean they don’t like the devices.

        And if they don’t like Samsung, then why do they continue to recommend the devices to potential buyers?

        • Martin Lane

          I don’t remember Phandroid recommending Samsung devices or singing their praises, they have to include them otherwise it would be blatantly biased and nobody would come back.

          They focus on the negatives and not the positives, they cherry pick news to favour specific products.

          If you haven’t noticed it yet then maybe your a bit dense.

    • malcmilli

      it released in korea

    • TDN

      Ummm… I think you answered your own question. The S5 was not featured on the April list, because it was released *after* the list was made for that month. The April list on was published on April 1. The S5 was not released until April 11, so there for had not been released at all when the list was published.

      And the LG G3 has been released, even if it is only a Korean release.

  • Martin Lane

    LG G3 – 3D performance crippled by display resolution 2560*1440
    HTC One M8 – Poor camera, large bezels
    Galaxy S5 – Ugly design, battery cover and interface
    Xperia Z2 – Too big, ugly large bezels
    Nexus 5 – Poor camera, average battery life, bland.

    Still waiting……

    • AS

      “LG G3 – 3D performance crippled by display resolution 2560*1440″

      Erm, nope.

      • Martin Lane

        We already know Adreno GPU’s don’t scale well with resolution , there are many devices on the market with the Adreno 330 GPU using resolutions from 1280*720 up to 2560*1600.

        Just based on benchmarks and games using FPS monitors we know performance can drop by more than 50% from 1080p to 1440p in demanding 3d games.

        Developers would have to force games to render at 1080p to maintain similar performance to other flagship devices, if they don’t the games will be unplayable.

        Take games like Need For Speed Most Wanted, Asphalt 8 or Gameloft’s Modern Combat 4, if you think they will run well at 2560*1440 then your just kidding yourself and these are old games, forget anything new.

        At least Apple know what their doing when it comes to properly equipping their devices with powerful graphics processors.

        • AS

          1080p games will work exactly the same. Things change when the render target is increased to QHD but until then, no change at all.

          I play all the latest games just fine on my QHD Nexus 10

          • Martin Lane

            I’ve got a Nexus 10 and games run like crap at the native resolution.

            There are even root applications designed specificity for changing the resolution on devices like the Nexus 10 for improved performance in games and they work, I get better performance using them and other users post improved performance, so your wrong.

            Your talking nonsense.

          • AS

            Clearly you have no idea how the apps you describe actually improve performance. Here’s a clue. It has nothing to do with a device’s native resolution.

            As I said, my nexus 10 works just fine. The problem is with your device.

    • 3rdflyleaf

      Z2 ugly large bezels, look at M8 again.

      • Martin Lane

        Why? it looks the same as it did the last time I looked, large bezels on top and bottom, side bezels are larger than I would like.

        Not as bad as the Z2 but still not would I want, LG have god bezels right, as did Samsung with the Galaxy S4.

  • irishrally

    I’ve been debating on whether to pick up a z2 on eBay or Amazon. The prices are reasonable $~650 – $700 and probably less than what it will retail unlocked from Sony when finally released in US, but probably with no warranty. There is one listing on eBay from Tawain for $699 and it includes a one year warranty, noise cancelling headset and magnetic dock. With no tax and the included accessories it’s not a terrible deal. I also like Sony’s more stock-like UI.

    Not interested in the S5 or M8. The G3 is the other contender. Kind of lost interest in the OnePlus One. Also interested to hear more about the Android Silver phones and release dates.

    • Sean Royce

      I have the Z2. I highly recommend it. Great battery life, great display, great features. Especially the tap to wake. I use it constantly. I can’t imagine going back.

      • irishrally

        Nice. I’m following it on xda too to see how dev support is picking up, root without losing DRM keys, etc. and if some of the occasional cosmetic defects are clearing up with newer batches. Let’s go week 22.

        • Sean Royce

          I don’t root and flash anymore. Not worth it. Been doing it for years. Too buggy, camera rarely ever works, you lose features from the stock version.

  • bigdawgx

    wow! GS3 still makes the top 10 on amazon?

  • leftiphone4droid

    How can the G3 be the number one phone when it hasn’t been released to all the masses yet.

    • toomuchgame441

      Because it has still been released.

  • robjackson81

    Still rockin’ the Note 3 and (depending what they give away at IO 2014) will probably rock the Note 4 next!

  • Joshua Elias

    I agree with the 1440p statement. The current gpu and processor in the G3 really wasn’t meant to run a 1440p screen. The snapdragon 805 is the processor thats meant to handle 4k, plus i believe the new adreno will be the 420. They should have held off on the LG G3 for that gpu and processor before they brought it.
    I don’t get why everyone is so worried about the screen anyways, 1080p is plenty enough to satisfy here’s what the phone vendors need to start worrying about BATTERY LIFE!!!!! You can distinguish anything more than 300 some ppi so why continue to push the gap.

    • Jay

      The 805 isn’t ready yet and reports say it’s a battery hog.

      • Martin Lane

        Then they should have stuck with 1080p instead of trying to get one over Samsung.

        That’s all this is about, it’s nothing to do with providing a better experience for the user.

  • Renu Bisht

    Where is moto e, i think that is the best phone.

    http://www.techgreet.com/

  • Jay

    I’m good with my Note 3 and iPhone 5s. Besides the G3, nothing here really interests me. It’s been a pretty lackluster year thus far.

  • ChicagoBob

    With KitKat destroying the ability to copy files from your network to your SD card I cant say any new Android phone is worth buying.
    I just got an S5 and am getting ready to take it back. Its from Verizon and I can not root it. So I am stuck with a phone that breaks one of the basic things I do with it. Communicate with my NAS drive. I thought google was OPEN now I see they are trying to jam the cloud up our butts. Because with an SD card where can you store your stuff. VERY UNHAPPY and Disappointed and feeling like a fool for ever thinking Google was different.

  • Jeffrey Fazal

    I consider LG G3 as a best Smartphone for this month. Its 5.5inch Quad HD display keep it on the top and its 3000mAh battery that support wireless charging feature made this Smartphone as one of the best in this month of June.

  • netguru2000

    I know no one will prob read this as it’s late in the game but sending out positive geebs to the Nexus gods for prematurely dogging it’s battery before it was launched. Who knew KitKat was going to be so battery-sipping. I DRILL into my Nexus 5 the entire day and still make it to my nightstand. Thank you. That is all.

  • Francisco Enrique Perez Abreu

    One plus one before any Samsung crap.

  • RealBhuiya

    I researched deeply on which phone to get and concluded that the O-F7a would be the best. And now that I’ve had for for over a month, I’m still confident about that decision. Only the phone isn’t that elusive, just order on oppostyle.com and you’ll get it in a few days. It is a highly recommended phone.