The 10 Coolest Smartphones Of 2014

Bigger And Better Than Ever

We saw a slew of unique products and new trends occurring in the smartphone market this year in all different shapes and sizes. Most phones showed off bigger and better displays, and with bigger displays there are bigger frames, which gives way to more room for bigger batteries.

Some phones bought into the slimmer appeal, which took away from the size of the batteries, leading to either shorter battery life or a less impressive display resolution. Other phones didn't give into the slim factor. Rather, they went with a longer-lasting battery life with some of the top displays on the market.

So what cool, new phones caught our eye this year? Check out the top 10 and be sure to check out the rest of CRN's 2014 product coverage.

BlackBerry Passport

In its effort to turn the company around, BlackBerry released a very unique, square-shaped, business-focused device in late September. Because of that, the 4.5-inch display is actually larger than the 4.7-inch screen of the iPhone 6. Users can view up to 60 characters per line while other phones don't come close. Phones with rectangular displays can be turned sideways for wider viewing, but are somewhat impeded by their digital keyboards. BlackBerry has stuck with a physical keyboard on the Passport, so the user's view is never blocked.The touch-enabled keyboard also works as a trackpad, so users don't block their view by using the touch screen.

The sharp LCD display (1,440-x-1,440, 453 PPI) makes for crisper texts, and its 13MP camera is the best of any BlackBerry phone to date. With the bigger frame, BlackBerry has packed 30 hours of battery life into the Passport.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Released in April as Samsung's flagship phone, the Galaxy S5 impressed with its 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display (1,080-x-1,920, 432 PPI). In addition to the screen, which boasts 16M colors, the camera was another upgrade from the previous Galaxy model that grabbed users' attention. Its 16 MP camera (5,312x-2,988) features phase detection and LED flash, and an HDR dual video recorder.

The S5 runs on a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and Android 5 Lollipop recently became available for the Samsung phone.

In addition to featuring a fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy device is the first smartphone to feature a built-in heart-rate sensor. The fingerprint scanner allows users to unlock the phone for use, in addition to making payments via PayPal. The S5 also features NFC technology, allowing users to make purchases with Google Wallet or send media to other phones.


Released in late May, the LG G3 has an eye-capturing 5.5-inch quad HD display (2,560-x-1,440, 538 PPI) that is one of the top screens of any phone on the market. And the perfect complement to a great display is a great camera. The G3's 13MP camera features optical image stabilization to prevent blur in shots and has laser auto focus to capture great images faster.

The LG G3 runs on a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and comes with Android KitKat. LG has designed the long lasting-battery to be easily replaceable by making the back panel removable. The phone also features NFC technology and a microSD card slot for up to 2 TB of upgradable storage.

Motorola Moto X

The second generation of the Moto X by Motorola launched in September, and has received rave reviews for being one of the top affordable phones on the market.

Running on a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, the Moto X has a sharp 5.2-inch AMOLED display (1,920-x-1,080, 423 PPI) and up to 24 hours of battery life. It features NFC technology on Android KitKat and has an impressive 13MP camera with f/ 2.25 aperture, 4K UHD video and more.

The Moto X has more personalizing options than any of the top phones on the market as it has 25 different options for the back panel of the device, including 17 different colors, four different types of wood and four leathers from which to choose.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The latest from Samsung's Galaxy line is the Galaxy Note 4.

Released in October, Samsung's flagship device features a 5.7-inch quad HD super AMOLED display (2,560-x-1,440, 518 PPI) for one of the top displays on the market. It has a 16MP camera with optical image stabilization technology. It runs on a 2.7GHz quad-core processor and 3 GB of RAM. Google has made Android 5 Lollipop available for the device. With its fast-charging capabilities users can get 50 percent of its battery life in 30 minutes.

The Note 4 features the popular S Pen for writing and navigating easily on the device.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Note Edge with the Note 4, which is a similar device, except it features a unique secondary display on the side of the device. Users can select their favorite apps or view news or financial tickers on the thin Edge display.

Sony Xperia Z3

Sony launched its flagship smartphone in September, and it has made waves in the mobile world. The device has a 5.2-inch HD display (1,920-x-1,080, 424 PPI) and offers the best camera of any Sony smartphone yet with a 20.7MP camera that takes shots and videos in 4K resolution. Sony said the latest of its Xperia line offers two days of battery life and runs on a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor. At just 7.3MM thin, it is one of the thinnest phones on the market, and has the highest waterproof rating of any phone, as it can work up to 4.9 feet under water for up to 30 minutes.

HTC One (M8)

Released in March, the HTC One (M8) has received some of the highest praises from smartphone enthusiasts. The phone features a 5-inch Super LCD display (1,920-x-1,080, 441 PPI) and over a 2.3GHz quad-core processor. The camera is a 5MP Duo Camera with UltraPixels. The company said it uses larger pixels to capture over 300 percent more light in each picture, leading to better night shots.

The HTC One (M8) features a highly regarded curved metal body and offers up to 20 hours of talk time.

Running on Android KitKat, the device also is available for Windows Phone users. For Android users, a release of Android Lollipop is expected in the near future.

Google Nexus 6

Released in November, the new Google Nexus is the next big thing in the smartphone market ... literally.

Manufactured by Motorola, Google's latest flagship phone features a 5.96-inch quad-HD AMOLED display (2,560-x-1,440, 493 PPI), making it one of the largest phablets on the market. Behind the screen is a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor with 3GB of RAM. It offers a 13MP camera with optical image stabilization technology to minimize motion blur in shots. The camera also has an f2.0 lens for better quality pictures.

With a big screen comes more space for a big battery as the Nexus 6 has up to 24 hours of battery life and features Motorola's Turbo Charger technology. Users can get up to 6 hours of battery life on a 15-minute charge.

Apple iPhone 6

The hottest selling smartphone on the market right now is the iPhone 6.

Launched in September, the iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch Retina HD screen (1,334-x-750, 326 PPI). In addition, it features what is highly regarded as the top camera of any smartphone on the market; the 8MP camera has image stabilization technology and an f/2.2 aperture, which Apple said allows the camera to capture 81 percent more light.

Behind its Retina display, the new iPhone runs on Apple's powerful 1.4GHz quad-core A8 processor with 1 GB of RAM. The phone offers up to 11 hours of HD video playback.

The 6.9MM thin device runs on Apple's iOS 8 and features the company's Touch ID capability and Apple Pay platform. Users can opt to have the device come stocked with 16 GB, 64 GB or 128 GB of built-in storage.

Apple launched the iPhone 6 Plus alongside the device, featuring a larger screen, larger battery and slightly better camera.

Motorola Droid Turbo

Motorola's latest flagship phone offers some of the top specs of any device in the space.

Released in October, the Verizon exclusive phone offers what Motorola said is the sharpest display of any smartphone with its 5.2-inch quad-HD AMOLED display (1,440-x-2,560, 565 PPI). Behind the high-end display is a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor.

In addition, the company said its flagship phone also packs in the largest battery of any smartphone, offering up to 48 hours of battery life. With Motorola's Turbo Charger feature, users can get up to 8 hours of battery life on just a 15-minute charge.

The Droid Turbo has a 21MP camera featuring an f/2.0 aperture, 4X digital zoom and 4K video. It supports Google Wallet and Softcard with its NFC technology and runs on Android KitKat.