1. HTC One M8
Dubbed the HTC One M8, HTC's update to the original One is a little more curved and slightly larger than its predecessor, due to the brand-new 5-inch, 1080p display, though that's still quite compact by today's standard. Under that aluminium unibody shell is a Qualcomm 801 processor, clocked at 2.3 GHz and 2GB RAM, plus there’s 16GB storage, though this can be expanded through micro SD up to a 128GB.
One of our favourite new features though is the added depth sensor placed above the 4-ultrapixel camera; this lets you adjust the focal point of your snaps even after you’ve taken them.
Blinkfeed and Sense have both seen upgrades, with a flatter look and more customisability, while a host of gestures are included to make navigation and phone unlocking much easier.
2. LG G3
Spec hunter? Then you'll love LG's slick 2014 flagship. An update to the already impressive G2, the G3 ups the game in almost every area, with a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, wireless charging and a large 3,000mAh battery. But it's the, frankly rather large, phablet like 5.5-inch display that steals the show. Boasting a 2K resolution, this screen is amongst the best out there and displays pictures and video in near perfect quality. Another feature we love is the new laser tech on the 13MP snapper, which speeds up auto-focus and makes capturing shots much quicker.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
A big upgrade on the Galaxy Note 3, the fourth iteration of the original phablet ups the specs with a quad-HD display that boasts a PPI of 500, 16MP rear snapper with a host of OIS features and a 3.7 meg selfie cam packing a flurry of wide angle modes. The S-Pen has been improved too, with better sensitivity and the ability to select multiple items at once.
£575 | Samsung
4. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Sony’s new compact flagship comes with a pocket friendly, 4.6-inch 720p display, but it doesn't sacrifice top end specs. Inside there's a nippy Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB of storage and support for MicroSD expansion. Sony claims you’ll get two days of battery life and thanks to an accessory you’ll be able to attach your Dualshock 4 controller and Remote Play PS4 games.
£380 | Sony
5. Sony Xperia Z3
Sony’s six month life cycle for its Xperia flagship device has continued with the release of the Z3, which features a similar look and feel to its predecessor. Updates are still plentiful though, including an improved 5.2-inch 1080p display and even better water resistance. Under the glass and metal chassis you’ll find a strong array of specs, including a 2.5GHz processor, 3GB of RAM and a beefy 3,100 mAh battery, which should keep the phone running for nearly two days.
We still have a few issues though, especially with the 20-megapixel camera and software that lacks a bit of polish.
£549 | Sony
6. Moto X (2014)
Motorola’s new flagship is a fine creation. Wrapped in aluminium, it has a premium feel that escaped the original, plus it has been upgraded in almost every area. There’s a new Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB RAM and a bigger, sharper 1080p HD 5-inch display. It doesn’t feel like a big device though, with slim sides and a curved back, it feels great in the hand. Optional wood or leather backs can be added, the battery is good for a day of moderate use and the snapper has been upgraded to 13-megapixels.
7. OnePlus One
When it comes to value, the OnePlus One is really hard to beat. Why? Because it packs top of the line specs into a device that costs just £229, that’s about half the price of competing phones from Samsung and HTC. For your wallet friendly outlay you’ll bag yourself a 5.5-inch full-HD display, a whopping 3GB of RAM, 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and a large 3,100 mAh battery.
It comes running the customisable CyanogenMod operating system, built on top of Android 4.4 Kit Kat and will see an update to 5.0 Lollipop in the near future.
£229 | OnePlus
8. Samsung Galaxy S5
While many were expecting a major change for this year's flagship Galaxy S model, Samsung has instead played it safe, keeping a very similar design to the S4. The S5 does thankfully replace that slimy back with a new fabric like design. The display has been upped to 5.1 inches and it packs a 1080p, full HD resolution, while it's all powered by 2GB RAM and a 2.5GHz quad-core processor.
Your photos will be taken care of thanks to a 16 meg snapper on the back, which now has a few more tricks up its sleeve - like UHD video recording and a Lytro like depth of field feature. A load of new health benefits are here too, a heart rate monitor on the back for instance.
9. Google Nexus 5
If you love Android the way Google intended it, but don't really fancy spending £499 on the upcoming Nexus 6, the Nexus 5 is still a great phone, even if it is over a year old. Specs wise you'll find a vibrant 1080p, 5-inch display, Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM. 16GB or 32GB options are available for internal storage, though choose wisely as there's microSD expansion.
The 8MP camera is fine is daylight, but takes a turn for the worst when the conditions are less than ideal and the battery will probably just about get you though a day of use.
The best thing about the Nexus 5 is the 5.0 Lollipop update, which brings a load of new features and a completely refreshed overall design to the software.
10. Samsung Galaxy Alpha
Slightly overshadowed by the launch of the feature packed Galaxy Note 4, it was actually the Alpha that showed Samsung could design a great looking smartphone. Ditching the usual glossy plastic, Sammy fitted the Alpha with a metal band around the rim, ramping up the sturdiness in the process.
But it’s not all about the looks, the Alpha packs some strong specs too. There’s a Samsung Exynos 5 octa processor running the show, 2GB of RAM for smooth multitasking and a 4.7-inch, 720p Super AMOLED display.
£499 | Samsung
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