Best smartphones for 2014 consumers

Contributed Photo
The iPhone 6, although popular, may not be the best choice for consumers.
Quality of Smartphone improved fast

By Raffaele Fusulan
A&E Editor/Spectator

Even though 2014 is about to come to an end, the smartphones released throughout the year are still in use and here with us.

Smartphone producers keep improving their technology and therefore deliver higher and higher quality products with every release. But which products are actually worthy of being noticed?

In the United States, one of the most anticipated phones was the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple’s roots in the market run deep and customers expect fresh product every year.

The success of the iPhone 5 centered around new technology such as a retina display and fingerprint unlock. By simply touching your home button, the phone would automatically recognize your fingerprint and would then unlock. After its release, the new iOS software was released, which improved the phone even more.

So what do the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have to offer?

The autofocus camera constantly focuses, reducing blurry pictures in motion. Compared to the 5S it is twice as fast. Now the user can alternate from slow motion videos to normal speed videos while recording.

The screen of the phone is by far a lot bigger than the 5. On the iPhone 6, the screen is 4.7 inches large while the Plus model offers 5.5. Even though the screen is bigger, the phone is actually thinner and both the 6 and 6 plus are built in an aluminum body to lighten the weight significantly. It also offers a faster processor, therefore it is faster in playing games and performs well while other applications are still open.

Another great release is Motorola’s brand new phone, the Moto X. Last year after Motorola partnered up with Google, they created a very innovative and unique smartphone. The Moto X released in 2013 introduced many helpful features that separated it from the rest of the pack. First off and the most useful and innovative improvement, was the ability to give commands to your phone without ever touching it. This proved to be helpful in a lot of different scenarios, such as setting the alarm in the morning without having to reach for the phone or when listening and sending messages while driving.

The new Moto X brought back everything the owners loved from their phone and even more. The touchless control is now called Moto Voice. To activate it you do not have to say “Ok Google Now” like its predecessor but you can now set any catch phrase you want, such as “Hey Moto” or “Okay phone.” It also brings a bigger screen, measuring 5.2 inches compared to the 4.7 of the previous model.

The resolution has been bumped up as well and it is now 1080p. If bought through the Motorola website, the Moto X is still fully customizable, which means that you can choose the color for the front and the back, plus a bunch of other features as well.

The Moto X assist is still present and keeps receiving regular updates to make sure it always runs smoothly. One cool and useful feature that the phone offers is the meeting assist. The phone will automatically know if you are in a meeting, based on your calendar, and will automatically silence itself. If someone calls you, the phone will automatically send a text to that person stating that you are in a meeting at the moment.

The Samsung S4 was released on March 2013, so it was only right if this year a new model was going to be made. The result of that is the Samsung Galaxy S5.The phone is now waterproof and has been improved to avoid overheating and the battery also lasts longer. The screen is bigger, reaching 5.1 inches and is also slightly heavier due to the bigger battery.

The resolution remained untouched, but the pixel density has been increased to 432. The camera now is 16-megapixel, which is definitely a lot for a phone, considering that the iPhone 6 camera is only 8.

Some of the features that are in the S5 model, but not in the S4 model, can be noticed right away. In the newer model, a fingerprint scanner and a built-in heart rate sensor are included, which is a plus for the people interested in keeping track of their health. Another slightly interesting upgrade is that the S5 now has a USB 3.0 port, which for many people doesn’t really matter. For the more technologically inclined individual, the switch from 2.0 to 3.0 helps because of the higher speed through which the data gets transferred.

Another phone brand that has been gaining more and more popularity is Nokia. What Nokia specializes at is distributing its phone to all types of consumers. With the Lumia series, buyers can have a Nokia Lumia from as low as $99, unlocked up to higher prices with the higher end one. One of the best Nokia Lumias is the 930 model. It features Windows 8.1, which is the latest software update.

One of the new and most useful features of Windows 8.1 is the introduction of Cortana. Cortana is a personal assistant much like Siri and Google Now, but it blends them together to deliver a great result. It saves your information and updates you regularly just like Google Now but it also has a personality just like Siri.

The phone is growing in popularity thanks to the simple menu system. The interface is covered in tiles, which are shortcuts to the various phone apps. With the new update the tiles can also be turned into a wallpaper background, which will resemble a puzzle looking screen.

The reason why the Nokia phones aren’t as popular is because of the limited apps available in the Windows store. Many apps available in the iOS and Android are unfortunately not yet available in the Windows store. Nonetheless, the apps available perform really well and work smoothly with the windows software.

These were some of the phones that excelled in 2014, but it will be interesting to see what new marvels will be delivered to the audience in 2015.

Raffaele Fusulan is the A&E editor for The Spectator. He can be reached by