2Sony Xperia Z2
Sony’s Xperia Z2 is the company’s best attempt yet to capture considerable market share in the mobile space. The device will launch with a 5.2-inch 1080p display and feature 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It’ll also ship with the 2.3GHz Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor. Judging by specs, the Sony Xperia Z2 will be one of the most powerful Android handsets to launch this year. Questions remain, however, over whether it’ll be able to break out from an increasingly competitive pack.
3HTC One M8
The HTC One M8 ended March with a bang. The device comes with a 5-inch screen and a quad-core Snapdragon processor to match its top competitors on power. The interesting thing about the One M8 is that it has two lenses on the back for additional photo-taking options—something the competition is lacking. In addition, the One M8 boasts excellent sound quality and hands-free gesture recognition to help users perform tasks without swiping across the handset’s screen. Not bad.
4Samsung Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 are nearly identical in terms of specs. Both devices come with the high-powered Snapdragon processor, and they have the latest Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) operating system running on them. The Galaxy S5, however, adds a 16-megapixel camera and a slightly larger screen. And since it’ll ship at the same price as the One M8—$199 with a two-year contract—the device’s success might come down to Samsung’s marketing and customer preference between HTC’s Sense user interface or Samsung’s TouchWiz.
5Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Although the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has been around for a while, the device was recently updated to Android 4.4.2 (KitKat), giving it a much-needed breath of fresh air. The phablet is still one of the best options on the market for those who want a big screen and like a stylus. And since Samsung seems committed to it for the time being, it’s still one worth considering this year.
6Apple iPad Air
Apple’s iPad Air is another device that has been available since last year but will still make an impact on consumer buying decisions in 2014. The iPad Air is currently Apple’s flagship tablet and boasts the familiar 9.7-inch screen found in previous models. What’s nice about the iPad Air is that it’s thinner and more lightweight than previous models, and works exceptionally well with iOS 7. Anyone looking for a tablet right now would be quite happy with Apple’s slate.
7Apple iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S is another device that should be given some attention in the increasingly competitive smartphone market. The device, available now, comes with a fingerprint sensor, like the Galaxy S5, but runs iOS 7 and has Apple’s own design flair that consumers across the globe love. Plus, with Apple’s remote device management platform getting better and better, the IT side shouldn’t be too concerned about allowing it into the office.
8Apple iPhone 6
If the iPhone 5S makes this list, its successor should as well. The iPhone 6, which is expected to be announced sometime this summer, is rumored to be launching with a bigger screen than the iPhone 5S and could include several health-related features to put Apple’s handset on the same playing field as Samsung’s Galaxy S5, which comes with a host of health apps. The iPhone 6 will likely be Apple’s answer to the HTC One M8 and the Samsung Galaxy S5, so keep a close eye on it.
9Apple’s Next iPad
Rumors abound that the iPad Air will be joined this year by the iPad Pro. Those rumors suggest that Apple is following the same branding mechanism in tablets as it has in place in notebooks. So, the iPad Air will be the lower-powered, thinner and lighter slate Apple offers this year, and will be flanked by the high-powered and bigger iPad Pro. Apple hasn’t confirmed that, of course, but it’s looking like it will happen.
10Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX Refresh
Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX made a mark on the tablet market late last year when it was announced, due in large part to its high-end specs and low price. Now there’s talk of Amazon launching an upgrade to the Kindle Fire HDX later this year that will feature the same price tag but even better components. If that’s true, one might consider waiting to see what Amazon has up its sleeve before choosing a tablet in 2014.
11Bring On the New Nexus Line
Google’s Nexus line is updated each year, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the search company works with a third-party device maker to show off both smartphones and tablets. Google’s Nexus line is by no means the top offerings in the business, but they are the best products for those who want the standard Android fare. And later this year, the Nexus line will come with the latest and greatest Android flavor Google cooks up.