Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
27th Dec 2014
This year saw the 8 core processors become common for the smartphones. So much that you can get an octa-core phone without crossing the Rs 10,000 mark. 3 GB RAM, once considered sufficient for the desktop computers became a norm for high-end phone in the year 2014. While we try to figure out the real advantage of Full HD screens over the 720p ones, manufacturers moved onto the QHD bandwagon.
To stand out, brands resorted to the gimmicky stuff. Take for instance, touch-less gesture interaction backed by an array of sensors on the Moto X (2nd generation). Samsung's eye-tracking tech — used for scrolling and pausing videos when you look away. LG continued to place the volume rocker and lock button at the back of the handset. Both Korean brands also pushed the curved screen smartphones that look awkward in your jeans pocket. In all this madness, innovation and usability took the back seat.
Dare I forget how LG took the cheesiness to next level with its 'Gesture Palm Selfie'. In this "feature", the gesture to trigger a selfie is borderline obscene. Don't believe me? Watch LG India's official demonstration video. Do this in a public place and see what happens.
We don't fall for such gimmicks. So while choosing this year best phones, importance was given to usability and quality. India is a price conscious market. And as opposed to the popular notion, I believe that good phones don't always have to be costly. Therefore, significant weight-age has been given to the value proposition. Based on that, here's the list of this year's best phones:
HTC One (M8)
Apple iPhone 6
Asus ZenFone 5
Nokia Lumia 730
The LG G3 is a powerful Android phone with a great screen and camera. Thanks to its powerful hardware, the performance is impressive too. However, for its price, the phone's interface elements are garish. Plus, its plastic body is prone to scratches.
The HTC One (M8) is a powerful handset that flaunts a metallic unibody design. It's already declared as the most stylish handset of 2014 by us. However, The M8's 4 megapixel (ultrapixel) camera does not justify its expensive price tag.
The iPhone 6 undoubtedly the best performing handset of the year. The phone is ideal for gaming. Its design is fresh, but lacks the elegance of the iPhone 5S. Its camera is not that great. The OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) backed snapper is on the iPhone 6 Plus, which feels more like a mini iPad than a phone. Moreover, Rs 52,000 for base model is quite a deal.
With the ZenFone 5, Asus showed how to build a budget Android phone without cutting many corners. The phone runs smooth and has fantastic construction. The Taiwanese company has also done a good job with the graphic interface. However, the phone's music output and camera could have been better.
The Lumia 730 looks mediocre on paper. Nonetheless, it offers great smartphone experience. In a world where buying decisions are driven by gimmicks, it's refreshing see a brand stick to the basics. For starters, the Lumia 730 gets the ergonomics right. It's perfect for one-handed operation. It sports a superb AMOLED screen. Comes with very good cameras. Packs-in useful features such as offline GPS navigation and Office integration. For Rs 13,000, it offers of a sleek design and sturdy construction. So yes, the Lumia 730 does not have an octa-core processor, 3 GB RAM, or Quad HD screen, but it is the right phone for the right price.
Best Of 2014: Smartphone Of The Year | TechTree.com
Best Of 2014: Smartphone Of The Year
Find out which handset impressed us most this year.
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