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What Android smartphone manufacturer has your heart in 2014?
We’re not even a full four months into 2014 and yet we’ve already seen quite a few impressive looking Android flagship handsets crop up.
Although big-name devices like the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 are the first products to pop into your head, we’ve also seen the Oppo Find 7 and several other promising handsets are just around the corner from OnePlus, LG and Motorola. With so many great brands to choose from, we have to wonder, which smartphone manufacturer are you most passionate about this year?
With that in mind — Let’s take a look at what some of the more popular (or talked about) Android manufacturers have been up to in 2014, as well as speculate on what we might see from them as the year progresses.
Samsung continues to be the de facto leader of the Android world, and even though the Galaxy S5 has received its fair share of criticism for largely sticking to Samsung’s traditional design language — initial sales seem to be rather strong.
The Galaxy S5 is currently Samsung’s newest flagship handset, though the Galaxy Note 3 is still very much a worthwhile device for those looking for Stylus support and an even larger display.
As for the rest of the year? Samsung has already sent out press invites for the so-called Galaxy K (aka Galaxy S5 Zoom), and there’s likely a few other surprises heading our way as the year progresses. And then of course Samsung’s year will no doubt finish out strong with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
HTC continues to struggle fiscally, but that’s not stopping them from generating a lot of excitement when it comes to their handsets. Recently HTC officially unveiled the One (M8), making it available the day of its formal unveiling.
Like the Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 might not be a dramatic departure from its predecessor, but it’s still a stunning looking device with solid specs and several new software improvements thanks to Sense 6.0. In addition to the M8, HTC has also been cooking up quite a few solid look mid-range devices, particularly with some of its new members of the Desire family.
So what else can we expect from HTC as the year goes on? Although we can’t say with any certainty, we imagine that there will be at least a few other members to the One family later this year, such as a new One Mini and perhaps even a new Max.
Similarly to HTC, Sony is best known for its premium aesthetics. While Sony might not be as popular in the United States as some of the other ‘bigger’ Android manufacturers, the Xperia Z2 has received quite a bit of positive attention and seems to constantly do well in various “best flagship of 2014”-type polls across the web.
It’s hard to say what else we might see from Sony this year in the phone department, though we imagine there will be several new low-to-mid range devices. It’s also possible Sony could bring us a formal successor to the Xperia Z Ultra.
Considering Sony’s tendency to bring out flagships quickly, we wouldn’t be too surprised to see the Xperia Z3 later this year as well.
LG has brought us the LG G2 Pro, G2 Mini and several lower-end handsets this year. Based on the increasing number of rumors and leaks we are seeing, it’s also probably not too much longer before the company releases their major flagship — the LG G3.
As for the rest of the year? You can expect several other mid-range Android devices in addition to the LG G3, though probably not too much more on the flagship front. Of course, we could be wrong.
With the Lenovo merger marching ever closer to completion, it’s hard to say exactly what we’ll be seeing from Motorola this year. That said, there have been numerous rumors about the so-called Moto X+1.
We also wouldn’t be too surprised if a Motorola Moto G follow-up happens towards the latter part of the year, especially considering how well the handset has done, particularly across the pond.
Oppo might be a smaller player, but it’s one that we have largely been impressed with over the last year or so. So far the company’s biggest accomplishment in 2014 has been the release of its flagship Oppo Find 7. The Find 7 has killer specs and is one of the first handsets to offer a QHD resolution.
We imagine Oppo has at least a few other surprises up its sleeve for 2014, and that could certainly include a follow-up to the Oppo N1.
For a company that has yet to produce a single handset, OnePlus has sure managed to make a pretty big stir thanks to its aggressive (and very playful) marketing tactics. The OnePlus One is expected to be unveiled on April 23rd and should have top-end specs alongside hands-free control, interchangeable premium backs and so much more.
As the OnePlus One is the first handset from the company, it’s hard to predict what else we might see from the company this year. For now, the One is enough to be excited about.
Obviously there are many other smaller Android manufacturers out there, but the above-mentioned are some of the brands that are either the most popular or most talked about in the world of Android right now.
So how about it, which handset manufacturer has your attention? What are you looking forward to, or what do you love about the company’s products and/or direction? Be sure to vote in the poll and sound off in the comments below!