Top 18 Smartphones in 2014

Top 18 Smartphones in 2014

Here at Hitech Mobiles we have reviewed every major new smartphone that is available to buy in the NZ right now. This is the place where we rank the 18 best smartphones of 2014. When you’ve found the phone you like, click on hitechmobiles.co.nz to buy it. We have also wide range of accessories available for these smartphones.

There are plenty of phones to choose from right now, so here is where Hitech Mobiles lists 2014’s 18 best smartphones of are available to buy in the NZ right now. Let us know what you think in the comments below. We update this story all the time as we review the latest smartphones.

18 Best Smartphones of 2014

  • RRP: Around NZ$499 inc GST
  • Rating: 4*

The Galaxy S4 mini is a great mid-range option, offering the same styling – which includes the same mediocre build quality – as its flagship counterpart, with a cheaper price tag. The cameras are good but the screen and storage are both under par. Consider the HTC One mini or the Nexus 4 as serious alternatives.

  • RRP: Around NZ$379 inc GST
  • Rating: 4*

We really like the Lumia 720. Nokia has made a well-balanced smartphone which could be exactly what Windows Phone 8 needs. It offers decent performance at a more than decent price.

  • RRP: NZ$849 inc GST
  • Rating: 4*

The Nokia Lumia 1520 has got so many things right including build quality, a great camera and a good looking screen. It’s the best Windows Phone yet but software is still lacking and we just wish the darn thing was smaller because it’s severely off putting.

  • RRP: NZ$849 inc. GST
  • Rating: 4*

It won’t be for everyone, but if you want a big phone (and we mean BIG), you could do a lot worse than the HTC One Max. This is a serious performer that is built to look good and last.

  • RRP: NZ$499
  • Rating: 4*

The HTC One mini isn’t as good as the HTC One. Its performance is decent but not spectacular, and the addition of a layer of plastic has removed some of the original’s chic. But this is a very strong handset at a decent price. Well worth a look.

  • RRP: NZ$399 inc GST
  • Rating: 4*

The Huawei Ascend P6 is a fantastic and desirable smartphone, whether it’s an iPhone copy or not. It provides real value for money even if it is lacking NFC and 4G support. We particularly like the cameras and the customisable user interface.

  • RRP: NZ$249 inc GST
  • Rating: 4*

The HTC Desire 300 is a great-looking device, with tons of unique software and solid mid-range smartphone specs on board. It’s hard to find any real weaknesses with the phone, including its reasonable NZ$249 price tag. To sum up, it’s simply a very good mid-range Android smartphone.

  • RRP: NZ$799 inc GST 16GB
  • Rating: 4*

The iPhone 5C is a nice smartphone. However, we just can’t see the need for it in the first place, unless it was cheaper. It’s too expensive for what is effectively an iPhone 5 in a plastic shell with minor changes in hardware. There are better and cheaper Android devices on the market and those wishing to stick with iOS should pay the extra NZ$249 for the iPhone 5S.

  • RRP: Around NZ$699 inc GST
  • Rating: 4*

The Galaxy S4 is a great phone with outstanding hardware and performance, but it’s not flawless. We’re disappointed with the build quality considering the handset costs a fair bit more than its rivals and while the S4 is packed with features we find a lot of them to be gimmicky.

  • RRP: NZ$549 inc GST
  • Rating: 4.5*

The Xperia Z is the first smartphone which Sony has really nailed. We love the stylish, desirable and rugged design. The combination of excellent performance, a stunning screen and great cameras make the Xperia Z a force to be reckoned with. There is very little to say about this phone that is negative.

  • RRP: NZ$899 inc. GST
  • Rating: 4.5*

We’re not sure you need all the extra features that Samsung packs in, and we could live without the S Pen. And not everyone needs or wants a smartphone with a 6in display. Neither is the camera all that great. But be in no doubt about it, the Galaxy Note 3 is a high-quality portable device, offering the best performance we’ve ever seen, a stunning screen and nice build quality.

7. HTC One

  • RRP: NZ$799 inc. GST
  • Rating: 4.5*

The HTC One is up there with the very best smartphones on the market today. It has superb performance, and excellent build quality spoiled only slightly by running hot in use. You can’t fault the feature set, and it matches the other high-end products in terms of price. In terms of audio and visual output it is unsurpassed. The interface might be an acquired taste for some, and we weren’t overly impressed with the camera. It’s not perfect, but alongside the Xperia Z and iPhone 5 this is about as good a phone as you can buy.

  • RRP: NZ$299 inc GST
  • Rating: 4.5*

Motorola’s Moto G is the best budget smartphone around. At NZ$135 it’s got great build quality, an excellent screen, decent cameras and Android 4.3 Jelly Bean soon to be upgrade to 4.4 KitKat. It’s only limited in the storage department and a lack of 4G support.

5. iPhone 5SRRP: 16GB NZ$1049 inc GST

Rating: 4.5*

If you already own an iPhone 5, it’s hard to justify upgrading to the 5S. Yes, it’s considerably faster and takes better photos and videos in low light, but the 5 is still a great smartphone and has at least another year in it before apps (and possibly iOS 8) start to find the A6 processor’s limits. Those with a 4S (or 4) are in for a treat, though. As well as serious performance gains, the bigger screen and lighter weight make a huge difference, and the fingerprint scanner is a bonus. Ultimately, if you want an iPhone, the 5S won’t disappoint and is one of the most future-proof of the current smartphone crop.

  • RRP: NZ$799 inc GST
  • Rating: 4.5*

Sony has upgraded its fantastic Xperia Z. The Xperia Z1 feels nicer but is unfortunately bigger and heavier. It’s a powerhouse with an all-round impressive specification. Easily one of the best Android handsets around but the high price tag taints this slightly.

3. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

  • RRP: NZ$779 inc GST
  • Rating: 4.5*

We love what Sony has done with the Xperia Z1 Compact. Finally consumers have the choice to buy a high-end smartphone without being forced to use a large screen. The fact it’s cheaper than most flagship devices makes it one of the best smartphones around.

  • RRP: NZ$599 inc GST
  • Rating: 4.5*

Google and LG have done a fantastic job with the Nexus 5, producing a very desirable phone at an outrageously low price. It’s the best value-for-money smartphone out there right now.

1. LG G2

  • RRP: NZ$699 inc GST (PAYG)
  • Rating: 4.5*

LG has trumped the competition with the G2. The phone offers a combination of value for money with high-end features which we haven’t seen from rival flagship devices. A great specification combined with impressive design and handy software features mean there’s very little to dislike about this handset – only really the lack of a microSD card slot.