After the first iPhone in 2007, smartphones became the new mobile norm. They let you surf the web comfortably on a large screen while waiting at a bus station, they make email on the go almost as easy as on a computer, smartphones make your mobile life easier. But how to choose smartphone phones? Easy. Our top smartphones 2015 in the U.S.A. list saves you all the hard work by identifying the best American smartphones in worldwide reviews and listing them here, in best rating order.
* To compare some of these phones, just select the compare box under the picture and click compare at the bottom of the list.
* By the way, this smartphone phone best-of also exists for all countries (includes all phones).
Shortly after several Android-run flagships were unveiled during the IFA 2014, Apple reveals the follow-up to the 4-inch iPhone 5. The iPhone 6 sports a larger 4.7-inch Retina HD display, lining up with most premium Androids from other brands. Along with its 5.5-inch big brother, it introduces Apple Play - a digital payment system based on NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.
Looking under the hood, its A8 processing chip and iOS 8 makes it one of the first 64-bit devices from Apple. They also re-engineered the classic iPhone design with its outward flowing iron-strengthened glass, blending seamlessly with the 6.9mm aluminum casing. Camera detail is also a classic ring for iPhone fans, as the iPhone 6's 8-megapixel camera comes with perks like Focus Pixels and Cinematic Video Stabilization. A fingerprint-dependent TouchID also adds a nice touch of security to it.
The Xperia Z3 is the third installment in Sony's Z-series, crafted with an IP65/68-certified (waterproof and dust-tight) 7.3-inch casing. Sticking to its multimedia-oriented roots, the Z3 comes with PS4 support, enabling you to use a standard PS4 controller when playing games -- with PlayStation certification to boot. It sports a 20.7-megapixel rear camera equipped with Sony's Exmor image sensor, enabled for 4K video recording. The Z3's performance also skirts the premiums, running on a 2.5GHz quad-core engine, Adreno 330 graphics, a 3GB RAM and a pretty hefty 3100mAh battery power.
Question #1: Should it be a smartphone or not?
LG's Optimus Fuel (L34C), with its 3.5-inch screen, is a basic Android that operates on the KitKat platform. It comes preloaded with LG's proprietary QuickMemo application, allowing you to plug in photo captions or jot down quick notes for later use. A built-in Guest Mode lets you set access restrictions for secondary users, while the Quiet Mode disables notification sounds on preset times. Its specs also include a sole 3-megapixel camera, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and S-GPS location assistance.
Apple's unveiling of the iOS 8- and A8-run iPhone 6 Plus also came with some fresh features for the smartphone market. Enter Apple Pay - a mobile payment system that enables your iPhone to function as a mobile wallet, with an expected support from over 200 vendor locations (USA). Its 8-megapixel shooter also comes with Focus Pixels, the same imaging technology that speeds up the autofocus time on DSLR cameras.
This 5.5-inch model is the first phablet-sized phone to come out of Apple, equipped with a 1080p Retina HD display on 401ppi. Additionally, its iron-strengthened cover glass that blends with the aluminum casing seamlessly and relatively thin 7.1mm body gives it a more sophisticated look compared to older iPhones.
Samsung's S Pen-equipped sub-series moves forward with the Galaxy Note 4, a clear attempt at another premium seat for the Korean brand. Fronting this metal-framed Android is a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen, a resolution that is larger than the 1080p FHD ones on most high-end devices. A Gorilla glass panel adds a touch of durability to it as well. Underneath, we found a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 engine paired up with an Adreno 420 (600MHz) GPU - both relatively recent versions. The Note 4's 3220mAh battery promises to maximize usage time with the Fast Charge and Ultra Power-Saving features. Its front and back cameras also saw a boost, this time with 3.7 and 16 megapixels respectively, with 4K-recording loaded as well.
Sitting among the royals of 2014 smartphones, the LG G3 is an Android 4.4 KitKat boasting an array of high-level features. It runs on a 2.5GHz quad-core engine, doubling up the market average in processing speed in theory. It also boasts an up-to-2TB memory expansion and a 3000mAh wireless-charging-capable battery, both among the highest capacities out there. Fronting it is a 5.5-inch Quad HD touchscreen matched by a 13-megapixel OIS camera on the back. LG adds contrast to this phone by equipping it with a simple UI, as their "simple is the new smart" slogan suggests.
Shortly after releasing the flagship Nexus 6 model, Motorola updates their Droid series with the 5.2-inch Droid Turbo, fitted with a 4K 21-megapixel camera at the back side. It operates on the brand's proprietary Mobile Computing System, composed of an Adreno 420 GPU (600MHz), a 3GB RAM, and a 2.7GHz 64-bit quad-core processor. Its pretty high 3900mAh battery capacity is accompanied by Motorola's Turbo Charger, promising to add 8 hours of mixed usage time in just 15 minutes of charging. The Droid Turbo's internal memory stands at 32GB, though the Ballistic Nylon version is reported to have 64GB of storage.
Samsung unveils a pretty novel design in the Galaxy Note Edge. Its 5.6-inch screen extends outwards (right-hand side), giving room for an alerts and quick-access panel -- visible even when the cover is closed. Multitasking and productivity features, such as Photo Note and Smart Select, are also built around the S Pen accessory. Performance-wise, this 2014 Galaxy Note model joins the premiums with a 2.7GHz quad-core processor, a 3GB RAM and a 32GB internal memory. Its 3000mAh battery power is also quite hefty, possibly more so with Samsung's Ultra Power-Saving mode. Its 4K 16-megapixel camera and QuadHD display resolution might also secure its shelf among other premium Androids.
Sprint borrows Samsung's Galaxy S5 flagship and gives it a slightly sportier profile with the S5 Sport's IP67-certified casing, Side Grip Enhancements and MapMyFitness app. It also retains the S Health app suite from the S5, allowing it to act as a handheld personal trainer. The original model's hardware also seems to be intact, as the Sport runs on a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor with a 2GB RAM to match. Along with its 5.1-inch FHD display is a 16-megapixel CMOS camera that records in 4K. The S5 Sport starts you off with 16GB of storage and has room for up to 128GB of memory expansion via microSD.
LG's 2014 release, the LG Volt is a mixture of arty smartphone features and mid-level specs under the hood. It sports an 8-megapixel backside-illuminated camera (same type as the iPhone), a Corning Gorrilla Glass 2 panel (found on rugged phones) and several of LG's signature features including the Knock Code and Guest Mode. It runs on the latest Android 4.4 KitKat and a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, not to mention 4G LTE capability. It also boasts an up-to-24-hour talk time with its 3000mAh battery, which is among the highest capacities for Androids within this class.
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