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.
An Android 4.4 KitKat model featuring the Knock Code, Guest Mode and Q-slide multitasking app -- the same mix found on other 2014 LG releases. The LG Optimus Exceed 2 sports a multi-functional 5-megapixel camera, which is somehow a standard feature among middle class Androids. It could potentially outlast the first Exceed phone, as it uses a 2100mAh SiO+ battery. It did retain some features from the first model including processing power (1.2GHz) and display resolution (800 x 400), with a slight drawback on on-board memory.
Question #1: Should it be a smartphone or not?
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.
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.
Alcatel updates their Pop phablet series with the 5-inch Pop Icon. Supporting its entry-level features is a 1.2GHz quad-core processor -- many 2014 basic smartphones have similar engines. Atop its qHD (960 x 540) facade is a VGA front-facing camera, with a 5-megapixel snapper at the back. Its 4GB internal memory and 1GB RAM are also at a starter level. Its 2000mAh battery promises an up-to-8-hour talk time (3G) and up to 20 hours of music playback. Essentials, including Wi-Fi (up to 21Mbps on HSPA+), Bluetooth (v4.0) and GPS navigation are also in the mix.
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.
LG might have intended to offer their signature features with an entry-level Android, as the F60 does just that. The up-to-eight-point Knock Code, popular among LG smartphones, protects your safeguards your phone access. Despite having quite unimpressive camera resolutions (5- and 1.3-megapixel), snapping photos with hand gestures sounds like a pretty nifty touch. The F60 is also an LTE-ready device, which has somehow made its way as an entry-level standard as of its 2014 release. Its hardware includes a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and a 2100mAh battery.
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.
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.
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