Android phones bring numerous choices. The Galaxy S5 the most widely known and best-marketed, but how does it measure up to the less visible competition? The HTC One M8 emerges at a time when many expected HTC to fade from the Android landscape. The LG G3 arrives even as LG’s involvement with the Nexus phone comes into question. And the Nexus 5, highly lauded by the relative few who know of it, is still hanging around. Here’s a look at the top Android phones in the market as of right now and the circumstances under which they’re the most and least recommendable.
Galaxy S5: this device gets the bulk of the attention, and sales, within the Android phone market. It has the five-ish inch screen that buyers tend to love. It also comes with a ton of Samsung-specific apps piled on top of the base Android system software. But Samsung just keep delivering flagship phones that are made of cheap plastic, marring their durability and cheapening the experience.
The main reason to consider the Galaxy S5: if you own other Samsung smart devices around the house and want the interoperability. But let’s take a look at what else is out there.
HTC One M8: this device is everything the Galaxy S5 should be. It’s made of strong materials, it’s durable, and it offers fashionable styling. The catch: HTC has been in financial trouble for some time, and there’s always the fear that the company could fold up its Android tent and leave users hanging. But that doesn’t appear to be in danger of happening in 2014.
The other concern is that HTC phones have historically been among the worst when it comes to compatibility with subsequent Android software updates, but the company has worked to clean that up somewhat over the past two years.
Nexus 5: it was easily the top Android phone of 2013, thanks to a combination of strong hardware, stylish design, and full compatibility with Google’s Android software roadmap going forward. The catch: this is 2014. We struggle to recommend the Nexus 5 at this late date, with its successor probably around the corner.
LG G3: here’s the wildcard. This fine piece of hardware is quite possibly a preview of what the Nexus 6 will be. Then again, LG executives keep swearing up and down that they’re not involved with the next Nexus phone. Either way, the G3 or the HTC One M8 is the best bet for most Android users at the moment.