Asus PadFone Infinity
There are those who want the features of a smartphone with the convenience of a tablet, because it is not always convenient to lug two gadgets around.
While other phone makers are coming up with supersized phones which are still not as big as tablets, Asus has decided to continue on the path of merging both, to give users the best of both worlds.
On its own, the PadFone Infinity is a regular 5-inch Android smartphone. Slot it into the screen dock accessory and the phone's processor will power the 10.1-inch screen, instantly transforming the phone into a full-fledged tablet.
Though it was launched fairly early last year and some of its features are already getting old, few have managed to match the unibody design and looks of the HTC One.
Its high-density 468 pixel-per-inch display, front-facing stereo speakers and low-light camera functions continue to lead the way. While HTC has updated the One with the larger and newer HTC One Max, the original device was the one that set the design standard for most Android smartphones to follow.
Positioning its power and volume buttons on the back of the phone instead of the sides was LG's statement that it was capable of carving out its own niche.
With tweaks to its software that allow the device to zoom in on a speaker during video recording, and its own app-switching feature, LG has outdone itself with each succeeding Android release.
While many will remember the curved G Flex as the standout device from LG last year, the G2 showcases the best that it had to offer.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Galaxy S series of smartphones is practically synonymous with the Android brand, as Samsung continues to put its very best hardware and software into this flagship series.
Though launched in the earlier part of last year, the 4.99-inch Galaxy S4 has held its own even as other Android device makers hoped to dethrone it.
With features such as the ability to record short video clips and delete moving objects from a photo, Samsung took the basic platform and enhanced it.
Not everyone may use every feature, but enough were enticed to make this one of the more popular Android phones last year.
Sony Xperia Z1
When it comes to smartphone design, Sony shows that going it alone may be for the best. Its Xperia line, which came about after it split with Ericsson in 2012, had been a work-in-progress until the Xperia Z1.
With the speediest processor and the highest camera resolution of 20.7 megapixels available on Android, the Xperia Z1 is a showcase of Sony Mobile's best.
Making it waterproof and dustproof provided owners with greater security for their device. Installing a dedicated shutter button shows that the high-resolution camera is no afterthought.
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