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Best Smartphone to Buy Now

Thinking of buying a new smartphone for someone special on your holiday shopping list? Or maybe you’ve been holding off on your own purchase until the manufacturers finished their 2014 releases and the best smartphone choice was more obvious?

best smartphone, introduction
Source: Brad Moon

Whatever the reason, if you’re in the market for a new smartphone, now is a great time to be looking, and we have some solid picks for you.

You’ll need to make some decisions first — most importantly, whether you want Android, iOS, Windows or even BlackBerry (BBRY) — but once you’ve settled on platform, we can help you to make an informed choice about picking the best smartphone among those options.

There are other decisions like big or bigger and how much to spend, but that’s all part of the fun in choosing the best smartphone for your particular needs.

Let’s get started.

Best Smartphone to Buy Now — Apple iPhone 6

best smartphone, Apple iPhone 6
Source: Brad Moon

There’s no disputing the fact that Apple Inc. (AAPL) makes some of the best smartphones you can buy. The iPhone has a reputation for solid build, attractive design with premium materials, excellent camera (despite a low MP count) and excellent performance.

The iPhone 6 (reviewed here) is hands-down the best choice for most Apple fans.

With a 4.7-inch display it’s much bigger than previous models, yet not into the phablet territory the iPhone 6 Plus occupies. Many people consider it the most attractive iPhone ever made, and with Apple’s new A8 chip, it’s certainly the fastest.

While Apple’s App Store is no longer the biggest, it is huge and anything you could possibly want is here. However, buying an iPhone 6 does mean buying into iOS, which means less control (Apple really locks things down) and no ability to use Android apps.

But if you’re okay with those limitations, the iPhone 6 is probably the best smartphone for you.

Best Smartphone to Buy Now — Sony Xperia Z3

best smartphone, Sony Z3
Source: Brad Moon

There are a ton of big, powerful Android phones to choose from. I’ve been able to use many of them this year, including the Samsung (SSNLF) Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8.

But my pick as the best smartphone in the category you can buy today is something different: The Sony (SNE) Xperia Z3.

Sony hasn’t exactly been killing it in smartphone sales, but I’ve had an Xperia Z3 loaner for a week now and I love this phone.

Its design and premium finish rival anything Apple puts out, its 5.2-inch Full HD Triluminos display is big and beautiful, the 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 601 CPU makes everything snappy, and the Z3 has an excellent 20.7 megapixel shooter. It’s also waterproof.

The icing on the cake is incredible battery life. Sony put a 3100mAh battery in the Xperia Z3 and after a day of mixed use — including watching streaming videos and web browsing — I would regularly have an 80% charge remaining.

If you want a big, beautiful phone and battery life is a priority, the Sony Xperia Z3 is the best smartphone you can buy.

Best Smartphone to Buy Now: HTC One M8 (for Windows)

best smartphone, HTC One M8 for Windows
Source: HTC

When I reviewed the HTC One M8 back in April, I thought it was a contender for best smartphone — at least in the Android camp.

Since then, there have been a lot of competing releases, and the HTC has slipped in my rankings. But the hardware is remains excellent and the premium metal design of the phone still turns heads.

Now that HTC and Microsoft (MSFT) have combined to release the HTC One M8 for Windows Phone, it’s immediately my pick for Windows fans.

The HTC One M8 looks better than any of the Lumia devices, has a nice display, good performance and storage can be upgraded with microsSD cards.

On the downside, the One M8’s unique camera (targeted at indoor shots with a unique re-focus after the shot capability) can’t compete with some of the better Lumia cameras, but overall, this is the best smartphone in the Windows Phone category.

Best Smartphone to Buy Now: Samsung Galaxy Alpha

best smartphone, Galaxy Alpha
Source: Samsung

The Galaxy S5 is the top-selling Android smartphone, and with good reason. However, not everyone appreciates Samsung’s plastic build (count me in that group), and for some people the Galaxy S5 is too big to use comfortably with one hand.

Samsung did release the Galaxy S5 Mini, but kept the plastic….

Which brings me to the new Galaxy Alpha. This is the Galaxy S5 scaled down and done right. Samsung took design cues from its Galaxy Note 4 phablet and applied them to Galaxy S5 hardware.

The Galaxy Alpha is the Samsung phone that takes on the iPhone 6, with a glass front, chamfered aluminum edges and a polycarbonate back. It’s a much more premium looking and feeling smartphone than the Galaxy S5, yet retains its key features including the same CPU, heart rate monitor, fingerprint scanner.

The display drops to a 720p AMOLED, but like the iPhone 6, that still looks pretty good at this size. It’s also saddled with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface, but if you can get past that, the Galaxy Alpha easily makes the list of best smartphone choices for Android fans.

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Best Smartphone to Buy Now: Motorola Moto X

best smartphone, moto x
Source: Brad Moon

The final entry in the Android camp is Motorola’s Moto X.

At 5.2-inches, it’s bigger than last year’s original, but it’s also much more powerful with the same Snapdragon 801 chipset used in other Android flagships. The display is a Full HD AMOLED panel and it can pull off nifty battery-saving tricks like displaying black-and-white notifications when you wave your hand over the phone.

You also get a pure Android experience the way Google (GOOG) intended it, no third-party UI clutter.

The camera is so-so, but the price is a bargain at just $499 (or $99 on contract). Dress it up with an optional leather or bamboo back panel and this is one of the best smartphones (and one of the best-looking smartphones) around.

Best Smartphone to Buy Now: BlackBerry Classic

best smartphone, BlackBerry Classic
Source: BlackBerry

Finally, we come to BlackBerry.

The company has had yet another brutal year when it comes to selling phones, and for many purists, the Q5 and Q10 failed to convince them to give up on their ancient Bold 9900s because the physical keyboard had been “improved.”

Enter the BlackBerry Classic.

It looks like a Bold with a bigger touchscreen display, but most important is the QWERTY keyboard. It’s back to the “classic” configuration, including navigation keys and the little trackpad that was so sorely missed.

Technically, the BlackBerry Classic isn’t on shelves at the time of writing but you can pre-order what is easily the best smartphone for hardcore BlackBerry fans today and expect delivery in December.

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As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2014/11/best-smartphone/.

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