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Jerry's favorite Android devices of 2014

The Android devices of 2014 that I can't put down

2014 was a really good year for an Android fan. We saw great phones, tablets and watches from plenty of manufacturers, and chances are no matter what you were looking for, you were able to find it.

I'm lucky (mostly) because I get to play with many of these phones, tablets and watches. They are the tools we here at AC need to do our jobs. They're like a fancy socket set that can play Candy Crush.

But of course, we all like some more than others. And that's what this is all about — my favorites from the past year. It wasn't easy to pick just a few, because I've found that just about every Android device has a thing or two going for it that makes it great. There really are no wrong choices, and your list will probably be different from mine. That's a good thing.

Here's my list of favorite Android devices.

My favorite Android smartphone — the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Xperia Z3 Compact

This shocks me as much as it may shock those that know me, but my top pick for an Android phone in 2014 is the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact — a phone that doesn't run "unmodified" Android. It squeezes out a win over the Moto X and the LG G3 (my other favorites) because of one thing — possibly the best thing any OEM has done in 2014 — it's a smaller device with full-size internals and performance.

The Z3C has the same guts as it's big brother the Z3, just behind a smaller screen. That means it plays games just as well (or better due to a lower resolution), can run any intense software you throw at it, and has the oompf needed to run future versions of Android and third-party apps.

It's also beautifully built with a glass back (until it breaks, I reckon) and soft rounded edges. It's water "proof", works wonderfully with my existing Sony dock, and has an excellent camera with it's own camera button.

Of course, not everything is perfect. Sony does some things that drive me nuts — co-opting the Google Now shortcut or bugging me about a PC-required available update — but for the most part the software is usable. There's a good bit of Sony bloatware (as expected) but none of it is intrusive on the level of something like CityID you would find on carrier phones, and it was easy to disable the things I didn't want or need.

Will I still be happy with the Z3C once all the Lollipop bugs are sorted and I don't have it yet? That remains to be seen. But for now, many of us have been wanting a mid-size device with high-end specs, and Sony delivers with the Z3 Compact.

Honorable mention — The Motorola Moto X

Moto X

This phone made my decision very difficult. I love the software on the Moto X — more than I like the software on the Z3C. I love the way the Moto X is built with an internal metal frame and a graceful curve. I adore the leather back (I went with black).

But I don't like the size bump.

Had Motorola kept the same size as the 2013 model, there would be no contest. I find myself switching between the Moto X and the Z3 Compact a lot, but I always end up liking the size of the Z3C better.

My favorite Android tablet of 2014 — the NVIDIA Shield Tablet

NVIDIA Shield Tablet

Another tough decision here. To me, there are three great choices in an Android tablet in 2014 — the Nexus 9, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S series, and the NVIDIA Shield Tablet. Each has their strengths and weaknesses (the screen on the Samsung is absolfreakinglutley amazing and the Nexus 9 CPU could power a monster truck), but the Shield Tablet edges the competition when it comes to the total package.

  • It doesn't have an iPad-esque 4 x 3 aspect ratio that squeezes my movies
  • It runs an almost "pure" version of Android
  • It plays games like a mofo

I've realized that these are the things I want in an Android tablet. Some folks want a tablet that can act as a laptop replacement, chock full of features like the Galaxy Tab S. Some want a tablet that can be productive when working, with a traditional aspect ratio like the Nexus 9. I want a tablet I can sit on the couch and play games or surf the web with, or watch something on Netflix without a huge letterboxing effect. That's the NVIDIA Shield Tablet.

My only regret is that I have the Wifi-only model.

My favorite Android watch of 2014 — the Moto 360

Moto 360

If I didn't care about how my watch looked on my wrist, I'd probably wear my G Watch more often. But I do care, and the Moto 360 wins because of its style factor.

All Android Wear watches have the same basic software and features, so the physical hardware is the way for manufacturers to stand out from the crowd. Sony's offering may have stand-alone GPS, or the 360 may have an ambient lighting sensor, but basically the apps and programs running on any Android Wear device are going to be the same as another.

The Moto 360 is far from perfect, but it has a look I like and feels comfortable on my wrist. That's really all I can ask for from an Android smartwatch right now. Things may change when I get more time with the ZenWatch.

2014 was a great year to be an Android fan. I have a feeling 2015 will be, too.

You've seen my favorites, now be sure to share yours in the comments below. There is no wrong choice here, and that's a great thing.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

90 Comments
  • I am surprised at how much my opinion has changed on the LG G Watch since I got it. Initially I hated it and Android Wear. Now it has become my daily driver over the Gear 2 Neo and Pebble Solid Posted via the Android Central App
  • Moto 360 looks nice but I'm still torn between it and the Fitbit Surge. I think I am leaning toward the Surge for what I'd use it for and its battery life. I wish the watches had better battery life but I suppose as the tech catches on, tons of aspects will improve, including the battery. I am just curious, Jerry, how often did you have to charge the 360? Posted via the Android Central App
  • That was my reason for not going android wear just yet. I looked at the fitbit too and ended up going with the original pebble. Got it for 60 bucks. Battery lasts a week and it does fitness tracking. I'm surprised how much I like it because I never had any interest in it. Anyway good luck with whatever you get :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thanks. It'll be a difficult decision but I want to make sure whatever I get benefits me the most. I need the motivation to get me kickstarted once medically cleared, and a nice device would help. I mean, come on, new tech toy, who doesn't want to max it out? And if it's fitness, well... I guess I'd have to not overdo it, but you know... :)
  • I finish a whole normal day (7-11) with 50% of the battery left. I could easily wear it all night and only charge it when I shower, but I don't like wearing a watch while I sleep. The only issue is when doing very active things like skate or snowboarding. It will barely make it 3 hours. Even with the screen gestures off and in theater mode it still dies rapidly. This is my only issue. It is awesome otherwise. Quick access to messages, stats, audio controls, etc is really nice while snowboarding. Posted via the Android Central App
  • +1
    I've had mine on since 0700 and it's now 2200. Showing 54% battery.
    You might try disabling the Fit notifications. Mine was popping up/vibrating constantly with steps, etc. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agree on battery life. I use the lift to show feature and no ambient and I have around 45% left at 11:30 at night when I take it off the charger at 6:00 in the morning. I don't interact with it often at all. I like that it is unobtrusive. When it notifies me of a message I observe it quick and dismiss. Besides that I use it to track my body activity that I check on the phone at the end of the day, and for telling time. That's all I really wanted it for. I have to admit though, it is rather serendipitous to use your watch to change a song on your phone that is playing through your chromecast that is broadcasting out of speakers through your home entertainment center. *mind; meet leaf blower*
  • A good mix may be the Pebble Steel. I have it and it gets about a week of battery life and it has some features. Not as full featured as Android Wear but not bad at all Posted via the Android Central App
  • wish they had the z3c on verizon
  • So do I... so do I... I would have definitely bought that instead of the Moto X. Love everything about the Moto X except the size. Usability on a 5.x inch phone is definitely compromised (for my average size hands) for no good reason. The extra .2 inches over my Nexus 5 are virtually unnoticeable, but the constant shuffling of the phone so I can reach the far edges of the screen is anything but unnoticeable - I'm always afraid I'm going to drop it. I really hope manufacturers get their heads out of their backsides and start producing phones in a range of sizes. Literally every time I pick up my Moto X, I think "God, I f*%&ing hate the size of this damn thing". Is that really what manufacturers want a not insignificant number of customers to think about their flagship devices? And I have to think it is a not insignificant number, because literally every review I read mentions that the previous size was better.
  • I also own the Z3 Compact and am amazed by the hardware. I wish it did not have the glass back because I am paranoid about it. I dont like Sony's Android Skin at all so I'm running the Google Now Launcher. I moved to it from the Nexus 4 and if Sony had a GPE version I would get it in an instant. The battery life takes me back to non smartphone era life but this thing is a smart phone and a good one. I wish there were more cases as accessories but alas not many out there. Very very good smartphone.
  • You can get an H9 tempered glass to put on top of the back and front. The look of the phone will not change. That's my "case" for the phone. The glass back makes the phone feels very unique to me. I get a lot of compliments (not that that is the reason I got the phone, though it's a nice plus).
  • I too have found the LG G Watch really useful. The $99 price I saw on Black Friday would for sure be worth it for that. Also, having it makes the size of the Nexus 6 more acceptable.
  • Nexus 9
    Moto X 2014
    Moto 360
    Am loving all three, but I gotta say that there were SO MANY great phone choices this past year! It was an amazing android year!
  • Not that it's an excuse for questionable software, but aren't their some AOSP ROMs available for the recent Sony devices? Again it doesn't make up for the default OS but it may be worth exploring. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes. But it will wreck the camera by deleting DRM protected camera algorithms. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wifi shield tablet as well
    Rocking the Sony smartwatch 3 (I really like the tranflective always on display and battery life compared with the Moto 360 I came from - first charge lasted 50+ hours with my use case)
    Enjoying the G3 now. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have a Shield Tablet as well, that thing is a beast of a gaming platform. As for phones, wife has the X 2014, and I have a Droid Turbo, both are fantastic devices. All around a great Android year for my family!
  • Jerry i agree with you about all of your choices...even your runners up! I am rocking the red Z3C right now and while i love the new Moto X(my ladies phone) and i love the LG G3(phone before the Z3C) i think the Z3C hits all the right notes. I really really love my old nexus 5 though. I think 5 inches is the prefect size for a phone. the 4.6 on the Z3C took some getting used to but it is amazing. If they bumped it up to 4.7 1080p next year with the 810 i would jump on it in a Heart beat!! I wish i had a Nvidia shield but i cound not justify the upgrade form my LG G Pad 8.3 running CM12 and I'm Rocking the Mot 360 as i type this. BTW Jerry did you here about the DRM FIX fro the unlocked bootloader? I know you like to tinker it may be worth a look on XDA.
  • Do you have a link to said DRM fix? I'm saving up for a Z3C and would like to at least just root it without ruining the camera. Just doing all my research in the meantime.
  • here you go dude
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/crossdevice-dev/sony/xperia-z1-z2-z3-ser...
    To be honest i thought i would miss root alot more then i do...coming from a nexus 5 and rooted lg g3. This phone is almost perfect even without root. I am still unsure if i will root even with this drm fix...sony is knocking it out of the park stock
  • Awesome, thanks!
  • If Sprint got their shit together and carried the Moto X 2014, that would be the phone of the year. Alas, it shall be the Nexus 6 for me. And I would switch off Sprint in a second if we weren't getting such a goddamn great family plan deal that cannot even be remotely matched by other carriers (unlimited everything for 4 lines at a shade over $200 a month).
  • my favorite android device..and the only one I purchased this year, is my nexus 6, and ofcourse Lollipop. I've always rooted any device I've owned, with Lollipop I don't feel the need to do that anymore, yes the phone is huge but after a week with it my nexus 4 feels so small in the hand., not to mention it replaced my tablet as I do most of the things I did with two devices.
  • Thank goodness the Z3C's What's New thing has an update rolling out that removes the navbar gesture. Odd that it updated instantly when I first got my Z3C, but I had to do it manually when I switched to an Australian ROM (no non-carrier NZ ROM, grumble grumble) to change the LTE icon to 4G, and hide the NFC icon. Other than that, the Z3C was a solid upgrade from the Z1C, though I miss the aluminium frame, and I wish I got it in red. :( That said, I'd love a Shield tablet... or for Windows as a tablet platform to gain traction so I can better enjoy my T100!
  • Sony reversed on taking over the Google now swipe up gesture. They removed it themselves in the latest software update.
  • As the owner of a Z3C myself, I obviously agree with you. The only things I would like it to have would be a bigger internal memory (32GB should be standard by now) and Qi charging. OIS for the camera would also be a big plus. "It's also beautifully built with a glass back (until it breaks, I reckon)" If this makes you more comfortable, I've now dropped my Z3C three times and it's still perfectly intact and without a single scratch or dent. Good ol' Nokia would be proud. " things that drive me nuts — co-opting the Google Now shortcut"
    Mine doesn't have that. Don't ask me why, it disappeared one day. Never saw it again. I don't have the phone rooted, nor anything of a kind. I also have no idea what I did for it to go away. Unlike you, though, I quite like Sony's UI. I'm afraid though on the take they'll have on Lollipop. I don't like Lollipop's design so I'm hoping Sony heavily modifies it. But they may not do that. Let's see. If in the end I don't like what I see, I won't update the phone. I'll surely be counting on you to do a hands on with Sony's Lollipop once it's out, Jerry! ;P ___________
    I have no opinion on Android tablets as I prefer my tablets to run Windows. I will, however, get a Nokia N1 once it's out. Obviously. Maybe this time next year I'll have a better idea about Android on tablets and will be able to pick up the Nokia N1 as the best one in a completely and unashamedly biased way. _____________
    As far as Android smartwatches go, I promised myself I wouldn't spend money on any 1st generation watch. But if I had to pick one, I would go with the LG GWAR instead. It has a better screen, it looks better to me and it has a full circle (I simply can't take the 360 without my OCD kicking in and constantly directing my eyes to that black bar at the bottom).
  • The Z3C is great and all, being one of a kind in terms of specs combined with compact size, but a 4.6 in. Display? Yawn There seems to be a popular opinion that Sony's UI is significantly outdated, and I feel the same way. Touchwiz is now more visually appealing Than Sony's ui (other than the TW launcher anyway, which still sucks imo) Hopefully lollipop changes that for Sony android device owners.
  • dude i thought many of the same things...until is have used a z3c for over a month and have been using the google now launcher. Screen is amazing looking. still a bit small for me...i like 5 inches but it just feels right
  • The screen is fine the way it is (though I could swear it's 4.7" not 4.6"). Any bigger and the entire point of the Compact line would be destroyed. And Sony can't reduce the bezels anymore without compromising waterproofing and hand usability. ;) At any rate, I totally disagree on the UI front. And the last thing I'd want would be TouchWiz on this. I'd sooner return to Windows Phone than live with a phone with TouchWiz. I hope Sony heavily modifies Lollipop top keep it close to the current design which is similar to the Playstation one. Actually Sony should look into bringing both phone and PS designs closer together. It only makes sense. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, if you hate touchwiz on the Note 4 for instance (launcher aside, which I hate as well) then either you haven't used it in depth, or you're ha hard to please. Don't get me wrong, TW on the note 3/S4 was an absolute abomination ! It looked terrible imo. But samung has redesigned almost every aspect of the ui. As soon as they switched to a flatter ui, circular motif, lighter blues and color tones, I jumped on the samsung bandwagon for the first time ever. Its still no material design thats for sure, but I think it's been vastly improved this year, and far, far better than the garbage on the note 3/s4, and I'm somewhat picky when it comes to software aesthetics. The launcher however is still in severe need of an overhaul. But it's too easy to theme a decent launcher to the latest touchwiz UI now.
  • You described exactly all I dislike about the aesthetics of TouchWiz (I'll now leave the boatware and the lagginess aside). I don't like Material Design. And The latest version of TouchWiz looks a lot like Material Design. That same flatness and colourfulness you mentioned are deeply displeasing to me. I prefer Holo, blacks and crystals. That's why I like Sony's current UI so much. The only thing I would like MORE would be more blacks and less white backgrounds. That's one of the few aesthetic queues that I think WP has better than some Androids. WP UI can be completely black with white lettering. I'd like to see that on Android. I'm not at all into the flatness and colourfulness fad that's taking over designs nowadays. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can agree with you on not liking the color picks Samsung went with on the note 4 I like this phone a lot but I wonder why they went with a white screen for settings it dosnt make sense with amoled display. Posted via the Android Central App
  • OhOh. A 'Hawks fan agreeing with a 9ersfan :-)
    I've owned the Note 1 (two years couldn't come QUICK enough, on the default screen time out of 2 minutes, the damn thing would time out updating an app...waiting for the 'permission' dialog box to pop! Forget multiple apps. One at a time ...maybe. Lol. I avoided the Note 2, but @ 22 months I went in to AT&T to buy oit the two original Notes. Is sworn TW and Samsung off for LIFE, until I played with Note3. It was a revelation in speed, clarity, display and the two year improvements to AMOLED technology, incredible horsepower and an abundance of RAM made it a mandatory upgrade for me.
    With you though on the design aesthically of touchwiz. The transition from 3-->4 was like going from 'The Flintstones or old Scooby and Looney toon reruns to Pixar,s level of artistic design to their UI and their iconography. I'm a 'GO' launcher/SMS & GUI Guy. I'm not nearly as bummed with the Samsung TW design in the latest note though when compared to earlier versions. And the stylus is not only entirely functional (as was the case Last year with the Note 3) but they've taken its functionality to an entirely new level this time! & the stylus is an incredible way to 'navigate' without a finger with the HiDPI dispaly in the Note 4 --- not to mention, Samsung has FINALLY gone to the traditional layout of buttons (w/exception of the 'hard' button so common w/Sammy) below. Fling off apps not in use with the 'left' capacitive button (apps open), and to the right, the back button that when held down no longer brings up the same as the left or settings or Flipboard's story of the day. Rather it brings (a much better behaved and usable 'split screen' app list vertically and the left capacitive for recent apps held down allows for the 'launcher settings' on long press. Just like every other Android developer;)
    The Note 4 with its UI chamge, new build for samsung with the steel support rim and it's 'speed', change of the UI to flatter icons, getting away from the Gingerbread design from 2011. Muted colors, not as 'neon' and exceptional display characteristics FINALLY with samsung doing a pre-shipping calibration to the displays.
    The last part was BIG for myself and 27 year business we've run. We own a flight 'taxi' service in Alaska and have for just shy of three decades. I've got 14,200 hours, my wife (one of the first female naval fighter pilots, F-14 w/97 carrier t/o & hooks to the FA18/E super hornet where she spent the last decade and put it down the same amount of times she 'put it up' for the carrier. 278 landings including Afghanistan, enduring freedom, initial '03 Iraq raids and '01 CIA raids without 'boots on the ground'
    Her soul job, to hold all aircraft (not ours) @ least 150nm from our 117s and B2s (both without defense and offensive weapons alone. No chance or prayer of defending themselves). Once the A2A, A2S and S2A threats were neutralized, the newer stealth Riga flew back to Missouri and scattered bases across the U.S. and she, her squadron (she retired full bird {Colonel} and is now with the FAA building NextGen's ADSB systems out with real time terrain following (MOE if you're military), real time weather, traffic and 3D terrain/traffic & weather. Much more 'visual' information instead of auditory from ATC. Allowing controllers to spend more time on critical and immediate responsibilities versus constantly radioing to airlines their fix, Wx, traffic, winds aloft, etc
    She's now working as a flight instructor on the 737-8 & 900/900ER, as well as a jump seat check pilot. Everything that flies in Alaska. From the 75/6/7&87s to the smaller 727s (we've still got a couple up here;)), 37s from the 100 MudHen with steam gauges to the new-fangled glass 'pits of the 7, 8, & 900 737s. A truly unbelievable transformation over time to the jet. We also run a second generation sound and audio production company and have been lucky enoug to work with NatGeo, Discovery (& a ½ dozen affinities), Smithsonian, PBS, & a dozen more due to the intrigue of Alaska over the past decade (I've been here thirty years, the last ten have multiplied our business by over ten fold. From shuttling the deadliest catch crews in to Dutch with their production gear or packing the twin Otter with gold mining gear...for under ICE WATER created in the OCEAN, just off the NW coast of alaska (been here 37 years. You won't find a colder place in the world cheaper to fly to:) --- while Siberia may be able to brag lower sustained temps, they're bot cutting holes in their ocean and ice fishing, gold panning or otherwise rushing their lives! Lol
    12 years ago, it was sound fx gathering from avalanches to waterfalls, wind/rain/& the 'sound of an earthquake'....there REALLY IS ONE, I did all audio and about 70% of the motion and video shoots. My wife wnd brother took reigns with still shots for stock photog to the other 30/maybe 40% of capture. We both edit sound and video. I've switched from FCP to Premier. He's never given up on FCP, used 7 until 'X' had its uodates. A year later (he needed multi cam), he gave up '7' & went to fFCPx and hasn't looked back. In 2015 as a fond Note 4 user and owner of a half dozen Android taba. Even have my Xoom and a pair of Nexus 7s .1 & .2 ('12 & '13 models), Nexus 10 and I'm out. I'll be tryng the K1 and Tegra due to your review but tge Notes (tablets) are awful! I first bought the new Samsung (I can't remember model, but almost the biggest, at about 10-10,4". The latest n greatest and what a joke! There's literally NO software for it! None...in fact EVERY piece of software looks better on my Note 4!
    2015 needs to be a year Google in all its power steps in, chats deals with carriers and OEMs. Decides on strict, "break the rules, no Android branding" punishment. No bloat from carrier, nor OEM (other than unique features lime the SPen, etc)
    They've (still) got the power of Cupertino. But it won't last. Sony, as we're discussing is out of the PC business And Samsung while making laptops that are at or near the top with excellent build quality, displays and speeds/options, etc --- Samsung lacks, as does Android lack a FULL Vertical and Horizontal system of integration and aggregation. Windows 7/8 along with Samsung is pitiful. Same on OS X. KIES is terrible and OTA updates can come with their own challenges.
    Windows phones should start to progress. They've got everything els in pace to support their computers, laptops, security and their servers, the 'Surface" as their tablet (IMHO, an extremely smart move by MS as the Surface is a dull fledged computer/laptop replacement. That weighs two pounds. Twice that of the iPad but with ...maybe two to five to 10x the processing, graphic, and I/O choices. The 'pen" again. But Ive found with the HiDPI display, it to be a 'boon' again for navigating, writing, typing and interaction with the targets on display without 'fat'fingering a letter, command or my dispaly by pointing something out to someone forgetting its touchscreen lol.
    Didn't mean to write a novel, and I've yet to use either Nexus 9 or Sony's new flagships. In America these are ticket to find. That said, I'm ambidextrous. iOS and Android. OS X and Windows 7, 8, & 10 as well as Linux and Unix programming for our lighting and sound rigs (we also produce audio and concerts up to 15,000 peeps with a 750,000 watt systems and EAW/QSC (amp/speakers) that need to be flown on the correct rafter, support beam or position of 'load' bearing in the structure. The Note 4 is invaluable sketching the rigging points, signing credit cards for the clients as well as taking down notes as you're figuring your 'client' along the way (I just worked with Toby Keith and his crew. VERY cool people, he was great ...but it's not always or even usually the case working with these guys n gals. The ability to jot likes, dislikes, instructions from artists and front of house/backline/backstage sketching, reminders and more easily aggregated when complete so you're all set! Unbelievable
    Lastly, as my wife and I both fly, the tablet has revolutionized flying for us. At almost thirty years flying for me (29 since my PP) I've not been through such a fundamental change with almost everything! Sure going from steam pressure gauge and instrumentation to glass 'pits was extraordinary. That said the cockpit doesn't have to go 'with me" to the hotel. Home. Car. You get the idea. My twin otter is old & the manual has been updated 9,432 times (embellished) so with everything current, our flight bag weighs more @47 pounds than our 737-100 (the passenger jet you can put down on a gravel runway! And if it's only 'one way', no problem. Detent throttles back to reverse thrust. N1 to 65-90 pending surface, flaps up so you don't destroy them with gravel! And you've got reverse in a Boeing 737!!! Lol. We do it ½ dozen times a day with ours as she's in the air almost 14 hours every 48 (3-1 fix-Flight ratio, she's getting old but it's like an old Bronco, Blazer or JEEP. They go anywhere, land anywhere. Sometimes they're not able to take off from 'anywhere' but they don't get 'tougher' than essentially the hand made, gen one 737! My point as it relates to 'tablets' in this space. What's going on? Tegra intrigues me. Other Android tabs are an absolute JOKE! Especially in comparison with the 'other' side.
    It's not just the ergonomics, Build quality, display or SoC. It's ALL about the app selection, developer interest and cross platform sync abilities (desk/laptop/tablet/phone). It's my major hold out and im really bummed with the Nex 9. I'm closing in on time to send back for refund or keep. Probably be the former ...for the first time I've bought a tablet. That said the Note4 has almost entirely taken over tab duties. With a single (& massive exception). Software. MS Office, flight apps? Foreflight tells me how much gas I need, it files my flight plan, gives me real time weather, traffic and NFZs. TCAS, ADSB (I'm working with my wife and the FAA mapping one of the gnarliest states in the Union, and as big as the USA with MORE TOTAL coastline, three massive mountain ranges (one the peaks are 12-19,000 feet for 300 miles long and 80 miles deep!
    This ability to have up to date Jep charts, plates, frequencies and diversions, fuel, CG and weight configs, flight plans and EPIRB beacons, gps ping coordinates in the case of a 10g or 'harder' drop, etc.
  • $80 G Watch could be my best purchase ever. Posted via Android Central App
  • Moto X (2013)
    Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
    Moto 360
  • No way dude. it's close but the Tab S wins the match up between it and the Tab pro imo. Have you seen that display? Holy mowly, words almost can't describe. However, the tab pro 8.4 having the SD 800 and Adreno 330 on even the WiFi version is a nice plus. The exynos octa 5420 is a beast, but the Mali gpu that comes with it is average at best. But only giving the tab pro 2 GB's of RAM almost cancels that advantage out.
  • The Snapdragon alone makes me prefer the Pro over the S. It's also nicer looking IMO. No dimpled back. And the extra GB of RAM is basically useless to me. I've never had an issue with RAM on my Pro. I also don't have a preference on the screen. I don't care if it's AMOLED or LCD. If you're not holding them side by side or using one for an extended period of time and then switching to the other, it doesn't really make much of a difference.
  • Touchwiz is very resource intensive. You may not notice it but there are times when apps aren't kept in memory with the same consistency that they are running other skins. That's why for me I wouldnt want a TW device with any less than 3 gigs, unless it's a budget device. The exynos octa 5420 is an absolute beast. Ive done some in depth speed comparisons between it and the nexus 5 a few times, and it's almost consistently faster in general app opening from my experience., all wbile pushing a 2k display too.it's only problem however is that the Mali GPU it comes with has a tendency to drop frame rate when RAM is full. It's very minimul, but there at times nonetheless. Of course, transistion animations can be turned off all together, bypassing the minor issue. The display however? It has no equal. It's that phenominal
  • How are you running out of available RAM on the Tab S? It's literally never been a problem with only 2GB on my Pro. If apps are closing in the background, I've never noticed. I've also never had problems with lag. I really don't care for Samsung or TouchWiz, but I've hidden as much of TouchWiz as possible and I've never had an issue.
  • Well, look at your task manager when many apps are open and see how much RAM you have available. You'll be seeing somewhere in the vicinity of 1.61/1.81 GB's of RAM in use on average. This isn't a problem at all however, the Mali GPU just seems to drop frame rate occasionally when RAM is approaching full use. As for apps closing in the background, you're gonna need another high end android device from another manufacturer with a lighter skin and the same amount of RAM. Open the same 10-20 apps on each, and then re -open them on both devices at the same time. You'll see what I mean when apps begin consistently re-loading on your tab pro that arent on the other device with the same amount of RAM Here's a good example of how touchwiz's RAM management compares to other skins. Keep in mind, the S5 has the same 2 gbs of RAM that your tablet has. Be sure to watch the 2nd half of the video to see my point. This is why I said I wouldn't want a high end TW device without at least 3 gbs of RAM. http://youtu.be/nCln9_mgZJo
  • You make a vital point about TW RAM usage. But if you bought the Pro 8.4 ($200 on sale right now and on BF), and root it and put on a slim ROM like CM11, then it's a steal and a half, and a beastly device.
  • Note 4 = 2014's no.1 android device. I know half of the people on here hate samsung, but there's no denying it. Well done samsung!!. I can't say I dislike the moto X though, it's a decent device for sure.
  • No denying it??? I'll deny it all I want. Touchwiz is garbage. I'll pick any phone before Samsung.
  • Please stop spreading misinformation. Samsung phones provide amazing hardware. Touchwiz is amazing. I find it hilarious how Motorola/Google has been able to exploit a certain group of people into purchasing phones that provide nothing in terms of features and actually force people to spend even more money just to get the phone to function properly. It's a cruel joke but a genius way to exploit a certain segment of people. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sorry Touchwiz sucks. But you have the right to enjoy bloated garbage.
  • @orion One-dimensional Hater... Move along now. There are rocks ahead of you that need to be kicked Posted via the Android Central App
  • Haha its so easy to get the Samsung drones all riled up. Go climb a tree dude.
  • Well played, lmao. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's because you're an idiot
  • Amen. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I went Droid Turbo (and a Niners Otterbox defender, hehe), but the Note 4 was strongly considered. I just didn't think it had the comfort feel for me, if that makes sense. I can't deny all it does; it seemed awesome, but the Turbo just felt more comfortable to me. Maybe I'm just a Moto man. I do look back and I've had many Moto phones over the years before and after my BlackBerry phase.
  • Almost the same picks as mine. The only thing I would change is the Z3 compact. My favorite would be Nexus 6.
  • Yeah its surprising the moto x would have my vote even though I didn't purchase one myself . but a 4.6 inch screen is a little to small I think to take phone of the year Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jerry, as others have already pointed out, Sony removed its What's New application shorcut from the search application swipe area a while back. Also, the Xperia Z3 Compact is not quite "the same guts as it's (sic) big brother." You mentioned the lower screen resolution, and it also has two gigabytes of RAM instead of three. (Neither of which should matter to anyone but a tech nerd.)
  • Indeed but when compared with the "Mini" versions of other flagships, it becomes irrelevant. Specially when not all flagships come with 3GB of RAM anyway. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I love my LTE Shield as well. I fought with myself between N9 an Shield, options pushed me over the edge to Shield.
  • Note 4 is the best phone of of the year
  • +1 Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think I can agree with that !! Lol.
  • Better than the note 4?lol Posted via the Galaxy Note 4
  • Sony Z2
    - I enjoy the larger size but miss Qi charging.
    Shield Tablet Lte
    - Just yummy
    Pebble Steel
    - Simple, great battery life and does the thing I need for a smart watch. While looking good.
  • I'm sure you've supported your arguments with solid reasoning in the past, but "just yummy" is not the shinning example. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can't find a phone that ticks all the boxes better than the LG G3, size, camera, battery, root, SD storage, it's all there. Please, if there is a phone I should try that you think is better do tell? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'll tell you one thing the G3 doesn't have, an SoC optimized for a 2k display. You'll notice that in everything from dropped frame rates, lower benchmark scores, and and overheating, to general day to day performance compared to devices with 1080p displays and the SD 801 It's unfortunate that the G3's release cycle came before the SD 805 and adreno 420 were available for mass production. Sorry to be a buzzkill, lol.
  • No overheating but some lag opening certain apps. My statement still stands, G3 covers all the bases. What is better right now?
    Note 4? Too big.
    Moto x? 32gb.
    Z3C? Too small.
    S5? Pass.
    Droid turbo? Verizon exclusive. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In fairness, the point of the Z3C IS being "small". The Z3 is the regular version with 5.2". Posted via the Android Central App
  • Note 4 smokes the LG g3 Posted via the Android Central App
  • ^^ Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sorry dude, but there's a problem when you're dealing with a device with significant performance issues because it has a chipset that isn't optimized for its Quad HD display. I'm having some of the same issues with my exynos variant Galaxy Tab S to a smaller extent. It's a phenominal tablet, but frame rates are dropped at times due to the exynos 5420 and Mali gpu having issues pushing the 2k resolution.
  • Nvidia Shield Tablet, Moto 360 & LG G3 for me.. Next in line would be the Nexus 9. Thanks for sharing with us Jerry. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Jerry, seems you haven't used the Sony Z3c tablet?
  • What is the PC required update? Solely using Chromebook here so wondering what that is all about? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The LG G3 is my next phone. The Sony costs too much and the Moto is just not available in my neck of the woods....
  • Wife's getting a Z3 this week. She can't wait. I even showed her the Z3c but she wanted the larger display. Coming from an S3, I think she'll be pleasantly surprised by the difference in performance. Posted via OnePlus One
  • I'm gonna hold off on Android Wear until the battery life is consistently one and a half days long. Posted on my Galaxy S5
  • Moto 360 (followed closely by Samsung Gear S)
    Moto G (2014) (followed closely by LG G3)
    Lenovo S8 Tab (followed closely by LG G Pad) I've had plenty of different tech in 2014 (Samsung Gear fit, LG Watch, Samsung Note 3, LG G Pad etc) but the above remain my favourites. I adore the 360 simply for its design/look and zero bezels, Moto G for it's usability, sound and pricing and the Lenovo S8 for it's design, screen and weight. None of these are perfect though (i.e. no 4G with the Moto G, PPI resolution of the 360 etc but ...... for now, i'm very happy - let's see what 2015 brings - gadget geeks rule!!
  • ZenWatch vs. Moto 360... Vs. Waiting for next years models. GO! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed on the Z3 Compact. I even ditched a Note 4 for it. It's the combination of the size, internals and battery life for me. I lead an active life (I was in three figures for miles ran last week) and the phone just works for my lifestyle. It's even been in the North Atlantic and survived. I'm very impressed.
  • Jerry -- Good call on the Z3. I spent 2 (dreadful) years with a Windows Lumia 920. I did a lot of research yearning to come back to Android. I spent hours with demos in stores, tried them all. The Z3 compact left a lasting impression. EVERYTHING is AWESOME. What a way to get welcomed back to Android. Never leaving again. Got it unlocked on boxing day @ Sony store in Canada for $500. What a steal. I'm very eager to see what else Sony releases this year that I can pair up with this phone.
  • I can't really speak on these matters as I am still in 2013 lol
    Moto X (2013)
    Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)
    LG G Watch (pending)
  • Yay for the desire in smaller screen devices.
  • Love my Z3 Compact. Best device I've ever owned and the absolute perfect size.
  • [quote]...a [b]mid-size[/b] device with high-end specs, and Sony delivers with the Z3 Compact.[/quote] my,my.......love it.
  • great looking dog in your avitar pic. blue healer mix?
  • Ha, ACD, Blue Heeler. Pure breed. Good Eye. Had to give it to a good home/friends. Was herding my wife,...she wasn't amused. Darn I miss that pup.
  • That Sony Xperia X3 compact is very tempting. Is the glass back really that unstable or do the 1 star ratings at amazon just dropped their phones and now they angry it´s their own fault , hence no replacement without insurance?
  • "unstable" , lol sorry for grappy english - my german is much better
  • I am so getting that green Z3 Compact. Posted via Samsung Galaxy Alpha
  • Jerry, I am totally in understanding of the Moto X size bump. I wanted to love this phone but was having a hard time. Went back to using a 2013 Moto X. I just however pulled the trigger and bought the Z3 Compact also. Greenish one too. Laid some cash down for the Accidental protection plan just in case.