Ben’s Favorite Devices Of 2014
Every year we get a flood of devices that are released on the market, and let’s be honest, no one gets to try all of them. I’ve been fortunate to try out a huge handful of this year’s best devices. Wearables, computers, phones and tablets. Sure, I don’t get as many as some other people, but I grateful that I get the opportunity to try out a lot of them and give you my thoughts on them.
With 2014 coming to a close, I thought it would be fun to give a quick roundup of the devices I was most fond of this year. Now do remember, we’re a small website. We don’t get everything day one and we don’t get everything period. There are phones I didn’t get the privilege to review. You won’t find the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8 on this list, why, because I didn’t get to use them. Nonetheless, these are my favorite devices of 2014 that I had the privilege of using.
10. OnePlus One
The OnePlus One was a phone that many wanted, but couldn’t always get their hands on. The phone brought an insane spec package at a super low price point, and it got a lot of attention. The Flagship Killer came to me through a good friend and that’s how I got the chance to review it. I enjoyed my time with the OnePlus One, but for some reason it always felt like something was missing. Maybe it was just me though, there are plenty who would put this device at the top of their list, I’m just not one of them. At $349 it’s certainly something to marvel at and it truly is an amazing phone I could recommend to any Android fan buying a new phone off-contract.
9. LG G Watch
Early in 2014, Google announced Android Wear putting me on the edge of my seat. I had been dying to get a smartwatch at the time and had almost pulled the trigger on a Pebble several times. Boy am I glad I waited. The LG G Watch was my pick for my first smartwatch and it was a great choice. The watch had few issues, worked well in my life, and in my opinion looked pretty decent. Later on as I moved to more circular things, the G Watch found itself in the hands of someone else. That’s probably the only thing I didn’t enjoy about the watch. The resale value plummeted. Retail was $229, but I could barely get $80 out of mine in near perfect condition. Either way, I still hold the LG G Watch in high regard and if I hadn’t had a choice in getting something else, it would still have a happy place on my wrist.
8. Galaxy Note 4
Reviewing phones I don’t own still feels weird to me, and it really set in when AT&T was kind enough to send a Galaxy Note 4 my way. I never expected to be able to review this phone in a timely manner and didn’t believe it until it arrived at my door. From the time I took it out to the time I sent it off, the Note 4 was a great phone. The screen was gorgeous, the S-Pen was second to none, and it was overall an experience I look back on with a smile.
7. Nexus 6
Google’s Nexus devices were what brought me into Android, so I jumped on a chance to get my hands on a Nexus 6. The mammoth is by all means one of the biggest and best phones of the year, no doubt about it, but somehow it has underwhelmed me. Granted, there’s still time for that to change before I finish the review.
6. 2014 Moto X
Motorola impressed everyone last year with the first Moto X and continued the tradition this year with the second generation. The powerful, sleek, and beautiful phone outshines many others on the market, but again, somehow underwhelms me. Just like it’s (much) bigger brother, the Nexus 6. It just feels like something is missing. Don’t get me wrong, this phone is awesome, it’s just not my favorite. (Now I hide from the Moto X fans…)
5. DROID Turbo
Yeah, that’s right. This topped the Moto X. The DROID Turbo may be a Verizon exclusive, but it’s still a great Motorola phone. I look at it as a supercharged Moto X. It’s still got the same awesome features, with a bigger battery and better camera. (Now I hide from the Moto X fans… Again…)
4. Nexus 9
Midway through 2014 I decided it was time to get a new tablet, and one that I would stick with. I was tired of spending money on a new tablet every few months that I ended up switching because I didn’t like it later on for various reasons. There were rumors of a 9” inch Nexus later in the year, so I decided on that. Since HTC was building it, I knew it would be pretty good and hey, I like my Nexus devices. So when the time came, I ordered the tablet. At first, I loved it. I thought it would be the one, but as time went on, that changed. Now, it’s still a great tablet, it wouldn’t be ranked this high if it wasn’t, but it’s not the tablet for me. The price is what set me off, and that’s the way it stays. Great tablet, too expensive.
3. NVIDIA SHIELD
After the Nexus 9, I had to decide and my mind intermediately went to the NVIDIA SHIELD. I had considered it earlier in the year, but wanted to wait for the Nexus 9. Now, after a great deal, I own the NVIDIA SHIELD. This tablet certainly impressed me and still does. With a great screen, good build, and amazing features, I think this is the tablet that’s going to be lasting me a while. Even though I’m still paying more than I wanted to for a new tablet, this one gives me a bit more for my money than the Nexus 9 did, and that’s why it’s higher on the list.
2. Moto 360
The long awaited Moto 360. My feelings for this watch have gone back and forth so many times, it’s not even funny. I still think it’s a little slow, and the battery isn’t great, but overall this is now my favorite Android Wear watch. Wireless charging is still what holds me to it and will keep me on it til something else has it. Simply put, you can’t go wrong with the Moto 360.
1. LG G3
This is it. My favorite device of 2014. The LG G3 is an awesome phone. I got it as soon as I could and I haven’t regretted it once. The phone has a great screen, great build, and good software. Some people don’t like it, but this is by far my favorite phone right now. When the time comes, I’ll be sad to let this one go.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
Lenovo N20P Chromebook