5. Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5

Some might say that the best thing about Google's Nexus lineup of phones is the amazingly affordable price. Others will argue its the constantly up to date firmware.

With Android 4.4 KitKat under the hood, and a great screen, it's a phone worthy of your cash. The LG G2 has a better camera at a similar price though.

That said there's something rewarding about using the clean, vanilla Android experience, so this phone is definitely worth your time.

Quick verdict

Compared to the phones ranked above it, there's nothing overly innovative about the Nexus 5. But it does everything it's asked to do exceptionally well, and that's nothing to sneeze at.

4. LG G2

LG G2

LG hasn't been a brand you necessarily link to excellence in mobile phones, but the G2 has changed all that in a big way.

A fantastic screen, a great camera and great audio all make this handset well worth the price of admission.

It's got some quirks - like an overly cluttered UI and volume controls on the back of the phone, but they are easily overcome by the affordable price point.

Quick verdict

LG was responsible for the past couple of Nexus devices, and it shows that the Korean company has learned a lot from the experience. The G2 is a fantastic device at an even better price.

3. Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung has long been at the forefront of flagship Android phones, but still manages to find itself only taking the bronze with its latest release.

The Galaxy S5 has plenty of innovation, thanks to the integrated fingerprint scanner, the magnificent screen and the replaceable battery, but the plastic (albeit waterproof) body doesn't do it any favours.

Its biggest issue - in Australia at least - is that the company has locked the dock so it can't be customised, a feature not found in the UK or US. Given Android's supposedly open nature, this arbitrary restriction seems rediculous.

Quick verdict

Don't get us wrong, this is a fantastic phone. But TouchWiz lacks the usability of the HTC and Sony user interfaces, and Samsung's design needs a refresh.

2. Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony has been working hard to break back into the top echelon of the smartphone market, pumping out new flagship handsets every six months or so to try and climb its way to the top.

The strategy has almost worked, with the Z2 being one of the greatest Android handsets on the market.

Combining the Xperia Z lineup's waterproof body with a brand new 4K video recording mode and front-facing speakers, Sony's latest phone is the best its ever done, and is a pleasure to use, although it can't quite take the top spot from HTC

Quick verdict

The glass and metal body doesn't have the same style as the HTC One M8, but the phone does enough to push Samsung out of the top two. You won't be disappointed by this phone.

1. HTC One M8

HTC One M8

HTC has done it again! After last year's breathtaking HTC One, the Taiwanese company has improved its best with the One M8, retaining the best smartphone around title.

From its stunning metal chassis to the inclusion of expandable memory, impressive battery life and an effective new duo-camera for after shot refocusing, the phone ticks almost every box.

Battery life is impressive, BlinkFeed works well and the Boomsound speakers outperform every other device on the market.

Quick Verdict

HTC has managed to improve the HTC One, which is no easy feat given how well we liked that phone. The One M8 has set itself up as the smartphone to beat in 2014.