HTC One M8
A stunning phone with very few flaws
OS: Android | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 2,600mAh | Rear camera: 4MP dual | Front camera: 5MP
The HTC One M8 has tumbled dramatically out of the top 10 after holding onto top spot for the best part of a year, so why the demise? Well it's now pretty old compared to the handsets making up the top ten, and there's a new kid on the block in the shape of the One M9.
It's still the same perfectly design handset though, with impressive BoomSound speakers and the short-live, yet innovative Duo Camera on the year - but the One M9 is almost identical, and just a bit better all round.
There's been a small price drop too since the arrival of the One M9, and you certainly won't be getting a poor phone if you choose to pick it up - but for just a bit more you can have its up to date successor. Your call.
Moto X (2014)
OS: Android | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1080p | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB/64GB | Battery: 2,300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 2MP
Moto X is the most stylish and customizable smartphone within our best of list. That's thanks to Motorola's sophisticated Moto Maker website that made its debut with the Moto X 2013. You can outfit this new 5.2-inch Android device with accent colors and different backs, like leather and wood.
Truth be told, our leather back choice got beat up within a few days, making iPhone 6 Plus' notorious BendGate look pretty by comparison. But the new powerful specs bump held up. Its 2.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, enough for a one-handed smartphone.
Motorola's flagship for 2014 is cheaper than its direct rivals, including the better-marketed Samsung Galaxy S5. Add the fact that it has pure Android and the handy infrared-sensing Moto Display on board, and Moto X seems like the ideal combination: fashionable, functional contract-free if the right deal.
OS: Android | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080p | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB | Battery: 3,100mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
OnePlus One was the surprise smartphone of 2014 thanks to the Chinese manufacturer that no one had ever heard of a few months ago. It's fast, large and, importantly, inexpensive.
It has super-customizable software, derived from the popular CyanogenMod, is backed up by still-powerful specs: a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and a healthy 3100 mAh Li-Po.
There's no microSD card slot or removable battery, and the 13-megapixel camera quality finishes in the middle of the pack with the same "pretty good" sensor as the new Nexus 6. That's okay. At $300 unlocked, it's more than half of the starting price of Google's new 6-inch smartphone that is a more serious $650 without a contract.