2013 might have offered fingerprint scanners, gesture tech and ever-better screens. But 2014 promises to bring even more to the party.
Every major player has got something to prove in the next 12 months, whether it’s Apple with a newly designed iPhone, Samsung with a heftier flagship Galaxy or HTC with another device that simply must save it from extinction.
Here’s our pick of the five devices you need to look out for.
1 HTC One Two
We already know the name of HTC’s next top-end device thanks to a UK judge. He revealed the moniker after a testy court case, which saw Nokia win a ban on HTC’s One Mini.
The Taiwanese company will be hoping this new device doesn’t suffer the same fate, because it really does sound great.
We’re looking at the same metal chassis as the HTC One, but with an amped up 5-inch screen on top.
Other specs are about as scarce as Lord Lucan, but we do know it’ll be out in February (hat tip to the same Lord Justice who told the world the phone’s name).
That means it’ll most likely make an appearance at Mobile World Congress.
2 Samsung Galaxy S5
Gossiped about for months, Samsung’s new device is perhaps the most hyped phone out there right now. Word on the web is that Sammy is finally going to give its top-end phone a proper metal chassis, putting it in the same league as Apple and HTC.
Specs-wise, the phone is believed to have a 16 megapixel camera round the back and a 2K screen, which should make watching movies truly stunning.
February or March have been pegged as release dates, with Samsung said to be desperate to keep up the pressure on Cupertino.
3 Nokia Normandy
One device rumour that has really got us salivating is Nokia’s much-vaunted Android phone.
Sources have claimed it’ll be aimed at emerging markets, using a forked version of Google’s OS (much like Amazon’s Kindle Fire does) to serve up proper smartphone apps.
Chances are it won’t land in the UK. And it may not even see the light of day if it’s not finished before Microsoft completes its takeover of Nokia’s devices and services business aryl next year. We’re hopeful that we’ll at least get a glimpse of what a Nokia/Google mashup looks like.
4 Apple iPhone 6
The iPhone 6 is sufficiently far away from launch that gossip about its specs and design are still somewhat loopy.
There’s talk of a curved display, a 5-inch phablet frame and much-improved camera skills.
What we do know is that next year represents another chance for a redesign of the device, with the 5S only being a step-change (Touch ID aside) and the 5C offering a cheap(ish) alternative.
That means Jony Ive could go nuts and unveil a phone that matches up to his bonkers reimagining of iOS which caused such a stir earlier this year.
5 Sony Xperia Z2
We love Sony’s Xperia Z1. But the Z2 promises to be even better.
There’s said to be a 5.2-inch display, with more than 500 pixels per inch. And that’s before we’ve got to the camera, which is believed to be even better than the amazing 20 megapixel effort which currently resides on Sony’s flagship.
While the sensor will remain the same size, word is a Xenon flash will give it an edge on competitors.
All of which makes this one to get truly excited about.