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Top 5 mobile contenders set to shake up the smartphone sector in 2014

Top 5 mobile contenders set to shake up the smartphone sector in 2014

2013 was an exciting year for mobile, with plenty of technological innovations and breakthroughs. But it was always the same names cropping up time and again: Samsung, Apple, Google, LG and Motorola.

Isn't it about time some new upstarts shook things up a bit? Hell yeah, it is. Well, the good news is that thankfully 2014 looks full of innovations that should give the big boys a run for their money.

1 Jolla


This handset and its Sailfish operating system are actually the brainchild of ex-Nokia employees.

Disgruntled that the MeeGo OS didn't get the release it deserved - it only ever appeared on one handset, the N9 - they formed Jolla.

It's up for order now in the UK from Jolla's site, but delivery is listed as between two to four weeks. So it should arrive in the early days of 2014.

It features an innovative back panel called The Other Half, which you can swap when you like to add fresh colours and even new functions. And you can also choose to add everything from a keyboard to an e-ink screen.

Whether it'll be enough to make Nokia rue the day it dumped MeeGo and jumped in bed with Microsoft, only time will tell.

2 Tizen

tizen triplicate

OK, so being a new operating system from Samsung, the world's biggest phone-maker, Tizen isn't exactly an underdog. But it is a real challenger to Android and its dominance as the most popular mobile OS worldwide.

It's set to make its debut in February, ahead of Mobile World Congress.

Samsung is obviously keen to stop paying Google for the privilege of using its Android OS on its devices.

Android has helped make Samsung the powerhouse it is today, so it'll be fascinating to see if the South Korean company can topple its former master.

3 Firefox OS

rsz firefox

The people behind the Firefox browser have made their own mobile OS.

It's aimed at developing countries, and phones running it are available in 13 nations around the world, including the UK, Serbia, Hungary and Montenegro. The OS will come to Asia in early 2014.

Set to rival Android, Firefox is found mostly on budget smarties at the moment. Big-name manufacturers like LG have backed it, though LG's effort, the Fireweb, isn't available on these shores.

4 Ubuntu


The Ubuntu Edge was an ambitious concept: a smartphone that doubled as a desktop PC when docked. Unfortunately, its maker Canonical missed out on its proposed $32 million funding target on crowdsource site Indiegogo. But that doesn't mean the OS is dead in the water.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said a while ago that carriers and OEMs are still "definitely interested" in making mid-range Ubuntu-powered handsets.

At the moment, the OS is for developers and industry partners only, but you can register on to find out when the first smartie running it is to be released.

5 Phonebloks

rsz phoneblocks

This concept was so great that the Google-owned Motorola piggybacked off it.

In a nutshell, it's a modular mobile. That means that as soon as innovations are made and new components are released, which you can buy individually and slot in, you can upgrade your phone without shelling out for a whole new one.

You can also personalise your handset as you see fit. Don't take many photos with it? Swap the camera module for a bigger battery. And so on.

Motorola partnered with Phonebloks and will release its first handset under the Project Ara name in 2014. Phonebloks will also sell its own handsets and modules.

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