Mobiles & Tablets

The six loaded shots of 2014

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on March 10, 2018



While we wait for the tech that will make our jaws drop in 2015, Sabyasachi Biswas lists the best gadgets of this year.

Bang for your buck – Best budget smartphoneMotorola Moto G 2014

The first Moto G, when it came out, was an instant hit with critics and consumers alike, and for good reason too. It packed some awesome specs, a superb build, and most importantly the message that an affordable smartphone doesn’t necessarily need to compromise on specs and features. It had some flaws, which were rectified in the second generation. Packing a 5-inch display (which has almost become an industry standard), specs that easily handle everyday smartphone usage, raw Android experience and a promise to deliver all the updates on time, the Moto G 2014 is our favourite budget phone simply because of the value it offers for your money.

The balancing act – Best mid-range smartphoneHTC One E8

We wouldn’t disagree with the fact that the HTC One M8 was probably one of the most innovative products of the year. But we also feel that its skimped-down cousin, the E8, was a splendid package. It carried forward the same innards as the M8 – specs that would put most Android smartphones to shame. But not everyone would want the aluminium body, an UltraPixel dual camera setup, RDS radio or an infrared port. And HTC took all that out, repackaged the M8 in a polycarbonate but sturdy body, and replaced the UltraPixel dual camera with a 13 megapixel single camera that still produced some amazing shots, and threw in Dual-SIM compatibility. And most importantly, it was priced extremely sensibly. It was the one that made absolute sense.

The blockbuster – Best high-end smartphoneLG G3

This was a bit difficult to figure out, considering the fact that there were so many amazing high-end smartphones up for grabs this year. But in the end we realised that in terms of pure innovation and smartphone-per-rupee, the LG G3 remains the best product of the year. Consider this – it has more pixel count per square inch than most other flagships. It’s not a metal body, but looks and feels extremely premium with a sturdy polycarbonate build – and it’s light. The interface is sexy; it’s packed to the brim with features; and comes packaged in a beautiful design. The Laser Autofocus works brilliantly and makes a simple 13 megapixel camera much more responsive than its competitors. It’s a neat combination of simple yet brilliant tricks, and that makes it the best in the house.

Productivity redefined – Best phabletSamsung Galaxy Note 4

We’ve always said that Note series is the best line of products from Samsung. With each generation, the device has come closer to perfection. In 2014, this market got really interesting with Apple trying to take a bite out of the phablet market with a bigger, iPhone 6 Plus. We pitted the two giants against each other, only to find out that the Note 4 came out as a clear winner with much more productive and multi-tasking features, easier on-handed operation and simply fabulous stylus integration. With a fingerprint sensor for security and also PayPal integration, and a heart-rate sensor, the Galaxy Note 4 made sure that it offered enough to make itself more attractive than the iPhone 6 Plus.

Size zero of tech – Best tabletApple iPad Air 2

The best product from Apple this year, in our opinion, was the iPhone duo, but the new iPad Air. Just the fact that Apple could shed weight from an already super-slim tablet, made us go gaga over the tablet. The Retina display was made better than ever, the iSight camera proved that tablets too can take good photos, and the processor got a bump. Even the wireless connectivity got some serious steroids! Apple’s own fingerprint sensor, TouchID, added a new layer of security for the tablet. Most importantly, the combination of iOS 8 and the iPad Air 2 redefined the whole tablet experience. With a tablet as good as this, one may never need any other device.

The professional’s best friend – Best laptop/hybrid Notion Ink Cain

We’ve often mentioned in our reviews that a working man or woman needs a piece of tech that’s reliable, powerful, and convenient. And this was offered in 2014 by not Dell, HP or Asus, but by the Indian company, Notion Ink. Priced to kill, the Cain came with a good design, a sturdy build, and specs that can easily take care of anyone’s daily computing needs. The Intel BayTrail quad-core processor was good enough for multitasking, serious number crunching and even some image editing on the tablet interface. With Windows 8.1, it offered the goodness of Microsoft Office, along with a clever little detachable keyboard.

Published on December 24, 2014

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