Smartphones-2014-AH-1

Android Headliner: What a Year 2014 was for Android

December 27, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

As we start to reminisce about all the things that happened in 2014, I thought now would be a great time to think back to all the great smartphones, tablets and even updates from Google that the Android world saw this year. We started the year with the Xperia Z1s from Sony and T-Mobile and ended the year with the Nexus 6 (although technically that’d be the Meizu M1 Note, but since the majority of our readers are in the US, we’ll say it’s the Nexus 6). We also saw the largest update to Android ever, in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

In the flagship world we saw the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2, and Z3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G Pro 2, LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, Motorola Moto X 2014, Huawei Ascend Mate2 and Mate 7, as well as the Nexus 6 from Google. These are all some really great flagship smartphones that we saw this year. While most of them weren’t major improvements on last year’s models, we will likely see some pretty big changes come in 2015. For those that keep up with the Chinese market, we also saw the Meizu MX4, Meizu MX4 Pro and Meizu M1 Note (all three in the last 4 months), as well as the Xiaomi Mi4, Huawei Honor 6 and Honor 6 Plus. All of which are pretty good phones.

On the software side, we really only saw one update this year, which was Lollipop. Google showed it off at Google I/O in the summer and we got it this fall, late fall actually. It was a really big update coming from KitKat, and getting out of the whole HOLO YOLO phase and jumping to Material Design. Which looks amazing, in my opinion, but not everyone agrees, which is okay. Google also added in a ton of new API’s and features as well. However, Lollipop wasn’t all Google brought us this year. We also saw Android Wear, Android Auto and Android TV. Which we are still waiting on some Android Auto products. It was a good year on the software side of Android.

We also saw some pretty bad phones this year, which we did name  one of them as the worst phone of the year (which you’ll see soon enough). Including the HTC Desire 820, Amazon Fire Phone, and the Kyocera Hydro Vibe. While the Kyocera and HTC offerings weren’t as bad as the Amazon Fire Phone, they weren’t all that great either. So hopefully HTC and Kyocera – and even Amazon – learn from their mistakes in 2014, and don’t make them in 2015.

With only a few days left of 2014, we’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. We’ve got a lot of stuff planned for 2015, and it all kicks off pretty quickly with CES starting on January 4th. So make sure you stay tuned to Android Headlines in the New Year, we have Nick going to CES, and I’ll be at Mobile World Congress in Early March to bring you the latest on everything mobile related.