You know the iPhone 6 will probably take another two months to reach our shores. Based on looks alone, here’s what’s already on shelves, so that you can decide whether to wait for Apple or buy now.
Looks: Samsung stuck to its notoriously cheap-feeling plastic materials for the S5, whether it’s the chromed plastic trim or the plastic back. Luckily, they listened to feedback on the Note 3’s horrendous faux leather stitching and just went for a more abstract pattern on the S5. Still, this is not the phone to sway Apple Fans.
Specs: 5.1” full HD screen. 8.1mm thick. 2GB RAM. 16MP camera. Android running on a 2.5GHz quad-core. 2,800mAh battery.
Wait or buy: Samsung has unveiled its own iPhone 6 killer in the shape of its first full-metal phone, the Samsung Galaxy Ultra. Except it’s not that cool looking. And the battery life will be just as bad as the iPhones given how slim they made it. And it’s not even out yet.
Huawei Ascend P7
Looks: The Huawei Ascend P7 feels surprisingly premium. It’s got glass on the back (and front, obviously), plus metal trim. We wish it would go around the entire phone, though, but oddly it only covers three edges, leaving the bottom as that lone piece of plastic.
Specs: 5” full HD screen. 6.5mm thick. 2GB RAM. 13MP camera. Android 4.4.2 KitKat running on a 1.8GHz quad-core. 2,500mAh battery.
Wait or buy: Interestingly, Huawei has confirmed the P7’s successor will have sapphire glass—something the iPhone 6 is unlikely to have as we go to press. But even as it is, the current P7 is a lot of phone for the price. And we like rooting for the underdog.
HTC One M8
Looks: The HTC certainly feels premium with its brushed metal unibody. It also sits pretty comfortably in your hand, thanks to its curved back. That voluptuousness also means it’s not quite as satisfying to design purists as Apple, Sony or even Huawei ‘s flat devices.
Specs: 5” full HD screen. 9.35mm thick. 2GB RAM. 16MP camera. Android 4.4.2 KitKat running on a 2.45GHz quad-core. 2,600 mAh battery.
Wait or buy: Bucking the trend for increasingly fancy Android phones, the M8 is a premium phone about to get a budget little brother. Named the HTC E8, it should be nearly identical to the M8, only with the materials of a Samsung. Just get the M8.
Looks: We would be a lot more enthusiastic about this if it hadn’t come out after the HTC One M8, which it resembles very closely. Worse, the LG G3 isn’t actual real metal. It’s just very convincing plastic.
Specs: 5.5” quad HD screen. 8.9mm thick. 2GB RAM. 13MP camera. Android 4.4.2 KitKat running on a 2.5GHz quad-core. 3,000 mAh battery.
Wait or buy: It just came out, so this is LG’s best effort for a while. We’ll pass and recommend design fanatics either pick another Android phone or just wait for the iPhone 6.
Sony Xperia Z2
Looks: This is a beautifully finished phone, with glass panels framed by a single piece of aluminum. The protruding power button isn’t our cup of tea, but this remains one of the most beautiful Android devices currently in stores.
Specs: 5.2” full HD screen. 8.2mm thick. 3GB RAM. 20.7MP camera. Android 4.4.2 KitKat running on a 2.3 GHz quad-core. 3,200 mAh battery.
Wait or buy: It’s waterproof and the camera is insanely good but be warned that Sony has a ridiculously short six-month lifecycle on its phones. Launched late February 2014, the Sony Z3 has already been unveiled at the Berlin IFA.