The preparation is complete, the stage is set, and the tournament is finally underway; the 2014 World Cup Brazil is here! The only thing that’s missing: the perfect World Cup smartphones to enjoy all of the exhilarating action.
We’ve pieced together a list of what we think to be five of the best smartphones, in terms of screen quality, audio performance and any other features that could help optimise your World Cup viewing experience. Let’s face it, we get to enjoy this competition just once every four years – so why not make the most of it?
But hey, even if football’s not your thing, it really doesn’t matter; this buyer’s guide is for everyone who loves to catch up on their favourite shows, watch funny YouTube clips or showcase their best selfies, all from their mobile phone.
1) Samsung Galaxy S5
Let’s jump straight in with Samsung’s fabulous flagship smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy S5 boasts a stunning 5.1” Super AMOLED display, which delivers exceptional viewing angles, life-like colour reproduction and a blazing-fast response time.
With a Full HD 1080 x 1920 resolution, and 432 pixels per inch (ppi), the Galaxy S5 really does guarantee a degree of clarity and precision that you will only find on the very best smartphones available.
The depth and richness of colour is a true testament to the experience, expert knowledge and ingenuity that has been invested into this handset. Let’s just hope Gary Lineker’s spray tan and pearly whites don’t dazzle us too much!
I suppose that on paper, it might seem as though the display on the Galaxy S5 isn’t overly different to that found on its predecessor – the Samsung Galaxy S4 – apart from an extra 0.1” of screen size. It turns out that they are really quite different.
The screen on Galaxy S5 is 22% brighter than the Galaxy S4, which makes a considerable impact when your smartphone’s tested under bight lights.
Combined with extremely low screen reflectance, this bright, beautiful display prevents ambient lighting from saturating and spoiling the picture on your phone.
With such a considerable boost in screen brightness, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the battery life is going to take the hit. But in this case, you’d be wrong to make such an assumption.
The Galaxy S5 is in fact 27% more power efficient than Galaxy S4, so you can get more out of your smartphone, without sapping the very thing that’s powering it.
Nevertheless, in the frustrating scenario when your battery does look disconcertingly low, you can switch to a dimming mode to reduce the brightness of your phone – therefore saving power – whilst, inversely, the picture quality remains extremely high.
What’s more is that this smartphone is both dust and waterproof. So come rain, sunshine or spilt pints, you can continue watching goal after goal on your Galaxy S5.
The last point to mention is that the Galaxy S5 features five screen settings, which the user can alternate between in order to optimise the display’s performance.
These modes include: Adapt Display, Dynamic, Standard, Professional Photo, and Cinema. Some of these result in the most authentic colour reproduction you will have ever seen on a smartphone.
Check out our Samsung Galaxy S5 deals here
2) Sony Xperia Z2
Sony is becoming well renowned for the quality of displays that it installs into its top smartphones, ever since the tech firm started implementing its BRAVIA TV technology.
There is no better advocate for Sony’s prestigious smartphone displays than the Sony Xperia Z2. This mouthwatering piece of kit houses a 5.2” Full HD TRILUMINOS display, with X-Reality (designed to enhance picture quality) for mobile picture engine.
A 1080 x 1920 resolution and 423ppi work in tandem to produce razor-sharp images.
The Xperia Z2 is the first ever smartphone to feature a brand new piece of technology called Live Colour LED. This is a technology that works to increase colour depth and gradation, giving you a truer, more life-like picture than ever.
So whether you’re watching Daniel Sturridge celebrate in rhythmic style, or catching up on the latest scandal from Albert Square, you’ll feel like you’re in the thick of it.
IPS (in-plane switching) provides better colour and viewing angles, so you can hold your handset in a number of different ways without compromising the display.
After installing a phenomenal 20.7MP camera and a video recorder capable of shooting in 4K, Sony had no other choice other than to produce such an exemplary, impeccable display.
The Xperia Z2 also features stereo speakers and noise cancelling technology, so whether you’re watching the football with your mates, or wanting to drown out irritating, ambient sounds, you can fully immerse yourself into the World Cup atmosphere.
Check out our Sony Xperia Z2 deals here
3) HTC One M8
Leading the line for Taiwanese tech company, HTC, is the beautifully crafted HTC One M8. It houses a gorgeous 5” Full HD 1080 x 1920 display, with 441ppi.
Thanks to such a high resolution and pixel density, the picture quality on the One M8 is exceptionally good, and even a little higher than handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Corning Gorilla Glass 3 shields the LCD screen on the One M8, giving it an impressive degree of resistance to damage. After all, we do like to protect the things we love.
If you were to compare the One M8 to the HTC One, its charming predecessor, then you’ll notice a screen increase of 0.3-inches. Let me tell you, even just a little extra size can often make all the difference.
So not only is the display slightly larger on the One M8, but it’s also significantly brighter and richer, making it much easier to use in sunlight.
Sure, the weather conditions might not be as bright and sunny here as they are in Brazil, but even a modest amount of sunlight can degrade the brightness and visibility of smartphones. But the One M8 works extremely hard to ensure that’s not a problem for users.
The viewing angles and contrast ratio are discernably better on the One M8 too, and your finger just seems to glide effortlessly and naturally over the glossy finish of the display.
HTC dubs its products as ‘quietly brilliant’, however there’s nothing quiet about this smartphone. Front-facing dual stereo speakers and HTC BoomSound technology produce an incredible audio experience that you’ll have to hear to believe.
Check out our HTC One M8 deals here
4) LG G3
Meet the UK’s first smartphone to feature a Quad HD display, with four times as many pixels as 720p HD devices.
The LG G3 boasts an industry first 5.5” Quad HD screen, with a remarkable 1440 x 2560 resolution, as well as a staggering 538ppi.
The sheer clarity and precision of detail on the G3 allows the eye to discern even the tiniest of details, and from a much closer distance (without the user noticing pixels). In this regard, the display on the G3 is quite simply unparalleled.
Not only is the picture much more life-like and crisper than many other smartphones, but the colour production appears very natural and unsullied.
At 5.5-inches, the G3 is the perfect size to get the most out of watching your favourite YouTube videos and TV shows, all without compromising the overall portability and comfort of the device.
Despite such a large screen, the G3 itself isn’t much larger than smartphones like the HTC One M8, thanks to the efficient and economising use of space, giving it an edge-to-edge display and an extremely narrow bezel. LG has given users more of what matters.
Check out our LG G3 deals here
5) Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Whilst this handset is a little older than the rest of those that have made it onto this prestigious list, you really can’t choose to ignore it.
Owing to its huge 5.7” Full HD Super AMOLED display, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 places itself firmly in phablet territory.
If phablets are your thing, then there aren’t many better than this device. With a 1080 x 1920 screen resolution and 388ppi, the Note 3 squeezes in over twice as many pixels as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
The Note 3’s screen is also 0.2-inches bigger than its previous iteration, but it brags being thinner and lighter. It’s certainly still trim enough to fit comfortably in both your hand and pocket.
Further comparisons to the Note 2 reveal that this smartphone is 55% brighter and 26% more power efficient. Automatic brightness ensures that your Note 3 is always using only the necessary amount of screen brightness, depending on ambient light levels.
Just like the popular Samsung Galaxy S5, this handset has been fashioned with low reflectance so your screen isn’t always acting as a dazzling mirror whenever the sun comes out.
Again, just as the Galaxy S5 does, the Note 3 boasts five different colour modes to optimise screen performance: Adapt Display, Dynamic, Standard, Professional Photo, and Movie.
Additionally, the Note 3 features a digitizer layer to allow for an S Pen stylus, so you can operate your smartphone with more precision than ever.
Check out our Samsung Galaxy Note 3 deals here
The one that almost made it
Whilst the iPhone 5s is unequivocally one of the finest pieces of kit on the market, we think that, at 4-inches, the screen is just a little too small to out perform the handsets mentioned.
With three of the smartphones in this list having only been released in the last few months, and one that hasn’t actually yet hit the market, Apple has some catching up to do in terms of screen technology and the shift in size preferences.
But as many of you must be aware, we don’t have long to wait for a bigger iPhone, as copious amounts of rumours are claiming that the next iteration will be available in a just a few months, sporting a screen size anywhere between 4.8” and 5.5”. There could even be one of each… You can read our full roundup of reports and rumours on the upcoming iPhone 6 here.
Check out our iPhone 5s deals here
Make sure you order your handset as soon as you can, whilst our Brazilian Football Frenzy competition is still on. You could be one of thousands of winners, taking away anything from a 50″ HD TV with a PS3 and game, Sony headphones, Sony PlayStation 3s with a FIFA football game, the latest, greatest smartphones and tablets, beer fridges and more!
To enter, order any contract deal from our website and you will be automatically entered into the draw. Good luck!