While most manufacturers are still struggling to update their older phones to v4.4 KitKat (only 30% of all Android phones run 4.4), Android has got yet another sweet update — Android 5.0 Lollipop. If you have been reading about Lollipop, you’ll notice that it is the biggest change to Android since v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. In terms of design its a huge overhaul — from the dull boring blacks to bright colors.Google calls it ‘Material Design’ and it is designed to look more realistic while performing actions. The OS animations are locked in at 60FPS to provide a smooth and zippy experience. If you own a phone that is promised an Android Lollipop update then hang on tight, the wait can be excruciating depending on the phone you own. But if own a phone that’s not getting an update there are two things you can do:
- curse the OEM
- Upgrade to a phone that is guaranteed with the update.
Other than the Nexus 6, there are no other phones that are launching with Lollipop, so if you can’t wait (or you don’t like the Nexus 6) here are seven phones to enjoy the newest sweet on.
Well its a Nexus device and the update for the phone is out there already. The Nexus 5 is arguably the all rounder here. The 5 inch display is comfortable to use and the Full HD screen boasts 445 PPI. The Snapdragon 800 processor with the Adreno 330 GPU isn’t the best around but that doesn’t mean it isn’t potent any more. The phone still offers amazing value for money and would offer a great Lollipop experience.
Moto X 2014
I’d like to call this device the Nexus 6 Mini because it is a scaled down version of Google’s newest flagship (or I can also say the Nexus 6 is a scaled up version of the Moto X 2014). This phone is the one to pick if you don’t want the Nexus 5’s aging hardware. The Moto X has a power efficient Snapdragon 801 couple with an Adreno 330 GPU. The battery capacity is the same as the Nexus but the frugal processor provides better battery life than the Nexus 5. To add to that the Moto X has Quick Charge 2.0 and that’ll charge the phone to 60% in around 30 minutes (you’ll have to buy Motorola’s Turbo Charger separately to use this feature). The camera is better and has 4K video which the Nexus 5 lacks along with Moto goodies on top of the OS like Touchless controls, Active Display, the double-crank camera gesture and the wave gestures.
Moto G 2nd Gen
In case you don’t want to spend on a high end device, this Moto mid ranger is the one to pick. The Moto G 2nd Gen is a slightly updated version of the original Moto G and comes with a bigger 5 inch screen and a camera sensor upgraded to 8 megapixel. This phone has a MicroSD card slot which the Nexus 5 and the Moto X miss. So if you want the latest OS on a budget with MicroSD expandability, the Moto G 2nd Gen ticks all the boxes.
The LG G3 is among the only phone in the list to have a QHD display. Its the “fully loaded” model — Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2GB of RAM (3GB on the 32GB model), a 13 Megapixel camera with laser autofocus, 3000mAh battery with wireless charging, a 1W “loud” speaker etc. LG has promised an update to this device next week. So if you have a hankering for some Lollipop and want an impressive spec sheet to back it up, the G3 is just about right.
HTC One M8
The Aluminium clad HTC One M8 is scheduled to get a Lollipop update in the next 90 days, that’s what HTC has promised. The phone has the same Snapdragon 801-Adreno 330-2GB RAM combo like the Moto X or the LG G3, but has a premium Aluminium unibody construction. It has an HTC exclusive Dual Camera setup to click images that you can refocus after the image is shot. It also has Quick Charging 2.0 just like the Moto X (Charger sold separately), some other features that the HTC One M8 has are the Front Facing ‘BoomSound’ speakers and Sense UI which is among the best in business.
Moto E/ Android One
Well if you’ve gone through all the options above and found all of them expensive, don’t fret! These low end devices also boast to run Lollipop soon. Which is funny because there may be far more expensive phones that will experience the Lollipop sweetness only next year (or never). Moto is aiming at a December 2014 release for the Moto E and although there is no announcement for the Android One devices, Google’s official blog suggests that the update is guaranteed. The only question is how decent will Lollipop perform on the Dual Core Snapdragon 200 chip on the Moto E and the Quad-Core Mediatek processors on Android Phone phones, both paired with 1GB RAM.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Yes the Galaxy S5 didn’t sell like its predecessors at launch due to an atrocious price tag, but things are different now. The price has dropped enough for you to give it your consideration. The Galaxy S5 has an Exynos Octa core processor along with 2GB of RAM. TouchWiz isn’t the best UI Interface out there, but with the Lollipop update the whole design gets a makeover. The UI looks much better than what it looked like on KitKat. The phone has an IP67 rating and can withstand being submerged in water for half an hour. It also has a fingerprint sensor on the home button and a heart rate sensor right below the camera on the back. The camera is also one of the best available today and the ultra power saving mode can be a life saver. Samsung has crammed in lots of features in the Galaxy S5 and with Lollipop, most of the software soreness is also minimized.
If you think I missed out a phone which deserves a spot on this list do put it in the comment section below.
Aditya Shenoy is the Chief Android Lollipop Tester at PriceBaba. In his spare time he preaches about Flashing Custom ROMs and best driving practices. He prefers talking to his watch as much as other people (He’s not crazy). After all this with whatever time left, he fulfills his duties as an Associate Editor.