Samsung's Galaxy S5 and the best top-tier phones (pictures)

The top-of-the-line smartphone market is a competitive place. Here are your best choices.

James Martin
1 of 7 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung's newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5, was announced Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Metal body design? Nope. Eyepoppingly crisp 2K+ display? Nuh-uh. Overhauled Android interface? Only a little.

After all the rumors and hype, the Samsung Galaxy S5 turned out to be more of an iteration on the Galaxy S line than the fresh, whiz-bang package we'd all come to hope for, and even expect.

It's not a major overhaul from the Galaxy S4 , but the shiny new phone sports a sharp and bright 5.1-inch screen, a fingerprint sensor, a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and a 16-megapixel camera.

But the top-of-the-line smartphone business is a competitive place, and there are more than a few great options out there if you want the little computer-in-your-pocket to have all the top-end features, bells, and whistles. Click through our gallery to take a look at the best in high-end smartphones.
2 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony Xperia Z2

Also just announced at Mobile World Congress is the Sony Xperia Z2, the latest flagship superphone from Sony, replacing the Z1 released last year. The new phone keeps the same aluminum-edged design; sexy glass front and back; Full HD display; quad-core processor; and impressive 20.7-megapixel camera. Like its predecessor, it's completely waterproof.
3 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

LG G Pro 2

Unveiled earlier this month at a special press event in Seoul, Korea, LG's newest high-end handset, the LG G Pro 2, was also showcased this week during Mobile World Congress.
4 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET


HTC's flagship smartphone, the HTC One was released last year, and is packed to the rafters with top-notch components and technologies, including some of the latest processing gear from Qualcomm. In addition to being state-of-the-art, the successor to 2012's HTC One X is lovingly crafted from premium metals, leaving no doubt that the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer has put a considerable amount of work into this handset.
5 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Lumia Icon

Feature-packed and sporting a gorgeous screen, a fast processor, and a proven 20-megapixel camera, the Nokia Lumia Icon is a leader in smartphones.

The low-light image quality is excellent on the camera, but the flat, slab design is a little bit uninspiring, and the Icon is a somewhat heavy and thick. CNET's editors said the call quality was mediocre, and media hounds might be disappointed with the inability to expand storage with a microSD card.
6 of 7 Josh Miller/CNET

Nexus 5

With a fast Snapdragon 800 processor, a sharp 1,080-pixel touch screen, and a competent battery, the Nexus 5 is fast, gorgeous, and stocked with features. The device really shows off the true power of the Google universe and the Android operating system, and at $349 for the 16GB or $399 for the 32GB at the Play Store, it's a great deal whether you're on a budget or not.
7 of 7 James Martin/CNET

iPhone 5S

When the iPhone 5 was released, it was the best iPhone we'd ever seen. It met nearly all our wishes and expectations. It added tons of new features. It had LTE.

And how did Apple follow up that launch? It added...a few new improvements. Enter the iPhone 5S, which, along with the iPhone 5C, marks the first time Apple has delivered two new iPhones in one year. But the 5C is really the iPhone 5 in colored plastic.

There's really only one new iPhone, and that's the 5S.

So with a few great quality competitors out there, tell us, will you buy a Galaxy S5?

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