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Phones

Android alternatives to the Apple iPhone 6

If you're thinking about preordering the iPhone 6, first check out what's on deck from its Android competitors.

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Thinking about preordering the iPhone 6? Try looking into these handsets first. Josh Miller/CNET

As the dust begins to settle from Apple's event earlier this week, and preorders for the iPhone 6 (as well as its larger counterpart the iPhone 6 Plus ) kick off this Friday, it may appear as if the tech giant's new marquee handsets are the only phones worth considering.

But for those who are on the fence about the devices, the smartphone market has tons of viable alternatives available now. These phones do most of the same things the new iPhones do (if not more), and there are a number of other handsets with big potential that are coming down the pipeline too.

For more information about these phones, check out our breakdown below. Who knows, you may come to discover that you don't like the taste of Apple after all.

Current Android standouts

In a sea of many Android options, there are only a handful that rise to the top and truly stand out as worthwhile iPhone alternatives. Here are the top three contenders that we think give the iPhone a run for its money.

  • The Samsung Galaxy S5 -- This device has pretty much everything you need and then some. Not only does it have high-end specs, but it's also chock-full of other useful features like a Kids Mode for safeguarding your handset's apps and content, a floating module called Toolbox, and a heart-rate monitor, which ties into a suite of health apps.
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    If you want power, the LG G3 has it. Josh Miller/CNET
    The HTC One M8 -- With its unibody aluminum design, elegant curves, and polished edges, this handset stands up to the iPhone's stylish aesthetic and has "sophisticate" written all over it. Sprint users can also get their hands on an exclusive Harman Kardon edition.
  • The LG G3 -- On paper, this phone packs serious power. First, you have your 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 Snapdragon 801 processor. Then there are the 450MHz Adreno 330 GPU, the 3GB of RAM, and the 3,000mAh removable battery. What does that all mean to you in real life? A top-of-the-line gaming, media, and user experience that is smooth and lightning-fast.

Upcoming handsets with promise

Many mobile manufacturers save their most tantalizing devices for the holiday season. Sure, you'll need to practice a bit more patience as you wait for these handsets to launch, but if you're holding out for any of these phones below, it'll pay off.

  • The second-gen Motorola Moto X -- Although the iPhone is limited to space gray, white, gold, and the plethora of cases due to cover up its polished design, the Moto X has a lot more options for expressing your personal style. It'll be available in late September and with 25 finishes including wood and leather, it has something for everyone.
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    Be on the bleeding edge with the Galaxy Edge. Sarah Tew/CNET
    The Sony Xperia Z3 -- Sony's latest flagship looks stunning, has a 20.7-megapixel camera, and is water-resistant. PS4 owners will be glad to know that the handset plays nicely with the console too, as it can display games on its screen in real time.
  • The Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge -- If you want a touchscreen with more real estate and the iPhone 6 Plus doesn't quite cut it either, consider Samsung's new Galaxy Note handsets. Both are productivity machines and come with intelligent S Pen styluses. And the latter device is sure to turn heads due to its unique design in which the right side of the screen curves off the edge.

Even more alternatives

If neither iOS nor Android is your cup of tea, there are choices that reach beyond those two OS as well.

The previously mentioned One M8 has a Windows Phone variant that retains all the same powerful innards, but carries different software features like the digital voice assistant Cortana , and deep integration with Microsoft apps like Skype , Xbox , and Office.

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A Windows Phone handset is a definite break from the norm. Josh Miller/CNET

Though it's been out since early this year, the Nokia Lumia Icon (known globally as the Lumia 929) is another solid Windows Phone option. It has a vibrant screen and a nimble camera that takes impressive low-light pictures.

And if you really want to bring back an old fighter, try the BlackBerry Passport . The mobile company may not be the titan it used to be, but with its restored focus on professionals, corporations, and government agencies, its new device may just work. The squarish build does requires some time to get used to, but messaging enthusiasts (not to mention BlackBerry fans too) will dig its physical keyboard and security components.