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HWM+HardwareZone.com Tech Awards 2014: Editor's Choice - Part 1

Best Mainstream Smartphone

Best Mainstream Smartphone

In the recent years, we see manufacturers branching into mid-tier phones that have close to top-tier specs but are priced more affordable than their flagship devices. Somewhat between a best value and best high-end smartphone, the best mainstream smartphone typically costs about S$600, has LTE data connectivity and comes with all-round performance with a more affordable price bracket than their top-tier counterparts. In no order of merit, this year's nominees includes:



  • HTC Desire 601
  • Nokia Lumia 625
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with LTE
  • Sony Xperia SP


And the Winner Is...

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with LTE

To be able to excel in all fronts is a difficult feat and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with LTE comes closer than any of its competitors.

On design and handling aspects, the Galaxy S4 Mini is the lightest and thinnest among the phones compared. As a result, the Galaxy S4 Mini feels quite comfortable to use in one hand which we think will appeal to most consumers looking for a device in this category.  

It may not have the best display resolution in this class, but the Galaxy S4 Mini impressed us with rich and vibrant colors of its Super AMOLED display. Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S4 Mini with a truckload of software features, some of which are useful such as Smart Stay. Its 8-megapixel rear camera also takes quite good photos.

More importantly, the Galaxy S4 Mini boasts the best battery performance in its class thanks to the power-efficient AMOLED display. Its 1,900mAh battery is also removable, thus easily serviceable in the future.

Scoring Breakdown
Criteria/Model HTC Desire 601 Nokia Lumia 625 Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini with LTE Sony Xperia SP
Design 8.5 8.5 9.0 8.0
Features 8.5 8.0 9.0 8.5
User-Friendliness 8.0 8.5 8.5 8.5
Performance 8.0 8.0 9.5 6.5
Value 8.0 8.5 8.5 7.0
Overall 8.0 8.0 9.0 7.5
Price S$498 S$399 S$698 S$598

*Note: Prices listed in this article are accurate at the time of product evaluation.

For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.