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H1 2014 in review: 6 best product designs

H1 2014 in review: 6 best product designs
Hardware specifications aren't all that one takes into account when looking for a smartphone or a tablet. A gadget's design also plays a key role in grabbing a customer's attention, and all manufacturers are well aware of that. For this reason, a lot of attention is paid to a smartphone's design. After all, a good-looking gadget has a much higher chance at standing out when stacked on a shelf along with a dozen other handsets. 

That's why we decided to continue our review of the year's first half with a post dedicated to the best product designs. Here are 6 of the gadgets that gave us the best impression with their looks and build construction. We're sure that you'll see some familiar handsets from popular brands on the list, but you might be surprised to see that we've also chosen a couple of handsets from not so well known manufacturers.

Now take a look at the slideshow below. Is there a smartphone or a tablet that we should have included as well? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know!

Story timeline

This story is part of: H1 2014 in review(7 updates)

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posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:41 14

1. hafini_27 (Posts: 252; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)


I prefer z2 design but gotta admit the m8 is easier to hold

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:46 3

2. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


And ugly curvy design, and awkward to text and dial when left on the table. Wobbles left to right.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:00 14

9. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3415; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


You clearly haven't used a curved back phone then, they are not that curved to wobble, just cut that crap.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:02 4

12. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I have a HtcOne, which I really love so much, but hate the M8, cause it has more curves. The One had less curves.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 20:36 3

39. T.Law (Posts: 266; Member since: 10 May 2014)


How many phones do you actually have? iPhone, S5, Z2 now M8?!

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 10:44 1

52. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Wrong

Z2
N3 Exynos
HtcOne
L1020
Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 08:11

50. phonejustice (Posts: 12; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


i have both the m8 and m7, i personally liked the m8, which is actually much better to hold.

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 10:46

53. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


But looks ugly then the HtcOne, and longer and curvier than the M7

M7 is a superb looking device.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:51 2

17. smallworld (Posts: 438; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


I've had several and they often wobble when you try tout use them on a flat surface.

posted on 09 Jul 2014, 21:35

61. BlackhawkFlys (Posts: 38; Member since: 07 May 2014)


Who use a smartphone on a flat surface. I hold my smartphone in my hand. Its not a tabletop

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:47

23. mr.techdude (Posts: 551; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


So I'm guessing ur hulk smashing the screen to get a dial. Ur just a thin head

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:01 2

10. buccob (Posts: 1474; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


I actually would prefer the Japanese plastic ZL2 version... smaller footprint, easier to hold, flat on the table as well, less prone to cracking...

But nowhere near the American continent :(

posted on 13 Jul 2014, 12:59

63. thesims2customs (Posts: 20; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)


Remember, they add some bright colors too

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 15:40 1

33. josephnero (Posts: 313; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Z2 For me.but tastes differ

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 11:41

57. Ashoaib (Posts: 2264; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


vivo xplay 3s should be in the list too bcoz its a beautiful phone

posted on 06 Jul 2014, 18:29

59. marcski07 (Posts: 417; Member since: 25 Apr 2014)


htc imo, with that stripe design, and unbalance screen/bezel ratio, is ugly FOR ME... and m8, i dunno, it looks the design of green lantern's emblem.. i hate the duo camera. and their big circle camera.

z2 also is not that beautiful, thick bezels and plain slab at back makes it look boring, yes, it is elegant when the screen are all black, but hell ugly when turned on. again BEZELS killed the design on tablet.

this are "MY" line up..
1. z2 (flagship category)
2. z1 compact (below 5" inch category/mini category)
3. ipad mini w/ retina/ipad air (tablet category
4. huawei p7 (mid range/cheap priced category, the affordable best designed handset I've ever seen. PHP 19-21k / $436.88-482.87)
5 moto 360 (smart watch category.)

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:52 5

3. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2914; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Oh, Sony got 2! :)

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:53 12

4. karamelakimo (Posts: 57; Member since: 26 May 2014)


Sony always has the perfect and awesome desings
great respect to HTc too

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:18 7

14. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Always did from early 80s

Always has

Always will

Why comprise
Like no others
Make and believe

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:47 2

15. adwienc (Posts: 134; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


Shame that for 2 years they didn't change anything about their design, and don't tell me crap like "why should they change perfection" because they are just to lazy or afraid to experiment, Omnibalance is such a trivius design, I know it's elegant, but it's just plain rectangle with one silver button on side and everybody is delighted with it :P

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:22 8

20. tadaa (Posts: 250; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)


its only been a year and a half, xperia z came out last year

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 13:33

29. adwienc (Posts: 134; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


Ok, almost 2 years, c'mon does it really make such difference to You?

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 16:17 3

34. romeo1 (Posts: 237; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


You can say its in the same design language as the z but they look quite different to me.
I loved the z cause it had those rubberised sides and i liked its design more than the z1. But i prefer the z2 design now as it looks better.
And the same could be said about the htc one m7/m8 and samsung s3/4/5. And apple is the worst. Is it 4 years now?

Anyway for me it isn't a problem cause the biggest part of buying a phone for me is the feel in the hand. And for me it feels like im having a expensive phone worth my money that can do everything i want from it.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 23:34 1

42. gaara6775 (Posts: 373; Member since: 20 May 2014)


How many phones they made with the same design? Z,z1,z2,zl,zr,c etc. so within 2 years almost dozen phones with same design., lolz

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 23:32

41. gaara6775 (Posts: 373; Member since: 20 May 2014)


What always? Since xperia z where is the innovation in slab ? 3 flagships n many mid range n low range has the same design, duh.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:53 4

5. Withtechfriends (Posts: 17; Member since: 29 Mar 2014)


Arte, do yourself a favor and pick the phone up. Or you can always voice dictate if your that damn lazy.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:53 1

6. CyberFalcon (Posts: 170; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)


hey what happened to LG G3 ????????

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:54 8

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2914; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Drop test happened.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:01 6

11. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3415; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Ugly plastic!!

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:15 4

13. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Yeap

Cheap junk dustbin plastic

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 10:58 6

8. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3415; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Htc One is my fav. Hands down the best designed smartphone (with a few flaws). Pictures just don't make justice to its beauty, you have to experience it in real to truly admire its cold metal body and sleek looks. Its a memorable experience to use it and the elegant Sense 6 compliments it too. :)

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 11:48

16. adwienc (Posts: 134; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


Yep, it looks much better in real life than on photos, but still M7 is much better looking, M8 is too curved for me and I can't believe in these bezels. :P

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 16:57

36. steedsofwar (Posts: 288; Member since: 07 Oct 2013)


So true. I went in store to see one and I was blown away. I am torn between both the amazing designs of the M8 and the Z2.

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 08:14

51. phonejustice (Posts: 12; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


totally agree, before i bought m8, i was so struggle to get which phone until i saw m8 at the HTC shop, my mind was blown into pieces, while i saw the z2 i was like, meh... same like z1, nothing different. Besides that, on top of OS, i ust prefer sense, it just makes more sense than other OS, besides vanilla.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:01 2

18. npn_PA (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Jun 2014)


Were's iPhone 5s? And LG G3, Lumia 930, iPad?

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:03 1

19. adwienc (Posts: 134; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


G3 is ugly, but 3 other devices should be on list, especially 930, such a beauty.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:24

21. tadaa (Posts: 250; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)


5s and ipad air came out last year. lumia 930 not yet available. and g3 is plastic lol.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:39 7

22. amiaq (Posts: 474; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


I bought Z2 purely base on look. I'm very superficial.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:50 2

24. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Same here to

Love the sharp edges

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 13:03 3

26. dil2abu (Posts: 199; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


Just upgraded from Xperia Z black to Z1 white few days back.. I am just loving my phone day by day.. Best design I would say..

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 17:21 2

37. james004 (Posts: 474; Member since: 15 May 2013)


i dont use any case on my Z1 because i love the metal sides and glass back feeling.

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 01:04

46. dil2abu (Posts: 199; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


Same here..

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 12:59 1

25. dratomic (Posts: 463; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


nothing touches lumia 1520 when it comes to beauty

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 23:37

43. gaara6775 (Posts: 373; Member since: 20 May 2014)


You mean the polycarbonate? Oh yea

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 01:17

47. dratomic (Posts: 463; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


yes that thing is made better than anything other companies can build

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 05:32

48. gaara6775 (Posts: 373; Member since: 20 May 2014)


Have you held HTC one x? Is that poorly built compare to 1520?

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 13:15

27. alumoyo (Posts: 206; Member since: 26 Aug 2013)


Watch The Verge's review of the Gear Fit - they raise some interesting points:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FctqUnjqU4k

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 13:18 2

28. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2914; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Advice for life: Don't trust Verge on reviews unless you like Apple

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 13:40 1

30. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Verge and Engadget are Apple lovers

Best is GsmArena and Anandtech,. Non bias.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 14:42

31. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5480; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


I also like to watch videos from pocketnow.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 15:27 1

32. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I like the guy Michael Fisher

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 23:43

45. gaara6775 (Posts: 373; Member since: 20 May 2014)


Try watching Danny Winget youtube channel. His reviews and style of recording will blow you away.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 20:14 1

38. anleoflippy (Posts: 289; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


Don't forget MKBHD.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 23:41

44. gaara6775 (Posts: 373; Member since: 20 May 2014)


May be you haven't seen Danny Winget & ColdfusTion. They both will blow you're mind. There videos are far more better,visually great to see. Danny make phones looks like super luxurious cars.

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 10:49

54. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I like his to, but MKBHDs videos are short.

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 16:45

35. clodderes (Posts: 27; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


Wow there is not any iPhone in the list

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 10:52 1

56. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Ugly looking phone, that's why.

posted on 06 Jul 2014, 08:24

58. zuckerboy (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


bcuz its about H1 2014 did you read the article ?

posted on 04 Jul 2014, 22:08

40. -box- (Posts: 3819; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Lumia Icon & 930 are missing. I prefer the 925's design but those two are quite lovely.

posted on 05 Jul 2014, 10:50

55. Arte-8800 (banned) (Posts: 4562; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


I love the design and looks of slick L925

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