Arms race: These are the 10 most spec'd out Android flaghips on the planet

Arms race: These are the 10 most spec'd out Android flaghips on the planet
When it comes to the Android ecosystem, it's hard to argue that, for better or worse, an arms race of sorts has been raging for a while now. Seriously, just look at those things – Quad HD resolution displays that make the pixel density of your TV sound like a joke, quad-core processors with clock speeds as high as 2.7GHz in "turbo" mode, 3GB of RAM becoming the flagship standard, and, of course, camera sensors with as many as 21 megapixels. Sure, hardly any phones on the market check all these boxes, but a few of them do, and the dog-eat-dog competition within the mobile industry has quite a bit to do with that – rival manufacturers are working around the clock to out-do each other.

But has the specs race led to "overkill" devices? Perhaps. And yet, if you're paying top dollar, you might as well ask for the best of the best – otherwise what's the point of even owning a top-of-the-line device? What's more, bleeding-edge hardware usually means that your device is quite future-proof. After all, you wouldn't want your new smartphone to feel under-powered just a year later. Thankfully, the devices in the slideshow below address that concern very well.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A

Spec-wise, there's no chink in the Galaxy S5's armor. The South Korea-exclusive LTE-A model of the flagship, that is. 

Indeed, while this particular version of the Samsung device is closed off for the majority of us, it doesn't change the fact that it is one crazily-spec'd out smartphone. For example, instead of the mundane 5.2-inch, 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution display of the regular S5, the S5 LTE-A has an identically-sized screen with a much higher, Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels or 576 ppi). But that's not all – Samsung also switched the quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip found in the standard model for a more capable Snapdragon 805 with the LTE-A flavor and even added an extra gig of RAM for a total of 3GB. Add that excellent 16-megapixel, 1/2.6'' sensor on the back and a respectable, 2,800 mAh battery, along with other goodies like a fingerprint scanner and a heart rate monitor, and you've got yourself one of the most decked out phones currently in existence.

The Motorola DROID Turbo

Considering its relatively unimpressive predecessors, it's no surprise that our jaws were hanging a bit low when we first caught wind of Motorola's now official DROID Turbo. Seriously, this phone has it all – a super pixel-dense (Quad HD), 5.2-inch display, a mighty quad-core Snapdragon 805 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and a 20.7-megapixel rear camera complemented by a ring flash with two LEDs. And the best part? A gargantuan, 3,900 mAh juicer embedded within the Turbo's body – enough to last you a full day even if you go nuts with your usage.

The Google Nexus 6

After sticking with LG for two years, Google gave Motorola a mandate to manufacture its next Android evangelist device, the Nexus 6. The first Nexus phablet is quite the smartphone, too – it's rocking an enormous, 6-incher of a screen, with a crisp resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (Quad HD); is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM; and makes use of a 13-megapixel snapper that can boast about its optical stabilizing gizmo. At 3,220 mAh, the battery isn't quite as enormous as the DROID Turbo's, but it's still plenty big. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Alright, calm down! Of course we didn't forget about Samsung's incredible new addition to its Note line-up.

As has become typical, the Note 4 is Samsung's craziest device available – at least as far as hardware specs go. It's got a giant, 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels (Quad HD), a quad-core Snapdragon 805 chipiset, 3GB of RAM, and an optically-stabilized, 16-megapixel snapper on its back. Add the signature S-Pen stylus to the mix, along with UV and heart rate monitors and a fingerprint scanner, and you've got yourself a device that could not have possibly not ended on this list. And yes, that hearty, 3,220 mAh battery (removable, too!) sure helps also.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

If you thought the specs on the Galaxy Note 4 are nuts, then you'll also agree that the identical (specs-wise) Note Edge goes even a step further – it's got an out-of-this-world auxiliary side screen, for crying out loud! Sure, the Edge is not for everybody, especially considering how expensive it is, but it's definitely fair to say that this is one of the most amazing devices available right now.

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro (K920)

Lenovo's latest flagship, the Vibe Z2 Pro, is quite the hardware beast, too. In fact, were it not for its somewhat inferior, quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset, it would have easily been the world's most spec'd out device available right now. 

We're looking at a massive 6-incher (Quad HD resolution) clad in a full metal armor, with an optically-stabilized, 16-megapixel rear shooter with a dual LED flash, 3 gigs of RAM, and an enormous, 4,000 mAh battery – all fitted cozily within a 0.3 in (7.7 mm) body.

The LG G3

Sure, LG's G3 flagship is now maturing (by smartphone standards), but that doesn't really matter as the company was pretty generous with the hardware. The 5.5-inch, 1440 x 2560 pixel display of the G3 won it the title of being the first widely-available Quad HD smartphone, and it certainly didn't hurt that LG used the then new and exciting quad-core Snapdragon 801 and 3GB of RAM to power its flagship. The G3's optically-stabilized, 13-megapixel (dual LED flash) rear shooter is also no joke, and the embedded, 3,000 mAh cell does a pretty decent job keeping the lights on.

The ZTE Nubia Z7

Specs-wise, the ZTE Nubia Z7 is the LG G3's identical twin. It also has a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 (Quad HD), and is also powered by a Snapdragon 801 / 3GB RAM combo. The camera, too, is almost identical (on paper) – an optically-stabilized, 13-megapixel snapper with a dual LED flash, but a larger, f/2.0 lens aperture (versus f/2.4 for the G3). The 3,000 mAh juicer is also identical (capacity-wise), though we do have to add that the Nubia Z7 is a dual SIM device – and a dual SIM LTE at that (quite rare).

The Oppo Find 7

Oppo's current top-of-the-line device, the Find 7, is quite the hardware beast, too. Like the LG G3 and ZTE Nubia Z7, it also boasts a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 13-megapixel snapper – without optical image stabilization. At 3,000 mAh, the Find 7's battery is also identical in terms of size.

The Fujitsu Arrows NX F-02G

Like the Samsung Galaxy S5 LTE-A, the Fujitsu Arrows NX F-02G (ugh!) is another regional exclusive, but this time we're talking Japan, not South Korea. Regardless, the NX F-02G (ugh again!) is one impressive device – it's got a dust- and water-proof body that crams in a 5.2-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 3 gigs of RAM, and a 20-megapixel snapper (along with a fingerprint scanner) on its back. And the battery? At 3,500 mAh, hardly anyone should have a good enough reason to complain.



1. Arte.8800

Posts: 48; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

No their not: Nothing spectacular. Same old typical Snapdragon S805. TegraK1, Exynos5433, are on the next level.

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

But S805 is not old.

6. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Exynos 5433 is on par with S805, it only have a big advantage in multi-threaded performance. Just like the last year, when Samsung fans are boasting that Exynos 5420 will destroy S800 and it didn't. Samsung always carefully calculate to make both variants equal.

10. Arte.8800

Posts: 48; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Lmfao. 2.7ghz vs 2.0ghz. S805 is clocked 700ghz faster than the E5433. Yea really , by cheating.

13. RoboBonobo

Posts: 62; Member since: Sep 13, 2013

Having a SOC clocked higher is cheating? That's funny.

17. Arte.8800

Posts: 48; Member since: Nov 10, 2014

Exynos chips have always tended to outperform Snapdragons released at about the same time. Problem is that Cortex-A15 has been a dud in terms of power consumption, which is why it hasn't been seen in anything but a small percentage of mainline phones. Even in tablets where its poor power efficiency is less of an issue, Qualcomm Kraits have been dominating. The truth is - at peak performance, Krait is far more power efficient than the A15, which means that it takes longer for a Krait to hit thermal throttling limits and it can run for longer on battery. What's the point of having that insane peak performance if you can't sustain it without overheating or killing the battery? Snapdragons didn't have such a clear advantage when it came to Scorpion vs. Cortex-A9, or even dual-Krait vs. quad-A9 which is why Exynos 4210 and 4412 dominated Samsung's handset lineup in their heyday - but the A15 has been a failure outside of the tablet and Chromebook market. Samsung will claim the reason for Krait dominating their handset lineup is LTE in public documentation, but the Note 2 and international LTE GS3 (I9305) proved that Samsung can hang a Qualcomm LTE modem off of an Exynos CPU.

22. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Both A15 and Krait 400 have about 5W TDP for quad core configurations. There isn't very big difference in power consumption between them.

16. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

aaaaaaaaaaand he is back again -.-

18. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The 5433 is also a 64bit chip and has a 64bit bus. So a 2ghz 64 bit chip can be faster then a 2.7ghz 32 bit chip. You just cannot admit that the exynos chip can be faster at times.

21. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Exynos 5420 ran games faster than Snapdragon 800. But in benchmarks Snapdragon was more impressive.

2. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Note 4.

5. Arte.8800

Posts: 48; Member since: Nov 10, 2014


7. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Combo is awesome.

4. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Meizu MX4 and Xperia Z3 also deserve to be listed. But meh, Samsung pays so Samsung stays.

8. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Did you know that all of the flagships listed above ha a QHD panel?(Both Z3 and MX4 don't have that).

11. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Yes you're right. So they did just listed all the QHD phones available and then boom, instant article. +10 for the effort PA. They did not put in the consideration of overall phone experience.

12. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

Read title please; "the 10 most spec'd out Android flaghips on the planet" It's about specs, and about specs ONLY.

15. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Most spec'd? How come it does have a S801 device on the list? Clearly this list is made of phones only having QHD displays.

20. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

i dont think those w/o infra red transmitter deserve to be on this list. when you dont have it you dont care. but once you have it you cant go back to a phone lacking it.

25. _PHug_

Posts: 482; Member since: Oct 11, 2011

100% agree

26. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

ive got phones and tablets with IR and I could quite happily go back to a device that doesnt have it.

31. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

And IMHO QHD is an unnecessary size on a PHONE. I can just about understand it on a tablet of 8 inches or above. On my nexus 7 2013 I need a magnifying glass to tell pixels. Why on earth would I need more? What with this and the ludicrous race for thin, manufacturers are tying one hand behind their back on battery life, which is to the detriment of the vast majority of users who actually want a phone that won't die on them during the day.

9. Anterv

Posts: 178; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

These phones don't have best specs. Meizu MX4 has only 2GB ram and 1080p with not that strong GPU, so I am not sure what about you are talking. I guess only MX4 Pro could be in this list.

27. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

I don't see any MX4 on this list, did PA alter the article after posting again, or did you read the wrong list?

14. kudus

Posts: 52; Member since: Oct 23, 2014

so since all of the smartphones are QHD, lets see how long is the battery life?

19. Troysyx

Posts: 181; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

I get at least 3:30 hours (sometimes 4) on my G3. I would only get MAYBE 3 hours on my Nexus 5.

28. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

That's HALF the SoT I got with my G2. There shouldn't be that much of a step backward from one generation to the next.

29. Fazz1977

Posts: 153; Member since: Oct 15, 2014

I'm up to 3.5 days on my G3 and counting, still at 50% battery. It decimates ALL except old dumb phones.

23. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Where is Galaxy Alpha?

24. zachki17

Posts: 294; Member since: Sep 14, 2014

Where is the LG G3 PRIME VERSION WITH ADRENO 420 AND S805 and 3gb of ram

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