Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat, as I've only fully tested a grand total of seven Android-powered devices this past year. Of the extra pair, one gets an honourable mention and the other a dishonourable one. In fact, let's go ahead and get that part of the list out of the way:
1. Motorola 2014 Moto G
Moto's refreshed G—codenamed "titan"—didn't make my list only because I never had an extended play with one. But there's no question that it's an improvement over the original
in every way, with a bigger screen, more megapixels, micro SD and stereo speakers. That anyone in Canada can buy it unlocked from their local Staples for the same price as its predecessor
is icing on the cake.
2. Xiaomi Redmi 1S
Here's another improvement over the original Moto G, with a removable battery and dual-SIM support for the equivalent of $150 CAD! Too bad it's 3G radio doesn't work in this part of the world; gotta cut corners somewhere, I guess.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Apart from a Samsung Canada hands-on I haven't really had any quality time with this latest iteration of the original phablet. But from what I saw (and Howard's review) it looks like a solid upgrade in every way. I certainly think that ditching the flap-covered USB 3 hybrid charging port was a good idea. I wonder if Samsung still region-locks