Best smartphones to look forward to in 2014

With the pace of smartphone evolution moving so fast, there's always something waiting in the wings. No sooner have you spied the latest handset, then there's anticipation of something else, the next big thing.

We've rounded up the best smartphones for 2014, those we consider to be the best across all platforms, and we've regularly updated that list as the smartphone world has evolved over the last year from 2013 in to 2014. You can find those in our Best smartphones 2014 feature.

READ: Best smartphones 2014: The best phones available to buy today

Here we're looking at those phones that haven't yet launched, those we know are coming, or are anticipated. Some will be rumour, some will be fact, but here we'll cut through the speculation to highlight those phones we really want to see.

We'll be updating this list on a regular basis, with those device rumours we think are credible and exciting, and devices just announced but yet to hit the shelves.

Nexus 6

The Nexus 6 is Google's latest handset, taking things big with a 5.96-inch display. It debuts Android 5.0 Lollipop, the new version of Google's mobile OS.

It's a powerful handset with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset and 3GB of RAM. There are options for 32 or 64GB of internal storage, but no support for microSD expansion.

The display is not only large, but takes a step up in resolution, with a 2560 x 1440 pixel panel. That makes it a higher resolution than the Nexus 9 tablet it launched alongside.

It has been build by Motorola and uses much the sam design as the Moto X, with a curved soft-touch back. The Nexus is no longer a cheap device, however, starting at $649, on pre-order from 17 October, in stores 4 November. UK pricing and availability is still to be confirmed.

READ MORE Nexus 6

HTC Desire Eye

HTC has gone after the selfie in a big way with the launch of the HTC Desire Eye. This top-spec device comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the front and the back. There's also a front-facing flash and a host of options in the camera app that take advantage of the new front-facing camera.

It has a plastic build, befitting the Desire family of devices and also comes with waterproofing. It has a huge 5.2-inch full HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage, with microSD card support.

It's due to hit the shelves in November, pricing is yet to be confirmed.

READ MORE HTC Desire Eye preview

Samsung Galaxy A5

Samsung launched the Alpha to put paid to those disputing Samsung's build quality. It now seems that there will be a line of Galaxy A models, with the Galaxy A5 making an appearance.

The SGA5 is said to have a 5-inch display, but isn't all metal. The source of the leaked handset just said it felt "cold in the hand". We're sure we'll hear more about this in the future.

But the display is reported to be 1280 x 720 pixels and to house a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, favoured amongst mid-range handsets.

There's a 13MP camera, 16GB of storage and many of the specs you expect.

READ MORE Samsung Galaxy A5 rumours

BlackBerry Classic

With the BlackBerry Passport getting a mixed reception, it might be down to the BlackBerry Classic to deliver that BB experience you've been longing for. It's been confirmed that its coming by BlackBerry, but now the details have leaked.

The BlackBerry Classic has a 3.46-inch 720 x 720 display and sees the return of the waistband controls beneath that. There's a dual core processor and 2GB of RAM.

The Classic looks like it will appear at the more affordable end of the handset spectrum and keeps the design very much conventional to BlackBerrys of the past.

It's due to be released in November, so if you're after BB 10.3 on the cheap, this is probably the way to do it.

READ MORE BlackBerry news

Nokia Lumia 735

Alongside the launch of the Lumia 830 was the Lumia 735, dubbed the selfie phone, so you can already guess what its skills are.

The Nokia Lumia 735 has a 5-megapixel front camera with a wide angle, designed to give you great selfies. It comes with the latest Nokia Denim update so you get the latest from Microsoft with Lumia tweaks, including the Lumia Selfie app.

There's a 4.7-inch display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and a 6.7-megapixel camera on the back.

Like the Lumia 830 it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset inside, but you also get a removable battery and microSD card slot. It's said to be highly affordable too.

READ MORE Nokia Lumia 735 hands-on

Motorola Moto X

The Moto X has been upgraded and it might not be exactly what you expected. Expanding in size, the Moto X gets itself an upgrade to 5.2 inches on the display, with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. Internally it steps up to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset, sailing into flagship territory.

It does so without filling Android with customisations, so this is a world away from the likes of LG, Sony, Samsung or HTC. Instead you get Android 4.4 KitKat pretty much as its supposed to be.

There's one big thing that the Moto X offers, however, and that's customisation. Using Moto Maker, you'll be able to order the handset colours you like, including a new range of leather backs, which we think look and feel really great.

It can be yours from £430, a little more than the previous, but you get a lot more phone.

READ MORE Motorola Moto X preview

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung wasn't hiding the fact that the Note 4 was coming, and we weren't disappointed when it delivered.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is one of the first devices to launch on the new, more powerful, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset, and also gets itself a 2560 x 1440 pixel display, QHD. That's quite the change, setting on the Note 4 as one of the most powerful devices on the market.

The story doesn't end there. The design is slightly more refined than before, with more of a leaning towards metal and less plastic, but Samsung has also made software updates to make it even better for multitasking.

The S Pen has been updated too, making it more sensitive than ever, resulting in a device that delivers in all areas.

READ MORE Samsung Galaxy Note 4 first impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

The surprise launch of Samsung Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 was the Note Edge. We'd seen it as a concept, but never thought that Samsung would actually bring it to the phablet.

It features a curved extension of the display, so the right-hand edge has a strip that's available to be customised, so it can have shortcuts or live widgets on it. The idea is to give you the full expanse of the QHD display.

Otherwise this device packs in the full specs of the regular Note 4, so it's also a powerhouse. We're not entirely sold on how we'd get to grips with the additional edge area, but you can't fault Samsung for pushing innovation.

Certainly, if you want something a little different, the the Note Edge is the device for you.

READ MORE Samsung Galaxy Note Edge first impressions

HTC One (M8) for Windows

The HTC One (M8) now comes in a Windows Phone variety, meaning you get all that premium metal body with a dab of Microsoft inside.

It's a Verizon exclusive at launch, sadly, with no word on when the exclusive will lift - however we suspect it will see wider availability in the future.

The HTC One (M8) for Windows comes with the same hardware load-out as the Android version, so there's a powerful 2.1GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 chipset with 2GB of RAM. You get 32GB of internal storage with the option to expand via microSD.

You also get HTC's hallmark BoomSound speakers, offering excellent audio. They flank the 5-inch Full HD display, which is bright and vibrant.

Perhaps the only dubious point is the Duo Camera on the rear, which hasn't been as widely praised on the Android version as HTC might want. It offers the UltraPixel sensor with a second sensor to capture depth data. This can be used for a range of photo effects.

There are some software additions, such as highlight videos and the BlinkFeed content aggregator, meaning you get something to differentiate it from the ex-Nokia rivals.

No word on international release, but a bonus for Verizon Wireless customers.

READ MORE HTC One (M8) for Windows 

Google Project Ara

Created by Motorola, and now shifted over to Google after the sale of Motorola to Lenovo, Project Ara isn't due to early 2015 but is essentially an exoskeleton that allows users to modify what parts they want. That way someone that wants to spend the bulk of their budget on the camera, but doesn't need as much storage, can chose to upgrade that way. Perhaps one person will skip NFC in favour of faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi, for example.

There should also be third party components on offer that will allow for competitive pricing as well as new types of parts - like sensors. A person with diabetes may want a blood sugar sensor where another may not.

Users can also looks forward to different textured options that they can 3D print off at home themselves. The speed this phone can develop at, without costing us as much, is very exciting indeed.

READ MORE Google's Project Ara modular smartphone: Everything you need to know