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. 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.

Motorola Moto Maxx

Motorola has a new superphone, the Moto Maxx. Following up on the excellent Moto X and the Nexus 6, the Moto Maxx is the non-Verizon version of the Droid Turbo and what we're looking at here is a device with a massive battery: 3900mAh to be precise. Motorola says this will see you through 2 days.

There's no shying away from top-drawer specs elsewhere either: there's a 5.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440) resolution display as well as a 21-megapixel camera on the rear. Motorola claims it has the "most powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon processor", so we're guessing it's the SD 805, as you'll find in the Nexus 6.

Harking back to previous materials, the Moto Maxx uses ballistic nylon sitting on Kevlar for protection. It's water repellant and has Gorilla Glass protection for the display.

But perhaps best of all, it offers the mostly-unfettered Android experience as you'll find on the Moto X. If you were thinking the Nexus 6 was too big, this might just be the phone for you. Sadly, Motorola hasn't confirmed availability outside of Latin America. Fingers crossed.

READ MORE Motorola Moto Maxx

LG G4

The LG G4 could arrive with the smallest bezel on any screen yet, if the prototype devices shown off by LG are anything to go by.

We're expected a screen around 5.7-inches that could be UHD or at least 2K. The processor will hopefully be a Snapdragon 810 64-bit chip with Cat 6 4G and 4GB of RAM.

Battery life and camera should also see improvements both in hardware and software.

It's still early days for G4 rumours but they're here so Samsung better start worrying.

READ MORE LG G4 what to expect

Microsoft Lumia

The very first Microsoft Lumia device has leaked showing off the new branding on these Nokia-free devices.

The photo leaked from Chinese social network Weibo showing what's claimed to be a device name RM-1090. What that code translates to isn't clear but judging from the device thickness and design we'd wager it's a more affordable handset. This could be the equivalent to the Lumia 520 or 525. 

While the logo now shows off Microsoft's name the design of the handset still seems to follow the Nokia phone build. This is good news as these have been impressively built devices that now have come to represent the Windows Phone hardware platform.

But it's still early days so we may see the build change in the future as Microsoft pioneers its own phones.

READ MORE Microsoft Lumia

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

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. It's available in the US (7 Nov) for $399 and Vodafone has confirmed it will be ranging the Edge in the UK.

READ MORE Samsung Galaxy Note Edge first impressions

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