The controversial category that begins all arguments is back and this year, like the ones that have gone before it, some brilliant nominees are in consideration.

Once again, the competition to be crowned the best phone of 2014 is tough with Sony pulling it out of the bag with the beautiful Xperia Z3, Apple producing its best iPhone to date with the iPhone 6 and Motorola showing the beauty of customisation with the Moto X.

To be nominated for this category, the device needed to have a display size of under 5.3-inches to avoid phablet land, and after much deliberation, we give you the five nominees for the Best Phone 2014 with O2 Refresh.

Apple launched the iPhone 6 in September bringing a bigger screen to iOS users and while it didn't necessarily bring anything new to the smartphone arena, apart from Apple Pay, it manages to make everything work so effortlessly.

READ: Apple iPhone 6 review

The iPhone 6 is still missing a few things such as wireless charging, waterproofing and microSD storage expansion but it features a beautiful design, exquisite build quality and faster processor than its predecessor, making it the best iPhone yet by far.

The HTC One (M8) is the Taiwanese's company play for the high end and it's done a brilliant job. Pouring all its design prowess into it, the HTC One (M8) comes with a luscious metal design, stunning display and BoomSound speaker quality.

READ: HTC One (M8) review

The camera has its limitations but the HTC One (M8) is powerful as well as beautiful and it's a pleasure to use, plus it also has microSD storage expansion which satisfies an old, but still very important demand. It's a shining example of a flagship device and an all-round wonderful reinvention of the 2013 handset we loved so much.

Sony has revised and updated its flagship smartphone more times than any rival in recent years, with the Xperia Z3 model arriving just six months after the previous Z2 hit the shelves, but this time Sony has hit the nail on the head.

READ: Sony Xperia Z3 review

The Sony Xperia Z3 gives you the design, the power, the display, the camera and importantly, the battery life. There are still some areas we would criticise, such as the tall design and occasional software excess, but overall Sony has done an excellent job and the Xperia Z3 really does have it all.

The Motorola Moto X was reformed for its second generation model with a brand new handset that still carries the Moto X name and customisation options of the original, but brings the Moto Maker options to those in the UK.

READ: Motorola Moto X review

The Moto X is an appealing proposition that comes with good speakers and a free-of-clutter interface. It is great value for money as a flagship handset and even if you opt to customise with a leather or other finish using Moto Maker, you'll still be getting something more affordable than rivals - and something personalised to you.

The Lumia 930 is the top-spec Windows 8.1 smartphone and it's as close as we have got Windows Phone's wow moment thanks to its brilliant screen colour and brightness, decent camera and solid build quality.

READ: Nokia Lumia 930 review

While it might not be the slimmest of the best phone nominees and Windows Phone 8.1 still has some catching up to do, it is a more complete experience than it has ever been before and right now, this is the best Windows Phone device that money can buy.

Voting in the 11th annual O2 Pocket-lint Awards is now open so you can let us know which one of these great devices you think should win the Best Phone 2014 award with O2 Refresh and give us your verdict on all the other tech across the 13 select categories.

Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 27 November in association with O2 and Hotwire. For now, keep an eye on the O2 Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2014 hub for all the latest on how the voting works, who the elite judges are and the O2 Pocket-lint Gadget Awards shortlist.

VISIT: O2 Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2014 hub