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Not An Apple Fan? 5 Other Flagship Smartphones for Q4 2014

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By William Peacock, Esq. on September 10, 2014 12:01 PM

Yesterday, Apple revealed its long-awaited, and much-leaked iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Were there any real suprises? No. But the two phones, at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, are way bigger and wider than Apple's previous models.

But, phablet or no phablet, maybe you're not an Apple person. Though these Android and BlackBerry phones didn't get quite the obsessive spectacle that Apple's events do, at least on paper, they stand up to (and maybe trump) Cupertino's latest offerings.

Here are five alternatives, set for release this quarter:

Nexus X

For anyone considering an Android phone, my first suggestion is Nexus, Google's in-house line of phones. These are pure Android, with no third-party software bloating up the experience, and updates before anyone else gets them. And typically, each year's iteration comes with near-flagship specs for between $300 and $400.

Though the Nexus X has not yet been announced, Google has released the last two Nexus models (Nexii?) at or near Halloween. Recent leaks, collected by BGR, point to a Motorola-manufactured phone, code-named "Shamu," which has top-of-the-line specs comparable to Samsung's $600+ offerings. We'll keep you posted if/when a release is confirmed, but Google's past practices make this a near certainty.

Note 4/Note Edge

Announced earlier this month, Samsung's Note 4, and odd Note Edge, are the latest iterations of the phablet that started the phablet craze. When the first Samsung Note sold way better than expected, it started the trend towards bigger and bigger screens for everyone else -- Apple, for example, was rocking a 3.5-inch screen.

The Note 4 upgrades a few things slightly from its predecessor -- a higher resolution screen, faster processor, and metal (rather than plastic) sides, reports Ars Technica. Other than that, it's not a whole lot different than the Note 3.

The Note Edge, however, is certainly different. It has a sort of angled, trapezoidal edge that is a long, narrow screen, which can be used for a low-power clock when the phone is off, for navigation icons when the phone is on, etc.

Moto X (Second Gen.)

This is Motorola's flagship, but cost significantly less than everyone else's (except the Nexus) -- $499 versus more than $600 for Samsung's S4 or Note 4.

This year's version has a major spec. bump from last year's model, which opted for a smaller screen and dual-core processor to cut the MSRP. According to Ars, this year's more expensive second generation comes with a bigger 5.2-inch screen, a faster quad core processor, and other upgrades that make it a "true flagship." Like it's predecessor, it has excellent touchless (voice) controls. And unlike Samsung, which runs a "TouchWiz" skin that overlays (and slows down) Android, Moto is pretty much bone stock, and speedy.

BlackBerry Passport

Yes, we know. But there are still a few QWERTY-lovin' diehards out there, and BlackBerry is somehow still alive. The company's next phone, a massive squared-off phablet, is set for an unveiling on the 24th of this month, along with a "prestige" model designed by Porsche, reports CrackBerry. (Again, we know -- who the hell will buy a Porshe-designed BlackBerry?)

Latest fun rumor: The keyboard itself will accept swipe gestures (swipe right-to-left to delete a word, for example). Weird.

As we noted before, the Passport is set to be a beast in terms of raw size -- a 4.5-inch square screen with a QWERTY keyboard. With OS 10.3.1, Android's Amazon App store comes on the phone, (yep, BlackBerries now run Android apps) so there won't be a massive app shortage, though developers do tend to be slower to put their apps in the Amazon store than Google's.

Still, big phone, big keyboard, flagship specs, and BlackBerry doesn't have nearly as many security snafus as the other guys.

That's five (the Note Edge counts). But we're sure we missed one or two -- a Windows phone, perhaps? Tweet us @FindLawLP and tell us all about the phone that's got you the most excited.

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