GSMArena Smartphone Buyer's Guide: November 2014: €300-€400

By 11:09 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments


Aside from 2014 flagships there are few phones worth buying that go over €400. Here we have an arrangement of 5 or so inch devices with remarkable capturing camera specs. 5" is about the biggest phone most people are willing to handle, though there are a couple in here for phablet fans as well.

The LG G Pro 2 proved very difficult to find in stores for some reason, but with some digging it's possible to acquire a unit at a remarkable price. There are plenty of young makers offering remarkable specs at a killer price, but often in this price range people prefer to stick to a brand they know.

As far as phablets go, the G Pro 2 is a solid upper mid-range offering with a 5.9" 1080p screen, a Snapdragon 800 chipset, a 13MP capturing camera with OIS and 2160p video, all in a relatively compact body. It's not going to dethrone the Nexus 6 but it comes close enough, especially when you account for the price difference.

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LG G Pro 2

Pros Cons

  • 5.9" 1080p display, IPS

  • Snapdragon 800 chipset

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

  • 13MP camera, 2160p video, OIS

  • 3,200 mAh

  • Limited availability in stores

In late 2014 Samsung put out a refreshed Galaxy S4 with a Snapdragon 800 chipset, usually called Galaxy S4 LTE-A or S4 Advance (model number for both is I9506). It is otherwise the same device as the regular S4, but you can find it in Black Edition, which features Galaxy Note 3's faux leather back that is more attractive than Samsung's usual glossy plastic of the period. The Galaxy S4 LTE-A is something to see at as an alternative to the LG G2.

Samsung I9506 Galaxy S4 LTE-A

Pros Cons

  • 5" 1080p display, AMOLED

  • Snapdragon 800 chipset

  • Android 4.4 KitKat, Lollipop coming

  • 13MP camera, 1080p video

  • 2,600 mAh

  • No 2160p out of the box (can be enabled by software hacks)

The LG Nexus 5 did not acquire replaced this year, the Nexus 6 is in a different category both in terms of price and size. It boasts pure Android with quick updates to the recent version and is a solid alternative to the Galaxy S3. It has other perks too, like an OIS capturing camera and built-in wireless charging.

LG Nexus 5

Pros Cons

  • Pure Android, quick updates to recent versions

  • 5" 1080p display, IPS

  • Snapdragon 800 chipset

  • 8MP camera, 1080p video, OIS

  • 2,300 mAh

  • No microSD slot so you should acquire the 32GB version


Yet another 5" phone with OIS is the Nokia Lumia 930. It sticks close to the Androids with a 1080p AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) classy screen and a Snapdragon 800 chipset and challenges Sony's top dogs with a 20MP optically stabilized capturing camera with Carl Zeiss lens and remarkable audio capture.

Note that the Nokia Lumia 830 also has a 5" classy screen and optically stabilized capturing camera with Zeiss lens, but it's only marginally cheaper - not nearly enough to compensate for its 720p classy screen or 10MP capturing camera resolution.

Nokia Lumia 930

Pros Cons

  • 20MP camera, 1080p video, OIS and Zeiss lens

  • 5" 1080p display, AMOLED

  • Snapdragon 800 chipset

  • Windows Phone 8.1

  • Free offline navigation

  • 2,420 mAh


The Sony Xperia Z2 is pricier than the Xperia Z1, but we think it adds enough to justify the extra cash. For one you acquire a slightly bigger classy screen with better viewing angles and stereo speakers around it, 2160p video mode (still capturing camera is otherwise the same) and a slightly faster chipset.

The Xperia Z2 is also a direct competitor of the Lumia 930 - no OIS for the camera, but again 2160p video, an IP58-certified waterproof body and better battery life. Both phones boast metal rims for a more premium build quality.

Sony Xperia Z2

Pros Cons

  • 5.2" 1080p display, IPS

  • 20.7MP camera, 2160p video

  • Stereo speakers

  • IP58-certified body

  • Snapdragon 801 chipset

  • Android 4.4 KitKat, Lollipop coming

  • 3,200 mAh

  • Bigger than most 5-5.2 inch phones


The LG G3 has already slipped below the €400 imprint and it can tackle pretty much any 5.5" phablet or late-2013 flagship out there. In a body about the same size as the Xperia Z2 LG has managed to cram a whopping 5.5" classy screen with QHD resolution.

The 13MP capturing camera is an improvement on the LG G Pro 2 camera, including the addition of Laser focus - an active focus system that makes fast, accurate locks possible even in the dark. Something to haged in mind is that the LG G3 comes in multiple versions - with 2GB or 3GB of RAM, which is tied to the storage (and thus price) in some regions.


Pros Cons

  • 5.5" 1440x2560px display, IPS

  • 13MP camera, 2160p video, OIS, laser focus

  • Snapdragon 801

  • Android 4.4 KitKat, Lollipop already rolling out

  • Compact for the classy screen size

  • 3,000 mAh

  • A pretty gigantic device, even if it's all screen




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