It was too easy to find mobile flops this year. As mobile devices mature, it’s harder to come up with true innovations, and as a result, many vendors turn to gimmicks and half-baked ideas. That slippery slope leads to flops like the Amazon Fire Phone.

But in the sea of dubious products were islands of excellence that comprise the best mobile products of 2014. Here, I focus on the smartphones and tablets that should be at the top of anyone’s list, especially for professionals who need more than a media playback and communications device.

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