The summer is officially over, the first day of Fall has come and gone and as we approach Holiday season, it’s become pretty crowded out there for great Android smartphones. With more coming in the form of new Nexus devices and possibly something a little offbeat from LG and Verizon, it’s a good time to be looking for an Android smartphone. There are all sorts of different sizes, styles and features to consider when looking to get your hands on a new Android device, but here we can only list 10, and we feel these are some of the best Android smartphones that you can pick up wherever you want and use however you like. So, shall we get started?
10. Motorola Moto G – (2015)
For along time now, Motorola has been selling the Moto G to great effect, and it looks like this year they’ve got the best Moto G ever on their hands. It’s just as affordable as it used to be, but this time around it’s now water-resistant and it has a few more features up its sleeve as well. With speedy software updates, stock Android software and some of the best value-for-money out there, the Moto G is the budget smartphone to beat. In fact, it’s a pretty damn good smartphone full-stop, as we found out in our review.
09. HTC One M9
Things aren’t exactly taking off for HTC as they would like them to right now, facing serious troubles concerning their falling stock price and poor market penetration. Still, the HTC One M9 has proven to be a fairly decent offering this year. It’s far from exciting, considering this familiar formula has been used for the third year in a row now, in a year when Samsung and others have innovated in areas HTC haven’t. The BoomSound speakers, quality software experience and UH-OH Protection (for those in North America) make this a great device to live with, it just doesn’t stack up all that well when compared to LG or Samsung’s latest.
08. Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
During IFA 2015 earlier this year, Sony announced the – confusing – Xperia Z5 series and with it a new compact smartphone. This is not a ‘Mini’ device, as despite its 720p 4.6-inch display it still has the same 23-megapixel camera and Snapdragon 810 under-the-hood. It runs the same sort of software as its bigger brother and is an excellent overall experience for those looking for a smaller device, without having to sacrifice on specs and features. The Xperia Z5 Compact is a rare breed these days, but it’s one that should put a smile on people’s faces, especially those looking for a phone, and not a small tablet.
07. OnePlus Two
When OnePlus released their second flagship device, the buzz surrounding it sort of deflated a little bit. There’s no NFC nor is there any QuickCharge 2.0 going on here either, something this “flagship killer’s” competitors all feature. Never mind though, because those looking for a device on the cheap – without having to settle for lesser specs and features – will enjoy the OnePlus Two. It features a fingerprint sensor, a Snapdragon 810, stock Android and a pretty great Quad HD display to boot. An excellent device with a few sacrifices that will leave some scratching their head, the OnePlus Two is an admirable device in an increasingly post-contract world.
06. Google Nexus 6
It’s Nexus Season once again, and that means that new Nexus devices are just around the corner. That doesn’t mean that last year’s Nexus 6 is going the way of the dinosaur however, far from it. An update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow will arrive before owners know it, and it’s been on sale recently for some pretty incredible prices. With it’s 5.7-inch Quad HD display, massive battery and some of the best looks a Nexus device has ever sported, Motorola did a good job here, and we’re sure that those who still have theirs will agree. It might be about to get succeeded, but it’s still an excellent smartphone for those looking to tinker or just spend time with stock Android above all else.
05. Sony Xperia Z5
As with previous Sony devices, the Xperia Z5 will probably end up with the same problem in North America; it’ll be difficult to get hold of. Still, it’s the best Xperia Z device they’ve ever shipped, and even though it still has a 1080p display, it now gains a fingerprint sensor in a thoughtful place where people usually rest their thumb, and there’s an improved camera here that’s still one of the best out there. With a new software look and feel that’s closer to stock Android than ever before, there’s many reasons to go for an Xperia Z5, but the battery life – of which Sony is claiming two days’ worth – is perhaps the biggest draw here. Plus, PS4 owners can play their PS4 games using this as a remote display, which is pretty damn cool on its own.
04. Motorola Moto X Pure
When Motorola released the original Moto X, it was a smartphone that anyone and everyone could get to grips with, but it was lacking in battery life and a quality camera. Fast forward to today and Motorola have fixed both of these complaints in the new Moto X Pure, but it also has grown to a massive 5.7-inch device, a big jump from last year’s 5.2-inch device. With a Snapdragon 808 and 3GB of RAM however, this is the best performing Moto X the company has ever made, and it’s still just as customizable as it always has been with some more options this time around. A great option for those looking for a device with stock Android and some extras, the Moto X Pure is worth looking into. It also works on whichever network you want – including Sprint and Verizon – no matter how you buy it.
03. LG G4
This year, LG built on what they created with the LG G3 last year, and the G4 is one hell of a smartphone. With a removable battery and microSD card slot it has one up on Samsung already, and the camera goes a long way to helping there as well. It can be configured with leather or plastic removable backs, but LG’s software still needs some work here and there’s no telling how quickly an Android 6.0 update will arrive. A little on the large side for some, the slightly curved display creates some angular cuts in the palm of your hand, but this just takes some getting used to. All-in-all, this is an improvement over the G3, but compared to Samsung’s completely new approach it doesn’t feel as fresh as it could.
02. Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Galaxy Note 5 is, for the first time in a couple of years now, the biggest change to Samsung’s Phablet formula, and it really works. Sure, there’s no removable battery or microSD card, but with a processor that’s more efficient than most flagships of 2015, there’s not too much to complain about. The S-Pen is more useful than ever, and it continues to get more and more accurate. Despite some hiccups with how you’re supposed to put the S-Pen into the phone itself, the Galaxy Note 5 is a solid made Samsung device that won’t disappoint those looking for a larger device that delivers on more than just size.
01. Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+
You might be wondering why these devices have been put together here, and that’s because they all offer the same sort of experience, just with different takes. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are cut from the same cloth and you get the same software, same processor and so forth, but with the option of either a curved display at the edges or not. The same goes for the Galaxy S6 Edge+, it’s the same device just larger, and it’s good to see Samsung offering some sort of choice for those looking for the absolute best of Samsung in different sizes. The Galaxy S6, no matter how you take it, is one of the best premium devices for everyone, and it’s glass construction is eye-catching and a real change for the better over previous designs.