Not for a long, long time has there been so many great Android smartphones to choose from. If anything, it makes collating a list like this really quite difficult. The sad fact however, is that some of the older players, such as HTC, just aren’t doing all they can to wow us, and there are new players like OnePlus and new Nexus devices that show us just how much can be done for so little these days. Our October Edition of the Top 1o Best Android Smartphones is perhaps the biggest change of the year, and for good reason.
10. Motorola Moto G
Not everyone has oodles of cash lying around, especially not in this day and age, but this list is about the absolute best. Still, where “best” and “budget” are concerned, there’s really only one option that you can safely recommend to absolutely everyone out there, and that’s the Moto G. This third-generation now ships with water-resistance, better battery life and an improved camera as well. Still affordable, still great value, the Moto G simply can’t be beaten where value for money is concerned.
09. HTC One M9
HTC has had a busy week, what with the launch of the new HTC One A9, but for the majority of Android users, the original M9 still offers better features and ultimately better value for money. Featuring an actually unique design language, the One M9 from HTC has excellent speakers with stereo BoomSound speakers, a good camera and a pleasing overall experience. With a 1080p display however, it falls behind when compared to competitors from Samsung and others. With UH OH protection in North America however, it does present itself as an excellent option for the average user, but doesn’t offer much more than that for the enthusiasts.
08. Sony Xperia Z5
The Xperia Z5 is yet another improvement on the Xperia Z blueprint, and with a fingerprint sensor and one of the best cameras out there, it doesn’t disappoint. The problem however, is that it’s really quite pricey, still only offers a 1080p display and is barely available in North America, and if you do find it boy, is it expensive. Compared to other options out there, the Xperia Z5 is too expensive and too small a change from 2014’s designs and features to be worth it. However, it is exquisitely made and a beautiful device to hold and show off, whether or not that and its excellent camera are worth so much extra is up to you.
07. OnePlus 2
Despite some silly claims, like this being a “2016 Flagship Killer” and an invite system that pleases nobody but OnePlus’ accountants, the OnePlus 2 is still a great smartphone. There’s no NFC or QuickCharge, the former of which will never make sense, but with a Snapdragon 810 that doesn’t overheat and a cheap 4GB/64GB option, it’s hard to argue with the overall package. The camera is better, and there are some good StyleSwap options out there. It’s affordable, and has decent software with the Cyanogen-inspired OxygenOS here in the West, but without an open sale and some shady marketing, OnePlus has some work to do.
06. LG Nexus 5X
We just hit the big green button on our Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P reviews, and we are seriously impressed. The Nexus 5 from LG was an excellent device back in 2013, and now they’re back with another winner. With an excellent form factor that will please those not looking for a massive device, decent battery life and an excellent camera for the majority of shooting conditions, the 5X is a really good phone. It’s a little more affordable than last year’s Motorola Nexus and this year’s Nexus 6P, but the 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage starting option is lamentable at that price. Still, for all things stock Android and a great camera, LG and Google have a great option for everyone here.
05. Motorola Moto X Pure
Despite an interesting naming scheme, the Moto X Pure Edition is a great smartphone, for everyone. We recently got our review up on the site, and we found that the new Moto X builds on what people loved about last year’s model, and fixes what they didn’t. To do that, it had grow to 5.7-inches, but that gives users a Quad HD display and a massive battery that now lasts a whole lot longer. It’s a Snapdragon 808 device, so it runs cooler and chugs along nicely, and they’ve added in a 20-megapixel camera that has made all the difference to the overall performance while shooting. Available with some excellent Moto Maker options, there’s so much to love about the Moto X Pure, that it could be your ideal phone.
04. LG G4
The G4 from LG is an improvement over last year’s pretty great LG G3, and it gets a great bump in the camera department, especially. The 16-megapixel camera here is packed full of manual features, quick shooting, laser autofocus and even hardware color correction. It’s all very high-tech in the G4, and this year’s model was available in leather varieties as well. Available on all major carriers, the G4 is a great device, but if you didn’t like the G3 then you might not take to this either. With a microSD card slot and a removable battery however, the G4 ticks a number of boxes others on this list simply can’t.
03. Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Galaxy Note line of devices from Samsung have long been a favorite of the power users out there, but this year Samsung took a step back. In the Galaxy Note 5, there’s an excellent processor, lots of RAM and lots of storage, plus some of the best software Samsung has ever shipped. What there isn’t however, is a removable battery and microSD card slot that we’ve come to expect from Samsung over the years. All of this makes the Galaxy Note 5 more of a large Galaxy S with a pen than it does an excellent powerhouse like previous versions in the series were.
02. Huawei Nexus 6P
As we found out with our review, the Nexus 6P is an excellent smartphone, regardless of how much costs or because of the fact that it’s a Nexus. The Nexus 6P is built brilliantly, it feels great in the hand and it’s a real powerhouse when it comes to performance, and that fingerprint sensor works wonderfully as well. As a device that ticks all of the right boxes without the added drama, the Nexus 6P is more than just the best Nexus device ever, it’s one of the best smartphones to be released all year.
01. Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+
Listing all of these devices seems a little strange, but really these are all the same phone in different sizes. While none of them feature removable batteries or microSD card slots, they’re all excellent lookers that any average user will love. Plus, the Super AMOLED displays here are gorgeous, they’re all super high-res and they look great no matter what you’re looking at. With a unique look to them, the Galaxy S6 line has something for everyone, and they’re a real sight to behold, too.