It's been an interesting year in the world of smartphones, and as we enter the Fall, slowly leaving Summer behind, things are about to get a lot more interesting. Already, we've seen Samsung launch the new Galaxy Note 7, and there's a new LG V20 on the horizon as well. With new devices from HTC also possible, and a pair of new Nexus devices almost guaranteed, this list is going to see some shake-ups, and it has done this month, as the presence of Samsung's larger-than-life Galaxy Note series is felt once again.
10. Sony Xperia X Performance
It's been some time since we saw a decent device from Sony, and with IFA 2016 just around the corner, we might be closer to seeing another one than we think. The Xperia X line was originally not going to be anything too spectacular, but the X Performance model makes up for this. With the Snapdragon 820 and a 23-megapixel Sony camera, the Xperia X Performance is a 5.0-inch powerhouse. And while we found some issues with it in our review, it's a great device for those looking for something a little more compact without have to sacrifice on either features or performance. A great device that does a little of everything, the Xperia X Performance might be something of an unsung hero for Sony.
09. LG V10
While there might be a new LG V20 on the approach, the LG V10 is an interesting device, and thanks to the new V20 coming soon, should be available at some good discounts. It has the same great camera from last year's LG G4 and it also has a pretty cool second display that might be enough of a differentiator alone for some users. Sure, it's not the speediest device out there, and the 5.7-inch Quad HD display might be a little large for some, but the V10 is - and perhaps all will be - a little different than most devices out there.
08. Google Nexus 5X
The LG G4 and LG V10 weren't all that the South Korean firm got up to last year, as they also partnered with Google for the affordable Nexus 5X. Which has, since it first launched, steadily fallen in price to some pretty attractive sale figures. With a Snapdragon 808 and 2GB of RAM, this is not a super-speedy device, but it will be updated to Android 7.0 Nougat when that launches. On top of that, it has one of the better Android cameras on the market - sharing the same camera setup as the Nexus 6P - and its 5.2-inch form factor is fairly easy to use as well. It's well-priced, attractive to users, and while it might not be the best out there, it's a solid performer that just didn't try hard enough to keep up with the crowd when it launched.
07. HTC 10
The HTC 10 is something that a lot of users will be disappointed with. And that's not because it's a bad phone, in fact our review practically says the opposite, but because HTC can do so much better. Gone here is the same BoomSound we've come to know and love, and while the design of the device is absolutely gorgeous, it blends it rather than standing out a la Samsung and co. With some of the better software laid on top of Android, and a 5.2-inch Quad HD display with a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM, this has all of the specs, and if you want a great device that's great to live with, the HTC 10 won't disappoint. It's fairly pricey for what it is as well, which makes it a good job that we're giving one way, right?
06. Moto Z Force Droid Edition
The Moto Z Force Droid Edition is, not only a mouthful, but a device that puts Motorola back on the map in terms of smartphones. It's been some time since we saw such a device, and it's arguably one of the more modular devices to hit the market thanks to the new Moto Mods situation. While people wait for the unlocked version to hit stores, this one on Verizon is the best bet right now for those that just can't wait to get their hands on the future of the Moto line. We reviewed this not too long ago, and with an excellent 5.5-inch Quad HD display, a great 21-megapixel camera and the unbreakable ShatterShield display technology this is one device that might well be worth the high asking price.
05. OnePlus 3
When the OnePlus 3 was released earlier on this year, it was a surprise to a lot of people, not least due to the change in overall design. Despite this however, at just $399, with a 5.5-inch display, a Snapdragon 820 and 6GB (!) of RAM, the OnePlus 3 is an absolute steal. Its display, at 1080p might not be the best out there, but it is an AMOLED panel and the fit and finish of this year's device is even better than before. It looks much more professional than previous models and launched as an invite-free model to boot, making it even easier to love the OnePlus 3.
04. LG G5
For whatever reason, the LG G5 has failed to do what LG wanted it to, and that was to take the fight to Samsung's Galaxy S series. Instead, what we ended up with is a device that had some magic tricks up its sleeve, but also didn't quite capitalize on its modular design. Sure, there are some good attachments available, but they've taken too long to reach the market and many of them are simply too expensive for most users. With a 5.3-inch display and a Snapdragon 820, backed up with 4GB of RAM, the LG G5 has it where specs count and thanks to the innovative dual camera setup, the G5 does do things differently for the better, but it does leave a little to be desired in the long run.
03. Google Nexus 6P
The Nexus 6P might soon be superceded by a device that may or may not be coming from HTC, but it's actually about to get a lot better. With Android 7.0 Nougat just around the corner, the Nexus 6P is guaranteed to be first in line. With the new features, such as Daydream and new apps like Allo and Duo launching soon, the Nexus 6P is about to be the best phone for Android fans. It is also a great piece of hardware as well, thanks to a 5.7-inch Quad HD display, a Snapdragon 810 and 3GB of RAM, which might not sound like much but thanks to light software and an excellent camera, the Nexus 6P is one of the best phones out there. If not a little pedestrian in the long run.
02. Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge
These two devices might be different sizes, but they're cut from the same cloth and save for a larger display and curved edges, are effectively the same device. Which, depending on where you live features either a Snapdragon 820 or an Exynos 8890 and 4GB of RAM. On top of this, they also feature some of the best cameras to hit the market and they also look great, too. The Quad HD Super AMOLED display looks great, and the overall fit and finish of the hardware looks gorgeous, too. Great for virtual reality, boring everyday tasks and everything in between, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are some of the greatest out there.
01. Samsung Galaxy Note 7
If the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are some of the best phones of the year, what tops them? Well, that'd be the Galaxy Note 7. With a larger, Quad HD display and a Snapdragon 820, along with 4 - not 6 - GB of RAM, the Galaxy Note 7 runs like a treat. This year it's waterproof with an IP68 rating and the S-Pen will work even with a wet display, too. On top of this, there's a new and improved gear VR headset available here as well as USB Type-C. This is a return to form for the Galaxy Note series and it's a great device no matter what.