Best Android Phones – Feb 2017

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A number of the smartphones on this list are staple ones and have made an appearance in the top 10 month after month. Although that is likely to change very soon as this month sees MWC 2017 taking place and a number of new smartphones will likely be introduced at the event. However, it might be another couple of months before they actually do become available and in the meantime if you are in the market for a new smartphone, then the ten listed below are certainly ones you will want to check out. These are our top 10 Android smartphone picks for February 2017.

10. Google Nexus 6P

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The Nexus 6P is now quickly becoming a dated smartphone which does mean that among other things, you are running out of places where you can buy one. However, if you do buy one then you are getting a great smartphone in spite of its age. In terms of the specs, you will not be getting the greatest smartphone and you will find better specs on nearly every other smartphone on this list, as the Nexus 6P comes packing 3GB RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (v2.1) processor. While the cameras on offer include a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera.

However, the one benefit the Nexus 6P has over some of the others is the software. As this is smartphone which employs a cleaner version of Android as well as the latest version, Android 7.0 (Nougat). Not to mention that although this is an aging smartphone, it still should get the next version of Android and will very likely be one of the first to do so. As a result, the Nexus 6P just about does remain one of the best smartphones you can currently buy.

Buy the Nexus 6P Read more: Nexus 6P Review

9. HTC 10

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When it comes to the top smartphones, most of the current crop does employ a typically larger display size. If you are however, on the lookout for a smaller smartphone, then the HTC 10 is still one worth checking out. This is a smartphone which comes equipped with a 5.2-inch display, making it one of the smallest smartphones on this list. However, the rest of the specs are pretty much in line with the rest of the top 10, so while making use of a smaller screen, you can make use of the same level of performance and power as the rest. Not to mention, a very solid and attractive build quality and design.

In terms of the rest of those specs, the HTC 10 comes loaded with 4GB of RAM, 32GB (or 64GB) internal storage and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. In terms of cameras, the HTC 10 comes packing a 12-megapixel rear camera along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. This is a smartphone which comes powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and comes running on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) out of the box. Although, it should be updated to Android 7.0 (Nougat) soon enough.

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Read more: HTC 10 Review

8. LeEco Le Pro3

If price was a main driving force when picking up a smartphone then the LeEco Le Pro3 would be right up there at the top of the list. This is a smartphone that is priced at around the $400 marker (although it can currently be picked up for only $350) and comes with all the high-profile specs you would expect from a flagship smartphone. However, this is a brand which is less widely known compared to the rest of the names on the list. Which does mean that some people will understandably have reservations about picking up a smartphone from LeEco. Not to mention, this is a smartphone that puts LeEco's ecosystem at the heart of the user experience. While not necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that not everyone will like the 'added-value' element on offer.

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In terms of the specs though, it is hard to argue with the value on offer with the the LeEco Le Pro3. You are getting a 5.5-inch FHD display, as well as 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. On the camera side of things, you are getting a 16-megapixel rear camera, in addition to the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. You can also throw into the equation a 4,070 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity and Android 6.0 (Marshmallow).

Buy the LeEco Le Pro3 Read more: LeEco Le Pro3 Review

7. Sony Xperia X Performance

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Like the HTC 10, the Sony Xperia X Performance caters to those looking for a powerful device but within a smaller-than-typical flagship form factor. As a result, the Sony Xperia X Performance comes packing a 5-inch display, making it the absolute smallest smartphone on the list this month. Other than the smaller display, the rest of the specs are largely in line with what you will find elsewhere. Although for the price, you are making a number of sacrifices. This model is equipped with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. So this one does not come with the best level of RAM or the newest processor. However, in the camera department you are gaining thanks to the inclusion of a Sony Exmor RS 23-megapixel rear camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera.

So overall, the Sony Xperia X Performance is a little bit of a mixed bag smartphone. One which will suite those looking for good camera capabilities and a smaller form factor. For everyone else though, there is better available and at better prices.

Buy the Sony Xperia X Performance Read more: Sony Xperia X Performance Review

6. Lenovo Moto Z Force

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If you are looking for extra functionality (and are willing to pay for it), then the Moto Z family of smartphones are worth checking out. Not only does this range offer a fully comparable spec list, but also the ability to make use of modular functionality. Moto Z device owners are able to purchase Moto Mods which in turn increase performance in certain areas. Making the Moto Z range some of the most versatile smartphones currently on the market. Of the range, the Moto Z Force is probably the best one to go for as this one comes with a number of increased aspects, although any of the Moto Z range will offer you a like-experience.

In terms of the Moto Z Force specs, this is a smartphone with a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display. Inside, you can expect to find 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. In terms of cameras, this one comes packing a 21-megapixel rear camera, along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, While a 3,500 mAh battery powers everything.

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Buy the Moto Z Force Read more: Lenovo Moto Z Force Droid Edition Review

5. LG V20

Unfortunately for the LG V20, this is a smartphone that has not really seen massive levels of adoption since its late 2016 release. Which is a shame as this is one of the best smartphones currently available. It is also one of the most interesting, as it does come with a number of selling points more unique to the LG V20 and so it does offer more than just the current flagship baseline level of specs. In particular, if you are into your cameras or your music, then this is a phone worth your consideration. Although, you will have to get past the flagship price tag first, as this is a smartphone that will currently cost you in the region of $800.

For that money though, you are getting a smartphone with a 5.7-inch FHD display. As well as 4GB RAM, 32GB (or 64GB) storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. In addition, the V20 comes loaded with 16 and 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,200 mAh battery and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

Buy the LG V20 Read more: LG V20 Review

4. Huawei Mate 9

For a lot of people, the Huawei Mate 9 is probably a smartphone that has flown a little under the radar. While this is a smartphone that is new to the United States, it is not entirely new to the rest of the world. In either case though, this is a smartphone that does offer a very competitive spec list and at a competitive price. Which does make this a smartphone currently worth checking out and especially for those who like a bigger display as this one comes equipped with a 5.9-inch FHD display. So unlike the Sony and HTC options, this one is ideal for those who want a big screen, as well as big performance.

Likewise, this is also an ideal smartphone for those who want an enhanced camera experience as the Mate 9 comes loaded with a dual-rear camera setup consisting of a 12-megapixel RGB sensor and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. While the front-facing camera comes in at 8-megapixels. The rest of the big selling points with the Mate 9 include 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, a HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor, and more

Buy the Huawei Mate 9 Read more: Huawei Mate 9 Review

3. OnePlus 3T

The OnePlus 3T is device which looks to bring the best in class specs to the table, but at a much more affordable price than you would expect to pay. As a result, it is hard to argue against the value that is on offer with the OnePlus 3T. The software onboard is OxygenOS and although this is one of the newer software options to come through, it is one which is finding its place among those who prefer a more subtle user experience. In light of the discontinuing of the Nexus line of smartphones and the high price tags associated with the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, this a great option for stock Android lovers to consider.

On offer for that lower than average asking price, the OnePlus 3T comes packing a 5.5-inch FHD display, while inside you can expect to find 6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. Cameras include a 16-megapixel rear camera, along with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The additional selling points include USB Type-C connectivity, a 3,400 mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner, and more.

Buy the OnePlus 3T Read more: OnePlus 3T Review

2. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge will be very soon superseded by the next Galaxy smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S8. Which does mean that this is about to fall off the list of current flagship smartphones. However, in spite of losing its spot in the limelight, the Galaxy S7 Edge remains one of the best smartphones on the market. While many smartphones battle it out at the spec level, the Galaxy S7 Edge almost takes the high road by doing its own thing and boasting a very unique design which is spearheaded by its dual sloping edges. Not to mention that they are not just sloping edges for aesthetic purposes, as the Galaxy S7 Edge also makes use of 'Edge' functionality. Offering users additional software tweaks that they are unlikely to find on other devices. If you are looking for an attractive and extremely solid-performing smartphone, then right now there has never been a better time to consider the Galaxy S7 Edge.

On the spec front, the Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a 5.5-inch QHD Super AMOLED display. Inside, you will find 4GB of RAM, a choice of 32GB or 64GB internal storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. Although, international versions do come powered by the Exynos 8890 processor. Cameras include a 16-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. While a 3,600 mAh battery powers the Galaxy S7 Edge and Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) comes pre-installed out of the box..

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Read more: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review

1. Google Pixel / Pixel XL

If you are looking for a premium smartphone which not only can provide you with a great level of hardware, but also a seamless, yet light software experience, then the Google Pixel is the phone to go for. In fact, this phone comes in two variants which are largely the same underneath. The main differences between the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL is that the XL comes with a larger screen, a greater resolution and a higher capacity battery. So the XL is for those who like a bigger smartphone, while the normal version is ideal for those who like a smaller smartphone. The rest of the specs are largely common to both devices.

Speaking of which, those common specs include 4GB RAM, 32GB (or 128GB storage) and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. Cameras come in the form of a 12.3-megapixel rear camera which is coupled with an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. You will also find a fingerprint sensor on offer, USB Type-C connectivity and Android 7.x (Nougat) – as well as Google Assistant integration. With February now here, the Google Pixel remains our best pick of the Android smartphone scene.

Buy the Google Pixel/Pixel XL Read more: Google Pixel/Pixel XL Review

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Editor-in-Chief

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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