Best Android Phones – May 2017

Although we have yet to make it half way through the year, there has already been a number of major smartphones released over the last few months and so now is a great time to consider upgrading your smartphone. Whether you are looking for a high-end option that comes with all the bells and whistles, or something a little more affordable, there are plenty of options now available. If you are considering taking the plunge then here are our top 10 Android smartphone picks for May of 2017.

10. Sony Xperia XZs

Within the last month, Sony has actually made available another smartphone, the Sony Xperia XA1. However, it is more of a mid-range offering and as such does compromise in certain respects, resulting in the Sony Xperia XZs remaining the best Sony Xperia smartphone currently available. Typical of Sony smartphones, this one also adopts a smaller overall size for those who prefer a more compact type of smartphone. So if 5.2-inches is the sort of size you like your smartphones to be, then the Sony Xperia XZs should be one worth considering. In fact, while this smartphone only became available last month for $699, it is currently seeing a bit of a discount and can be picked up for a little over $650.

In terms of the specs, the Sony Xperia Z packs in 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC. Which is in addition to a 19-megapixel rear camera, a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, a 2,900 mAh battery, Android 7.1 (Nougat) pre-installed, and more.

9. Huawei P10 and P10 Plus

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are not smartphones that are available everywhere. However, if they are available where you are, then they are ones worth considering. For years now, Huawei has been outputting great quality smartphones and the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are no exceptions. Likewise, Huawei is one of the companies who has for a long time being placing a focus on camera capabilities and again, the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are no exceptions. Both of these smartphones employ tried and tested camera hardware and a number of software tweaks to match. Making these two phones solid options for those looking for a camera-centric smartphone.

The main difference between the two models is the display size, resolution and battery life. As the Huawei P10 offers up a 5.1-inch display (with a 1920 x 1080 resolution), along with a 3,200 mAh battery. In contrast, the Huawei P10 Plus provides a 5.5-inch display (with a 2560 x 1440 resolution), along with a 3,750 mAh battery. Other than that, the rest of the specs and features are common to both phones, and include 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, a Kirin 960 SoC, and Android 7.0 (Nougat) pre-installed. Back to those cameras briefly, both models come loaded with a dual rear camera setup which comprises of a 20-megapixel (monochrome) sensor, in addition to a 12-megapixel (RGB) sensor. Resulting in a really good camera combination for a smartphone. Although the front-facing camera is not that bad either, coming in at 8-megapixels.

8. Lenovo Moto Z Force

The Lenovo Moto Z family of devices have proven to be surprise hits ever since they arrived on the scene. Which is not surprising as many consider the Moto Z range to have gotten the modular approach right. Not only did Moto release a number of Mods along with the smartphones, but the company has been highly invested in Mods ever since, even drawing on the developer community to add to the mix and bring forward new and fresh module ideas. An approach which has meant that the Moto Z range still remain relevant options and in some ways, the most unique options.

Of the Moto Z range, the Lenovo Moto Z Force is certainly the best of what is on offer. Besides its Mod compatibility, the Lenovo Moto Z Force comes loaded with a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Inside, the Lenovo Moto Z Force comes packing 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC. In addition to a 21-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,500 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and more. Probably one of the best value smartphones you can buy and especially if you are into accessorizing.

7. Moto G5 Plus

The best smartphones you can buy do not always have to be defined by the best features or the most premium design. Sometimes a phone will make the list just for the value that is on offer and the Moto G series of smartphones are a prime example. The Moto G5 Plus is the latest in the G series and not only continues the trend of offering great value for money, but also comes with an even better build and design than ever before. Making this the most value for money G series smartphone to date. Not forgetting of course, this is also a range which is available in multiple variations, so you can literally choose the device that is better suited to your needs and budget.

While this is a smartphone that can easily be found for under $300, the Moto G5 Plus offers a 5.2-inch display with an 1920 x 1080 resolution. Depending on your needs, the Moto G5 Plus is available in different RAM and storage configurations. The baseline model comes with 2GB RAM with 32GB internal storage, while a more spec-heavy model comes loaded with 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. Other than that, the rest of the specs are common to both models, and include the likes of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

6. OnePlus 3T

When it comes to value for money, it is hard to argue with the OnePlus approach. This company has continually looked to offer high specs, and a decent build, at a very competitive price, and the OnePlus 3T is the latest to offer as much. This is a smartphone that is priced well below the rest of the flagship options and yet comes with all the specs you would hope for in a flagship device of 2016, and in some cases, offers more than what you will find elsewhere.

This is a smartphone that comes packed with a 5.5-inch display and makes use of a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Inside, the OnePlus 3T comes loaded with 6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. In addition to a 16-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C connectivity, a 3,400 mAh battery, and Android 7.0 (Nougat) pre-installed.

5. HTC U Ultra

HTC has had a bit of a time of it lately and questions have been raised of the company. However, that has not stopped HTC from releasing a number of new smartphones already this year, with the latest, the HTC U arriving this month. In the meantime though, if you are after a HTC device now, then the HTC U Ultra is the current best option to go for. The unique selling point with this one is that it comes with a secondary ‘ticker’ type of display, which provides instant access to a select number of apps, as well as more prominent displaying of notifications.

Secondary display aside, the HTC U Ultra is a smartphone that is highly comparable with the rest of the best, as this smartphone comes loaded with a 5.7-inch display with a QHD resolution. As well as 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. In addition to a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, and Android 7.0 (Nougat) as the pre-installed operating system.

4. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

In many ways the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge felt ahead of its time when it was first announced. However, a year is a long time in the smartphone game and with the arrival of the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S7 suddenly feels behind the times a little. Although that does not mean that it is no longer a smartphone worth considering. In fact, if anything, now is a great time to consider the Galaxy S7 Edge as it is typically available at a much lower price than it used to be. Making this a 'bargain to be had' type of smartphone.

In terms of what is on offer, like the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S7 Edge is all about the display and in particular those two sloping sides, which also offer edge-specific functionality. The screen itself, comes in 5.5-inch form and makes use of a 2560 x 1440 resolution. While the rest of the specs include 4GB RAM, 32GB (or 64GB) internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 in the US or an Exynos 8890 SoC elsewhere. In addition to a 16-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,600 mAh battery, and Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) pre-installed - with an Android Nougat update immediately available.

3. Google Pixel / Pixel XL

With devices like the LG G6 and Galaxy S8 having now arrived, and consumers having some time to digest their new designs, one of the issues is that older phones - older by comparison that is - are starting to look and feel a little dated. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are prime examples. On paper, the specs of these two smartphones are largely the same as what you will get with the latest from LG and Samsung. However, the design of the Pixel and Pixel XL is certainly more traditional and so there are no major display selling points on offer here. Although, that is not to say there is anything wrong with the displays. The Google Pixel comes with a 5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution while the Google Pixel XL comes with a 5.5-inch display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Other than that, the two models do differ on battery capacity with the Pixel loaded with a 2,770 mAh battery and the Pixel XL touting a 3,450 mAh battery.

The rest of the specs are largely the same though, and include 4GB RAM, 32GB storage (other storage options available), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. As well as a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.0 (Nougat). Although, you can also run a developer preview of Android O on these handsets and these will be some of the first to get the full consumer version of Android O when it is released - clear selling points in favor of buying the Pixel and Pixel XL.

2. LG G6

Thanks to a new arrival on this list last month, the LG G6’s reign as the best smartphone pick was a short one. However, nothing should be taken away from this smartphone and to some, this will still be the best smartphone that you can currently buy. So while it sits once again at number 2 this month, this is still arguably one of the best smartphones currently available and after last year’s LG G5, the LG G6 has suddenly brought LG right back into the forefront of smartphone design. Like the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, the LG G6 makes use of a unique design where the screen is taller than what you will find on other smartphones. However, in spite of that height, LG has looked to ensure that the G6 is a device that can easily be used in a one-handed mode. In fact, that is exactly how this smartphone has been designed and marketed. Making this not only a smartphone that offers a great viewing experience, but also one which is trailblazing a new design mantra.

Design aside, the LG G6 looks to pack in a solid and tested spec list, so besides the included 5.7-inch display with a QHD+ resolution, the LG G6 comes packing 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. Cameras comes in the form of two 13-megapixel rear cameras, as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Battery life comes by way of an included 3,300 mAh capacity battery, while the operating system in play is Android 7.0 (Nougat).

1. Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus

Last month saw the Samsung Galaxy S8 (and S8 Plus) debut on this list in the number one spot, and a month later not much has changed. Although both the Galaxy S8 models are more widely available now. If you are looking for the best in class mobile experience and a masterclass in design, then the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus must be the smartphones to consider buying this month. These two models really have set the benchmark now, and things will likely remain that way for many months ahead. As new smartphones come out, most will ask whether they are as good as the Galaxy S8. So if you do want to be involved early, with what it clearly the best looking and one of the highest-performing smartphones, then the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are the ones to go for.

If anything the only choice you need to make is which model suits you better. Generally speaking, they are the same phone although they do differ in screen size and battery capacity. The standard Galaxy S8 comes loaded with a 5.8-inch display and a 3,000 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S8 Plus comes packing a 6.2-inch display and a 3,500 mAh battery. Regardless of which model you opt for, you can expect a unique screen aspect ratio and a QHD+ (2960 x 1440) resolution. As well as 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (for customers in the US), or an Exynos 8895 SoC for customers elsewhere. The rest of the spec list is padded out with a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a fingerprint sensor, an iris scanner, Samsung Pay compatibility, Samsung Bixby, Android 7.0 (Nougat) pre-installed, and more.

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