Best Android Phones – July 2017

The second half of 2017 is now officially underway and it already looks as though there is going to be a number of big hitting smartphones announced before the close of the year. Although, it seems unlikely that as many will be announced, as was seen during the first half of the year. January through June proved to be an interesting time with a number of high profile smartphones coming through and ones which have now greatly changed the landscape for those looking for a new smartphone. Speaking of which, for those who are in the market for a new phone, here are our best Android smartphone picks for July, 2017.

10. Moto G5 Plus

Those looking for a smartphone that not only performs extremely well, but one which is also priced very competitively, only need to look as far as the Moto G5 Plus. generally speaking the Moto G line has always offered good value for money and even though there is now an even more affordable Moto smartphone (the Moto E4) available, the Moto G5 Plus still packs in the value - making it one of the best smartphones now available for the price. This is an ideal smartphone for those who are looking for something well-built, loaded with a lighter operating system, and also one which is easy on the pocket. Right now for instance, the Moto G5 Plus can be picked up for as little as $229 and for as much as $299.

In terms of the specs, the Moto G5 is available in two main versions. One which comes equipped with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, and one which comes loaded with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. Those differences aside, both models offer up a 5.2-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. While additional features include 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).

9. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

It was not that long ago that the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge was the top entry on this list, which further highlights just how much the mobile market has changed over the last year. As a result the Galaxy S7 Edge now finds itself competing with a number of other options which in some way or another, offer more value for money, or simply better features. However, this does also mean that the Galaxy S7 Edge can now often be picked up at a much better price than it would have been just a few months ago. Which in turn means that the Galaxy S7 Edge still manages to maintain its value and its appeal. This is a device that should need little introduction as it is one which really showcased Samsung’s design improvements with its flagship Galaxy S range. Most notably, the inclusion of the Galaxy S7 Edge’s sloping slides and added Edge functionality.

In terms of the specs, the Galaxy S7 Edge still remains competitive thanks to the inclusion of 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage (more available if needed), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 or a Samsung Exynos 8890 SoC. The display comes in at 5.5-inches and boasts a 2560 x 1440 resolution. While additional features include a 16-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,600 mAh battery, a number of Samsung-only features, and an update to Android 7.0 (Nougat).

8: BlackBerry KEYone

The BlackBerry KEYone is one of the newer smartphones to come through although it is one which actually looks to bring back a more traditional feature - a physical keyboard. BlackBerry is of course known for this type of keyboard and while the PRIV also came with a physical keyboard, the BlackBerry KEYone has seen some major hardware and software improvements in this respect. Resulting in what is clearly the best BlackBerry Android smartphone to date. Not forgetting of course, that BlackBerry also places a good deal of focus on the security benefits of its smartphones and the BlackBerry KEYone is no exception, with a number of security-focused enhancements on offer.

In terms of the specs, the BlackBerry KEYone is one of the least powerful flagships on this list as it comes loaded with 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC. Likewise, it is also one of the smallest smartphones on this list, as it is equipped with a 4.5-inch display along with a 1620 x 1080 resolution. While additional features include a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,505 mAh battery, and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat). Although, unlike the rest - is does have that keyboard.

7. Essential Phone

Technically speaking, the Essential Phone is not available to buy yet. However, Essential is accepting pre-orders so those who do want to be the first to own this brand new smartphone, from a brand new smartphone name, can get their order in now. In reality, it is expected that this smartphone will move higher up the list once it does become available, as on paper this one ticks many of the right boxes. Not only is it priced competitively (by flagship standards) but it also comes with a bulging spec list and one which easily competes with the rest of the flagship crop.

For instance, this is a smartphone that comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. The display comes in at 5.71-inches and makes use of a 2460 x 1312 resolution. In addition, the Essential Phone also includes the en vogue dual rear camera setup, which in this case comprises of two 13-megapixel cameras. Additional features include an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,040 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and what is presumed to be Android 7.0 (Nougat).

6. Moto Z2 Play

The Moto Z2 Play marks the first of the new entries on the list this month as it has only very recently became available to buy. And it is already making a good impression. While this is not a smartphone that will appeal to those looking for the absolute best in class specs, it is one which comes with some features that you won’t find on the rest of the smartphones on this list. Most notably, compatibility with Moto Mods. Moto has done extremely well with its range of Moto Mods as they do seem to become more popular and varied by the day. Which is not surprising as they do offer true additional value and functionality to those who are looking for more of a customized smartphone experience. And this is even before the actual design of the smartphone comes into focus, which not only builds on the design cues of the previous generation Moto Z line, but also results in a very thin smartphone overall.

In terms of the specs, the Moto Z2 Play comes equipped with a 5.5-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Inside, the Moto Z2 Play is available in a number of variants, including one which is loaded with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, and one which is loaded with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. Although both models do come powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC. Additional features include a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, microSD card support, and a selection of colors to choose from. Best of all, this is a very competitively priced smartphone, as right now Verizon is offering the Moto Z2 Play from as little as $408.

5. OnePlus 5

From one new arrival to another, the OnePlus 5. This is a smartphone that has made the headlines routinely over the last few weeks and months, and it is now available to buy. Continuing the general OnePlus mantra, the OnePlus 5 offers exceptional value for money and especially for those who want a snappy smartphone that comes with a very light version of Android. However, the OnePlus 5 is not a smartphone that does naturally compete with other flagships in all areas. While the OnePlus 5 does offer more for your money in some respects, it is missing a number of fundamental 2017 features. Missing features which inevitably stop the OnePlus 5 from moving any further up the list.

That said, the OnePlus 5 remains one of the best smartphones you can currently buy and especially for the money. This one is available in two different models which largely differ in terms of their RAM and storage counts. First up is a 6GB RAM model which also comes with 64GB internal storage, and does currently cost $479 to buy in the US. While the second model crams in a mammoth 8GB RAM along with 128GB internal storage, with the price creeping up to $539. Either way, both models do come with the same 5.5-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. On the camera side of things, the OnePlus 5 comes loaded with a dual rear camera setup, comprised of a 16-megapixel RGB sensor, along with a 20-megapixel telephoto sensor. Additional features include a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,300 mAh battery, a USB Type-C port, Dash Charge support, and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat).

4. HTC U11

In some ways the HTC U11 had been underestimated. HTC flagship devices have always remained popular options, although it could be argued that the last few versions have lacked any real innovation. This is not a criticism which can be leveled at the HTC U11 as this one sports a feature you will not find on any of the other top tier smartphones - the ability to squeeze the phone and have it perform an action. Likewise, the longer this phone has remained available, the better it seems to get. As More details on the HTC U11 come though it seems as though this really is a smartphone that is worth considering. For example, in our recent camera test, the HTC U11 blew away the competition. So if you were a HTC fan and are missing the HTC look and feel, then it seems the U11 is absolutely one worth checking out.

Besides its Edge sensors, the HTC U11 also comes equipped with a pretty substantial spec list. This is a smartphone that comes loaded with a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Inside, the HTC U11 comes packed with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. Additional features include a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, Quick Charge 3.0 support, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.1 (Nougat).

3. Google Pixel / Pixel XL

Ever since Google made available its first generation Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, they have remained high up on this list. And still do in spite of a number of new arrivals having come through. While the two devices are inevitably starting to become dated, they do still offer some of the best value to those specifically looking for an Android smartphone. Which is not surprising seeing these are ‘Google Phones’. Not only do they come with Android as Google intends, but they also come with some additional software tweaks and features that would not have been included on the likes of the Nexus range, including their own launcher and of course, the Google Assistant.

Likewise, these are two smartphones that are very much cut from the same cloth, which means the only decision that needs to be made is how much battery capacity is needed, and the size (and resolution) of the display. The Pixel is a device that comes with a 2,770 mAh battery as well as a 5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. While the Pixel XL crams in a higher capacity 3,450 mAh battery as well as a larger 5.5-inch display and a greater 2560 x 1440 resolution. Other than that, both the Pixel and the Pixel XL offer 4GB RAM, 32/128GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. As well as a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

2. LG G6

Remaining in the second spot this month is the latest smartphone from LG, the LG G6. This is another smartphone that has completely looked to reinvent itself from last year and since its arrival, has proved to be a popular option. The LG G6 is not only more powerful than its predecessors, but the whole package has completely changed. With the LG G6 adopting a taller display and body which not only improves the viewing experience, but also retains a one-handed level of use. In fact, in many ways the LG G6 is very similar to the Samsung Galaxy S8, although the LG G6 can often be found at a lower price and right now is available priced at $549.99. Making the LG G6 an easy recommendation.

In terms of the specs, the LG G6 display comes in at 5.7-inches and makes use of a QHD+ resolution. This is a smartphone that comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. While additional features include a dual rear camera setup (comprised of two 13-megapixel cameras), as well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,300 mAh capacity battery, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

1. Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus

Once again, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus are our best smartphone picks. If you are in the market for a new smartphone, then these two really do represent the best in class when it comes to build quality, design, features, and performance. While other phones can claim to be or offer better in certain aspects, when it comes to the whole package, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus rise above the rest. Samsung has made massive strides in terms of design recently and the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus build on those strides while also bringing to the table something new, a taller display which sports a QHD+ resolution. So for those who like the style and features on offer with a Samsung smartphone, this really should be the only option to consider. Both models are enough like the Galaxy S7 Edge to be familiar, while also different enough to feel like a completely new smartphone.

In terms of the specs, the main differences between the two models is the display size and the battery capacity, The Galaxy S8 comes loaded with a 5.8-inch display and a 3,000 mAh battery, while the Galaxy S8 Plus is equipped with a 6.2-inch display and a 3,500 mAh battery. Both models make use of the same ‘infinity display’ and both come powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in the US, or the Exynos 8895 SoC elsewhere. In addition, both come with a number of dedicated Samsung features (including Bixby), as well as 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, an iris scanner, Android 7.0 (Nougat), and more.

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About the Author
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John Anon

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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