Best Android Phones – August 2017

August 7, 2017 - Written By John Anon

The last month has seen Motorola make another new smartphone announcement with the introduction of the Moto Z2 Force. Which now means Motorola has announced quite a number of smartphones in 2017, and arguably more than any other major smartphone brand. However, how many of them are worth purchasing at the moment and how do they stack up to the competition? This is what this list intends to help advise on, by providing our view on what are the best 10 smartphone picks for August, 2017.

10. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Clinging to its top 10 position for another month is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. While this smartphone maintained its number 1 position on this list for quite a long time last year, it has slowly month-by-month seen its position slide downwards. Of course, by current standards this smartphone can now firmly be considered an older-generation device, due to the arrival in 2017 of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. However, in spite of its slow descent, it is still arguable a great smartphone to buy. One which comes with a spec list that although 18 months old, holds its own against the rest of the pack. In addition, due to its age, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is now more often than not available at a much more affordable price than a number of the other options on this list. Another aspect which clearly plays in its favor, and helps to maintain the Galaxy S7 Edge as a popular smartphone purchase in 2017.

As for the specs, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge features a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Inside, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, (at a minimum), and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (or Exynos 8890) SoC. In addition, the Galaxy S7 Edge also comes equipped with a 16-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,600 mAh battery, Android 7.0 (Nougat), and a ton of exclusive Samsung features.

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

9. Essential Phone

The Essential Phone is proving to be a more interesting smartphone than anyone expected. In spite of this phone currently only available to pre-order, it did debut on our list for the first time last month. However, since then it has still yet to become available, resulting in quite a bit of speculation on what is happening with this phone. However, it still does remain as one of the best candidates for those looking for a new smartphone. And like last month, it is expected that it will become available very soon. So while it has dropped down the list this month, it is still one worth considering and keeping an eye on.

As for the specs, this is a smartphone that directly looks to compete with the best of what is currently on offer in 2017, as the Essential Phone comes equipped with a 5.71-inch display along with a 2560 x 1312 resolution. Inside, the Essential Phone features 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as a dual rear camera setup, consisting of not one, but two 13-megapixel cameras, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,040 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and although not confirmed – likely the latest version of Android.

Pre-order Essential Phone

8. Moto Z2 Play

For those looking for a solid mid-to-upper range smartphone, there are probably few choices at the moment better than the Moto Z2 Play. This is one of the newer models to come through from Motorola, and one which looks to offer as good of an experience as possible, while maintaining a price that is as competitive as possible. Which is always a good combination for consumers. The big selling point with the Moto Z2 Play, is of course its compatibility with Moto Mods. So while this is a less spec-heavy smartphone (compared to the others on the list), it is one which does have the ability to be highly customized and those customizations are more than just aesthetic, as they will add greater functionality to the smartphone in general.

In terms of the specs, the Moto Z2 Play features a 5.5-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. As well as the choice of RAM and storage, with a 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage model available, as well as a 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage model. In either case, both versions come powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC, both also include the same 12-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

Buy the Moto Z2 Play Read more: Moto Z2 Play Review

7. BlackBerry KEYone

The BlackBerry KEYone is one of those phones that is either right up your street or not at all. This is largely due to two specific aspects which greatly differ the BlackBerry KEYone from just about everything else on this list. The first is the inclusion of an actual physical keyboard. One which has seen multiple improvements compared to previous Android BlackBerry smartphones. The second is actually a knock-on effect of the first, as by including the keyboard, the display has been reduced in size, compared to what would be expected on a new phone nowadays. As a result, the BlackBerry KEYone comes equipped with a 4.5-inch display along with a 1620 x 1080 resolution. So depending on how you feel on those two points will likely determine whether this is the right phone for you or not. Although, in either case it is proving to be a solid smartphone option.

As for the rest of the specs, the BlackBerry KEYone also comes loaded with 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC. As well as a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,505 mAh battery, and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat). So while this is not the most spec-heavy smartphone on the list, it is also (by a long shot) far from being the most expensive and can currently be picked up for $549.99.

Buy the BlackBerry KEYone Read more: BlackBerry KEYone Review

6. Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is literally the newest smartphone on this list as it was only announced in the closing part of July. So the jury is still out on this latest Moto smartphone. Although, on first impressions alone, the Moto Z2 Force is shaping up to be an excellent option for those who like the Moto way of doing things. As this is a next-generation Moto Z device, it does come with all the Z-related features one would expect. Including of course, ShatterShield protection, and compatibility with a wide range of Moto Mods which look to add additional features to the phone, at a price.

As for the core specs, this is clearly Motorola’s flagship option for this year as the Moto Z2 Force features a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Inside, the Moto Z2 Force comes loaded with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. On the camera side of things, the Moto Z2 Force is actually equipped with a dual rear camera setup, comprised of two 12-megapixel cameras. While additional features include a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 2,730 mAh battery, and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat).

Pre-order Moto Z2 Force (Verizon) Read more: Moto Z2 Force First Impressions

5. OnePlus 5

For many, the OnePlus 5 is simply the best phone you can currently buy. An argument which does hold weight, as the price of the phone compared to what you get in return results in the OnePlus 5 being the most affordable option for those looking for best in class specs. However, when it comes to the top tier smartphones, the OnePlus 5 does not quite offer as much as the rest of the pack does. So while you will pay more for the smartphones ranked about the OnePlus 5, you will get more for your money.

In either case, the OnePlus 5 is an excellent option and one which packs in the specs. For instance, in addition to the 5.5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, the OnePlus 5 also comes loaded with 8GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 16-megapixel RGB sensor and a 20-megapixel telephoto sensor, 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). In fact, adding to its affordability, there is also a cheaper version as well, which largely comes with the same specs barring a drop in RAM to 6GB and a drop in storage to 64GB.

Buy the OnePlus 5 Read more: OnePlus 5 Review

4. HTC U11

Since its release, the HTC U11 has proven to be an interesting phone, as it has slowly increased in popularity and in no small part due to the many positive reviews that have now come through. In particular, the HTC U11 seems to be a great option for those looking for a camera-centric smartphone experience. Although, it is clear that the cameras are not the main selling point, as what the HTC U11 offers that no other smartphone on this list does, is its ‘squeezable’ design. Allowing owners to perform quick actions by simply squeezing the sides of the phone. Which also neatly ties in again with the camera experience, as you can easily set the squeeze action to take a selfie as and when needed.

Squeezing aside, and the HTC U11 is clearly a flagship smartphone and offers a spec list which is just about comparable to everything else currently on the market. For instance, the HTC U11 features a 5.5-inch display (with a 2560 x 1440 resolution), 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. In addition to 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).

Buy the HTC U11 Read more: HTC U 11 Review

3. Google Pixel / Pixel XL

The Google Pixel and the Pixel XL are now starting to show their age. Especially due to the expected release of their successors within the next couple of months. However, when it comes to which smartphone you should buy, the Pixel and the Pixel XL still remain two of the best options out there. Which is in spite of multiple smartphones having now been released since these two first hit the market. So although some of the Pixel specs are now starting to lag behind, when it comes to the lightweight level of the OS, and the camera features on offer, there are few smartphones more worth your money than these two.

As for those specs, the Pixel and the Pixel XL share most of their DNA with both smartphone boasting a near-identical spec list. The only notable differences reside in the display size, the resolution, and the battery life. So if you prefer a larger phone then the Pixel XL is certainly the one for you, featuring a 5.5-inch display, a 2560 x 1440 resolution, and a 3,450 mAh battery. In contrast, the smaller of the two devices, the Pixel, boasts a 5-inch display, a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and is powered by a 2,770 mAh battery. Differences aside, both smartphones feature 4GB RAM, 32/128GB storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

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

2. LG G6

The LG G6 is a true return to form smartphone from LG. As while following on from the LG G5, the G6 stands in stark contrast. Not only has this phone been built from the ground up, but it is also a completely different form factor, compared to all previous LG G-series smartphones. Largely thanks to the LG G6 making use of an 18:9 aspect ratio which results in the display being taller, while maintaining a size that fits into a body more often associated with smaller smartphones. Making this phone all about the display, while still sized right for one-handed usage.

As for the main specs, there is nothing too different here from what you will find on most of the current flagship options as the LG G6 features a 5.7-inch display along with a QHD+ resolution. Inside, the LG G6 manages to pack in 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. In addition to a dual rear camera configuration which consists of not one, but two 13-megapixel cameras. Coupled with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, as well as a 3,300 mAh battery, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

Buy the LG G6 Read more: LG G6 Review

1. Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus

There is little change this month at the top of our list. So if you are looking for a new smartphone in August, then right now the best option to go with is still the Samsung Galaxy S8 or the Galaxy S8 Plus. Whiles these are two different models, they are largely the same phone where it counts. With the main differences designed to account for different user needs. For instance, if you are someone who prefers a smaller smartphone footprint, than the standard Galaxy S8 will likely be the best option for you. Although due to both smartphones making use of an 18:9 aspect ratio, both smartphones do leave a smaller footprint than what would be expected from other smartphones with the same size display.

So the only real decision that has to be made is whether a 5.8-inch display or a 6.2-inch display is more appropriate for you. Other than that, both models share virtually all the same specs, including 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC in the US (elsewhere an Exynos 8895 SoC will be included). In addition to a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, an iris scanner, and Android 7.0 (Nougat). Of course, whether or not the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus remains our go-to options next month is another matter altogether – as by then Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone will have been announced, the Galaxy Note 8. In the meantime, both the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are currently on sale with the Galaxy S8 available from as little as $574.99 – an excellent price for our currently-ranked number 1 smartphone.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S8 Buy the Samsung Galaxy S8+ Read more: Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus Review