Best Android Phones – October 2017

A lot has happened over the last few weeks and months and with October now here the flagship smartphone landscape has changed quite considerable with new arrivals from some of the biggest players in the Android world, including Samsung, LG, and most recently, Google. So if you are after a new smartphone this month then the choice now on offer is about as good as it will ever get during 2017 and with that in mind - here are our top 10 Android smartphone picks for October, 2017.

10. Essential PH-1

In spite of the Essential Phone (aka the Essential PH-1) being a 10th spot smartphone pick this month, this is a device that only recently made it to market. So for those looking for a very new device, then this is one to consider, and especially for those looking for something a little bit different to the rest of the pack. As the Essential Phone does make use of a rather unique design and offers buyers design traits they are unlikely to find on other smartphones. Above all else, one of the most notable features is that the Essential Phone not only offers a bezel-less display, but one which is about as bezel-less as a display can currently get. Making this a device that does place the lack of bezels at the heart of its design.

Although when it comes to the rest of the core specs and in spite of its flagship price, the Essential Phone does not offer quite as much as what you will find with other 2017 flagship smartphones. That said, this is a device that does come equipped with a 5.71-inch display along with a 2560 x 1312 resolution, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, and a dual rear camera setup consisting of two 13-megapixel cameras. Additional features include an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,040 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

9. Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is still the current and major flagship release from Motorola, although those looking for a more affordable option may want to consider the newly-announced Android One version of the Moto X4. When it comes to the Moto Z2 Force though, this is a device that is designed to offer incredible value for money due to the Moto Z2 line’s ability to be used along with Moto Mods - modules that can be attached to the device to offer access to additional functionality. Which does mean the Moto Z2 Force offers something that most other devices on this list do not - which is saying something in 2017 when most flagship smartphones offer the same features, albeit sometimes with a different name.

Moto Mod compatibility aside and the Moto Z2 Force is built to be a durable phone as it does comes equipped with the company’s ShatterShield technology. In addition, this is a device that features a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, and a dual rear camera setup consisting of two 12-megapixel cameras. Additional features on offer include a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 2,730 mAh battery, and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat).

8. OnePlus 5

Ever since its release the OnePlus 5 has proven itself to be every part the flagship smartphone while also being one which looks to significantly undercut the cost associated with other flagship options. So while this is the most expensive smartphone to ever come from the House of OnePlus, it is also the richest in terms of specs and features, and is one which still manages to retain a very competitive price, by flagship standards. Of course the one downside here is that you will not get quite the number of OTT features offered with some of the other devices on this list, although what you will get is a solid device that performs well and one which comes with a popular version of Android, OxygenOS.

As for the specs, the OnePlus 5 features a 5.5-inch display along with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, as well as the option to choose between a 6GB RAM (with 64GB storage) model and an 8GB RAM (with 128GB storage) model. Both versions do come powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, and both also include a dual rear camera setup consisting of a 16-megapixel RGB sensor along with a 20-megapixel telephoto sensor. Which is all in addition to a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,300 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat).

7. HTC U11

By all accounts the HTC U11 is a very new device as it was only announced back in May of this year. However since then there has been a number of other devices that have come through and pushed the U11 further out of the limelight. That said, this is still one of the best phones on the market and also one of the most unique with arguably its most unique feature (although less unique now thanks to the arrival of the Pixel 2) being its 'squeezable smartphone' nature. As users are able to squeeze the sides of the device to initiate a command thanks to the U11’s inclusion of Edge Sense technology. This has proven to be an interesting add-on and one which makes it much easier and quicker to activate some of the most commonly used features on a smartphone.

Edge Sense aside, the HTC U11 is also a fairly spec-packed phone as it is one which comes loaded with a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. This is in addition to also coming equipped with a 12-megapixel rear camera, a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.1 (Nougat).

6. Google Pixel / Pixel XL

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL broke new ground for Google as these were the first devices the company released as part of its ‘made by Google’ brand. Times have changed though and in spite of being debut smartphones from Google, they have now been succeeded by their successors, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. However, when it comes to the best smartphones you can currently buy, the Google Pixel and XL still remain competitive enough and are likely to see a number of price drops over the coming weeks, making them both even more appealing options for those looking for a new smartphone this month.

Of the two, the Pixel XL is positioned as the more premium device as not only does it come with a larger display with a greater resolution, but it also comes packed with a greater battery capacity as well. However when those aspects are taken out of the equation what is left is largely two identical devices with both models featuring the same design and software tweaks. As well as both coming loaded with 4GB RAM, 32GB storage at a minimum, 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). Adding to their value - both phones are already capable of being instantly updated to the latest version of Android, 8.0 (Oreo).

5. LG G6

For those looking for a smaller smartphone which still boasts a big display, the LG G6 is a great option to consider. In spite of the display on this device coming in at 5.7-inches, this is a phone that is designed to be easily used in a one-handed mode as and when needed. This is largely due to the body on this phone being smaller than usual (compared to phones with a similar-sized display) and in no small part thanks to the inclusion of an 18:9 aspect ratio. So while this is a more compact phone than some of the others on the list, it is also a more than capable and powerful smartphone. As the LG G6 also features a QHD+ resolution, 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC.

Additional features on offer include a dual rear camera setup which is made up of two 13-megapixel cameras, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,300 mAh battery, and Android 7.0 (Nougat). Best of all though is the price as in spite of this being a current and major flagship device it has been the subject of a number of price drops recently and can currently be picked up for under $500 - which makes this a bargain purchase at the moment.

4. Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus

In spite of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus being 2017 smartphones it is already starting to feel as though it has been a long time since they were first announced. Something which is now representative in their position on this list. Both come packed with many of the features you would expect from a 2017 smartphone, as well as a design that is more suited to those looking for a smaller and thinner form factor. So for example, if the Galaxy Note 8 is too large for your needs, either the Galaxy S8 Plus or the standard S8 will likely be far more accommodating. And especially if you take into consideration the price, as while these were very high-priced items at launch, they are more often than not now available at deal prices.

In terms of their differences, these mainly come down to the display size with the Galaxy S8 featuring a 5.8-inch display and the Galaxy S8 Plus a 6.2-inch display, and their battery capacity with the Galaxy S8 equipped with a with a 3,000 mAh battery and the Galaxy S8 Plus with a 3,500 mAh battery. Otherwise, buyers of either model can expect the inclusion of an Infinity Display with a QHD+ resolution, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (in the US), a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, an iris scanner, support for Samsung’s various OTT services (such as Pay and Bixby), and Android 7.0 (Nougat).

3. LG V30

The LG V30 is one of the devices that has really taken its time in becoming available as it has only just recently hit stores in spite of being announced back on August 31, 2017. So for those that have been waiting for the latest phone from LG to become available, it now is, and along with a few promos. For example, in addition to a free Daydream headset Verizon is also offering a $200 Visa prepaid card with the purchase of the V30. However, that deal is only valid for this month as it is due to end on November 5, 2017.

As for the actual phone, the LG V30 is the sum of a number of 2017 trending design points and features. For instance, not only does this phone come loaded with a 6-inch display that adopts a 18:9 aspect ratio, but this is also a phone that comes loaded with a dual rear camera setup. One that has been receiving much praise of late and one which consists of a 16-megapixel primary camera, backed up by a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera. The rest of the features are not too bad either with the LG V30 packing 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as a quad DAC, microSD card support, a 3,300 mAh battery, and Android 7.1 (Nougat) pre-installed.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is arguable one of the best phones you can buy, and for some will be the best phone on the market. So in spite of it now dropping down to second position this month, this is certainly a phone that you should be considering. After all, the Galaxy Note 8 not only packs in the design points, but also the specs and features, making this one of the richest phones now available and one that in spite of its high cost, does offer a considerable amount of value for the money. Which is all before even taking into account the Galaxy Note 8’s main selling point - its compatibility and optimization for use with a stylus - the S Pen.

Besides its note-taking abilities, the Galaxy Note 8 is also the first device from Samsung to come sporting dual rear cameras and has already received much praise for the quality of the images captured. If all that was not enough then this is another device that makes use of a taller and slimmer display thanks to its employment of an 18:9 aspect ratio. Speaking of which, and as a result of the display design, the display is fairly spacious coming in at 6.3-inches. Other than that you can also expect the Galaxy Note 8 to come loaded with 6GB RAM, 64GB storage at a minimum, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (in the US), a 3,300 mAh battery, fast charging support, wireless charging support, Android 7.1.1 (Nougat), and more.

1. Google Pixel 2 /Pixel 2 XL

The Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL have just been announced, are now available to pre-order, and have already topped this list. To be fair, it is the Pixel 2 XL that makes the number 1 spot as that already seems to be the better phone. However, the Pixel 2 XL does come with a 6-inch display and for those that find that size a little too big, the Pixel 2 with it 5-inch display might be more fitting. Besides the display size (and resolution) there is also a difference in aspect ratio with the Pixel 2 XL making use of an 18:9 aspect ratio compared to the Pixel 2’s more traditional 16:9 ratio. The last notably difference is in the battery capacity as the Pixel 2 XL is loaded with a 3,520 mAh battery compared to the 2,700 mAh capacity battery on offer with the standard Pixel 2.

Otherwise, much of the rest of what is on offer is the same as both phones feature 4GB RAM, 64GB storage at a minimum, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, a 12.2-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 8.0 (Oreo) pre-installed. Of course there is also a number of OTT tweaks on offer with these phones, and most notably the likes of Google Lens and Active Edge. The latter of which (like the HTC U11) allows the user to squeeze the sides of the phone to initiate a command - taking a selfie for example. In either case, and regardless of which Pixel 2 model you opt for, you can be assured of having one of the smoothest and most up to date Android experiences available.

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About the Author

John Anon

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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