The Holiday season is pretty much here now and so it is time to start thinking about what presents you might buy for your loved ones, and just as importantly - what presents you hope to get from them. Whether you are looking for a new smartphone for yourself or for someone else, November has a number of great options available. In fact, no less than three new phones have already been announced during this month (with one of them having entered this list quite high up) - and with OnePlus confirming it will unveil its latest smartphone on November 16th, the list of new phones will have grown even more before the month is out. In the meantime, however, here are our top 10 Android smartphone picks for November 2017.
10. Essential PH-1
The Essential PH-1, more commonly known as the Essential Phone has proven to be an interesting device. This one has parted opinions somewhat and has seen a number of major price changes taking effect over the last few weeks. Which is highly unusual for a smartphone as new as this. The good news, however, is that it is one which can now be picked up at the lowest price it has been since its release, making now a great time to buy it. As for the actual phone, this is one which places a significant amount of its focus on being a bezel-less device as even by bezel-less standards, it's rather impressive.
Adding to its 2017 nature, the Essential PH-1 also comes boasting a dual rear camera setup comprised of two 12-megapixel cameras. As for the rest of the specs, the PH-1 features a 5.71-inch display along with a 2560 x 1312 resolution, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,040mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and Android 7.0 (Nougat).
9. Moto Z2 Force
The Moto Z2 Force is not the newest phone to come from Motorola as the company has since released other models including the latest revamp of its popular Moto X line in the form of the Moto X4. However, when it comes to which Motorola phone is the best to buy, that title largely remains with the Moto Z2 Force. This is in every respect a premium smartphone and one which offers a very unique ability - well, unique to Moto devices that is. As the Moto Z2 Force is capable of being paired with the various (and growing number of) Moto Mods. These modules allow the user to instantly improve on select areas of the smartphone and are quickly interchangeable. So while they are sold as additional accessories, they do offer a ton of customization options to the Z2 Force experience. This is also a device which features a now-common dual camera setup, and like the Essential Phone is made up of two 12-megapixel cameras.
Another key selling point is its durability as while most premium devices do come with some protection nowadays, the Moto Z2 Force employs the established ShatterShield technology, resulting in a highly durable smartphone. As for the core numbers, the Moto Z2 Force offers up a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. Inside, expect 4GB RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 2,730mAh capacity battery.
8. HTC U11
Like the Moto Z2 Force, the HTC U11 is not actually the newest device to come from HTC. In fact, the company announced two new U11 models in November alone, the HTC U11 Plus and U11 Life. Although the former is not expected to become available in all regions (including the US) and the U11 Life is more of a mid-range device. Therefore, right now, the standard HTC U11 remains the best option for those looking for an HTC style of phone. Which is not a bad thing as the HTC U11 is a powerhouse smartphone and one which has been credited with an excellent camera experience. Unlike most of the other devices on this list, however, and in spite of the rave reviews, the HTC U11 does not employ a dual rear camera setup and instead relies on the included 12-megapixel camera.
One of the clear selling points with this phone is its Edge Sense functionality. This was the first phone to properly market the ability to squeeze the phone to initiate a command and unlike the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL which share the same squeeze DNA, the HTC version is far more versatile allowing the user to dictate the action. When it comes to the rest of the device, the HTC U11 competes with the best thanks to the inclusion of a 5.5-inch display along with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, 4GB RAM, 64GB of storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3,000mAh battery, and USB Type-C connectivity.
7. Google Pixel / Pixel XL
As Google is still considered to be new to the smartphone-making game, it does seem strange to consider the Google Pixel and Pixel XL to be old devices now. But in the quickly-changing market that is the smartphone world, they are. However, they do still remain very capable and appealing devices, and due to the emergence of the next-generation models, the Pixel and XL have routinely become available at much cheaper prices recently. Making them more appealing than ever for those looking for an excellent smartphone at a slightly better price than usual. For example, while other phones on this list come with more or newer features, the Pixel and Pixel XL are already capable of running the latest version of Android, Oreo. So besides the OTT features manufacturers throw in for added-value, these two phones come running on a software version that you will not find on most of the other phones on the list. Therefore, those looking to take advantage of the latest Android improvements only have to look as far as the Pixel and the Pixel XL.
In terms of their core numbers, the two models share a majority of common features including 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. As well as a 12.3-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and USB Type-C connectivity. Leaving their main differences to be summed up as the difference in display size (5.0 vs 5.5-inch), the resolution (1920 x 1080 vs 2560 x 1440), and their battery capacities (2,770 mAh vs 3,450 mAh).
6. LG G6
The LG G line of smartphones has always remained a solid option to consider each year and that has never been truer than now. The LG G6 came to the market on the back of a rather unfavorable predecessor and saw a number of aspects changed for the better. Resulting in a phone that is easily capable of standing against anything else on this list. In fact, for those looking for a smaller phone form factor, the LG G6 is likely to be one of the best choices as this one is much smaller than the other options. Which is in spite of still coming with a display that is of a very similar size to its alternatives, if not bigger in some cases. LG achieved this by being one of the first to make use of an 18:9 aspect ratio and thereby is able to offer G6 owners a 5.7-inch display on a body size more commonly associated with smaller phones.
Another common 2017 feature on offer with the G6 is the inclusion of a dual rear camera setup made up of two 12-megapixel cameras. Also on offer is 4GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC. As well as a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 3,300 mAh battery.
5. Samsung Galaxy S8 & Galaxy S8 Plus
When a major Samsung phone from this year has already fallen to fifth place, you know it has been a good year for smartphones. Which is the case in 2017 with the latest Samsung Galaxy S smartphones already starting to drop down the pecking order. However, do not be mistaken by their ranking as these remain two of the most popular smartphones on the market. Which is not surprising when you consider the build quality, the specs, and the number of features on offer with these two smartphones. They literally are feature-packed and offer some of the best value for money. Especially now as they are consistently available at lower prices compared to the ones they originally launched at.
Unlike their predecessors, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus are largely the same phone. They both offer an identical user experience and largely come with an identical spec list. Meaning the only real choice to be made is which size is better suited to the buyer's needs. If they prefer smaller phones than the Galaxy S8 with its 5.8-inch display is likely to be the best option. While those looking for a larger phone will not find many better options than the 6.2-inch display on offer with the S8 Plus. Both manage to offer these larger sizes while still maintaining a thinner and slimmer profile due to the employment of an 18:9 aspect ratio. Powering the two devices is a different-sized battery (3,000mAh vs 3,500mAh) but otherwise, both phones feature 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (in the US). As well as a 12-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, an iris scanner, Samsung Pay, Samsung Bixby, and more.
4. LG V30
The LG V30 is a unique phone in many ways including its release schedule. This is still a very new phone having only become available to buy quite recently. However, this is a phone that feels much older as it was announced all the way back at the end of August. Which is a long time between an announcement and release in the smartphone world. The downside of this delayed release is that some will have likely forgotten all about the LG V30 though they shouldn't have, as this is a seriously good phone and easily one worth considering. Not only does the LG V30 come with a number of 2017 features but also packs in a ton of functionalities aimed at photographers and audiophiles alike. Making this a really good option for many different buyers.
As for those 2017 features, this is a device that offers both an 18:9 aspect ratio (with its 6-inch display) and a dual rear camera setup, spearheaded by a 16-megapixel primary camera and a 13-megapixel wide-angle module. Also on offer is 4GB RAM, 64GB storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as a 3,300mAh battery and a quad-DAC.
3. Razer Phone
Say hello to the Razer Phone. Not only is this a new phone from Razer, and the first phone from Razer, but on the face of it, it is one designed to impress. Razer has packed this phone full of features and specs to rival everything on this list. So if pure numbers is all you care about then stop reading now as you have reached your destination. First up, and what is arguably one of its key selling points, is that the Razer Phone packs in a 5.72-inch QHD display which boasts a 120Hz refresh rate. Try finding that on another phone - you won’t. Adding to that, Razer has packed the Razer Phone with 8GB RAM, 64GB storage, and the latest from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 835 SoC. A combination which already makes this one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. Which, of course, is not surprising when you take into consideration that Razer has aimed this phone at gamers - gamers need power and the Razer Phone looks to deliver it.
However, that is just the beginning as this is also a phone which manages to include a dual rear camera setup which should take care of those looking for a camera experience typical of 2017. This dual combo consists of two 12-megapixel cameras where one adopts the role of a wide-angle camera. Of course, these are all power-draining aspects and to compensate, Razer has packed the Razer Phone with a fairly hefty 4,000mAh capacity battery. That is, as well as microSD card support (up to 256GB), Quick Charge 4+ (another first for a smartphone), an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and Android 7.1.1 (Nougat). It is a little early to say for sure just how good this smartphone is, but on paper, it is shaping up to be as good as a smartphone currently gets. At the moment, you cannot buy the Razer phone, but you can register your interest.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 could easily be the best smartphone available right now, and for some it will be. This is not only the newest smartphone to emerge from the House of Samsung, but is one which comes packed with just about everything Samsung could think of. So if you are after advanced security features, then Samsung has you covered with the usual measures including a fingerprint sensor, as well as face recognition technology and the rest of the Samsung security-focused software tweaks. If cameras are more your concern, then this is the first Samsung device to come packed with a dual rear camera setup and Samsung has even tweaked that experience to offer owners even greater control over elements like background blur.
Then there is the display. Samsung has always brought to market some of the best smartphone display experiences and the Galaxy Note 8 is no exception. Not only is this display extremely large (coming in at 6.3 inches) but it manages to do so in a body much smaller due to the use of an 18:9 aspect ratio. So this is literally one of the biggest displays around on a body which is not noticeably bigger than the previous model. This is all of course while ignoring the fact that the Galaxy Note 8 comes loaded with its own stylus, the now-famous S-Pen. Although as this is Samsung, the inclusion of the hardware is only part of the equation with the Note 8 also offering multiple software tweaks to make better use of the S-Pen, including the new ability to personalize messages even more with Live Messages. As for the rest of the specs, the Galaxy Note 8 packs in 6GB RAM, 64GB storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (in the US). As well as a 3,300mAh battery, fast charging support, wireless charging support, and support for just about every Samsung service you can name, including Pay and Bixby.
1. Google Pixel 2 /Pixel 2 XL
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the 2017 smartphones from Google. Unlike their predecessors which largely only differed in display size, resolution, and battery capacity, these newer models look more different than they do alike. As while the standard Pixel 2 features a traditional 16:9 aspect ratio, the Pixel 2 XL comes sporting the new standard - an 18:9 aspect ratio. Which not only means the Pixel 2 XL adopts a taller and thinner profile, but also offers more display compared to the size of the smartphone overall. In fact, the display on the Pixel 2 XL comes in at 6 inches (compared to the 5.5-inch screen on offer with the standard model) making the XL version an ideal option for those looking for an entertainment-focused device.
In spite of their cosmetic differences though, the two Pixel 2 phones offer an identical user experience and one which is arguably as good as it gets on Android. Not only do these phones come running on the latest version of Android (Oreo) as standard, but these are Pixel phones and therefore do come with a number of Pixel software tweaks. Likewise, and in spite of only adopting one camera on the back of the device, the Pixel 2 camera has been awarded the best smartphone camera rating around. Which is in spite of nearly every other 2017 flagship device now coming with a dual rear camera setup. One of the ways Google has managed to improve the camera experience so much is due to the software. Which is the running theme with this phone as all of the hardware elements have been purpose-included to match up with the software. Like for example, Active Edge. This is a brand-new feature of the Pixel line and one which is almost the same as HTC’s Edge Sense, although Active Edge has been included to specifically make it easier and quicker to activate Google Assistant.
So if you are looking for a smartphone that places virtually all of its focus on the user experience, the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL must be the ones to consider. Although you might also want to note that both of the phones come packed with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. As well as an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, Goggle Lens, Android Pay, and more.