If you’re looking for the best Android phones around then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your contract or maybe move from an iPhone, we’ve thoroughly tested every top Android toting device on the market to make sure you choose the best one for you.
Whereas you’re limited to just a few smartphones, all made by Apple, running iOS, Google’s mobile operating system is available on a wide variety of handsets. From big to small, powerful to battery efficient, metal clad to grippy plastic, there’s something for everyone.
Then there are the cheaper options, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the specs. OnePlus combined power, a wonderful screen with a very affordable price-tag and the likes of ZTE, Huawei and Acer all offer plenty of smartphone for your buck.
We’ve rounded up the best Android handsets available today, making sure every device ticks all the vital boxes. We’ve rated them on performance, extra features, camera credibility and of course, how they look and feel in the hand.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung is back with a bang after the fairly mediocre Galaxy S5. The S6 improves on that device in almost every area, with a sleek metal and glass design, eye-watering QHD display and top-of-the-line specs.
On the back you’ve got an awesome shooter that’ll also capture UHD footage and Samsung has finally got the fingerprint sensor right. You no longer have to swipe up, just rest your thumb on the home button to authenticate.
TouchWiz has been toned down and the bloated amount of pre-installed software is, thankfully, kept to minimum.
Yes, the MicroSD slot is gone, a removable battery is nowhere to be seen and we wouldn’t advise taking it in the shower, but this is still one of the best Android phones we’ve ever used.
HTC One M9
The HTC One M7 was fine piece of tech. So was the M8, in-fact both devices won big at our T3 Awards, and the M9 is once again the sleekest Android phone out there.
While the body hasn’t seen much of a change, other specs have. You’ve now got a 20.7MP snapper on the back which takes adequate snaps and the UltraPixel sensor has been moved to the front. BoomSound speakers still provide the best mobile audio experience around and the Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB RAM keep everything running smoothly.
Compared to the S6, the M9 doesn’t feel quite so revolutionary as it lacks the fantastic camera and display, but we still can’t help marvel at the build quality.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
All phones look pretty much the same, right? Wrong. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a gorgeous piece of tech, complete with a curved display. It's almost better than the regular S6. But, it is a little on the pricey side.
The 5.1-inch QHD display is sublime, probably the best we’ve ever laid our eyes upon, and the 16MP snapper is great in both daylight and nighttime conditions. Everything runs smooth too, thanks to the octa-core processor and 3GB RAM tucked under that metal and glass body.
Unlike on the Note 4, the Edge display doesn’t really do that much. But it looks so damn sexy, we don’t really care.
Spec hunter? Then you'll love LG's slick flagship. An update to the already impressive G2, the G3 ups the game in almost every area, with a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, wireless charging and a large 3,000mAh battery. But it's the, frankly rather large, phablet like 5.5-inch display that steals the show. Boasting a 2K resolution, this screen is amongst the best out there and displays pictures and video in near perfect quality. Another feature we love is the new laser tech on the 13MP snapper, which speeds up auto-focus and makes capturing shots much quicker.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Sony’s new compact flagship comes with a pocket friendly, 4.6-inch 720p display, but it doesn't sacrifice top end specs. Inside there's a nippy Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB of storage and support for MicroSD expansion. Sony claims you’ll get two days of battery life and thanks to an accessory you’ll be able to attach your Dualshock 4 controller and Remote Play PS4 games.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
A big upgrade on the Galaxy Note 3, the fourth iteration of the original phablet ups the specs with a quad-HD display that boasts a PPI of 500, 16MP rear snapper with a host of OIS features and a 3.7 meg selfie cam packing a flurry of wide angle modes. The S-Pen has been improved too, with better sensitivity and the ability to select multiple items at once.
Sony Xperia Z3
Sony’s six month life cycle for its Xperia flagship device has continued with the release of the Z3, which features a similar look and feel to its predecessor. Updates are still plentiful though, including an improved 5.2-inch 1080p display and even better water resistance. Under the glass and metal chassis you’ll find a strong array of specs, including a 2.5GHz processor, 3GB of RAM and a beefy 3,100 mAh battery, which should keep the phone running for nearly two days.
We still have a few issues though, especially with the 20-megapixel camera and software that lacks a bit of polish.
Coming in at a whopping 5.9-inches, the Nexus 6 boasts a display larger than both the iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 making it the biggest Nexus phone ever.
Size aside, Google’s new flagship is a great showcase for the Lollipop operating system, which makes Android pretty with a bevy of swish animations, beautiful apps and a new design direction called Material Design.
Made by Motorola, the Nexus 6 is in many ways an XXL Moto X, though the internals have been souped up. There’s a Snapdragon 805 processor running the show, backed up by 2GB RAM and the display is QHD, so it looks stunning. There’s a 13 meg snapper on the back and Motorola has included a new Turbo Charger to give you 5 hours of juice with just a 30 minute charge.
This is easily the finest Nexus device ever crafted, but only if you can handle the size.
HTC One Mini 2
In typical ‘Mini’ fashion, the HTC One Mini 2 takes a lot from the One M8, including the lovely metal body, sleek overall look and those fantastic BoomSound speakers, but puts everything together in a much smaller and wallet-friendly device.
You’ll still get a quad-core processor, a decent 13MP snapper on the back and a vibrant 4.5-inch display. This a great choice for someone after a strong hit of style, enough grunt to get tasks done but doesn’t want a larger smartphone sitting in their pocket.
It’s definitely one of the best ‘small’ Android phones available on the market today and we’re eagerly anticipating the HTC One Mini 3.
HTC One M8
The HTC One M8 was one of our favourite phones of 2014, but since the release of the M9 it has fallen somewhat down our list.
HTC's update to the original One is a little more curved and slightly larger than its predecessor, due to the 5-inch, 1080p display, though that's still quite compact by today's standard. Under that aluminium unibody shell is a Qualcomm 801 processor, clocked at 2.3 GHz and 2GB RAM, plus there’s 16GB storage, though this can be expanded through micro SD up to a 128GB.
One of our favourite features is the depth sensor placed above the 4-ultrapixel camera; this lets you adjust the focal point of your snaps even after you’ve taken them.
Blinkfeed and Sense have are both flatter and more customisability, and there are a host of gestures included to make navigation and phone unlocking much easier.