10 best smartphones 2017: our pick of the very best phones

Welcome to T3 Elite's roundup of the very best smartphones money can buy. We only include the best phones in this list, so you can be sure you're always geting the very latest cutting edge tech.

The T3.com team has tested every handset under the sun, and this page is designed to provide you with all the key info you need so you can choose the best smartphone for you. And we've listed in order of preference too, so there's no confusion. The first is the best.

So whether you're after the best Android smartphone money can buy, an iPhone upgrade or a new Windows 10 mobile to pair with your laptop, we've seen and extensively tested them all so you don't have to.

Take a look and we guarantee you'll find the best smartphone for you, beginning with the very best phone currently available...

1. Samsung Galaxy S8

Simply the best smartphone you can buy today

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5.8-inches | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 pixels | CPU: Exynos 8895 Octa | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12 MP f/1.7 | Front camera: 8 MP f/1.7

Amazing design
Almost flawless
Fingerprint sensor location
Expensive

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the best smartphone in the world right now, boasting the brilliant Infinity Edge display which occupies 84-percent of the body and cutting-edge guts. Yep, this futuristic smartphone is a looker, and instantly made its competitors look dated. It's the next step in smartphone design.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S8 review

The S8 is the complete package, as well as the amazing display and industry-leading specs, this handset also has decent battery life, an excellent camera and amazing performance. With all of that combined, you get not only the best-looking smartphone, but one of the top performing smartphones in the universe. Yes, the universe! 

We think the 5.8-inch S8 is perfect, but if you're after an ever larger smartphone, Samsung also offers the Galaxy S8+, which features a massive 6.2-inch display.

Okay, so unfortunately Samsung hasn't released a perfect phone - there are a few small niggles - such as the weirdly places fingerprint sensor next to the camera and poor Bixby implementation. But we guarantee you won't be disappointed if you buy this phone.

2. iPhone 7 Plus

The OTHER best smartphone - Apple's dual camera, big screen phone is a winner

Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm | OS: iOS10 | Screen size: 5.5-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels | CPU: Apple A10 Fusion | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32/128/256GB | Battery: 2900mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP f/1.8 | Front camera: 7 MP f/2.2

Gorgeous water resistant design
Dual camera
Iterative design
Could be too large for some

Here we have the iPhone 7 Plus - probably the best-looking smartphone around. Some feel its sheer size does make it tricky to hold, but there's no denying Apple's beautiful 5.5-incher is a winner. If you prefer iOS to Android and you fancy picking up the best smartphone around, this should definitely be your first choice. Apple has chosen to stick with the iPhone 6S design, improving it with rerouted antenna lines and a more integrated camera bump. There are glorious new colours available, and to top it off, the casing is now water resistant. The recent S8 design does make the iPhone feel slightly dated now, however.

Read: iPhone 7 Plus review

It's inside where the iPhone 7 Plus has received the biggest overhaul - now packing Apple's blazing fast A10 Fusion processor. The camera has also received a significant upgrade, now with two 12MP sensors capable of 2x optical zoom. To finish it off, the iPhone 7 Plus comes running iOS 10, Apple's latest and greatest mobile OS.

It is expensive, and may be too large for some, so the standard iPhone 7 with a 4.7-inch display is also worth your consideration.

3. Google Pixel

The best smartphone camera

Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 5.0-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/128GB | Battery: 2770mAh | Rear camera: 12.3MP f/2.0 | Front camera: 8MP f/2.4

Great camera
Super software
Not water resistant
Clunky design

We can't tell you how close it is between the Google Pixel, iPhone 7 Plus and S8 for the title of 'best smartphone in the world.' All three are great, but the sleek design, and amazing screen puts the Samsung in the lead. The Google Pixel is still an amazing smartphone - especially if you prioritise camera quality and want software straight from Google.

Read: Google Pixel review

Whether it's the excellent camera, the metal-and-glass chassis, the oodles of power involved (from Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon processor) or just the fact that the software and virtual assistant work in perfect harmony with the hardware, Google's got a lot right here and this is a brilliant phone. Of course, if you prefer larger screens, the 5.5-inch Pixel XL is also available, which is identical the OG (apart from size).

4. LG G6

First of the bezel-less phones, with a great dual camera

Weight: 163g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5.7-inches | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: Dual 13MP | Front camera: 5MP f/2.2

Large screen
Dual camera
Less premium than rivals
UI

LG has finally made a good-looking, premium smartphone free from gimmicks. There are a lot of features we love here - that wide-angle screen is great, the bezels are tiny, and the dual-camera is really handy. Basically, we really enjoyed using it.

But it’s far from a perfect phone. LG has used a 2016 chipset, so it’s not the most efficient smartphone available, and the skin over Android Nougat isn't the best out there. It also feels less premium than its rivals, with a slightly hollow feel to the rear casing.

Read: LG G6 review

Certainly though, LG has done enough to redeem itself from the unfortunately unsuccessful G5 last year. It’s not the best Android phone released in 2017, but we don’t think you’ll regret buying it, especially if you can pick it up for a decent price.

5. OnePlus 3T

The best smartphone from a brand you might not of heard of

Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5.5-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3400mAh | Rear camera: 16MP f/2.0 | Front camera: 16MP f/2.0

Low price for great spec
Premium build
Not waterproof
Getting more and more expensive

Looking to upset dominance by the big brands is OnePlus, who took the mobile world by storm in 2014 with one goal, to be the flagship killer. We think it's fourth smartphone, the OnePlus 3T, has finally achieved that goal. 

With a slightly more expensive price tag of £399, you'll get all the mod-cons of much more expensive handsets, including an HD screen, fingerprint sensor, a decent camera and powerful specs. And, whereas previous OnePlus phones lacked finesse - the OnePlus 3T as a genuine premium feel and the software is rock solid.

Read: OnePlus 3T review

It looks slightly dated when compared to 2017 flagships (S8 and G6), but that's understandable when considering what a bargain this device is.

6. Huawei P10

Apple design with Android software, what's not to like?

Weight: 145g | Dimensions: 145.3 x 69.3 x 7mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5.1-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels | CPU: Kirin 960 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3200mAh | Rear camera: Dual 20MP + 12MP Leica | Front camera: 8MP f/1.9

Slim design
Leica camera
Battery life
Last-gen design

The Huawei P10 is the latest flagship from the Chinese smartphone giant, and we really, really like it. It's the ideal smartphone if you love Apple's industrial design (because, let's face it, this is pretty much a carbon copy) and Google software. 

We love the P10's Leica-branded dual camera, which can capture some very pleasing images, and the OS is coming on leaps and bounds as well.

Read: Huawei P10 review

But it's far from perfect. The UI still lags behind its competitors, as does the camera, and the battery life isn't great either. While we love the design, it also lags behind Samsung and LG, who have moved to bezel-less smartphones - this makes it feel distinctly last generation.

Despite its flaws, we really enjoyed using it, thanks to a neat blend of design and features. It's stylish and fashionable, but not the most advanced phone on this list.

7. iPhone SE

The best small smartphone

Weight: 113g | Dimensions: 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm | OS: iOS 10 | Screen size: 4.0-inches | Resolution: 640 x 1136 pixels | CPU: Apple A9 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32/128GB | Battery: 1624mAh | Rear camera: 12MP f/2.2 | Front camera: 1.2MP f/2.4

It's small!
Great battery life
Old, boxy design
Due an update

Notice how all of these smartphones have 5+ inch screens? What if you have small hands? You can't reach all four corners of the screen. It's a problem not many of us face, but the truth is -- some people just prefer smaller phones but don't want to sacrifice high-end specs. The iPhone SE is for you. 

With a 4-inch screen and guts which match the iPhone 6S, including the 12MP rear camera, 2GB RAM, Apple Pay, Retina display, and Apple A9 chipset, this thing is a little pocket rocket.

Read: iPhone SE review

There are a few drawbacks - the design isn't beautifully curvaceous like the iPhone 7 (the SE is based on the iPhone 5), the front-facing camera has fewer megapixels, and the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is older and therefore slower. The best thing about it? Despite its range-topping specs, the iPhone SE is also one of the cheapest smartphones Apple has ever released. What's not to love?

8. HTC 10

The best smartphone for music lovers

Weight: 161g | Dimensions: 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5.2-inches | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64 GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP f/1.8 | Front camera: 5MP f/1.8

Great battery life and camera
Amazing sound and software
Chunky
Uninspired design

The HTC 10 is a phone that takes the design heritage, DNA and all the other good bits of last year's One M9 and, well, does them again, but better. It's again shown the rest of the competition how to make a premium smartphone, and its camera, battery life and performance is right up there too. HTC has really worked on the criticisms of the previous generation devices, and created their best ever flagship smartphone.

Read: HTC 10 review

It would have been nice to see HTC really push the boat out in terms of design, but the minimal tweaks they've made to stock Android are amazing, making this one of our favourite smartphones in 2017.

9. Lenovo P2

The best smartphone for battery life

Weight: 177g | Dimensions: 153 x 76 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5.5-inches | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 5100mAh | Rear camera: 13MP f/2.0 | Front camera: 5MP f/2.2

Outstanding battery life
Great display (for price)
Camera so-so
Looks like a brick

The Lenovo P2 isn't pretty, it doesn't have a sexy bezel-less display, and it doesn't have an amazing camera. It does have the best battery life of any smartphone we've ever tested, with the P2 lasting up to three days! 

If all you care about is battery life, this smartphone is definitely for you, but Lenovo have done a good job elsewhere, as well, with a decent metal build, great display, and solid UI design. All in a pretty affordable package.

10. Motorola Moto X Force

The best durable smartphone

Weight: 169g | Dimensions: 149.8 x 78 x 9.2mm | OS: Android 6.0 | Screen size: 5.4-inches | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32/64 GB | Battery: 3760mAh | Rear camera: 21MP f/2.0 | Front camera: 5MP f/2.0

Unbreakable screen
Close to stock Android
Noticeably plastic screen
Poor speaker

The Moto X Force is a refreshing phone - rather than trying to be elegant and premium - it's durable and will survive a beating. That's mainly down to the screen, which features a thick, toughened outer layer which won't break - no matter how hard you try. 

The casing is also pretty rugged, our favourite finish being the 'Ballistic Nylon' back, but thankfully, the Moto X Force doesn't look like it belongs in a workman's tool bog. The specs are pretty powerful, and the battery life is also impressive.

Read: Motorola Moto X-Force review

Android is left close to stock which is also good news. It's not as cutting edge as Samsung's or Apple's latest efforts, but it's a great all-rounder.

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