10 best Android smartphones
Android, the phone software from Google, is the most popular smartphone system around. There are well over a million apps to choose from and the range of phones means there’s one to suit very style and pocket. Prices quoted are for buying the phone outright. Apart from the Marshall London and Google Nexus 5X, all are available on contract as well.
1. Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+: £549.99, carphonewarehouse.com
Here’s a distinctive-looking phone. The sloping-edged screen feels good and one side can contain shortcuts to frequently used apps. The 5.7-inch display is impressively high-resolution and the 16-megapixel camera very effective.
2. HTC One A9: £419.99, amazon.co.uk
This new flagship phone, out next month, looks striking. There is a similar style to an iPhone 6s though this has a higher-resolution, five-inch screen. The 13-megapixel camera is excellent, too. It’s a fast performer, battery life is decent and there’s advanced audio to make music playback sound impressive.
3. Sony Xperia Z5: £464, amazon.co.uk
The phone James Bond uses in Spectre, the Z5 has a vibrant 5.2-inch display, a camera that shoots video in 4K resolution and and an exceptional battery life which is noticeably stronger than most rivals. And it’s waterproof. It’s available in 007’s preferred colour (black) on contract exclusively on Vodafone.
4. Google Nexus 5X: £339, store.google.com
Google’s own-brand Nexus phones always sport the latest Android software and are priced aggressively. So this powerful 5.2-inch screened phone has a more-than-decent camera – 12.3 megapixels – and a system to reduce power-drain when it’s idle. The fast fingerprint sensor is on the back of the phone, supposedly designed so your finger falls onto it naturally as you pick it up.
5. Motorola Moto X Style: £349.95, amazon.co.uk
The Moto X Style is thicker and heavier than some smartphones but the textured, curved back makes it a good fit in the hand despite the large 5.7-inch display. There are twin front-facing speakers which can deliver strong audio playback. It’s good value, too.
6. LG G4: £369.20, amazon.co.uk
The 5.5-inch screened G4 is a stylish phone with a choice of finishes that include a leather back. The display is high-resolution and eye-poppingly bright. The G4 only has one button — for power, volume and taking photos. Placed on the centre of the phone’s back, it can take getting used to.
7. BlackBerry Priv: £559.99, carphonewarehouse.com
This is the first Android phone from email and productivity masters BlackBerry. It has strong security features to please privacy-conscious execs and the million-plus Android apps for the rest of us. The 5.4-inch touchscreen is complemented by a clever slide-out keyboard. The keyboard is smaller than on some BlackBerry handsets but the domed keys remain easy to use at speed.
8. Rook from EE: £49, ee.co.uk
The Rook is about as cheap a 4G phone as you’ll find. It’s made by EE so is locked to the network. The four-inch display is no match for the other phones here, but the promise of super-fast 4G connectivity is remarkable at this price. It’s free on contract but just £49 on pay-as-you-go.
9. Marshall London: £399, marshallheadphones.com
Built to look like the amplifiers and headphones Marshall is best known for, this phone has a built-in Digital Analogue Converter to make audio sound especially impressive. And there are two headphone sockets in the top edge, so two can listen at once. It has a 4.7-inch screen and volume is controlled by a wheel on the side. Great if sound on-the-go is a priority.
10. HTC Desire 626: £219.99, carphonewarehouse.com
HTC’s Desire range is affordable but stylish. The five-inch screened Desire 626 has a 13-megapixel rear camera which is pretty good and there’s a front-facing five-megapixel camera for selfies, too. With 16GB of built-in storage, there’s a microSD card slot, meaning you can add more easily (and cheaply).
The HTC One A9 is easily the classiest, best-looking phone here, though the sloping screen of the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ is the most eye-catching. You really won’t get a cheaper 4G smartphone than the Rook from EE though the Moto X Style packs a lot in for the money. If taking photos is your priority, the Sony Xperia Z5 is the best on the market, and a dazzlingly good all-rounder, too.
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