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Best Android phones of 2017

Update: New picks: Samsung Galaxy S8, Google Pixel, Honor 6X and Galaxy A3 (2017)

It's time to buy a new phone and you need to know where to place your cash. What are your criteria? Do you want the best phone on the market? Are you looking for something small and sleek, or the phone with the best battery? Or do you just want the device which offers the best or cheapest price? Below are our picks for the best Android phones today.

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The absolute best: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

The best phone on our list is actually two phones. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are indeed, for us, the best Android smartphones currently on the market - they're so good we couldn't choose between them. Both have the most impressive technical specs and the best experience that an Android phone can offer currently. They have everything you would expect from a high-end smartphone (original design, microSD card slot, water and dust resistance, brilliant display...).

Both devices are quite similar. The only difference is that the S8+ offers a larger screen (6.2 inches versus 5.8) and a more powerful battery (3,500 mAh vs. 3,000 mAh). 

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S8 vs S8plus 2062
The S8 and S8+ are the best phones on the market. © AndroidPIT

If you have an unlimited budget, we advise you to consider buying one of Samsung's latest flagships. They represent the ideal option for those who want to play games, watch movies and stream media content without sacrificing quality. Those who love big screens will also be served with magnificent displays. These are simply the best phones available right now.

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8+ technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Galaxy S8+
Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8 mm 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 152 g 173 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3500 mAh
Screen size: 5.8 in 6.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 2960 x 1440 pixels (568 ppi) 2960 x 1440 pixels (531 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED Dual-LED
Android version: 7.0 - Nougat 7.0 - Nougat
User interface: TouchWiz TouchWiz
RAM: 4 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 8895 Samsung Exynos 8895
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 2.3 GHz 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth

The design of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ is also the best on the market, with a subtle blend of metal and glass. Both versions now offer special features that help you get the most out of the display and its features. Let's not forget the fingerprint scanner (now in the back), its iris scanner and its powerful performance. In the US, it's packing the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm's top processor, and 4 GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S8+

More comparisons: 

The best Android phone for the price: OnePlus 3T

This is the phone with the best price. Many people want the coolest design, others want the most impressive camera, and some just want the king of speed. After reviewing all of the major 2016 flagships, it's the OnePlus 3T's performance that has impressed us the most. Thanks to a Snapdragon 821 processor (an upgrade from the OnePlus 3's 820) and 6 GB of RAM, OnePlus's 2016 flagship killer has earned the title of fastest Android smartphone on the market, edging out its predecessor the OnePlus 3.

We subjected the OnePlus 3T to various benchmarks and tests in our review and the results matched our expectations that this is indeed at the very top end of the performance spectrum. AnTuTu corroborated this about the 3T's predecessor the OnePlus 3 in a blog post, revealing that the OnePlus 3 achieved an average score of 140,288 in its user tests – the highest smartphone average in the first half of 2016. For comparison's sake, the undoubtedly speedy Galaxy S7 Edge averaged 134,599. 

OnePlus 3T technical specifications

Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm
Weight: 158 g
Battery size: 3400 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 6.0.1 - Marshmallow
User interface: Oxygen OS
RAM: 6 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
Number of cores: 4
Max. clock speed: 2.35 GHz
Connectivity: LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2
AndroidPIT oneplus 3t 1379
The OnePlus 3 is the Ferrari F12 of Android. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: OnePlus 3T

Best price

Best price/performance ratio: Honor 8

We've had plenty of low-cost devices this year that have been really impressive performers and the Honor 8 is no exception. Despite being in the sub-$400 price range, it looks and performs like a $700 flagship. Huawei, the parent company behind Honor, knows how to put together a nice-looking phone in any price range.

The Honor 8 is a well-designed device. It delivers a bunch of premium features, including a glass and aluminum body, a strong performance and excellent battery life. Add to the dual 12 MP camera system with an optical image stabilizer, double pixel technology and rapid focus and you can see why this is such a great value.

Honor 8 technical specifications

Dimensions: 145.5 x 71 x 7.45 mm
Weight: 153 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 6.0 - Marshmallow
User interface: Emotion UI
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 950
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2
AndroidPIT Honor 8 2610
The Honor 8 is a well-designed and powerful smartphone. Plus it's the phone with the best battery. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Honor 8

Best price

Best for battery life: Huawei Mate 9

It's the phone with the best battery. Huawei's latest phabet has a battery life which should inspire the whole market. The Mate 9 can go 48 hours without charging. Even better, Huawei has developed a system to detect which apps drain the battery the most to optimize resource management.

AndroidPIT huawei mate9 0438
The Mate 9 will attract those who want a long-lasting smartphone. / © AndroidPIT

The other aspects of the phone make it the full package, with performance specs capable of handling anything you can throw at it. Despite having such a large screen at 5.9 inches, it is pleasant to hold and use. The design is traditional, yet modern and attractive. The Mate 9 is scheduled to receive Android Nougat, as well.

Huawei Mate 9 technical specifications

Dimensions: 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 190 g
Battery size: 4000 mAh
Screen size: 5.9 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (373 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 20 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 7.0 - Nougat
User interface: Emotion UI
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.4 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2

Lowest price: Huawei Mate 9

Best price

Best for photography: Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL have earned their place among the best Android smartphones, and their number one spot in the category of the best camera phones is also well-deserved.

It's no surprise that we discover the Pixel phones have the best camera of any smartphone on the market. Google has managed to make a device to match even the Galaxy S7 thanks to a perfect balance between software and hardware prowess. The Pixel devices don't have the most striking design, but it is their pure Android experience that makes these phones impressive.

AndroidPIt google pixel XL 9753
The Pixels have the best camera on the market. © AndroidPIT

Google Pixel vs. Google Pixel XL technical specifications

  Google Pixel Google Pixel XL
Dimensions: 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6 mm 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6 mm
Weight: 143 g 168 g
Battery size: 2770 mAh 3450 mAh
Screen size: 5 in 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (441 ppi) 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12.3 megapixels 12.3 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED Dual-LED
Android version: 7.1 - Nougat 7.1 - Nougat
User interface: Stock Android Stock Android
RAM: 4 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
128 GB
32 GB
128 GB
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
Number of cores: 4 4
Max. clock speed: 2.15 GHz 2.15 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

Lowest price: Google Pixel

Best price

More info:

Best under $500: Samsung Galaxy S7

If you're looking for a great phone around $500, the choice is easy. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a great phone, even at a year old. And now that the Galaxy S8 has been released, it's an even better value than before.

The performance holds up and the photo quality is fantastic with the S7 and S7 Edge. The design is still modern and elegant, and it has water and dust resistance.

AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 REVIEW 1
The Galaxy S7 combines old and new to become one of Samsung's enduring best. / © AndroidPIT

The Galaxy S7 has a 12 MP camera on the rear, and a 5 MP selfie cam. With a battery capacity of 3,000 mAh, the S7 is capable of getting through the day with ease. The internal memory is a sufficient 32 GB, expandable via microSD card. If you have the budget, the Edge version is even more of a joy.

Samsung Galaxy S7 vs. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy S7 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Dimensions: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
Weight: 152 g 157 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3600 mAh
Screen size: 5.1 in 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 2560 x 1440 pixels (577 ppi) 2560 x 1440 pixels (534 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED LED
Android version: 6.0.1 - Marshmallow 6.0 - Marshmallow
User interface: TouchWiz TouchWiz
RAM: 4 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
64 GB
32 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 8890
Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
Samsung Exynos 8890
Number of cores: 8
4
8
Max. clock speed: 2.6 GHz
2.15 GHz
2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy S7

Best price

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Best price

Best under $250: Honor 6X

With the successor of the 5X, Honor continues to set the bar very high. The brand was able to adapt once again to the needs of the digital generation. For people looking for a good, affordable phone, the Honor 6X is a good choice. It has the advantage of offering most high-end features, but with a price-performance ratio that leaves quite a few others on the sidelines - making the cheapest phone on our list.

AndroidPIT honor 6X 3016
The Honor 6X is the cheapest phone on our list of recommendations. © AndroidPIT

With regard to specs, this Android smartphone offers a 5.5-inch Full-HD LCD display. High performance is delivered by the 16 nm octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 655 processor, which manages resources well enough that, when paired with the 3,340 mAh battery, can keep the phone going for a day and a half.

With a 12 MP rear camera, the quality of the photos and the videos is on par with what you might expect. Moreover, it runs Android Nougat and is 4G compatible, which is great for the cheapest phone on the list.

Honor 6X technical specifications

Dimensions: 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 162 g
Battery size: 3340 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 6.0 - Marshmallow
User interface: Huawei EMUI
RAM: 3 GB
4 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 655
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.1 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1

Best compact smartphone: Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

I like big smartphones, but I'm well aware that this is not the case for everyone. For years, "compact smartphone" was synonymous with the low-end. This is always the case at present, because the options are limited in this category. However, the Galaxy A3 (2017) is an interesting smartphone that meets the demand for "small" screens.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy a3 2017 4749
The Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) © AndroidPIT

It is quite rare to see a miniature version of a phone as nice as the S7, but the A3 was clearly inspired by it. In 2017, even Sony is leaving the compact market. The features of the Galaxy A3 (2017) are not those of the high-end, but they are getting a bit closer.

The Galaxy A3 is powered by the Exynos 7870 processor, providing adequate performance. While its small size, battery life is one of its main assets, but it doesn't disappoint in terms of performance - it is average for a mid-range but enough for everyday use. The camera isn't great, but for such a low price, it is perfectly fine. The A3 (2017) is also resistant to water and dust, which is a nice touch.

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) technical specifications

Dimensions: 135.4 x 66.2 x 7.9 mm
Weight: 138 g
Battery size: 2350 mAh
Screen size: 4.7 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 1280 x 720 pixels (312 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 6.0.1 - Marshmallow
User interface: TouchWiz
RAM: 2 GB
Internal storage: 16 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 7870
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 1.6 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2

More details:

What is your pick for best Android phone of 2016? Are there any you think we should have included in our list? Let us know!

This article has been rewritten since its first publication, so some comments may no longer be applicable.

251 comments

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  • S8 I said pretty cool phone

  • Let's wait for the end of the year. There will be Pixel 2 and S8 note and probably many more great devices.

  • Mark
    • Mod
    3 weeks ago Link to comment

    No LG phones again!! Come on people why are you so biased against LG? The V20 and the G6 should be on the list.

    • Mark, with so many bootlooped phones in the past consumers are pretty disgusted with LG! I keep reading reviews that state never again LG! They are still involed with a class action lawsuit! Yikes!

  • I personally love the Axon 7 by ZTE. I haven't looked back since I've gotten it.

  • I've now tried several games including asphalt 8, plants v zombies 2, fifa mobile, song pop and there is no lag. Loading times are fairly brisk. The specs of one plus 3t sound good though. I chose s7 as I like slightly smaller phone. I did own one plus x and it felt like a project half finished. The auto brightness was forever adjusting itself, speaker was horrid lag was bad despite components being fine. I think poor software optimisation was to blame and rooting it nearly fixed it. One plus wanted owners to mention problems on forums so they could gradually fix them. I just wanted something that worked on purchase and sold it. I think one plus has come a long way since then.

  • As you might have gathered the s6 struggled with ram management and wasn't great for games. The s7 seems to not have this problem. What sort of games do you like? I fancy downloading some to test out how good the s7 is at these. It scores highly in benchmarks but so did the s6.

    • I play games that probably wouldn't be your style like Dragonvale and Dragonvale World. Games where u can pay for extra content and u need friends via FB. I've played Dragonvale (the original) for over 5 yrs since it was released but World is newer and supposedly 3D, I played as a beta tester before official release and now as they get bigger lag is bad and it takes time for buildings to load from square boxes. Plus I need more speed in an area where speed means success or failure when buying items in a world market. When it comes to other games I have kept all the consoles I ever bought and the games and prefer these to online gaming. I get motion sickness from 3D and discovered this back when Doom was the game to play.

  • I'm looking for an upgrade from a Samsung Galaxy S6. I need a gaming phone, the S7 has 4G ram but OnePlus 3T has 6G ram. I don't know enough about specs to choose wisely but have always used Samsung. Can anyone tell me what would be the phone to choose for best gaming experience without the lag?

    • Yvonne, I use the s7edge. I can't say anything bad about this phone. I've have used it for over a year. Just as fast as the day I bought it, especially with the Nouget update. The display, camera, IP68 are excellent. Plus it's in the 500.00 range. It's the best phone I have ever used. Take a peek at it!

  • I have an s7. Camera is amazing. It beat my compact system camera (csc) for twilight pictures and pictures zoomed out in good light. In low light it loses to my csc but beats my compact camera. Impressive. Battery life is reasonable. Usually makes a day. I have been using it lots. Performance is very good although there is still a little lag and stutter for which I blame marshmallow. I haven't used android that doesn't have this issue. It's miles better than my old z3 plus. Speaker could be better but that's it for negatives. Screen is superb and it feels nice in the hand. The fire issue concerned only the note 7 not the s7 edge. One plus 3 looks tempting but a bit big for me and also not available on O2 refresh upgrade. The new Google pixel might beat the Samsung with less bloat ware and even better camera if it didn't have no expandable memory. What were they thinking.

  • I have a Galaxy J7 (2016) and it's amazing. Under $200, fast (it runs Marshmallow 6.0), battery lasts and pics are great.

  • I have the Motorola droid turbo 2 and absolutely love it. I'm running 6.0.1 and it gives me a lot of options that other phones would need root to do, pretty good cam, excellent battery life and rapid charge. Damn good processing, the ONLY thing I hate is the bootloader is locked tight and there still isn't a solid exploit to get root! If you're worried about security Motorola has it! It's a real difficult phone to crack

  • The Moto Z Play unlocked is inexpensive, and I can talk to it while it is lying by my bed, to set an alarm, call someone, whatever. Don't even have to reach for it. The camera is terrific and battery life is usually at least 2 days of moderate use.
    Mac E Pooh

  • I can not open play store

    • I hope this helps you & anyone who's having trouble with apps (including Play store & Services and system functions) closing, crashing etc even after a factory reset. An APK mirror (read the info regarding what it is & does if you're not familiar) I've never had to use the others but the Play Services and it saved me when I couldn't even get to factory reset because of the continual closing of my phone's system functions. Just follow the 3 step instructions from the developers (check the # of your version, download and install) Let me know if it helped, if you do it!

    • live.sama 3 months ago Link to comment

      Login to your google account.

  • i think one plus 3 is the real winner when compared to price and specs

  • Think everyone that buys an Samsung S7 should be supplied with a free fire extinguisher!

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