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Best Android phones of 2016

Update: Honor 8 added

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 latest and greatest phone on the market? Are you looking for something small and sleek? Or do you just want the device which offers the best value? Below are our picks for the best Android phones in the world today.

The absolute best: Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Why, oh why, has the latest Galaxy S flagship claimed our number one spot again? Look, it's not that we want it to be this way, it just is this way.

The Galaxy S7 delivers in so many categories. It combines looks and performance like no other smartphone currently does. And the big three, the triangle of vital criteria – camera, display and battery – are all of the highest standard.  

For the first time in a number of years, we have struggled to find serious faults in a Galaxy S phone and, of all the devices that we have seen come through the office doors, it’s the phone which most staff at AndroidPIT have the least trouble recommending. No matter what your needs, the S7 will please.

AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 REVIEW 1
The Galaxy S7 combines old and new to become Samsung's best handset yet. / © ANDROIDPIT

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy S7

Best price

We know it's a little naughty to have two devices occupying the first spot, but they are too similar to divide: how could we recommend one and leave the other off the list? If you want a bigger display and battery, the S7 Edge has the goods. If you want something smaller and wish to save 50 bucks, our recommendation goes to the S7 standard.

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The Galaxy S7 Edge: Samsung's new curved display flagship. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Best price

The fastest Android phone: OnePlus 3

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 3's performance that has impressed us the most. Thanks to a Snapdragon 820 processor and 6 GB of RAM, OnePlus's 2016 flagship killer has earned the title of fastest Android smartphone on the market.

We subjected the OnePlus 3 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 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. 

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The OnePlus 3 is the Ferrari F12 of Android. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: OnePlus 3

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.

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The Honor 8 is a well-designed and powerful smartphone. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Honor 8

Best price

Best for battery life: Huawei Mate 8

The almost perfect phablet, as we called it in our review, the Mate 8 truly excels in the battery department. Squeezing in 4,000 mAh of juice, it's one of the largest battery capacities you'll find in an Android smartphone, and it shows through its heady endurance.

In our tests, we found the battery to last a day and a half during intensive use, meaning that two days from one charge is comfortably within range for the moderate user. With light use, you could even be looking at a magical two-and-a-half day survival stretch.  

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The Huawei Mate 8 packs a 4,000-mAh battery, which can last up to two-and-a-half days. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Huawei Mate 8

Best price

Best for photography: Sony Xperia Z5

According to you, the readers, as well as us here at AndroidPIT, the Xperia Z5 provides the best camera available in any Android device. Lightning fast autofocus, 23 MP, rock steady image stabilization and superb definition combine to make it an incomparable phone for photography.

Though the Z5 has now been succeeded by the Sony Xperia X Performance, it remains the better model as far as pictures are concerned. Check out the quality of its snaps in our gallery at the link below.

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The Sony Xperia Z5 offers the best bang for your buck when it comes to photography. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Sony Xperia Z5

Best price

Best under $300: OnePlus 2

The sub-$300 price bracket is hotly contested, and in 2016 it's included a plethora of awesome phones. But it's the OnePlus 2 that still claims this spot, as last year's flagship comes in at half the price of most current flagships. Sure, you will miss out on NFC, fast-charging and wireless charging, but that's about all the OnePlus 2 lacks.

It was one of the most hyped phones of all time, and that naturally comes with a little backlash when the phone is actually released. But the reality is that the OnePlus 2 is a very accomplished phone that hits almost all the targets it set out to hit, and is still a solid choice this year. 

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Put the hype aside and the OnePlus is a really great phone. / © AndroidPIT

Best under $200: Honor 5X

The Huawei sub-brand appears on our list once more with the best Android phone available for less than $200. Following the Honor 7's success, Honor launched the equally elegant 5X at an even better price point. Arriving with a brushed aluminum body and superb finish, the Honor 5X is immediately eye-catching, but it delivers on internal hardware, too.

The Honor 5X provides lengthy standby times thanks to its 3,000 mAh battery; a bright, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) display; dual-SIM card support – or SIM plus microSD card – and a fingerprint scanner: and it just got even better thanks to a recent update to Android Marshmallow. 

Though it doesn't offer an amazing photography experience, the Honor 5X still delivers an incredible package for those who don't want to spend a fortune.

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The Honor 5X delivers far more than you'd expect from a sub-$200 phone. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Honor 5X

Best price

Best small handset: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Not everyone likes a 5.5-inch phone in their pocket. For some, a sub 5-inch display is a requirement. The only problem is that pickings are pretty slim. Most Android phones with a display smaller than 5 inches are rare. Even Samsung and HTC seem to have given up on that particular niche.

Fortunately, Sony offers the Xperia Z5 Compact. The company took a different approach to the small phone concept – where other manufacturers watered down their flagship specs for their mini devices, Sony simply put flagship components into a smaller body. It's proven to be a winning formula and it means that the Z5 Compact isn't just 'good for a small handset' – it's a great Android phone all around.

For a small phone that delivers big performance, you can't beat the Xperia Z5 Compact. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Best price

What is your pick for best Android phone of 2016? Let us know in the comments.


Write new comment:
  • I can not open play store

  • 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!

  • farhan 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    Galaxy S7 edge, amazing smartphone by Samsung. I have never seen a smartphone like this.

  • I Like the APPLE IPHONE 6S

  • Samsung S7 edge is one of the Best phones to buy but its the pricing of phones that make them more popular nowdays, batterylife is were Samsung at last deserves some respect with the S7 models after the Note 7 saga carrying on, galaxy S5 and Note 4 seems to be the Best value phones as we got the Best options on these phones the removable battery & micro sd card slot and no more worrying about how much batterylife you have left

  • OnePlus3 and Sony Xperia Z5 are two best Android smartphones.

    • I am commenting again of this post and this time I've forgotten Samsung Galaxy S7

    • Nope. Z5 is not usefull above 30 degrees celsius. Screen starts dimming. Build quality sucks. Try push on the back of the phone. Started with z1 and z5 is my last sony phone. Chinese phones rule.

  • OnePlus 3 is fastest, Samsung Galaxy S7 is low-cost and Sony Xperia Z5 is best of Selfie-freaks. Cool..!

  • Eric Tan 2 months ago Link to comment

    I don't understand why you have missed out reviewing ZenFone 3 which is good and value for money.

  • HendrikJB 2 months ago Link to comment

    the title is incorrect. it should be "The Most Expensive (Rip-off Priced) and Show-off Phones for 2016". There is no such thing as the best phone etc as most users never use more than about 10% of the phones` features. It is a fact that phones are dirt cheap and then advertised to levels of "WANT" that people buy it on CREDIT just to show off.

    •,here. I've been hoping to find someone of a like mind... I've seen it. People who buy top dollar stuff, don't use it..., don't know how to. Just 'cause it looks good sitting on the bar... Shmuck city. I've got Nexus 9,i see no reason the get anything more than the most basic handset...

    • its absolutely right man.......while searching best........the price is not an issue.....

  • I want sony z6. Actually I have z3plus dual but z5 dual and z5 premium is disappointing me because same SD 810 chipset same ram 3gb not improvements front facing camera with flash. Z5 not use 2k. Full HD I want QHD and amoled display like samsung. Much battery 🔋 life 3200mah. Sony does not provide us. So I want slim phone 6.00 mm thickness. I hope z6 provide us all above demand.

  • Man you gotta give the 6P and 5X some points for purity!

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