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Best Android phones of 2017: our interim picks

Update: We're testing the fall 2017 flagships—more news soon

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, including a sneak peak at what new phones could make the list to close out 2017, and stay in for 2018. 

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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

  @VARIANT 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 Galaxy S8)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (Samsung Galaxy S8)
Samsung Exynos 8895
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: Sorry, not yet available! 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 alternative to the best Android phone: OnePlus 5

OnePlus used the best aspects of smartphones currently on the market to make a powerful flagship. The OnePlus 5 is certainly the best out there in terms of technical specs now. Not to mention its interface is also one of the most pleasant around since it's so close to stock Android.

The excellent display has Full HD resolution combined with Optic AMOLED technology which will please everyone except for fans of VR. Its design isn't the most original - it looks like the iPhone 7 Plus - but it feels great in hand. Most notably though, the OnePlus 5 is one of the most powerful phones available today. The software bugs which were present at launch have been sorted out via software update. Finally, the pricing is very attractive: the version with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB of internal storage sells for $525 on Amazon, while the 8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage version costs $619.

OnePlus 5 technical specifications

Dimensions: 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
Weight: 153 g
Battery size: 3300 mAh
Screen size: 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1280 pixels (420 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 7.1.1 - Nougat
User interface: Oxygen OS
RAM: 6 GB
8 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
128 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.45 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0
AndroidPIT oneplus 5 0194
The OnePlus 5 is powerful, though its design isn't very original.  / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 5 with 6 GB RAM / 64 GB storage

OnePlus 5 with 8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage

Best price/performance ratio: Honor 9

The Honor 8 had already won over us last year, and so has its successor this year. The Honor 9 offers an excellent price to performance ratio. Featuring a 5.2-inch display with LTPS technology, it is particularly pleasant to use. Honor even added a mode to increase readability in sunlight. On the design side, the device shines with nice reflection effects when held in the light. It's made of a combination of metal and glass which offers the most beautiful effect.

The Honor 9 has almost everything going for it with Full HD screen resolution, as well as a Kirin 960 processor (four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.4 GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8 GHz) and 4 GB of RAM. It also packs a dual camera of 12 and 20 MP in the rear and an 8 MP selfie cam in front. All this is accompanied by a speedy fingerprint scanner, which is now on the front, quick charging and a decent battery capacity of 3,000 mAh.

Honor 9 technical specifications

Dimensions: 147.3 x 70.9 x 7.4 mm
Weight: 155 g
Battery size: 3200 mAh
Screen size: 5.15 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (428 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 20 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 7.0 - Nougat
User interface: Huawei EMUI
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 960
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.4 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.2
AndroidPIT Honor 9 0811
Here is the Honor 9. / © AndroidPIT

Honor 9 - 4 GB RAM with 64 GB storage

Honor 9 - 6 GB RAM with 64 GB storage

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:

Alternative for best photography: HTC U11

When it comes to judging camera quality, there are quite a few worthwhile contenders which can stand up and be counted with the likes of the Google Pixel or the Galaxy S8. The HTC U11 is a new kid on the block, but it has already demonstrated it is more than a match for other popular flagships. It is the highest-rated smartphone camera ever tested by DxOMark. Many people may be skeptical when it comes to these ratings, as in addition to testing camera performance DxO also assists smartphone manufacturers in developing cameras. So, it may well be the case that DxO just optimized a camera for the sake of its own benchmark. That said, our review of the HTC U11 should pour water on that idea as, regardless of anything to do with DxO, the U11 has an excellent camera. 

AndroidPIT HTC U 11 4609
HTC U11: more than a match for the Galaxy S8. / © AndroidPIT

Best for audiophiles: LG V30

The LG V30 features an advanced version of its older 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, powered by ESS Technology’s SABRE ES9218P. DAC stands for Digital-to-Analog Converter, and it is what turns your digital music files into the analog sound coming out of your headphones and speakers. This technology means you get bigger sound without distortion.

Speaking of headphones, the V30 also hangs onto a classic headphone jack on the top of the device, which other devices have decided to ditch recently, to much controversy and user aggravation. To help you enjoy the headphone jack, it comes packaged with a really nice pair of B&O PLAY headphones, from the storied high-end Danish brand Bang & Olufsen.

AndroidPIT LG V30 0524
The LG V30 is the best phone for audiophiles right now, and it looks good, too! / © AndroidPIT

LG doesn't forget about recording quality audio either, and it shows, even in noisy environments like concerts. The HTC U11 is a strong contender for the title of best phone for audiophiles, but the V30 wins thanks to its digital filters and sound presets, headphone jack, bigger battery, more polished design and its fantastic dual camera, all of which promise a better experience overall. We just wish it had stereo speakers.

LG V30 technical specifications

Dimensions: 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm
Weight: 158 g
Battery size: 3300 mAh
Screen size: 6 in
Display technology: POLED
Screen: 2880 x 1440 pixels (537 ppi)
Front camera: 5 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 7.1.2 - Nougat
User interface: LG UX
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.45 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0

Lowest price: LG V30

Best price

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

Honor 6X

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

Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)

More details:

And then there are the new kids on the block...

This list is updated often according to the notable products that arrive on the market and did well when reviewed. As this year’s big autumn releases are nearly through, we already have a good idea of which next generation phones will make the list soon.

Considering the smartphone world is undergoing many transitional growing pains, most major players have managed to turn it out. The new Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have made a big splash and although disappointing to some, are all around strong flagships. Huawei’s Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro have also made a strong bid with their offline-optimized Neural Processing Unit. So stay tuned, and check back for an updated list here in time for the holidays.

What do you think? What phone you would you like to see in our selection? What is the best Android smartphone of 2017 according to you?

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

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  • Emilio A. 28 minutes ago Link to comment

    How to choose your next smartphone?

    Consider the operating system whether it’s iOS, Android, or Windows.
    Look into the phone’s specifications to determine which suits your needs best.
    Filter your choices through the phone’s features and choose what’s useful for you.
    Determine which of your options fits best in your budget range.

    The competition in the smartphone industry is getting a lot tougher, with the variety of options from locked to unlocked devices courtesy of T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and smartphone manufacturers who made these magnificent units possible in the market.

    However, along with the variety of options that these carriers and brands have offered in the market, the difficulty in choosing the best smartphone for you might be harder than you thought.

    www.unlockbase.com/blog/4-effective-tips-choose-next-smartphone/


  • The just announced Huawei Honor 7X is a $300 successor to the Huawei Honor 6X (5.9 screen, bigger battery, 4 gig RAM, etc) 👍

    https://m.gsmarena.com/huawei_honor_7x-8880.php


  • This list is so wrong in so many ways that makes me wonder why people like this make this kinda of articals. looking only for specs are really sad. honor 6x vs xiaomi Mi A1, samsung worst device after 1 year of use....you pick only for design? all makers have now 18:9..and better they dont have distorced corners like samsung has...one plus 5 is just a bad. its a beta device, needing every week for "fixes", its a win on paper..on real life...not really. htc u11 is kinda better in every aspects...and you only give better on alternative in photos? lolol but whos me to contest this pro list...lol


  • You say the Galaxy S7 variants as the best under $500 but the LG G6 subjectively the better phone.
    Better CPU.
    Better camera.
    Better or more sturdy build.
    Newer phone.


  • Its realy nice


  • I'm really expecting androidpit to be renamed samsungpit as you really are biased in every way to samsung! Funny that you say the S8 and S8 plus are the absolute best smartphone out there at the moment but there's better phones out there that are better and cheaper, as i said the xzpremium dosent even get a mention by androidpit erm samsungpit and its better in everything even antutu gives it higher marks. So lets give other phones a bit more of a mention instead of this continual samsung favouritism?


  • As someone that has had an Essential PH-1 for a week. I find that it didn't make the list a surprise. I don't understand how you can list phone like the OnePlus 5 as one of the best when it's not a viable option for at least 40% of the American market. I'm on Verizon and any phone that is not compatible doesn't matter.


  • slyguy0 3 months ago Link to comment

    No love for the U11?? Shocked at its absence from the list.


  • Bit dated but xzpremium is better than the s8 but doesn't get a mention! why.


  • I'm not sure about the overall performance of HTC U11 but I saw the camera samples shared by the "HTC Offcial FB Page" and they were mind-blowing.


  • S8 I said pretty cool phone


  • Dusan V. 6 months ago Link to comment

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


  • Mark
    • Admin
    6 months 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?

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