This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. OK
Authored by:

Best Android phones to buy right now

Authored by: Kris Carlon — 1 month ago

Want to know the best Android phone to buy right now? The answer entirely depends on your criteria. For that reason, we've taken a different angle to the usual 'top 10 phones' lists. We know you all look for something in particular, so with that in mind, we've broken down our best Android phones list into categories. These are our picks for the best Android phones of the moment.

The absolute best: Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

It was hard to pass up Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge+ as our top pick. There are many opinions on what makes a phone the best on the market at any given time, but the staff at AndroidPIT agree on one thing – we haven't tested a better smartphone or phablet.

samsung galaxy s6 edge plus screen
The Galaxy S6 Edge+ is a class-topping device. / © ANDROIDPIT
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ 32GB (unlocked) - Black
$658.10

The S6 Edge+ isn't a device for everyone; it's big and expensive. But it goes beyond what other smartphones can offer. From a straight specs viewpoint, the S6 Edge+ has top-of-the-line everything.

From Samsung's insane octa-core processor, to the 16 MP rear camera that we can't fault, to the gorgeous QHD display that's so large and so densely pixelated that it's more immersive than any other phone, the reasons to recommend the S6 Edge+ are almost endless.

androidpit samsung galaxy s6 edge plus edge lighting 2
The Galaxy S6 edge+ is a beautiful piece of technology. / © ANDROIDPIT

But what makes the Galaxy S6 Edge+ the absolute best Android phone right now is the design. It shares some hardware with the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but aside from its bigger screen size, price and construction, the design of the S6 Edge+ is what makes it stand out from its brethren.

Enveloping the curved display are beautifully crimped edges, machined to a soft line, that look and feel better than those on the S6 and S6 Edge. With its more angular appearance, and the larger, deeper-looking edges flanking the display, the S6 Edge+ is Samsung's most successful design expression yet. It really is quite a thing to behold.

Best all-rounder: Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge

It may seem strange to recommend two phones for this title, but the all-round quality of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge – and their similarity to each other – means they both deserve it.

After a couple of years of resting on its laurels with the 'S' series design, Samsung created a phone with the looks to match its next-generation hardware. It's an elegant, glossy combination of glass and metal that eradicates the memory of Samsung's previous plastic flagships.

samsung galaxy s6 hd
The Galaxy S6 is the all-rounder device to beat in 2015. / © ANDROIDPIT
Samsung Galaxy S6 32GB (unlocked)
$599.99

Samsung has bravely done away with a microSD slot and removable back cover, which is a powerful way of saying that everything you need in a phone is already contained within the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

A non-removable battery seems all the braver given the phones' QHD displays, but it does a great job, and is boosted by the phone's one-hour fast-charge function. The S6 duo are also far and away the fastest phones in the world thanks to the latest model of Samsung's octa-core Exynos chipsets.

samsung galaxy s6 edge plus vs s6 edge back
The Galaxy S6 edge offers all the benefits of the S6 edge+ in a smaller package. / © ANDROIDPIT
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge 32GB (unlocked) - Black
$581.90

The S6 Edge differs from the S6 by way of its screen, which curves down onto both sides of the phone, offering its own unique set of features, notifications and apps design. It also has a slightly bigger battery, but only by 50 mAh.

Top quality comes at a price though. The Galaxy S6 price starts at US$699 / £599, while the S6 Edge starts at US$899 / £699.

Best price/performance ratio: Honor 7

When it comes to the price/performance ratio, things get interesting. If you can afford to pay close to a grand for a phone, it's easy to get an incredible device, but what if you have a lower price point in mind? How do you make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck?

You weigh up the benefits and features of a phone against its price and make a judgment call on what gets you the best performance and features for the lowest figure, with the fewest compromises.

Honor 7 0
The Honor 7 feels a lot more expensive than it is. And we love that. / © ANDROIDPIT
Huawei Honor 7 (unlocked) - Black
$479.00

We've been blessed with several low-cost devices this year that have been really impressive performers, but none more so than the Honor 7. Despite being in the sub-US400 price range, this thing looks like a US$700 flagship. Huawei, the parent company behind Honor, knows how to put together a nice-looking phone at any price point.

But the Honor 7 is more than just a pretty face. It also delivers solid performance and a bunch of premium features, including a fingerprint scanner, an all-metal build, excellent battery life and a front-facing camera with an LED flash – a rarity on smartphones in any price bracket. Add to this a great 20 MP main camera, and you can see why this phone is such good value.

honor 7 product shoots 7
The Honor 7 packs plenty of high-end features into an affordable package. / © ANDROIDPIT

Best for battery life: Sony Xperia Z3

There have been several new models in the Xperia Z series since the Z3 came out, but it is still our top pick for best battery life. Battery life is the most important consideration for many smartphone buyers and the Xperia Z3 has proven itself against not only other Xperias, but against the whole crop of 2015 flagships.

Where the Xperia Z3+ had too many issues to warrant the upgrade and the Xperia Z5 doesn't do so well in terms of battery life, the Full HD Z3 keeps chugging along with the same great battery optimizations we came to love in the Xperia Z2.

androidpit sony xperia Z3 7
Even newer Xperia models can't beat the Xperia Z3 on battery life. / © ANDROIDPIT
Sony Xperia Z3 (unlocked) - Black
$369.99

Quick Charge 2.0 also means you get speedy charge cycles and the Z3 has the largest battery capacity out of all recent Xperia phones: Z3 (3,100 mAh), Z3+ (2,930 mAh), Z4v (3,000 mAh) and Z5 (2,900 mAh).

If you want to get best battery life from your phone, you could certainly have a worse starting point than the Xperia Z3. But if you apply all those battery saving tips you've learned over the years to a Z3, you'll be sitting pretty while everyone else is scrambling for a charger.

androidpit sony xperia Z3 9

The Xperia Z3 has a pretty solid camera alongside great battery life. / © ANDROIDPIT

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 on any Android device. Lightning fast autofocus, 23 megapixels, rock steady image stabilization and superb definition combine to make it an incomparable phone for photography.

The only downside is that the device is extremely difficult to get a hold of in the US. If you can find one, get it, but otherwise, consider the LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6 or Moto X Pure Edition, which all pack fantastic cameras. They're just not quite up there with Sony's offering.

sony xperia z5 back
The Sony Xperia Z5 offers the best bang for your buck when it comes to photography. / © ANDROIDPIT
Best price: Sony Xperia Z5 (unlocked) - Black
$564.35

 

Best under US$400: OnePlus 2

The sub-$400 price bracket is hotly contested, and in 2015 it's included more awesome phones than in any other year. As flagships have gotten more expensive, mid-range phones have stepped up in terms of quality and features, but haven't adopted the higher prices that go with them.

The OnePlus 2 represents a flagship experience 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.

AndroidPIT OnePlus 2 back cover sandstone black 2
Put the hype aside and the OnePlus is a really great phone. / © ANDROIDPIT
OnePLus 2 16GB - Black
$465.00

It's 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. The invite system will stop taking new reservations on October 22, so if you're interested in a OnePlus 2 you need to act fast.

Best under US$250: Moto G (2015)

If we drop down to the next price bracket – the sub-US$250 range – we still have a very impressive group of phones to choose from. Even at a third of the price of many flagship devices, you can still get a lot of great features and hardware. But it's the Moto G (2015)'s impressive combination of price, features and update speed that gets it to the top of our list.

The Asus ZenFone 2 and Huawei P8 Lite are close runners-up in this category, but the near stock Android interface and super fast update speeds of the Moto line gives the third generation Moto G the edge it needs to creep ahead (the P8 Lite is only just getting Lollipop whereas the Moto G is about to get Marshmallow).

Moto G 2015 hero 1
With some of the fastest Android updates in the game, the Moto G (2015) is a compelling buy. / © ANDROIDPIT
Moto G 8GB (unlocked) - Black
$177.21

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 diagonal is the ideal size. The only problem is that pickings are pretty slim. Most Android phones with a display diagonal of less than five inches are pretty hopeless. 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 the Z5 Compact is worthy of our 'best small handset' title.

ANDROIDPIT best XPERIA Z5 COMPACT 2
For a phone that actually fits in your hand, you can't go past the Xperia Z5 Compact. / © ANDROIDPIT
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact (unlocked) - Black
$506.00

Sony clearly made the right choice, because its compact line is still going strong. HTC stopped after the One mini 2 a year-and-a-half ago, and now even Samsung has given up on minis.

Which category do you fit in? What is your pick for best Android phone of 2015? Let us know in the comments.

Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.

151 comments

Write new comment:
  • Nice list. One thing I'm interested in is a phone that has a 1080p display, micro SD slot, NFC, marshmallow, a decent camera, a fingerprint sensor, and which works on verizons network for under $400. A removable battery would be a bonus. The nexus 5x comes close. Pretty much sounds like a dream.

  • STZ 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Gotta show my oneplus x some love. Here in Canada the OPX has the right lte bands(in the US it is missing one). Really a good phone for cheap. It is hard(impossible) to find good 5" phones anymore.

  • I have moto g 2015 and its really a fine mobile

  • Personally, I have the Nexus 6, and I love it!

  • Very informative article but I would like to suggest another brand to be included in this list, iDROID USA is making extraordinary smartphones which have lots of cool features. The best android smartphones by iDROID USA include models like Tango 2, Royal V5, Tango A5 etc. I personally own a Tango 2 which has a Gorilla glass screen and a front flash to take selfies in the dark.

  • If the Samsung S6 or S6 edge is getting a 1st place rating it's not because it actually deserves it. It has no removeable battery and the one it has is weak at best. No option for expandable storage since they wanted to make SD cards obsolete. Frankly, Samsung's latest offerings are pure junk. They are all flash because they wanted to make something that resembled an iphone yet they failed to follow the market trends in that people today want versatility and Samsung shot themselves right in their own azz on this one. No matter how good that phone looks, you will find more knowledgeable people will agree that an unlocked Galaxy S3 blows both S6 models out of the water when it comes to WHAT MAKES SENSE!. All that power and memory they are trying to put in their phone is not even necessary but they sure think we all would fall for their gimmick. We were content with having the option to buy extended batteries and SD cards for expandable storage and instead of keeping the customer base happy, they decided to go and try to prove a point that they can make iphone's too. How stupid. What a waste of time and money. Way to go Samstupid. Since Samsung is starting to lose a very big following (follow the well known Android forums and you can verify this) as they are not recognizing what makes sense but instead fell right into the snare of what the majority of knowledgeable cell phone users call PURE STUPID. Way to go Samsung what will you not think of next!?

    • Yes I agree!

    • And this is why I will hang onto my Galaxy S5 "on FREEDOMPOP" until I eventually replace it with a Nexus or a Note 4 (that will also be on "FREEDOMPOP"). I'm done buying ridiculously expensive new phones that don't work any better than a slightly older phone, just so I can pay AT&T, Verizon or Sprint a huge amount of money each month for terrible service.

    • Llon 1 week ago Link to comment

      that's a matter of opinion. I have the S6 and it's great. No battery or lag issues. Samsung pay is great. The camera launches very quickly and the pics are near perfect. Most people don't use anything near 32 gb and the pictures I do take store nicely in the cloud whereas a SD card can easily corrupt and I will most likely be upgrading in two-years so a removable battery is moot since I never used the one I had with my G4. No gimmick there. Samsung is now able to compete.

    • And with respect to micro SD card slot, oddly enough Samsung still manufactures and sells micro SD cards. Go figure.

  • What??? How could you forget Nexus 6p? It is an excellent phone and no bloatware. Samsung is filled with apps that run your battery down every time.

  • Sony z5, sadly, is far from having best camera on smartphone. Actually its camera is bad.

    • Hello,
      according to me - Nexus 6p definitely.

      I recently hacked wifi password using android phone. You can search on Google "how to hack wifi password in 2 minutes"

      Guys do try this :)

      Thanks for very informative and nice article :)

  • The best android phones according to you sport Touchwizz??? If you say so....

    Typed on a proper Android device - Nexus 6p.

  • I detect so much burn from Samsung haters! AndriodPIT got it spot-on.

  • The S6 is an amazing phone. I was reluctant at first selling my S5 to get it, but as soon as I brought it home I fell in love with it. Amazing feel to the hand and great features. I couldn't care less about the non removable battery (that's what battery packs are for should the occasion arise) or the lack of SD card (I trade it for the faster UFS 2.0 internal memory anyday).
    Good job Sammy!

  • I can't believe that the Nexus 6P didn't make not even one spot on the best new phone list!

  • Mark 1 month ago Link to comment

    I don't think any phone without Micro SD support and removable battery should even be in the running for best phone. None of the phones on your list have both features. Consumer Reports rates the S6 under the S5 because of these features. You call them the best?

Show all comments

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

Got it!