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The most underrated Android phones of 2015

Every year there are phones that everybody talks about incessantly – the new Galaxy or LG, the new Nexus and so on – but there are always some really great phones that simply don't get the airplay they deserve. So we're going to try to set the record straight and count down what we think are the most underrated smartphones of 2015.

5. OnePlus X

The OnePlus X has certainly gotten a lot of attention. If OnePlus knows how to do anything, it's how to get people to pay attention. The OnePlus X is a great phone, and definitely deserves the attention it's getting in certain parts of the world, but sadly, it's not getting much play in the US because you can barely use it there, due to very limited LTE support (if you can even buy one). It looks as though the OnePlus X will only really be appreciated elsewhere.

AndroidPIT OnePlus X battery tips 2
The OnePlus X has some really great features. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Nexus 5X

It's hard being the less-sexy Nexus, for sure. We think the Nexus 5X is great: it's basically an updated Nexus 5 after all. That means all the goods that LG knows how to put in a Nexus with a fresh lease on update life. Plus, it shares the same finger scanner and camera module as the Nexus 6P. But the Nexus 5X has lived in the shadow of the Nexus 6P since day one.

The Nexus 5X will never be as popular as its predecessor. / © ANDROIDPIT

When you bring out two phones at the same time the more expensive one with higher specs is always going to get more attention – just look at the Moto X Play living in the Moto X Pure's shadow. The Nexus 5X is largely being ignored compared to the Nexus 6P, and we think that's a shame.

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3. Honor 7

We're big fans of the Honor 7 here at AndroidPIT. It's a crazy cheap phone that looks equally as good as any premium flagship that costs two or three times as much. It's rocking a great finger scanner from Huawei too and even has a front-facing flash.

Honor 7 fingerprint
Basically any phone with a Huawei finger scanner is worthy of your attention. / © ANDROIDPIT

But it's specs sheet isn't quite up there, it's running Huawei's EMUI and you can't even buy it officially in the US. It's widely regarded as a solid phone, but it's probably not getting the attention it really deserves.

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2. Xiaomi Mi 4c

Another phone you can't get in the US, the Xiaomi Mi 4c, is an incredibly impressive phone for next to no money. It's small, powerful and pretty much awesome everywhere you look. But again, you won't see it getting much attention outside China or India, even if everyone has gone on about it a bit already.

ANDROIDPIT xiaomi MI 4C 12
The Xiaomi Mi 4c packs some really impressive hardware for the price. / © ANDROIDPIT

Most Xiaomi devices seem a little underrated outside China, but the Mi 4c is something special. It won't get talked about much in the Western media but if you ever get a chance to play around with one, take that opportunity. You'll be eagerly waiting for Xiaomi to hit the US market like the rest of us.

1. Asus Zenfone 2

This is it. The phone that no one really paid attention to all year is also our pick for the most under-rated smartphone of 2015. The Zenfone 2 was a surprise at CES 2015 because no one was expecting a phone at the US$200 mark to be anywhere near this good looking or impressive in terms of features. But what really caught everyone's attention – albeit only very briefly – was that the US$300 version was the first phone to appear rocking 4 GB of RAM.

asus zenfone 2 back
We loved the Zenfone 2, but it seems no one else gave it much attention. / © ANDROIDPIT

With a 64-bit Intel processor, microSD card and dual-SIM slots, fast-charging, 3,000 mAh battery, good camera and low-light performance, the Zenfone 2 really deserved more attention than it received. It's specs are pretty impressive now, and it came out way back in January. And did we mention how much it costs?

What do you think the most under-rated phone of 2015 was? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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  • Great article. I definitely agree with the ASUS Zenfone 2 owning the number one spot. This device has actually made me put aside my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. There are so many amazing features, from the camera's ability to take pictures in low light situations without a flash to unique features like multiple profiles for different users, a trash bin if you accidentally delete photos and need to restore them, the ability to hide apps, and being able to move text message threads to private conversations protected by a PIN from prying eyes. This "budget" phone offers features the "big guys" haven't thought of yet and it's performance is amazing. I should point out however, that as a device only available via online purchase, be sure to get the worldwide version as it is compatible with US LTE bands and has a better build quality and less bloatware. I learned this valuable $279 lesson, when I purchased the 32Gb Chinese version via Ali Express. I replaced that nightmare with the 64Gb version direct from ASUS, and 9 months later the device continues to impress.

  • I have the honor 7 as a second phone for work purposes and its a really really great solid phone. Not up there with my personal s6 edge BUT it is way cheaper so the balance performance to value is really good.

  • I agree with you being the Zenfone 2 being most underrated. In fact alot of people paid attention to it actually. So it was popular, why underrated? It took alot of abuse. Its a really good phone but alot of people dont think so. You can look at a youtube video of the Zenfone 2 and you can see some people saying its bad. The Nexus 5X has the same problem. So did the Galaxy S5 and others. To me personally the ZF2 offers more value than the Oneplus 2. The ZF2 has NFC, Fast Charging, Better display etc. The OP2 is better in some aspects like software but the ZF2 is probably the best bang for your buck smartphone you can get.

    • I think underrated because of the limited market that ASUS decided to expose the device to. The American markets promote the big 5: Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG and Nexus. So those devices are generally more popular, thus making devices like the Zenfone 2 an overlooked footnote in the mobile market. As a matter of fact, a very watered-down version of the Zenfone (the Zenfone 2E) is offered only by AT&T. Also ASUS's naming conventions can be confusing. I owned the Zenfone 6 (which refers to the screen size) prior to the Zenfone 2 (and there are at least five variants with that name, including one with a 5-inch screen). Then there are people that just look at numbers like ppi, and when comparing this device to subsidized devices that cost twice or three times as much, they decide to overlook the value this phone brings. Nonetheless, the Zenfone 2 is an amazing device all around, and a tremendous value.

  • Al JR 10 months ago Link to comment

    Little alcatel s-pop. Rooted easily. Have 5 apps on it, LOL, with 2Gig of system free. IS pocket sized. Takes okay little snaps. Radio works without headphone circus...

  • One plus X underrated?

    are you kidding me?

    it's waaaay overrated than it should be

    I'd vote for xiaomi mi 4c any day.

  • Tage .T 10 months ago Link to comment

    Asus Zenfone 2 =copycat of the new Lg phone's; -)

  • Rusty 10 months ago Link to comment

    Why are you telling us about underrated phones that we can't possibly get in the USA?

  • Why Nexus 5 ? Probably its by Google. Why you have included that in this List?

  • underrated ? apart from N5x which has had more than its fair share of attention and reviews, for most of the devices listed it's more about their availability and accessibility, what about after sales support and service, doesn't matter how shiny the one+ is, its simply a complete joke with regards to availability and customer and software updates for these devices are not gonna be as impressive as their price and specs..

  • Mark 10 months ago Link to comment

    I am surprised that the LG G4 was not on your list it is definitely an under rated phone.

  • i want to buy a smartphone ...
    1)samsung note 5
    2)samsung s6 edge
    which one i should buy????
    please tell me any one

    • Mark 10 months ago Link to comment

      Neither Both of those phones are down grades from the predecessors except for processor speed. They don't have removable batteries or Miro SD support. Buy the Note 4 or S5 they are better phones. More durable and functional. If you want a newer model I would go with the LG V10.

    • I have the edge great phone and very good looking also.

    • If these are the two choices you have settled on, I would personally pick the Note 5 for the S-Pen and 4Gb of RAM.
      The Galaxy S7 Edge has been released or you could wait until October for the Note 6.

  • i want to buy a smartphone ...
    1)samsung note 5
    2)samsung s6 edge
    which one i should buy please tell me any one

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