Samsung, LG, and HTC continue to duke it out for the top spot in this August edition of our monthly best phones list. Not a lot has changed as manufacturers shift their attention from summer to fall, but several potentially killer handsets are rumored to be just around the corner. Could a big shakeup in our rankings be in the future? Read on for the full rundown!
5. Sony Xperia Z2
The Xperia Z2 has finally been getting some US love with the official launch of the unlocked version of phone via Sony’s online store. At the same, time it’s looking less and less likely we will see an actual carrier-backed release. That doesn’t change our opinion: the Xperia Z2 is one of the best combinations of top-notch handset design and premium smartphone features we have seen in recent months. That should be changing soon, though. The Sony Xperia Z3 is rumored for a September launch with the potential to usurp the Z2’s spot on our list.
4. Nexus 5
The Nexus 5 stands alone as the only option for the Android purist. It has the spec sheet to earn its place as Google’s preferred reference platform for app developers, and direct support from the Android team means the N5 will be among the first to land the highly-anticipated Android L update. It doesn’t hurt that the Nexus 5’s $350 price tag makes it an easy sell for those in the market for a new handset.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 continues to dominate the field when it comes to pure market saturation. While the 2014 flagship hasn’t proven to be the most compelling update to the Galaxy S4, that hasn’t stopped folks from lining up to buy one. Top-tier specs, a gorgeous 1080p Super AMOLED display, and intriguing features like a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor add up to one of the best Android phones currently available.
2. HTC One M8
HTC hasn’t put the flashiest marketing behind their One M8, so it’s easy to forget about the handset amongst all the talk of the Galaxy S5 and LG G3. The phone is front and center in our minds, however, and holds on to the number two spot on our list of the best Android phones available. Solid, industrial design meets HTC’s graceful Sense interface to create one of the best Android experiences around.
1. LG G3
The LG G3 took the Android world by storm when it debuted with its Quad HD display. Aside from providing some of the most brilliant visuals we have ever seen on a smartphone, the G3 goes with top-of-the-line components for nearly every hardware spec. An innovative design that places the phone’s power button and volume rocker in an easily reached cluster on the rear of the device helps give the G3 a sleek, minimalist feel. A simplified user interface does away with the bloat for a seamless Android experience.
With a list limited to five phones, some tough decisions have to be made when it comes to picking the best of the best. Below find the handsets that just barely missed out on making our main list.
- Xiaomi Mi4 — Xiaomi’s latest is the specced-out Mi4, a stylish handset that has the spec sheet to do battle with almost any Android out there while somehow managing to maintain a $460 price tag.
- OnePlus One — Initially marred by availability and hardware issues, the OnePlus One features solid combination of specs and affordable pricing for those willing to take a chance on a lesser established brand.
- Oppo Find 7a — The Find 7a spares no expense when it comes to premium power and features but still manages to come in at a price that won’t break the bank.
- Moto X — This build-your-own device lets user put their own personal touch on an Android handset for the masses.
- Amazon Fire Phone — Not your typical Android device, while the Fire Phone sees some room for improvement fans of Amazon’s content ecosystem might consider the retailer’s debut smartphone.
Next month’s IFA show means there is plenty to look forward to when it comes to Android smartphones. While there are few announced phones on the horizon awaiting release, the number of rumored devices seems to increase every day. Below we take a look at just a small sampling of some of the bigger names to keep an eye on.
While rumors of a new Google initiative dubbed Android Silver threatened to derail the Nexus program, the line of Google Experience developer devices is alive and well, according to recent reports. The latest buzz suggests Motorola could be developing a 5.9-inch phablet that could eventually launch as the Nexus 6. With the Nexus 5 closing in on the first anniversary of its release, the timing is right for its successor, supposedly codenamed Shamu, to make its debut.
Moto X+1 & Moto Maxx
Motorola is keeping busy beyond plans to build Google’s next Nexus device. Rumors continue to swirl about the Moto X’s followup the Moto X+1. Most recently we glimpsed perhaps our best look at the phone to date with all signs pointing toward an official unveiling this month. Evidence is also continuing to mount for a set of updated Moto handsets for Verizon. Though Droid branding is absent, a newly uncovered Moto Maxx trademark could indicate sequels are in line for Verizon’s popular trio of Motorola-made Android smartphones.
Sony Xperia Z3
The Sony Xperia Z2 is a great device, but Sony isn’t settling at that. Rumor has the Sony Xperia Z3 is already in line for an announcement next month at the yearly IFA expo in Berlin. We expect a refined, marginal upgrade over the Xperia Z2, but in this case that’s just enough to grab our attention. Even better, the Z3 is rumored to see a wider US release than other recent Sony handsets. Also expected to debut alongside the Xperia Z3 is the Xperia Z3 Compact.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 & Galaxy Alpha
Next month’s IFA show will have plenty in store for the Android fan, and one of the most highly-anticipated devices that could launch at the show is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. While a lot is still out of focus in terms of the Note 4, we expect at the very least to see Samsung’s 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display make an appearance. Also gaining steam are rumors of Samsung’s aluminum-bodied Galaxy Alpha, which was recently pictured in detail.
If it hasn’t appeared on our list yet and it’s worth buying, chances are you’ll find it on Amazon’s Best Sellers list. Below find all the phones that are still raking in the sales despite the fact that we didn’t have room for them on our own list.
- Samsung Galaxy S4
- Samsung Galaxy Mega
- Samsung Galaxy Note 3
- LG G2
- Samsung Galaxy Note II
- Samsung Galaxy S III
- HTC One M7
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
- Casio G’zOne Commando
- LG G Flex
What say you?
That’s our take on the top Android phones out there. What’s the view from the peanut gallery? Did we leave your favorite phone off? Are our rankings all wrong? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your pick for the top Android phone available!