Best Android Phones of 2015
If you’re in the market for a new Android phone, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our picks for the best Android phones currently available as voted on by the Phandroid staff.
With the Galaxy S6, Samsung was intent on giving us a device that was as familiar as its predecessors while at the same time radically different. The result is a handset that lacks a removable battery and SD card support but makes up for it with gorgeous design, powerful hardware, and a refined software experience tapping the enhancements of Android Lollipop. With the Galaxy S6, Samsung delivers what might be their most complete handset to date.
- Solid construction utilizing premium materials
- Powerful hardware offering top-tier performance
- One of the best cameras of any smartphone, Android or otherwise
Where the Samsung Galaxy S6 sees a departure from the stylings of the Galaxy S5 and phones before it, the phone that launched alongside it pushes things over the line…or should we say edge? The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge shares everything that makes the Galaxy S6 such a great handset but adds one killer feature: a display that curves at its edges. This might not seem like much, but it enables clever software enhancements including Edge Notifications and a helpful information ticker. But let’s not forget to mention the stunning effect the innovative display tech has on the phone’s overall design.
- Innovative curved display is more than just eye candy
- Same great hardware as the Galaxy S6
- Top-notch camera
Taken individually, features like the camera, display, and design of the G4 are quite impressive, if not tops among it smartphone peers. As a package, however, there still seems to be something missing from the overall presentation. Something feels a bit underwhelming, though it’s difficult to place a finger on.
- Big, bright, and beautiful display
- Near-DSLR quality camera
- Nice design
Is the HTC One M9 iterative? Yes. Does it lack the flash of a curved display or fingerprint sensor or other gimmicks found in competing Android flagships? Yes. Is that necessarily a bad thing? The One M9 puts design above all else, and in that respect it could still be crowned the best on the market. With strong hardware and improved software, the One M9 makes a case for the best overall Android device, as well.
- Gorgeous design and premium build
- Powerful customization options in Sense 7
- Top-notch hardware for great performance
The Motorola-made Nexus 6 is Google’s latest flagship device, the reference handset for Android’s Lollipop update. As a Nexus device, it is directly supported by Google, which means it will never be left behind when it comes to software upgrades. It features much of the same powerful hardware as the Droid Turbo but in a design that incorporates a massive 5.9-inch display. The display might prove to be too large for some, a fact that keeps the Nexus 6 from peaking at the top of our list.
- First smartphone to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Direct-from-Google support
- Powerful hardware and massive 5.9-inch display
Motorola’s highly-anticipated update to the Moto X turned out to be everything we were hoping for and more. It’s not quite as powerful on paper as phones like the Droid Turbo and Nexus 6, which share similar Motorola-made hardware. Those phones feature a zippier Snapdragon 805 compared to the Moto X’s Snapdragon 801 processor, but it is more than capable. The Moto X’s 5.2-inch display hits the sweet spot in terms of size, and buyers once again have the option customize the design of the phone, including a choice of exotic materials such as real wood and leather. A near-stock Android implementation is a bonus for Android purists.
- Updated design with premium materials
- Customizable out of the factory with color, wood, and leather accents
- Great hardware to compliment near-stock Android software experience
The G Flex 2 doesn’t need any gimmicks. If you straightened out the display this would still be an excellent device. The display is gorgeous, the battery life is great, it has a powerful processor, and a great camera. The fact that it has a curved display is icing on the cake. It looks cool and feels awesome in your hand. People will want to know what phone you have. In a day and age where 90% of phones look-alike you can stand out from the crowd with the LG G Flex 2.
- Curved display is beautiful to look at and comfortable to hold
- Excellent battery life
- Above-average camera
The Motorola Droid Turbo won’t be held back by its Verizon exclusivity. It remains one of the most powerful smartphones on the market with a Snapdragon 805 processor and Quad HD display, and its massive 3900mAh battery promises days of life on a single charge. This is a device that should give potential buyers plenty of reason to consider switching carriers if not already Verizon subscribers.
- Unrivaled hardware power
- Rugged industrial design
- Turbo Charge for 8 hours of battery life in 15 minutes
Samsung’s latest update to their Note phablet lineup once again sets the bar for the smartphone category. As Samsung’s flagship for the second half of 2014 and early 2015, it features top-of-the-line specs to match its innovative design, which takes advantage of the included S Pen stylus to offer unique functionality including easy annotation, gestures and shortcuts, and more. The Note Edge variant offers an even more unique experience with its curving Edge display.
- S Pen stylus for easy annotation and homescreen navigation
- Gorgeous 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display
- Impressive processing power and hardware
- LG G3 — Like HTC and Samsung, LG’s new flagship is on the horizon, but last year’s is still a sure bet.
- Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – Much the same and just as good as the Xperia Z3 but in a smaller form factor for those opposed to ever-expanding screen sizes.
- OnePlus One – A big, powerful phone at an approachable price (though OnePlus still struggles to keep up with demand).
- Samsung Galaxy Note Edge – Same great Galaxy Note experience with the added function of the curving Edge display.
- ASUS ZenFone 2 — Deceptively affordable at $200, the ZenFone 2 packs serious specs including up to 4GB RAM.
Asus ZenFone Zoom
Announced at this year’s CES, ASUS’ 2015 smartphone lineup includes the recently released ZenFone 2 and upcoming ZenFone Zoom. The ZenFone 2 is an affordable device that doesn’t skimp on specs, while the Zoom is the latest Android device to play with the idea of marrying traditional camera optics with the smartphone form factor. The ZenFone Zoom features a 13MP camera with optical zoom and will retail for about $400.
Touted as a superphone by the masses that saw it at CES 2015, the Saygus V2 crams just about every spec you can imagine into its frame. From a fingerprint scanner and wireless HDMI to dual SD card slots for up to 320GB of storage, it truly is everything but the kitchen sink.
We don’t know much about the OnePlus Two, but we do know it is in the works thanks to a Reddit AMA with Carl Pei from OnePlus. The phone is on track to launch in Q2 or Q3 of 2015 and could feature a smaller form factor than its predecessor. Hopefully it will be more readily available, as well.
HTC One E9
As HTC is wont to do, a phablet version of their M9 flagship is rumored to be in the works. It could feature a 5.5-inch, WQHD display, but aside from that fact looks to be a slightly more midrange version of what we see in the One M9. This mostly translates through plastic construction, but we might also point to the MediaTek processor claimed to power the device (though it is a 64-bit, octa-core chip). It seems destined for China where it could launch with a price close to $320.
Our list is selected by polling Phandroid’s staff and only has room for so many devices, so from time to time we might leave a perfectly fine Android smartphone off our list. In this case, we turn to Amazon’s Best Sellers list to see a ranking of devices that do not already appear in our ranking above.