Best Android Phones of 2016

Last updated: Apr 14th, 2016.

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.

SEE ALSO: Best Cheap Android Phones | Android Phones with the Best Battery Life

  • 1

    The best Nexus ever made expand_more

    The Nexus 6P is Huawei’s first attempt at a Nexus device, and they knocked it out of the park. This is the first time a Nexus can truly claim the title of best Android phone. It has an excellent camera, beautiful, big display, and a charming design. If you don’t mind big phones, this is the one to get.

    Key Features:
    • Great camera
    • Insanely fast performance
    • Beautiful display
  • 2

    Livin' on the edge has never been better expand_more

    The Edge variant has finally surpassed the regular Galaxy S7. This year’s Edge model has a slightly bigger display and the all-important bigger battery. For a device with 5.5-inch display, it feels really great in the hand. The extra boost in battery life is a critical feature. All in all, this is the S7 you want.

    Key Features:
    • Excellent display
    • Powerful performance
    • Good battery life
  • 3

    The Galaxy has been refined expand_more

    The Galaxy S7 seems like a boring device on the outside, but that’s only because Samsung took care of everything that hampered the Galaxy S6. This is one of the most polished and refined Galaxy devices we’ve seen in a long time. It might not be as exciting as the Edge model, but it’s still a great phone.

    Key Features:
    • Excellent display
    • Powerful performance
    • Great camera
  • 4

    The playground is open expand_more

    The LG G5 is a great phone that suffers from living in the Galaxy S7’s shadow. The modular design isn’t for everyone, but it’s amazingly useful for some people. The G5 doesn’t quite live up to the hype of a modular phone, but it’s still a very solid Android device.

    Key Features:
    • Great camera
    • Speedy performance
    • Modular design is a cool concept
  • 5

    A phablet with a purpose expand_more

    The Galaxy Note 5 is the best Note Samsung has ever made. It has all the great features we’ve come to expect from Samsung. Some people will miss features like the IR blaster, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Note to self: the Note 5 is a great phone.

    Key Features:
    • Best camera on the market
    • Excellent display
    • S Pen is great
  • 6

    The unbreakable phone is here expand_more

    Motorola set out to create a phone with an unbreakable display. Somehow, they were able to succeed. The DROID Turbo 2 is great for many reasons, but the nearly invincible display is the most amazing. It can take almost anything your throw at it and come out without a scratch. The great battery life and good camera make the phone even better.

    Key Features:
    • Nearly invincible display
    • Great battery life
    • Good camera
  • 7

    The best hardware ever is not enough expand_more

    The Mate 8 is a beastly phone with specs that will make most people drool. Performance and battery life are off the charts, but Huawei’s weird EMUI software will be a turn-off for some people. If raw power is your #1 priority, it’s hard to find a better phone that the Mate 8. Unfortunately, the Mate 8 won’t be available in the U.S.

    Key Features:
    • Blazing fast performance
    • Exceptional battery life
    • Premium build quality
  • 8

    Bringing the weird back to Android expand_more

    The LG V10 has a secondary display, aptly named “Second Screen.” It can be handy if you’re willing to give it a chance, but the Second Screen is not the most notable feature of the V10. This phone has one of the best cameras ever assembled. If you’re looking for a beast of a phone with a great camera and quirky features, this is it.

    Key Features:
    • Excellent camera
    • Second Screen can be useful
    • Beautiful display
  • 9

    Motorola takes "pure" Android to the next level expand_more

    The Moto X Pure Edition is the latest in Motorola’s line of near-stock Android phones. In the past, Motorola has been plagued with poor cameras and bad battery life. The Moto X Pure mostly fixes those problems. It still comes in a wide variety of colors and materials, but this year the Moto X is only $399. That’s tough to beat.

    Key Features:
    • Camera is much improved
    • Nearly stock Android
    • Super affordable
  • 10

    This ain't your pappy’s Galaxy smartphone expand_more

    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.

    Key Features:
    • Solid construction utilizing premium materials
    • Powerful hardware offering top-tier performance
    • One of the best cameras of any smartphone, Android or otherwise
  • Honorable Mentions

    expand_more
    1. Nexus 5X – A nice little device with stock Android and a fingerprint sensor, but it’s a little underpowered.
    2. LG G4 – Even with the G4’s successor in the top of our list, this is still a very solid and reliable phone.
    3. Motorola DROID MAXX 2 One of the best devices you can get for under $400.
    4. Samsung Galaxy S6 Active — A great phone if you need something a little more durable, and with better battery life.
    5. Motorola Moto G (2015) – The Moto G is still the best phone you can get for the price. It’s an amazing little device.
    6. OnePlus Two – A big, powerful phone at an approachable price (though OnePlus still struggles with problems).
    7. HTC One A9 – Beautiful software meshes perfectly with mid-range specs to make an underrated phone.
  • Upcoming Phones

    expand_more

     HTC 10

    HTC didn’t do very well in 2015, which makes their next flagship very important. Our first impressions of the HTC 10 have been extremely positive. It seems HTC has solved all the problems that plagued the HTC One M9. The phone launches sometime in May.

    Sony Xperia X Performance

    The Sony Xperia Z line is dead, but the X line is here to take its spot. The X Performance is Sony’s top-line smartphone on the year, with a Snapdragon 820, a 5-inch 1080p display, a 23-megapixel camera, 3GB of RAM and more. It should be a solid contender when it finally launches.

    Xiaomi Mi 5

    Xiaomi introduced a beautiful phone at Mobile World Congress in the Mi 5. It’s equipped with a full metal unibody design and comes with a 5.2-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 820 chipset, a 16-megapixel camera, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 3,000mAh battery.

    HTC One X9

    When the HTC One X9 first leaked it seemed too good to be true. Now we know it was. The One X9 was revealed to be another mid-range phone from HTC. Specs include a 5.5-inch full HD display, 2.2GHz Quad-Core chipset, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, 16GB of storage, and 2GB of RAM. It also sports a nice metal body.

  • Rumor Mill

    expand_more

    With most of the top flagships from 2016 out of the way, the list of rumored phones has shrunken a considerable amount. Still, there are a couple of juicy nuggets we’re still waiting to hear about later this year.

    Motorola Moto X 2016

    Motorola is rumored to finally bring a metal device, and they’re also bringing back a fingerprint scanner to their phone to remind everyone who did it first years ago. It’ll be the first phone fully influenced by Lenovo so we’re certainly all ears when they get ready to make their announcement.

    OnePlus 3

    With the OnePlus 2 failing to live up to its Flagship Killer moniker, we’re looking to see a nice rebound from the budding Chinese company on the OnePlus 3. Details are scarce right now, but we’re sure the company is cooking up a phone worth of contention.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 6

    We know Samsung will be making a new version of the Galaxy Note 6. So far, the rumored specs include the Snapdragon 823 processor, but not much is known about this phone yet.

    Sony Xperia C6

    This rumored device is said to have a 6-inch display and a front-facing camera with a flash. We haven’t seen many phones with a flash on the front. This would be a great phone for selfie lovers. We’ll have to wait until we know more about this phone.