Best Android Phones of 2016

Last updated: Aug 29th, 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 | Android Phones with the Best Camera | Best Rugged Android Phones

  • 1

    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
  • 2

    Pure and simple expand_more

    The HTC 10 is a solid, all-around good phone. In a day and age where every phone has some kind of shiny gimmick, the 10 might seem a little boring. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. All that glitters is not gold. The HTC 10 is one of the most pleasant experiences you’ll have with an Android phone.

    Key Features:
    • Premium design and build quality
    • Excellent software
    • Good camera
  • 3

    The best Note ever expand_more

    The Galaxy Note 7 is the best Note Samsung has ever made. It has all the great features we’ve come to expect from Samsung, plus the addition of an iris scanner and some great improvements to the all-important S Pen. It’s expensive and there are more affordable options that are just as viable, but it’s great all the same.

    Key Features:
    • Best camera on the market
    • Iris scanner
    • S Pen is great
  • 4

    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
  • 5

    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
  • 6

    The best value in smartphones expand_more

    The OnePlus 2 wasn’t the flagship killer OnePlus made it out to be, but that’s absolutely different with the OnePlus 3. At $399, you get a nice big display, a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 6GB of RAM, and all the features you’d expect from a flagship. You’d better be packing a couple hundred extra dollars for a similar smartphone from other companies.

    Key Features:
    • 6GB of RAM
    • Great build quality
    • Affordable for its specs
  • 7

    A refreshing take on modularity expand_more

    The Moto Z Force is the latest smartphone to attempt modularity. The device’s “Moto Mods,” as they’re call, can extend the functionality in an endless number of ways, including the addition of stereo speakers or even a projector. At the same time, its solid (and thin) construction and top-line specs make it a serious contender.

    Key Features:
    • Moto Mods extend functionality
    • Great build quality for being thin
    • Big battery and fast internals
  • 8

    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
  • 9

    One of the thinnest smartphones ever expand_more

    The smaller brother to the Moto Z Force retains a lot of its sibling’s qualities — it has great build quality, fast internals, and support for Moto Mod extensions. It lacks in battery life, but that’s due to its insanely thin girth of just 5.19mm, making it the thinnest Android phone on this list.

    Key Features:
    • Extremely thin and solid construction
    • Moto Mods
    • Fast Internals
  • 10

    Beauty without the price tag expand_more

    If you’re looking for a well-rounded flagship device and a unique camera experience, the P9 is definitely worth considering. It features dual-rear cameras made by Leica and a beautiful all-metal construction.

    Key Features:
    • Impeccably crafted aluminum and glass build
    • Competitively priced
    • Solid camera performance
  • 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. Samsung Galaxy S7 Active — A great phone if you need something a little more durable, and with better battery life.
    3. LG V10 — Its sequel is on the way, but the LG V10 is still a top phone for the deals you can find.
    4. Samsung Galaxy Note 5 — After a long reign in our top 10, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s launch forces the Galaxy Note 5 to find a new home on the honorable mentions list.
    5. LG G4 – Even with the G4’s successor in the top of our list, this is still a very solid and reliable phone.
    6. Motorola Moto X Pure Edition – a new contender is on the horizon, but this is still worthy of attention.
    7. Motorola DROID MAXX 2 One of the best devices you can get for under $400.
    8. HTC One A9 – Beautiful software meshes perfectly with mid-range specs to make an underrated phone.
    9. Motorola Moto G4– The Moto G is still the best phone you can get for the price. It’s an amazing little device.
    10. OnePlus Two – A big, powerful phone at an approachable price.
  • Upcoming Phones

    expand_more

    There are still some key phones and flagships on the way in 2016, which means there will be no shortage of great options throughout the rest of the year. Here’s a quick look at what’s on the horizon.

    LG V20

    The LG V20 is due out in September and is poised to be the first smartphone to ship with Android 7.0 Nougat. LG didn’t reveal much about it just yet, but it sounds like it should hit the market with just as much impact as the LG V10 did.

    Lenovo Phab 2 and Phab 2 Pro

    Lenovo is on a roll this year, with the company having revealed the first consumer-available Tango phones. These phones will deliver augmented reality experiences like none other, with depth-sensing cameras to give you the absolute most advanced augmented reality experience you can have.

     

  • 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.

    2016 Nexus Phones

    We’re expecting as many as 2 Nexus phones this year: one each from Huawei and HTC. The Huawei model will reportedly be a souped up version of the Nexus 6P with 4GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 820 chipset for Daydream VR. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting on fresh details for HTC’s efforts.

    Blackberry Argon, and Mercury

    Blackberry is said to be working on as many as 3 smartphones this year, though the company has only confirmed 2 to date. The Blackberry Neon will be a full-touch mid-range device that could be made in partnership with TCL, while another mid-range phone is expected to have a PRIV-like keyboard.

    Xiaomi Mi Note 2

    Xiaomi is reportedly working on a phablet with as much as 6GB of RAM. This thing will also have Force Touch capability, too.