Best Android Phones of 2016

Last updated: Feb 8th, 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

    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
  • 3

    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
  • 4

    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
  • 5

    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
  • 6

    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
  • 7

    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
  • 8

    Underdog no-more expand_more

    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.

    Key Features:
    • Big, bright, and beautiful display
    • Near-DSLR quality camera
    • Nice design
  • 9

    Finally, a sequel to the Nexus 5 expand_more

    Android fans have been begging for a sequel to the Nexus 5 for years. They finally got it with the Nexus 5X. It’s not quite as handsome as the original, but LG has improved upon nearly everything that made the Nexus 5 so loved. The camera has been improved, and battery life is much better. The Nexus 5X is one of the most affordable ways to get Android Marshmallow in your hands.

    Key Features:
    • Perfect size for one hand
    • Affordable
    • Much improved camera
  • 10

    Mid-range to the Maxx expand_more

    A good mid-range phone isn’t hard to find these days. The Motorola DROID Maxx 2 is one of the better devices you can get for under $400. It offers stellar battery life, multiple colors to choose from, and a very solid camera. You’re not going to get the best performance, but at this price the Maxx 2 is hard to pass on.

    Key Features:
    • Awesome battery life
    • Decent camera
    • Very affordable
  • Honorable Mentions

    1. Samsung Galaxy S6 Active — A great phone if you need something a little more durable, and with better battery life.
    2. Motorola Moto G (2015) – The Moto G is still the best phone you can get for the price. It’s an amazing little device.
    3. OnePlus Two – A big, powerful phone at an approachable price (though OnePlus still struggles with problems).
    4. HTC One A9 – Beautiful software meshes perfectly with mid-range specs to make an underrated phone.
    5. Nexus 6Still an excellent device. It’s big, has good battery life, and the camera is very underrated.
    6. LG G Flex 2 – Great phone with a cool, ergonomic design. Nearly as good as the LG G4.
  • Upcoming Phones


    Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge

    The Galaxy S7 is likely to be the most popular Android device of 2016. It’s a pretty big deal. The design is expected to be slightly more rounded version of the Samsung Galaxy S6. Rumored specs include the Snapdragon 820 processor, 12MP camera, 4GB of RAM, and Android Marshmallow.

    LG G5

    There have been a lot of interesting rumors about the LG G5. One rumor suggests that there will be an “accessory slot” that will be used to attach things to the phone. Rumored specs for the G5 include the Snapdragon 820, 16MP camera, 3GB of RAM, and Android Marshmallow.

    HTC One M10

    HTC didn’t do very well in 2015, which makes their next flagship very important. Early photos of the One M10 show a very iPhone-like design, similar to the HTC One A9. The M10 is rumored to have the Snapdragon 820, 12MP camera, 4GB of RAM, and Android Marshmallow. The popular Boomsound speakers are gone.

    More from MWC

    All three of the devices listed above will be shown at or after Mobile World Congress. Huawei is also confirmed to be showing off new devices at the event, and there will likely be phones from others as well. MWC is where we’ll see the phones that will dominate 2016.

  • Rumor Mill


    The devices listed above are still technically “rumored,” but the manufacturers have all but confirmed they will be announced soon. We know they are upcoming, even if they haven’t been officially announced. That leaves the “rumored” section pretty bare right now. Everyone is waiting for the big 2016 flagships.

    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 is rumored 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.