The best Android phones this holiday season [VIDEO]


The holiday season is officially here, and a new smartphone is a gift any Android fan would love to receive — as long as you know which phone to give. We have a present for all those frazzled shoppers out there unsure of what to buy: our latest look at the best Android smartphones on the market.

If you are a frequent reader of Phandroid, by now you are familiar with our monthly list of the best Android Phones. In an effort to make the list as accessible as possible it has moved to a new, permanent home. This new method not only means you, the readers, can quickly and easily locate the most up-to-date ranking of Android phones, but it also gives us more flexibility in updating said list. We’ll always notify readers of any changes here on Phandroid.

As for this month, our new system brings quite a shakeup in the top five devices. We took a minute to count down and debate the top Android phones in the video below:

To see our full list of best phones, including honorable mentions, upcoming devices, and those churning through the rumor mill, check out our updated look at the best Android phones available.

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  1. X 2nd gen?? really?? I love my Nexus 6 a lot. the HTC really should be #5 and the Sony should be in its place. Its a really awesome phone. I would make a list more like this:

    5. LG G3/HTC M8
    4. Moto Turbo
    3. Sony Z3
    2. Note 4
    1. Nexus 6

    1. It’s just so tough when lumping smartphones and phablets in with each other. So many factors to consider, so much opinion.

      1. I didnt really think of it until I just seen your post above….you’re completely right. This should be two separate lists. I love my Nexus 6….but I definitely use both hands for it.

        1. Yea but then I love my g3 and rarely use a second hand where would you draw a definitive line? Bezels vary so much screen size doesn’t really tell the whole story

          1. very good point….I am coming from a G3 and just upgraded to a Nexus 6. I think the NExus has very thin bezels but not as thin as the G3. They made such a big screen seem like such a small phone. Kind of miss it =

  2. Best 1-handed smartphones:
    Moto X (2014)
    Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    HTC One M8
    Nexus 5

    Best large smartphones:
    Sony Xperia Z3
    Nexus 6
    LG G3
    Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    1. I would agree with this TBH….it really should be two categories

    2. does the Z3v count as a Z3 on your list? :)

    3. The Z3, M8, and G3 are one handed phones and all have roughly the same dimensions. S5 should be on the list.

  3. As a Verizon customer, I just got the Sony Z3v and I’m taking it back. Was thinking about getting the LG G3, but it didn’t even make the list. Back to the drawing board, eh?

    1. I just left my G3 to get my Nexus 6. I miss quite a few things about it when I compare them. Its a huge beautiful screen but you can really use it with one hand. I have pretty small hands and never had problems with it really. I am having a rough time getting used to this phone now but if you want a SUPER FAST phone with an awesome camera, then the G3 is for you. And LG is stepping up on updates too. I dont think you could go wrong with it. Or wait for the G4 announcement. :)

      1. But the G3 is quite laggy though

        1. I have experienced zero lag but I do have a problem with terrible microphone call quality, sometimes but I think that is unique to my unit

          1. Yeah what lag? It was the first phone I didn’t root. I was really happy with it stock.

    2. Pretty much my assessment after looking to burn an upgrade this month coming from my Verizon M8. If the Z3v was really a Z3, I would definitely get that, but it’s absolutely a Z2, but worse it’s a carrier exclusive which I refuse to buy unless it’s a Moto phone for lack of support later on. The N6 is disappointing in battery life and display (burn in issues being reported) and too expensive since I can’t get it on-contract. Turbo has its own performance issues and battery life isn’t anywhere near what it should be for a 3900 mAh battery. Moto X 2014 would be more of a side-grade. Note 4 is locked down, slow to update, and the consistent TW performance issues. I guess I’m just going to wait for the M9 now. =/

      First world problems, eh?

      1. its actually a 3220 mah battery. but I agree, its not as great as it should. I went to Disney this past weekend, took exactly 186 photos, 3 4k videos and 5 regular videos (2 were 10 minutes long). Also, I sent about a dozen pictures of my kids to family/friends and at 10pm, I still had 18% battery life. this was with ambient off (take that for what its worth) and brightness at 35%.

        1. Nah, I was talking about the Turbo, not the N6. Turbo has a 3900 battery. But yeah, the N6 should still last at least as long as the Note 4 with the same size battery and specs. Pretty sad. =(

          1. AH! thought u went on to talk about the turbo charger. my mistake!

    3. What did you not like about the Z3v? I just got in on BF for free. I’m loving it so far.

      Also, I’m so tired of the internet biatching about the Z3v not being a Z3. It is what it is and accept it. Discuss what its got, and not uselessness.

      1. It is a pretty cool device, but it wouldn’t turn on for me twice. Had to figure out how to fix it – took me a couple hours for that – hold power and volumes at the same time I think. Camera is so so. I got it as an experiment more than anything. I knew it wasn’t like the z3 though.

    4. LG is underrated. People go with the samjunk phones due to marketing and brand ‘perception’. Like how some people always Will get a Honda because they had one before .

      1. LG sucks. Lousy updating, little support.

        1. Ok. I’ll let you know how I enjoy my Lollipop update next month on the G3. ;-p
          The G Pad already getting Lollipop.

    5. You mean the Z2.5. :( That phone gets the prize for disappointment of the year. Get a Note 4 and don’t look back! (Just don’t try to take any underwater pics with it.)

  4. The G3 is a great device, the list seems to bump older devices for newer. If you read any of the reviews, you cannot go wrong with the G3. So go for it. IT is a sweet phone.

  5. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, the best deal in Android (okay, it’s an Android fork) smartphones is Amazon’s Unlocked Fire Phone. $199, and half of that is for a year of Prime. Gave one to my equally-cheapskate wife yesterday, put it on T-Mobile, so free music streaming on a 1GB data plan, and she loves it.

    1. I have been saying this repeatedly. Nobody agrees with me because I work with a bunch of phone snobs, but it’s essentially a $99 phone without a contract and the specs are pretty darn good for that!

      1. It is tempting, but lack of Google services is the biggest netative for this phone. I would consider a Moto G a better better value.

  6. Good lord that full list linked in the article is a joke. Moto X still number one and Note 4 not even on the list?

    1. I voted Note 4 as number 1… I think we might adjust the list a bit to categorize the “Best Phones” based on what the user is looking for. I think the Moto X very well could be the #1 phone if you consider value. But Note 4 shoul dbe #1 for anyone who wants a stylus. Droid Turbo for anyone who wants abttery life. Etc…

      “Best” is definitely not objective.

  7. My top 5 for 2014:
    1. Motorola Droid Turbo
    2. Sony Xperia Z3 series (Z3/Z3 Compact)
    3. OnePlus One
    4. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    5. HTC Desire Eye

  8. My top 10 androids of 2014:
    1. HTC One M8
    2. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    3. Moto X 2014
    4. LG G3
    5. Samsung Galaxy S 5
    6. Z3/Z3 compact.
    7. Droid Turbo
    8. Oppo Find 7a
    9. Oneplus One
    10. Z2

  9. 1. Note 4
    2. Xperia Z3
    3. Nexus 6
    4. Droid Turbo
    5. LG G3

  10. IMO one handed can be relative honestly. Someone with big hands and long fingers might consider a 4.8-5.0 inch screens a one handed device. Now if your like me and have small hands and fingers a 5.0 inch phone is not one handed.
    For me my s4 is somewhat one handed but for my brother in law he does one handed just fine with his s4. It really is relative in nature depending of course on one own hand and finger size as to what’s one handed and not one handed.
    I have yet to see anyone one hand the n6 or notes yet, if so I’d hate to make that petition made, they would choke you with one hand with ease :).

  11. My list according to what I’ve used.

    5. Motorola Droid Turbo (hurt by the fact it is only on one carrier)
    4. HTC One M8
    3. Nexus 5
    2. Moto X (2014)
    1. Nexus 6

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