HTC One M9 takes the top spot in the Best Android Phone rankings



The 2015 flagship devices are finally starting to launch, which has breathed some new life into our Best Android Phone rankings. There are still a few excellent devices on the horizon, and some old favorites are holding fast. It will be a tight race for the top spot throughout this year. For now the crown goes to the HTC One M9 (our review).

Very soon we’ll be posting our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. After we put those devices to the test, we’ll insert them into the rankings. Will HTC be able to retain the crown? Many people have called the One M9 “iterative” and “uninspired,” but that would only be a bad thing if its predecessor wasn’t so great. The One M9 sticks with the classic HTC design and build quality with subtle improvements where it counts.

The LG G4 is also soon to be announced. We’ve kept the LG G3 in our rankings for a long time, but it’s starting to drop down the list. We’ll be anxious to see how the G4 and other upcoming devices make it in our rankings. Head on over to the Best Android Phones page to see the full rankings. Where does your favorite phone rank? Do you agree with our choices?

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

Google gets called out for questionable YouTube Kids advertising

Previous article

Samsung’s drop test shows the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are still reliable with all that glass

Next article

You may also like


  1. Where is the S6 on this list?

    1. “After we put those devices to the test, we’ll insert them into the rankings.”

      1. I would have thought they had tested both the M9 and S6 at the same time.

        1. That’s presuming they arrived at the same time, and that there isn’t a media embargo on the S6.

    2. I believe it’s on the “not out yet” list. Have you seen one in the wild? Certainly once it’s out it deserves to be included.

      1. I have…. Tmobile sent them out early and all the stores have them.

      2. Yeah T mobile people have them I believe. 2 days for Verizon (depending on color/size). And I have used them twice in stores. BUT using them in a store and having real world tests or a plan of action to review is totally different. I find when I get new phones in hand I am always like, “now wait, what was I going to test or try or look at again?”

        1. Lol, I’m the same way. Should really come with a list of things to run it through.

      3. Yes. AT&T customers received their preorders as early as yesterday.

  2. … are you serious?

    1. Why so shocking? They get to work, hands on, with every phone. You get to really only read about each phone. They know more and get more real world experience.

      1. I can see it being on the list, just because there are but so many flagships available. I’m just a little surprised to see it at the top of the list.

        1. They are HTC bias. As far as I can remember.

          1. Hahaha! Oh of course since Sammy isn’t at the top! Lol!

          2. Dude, I like One Plus! What are you talking about.

        2. Where would you put it on the list? Let’s remember we won’t place the S6 and S6 Edge until after we complete our full review.

          1. Let me preface this by saying: I’m biased against it, but that’s mostly because I fell for the evleaks render like a bunch of other people. I wanted them to improve the camera and use capacitive buttons (using the HTC logo as a home button) to minimize the asymmetry of the device. They didn’t do that and they threw all the megapixels in there.

            The AnandTech review was pretty damning; It’s probably not stuff that you’ll notice in your day to day usage, but… they really only had to fix the camera. My hope is they can fix some of this stuff with software patches, but I’d put it above the M8. Just because you iterate the hardware to expected levels doesn’t automatically make you the best.

      2. But other users have accounted for the problems. Worse battery life than the M8? Overheating issues? Underperforming camera? All there. Too many issues to be the #1 phone.

        1. Fair enough.

        2. The heat issue is a non issue from ppl who have actually reviewed the device with final software not from MWC. The battery life is slightly better than the M8 actually. Camera is not perfect but beats out alot of other devices in the wild right now especially in good lighting where it has the potential to take some of the best pics of today’s smartphones.

          1. Yep, you are correct and the camera is actually very good not to mention the front camera

          2. check these out (my pictures) and tell me the M8 has a good camera. You obviously don’t have one or you are not looking at what good pictures should look like.


          3. You either don’t have an M9 or you don’t know what good photos look like. I have one and in “auto” mode it is mediocre at best. Same as my Moto X 2nd Gen which was not good. Look at this link from my photos. Not even in the same league as the S6

          4. I’ve seen fine photos with the M9 and I’ve been taking photos and developing for a long time. Every phone camera has it’s limitations, it’s up to the user to learn what they are and adjust accordingly. Just because you take the M9 out of it’s box and snap a pic doesn’t mean it has a terrible camera. It has settings that will allow good pics. Also, there is an update coming for the M9 camera that should help casual pic taking folks, to take a good pic.

          5. sure, but that is not how I use a camera phone…it is spontaneous shots. I have an SLR for posed shots that I have time to make settings, by the time you take test shots, do some manual adjustments, etc you lose the moment. I need something that can stay on auto and do a good job. M9 can’t do that. Believe me I wanted it to. I was a big fan of M7,M8 and thought this was the year they would put it all together with a fantastic camera…guess that could be next year.

          6. Not saying it can’t take a good photo. Just very unreliable because it varies then you have to play with manual settings and retake. That is not good for a camera phone that is used for spontaneous photos. I took the S6 out of the box and got excellent photos. I just wanted HTC to do the same for the M9.

          7. Well like I said the update should help casual folks that don’t want to bother with settings

          8. Still, the camera is such an integral experience now that Instagram and Snapchat are quite common. People tend to substitute DSLRs for their smartphones.

    2. Have you personally used one?

      1. Nope. I’m just surprised to see it over the S6 et al. I guess we’ll see how it shakes out as time goes on.

      2. I have personally used most of the phones on this list and the S6 but not the M9. I have 3 of these phones sitting beside me right now ;)

  3. M9, S6 are on my list. G4 depending on announcement. I need a new phone, bad. Milking mine and waiting daily to decide. Ready to buy now. Today. Will give G4 a little time, but not much. Want to decide by 5/1 and buy.

    EDIT: Oh, I forgot about the S6 Active… need to see if that has a Verizon option as that would be my phone given the active watery lifestyle I live and the purported MicroSD, H20 proof and removable battery.

  4. I’m not really sure how the M9 gets to the top of the list. Based on reviews and tests from other groups, you could make the argument that it’s not even better than the M8 let alone newer phones.

    1. That’d be a very silly argument…

      1. How do you figure that? Have you actually seen any of the head to head comparisons? Take a look at this:


        I’m not saying this test is the end all be all or anything, but you can find multiple examples of this. There is very little that the M9 does objectively better than the M8, and there are no shortage of examples like the video above where the M8 performs better.

        1. And Anandtech.com has a great summary of the M9 and compares it to the M8. I’d go to Anandtech.com for a real mobile device review with technical details, not just qualitative reasoning on what is “best”.


          ” HTC has traditionally done quite well here despite using a smaller
          battery in their phones than average. Unfortunately, this isn’t true of
          the One M9. Despite using a newer SoC and a bigger battery, HTC
          regresses significantly in battery life when compared to the One M8.”

          “The camera of the One M9 is also a weak point, despite significant
          changes on HTC’s part in this area. Unfortunately, the post-processing
          here is just not acceptable, and the results of the camera are equally

          “The next aspect worth examining is the display. To HTC’s credit, a 1080p
          display at 5 inches is the right tradeoff to make with an RGB-stripe
          display. However, it’s concerning to see significant regressions in
          almost every area when comparing the display to the M8. An amazing
          display is almost a requirement for flagship smartphones at this point,
          and to see such a poor display with equally poor calibration is

          But hey, keep on putting the M9 above the other devices which have a better camera, display and battery life and then justify somehow that it’s a better device, Phandroid.

  5. Pass. I’d take one of the S6 models or seriously look at LG G4.

  6. M8 above the Note 4… Erm ok then!

    1. Was surprised myself. Even more glad I didn’t settle on the Note 4 if it really is that uninspiring.

      1. I don’t find it uninspiring, I switched from the Z3 and glad that I did, owned the M8 previously and think the Note 4 is better than both. My opinion of course

        1. You may be correct that the Note 4 is better as I frequently question these power rankings. I definitely don’t envy the person who has to write these ranking articles. You know the article will be slammed and critiqued from every side. Honestly I can’t make an accurate comparison by just playing with a phone in best buy and I don’t own any of those phones on the list, yet. My M9 will be here Friday according to FedEx.

          1. Note4 still tops for me and still my daily atm even with a Nexus 6 in my drawer.. But I can understand not putting anything with TouchWiz at the top of a “greatest” list..

      2. This site istaff s full of HTC and iPhone fanboys…

    2. This site istaff s full of HTC and iPhone fanboys.

      1. as opposed to being a samsung fanboy?

        1. No, as opposed to being a fanboy for any company. Commenter can be silly trolls, staff should be above that.

          1. Maybe i missed where the staff trolled… but this site is hardly the only site to have ranked HTC phones above samsung phones these past few years.

          2. You must not listen to the podcast. It’s always HTC this, HTC that. Not a single site ranked the M8 or M9 above the Note 4. That’s laughable. It was silly for them to post this list before adding the S6 in. They did so, because they know the S6 slaughters HTC.

          3. that’s fair, i don’t listen to podcasts. Well if you think that’s how they feel then all will be rectified when the release the list in 2 months and put the GS6 above it.

    3. No touchfizz

      1. The software that brings the unmatched productivity of the Note 4.

  7. The S6 will certainly take the top spot once they finish. Just because Samsung got it right, doesn’t mean HTC got it wrong. They will still among the top Flagships this year. Sales may not reflect it though. Most, but not all, Samsung owners are just as bad as iPhone owners. They follow the crowd and buy what they see on tv and in their friend’s hands.

  8. The Z4 is coming too

    1. I need a z4 ultra

  9. I’ve never been a big Samsung fan. In fact, I’ve loved HTC over the years, but the S6 completely smashes the M9.

    1. Obviously not since they lost at least one customer for sure. I’ve been a long time Samsung user, even before Android. I currently have both a Samsung phone and tablet. They screwed up, in my opinion, by abandoning the expandable storage and removable battery. And yes, they have the 128GB option for far more, but I love transferring my Sd card between the phone, tablet or computer.

      1. So they lost one customer and that means the S6 isn’t a better phone. Ok. Well I completely acknowledge the fact that some Sammy faithful are upset over the loss of SD cards and removable batteries, but that doesn’t change the fact that the S6 doesn’t outperform the M9 in every aspect, regardless. I have to wonder how many people actually carry around extra batteries or memory cards, when you look at trending design approaches industry wide, not just with Samsung. HTC had such an opportunity here, but they just didn’t do it. Samsung did everything right with this phone, as far as I’m concerned, and that camera alone makes the M9 look unworthy of a purchase.

        1. I don’t know who carries around extra Sd cards or batteries; not I. I do however have a 64GB card that I paid like $25 for (not $100 like you would need to to get more memory on an S6) installed and have more versatility. Also, i have a Zerolemon battery installed that gives me 3 times more battery life. Can’t do either with the S6 Thx to Samsung changing 2 things people loved about their phones.

          Not gonna touch the “outperforms in every way statement”. That’s just exaggerated and ridiculous.

          And the camera is the nail in the coffin?! Get a real camera because no cell phone camera is nearly as good and any flagship camera will be more than suitable for a random situation.

          1. Exaggerated and ridiculous. So we’re arguing silicon now? Actual performance and numbers are an opinion? And I never said the camera was any proverbial nail in the coffin, but if I did, why would that be so off base? We’re talking smart phones here, not actual cameras. That whole “buy a real camera” argument is beyond petty and irrelevant at this stage in the game. Cameras on phones are clearly on the checklist when people look at which phone to buy.

        2. They lost more than just one customer. They lost hundreds. Unfortunately, for the regular Joe it’s all about form over function so they will still sell boatloads of S6 to people whose use case isn’t dependent on a larger battery, removable storage or a shatter-proof backing.

          Samsung definitely din’t do everything right. I could probably have lived with the small non-removable battery or the fragile glass backing, but the lack of SD card was the deal breaker for me.

          1. Well, I’m the LAST person to care about form over function. (In fact, if you followed me, you will see that I rant about this CONSTANTLY.) But really, as long as it has at least 64gb of storage, I’m good. I don’t need any more than that. Sucks for those 5 people that have an SD card that they like transferring from device to device.

      2. Just use a usb otg I have 4 of them , they work excellent

        1. A high end SD card is much faster than an otg cable which is limited to USB 2.0

          1. Never claimed it was faster was just pointing out an option. TGIF……

        2. Unless you can show me a way to use PERMANENTadditional storage with OTG without adding any dongle or bulk to the phone, then you can keep your half-assed solution to yourself. OTG is great for some quick data exchange but it would be completely useless for the things I use my SD card for.

      3. They will gain 100 to 1 what they loose. The majority of people NEVER put sdcards in their phone or even know they can. This design is what sells and the figures will show it. Make it look and feel cool with an awesome camera to give people something to talk about and BAM! a hit. Of course add in great marketing. They will sell more than double the S5 with its removable battery, waterproofing and sdcard.

    2. No, it doesn’t

      1. A compelling argument you propose, my good man.

        1. i would agree. It by no way “smashes” the m9. is it going to be better? likely. but “smashes” ….ah no.

        2. As well as your “completely smashes” opinion, cheers :)

    3. I have both and I agree. The only thing the M9 hands down wins is it does have less noticeable lag. Yes, touchwiz is scaled down but does still have some stutter at times compared to the M9 or even my Moto X 2nd Gen

  10. tops? With that camera in it!? Pretty damn good phone but the camera really is a sore spot…

    1. And the display on the M9 is worse than the M8. Battery life doesn’t seem to be any better than the M8, either. What a weird, seemingly arbitrary ranking system Phandroid has. If display, battery life and camera quality don’t necessarily matter, then Blu phones should be on this list as well.

  11. Will HTC be able to retain the crown?

    Urrrmmmmmmm nope

    S6 edge – phone of 2015

    1. The edge? Really?! Lol! If you said S6, then I could understand your opinion as it is somewhat justified. However, you picked the phone that costs more but provides nothing different from the original S6. AND the screen appears smaller because of a gimmick.

      1. Yes the edge….it doesn’t provide nothing. If you had both side by side the design is outstanding on the edge. Samsung really did go that extra mile on the edge…

        Trust me I’ve been using all 8 (all colours for s6 and s6e) for the past 4 months. The emerald green s6 edge is the phone to beat this year

        1. Sorry man but that green is just gross

        2. The S6 Edge is a gimmick designed to do one thing – part idiots from their money. Save yourself $100 and get the S6 instead.

          1. I’m one of those idiot son. Compared side by side the Edge screen pops more. I can afford the extra $100 too. If you can’t then don’t buy it.

          2. And what exactly are you getting for that extra $100, besides, ‘Oooooo, shiney!’ ?

          3. What part of “the Edge screen pops more” didn’t you understand?

  12. Note 4 is 6th on the rankings…..? Urmm OK. ..this list just just complete bs lol

    1. Couldn’t agree more!

    2. That list makes Phandroid less and less credible in terms of how their material lines up with my expectations with phones. How is the Note 4 #6?

    3. What a joke.

  13. The list reminds me of one of those test questions: Which of these items doesn’t belong on the list. I’d have to say the Moto X. The company I work for supplies them to all the technicians and they are universally hated

  14. Are these devices bought by the staff to be reviewed, or do the manufacturers supply them? If it is the latter, then this list is garbage.

  15. This list has the devices it needs to but they’re all out of wack when it comes to where they are in the list as the Note 4 is easily the #1 or #2 device with the M9 taking the other spot I’m sure I just haven’t tried it yet but the M8 was easily the best device of last year so I’d expect the M9 to be even better.

  16. It wouldn’t surprise me if HTC took device of the year 3 years in a row!

  17. these lists will always be subjective but no way is the m8 better then the note 4, that is not opinion it is fact. wow, ugh, phandroid what is happening to you guys?

    1. it is faster for sure & better build quality as well as fits in your hand better to appeal to the masses, but the camera is sub par compared to note.

      1. Not to mention better battery life too.

        1. actually battery for me is worse than the M8 (not by much) but definitely not better. Many reviews agree with that finding as well. Bigger battery does not always mean longer life.

    2. Not everyone wants to carry a brick (Note 4) so that alone will sway many people to another phone like the M8. So no, the N4 > M8 is not fact, that’s just your opinion.

  18. Nice thing about lists like this who’s authors don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground is that you have comments to point out how wrong they are.

  19. I’m very glad to be M9 owner, don’t care about camera because of my DSLR though. Only one critic point is battery life.Hope for further updates to fix this

  20. What a joke, this is the last time I come to this site, insane bias.

  21. Foreheads & chins series.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Featured