With such a wide collection of Smartphones available these days, it can sometimes be hard to pick the best one for you. Having said that, when we decided to pick out the best five Smartphones, we weren’t struggling finding the Smartphones to include in the list, more the position to give them.
Just like we did in the Q1 Top 5, we do have to make some honourable mentions including the pretty awesome Huawei P9, however whilst you may remember we were rather positive of the LG G5, you won’t find it in this months list, what can we say the device has not aged well. Another very important mention comes from a device which isn’t necessarily high end, the Moto G4, a device we really do think delivers in terms of value for money and getting a decent package out of it.
5. Moto X Force
No one can deny the simplicity of Stock Android, and whilst Google haven’t released a Nexus in some time, your best bet comes from a device family which has embraced Stock Android, which of course is the Motorola family of devices, the latest and best being the Moto X Force.
Just like the predecessors to the Moto X family, the Force has a great, or good enough, Camera, and now supports a fantastic 2K Display, and something we’ve being getting used to with Motorola’s family, a massive wave of customisation thanks to the Moto Maker on Motorola’s website, where you’ll find the Moto X Force for a decent £499, which sure isn’t probably the cheapest you can get a SnapDragon 820 Android device, but a very capable Stock Android device which we think edges better than the Nexus 6P.
4. Apple iPhone 6S (and 6S Plus)
The iPhone has always been the safe option when it comes to recommending a Smartphone to a member of family or friend, and to be fair that’s not changed with the iPhone 6S line. Apple continue to refine the product of the iPhone in ways that we still can’t deny and still puts the iPhone at the top of our recommendation list when it comes to the overall package.
Whilst the design of the iPhone 6S line is generally the same as last years iPhone 6, minus the very marmite colour of ‘Rose Gold’, Apple have vastly improved the internals with their A9 processor which is still to this day more than keeping up with the latest Qualcomm SnapDragon 820 which is insane considering what that processor can do on Android, but continues to show Apple’s impressive hardware. Apple also introduced their Force Touch technology in the 6S line through a new ‘3D Touch’ brand, which allows areas of Applications and even the Icons to feature additional actionable actions, which not only add a heap of convenience but also bring a bit of extra life to the somewhat dead appearance of the iPhone UI.
However, it’s clear that competition towards the iPhone 6S is starting to get fierce as a wave of new Smartphones have being released, it’s clear a new iPhone will be required to top what is now a better competition than the current iPhone. The iPhone 6S is still a great device if you’re looking for an iPhone today, but we would recommend waiting out until the end of the year, or possibly look elsewhere as we always recommend as we edge closer to the next iPhone release.
3. HTC 10
It’s incredible to finally see an HTC device that deserves to be owned again, the last time HTC had a major device release appreciated by many was the HTC One M8, though since then it’s being more than a lukewarm collection of follow ups, not so with the HTC 10, HTC have finally made a device which competes with the big guys like the Galaxy S7 and in many ways tops it and is a phone we think solidifies HTC’s relevance in the Smartphone market.
The HTC 10 of course features the expectancies of a 2016 Android Flagship, the SnapDragon 820 with all the bells and whistles on top of that, a very capable fast charging USB-C port, and something not found in many of HTC’s prior One devices, a microSD Card slot!
The device isn’t perfect and we do think at least the design of the front of the HTC 10 is a bit uninspired to say the least, with the iPhone etc appearance with a Galaxy style Home button, the design is in no stretch of the imagination original, but it feels solid in the hand and performance is fantastic on HTC’s now less in your face flavour of Android, which we speak very highly off in our overview of the HTC 10 here.
2. OnePlus 3
OnePlus shook the technology world when they announced the original OnePlus One, however it’s fair to say the OnePlus 2 didn’t really wow anyone that much, in fact we ended up being more interested in the lower speced OnePlus X rather than the OnePlus 2, but thankfully the OnePlus 3 is what we were asking for. For one, the OnePlus 3 abides to everything you want out of a Flagship device, some could say a bit too much in design, but there’s no doubt about it, this is a full-on flagship Android device and, unlike the OnePlus 2, a full-on Android device WITHOUT compromise.
Where the OnePlus 2 had an okay Camera and a well documented lack of NFC as OnePlus didn’t think it was relevant at the time, the OnePlus 3 actually has a very decent Camera, NFC is there, and now that Oxygen OS has had time to mature with it’s subtle but affective tricks on top of what originally appears Stock and results in a fantastic experience.
Sure, the display is still 1080p, but the AMOLED Panel is fantastic, and has a PPI higher than we realistically think you should care about, especially as this device with it’s no compromise specifications, features and experience is just £309!
1. Samsung Galaxy S7 (and S7 Edge)
Samsung have always made quality hardware, whether it’s with their TVs or displays, or chipsets, to so much more, so it’s always been very frustrating that Samsung have combined those in to rather disappointing Smartphones overall, however when it comes to Samsung’s recent efforts, we’re happy to see that they finally get it. The first incarnation of this was with last years Galaxy S6, whilst it did leave a lot of key Samsung differentiators out, such as expandable storage and replaceable battery, Samsung have brought the majority of the prior features back in the much more refined Galaxy S7, minus the battery but we bet most won’t mind.
The refinement of the Galaxy S7 though doesn’t stop in bringing back some of the old, like waterproofing and expandable storage, but the design is so much more refined with the extra curves to hold, the general beauty of the device and so much more. Samsung have also refined the performance and features of the device, with easily one of our favourite displays we’ve seen, instant Camera with decent results, and this phone is fast.
You’re probably thinking why this device wasn’t topped by the OnePlus 3, and it all comes down to the overall experience. Whilst we, and let’s be honest everyone, have constantly bashed the experience driven by Samsung’s TouchWiz, what they’ve managed to do with the Galaxy S7 is create an incredibly satisfying experience, the Camera just works quickly and takes the best photos you can out of a Smartphone today, the Screen is QHD and looks better than any of it’s competition … sure, it’s a premium, but the Galaxy S7 remains the best Smartphone you can buy today and for very good reason.
And there you have it, we’ll be back with a whole new Top 5 next quarter of 2016, but as of now, these are without doubt our favourite and best recommendations in terms of Smartphones right now. Agree, disagree? Let us know below.