From sleek devices that impress with premium design, to powerhouses brimming with features, to all-around great devices, and affordable phones that punch above their weight, the Android ecosystem is populated by a staggering variety of attractive phones.
#1 Huawei Mate 9
Huawei has done a great job at making its way to the mainstream over the past few years – first with the Huawei P9, and now with the Mate 9.
With a big 5.9-inch display, powerful Kirin 960 processor, dual-SIM capabilities, and an impressive camera setup, the Mate 9 may be one of the best big phones of the year. While its display is ‘only’ 1080p and its software is a bit odd sometimes, we still think the high price tag is worth it.
If you’re after a smartphone that offers exceptional battery life and incredible performance, the standard Mate 9 delivers in spades. If money is no object and you want a smartphone that is unattainable to most customers, the Porsche Design Mate 9 might be worth your while.
#2 LG V20
The V20 is basically the phone for power users. It has a a big Quad HD display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, plenty of RAM and on-board storage, dual 16 MP rear-facing cameras, and a removable 3,200 mAh battery.
Of course, the unique Second Screen makes a return this year, along with the addition of Quad DAC, military standard durability, and it’s already running Android 7.0 Nougat.
If top-of-the-line specs and an impressive feature set is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the V20.
#3 OnePlus 3T
People weren’t expecting OnePlus to release another new flagship in 2016, but it happened. If you were a fan of the OnePlus 3, you’ll certainly love the OnePlus 3T.
With its powerful Snapdragon 821 processor backed by 6 GB of RAM, the 3T absolutely flies through web browsing, gaming and most other everyday tasks.
It also has a bigger battery this time around (3,400 mAh to be exact), which is more than enough to get you through a full day of use on a single charge. In addition, the 3T now sports 16MP rear and front-facing camera sensors, a dual-SIM card slot, plenty of on-board storage, and a fast front-facing fingerprint sensor on the front.
Basically the OnePlus 3T is a better OnePlus 3. You can buy it from OnePlus’ website in Gunmetal, Soft Gold and Midnight Black color options.
#4 Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32 GB of on-board storage isn’t enough.
Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.
In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4 GB of RAM, great 12 MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.
#5 Moto Z/Moto Z Force
From Motorola/Lenovo, one, or rather two, of the best options you can pick up come in the form of the Moto Z and the Moto Z Force. Both devices pack 5.5-inch AMOLED displays, the Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and Motorola’s thin software layer on top of Android.
The Moto Z brings a 2,600 mAh battery, 13MP camera, and comes in at just 5.2mm thin. The Moto Z Force, on the other hand, brings a 3,500 mAh battery, 21MP rear camera, and is 7mm thin. It also brings a ‘ShatterShield’ display which won’t break. Unfortunately, that model is exclusive to Verizon Wireless.
Both devices run on top of Android Nougat, and lack headphone jacks. However, they do include USB-C adapters in the box. That port also includes Turbo Charging which promises up to 15 hours of power with a 15-minute charge.
Both are also compatible with Google’s Daydream VR platform. The big story, though, is without a doubt the compatibility with Moto Mods, a method of expanding the phone’s capabilities with modules such as battery packs, speakers, and even a camera.