best smartphones 2016

Nexus 6P

Google goes again for a phablet, and it’s a corker

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | RAM: 3GB |Storage: 32GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,450mAh | Rear camera: 12.3MP |Front camera: 8MP

Google and Huawei teamed up to make the Nexus 6P, and it’s really the best smartphone from either company and a relief over Motorola’s Nexus 6 from a year prior.

It has a vivid quad HD 5.7-inch display that’s much more manageable in two hands and sometimes one. And yet while the Nexus 6P is easier to hold, it remains tall and just enough for watching movies and browsing the web.

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LG V10

LG V10 is a three-eyed, two headed monster of a phone

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440×2560 | RAM: 4GB |Storage: 32GBGB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera:5MP, 80 degrees and 120 degrees

The LG V10 is a big Android phone with enough heft to make you look a bit foolish carrying it around, but at least you’ll look good in all of its wide-angle selfies.

This 5.7-inch phablet includes two front-facing cameras, with one that can take selfies at an extra-wide 120 degrees. This means you can fit in an entire group without cutting out friends’ faces, and even backgrounds that really tell the story of where you’re at and what’re you’re doing.

Technically, the screen size is 5.9 inches; there’s a 2.1-inch sliver of an always-on display. It’s used to display notifications that don’t obstruce your screen viewing experience, and it houses shortcuts to quick settings and your most-used apps.

 

iPhone 6S Plus

Apple’s second big screen phone is another stunner

OS: iOS 9.3 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 2GB |Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: around 2750mAh | Rear camera: 12MP |Front camera: 5MP

On one hand, this is just a larger iPhone 6S. That’s no bad thing, as that phone is one of the best around at the moment. But this second Apple phablet has a number of elements that make it a great phone in its own right.

The screen is Full HD and really packs some stunning colour reproduction. The camera on the back features optical image stabilisation, which means better low light video and photography.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

As slick as its glass back

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440p | Memory: 4GB |Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP

Take note of this high-ranking Samsung phablet, because it’s the best phone we’ve tested with either a spacious 5.7-inch display and a stylus. It has one of the best-looking screens next to the S7 Edge.

It ditches the plastic casing and back everyone disliked about Samsung phones, but it did make a few key sacrifices along the way. The battery is no longer swappable, and the microSD card slot is missing.

While some long-time fans are vocal about these two missing features, the Galaxy Note 5 still has one of the best splitscreen modes and best cameras. It matches the quality of the Samsung Galaxy S6.

It’s more expensive than other phones

 

LG G5

The best innovation in a smartphone we’ve seen

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.3-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | RAM: 4GB |Storage: 32GB | Battery: removable 2,800mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP

LG’s back, and with an innovative bang. This is a phone that’s designed to fall apart – well, come apart at least. You see, in addition to the clever dual camera, there’s a clip at the bottom that lets you remove and swap out the battery – like old times (i.e. 2014 for Samsung fans).

That’s good news because many new phones lack a removable power pack, and this one actually goes beyond that with new modules. Attach an Hi-Fi audio module for better speakers or a battery-infused camera grip to take almost as many vacation photos as you want.

 

OnePlus 3

A genuine flagship killer

Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM:6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera:8MP

The Chinese firm has improved on a number of issues fans had with its predecessor, wrapping the OnePlus 3 in a new premium suit and managed to keep the price low enough to worry the established names in the market.

We love the new design, the AMOLED display is bright and vibrant and the fingerprint scanner is much improved and lightning fast.

The lack of a microSD card, and a battery which doesn’t last more than a day may put some off, but considering the price you’re paying the OnePlus is fantastic value for money.

 

HTC 10

Not 10/10, but the best phone for music by far

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | RAM: 4GB |Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

After the success of the HTC One M8, the world wondered if time was up for HTC after it didn’t really ignite the smartphone game with the One M9.

Well, that’s not the case as the brand went away, made a beautiful phone that’s ‘sculpted by light’, added in a genuinely impressive camera and improved the battery life.

 

iPhone 6S

Bigger, better, sleeker and faster than the iPhone 6

OS: iOS 9.3 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 1334 x 750 | RAM: 2GB |Storage:16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 1,715mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

What can you say about any new iPhone? Most people are already decided about whether they’re going to buy the new model before it’s even announced – but that hasn’t stopped us giving it a thoroughly good going over.

The good points are the same as usual: a hugely powerful phone, a great camera and the new 3D Touch interface is genuinely useful, and will only continue to get better as time goes on.

 

Samsung Galaxy S7

One of two five star phones from Samsung

OS: Android 6.0.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | RAM: 4GB| Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3,600mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera:5MP

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is a phone that initially looks just like the S6 from last year – but pick it up and you’ll see there’s a world of difference.

Firstly, the rear of the phone feels much nicer thanks to a curved back (through a process called 3D Thermo Forming), it’s now water resistant and a microSD slot is a welcome feature to return, after it was dropped last year.

 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The best smartphone in the world – it’s a work of art

OS: Android 6.0.1 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3,600mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera:5MP

While last year’s Galaxy S5 was nothing special, this year Samsung’s started from the ground up to make a truly wonderful smartphone.

The camera is superb, the audio and video quality brilliant and the QHD display crammed into the 5.1-inch screen is the sharpest on the market – although it does suck down the battery rather a lot.

The design is finally something we’re pleased to hold in our hand, rather than the plastic cheapness of last year, and the refined TouchWiz overlay is a lot nicer to use.

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