Apple’s iPhone not up your street?
Here’s how to discover the right Google-powered option, together with our top-rated Android phones.
Big, little, stock, or skinned, if you’re in the market for a brand-new smartphone, opportunities exist’s an Android option to fit your fancy. And unlike Apple’s rigid release cycle, Google’s hardware partners let loose a seemingly endless stream of brand-new devices year-round. But therein lies the problem: With many alternatives out there, how do you choose the right one? Fortunate for you, we test and review almost every smartphone readily available on all the major United States providers.
Bear in mind that while the evaluations above might not show your provider of choice, most of the phones here are offered for, or compatible with, several United States carriers. Read on for what to look for when purchasing, along with our top picks for Android phones.
Note that this list doesn’t include the popular Google Nexus lineup. That’s due to the fact that Google is holding an event on October 4, where we expect it to expose the next generation of Nexus devices. If you’re a Nexus fan, you may want to hold out on buying anything up until then.
It’s also worth noting you won’t discover the recalled Galaxy Note 7$ 849.99 at T-Mobile on this list after Samsung’s taking off battery debacle. Replacement Notes are simply beginning to make their way onto store shelves, so it might end up back in rotation if the FAA clears it for flight safety.
Big or Small
Among Android’s greatest strengths is the incredible diversity of hardware choices. Every producer aims to set its smartphones apart with some whiz-bang feature or eye-popping specs. But do you actually need a Quad HD screen or a 4K video camera? And what should you make from the ever-growing phablet? Most existing high-end devices have screens of 5.5 inches or bigger. If you’re looking for a truly little phone, this year’s Android selections are quite thin. The Blu R1 HD, the Sony Xperia X Compact$ 395.00 at Amazon, and the Samsung Galaxy S7 are your best bets for smaller sized devices at the low, medium, and high price tiers.
Software application Versions
Not all Android is produced equal. Device makers like HTC and Samsung have actually been applying their own visions to Android for some time now. If you want a pure Google experience, then you wish to opt for a Nexus device; they’re the designer models where Google makes sure to deploy upgrades first.
While Android 7.0 Nougat is now, technically, readily available, it isn’t really available. You can just get it on Nexus phones, although the upcoming LG V20$ 650.98 at Amazon will likewise run the new OS.
Update strategies are vague. Of the phones on our list, HTC guarantees it for the HTC 10. Samsung states it’s pertaining to the S7 series. LG states it’s coming to the G5. Motorola states it’s coming to the Z phones, and OnePlus states it’s pertaining to the OnePlus 3. But none of the manufacturers will validate dates, which implies they could be “coming quickly” permanently. The majority of phones still run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and you should accept no less– but don’t have any illusions about a wide variety of Android 7 phones being readily available anytime quickly. If you want the current version of the OS at all times, purchase a Nexus.
Carrier-Approved or Unlocked
The US market is still dominated by carrier-sold phones, however a brand-new breed of top quality opened choices is starting to flood the marketplace. We’ve seen phones drop below the $100 mark, but you’ll generally wish to invest more for a greater quality device. Fortunately is that you don’t need to spend a lot to obtain an excellent Android experience.
Some of our preferred Android phones are offered entirely unlocked for around $250, no strings attached. Fully half of this list is readily available opened: the Blu Life One X, Blu R1 HD, Galaxy S7, OnePlus 3, and ZTE Axon 7 can all be bought direct, without any carrier participation. But the majority of people still buy their phones through providers, which provide a single point for service and support, along with month-to-month payment strategies that drastically lower the in advance costs of phones.
Of the bunch, the Axon 7 and the Galaxy S7 deal with all four major US providers. The other unlocked phones only work on AT&T, T-Mobile, or virtual carriers on those networks.
Picking Android as your mobile os is only half the fight. If you’re still on the fence, check out our list of The 10 Best Smartphones, despite OS. For help choosing a carrier, see How to Conserve Money on Your Mobile phone Plan and The Best Low-cost Cellular phone Plans You’ve Never ever Become aware of.
INCLUDED IN THIS ROUNDUP
Blu Life One X (Unlocked)
The unlocked Blu Life One X offers a fantastic mix of design and efficiency for the price.
The HTC 10 is the best Android phone for audiophiles and it provides plenty for everyone else too. This could be HTC’s huge return.
Motorola Moto Z Force Droid
The Motorola Moto Z Force Droid integrates a number of hot trends into a worry-free, expandable smartphone for Verizon Wireless users.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active (AT&T)
With the Galaxy S7 Active, Samsung includes a shatter-resistant construct and a bigger battery to the already amazing Galaxy S7, making it the best rugged phone AT&T customers can get.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge integrates advanced parts with a clever, gorgeous style and a huge battery, making it a killer Android smartphone.
ZTE Axon 7
The ZTE Axon is a $400 unlocked Android phone that looks and performs like phones that cost almost two times as much.
Samsung Galaxy S7
There’s nothing drastically new about it, however the Samsung Galaxy S7 delivers the best Android smartphone performance in a fairly little plan.
Blu R1 HD
The Blu R1 HD is an opened Android phone with a good balance of performance for the price, making it a fantastic value for Amazon Prime users and regular customers alike.
The LG G5 is an effective smartphone with a semi-modular develop, making it a special option to more typical flagship handsets. However heavy software application changes will not please Android perfectionists.
OnePlus 3 (Unlocked)
The unlocked OnePlus 3 smartphone delivers incredible bang for your buck, with top-of-the-line efficiency for $400.