Here are Rankings for the best smartphones around, currently available in the UK.
10. Nexus 6
Google’s best ever phone is also its biggest ever
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.96-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3,220mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 2MP
Google’s latest Nexus is a phone that moves away from the usual ‘super cheap superphone’ and into phablet territory with its latest offering. The good news is the screen is also supercharged: massive at 6 inches, it’s also got a stunning QHD resolution.
You’ll always be getting the latest updates to Google’s Android OS with this one, and while it’s certainly something you’d have to use two handed (make sure you’re fine with that before buying, as it’s put a lot of people off that we’ve shown it too) it’s tremendous display, premium specs and great use of Android 5.0 Lollipop make one of the best phablets to date.
It’s not cheap, but it’s the best Nexus ever made. And, when you think about it, you’re not going to need to hold onto your money, as you’ll require both hands to grab onto this two-handed monster.
9. Sony Xperia Z3
A solid phone with a good screen and excellent battery life
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.15-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 3,100mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera: 2.2MP
The Xperia Z3 is a phone that offers the best of Sony with some really polished tweaks thrown in for good measure. The screen is one of the brightest around and really benefits from Bravia technology, and the longer battery life embarrasses a number of other big smartphones around at the moment.
We do expect more from the camera, and the black bezels above and below the display ruin the aesthetic somewhat, but the ability to Remote Play your PS4 more than makes up for it – it’s a really cool feature and means you can keep gaming while someone else is hogging the TV.
The Z3 is a brilliant phone with a few rough edges – but Sony’s also great at bringing the cost of its handsets down, so this represents really good value for money for a flagship.
8. iPhone 6 Plus
Apple’s first bigscreen phone is a stunner
OS: iOS 8 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 1GB |Storage:16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2,915mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
Put simply, this is the bigger version of the smaller iPhone 6. But Apple’s done a bit more with its first phablet, with some increased specs to offset that higher price.
The screen is Full HD and really packs some stunning colour reproduction. The camera on the back host optical image stabilisation, so pictures looks sharp and also brighter, thanks to more light being let in.
The iPhone 6 Plus also has something that’s eluded iPhone fans for years: a really good battery, with Apple using that extra space to cram in a few more mAh units.
It’s one of the most expensive phones around, and is bettered on spec by a few others – but if you’re an Apple fan looking for a ‘bigger’ experience, this is the phone for you.
7. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung’s latest phablet is the best bigscreen phone available
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 3GB |Storage: 32GB | Battery: removable 3,220mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 3.7MP
Samsung created the phablet category and continues to lead it, cramming in so much technology into the Note 4 while bringing the S Pen stylus that many love to use.
The main thing we love is the screen though: Super AMOLED technology combined with QHD resolution means a pin sharp display, and one that we just can’t take our eyes off, with the bigger size actually working to show off the extra pixels.
It’s not cheap, and the interface isn’t as clean and clear as on the Samsung Galaxy S6 range, but that could all change soon – in which case, this is one of the most fully featured phones that rewards those willing the pay the premium and put the time in to learn its powers.
6. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
A small Android phone packed with big features
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 4.6-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 720 | Memory: 2GB |Storage: 16GB | Battery: 2,600mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera:2.2MP
Less powerful with a lower-res screen than its bigger brother, the Z3 Compact still uses most of the high-end specs, fuses them with things like Remote Play and the 20.7MP camera, and does it all at a really low cost for a phone of this power.
The 4.7-inch display makes this one of the best phones to hold and use in day to day life, and it’s also got a brilliantly long-lasting battery too, so if you’re not a fan of the gargantuan models on show, there’s a lot to love with Sony’s mini flagship.
The best of Sony in a smartphone – if that’s what you’re after, this is the phone to go for. It’s the ergonomics and the price that impress, and while it’s not quitegot the spec sheet of the main Z3, it feels a lot more polished.
5. LG G3
A superb flagship phone for an excellent price
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory:2GB/3GB | Storage:16GB/32GB | Battery: removable 3,000mAh | Rear camera:13MP | Front camera:2.1MP
We’re currently reviewing the LG G4, but until we test out its new features, the LG G3 remains on our list for its simple selling points: price and an ultra clear screen. It’s got a lot of other technology in there to attract you too, but it’s those two elements that show it off so well, as well as fan favourite features like a removable battery and memory card slot.
LG has always offered a premium experience for a lower price than its rivals, and with a QHD screen it’s got four times the pixels of some phones on this list, and it also comes with a number of other enhancements too – although with those extra pixels packed in, the display is a bit darker than others on the market.
Laser-based auto-focus? Check. Improved design? Check. Overhauled and simplified UI? Double check. It’s a little big for some hands, thanks to the 5.5-inch display, and the camera isn’t up to scratch – but for the price it’s easy to forgive those elements when there’s so much else to love in this handset.
4. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Curving into the future with impressive specs
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | Memory: 3GB |Storage: 32GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2560mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has all the power and features of the table-topping S6, but does it with a little extra too, thanks to the curved edges on each side.
They’re pretty much aesthetics, as they don’t add a huge amount of functionality, but if you’re going on looks alone, the S6 Edge has them in spades.
The price is a lot higher though, which is why it doesn’t join its twin (non-identical) brother at the top of the chart, but if you’re after a phone that’s wildly different from anything else with a great feature set and tip-top camera, this is your choice.
3. HTC One M9
Not quite up the 5 star standard, but HTC still has the most beautiful phone around
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Memory: 3GB |Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2840mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera: 4MP
HTC’s been used to living at the top of our charts for the last couple of years, and while it’s not quite managed it in 2015, it’s still a phone with the best build quality out there.
None of the old favourites are missing, so BoomSound enhancement still really turbocharges the audio and the Sense overlay remains one of our favourites, thanks to being sophisticated and really powerful.
The camera has been boosted to 20.7MP, although doesn’t have the impressive snapping power of some of the other phones on the market, and the design language still means this is one of our favourite phones to stick in the pocket.
It’s a touch more expensive than before, and doesn’t take a huge leap forward from last year’s model – but then again, that was nearly perfect, so where was HTC to go?
2. iPhone 6
Bigger, better, sleeker and faster than the iPhone 5S
OS: iOS 8 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 1334 x 750 | Memory: 1GB |Storage:16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 1,810mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The iPhone 6 – a real step forward for Apple and a phone that’s a real joy to use, hold and feel. It’s got all the same ingredients that make iPhones special: while it doesn’t excel in any given part of the smartphone recipe, it just works, promoting simplicity over fiddly menus..
The camera has a lower megapixel count than others, but it’s fast, bright and easy to use. The screen is too low-res compared to the phones around it, but pops and fizzes with colour and brightness. And that design – we have to keep coming back to it as it feels beautiful in the hand.
The sticking point is it’s still one of the most expensive phones on the market, and spec-fiends will note it’s not quite got the technology inside to truly back up the cost.
But don’t let that put you off: if you’re in the market for a handset from Apple, or just been tempted by one in the past: buy the iPhone 6. It’s excellent, a pure joy to use.
1. Samsung Galaxy S6
A brilliant phone that shows Samsung still has what it takes
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | Memory: 3GB |Storage: 32GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2550mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | 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.
It’s pretty expensive mind, so make sure you’re after a truly A-grade experience before buying as you’ll be paying handsomely for it – but if you do take the plunge, you’ve got the best phone on the market.