Most of the Android flagships for 2017 have now been announced and (in most cases) reviewed. It’s true that there’s going to be a new Galaxy Note in a couple of months and some new Pixels, but a lot of what we’re expecting is now here. Begging the question of which is the best phone. But don’t worry if you can’t afford a flagship, for I’m going to pick the best in the mid-range and at the budget end of the spectrum too. Something for everyone!
Upcoming Android Devices
Six months on from our last Top 10, here’s the Christmas 2016 list, with mainly new content – as you’d expect in a busy smartphone world. And, in terms of variety and value, we’ve never had it so good in the Android world, even if all but one of the top of the line phones are still as eye-wateringly expensive as ever…
With hundreds of smartphones running Android right now (at least), picking a top 10 was never going to be easy. But you won’t believe the devices that didn’t make the cut – the latest Nexus 5X, the HTC One (M9), to name but two. Also not here are announced devices that we haven’t played with yet – the extremely interesting Moto X Force, the LG V10 and the OnePlus X might otherwise all be contenders. Also absent from the top 10 are any of the multitude of Chinese designs (including Xiaomi) flooding the East and sub-continent – most simply never appear in Europe and the West in any quantity – and we don’t apologise for only picking smartphones that we can personally vouch for in one way or another.
Whoa there! We’re not talking a spec-biased rundown of the six most highly specified Android phones at the moment – just watch the front page of Android Beat to see the usual candidates and their successors fly past. What I’m tackling here is a rundown of the most significant Android-powered phones… ever. OK, since 2008 or so, when Android as an OS started to get cranked into action. Without the six landmark phones here, I contend, the Android world would look rather different today.
The Nokia Lumia 1020, running Windows Phone, has been the camera and video champion of the smartphone world for the best part of a year now and, in terms of imaging, the benchmark against which Android-powered devices have to match up. It does seem as if the Galaxy S5, tested here, is now getting very close to the 1020 overall. A few pros and cons for each along the way, but I’d say that the S5’s ISOCELL 1/2.6″ sensor produces video that should be more than good enough for any new users under almost any conditions.
Samsung is not the only one who is working on its next-generation flagship — the Galaxy S5. HTC is also working hard on the One’s successor — codenamed M8 — with a bigger screen, faster internals and a better ‘UltraPixel’ camera.
It has been nearly 9 months since Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4 via a disastrous theatrical performance in New York. In another couple of months, we will once again see the company go all out for announcing its 2014 flagship handset and the Galaxy S4 successor — the Galaxy S5.