If you’re an iPhone user, your options are pretty straightforward. As an Android user, the options are staggering. Every year, there are dozens of new flagship smartphones released, all of which are made by companies who are spending marketing dollars to get your attention in stores and on screens. So which one should you get?
As with many consumer technology decisions, all of it comes down to what you are looking for. We take on everything from size to price to important features like camera—but also the best overall phone for the vast majority of buyers.
1 of 10
1. Best Budget Phone: OnePlus X, Runner Up: Nexus 5X
The definition of the "budget phone" has changed significantly in the past few years. Where midrange phones from LG, Samsung, and Motorola used to rule this market, the recent influx of excellent smartphones at a highly discounted price (under $400) from smaller companies has completely upended the market. Our winner here is the OnePlus X, an impressive 5.0-inch device made up entirely of metal and glass. The device can be bought unlocked from OnePlus for only $249—a staggering price that completely reframes the category of budget phone.
2 of 10
2. Best Camera - Galaxy S7, Runner Up: OnePlus 3
There is no overstating how important cameras are in the age of Instagram and Snapchat. Android used to lag behind what Apple was doing with the iPhone in the camera department, but not anymore. The best you can get is the Galaxy S7's 12-megapixel shooter. It was the first smartphone camera that made us put away our iPhones and pay attention—and the sharpness, color accuracy, and depth-of-field is all here.
3 of 10
3. Most Experimental Phone - LG G5, Runner Up: Nextbit Robin
Innovation doesn't come without a fair amount of hit or miss technology, but companies always need to be encouraged to take more risks and push technology further. While the Nextbit Robin has an excellent take on cloud storage, the modular design of the LG G5 caught the tech world's attention when it was announced earlier this year. Being able to mold your smartphone to fit your lifestyle and preferences is a fascinating concept—and LG managed to do it without making its flagship phone look wonky. While the price and accessibility of the different modules probably make customization more than what people want to have to deal with, it's hard not to applaud LG's experimentation.
4 of 10
4. Best Display - Galaxy S7 edge, Runner Up: Galaxy Note 5
Amazing displays on smartphones these days are a dime a dozen. I would have never guessed that having a phone with curved display that rolls over the edge of the device would be something I'd be interested in, but once you see the S7 edge in person, it's hard to not be impressed. Even if the functionality of the curved display is pretty gimmicky, the feeling of a bezel-less display makes the Galaxy S7 edge the most impressive display to use.
5 of 10
5. Best Smaller Phone - OnePlus X, Runner Up: Nexus 5X
"Small" phone is another category that has been dramatically reframed in recent years. When 5.5-inch displays have quickly become average, people who want a smaller and a more mobile display to use have less and less options. The best is the OnePlus X, which has a 5.0-inch display that's good for pockets and one-hand use.
6 of 10
6. Best Battery Life Phone - Droid MAXX 2, Runner Up: Droid Turbo 2
Battery life is an aspect of smartphones that have seen a disappointing lack of innovation in. While I wouldn't recommend the Droid MAXX 2 for the average shopper, if you're the kind of person who values battery life over everything else, the Droid MAXX 2 was made for you. This phone lasts for a solid 48 hours—and even more if you aren't a heavy user and utilize power saving modes. If you're on a tighter budget, the Droid Turbo 2 is your other option, which boasts very similar battery life. Unfortunately, these are both Verizon-exclusive. Rumor has it that we'll see a Turbo 3 and MAXX 3 later this year, but we'll have to wait and see.
7 of 10
7. Most Productive Phone - Galaxy Note 5
Productivity on a phone is always going to be a bit limited, but some devices attempt to untie your hands a bit more than others. The Galaxy Note 5, with its fantastic stylus, massive display, and multitasking ability, seems to be built around the person who wants to get real work done on the go.
8 of 10
8. Best Software - OnePlus 3, Runner Up: Nexus 6P
When it comes to software, my preference will always be for stock Android. However, the few changes that OnePlus has made to OxygenOS on the OnePlus 3, are all really handy. It gives you customization over everything you could imagine, and throws in a few nice features like Night Mode.
9 of 10
9. Best Designed Phone - OnePlus 3, Runner Up: HTC 10
This is the category that includes both build quality, materials, and industrial design all in one. What's the best Android phone to look at, hold, and use on a daily basis? The OnePlus 3 takes enough cues from both the HTC 10 and the iPhone 6s and ends up with something that feels both modern and elegant. Also, the OnePlus 3 is incredibly thin and lightweight—very nearly as much as the iPhone 6s.
10 of 10
10. Best Overall Phone - OnePlus 3, Runner Up: Nexus 6P
If the OnePlus 3 costed as much as the Nexus 6P and HTC 10, it still would have been the best Android phone you could buy. It's got an incredible camera, a great display, fast performance, and the best feel in the hand out there. When you throw in the $400 pricetag, it makes me have very few reasons to recommend a different Android smartphone. The Nexus 6P and HTC 10 are great phones as well, but the OnePlus 3 is simply the best.