The Best Smartphones: Top Overall, Budget and Flagship Quality for Less

By Jos · 32 replies
Oct 19, 2015
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  1. Throughout the past few years we’ve reviewed dozens of smartphones and got hands on time with plenty others. The good news is that, despite the sheer number of options out there, smartphones from all the usual suspects have become so good in terms of hardware and design that it’s getting harder to pick something you’d regret. Or if you’re the glass half empty kinda person, they’ve become so good that picking the one that’s right for you can be a challenging task.

    That’s why we’ve compiled our first hand findings with dozens of reviews from reputable sources, to highlight the stuff that matters, and make it easier for you to buy the right device.

    Read on and check out the best smartphones.

  2. Yannseulement

    Yannseulement TS Rookie

    Are you serious ? The Galaxy S6 has a decent battery?
    The best smartphone on October 2015 is the Sony Xperia Z5!
    Stereo speakers, SD slot, two day battery, Ip 65, the best camera of smartphones
    Cryio, DanielR and Arris like this.
  3. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    Best for iPhone users should have been the Galaxy S6 ;)
  4. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,595   +257

    This list leaves something to be desired... or is it the new models of phones just dont seem worth it to upgrade? (Coming from a Galaxy Note 4 user)
  5. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Maniac Posts: 465   +240

    TBH I am just surprised any outlet would put an Android handset over the newest iPhone especially when the 6S and 6S plus are newer than the now 6 month old Samsung.
  6. elliscg

    elliscg TS Rookie

    Well if we are going to compare hardware S6 still is miles ahead of the iphone 6S so I don't see your point.
  7. Randomthom

    Randomthom TS Enthusiast Posts: 50   +17

    1. Sooooo.... you had to invent a category so the iPhone didn't feel left out?
    2. Surprised the Asus Zenfone 2 wasn't the choice budget handset but still a worthy winner there.
  8. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    The LG seems to have the closest to what I'm looking for. SD Micro slot and removable battery are high on my list of must haves in a new device.
  9. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    To be fair we didn’t create the category, millions of mindless drones did.

    Disclaimer: We aren’t responsible for disgruntled readers who try to burn their monitors.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
    Adhmuz and Randomthom like this.
  10. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    @Yannseulement this coming from a very satisfied Xperia Z3 user, I'm still not convinced the Z5 is all that. First and foremost, it's too early to tell since the phone has just become available, and we didn't pick the best phones based on a spec sheet. Second, competition is better than it was a year ago when the Z3 came out. When we test the Z5 ourselves and user testimony is also there, we'll evaluate it for a solid recommendation.

    As for the iPhone, we didn't create a category just to include it. Rather it deserved to be listed as one of the best phones you can buy (it is a great phone). However, if you are not tied to the Apple ecosystem (millions are), our top recommendation goes to the Galaxy S6.
    Steve likes this.
  11. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Evangelist Posts: 302   +108

    I would buy the Moto X Style, it seems the best on the list, since I recently bought a Moto X second gen, I'll wait what Motorola releases next year.
  12. Badelhas

    Badelhas TS Booster Posts: 74   +26

    Great article, congrats. You could include the Nexus 6P / 5X and the Sony Xperia Z5 compact, have you try those yet?
  13. Jeff Schmidt

    Jeff Schmidt TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +22

    Should put the Nexus 6 on there since its available for $300 from most places. Which is a steal.
  14. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +27

    Yes, I agree that the s6 has terrible battery life.

    But the z5 has two day battery life? Are you serious right now? You actually just quoted the manufacturer on battery life? The z5 has a 2900mah battery. That will hardly last a day.

    "The best camera" Likely, but as yet unproven.
    Reehahs likes this.
  15. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 452   +180

    Going on the user scores, the best overall phone from that list is the LG G4 :)
    Which I have and am very happy with but I don't push it to its limits.
    I typically get 5-6 days out of the battery with low usage and I like the user interface and the great screen.
    But I'm sure a newer phone will eclipse it soon enough - that's how tech goes.
    Reehahs, 9Nails, Adhmuz and 1 other person like this.
  16. TitoBXNY

    TitoBXNY TS Addict Posts: 236   +50

    I have the S6 and the battery life is awful, otherwise it's a great phone.
  17. Where is the rating system, I wanted to see which people here liked the most. I vote Moto X.
  18. kiwijohn

    kiwijohn TS Rookie

    Where's the OPPO R7, 3rd largest producer in the field and less than half-the price of equivalent featured phones? And I too wouldn't have a phone which did not provide micro-SD expandability.
  19. thelatestmodel

    thelatestmodel TS Booster Posts: 117   +44

    Shame this article had to be written while leaving out the Nexus 6P. I know, it's coming out like right now so maybe it wasn't available for review, but from the looks of things it's shaping up the be the best phone of 2015.
  20. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,335   +843

    Best for iPhone users: an iPhone. How'd you figure that out? :)
  21. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,668   +988

    Best of Smartphones Updated with all the latest phone releases, price updates and more. The Google Nexus 6P is in, the Xperia Z5 didn't make it. A few more considerations and alternatives named within the updated article, but we were pretty solid on the first round. So here you go.
    Jos likes this.
  22. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +873

    As a fellow note 4 user, there is just no reason to upgrade. There is nothing these new phones can do that last year's can't. And since the batteries are non removable, they won't be around in two years or so, while our notes can keep running as long as we can find more batteries. If only they had stock android on them....
  23. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,040   +678

    Same as above. Sticking with my Note 2 and its 3100mAH batt. It can still easily last a full day.
  24. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,304   +648

    3 biggest things I look for in a smartphone, are: Battery life, camera quality, and STABILITY.
    Almost 2 years ago I bought a cheap 6.1" screen chinese phone, with a 4,050mAH battery.
    It came with JB4.3, and wasn't updated to KK, but skipped over to LL5.1.1 just this past summer.
    It has been 100% stable (after 1 update), battery lasts 2-3 days, and the photo quality is excellent.
    All for less than 300 (U.S.). I'll take that over flashy design any day of the week (along with spending
    600,700 or more).
    I never turn my phone off, and, it's been on the same boot cycle for almost 78 days, has never lagged,
    frozen or slowed down.
    You don't have to spend a fortune, (unless you are into high end games) to have a good phone.
  25. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88

    Lumia 950 rulez :)

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