The Best Smartphones

By Julio Franco ยท 21 replies
Jun 13, 2016
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  1. Throughout the years we’ve reviewed dozens of smartphones and got hands on time with plenty others. The good news is that for the most part smartphones have become so good in terms of hardware and design that it’s getting harder to pick something you will truly 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.

    You've likely read the reviews and have your own opinions based on the devices you owned and currently own, but with our vast access to devices, the best of smartphones feature intends to highlight the stuff that matters and make it easier for you to buy the right device.

    Read the complete feature.

  2. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Addict Posts: 182   +114

    I'm running my LG Optimus G (G1) until it dies or until they make something without fingerprint and iris scanners.
    lazer likes this.
  3. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 860   +874

    I recommend never getting a carrier phone, ever. Nexus or bust, or iPhone. But never a carrier phone. I'm saying that after T-mobile screwed me out of my Note 4 by locking it (after locking my account) and refusing to unlock it. Left me with a $700 brick. Much looking forward to a Nexus 5x.
  4. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +250

    Is anything happening with phones running Windows 10? Microsoft seem to have stopped development and I can't bring myself to buy a compact camera either. A Windows 10 phone with a decent camera and rave reviews would tempt me. My Nokia is almost an antique but I still get by.
  5. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +243

    Just recently launched in the Philippines: cherry mobile M1
    Android Marshmallow 6.0
    Mediatek Helio X20 decacore
    5.5" FHD IPS Screen
    32 GB ROM | 4GB RAM
    WIFI | LTE Ready
    Dual Sim (Nano + Nano)
    3600 mAh
    11,999php (Philippine Peso)

    imo, the 'drawbacks' include lack of microsd slot and non-removable battery.
  6. soonerproud

    soonerproud TS Rookie

    My LG G3 just updated to Android 6.0 last month. You should correct your article that the G3 does run the latest version of Android, depending on the carrier. I'm with T-Mobile. AT&T also updated theirs, as did Verizon.
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 860   +874

    The latest version of android 6 is 6.0.1, not 6.0. Congratulations on getting android 6 over 7 months after release though.
    Godel likes this.
  8. soonerproud

    soonerproud TS Rookie

    Semantics. There is little difference between 6.0 and 6.0.1.
  9. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,674   +989

    Thank you @soonerproud , we'll correct this right away after further verification on different global markets.
    soonerproud likes this.
  10. rvnwlfdroid

    rvnwlfdroid TS Booster Posts: 177   +41

    I personally have a hard time reading "The Best (fill in the blank)" articles

    Soo much of it is personal preference over which gimmick you like best. Most of the flagship smartphones are all so closely running the same hardware (cpu/gpu/ram/internal storage). that it all falls down to which gimmicks you like best. curved screen, shatterproof screen (which is my personal favorite), better camera, military ratings, better speakers, blah blah blah....

    My thoughts anyway...
  11. Oscar G

    Oscar G TS Rookie

    You forgot to condemn the Nexus 6P for having the headphone jack on the wrong end of the phone (the top).

    If you like messes, go for it, and reward stupidity with your money.

    Of course, it's not as stupid as NO headphone jack...
  12. LoginToLogout

    LoginToLogout TS Rookie

    Nothing about the Moto X Play? Bought one 2 weeks ago, and it's an overall fantastic phone!
  13. SultanGris

    SultanGris TS Booster Posts: 158

    Samsung note 3 or 4, and the s7 are awesome. Note 5 has no micro sd card slot, huge blunder on their part, can't wait till it's back in the note 6!
  14. SultanGris

    SultanGris TS Booster Posts: 158

    Unfortunately that's not something the use can control, you're at the mercy of your carrier unless maybe you root it.
  15. SultanGris

    SultanGris TS Booster Posts: 158

    Heh, why did they lock your account? Not pay your bill? You can unlock carrier phones and use them on other networks, fyi. Probably a booth in your local mall that does it for $50. Att unlocked mine for free after I paid it off, all I had to do was request it on their website.
  16. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I looked long and hard for the perfect phone at he end of last year to replace my aging droid RAZR Maxx HD and ended up with the Nexus 5x. I looked at the 6p but didn't want something that big.
    After using my Nexus tablet for about a year I have come to love the stock Android OS and got frustrated with the unnecessary overlays all the other companies put on their phones.
    Plus with an unlocked phone and no contract I can tell Verizon to piss off if they puss me off. Also I save about $15 a month off my bill not being in a contract and bring g my own device, so the phone pays for itself in the 2 years I would have been stuck in a contract.
  17. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,674   +989

    For the most part I agree, and depending on the product category, personal preference weights in more or less heavily. Smartphones are very personal devices. So we won't pretend we can get it right every time for everyone, but in-between all the reviews that we write, hands-ons, and long-term usage, our best of features are meant to give you a trusted, concise guide of what to buy. For every best of that we write, there's a ton of internal debate beforehand. Ultimately we ask ourselves, is this what we'd buy (or in many instances have already bought) and in that process explain and support our choices.

    The Moto X was one of our top mainstream choices last year at $400 along with the LG G4. Now at $300 it is every bit as good, however Tim contended Xiaomi's phone was better spec by spec (though harder to get in many markets) and then threw the alternative choice to the Nexus 5P which is very similar to the Moto albeit it's not as big and has a fingerprint sensor (and stock Android, plus updates).
    Raoul Duke likes this.
  18. lazer

    lazer TS Booster Posts: 111   +26

    My wife has one and I am amazed at the clear quality of the voice for the phone.
  19. SultanGris

    SultanGris TS Booster Posts: 158

    You can buy whatever phone you want and take it to any carrier and have no contract these days. Even if you buy it from a carrier it can be easily unlocked and in most cases rooted if you want but different carriers have different versions of the same model phone that sometimes have slight differences.

    Don't dismiss the larger screen phones, they are way better. The large screen drastically increases functionality and usability. I used to have the original slim moto razr and liked it other than the way short battery life but then I got the Samsung galaxy note 2 and like you I was skeptical of how large it was but after using it for a while I realized how much better the larger size screen is. I can use it easily with only one hand which is a must for me. I'll never have a small screen phone again. Swype was difficult to use in the rszrs smaller screen as was browsing the web.

    I've used the note 3 and 4 as well and they are the best phones you can get in my opinion, even still today. They do literally everything, they have no issues and they are still two years ahead of the new iPhones feature wise. I've gone 3 months without restarting them with no problems. I've had cheap phones before that had to be restarted daily. I rarely even use a computer anymore for anything other than streaming content to my tv or gaming. I can type anything and even download edit and print easily right from my phone.

    Battery size is very important with the larger screen and even the three year old Samsung note 3 has almost double the battery size of the brand new iPhone 6 my buddy has that he needs to charge at least twice a day with moderate usage.
  20. gregzeng

    gregzeng TS Enthusiast Posts: 48

    A very he-man selection of phones; large hands only. No small hands allowed. Specialist categories might allow the existence of smaller-sized phones, or physical-phones (toughened, without external cases).
  21. johnehoffman

    johnehoffman TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +35

    The S7 Edge is a beautiful phone. However, two of my friends who bought S7 Edges have broken them. The glass edge is very fragile even in a very minor drop--and what is the point of having the edge if you are going to put it in a case?
    I have a Note 4 which works well and will likely get another Note or a Galaxy S when I replace it, but I would NOT buy an Edge model because of the fragility.
  22. Amet Monegro

    Amet Monegro TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +17

    Much marketing hahaha, where is the Motorola XT1585? the indestructible phone, not is one of the best? im currently using XT1254 and is great, even can be compared with S6 or G4 Phones

    Great day people

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