Best Android smartphones of 2015: The ultimate Android phones

Alphr rounds up the best Android smartphones on the market. Astonishing Android handsets from £145 and upwards

17 Nov 2015

Page 1 of 2 Best Android smartphones of 2015: The ultimate Android phones

Hunting for the ultimate Android smartphone? You've landed in the right place. If you're in a hurry, simply scroll down to see our top Android smartphone picks.

This list is updated all the time, so whether you're looking for the latest flagship or a dependable budget runabout, there's always something that will fit the bill.

If you're not sure what to buy, then use the page navigation above to click through to our essential Android Buyer's Guide, where we'll tell you everything you need to know before splashing out.

The 11 best Android phones 

1. Google Nexus 6P

Price when reviewed: £449 inc VAT, 16GB; from free on a £27.50/mth, 24mth contract

It really doesn't get better than the Nexus 6P. It's good-looking, powerful and equipped with great cameras, brilliant software, long battery life and a big, top-quality display. It was going to take something really special to knock the Samsung Galaxy S6 off the top spot, but the Huawei-built Nexus 6P doesn't pull any punches. At £449, this is very reasonably priced by flagship smartphone standards – all told, its rivals are going to have a tough time. Click here to read our Google Nexus 6P review

2. Samsung Galaxy S6

Price: 32GB, from £400 inc VAT

You could criticise Samsung for the absent microSD slot and removable battery, but in every other respect the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a superlative smartphone – the screen performance and all-round quality are what makes the S6 deserving of all its plaudits. The competition has improved substantially since it was released, but with the price dropping as low as £400, it's still good value for money. Click here to read our Samsung Galaxy S6 review

3. LG G4

Price: 32GB, around £340 inc VAT (for the plastic-backed edition)


LG G4 in brown leather

For many people, the LG G4 will be the Android phone they've been waiting for. LG hasn't compromised on performance, battery life or camera quality, yet has managed to retain key features such as a microSD slot and a removable battery. It's a brilliant phone, and even more so now that prices are steadily ticking downwards. Click here to read our LG G4 review

4. Google Nexus 5X

Price when reviewed: £329 inc VAT, 16GB SIM free; £379, 32GB

It's no looker, but Google’s Nexus 5X is something of a smartphone bargain. Scrape together £329, and your reward will be a handset that sports one of the very finest cameras that you'll find on any mobile phone. Factor in the assured, fluid performance and the unsullied Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system and you have yourself a class act for sensible money. Click here to read our Google Nexus 5X review

5. Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Price: 32GB, around £400 inc VAT

If it's a smaller phone that you're craving then the Xperia Z5 Compact may be your dream come true. The 4.6in screen means that it's far more pocketable than the current generation of 5in and larger phones, and the overall quality is unbeatable. The screen has a few less pixels than some, but it's bright and crisp nonetheless. The camera is stunning and battery life excellent, too. Factor in hard-knock build and water resistance, and the Z5 Compact has alot going for it. Click here to read our Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review

6. OnePlus 2

Price: 16GB, £239 inc VAT; 64GB, £289 inc VAT (purchase by invite only)

A high-end smartphone for £239. If that sounds impossible, then trust us it isn't – the OnePlus 2 is glorious inanimate proof that great smartphones don't need to cost the earth. You still need an invite, or to catch one of OnePlus's flash sales, but it's worth waiting for. The design is good, if not perfect, and all the usual flagship hallmarks – a very good camera, good screen and top-end processor – are present and correct. Fancy snapping up a bargain of epic proportions? Then get in line. Click here to read our OnePlus 2 review

7. OnePlus X

Price: £199 inc VAT (invite-only)

So, you want a smaller phone but can't stretch to the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact. The 5in OnePlus X isn't quite as tiny, but it comes in a far more pocketable package than most. Throw together some high-end hardware from 2014 with a lovely AMOLED display, and this £199 smartphone looks like the bargain of 2015. The only really sticky bit is how difficult it is to actually buy one – it's still invite only, or via one of OnePlus' sales. If big phones don't bother you, though, we's snap up a £239 OnePlus 2 if you can – it's the all-round mid-range champion. Click here to read the OnePlus X review

8. Sony Xperia Z5

Price: around £510 inc VAT

The 5.2in Xperia Z5 takes everything which made Sony's high-end smartphone great and improved upon it. The camera, processor and battery life are all superior to the last generation, and the only real black mark by the Sony's name is that the competition is super, super tough. When you have to choose between this and the Apple iPhone 6s and Samsung Galaxy S6, it's not easy – and then the LG G4 is nearly as good while costing almost half the price. A tricky decision indeed. Click here to read our Sony Xperia Z5 review

9. Samsung Galaxy S5

Price: 16GB, from £300 inc VAT

Samsung Galaxy S5 review: The rear of the S5 is dimpled, and available in a number of different garish colours

There's an awful lot to like about the Samsung Galaxy S5, it's good looking, tough, big, feature rich and we love the user-replaceable battery and memory expansion. The Galaxy S6 and others might have stolen its flagship thunder, but with the S5 getting cheaper every day, it's still well worth a place on your shortlist.

10. Motorola Moto G 3rd Gen (2015)

Price: 8GB, around £150 inc VAT

Motorola has got used to owning the best budget smarphone award year after year. The third generation Moto G sports a new look, Moto Maker customisation and faster internals, alongside beefed up waterproofing and an excellent 13-megapixel rear camera. If you can't stretch your budget to a flagship phone, or be tempted to spend a little more on the OnePlus X (see above), then this is the next best thing. Click here to read our Motorola Moto G 3 (2015) review 

11. HTC One M9

Price: around £420 inc VAT

HTC One M9 review: Front-facing stereo speakers ensure the HTC One M9 sounds as good as it looks

Time is marching on, but the HTC One M9 is still just as pretty as ever. The M9 is powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC; the 20 megapixel sensor is still competitive, if not up with the very latest phones, and HTC's tweaks to Android are in several cases actually quite welcome. It's a great phone, just like its predecessor the HTC One M8, but the smartphone world has moved on quite a bit since it hit the market – if you can get it for a bargain price, though, then don't turn your nose up. Click here to read our HTC One M9 review

12. Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Price: around £430 inc VAT

Still not officially available in the UK, but if you're willing to risk the lack of an official manufacturer warranty the Note 5 is something special. It's as fast as its top-end stablemates, the 5.7in AMOLED screen is astonishingly good, and the pressure sensitive stylus makes it incredibly useful in a range of scenarios, letting you jot down notes onscreen and sketch onscreen. It's an all-round good egg, and great value, too. Click here to read our Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review.

13. Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Price: around £285 inc VAT

Its thunder may have been well and truly stolen by the Note 5, but don't be put off: the Galaxy Note 4 remains a giant amongst Android phones. The crystal-clear Quad HD display and redesigned body go hand-in-hand with improved performance, battery life, camera quality and a peerless range of features - this remains a superb big-screened phone, and prices have begun to tumble. Click here to read our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review

14. Nexus 6

Price: around £330 inc VAT

Nexus 6 review - from the rear

There's no two way about it, the Nexus 6 is an absolute behemoth. Despite the new Nexus models, though, it's still well worth considering for big-screened phone fans. More a miniature tablet than a traditional handset, but it's easy to appreciate the great battery life, decent camera, and the cracking design and build quality. The price will seal the deal for many prospective purchasers, and Android M is set to improve battery life and add a host of powerful new features. Click here to read our Nexus 6 review

15. Sony Xperia Z3

Price: aaround £350 inc VAT

Sony Xperia Z3+ review

The reign of Sony's flagship handset has long since come to an end - the Xperia Z5 has usurped the Z3's top-end mantle - but the Z3 remains a great phone. It looks and feels like a high-end handset should, and it's only real issue is that the competition is so darn good. If you can find it for a tempting price, though, it's still worthy of a place in your pocket.  Click here to read our Sony Xperia Z3 review

16. Motorola Moto E 2nd Gen

Price: 8GB, around £100 inc VAT

Motorola Moto E (2015) Review - camera close

Motorola were already onto a budget winner with the Moto E, but 2015 saw the company deliver a welcome suite of upgrades to its bargain-priced handset. The faster processor makes all the difference - it's now faster than the Moto G - and solid build quality and a decent screen go together to make for a cracking cut-price handset. Click here to read our Motorola Moto E review

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