Home World Technology 10 Best Android phones 2017: which should you buy?

10 Best Android phones 2017: which should you buy?

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Update: Both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus now feature in our best Android phone roundup. Read on below to see where each of the new phones sit.

There’s one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition – the number of phones out there running Google’s hot mobile OS.

The big names are all here; Samsung, Sony, HTC and LG are all right at the fore. On top of that, there’s a glut of other names in the mix, with the likes of Lenovo, Motorola and OnePlus all offering cheap smartphones – and Google’s gone high end with the new Pixel range.

The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.

To help find the most fitting Android phone for you, we’ve rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.

So here they are – the best Android phones money can buy today. For many, many different reasons.

1. Samsung Galaxy S8

Biometrics aside, this is the best Android phone

Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Amazing display
Huge power
High price
Irritating biometric unlocking

Samsung has once again taken the top spot of the best Android phone in the world right now.

Samsung’s latest Galaxy S8 is in the top position of this list thanks to an incredible design, amazing display and some truly great power packed into the phone.

Everything that has made Samsung phones great over the last few years has been packed into this 5.8-inch device – that’s almost bezeless too – and comes with top of the range hardware and some easy to use Android software.

There’s a new iris scanner to allow you to unlock the phone with just your eyes and Samsung has also included a new voice assistant called Bixby. It’s not the perfect device some had hoped for, but it’s the best Android phone you can buy at the moment.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8

2. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Samsung now owns second place as well

Weight: 173g | Dimensions: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Best display on the market
Speedy performance
Very expensive
Flawed fingerprint sensor

Second place goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. We’ve loved both the Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy S7 Edge, but this year we prefer the smaller device of the flagship pairing.

The size of the Galaxy S8 Plus may put some people off at 6.2-inches, but we found the device easy to use and the main reason the Plus sits in second place is its higher price.

Everything we love about the Galaxy S8 is available here as Samsung has decided to only really changed the sizes of the screens rather than fiddling with the spec inside the device.

That same powerful 12MP camera and top of the range power setup is here to do everything you want it to as well as the new biometric tech that may allow you to unlock your phone faster than ever before.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

3. Moto Z

Modular and the world’s thinnest

Weight: 136g | Dimensions: 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 2600mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Creative modular accessories
Fingerprint sensor with a twist
No 3.5mm headphone jack
Big camera bump

The Moto Z is modular like the LG G5, but it’s far better with extra add-ons and a much easier to use snap-on design.

It’s powerful and the modular design means you’ll be able to switch out elements for future accessories and could mean you can keep this phone for much longer than other devices that will date quicker.

Usually when we talk about mid-cycle upgrades, we’re strictly talking about new software. Moto Z could take on new form at any time.

It may be the world’s thinnest phone, but that comes at a cost with a reduction in battery size and the loss of the headphone jack – potential issues for some users. If you can overlook these shortcomings though you’ll have a truly innovative device in your hands.

Read the full review: Motorola Moto Z 

OnePlus 3

4. OnePlus 3T

A genuine flagship killer

Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 821 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3400mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 16MP

Premium design
Affordable price
No microSD slot
Camera could be better

For some, the OnePlus 3T is the best Android phone around – and to be fair, they have a point. The Chinese firm has improved on the still-new OnePlus 3 to deliver a bigger battery, better processor and improved front-facing camera.

The design is the same (which is no bad thing), the AMOLED display is bright and vibrant and the fingerprint scanner is fast.

The lack of a microSD card, and a battery which doesn’t last more than a day may put some off, but considering the price you’re paying the OnePlus is fantastic value for money.

If you’re desperate for a high-end Android phone, but don’t have the money to stretch to the Samsungs or HTC, the OnePlus 3T will make you very, very happy.

Read the full review: OnePlus 3T

HTC 10

5. HTC 10

Not 10/10, but the best phone for music by far

Weight: 161g | Dimensions: 145.9 x 71.9 x 9 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Amazing audio
Great design
Camera not impressive
Slight bugs still in system

HTC is now in fifth place on our best Android phone list with the gorgeous HTC 10. That’s quite impressive considering this phone is now over a year old, but a lower price makes it still worth having.

It has a 5.2-inch 2K display, which makes watching video gorgeous, as well as some strong spec under-the-hood including 4GB of RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset.

The camera technology is a big focus for HTC though. A 12MP sensor may not sound like much, but it makes some gorgeous images on the back and there’s a 5MP front-facing camera to capture your selfies too.

Read the full review: HTC 10

6. Lenovo P2

An amazing battery for a low price

Weight: 177g | Dimensions: 153 x 76 x 8.3 mm | OS: Android Marshmallow | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 5100mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Attractive build
The best battery life of any smartphone tested
Limited camera

There’s one reason to buy this phone: a genuine, actual, real two day battery life. Not in optimum conditions or if you’re a light user… it’ll just keep going and going for two whole nights.

The phone itself is very cheap as well, making it our top budget buy, and while some of the specs are downgraded to hit that price point (the chipset won’t please everyone and the camera isn’t the best) we think it’s worth it.

Not the best out-and-out Android phone on the market right now, and it is heavy thanks to the larger battery – but it’s kind on the wallet and will mean you spend far less time tethered to a charger.

Read our full review: Lenovo P2 review

There’s one reason to buy this phone: a genuine, actual, real two day battery life. Not in optimum conditions or if you’re a light user… it’ll just keep going and going for two whole nights.

The phone itself is very cheap as well, making it our top budget buy, and while some of the specs are downgraded to hit that price point (the chipset won’t please everyone and the camera isn’t the best) we think it’s worth it.

Not the best out-and-out Android phone on the market right now, and it is heavy thanks to the larger battery – but it’s kind on the wallet and will mean you spend far less time tethered to a charger.

Read our full review: Lenovo P2 review

7. Google Pixel

The perfect phone for Android aficionados

Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 821 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/128GB | Battery: 2770mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Supremely smooth performance
Bright, colorful full HD display
Battery life could be better
Assistant yet to realize potential

If you’re looking for the ultimate Android experience without any over-complicated features the Google Pixel is the phone for you.

It takes the latest version of Google’s software – Android 7.1 Nougat – in its natural form. There’s no annoying third-party manufacturer overlay, it’s Android as Google intended.

Add to that its premium design (although the glass patch on the rear is a little questionable), excellent camera and huge amount of power under the hood and you’ve got yourself a rather special smartphone.

The main reason you’d buy this phone is for the camera though – it’s one of the best, if not the best, around at the moment and excels in low light specifically.

The battery life is the weak point for the Pixel, and we’d recommend carrying a charger if you’re out all day.

Read our full review: Google Pixel

8. Sony Xperia XZ

Sony finally has its flagship Z

Weight: 161g | Dimensions: 146 x 72 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 2900mAh | Rear camera: 23MP | Front camera: 13MP

New refined design
Impressive camera
Only full HD display
No fingerprint scanner in US

Sony’s Xperia XZ is the flagship phone we hoped to see from Sony for quite some time. This phone offers everything Sony is good at in an easy to use package but it doesn’t have a stand out feature you’ll want to desperately have.

If you buy the Xperia XZ, it’ll do everything you want it to do with a powerful camera and super processing power, but it’s not as attractive as lot of the devices featured at the top of this list.

It is waterproof though and the price of the phone seems to be dropping making it one of our favorite Android phones available on the market today.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia XZ

9. Motorola Moto Z Play

Motorola’s second entry in the list

Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 156.4 x 76.4 x 7 mm | OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 625 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB + microSD | Battery: 3510mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP

Clever modular accessories
Much lower price than many
Low spec CPU struggles
No waterproofing

Motorola’s Moto Z Play is now out in the UK, and has knocked the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium out of this best Android phone list.

The biggest highlight is the innovative magnetic clip-on accessories that can give you a new camera, a speaker system or even a projector. It’s so smart and may well be the best way of doing modular phones we’ve seen so far.

It’s a low price compared to many other phones on the list and without the accessories on the back it’s a really thin phone. 

Buy the Moto Z Play if you’re looking for something a little bit cheaper and it’s genuinely different to almost everything else on the market.

Read the full review: Motorola Moto Z Play

10. Moto G5

A premium touch arrives on the best-selling budget Android

Weight: 145g | Dimensions: 144.3 x 73 x 9.5mm | OS: Android 7.0 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | CPU: Snapdragon 430 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 2800mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

Part-metal body at a low price
Crisp, vibrant HD display
Still no NFC
Not the snappiest chipset

The Moto G range is the brand’s best selling line of phones, ever. The budget offerings boast solid spec sheets and affordable price tags, and it’s more of the same with the new Moto G5.

It’s a little more pricey than its predecessors, but it still offers excellent value for money and the new metal finish on the rear gives the G5 a touch of class.

The only real negative here is the lack of NFC, but if you’re not bothered about using Android Pay to purchase goods contactlessly in stores then it won’t be an issue at all.

Read the full review: Moto G5

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