Top 5 Android phones of 2016

ByKim Staples
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Apathetic about Apple? Wincing at the thought of a Windows Phone? Been burnt before by BlackBerry? Sounds like you need an Android.

Thankfully, there's a lot of choice out there. And that means that whatever features you want on your new mobile, there's an Android out there to accommodate you - whether you're tightening the purse strings, splashing out, or looking for the perfect gaming device. Here are our five favourite Androids on the market right now.

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1. Best Android on a budget: Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

The whole of the Motorola Moto range is worth looking at when you're on a budget, but we'd recommend the Moto G - especially the latest generation. In fact, you get some surprising features, considering how inexpensive this phone is. An Android that can upgrade to Marshmallow, for instance, is pretty rare in this price range. And a quad-core Snapdragon chipset means it can handle most tasks with little issue. Oh, and there's a 13MP camera with dual-tone flash.

Of course, you'll have to make sacrifices for a low-priced handset. In this case it's in the memory - your choices are either 8GB with 1GB RAM, or 16GB with 2GB RAM. 

Besides that, however, this absolutely doesn't feel like a budget device. In fact, it'll make you wonder why anyone would bother paying more.

Read more in our guide to the best cheap mobiles

2. Best Android phablet: Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The phablet - a phone with a size that edges a bit closer to a tablet - has a lot of competition, especially from Apple, but the Galaxy Note 7 leaves them all in the dust. The display's an incredible Super AMOLED with a QHD (Quad HD) definition, and a whopping 5.7 inches big - in other words, very big and very sharp. If it's screen space you want, then this is the best - just don't expect to use the thing one-handed too easily.

With octa-core processors and 4GB RAM, the Note 7 can handle everything you need it to, from games to videos to document editing. And you get Samsung's best stylus yet, so you can navigate around easily and add handwritten annotations to whatever you happen to be looking at.

It also comes with a fingerprint scanner, a heart rate monitor for the S Health app, and a pretty decent camera. Not only has it got a 12MP lens, there's optical image stabilisation and phase detection autofocus. If you can get past its gargantuan size, the Galaxy Note 7 is a phablet with a lot going for it.

3. Best camera: LG G5

LG G5

The snappers in our phones are reaching incredible quality today, and LG has taken phone cameras one step further with the G5.

The cameras attached to the LG G line have always been good. We're talking three-axis image stabilisation, colour spectrum sensor, manual settings that rival a DSLR, and some fun features too - like setting it to automatically snap a pic when you say the word 'cheese'.

LG G5, however, has the best so far. There aretwocameras on the back - a 16MP one, and an 8MP one with a wide-angle lens. The phone is also modular, and one of those modules you can slip on is the LG Cam Plus for even more focused manual controls.

Read more about the LG G5

4. Best Android for gaming and media: Sony Xperia Z5

Sony Xperia Z5

Whether it's games, movies, TV, or even just surfing the net that you're interested in, there's really no better phone than the Sony Xperia Z5.

There's a 5.2-inch Full HD screen, an octa-core Snapdragon chipset, and 3GB RAM - more than enough for this phone to handle any game you can throw at it. And because it comes from Sony, you can link it up to your Playstation network or SEN account.

Not only is it great for gaming, the Z5 is a good all-rounder. The camera has a whopping 23MP, and you'll get Android Lollipop straight out of the box, plus there's the cool frosted glass back that feels pretty premium. You've also got the option of going for the Xperia Z5 Premium when it arrives: its 4K screen means an even clearer picture on games and movies, though running such a high-res screen may drain the battery quicker.

Vodafone

500MB data

500 minutes

Unlimited texts

£49.99 upfront

£24.00 per month

24 months

See deal

See all Sony Xperia Z5 deals

5. Best of the best: Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung Galaxy S7

Refuse to settle for anything other than the absolute best when it comes to your phone? Then you'll want Samsung's current flagship, the Galaxy S7. With a sleekly designed glass and metal body, and some of the most impressive specs you can get, this is a phone worth its salt.

So let's take a look at what you get. The 5.1-inch, QHD display is one of the sharpest you'll find - perfect for viewing the 12MP photos you take with the rear camera. Under the hood, there's an octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM, meaning it can handle even the most graphically intense of applications without much fuss.

Basically, the Galaxy S7 has all the features of its phablet Note 4 sibling but without the uncomfortably big screen size (although the slightly bigger Galaxy S7 Edge is pretty stunning too.). Its nearest rival in terms of specs and design, in fact, is the iPhone 6S - so this is definitely the best Android on the market right now.

See the best Galaxy S7 deals this month

 

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