Top 5 mobile phones of 2016

ByKim Staples
Girl on pile of phones

When it comes to our mobile phone, some of us won’t settle for anything less than the best. And these days, that means a handset with a stunning screen, impressive features, and processors that can handle any task you throw their way.

But where can you find such a paragon of handheld telephonic technology? We've searched far and wide, and found five great ones that fit the bill. Read on to find out what we think are the best mobile phones for 2016.

5. HTC One M9

HTC One M9

If you like to use your phone for music, videos, and gaming, you're going to want a HTC One M9. Once again HTC has teamed up with Dolby to bring you its amazing BoomSound speakers, along with a 5-inch, crisp HD display and powerful octa-core processors. It's a sleek phone, albeit kind of a large one, with a gorgeous metallic two-tone body.

The camera has - wait for it - 20.7MP. So you can get some pretty hi-res pictures that look brilliant on the screen, though the lens itself isn't very speedy.

Its only downfall is the rather pathetic battery life, which seems to drain even during non-intensive tasks. And since it's non-removable, you might find yourself dragging your charger around everywhere with you, especially if you take full advantage of those speakers and processors.

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1GB data

500 minutes

Unlimited texts

£26.07 per month

£35.00 upfront

24 month contract

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4. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

The Z3 Compact may not be for phablet fans, but for a 4.5 inch screener it's packing in a lot - and you'll be surprised at how affordable it is. Near perfect performance, Android Lollipop, and a 20.7MP camera (no, really) are showing the world that compact doesn't mean compromise.

The cool OmniBalance design means it's made to be comfortable no matter what you're using it for, plus it's completely waterproof for 30 minutes - so it's a great investment if you keep dropping yours in the toilet. And Sony has borrowed tech from its TVs to bring us a display with colours that really pop, despite it not being HD.

The regular 5.2 inch Z3 might be more your bag if you want the extra screen space, RAM, and battery power, but for everyday use, the Compact is perfect.

vodafone

500MB data

500 minutes

Unlimited texts

£24.00  per month

FREE handset

24 month contract

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3. LG G4

LG G4

LG's most recent offering has a luxury feel to it - check out the stitching on the genuine leather back case. Whether it really feels glamorous or just a bit tacky is your call, but one thing's for sure: this phone has some good specs under its belt.

The 16MP camera is one of the best you'll find, and its fast laser focusing and colour spectrum sensor - something never seen before on a smartphone camera - mean it feels like you're using a DSLR. And you can view those pictures you take in stunning definition on the 5.5 inch 538ppi display.

When we tested it, we were a little disappointed in the battery and the potential longevity of the processors - this isn't the ideal handset for gamers. But if you take a lot of pictures, or just want a large screen phone that feels nice to hold, you could do a lot worse than the G4.

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500MB data

500 minutes

Unlimited texts

£23.49 per month

£27.99 upfront

24 month contract

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2. Apple iPhone 6

iPhone 6

A collection of the best smartphones around simply wouldn't be complete without Apple's latest flagship. With the iPhone 6, you'll get a really slickly designed metal body that feels about as premium as a smartphone can get - which is pretty accurate, as iPhones are still some of the most expensive on the market.

But what you're getting for that price are some pretty top-notch features. The battery finally has some decent life in it, and the camera is superb - at 8MP it may not have many megapixels on its rivals, but Focus Pixels and Auto HDR mode mean you can get some stunning shots from a lens that can focus far more quickly. As well as that, there's good old Touch ID, Apple Pay capability, and an improved keyboard.

The display is still disappointingly low-res, however, and combined with its 4.7 inch size it's not really competing with the likes of other current flagships. But hey, if screen size and resolution is important to you, there's always the option to upgrade to the 6+.

Read our full review of the iPhone 6.

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2GB data

1000 minutes

Unlimited texts

£25.99 per month

£49.99 upfront

24 month contract

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1. Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6

Right at the top of the smartphone pile right now is the as-yet-unchallenged Galaxy S6. Rocking a Gorilla Glass and aluminium body, this is a slim, attractive handset with a lot of impressive features.

The specs alone are enough to raise eyebrows: a 5.1 inch Full HD display with 577ppi, octa-core processors, up to 128GB of internal storage, 16MP camera, and a battery that will last a day or two. Basically, whatever you want to do with a phone, the S6 can handle it, whether that's watching movies, honing your photography skills, or just a lot of texting. Oh, and there's wireless charging, as well as a fingerprint sensor and a heart rate monitor. Phew.

Unfortunately Samsung got rid of the SD card slot, so you'll have to rely on internal storage… and shell out a lot more if you want anything above the baseline 32GB. Still, for a phone this high-tech, an SD card slot is a small sacrifice to make. You could even go for the S6 Edge if you're so inclined - though the benefits of adding a curvy screen still aren't fully clear.

Three

1GB data

600 minutes

Unlimited texts

£25.00  per month

£49.99 upfront

24 month contract

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