Best Android Phones

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 2, 2017
Selecting an Android-based phone today can be downright vexing, the variety of options and manufacturers makes your head spin. We've narrowed down the selection to the 5 most popular Android phones in different price categories and assessed them. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
PROCESSOR
MEMORY
DISPLAY
OS EDITION
SIM CARDS
CAMERA
BATTERY
INTERFACES
CASING
WARRANTY
 
PROS

S7 Edge offers a number of tools for simple control and an entertaining opportunity to record the gaming process. Also, it is water- and dust-proof, even the ports.

CONS

Edge screen takes some time to get used to.

OUR VERDICT

Samsung 7 is a highly functional Android phone, and its Edge modification is very ergonomic and attractive. Your best companion for everyday tasks, be it work or playing games. Even 'heavy' apps work flawlessly.

detailed parameters
PROCESSOR

Octa-Core Exynos 8890 (Quad 2.3 GHz + Quad 1.6 GHz)

MEMORY

4GB RAM;
32GB storage

DISPLAY

5.5" dual edge Super AMOLED;
2560 x 1440

OS EDITION

6.0 Marshmallow

SIM CARDS

Dual SIM

CAMERA

Rear: 12MP with DualPixel;
Front: CMOS 5.0MP

BATTERY

3600 mAh

INTERFACES

1x microUSB 2.0,
1x 3.5mm jack

CASING

Aluminum

WARRANTY

International Version- Product may not have US Warranty

PROS

This Android phone is all about top-notch sound, from AK4961 (recording) and AK4490 (playback) DAC to 2 stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital Surround systems.

CONS

No backlit for navigation keys.

OUR VERDICT

Combination of optical and electronic stabilization systems helps you get clear and undistorted photos even under the lack of light. Two colors available.

detailed parameters
PROCESSOR

Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor + Adren 530 GPU

MEMORY

4GB RAM;
64GB storage

DISPLAY

5.5" AMOLED Glass 2.5;
2560 x 1440

OS EDITION

6.0 Marshmallow

SIM CARDS

Dual SIM

CAMERA

Rear: 20MP;
Front: 8MP

BATTERY

3250 mAh

INTERFACES

1x USB 3.0 Type-C,
1x 3.5mm jack

CASING

Aluminum

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin 655 features a highly powerful CPU capable of multitasking. The front panel is a quality glass with 2.5D effect covered with a durable screen protector.

CONS

The volume is not very loud.

OUR VERDICT

An additional 2MP camera enhances the quality of your photos by means of an ultra-fast focus and a wide aperture range. Several colors available.

detailed parameters
PROCESSOR

Octa-core (Quad 2.1 GHz Cortex-A53 + Quad 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53)

MEMORY

3GB RAM;
32GB storage

DISPLAY

5.5" LTPS IPS LCD;
1920 x 1080

OS EDITION

6.0 Marshmallow

SIM CARDS

Dual SIM

CAMERA

Rear: 12MP & 2MP;
Front: 8MP

BATTERY

3340 mAh

INTERFACES

1x microUSB 2.0,
1x 3.5mm jack

CASING

Metal

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

Moto Display app allows checking notifications and updates, as well as pausing and resuming your music player without having to unlock your phone. Select what you want to see on a lock screen.

CONS

The screen framing is rather big.

OUR VERDICT

Motorola-exclusive Moto Assist app knows where you are and what you do; it can help you in your everyday tasks by turning on silent mode during meetings and taking important calls only when you sleep. Different color available.

detailed parameters
PROCESSOR

Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU(1.2 GHz ARM Cortex A53)

MEMORY

2GB RAM;
16GB storage

DISPLAY

5" IPS;
1280 x 720

OS EDITION

6.0 Marshmallow

SIM CARDS

Dual SIM

CAMERA

Rear: 8MP;
Front: 5MP

BATTERY

2800 mAh

INTERFACES

1x microUSB 2.0,
1x 3.5mm jack

CASING

Plastic

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

There is a flash for the front camera as well, so you can make a decent selfie in the dark!
The 4G LTE support allows using this Android phone in almost any country.

CONS

No headphones in a set.

OUR VERDICT

BLU R1 Android phone is a great discovery for Amazon Prime users. With it, you can make purchases, watch videos, and listen to music online with special Amazon apps. There are modifications available.

detailed parameters
PROCESSOR

Quad-core Mediatek MT6735 CPU (1.3 GHz Cortex-A53)

MEMORY

2GB RAM;
16GB storage

DISPLAY

5" Multitouch BLU Infinite View (IPS);
1280 x 720

OS EDITION

6.0 Marshmallow

SIM CARDS

Dual SIM

CAMERA

Rear: 8MP;
Front: 5MP

BATTERY

2500 mAh

INTERFACES

1x microUSB 2.0,
1x 3.5mm jack

CASING

Aluminum

WARRANTY

1 year

What is an Android Phone

Creating Android OS was one of the most brilliant ideas Google has ever had (and, truth be told, this company has heaps of great ideas that they implement). It’s fast, versatile, has the widest variety of apps available for the gadgets, work- and entertainment-related alike. And Google Play makes it easy as A-B-C to find whatever app you need. Today, Android is one of the two most popular mobile operating systems in the world. It is leading by some parameters and lacking in other, sure, but that's where you choose what's better for you personally, you can't have it all. Android smartphones sync via Google Drive and after that, you can share your settings, accounts, and files among all your gadgets with ease.

A single smartphone can replace several your other devices, MP3-player being one of them. Technology made it so that you won't miss a call when you listen to music on-the-go wearing wireless headphones, and you can share your music library with a company of friends by connecting your Android phone to a Bluetooth speaker, for example. No more need to carry around huge music devices to impress a girl (or a boy, for that matter!). Boombox may be a romantic pass at your s/o but you don't really need it for quality music anymore.

What Features to Compare

Display

Screen size, resolution, panel type. These are the parameters we usually consider first when we buy a smartphone. There are phones almost the size of a tablet now, they are loved by some customers, and there are fairly small ones preferred by others; which one to choose is up to the purposes you buy a smartphone for. Reading and watching video is probably more comfortable if your gadget has a screen of over 5" in diagonal, but if it's just a phone you call with and use for some work or money-related purposes? Then again, some find it more convenient to hold bigger phones, whereas for others, it's the opposite. Anyway, we're not here to dispute over tastes. As for the resolution, today Android smartphones offer up to 1920x1080 FullHD and that's already pretty normal (as in, nothing shockingly new here). And when it comes to panels, the choice is between LCD, IPS, LED, OLED, AMOLED, and sometimes E-Ink. To point out some of the valuable distinguishing features, AMOLED, for example, are yet to be contested in colors displaying, but IPS has wider viewing angles and is anti-gloss.

Performance

This is about how fast the smartphone's response and ability for multitasking is. For an everyday use general-purpose smartphone, a processor should be 1GHz and higher, with at least 2 cores. The more complicated tasks you plan the phone to face, the higher both numbers should be. Some might assume that more powerful processor drains a battery faster but in reality, it's the opposite, a powerful processor will struggle less with launching an app and, therefore, will need less energy.

Battery

Finally, the power source. This is pretty important, especially for those living on the go. If you use a phone a lot and not only for calling but for taking photos and video or for browsing the Internet and you don't want to / can't recharge it throughout the day, check that the battery is no less than 2500mAh but do look for the larger one.

...Read more ...Read less

Samsung Galaxy S7

Whatever You Need

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, despite being released in March 2016, is still among the leaders in sales, and this is not really a surprise. Its octa-core Exynos 8890 processor backed up by 4GB RAM manages most tasks with a speed you will hardly find in many other smartphones. This Android phone handles games with 'heavy' graphics without so much as a flinch. Apps with lower demands simply flash before your eyes.

The storage capacity here is 32GB. In our personal opinion, it is more than any average smartphone user may need, but if there is nothing average about your smartphone usage and you store lots of FullHD movies on your phone, Samsung offers an option to replace one of two SIM cards with a microSD (up to 256GB in size).

There are also other upgrades. Or shall we say the great comeback? Samsung Galaxy S5 had the IP67 protection against water and dust which was removed in S6. Now it is back and it got better! IP68 certification of S7 Edge allows submerging it 1.5 meters underwater for 30 minutes so no worries if you drop it into your bathtub or in the sea for a bit. Whether you are a white collar worker or an avid hiker, this model is a good choice.

Review of Samsung Galaxy S7 Unlocked Phone

Edge Display

Edge display may not be the most recent invention to Samsung users but the fact that it is still included in newer models speaks for itself. Also, it is constantly upgraded. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge offers its owners several unique possibilities:

  • Edge Panels, for faster access to the most used features. By default, you can set the following panels: Apps, Tasks, People, Places, Weather, Calendar, Samsung Milk Music, Yahoo!® News / Finance / Sports, Quick Tools. All of them or only a couple—it's up to you. There are also additional options you can download.
  • With Edge Feeds, you will see notifications and news by sliding a finger in a standby mode.
  • Turn on Edge Lighting, and you'll know someone is calling you even if your phone is in silent mode and its screen is covered.

As for the display itself, it's a 5.5" Super AMOLED one with 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution; you can watch a 2K video with this smartphone. Also, Super AMOLED technology boasts the possibility to light up certain pixels without turning on the whole display. Quite a fun thing.

All-in-all, Samsung S7 Edge functionality is a blessing for busy people.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Unlocked Phone in the use

Travel Essentials

As we mentioned above, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is durable enough to take it when you go hiking or kayaking. Trips like this usually take days and you will need energy supply that is easy to carry and will still allow you to stay in touch with the world. A power bank is probably the best decision for such occasions.

Detailed review of Samsung Galaxy S7 Unlocked Phone

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Samsung Galaxy S7
Samsung Galaxy S7
 

ZTE Axon 7

Chinese Beauty

ZTE is not the name you hear every time you choose a new smartphone in the US, probably, but the company earned some recognition in its home country and we dare say it's nothing trifle. Then, Axon 7 allowed ZTE to break into the world market for Android phones. Let's look closer at what good things we have here.

  • 5.5" display with AMOLED panel and 2560 x 1140 pixels resolution. That's 2K video playback, great color rendering and viewing comfort. Could pick a fight with Samsung Galaxy S7 and maybe even get a draw.
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4. Top-notch scratch protection and overall enhanced durability.
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor and Adren 530 GPU. High operation speed and performance. Work-related tasks are a game, gaming is a breeze.
  • Metal housing. Durable.
  • 20MP rear camera. Insanely good photos for a smartphone of this price category.
  • Fingerprint customization. A peculiar feature, allows not only unlocking with a fingerprint but also launching certain apps with different fingers.
  • 64GB of internal storage capacity. Well, that's quite a number!

These are not all. We'll talk a bit about a feast that is Axon 7's sound below!

Review of ZTE Axon 7 Unlocked Smartphone

No Need for External Speakers

Axon 7, according to  ZTE, offers center-stage sound experience. While these words are not to be taken literally, the sound quality here is still worth mentioning. Two professional-grade chipsets by AKM and Dolby Atmos technology make the music you listen to sound on par with some good full-size TV or computer speakers. No distortion and good volume; hence, you can fully relax and enjoy the sound either through built-in stereo speakers of a great quality of using some good over-ear or in-ear headphones.

This Android smartphone is an audiophile dream.

ZTE Axon 7 Unlocked Smartphone in the use

Forget the World Exists

As a music addict, you might wish for the real world to step down and not bother you when you dive into the music. In this case, noise-canceling headphones are a must-have.

Detailed review of ZTE Axon 7 Unlocked Smartphone

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


ZTE Axon 7
ZTE Axon 7
 

Huawei Honor

Best Budget Option

Chinese smartphone manufacturers release a ton of devices annually, and the growing competition causes lowering of prices accompanied by the ever growing features range. A feast for customers Huawei didn't remain uninvolved in.

Huawei Honor 6X has everything a general user may need and some more; there is a metal housing, a fingerprint scanner, an operation time that is quite long for the price, and a fairly nice camera. 5.5" IPS display is nothing to be surprised at today but it is still a display that looks good from whatever angle you look at it. The no-so-common feature here is an aggressive brightness adjustment, a mode where the screen works at 20–40% of its capacity to save energy. Might seem a drawback to some customers and a benefit to others. Operational time with general and energy saving modes combined appears to be around 2 whole days if you do not overuse your phone. Charging takes 2 to 3 hours with the native charger.

As for the performance, the Octa-Core HiSilicon Kirin 655 CPU is used in several high-quality Chinese smartphones and we can say it is a reasonable choice. With it and a 3GB RAM in this smartphone, the Android OS is swift and responsive. If you aren't into having a lot of massive apps, 32GB of internal space available here is just fine but if you make a lot of photos or prefer storing all your music library in your pocket, a microSD card can be put into the second SIM card slot.

Review of Huawei Honor Unlocked Smartphone

Dual Camera

Dual cameras in a smartphone is not something you see every day; it is rare enough for users to ask what do they do. The answer is this: an additional 2MP camera allows blurring the background of a photo and focusing on the object at the front. It's a really nice feature if you are a fan of macro photography, for example. Though the main camera's 12MP are hardly enough for professional-grade photos but as an entertainment? We'd say it's okay. Moreover, you'll be able to shoot in fast sequence with a 0.3 sec focusing and intuitive user-friendly interface.

The front camera is 8MP, and it is more or less enough for a selfie, really.

Huawei Honor Unlocked Smartphone in the use

Extras to Buy

An average smartphone camera like the one Huawei Honor 6X has is perfectly suitable today to gain popularity on Instagram or to share your days on Snapchat. If you've got passion and a bit of practice, you can do it. And to help you make better photos, we suggest you look through tripods and selfie sticks. Be a star!

Detailed review of Huawei Honor Unlocked Smartphone

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Huawei Honor
Huawei Honor
 

Moto G Play

Cheap but Good

Motorola might be a part of Lenovo corporation right now, and it might have switched owners a couple times but it is still afloat. It counts for something. At least, the company was worth buying. And here's one of the reasons why.

Moto G4 Play is considered by many users the best of the best options at the rock-bottom price range. It has a solid quality 5" IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720, more than one may need to watch YouTube videos, Vines, and movies to spend time. It even supports multitouch. Might not be the model for heavy gaming but we find it pretty okay for many popular entertainment apps. Built-in memory is 16GB, and the smartphone supports microSD, same as most other models today.

Moto G4 Play is compatible with most popular carriers and supports both 3G and fast 4G LTE, so wherever you are on the planet, you will probably be able to use this phone to full extent.

Review of Moto G Play Unlocked Phone

Personal Assistant

If you tend to have a lot of business meetings and appointments, Moto Assist app will no doubt come in handy. Moto Assist is a Motorola app that acts as your personal assistant (hence the name) and automatically changes your Android smartphone settings to Do Not Disturb when your calendar says you have an important business to carry out. The system is smart enough to define when you can be disturbed and when not. No more sudden calls that make your business partners or lecturers frown at your forgetfulness to switch the device off.

The second mode this app offers is a Sleep mode. For you to get enough quality sleep, it will turn off the notifications and calls but will leave unmuted your alarms and some important numbers you are ready to answer regardless of circumstances.

To draw the final line, we think it is also worth saying that Moto G4 Play allows switching music tracks and adjusting their volume without turning on the display, and also that the camera here is one of the best you could get at the offered price. When it comes to budget Android smartphones, Motorola is still a leader.

Moto G Play Unlocked Phone in the use

Extras to Buy

16GB of built-in memory is roughly one of the smallest today, true. If you find it lacking but your budget does not stretch for a more sophisticated smartphone, your best solution will probably be an SD card. They are cheap and you can switch it to several devices instead of using a USB and a PC to transfer your music from your phone to your friend's, for example. Or to a tablet. With a card, it is faster and more convenient.

Detailed review of Moto G Play Unlocked Phone

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Moto G Play
Moto G Play
 

BLU R1 HD

Stylish Option

When selecting among several cheapest Android phones, one might find they are mostly the same. In the end, it comes down to the actual price difference and to the design. We can't say BLU R1 is over-the-top functionality-wise, although it's not bad either. It's average. 2GB RAM, IPS screen, 1280 x 720 HD resolution. The processor handles multitasking just fine but it's not a heavy-duty device. At first glance, nothing to write home about. So why this and not any other cheap Android phone?

To put it simply, it's all about design. The smartphone is very slim and smooth-looking, metal trim making it look sophisticated. It has a  Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 which is praised for reduced reflectivity and for handling fingerprints and smudges better than its predecessors. The display itself is a little curved, the images on it look really nice and the phone is neat and easy on the eyes. It is really attractive and it does not seem cheap. 

The sensors work great. The phone is unlocked so you can use it anywhere in the world, the only thing you need is to buy SIM cards (two of them can be plugged here). If you're an Amazon Prime user, you'll probably find the Offers & Ads feature convenient but if not, there is an option without them.

Review of BLU R1 HD Unlocked Phone

Flash!

Usually, we only find a flash on the rearview cameras of our smartphones. If you're a club person or just like taking selfies in the dark of the night with a starry sky or a backlit bridge as your background you will certainly appreciate a flash on the front 5MP camera. The main camera is 8MP and has an auto-focusing feature. The quality of photos made by both cameras is more than acceptable for a smartphone at such a price. Built-in battery allows taking photos for a whole day, too.

At the end of the day, BLU R1 HD Android cell phone is a good option for everyday use by a common person.

BLU R1 HD Unlocked Phone in the use

Extras to Buy

In the box, you will only find a smartphone itself and a charger. To take calls and listen to music, you will need to buy headphones separately.

Detailed review of BLU R1 HD Unlocked Phone

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


BLU R1 HD
BLU R1 HD
 

Sources:

1. Find the Android phone for you, Android.

2. How to Choose an Android Phone,  wikiHow.

3. Jeffrey Van Camp How to choose a smartphone, Digital Trends. June 26, 2012.

4. Mark Spoonauer Smartphone Buying Guide, Tom's Guide. April 19, 2016.

5. Oli McKean How to choose the best mobile phone, Which?

6. How to Choose an Android Phone, eBay. July 21, 2014.

7. Jessica Dolcourt Everything you need to know about buying a new phone, CNET. January 25, 2017.

8. Savio DSouza Guide: Choose the right smartphone, GadgetsNow. February 9, 2014.

9. Liane Cassavoy What Is an Android Phone? Lifewire. August 11, 2016.

10. Luke Larsen 5 Reasons to Still Choose an Android Phone Over an iPhonePaste. October 12, 2015.

Other reviews