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The 9 BEST Android Phones Of 2015

Know Your Mobile logo Know Your Mobile 08-12-2015 Michael Grothau

While Apple might command a lot of fans and massive handset sales, for many phone aficionados Android is where it's at, partly due to the freedom of the platform, but partly because this is where manufacturers come to play with high performance hardware. Pound for pound, the best Android devices always outstrip iPhones when it comes to raw specs and high-end capabilites; advanced camera optics, super-fast processors pushing the boundaries of performance, and massive crystal clear display panels (even those with bendy bits for that extra stylish touch). 

And 2015 was no exception. Apple’s iPhones have always been plenty powerful, but handsets from Samsung, LG and HTC have always strived to take things further, introducing never-before-seen-technology, features and USPs like water-and-dust-proofing, QHD screens and the first implementation of optical stabilised cameras (OIS) on mobile.

Android phones have ALWAYS pushed the boundaries with specs, hardware and features. Compared to iPhones, the technology inside your average iPhone is at least two generations in front whether you’re talking about displays, imaging technology or software features. Android is also a beautifully mature platform these days as well. It has all the apps, content and performance you’d expect from a world-leading OS. But more than this is it stabler than ever and nowhere is this more evident than inside Google’s latest release — Android Marshmallow.

Back in the day Android was a clunky beast. It didn’t look good and this meant many OEMs used custom skins atop Google’s software — skins like TouchWiz and Sense. More recently, though, things have changed. Google has given Android a HUGE facelift and now it looks, well, amazing — better than anything else on market. The platform is smooth and features tons of useful additions that you’ll immediately notice, such as insane idle performance.

But what are the best Android handsets of 2015? The devices that delivered that all-important WOW factor? It’s been tricky whittling this list down to just a small selection, but the Android handsets listed below are, in our humble opinion, the best Android phones money can buy in 2015. So, without further ado, here’s our pick of the very best Android phones of 2015. 

1. Huawei Nexus 6P

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The Huawei 6P is probably my favorite Android handset on the market. It’s a beast with its massive 5.7-inch display. It’s also a handset that’s wise enough not to start at a 16GB storage options (ahem, iPhone). It comes in 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB varieties with 3GB of RAM and packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with an Adreno 430 GPU. What’s so great about the Nexus 6P as well is that’s it's got good cameras (for a Nexus). The front selfie camera is a 8MP sensor that records 720p HD video, and the rear camera packs a 12.3 MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and records 4K video.

2. BlackBerry PRIV 

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If you like physical keyboards and Android you kind of only have one option and that is BlackBerry’s first EVER Android handset, the BlackBerry PRIV. Launched earlier this year, the PRIV is just one of John Chen’s big sweeping changes in the House of BlackBerry designed to make the company viable in the phone space it helped create all those years ago. 

The handset has ALL the specs you’d expect from a topflight Android handset with its Snapdragon 808 CPU, QHD display and 3GB of RAM. The camera, an 18MP setup, is also decent and BlackBerry has confirmed it will doing monthly updates to the PRIV’s Android software so as to ensure it is always as secure as possible. 

3. Samsung Galaxy S6

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Without a doubt the Galaxy S6 is one of the best Android handsets on the market. The S6 is a vast improvement over the S5, eschewing a plastic body for aluminum. It also got a radically upgraded fingerprint sensor (that actually works now), wireless charging, and a heart rate sensor. Inside it’s got a Samsung Exynos 7 Octacore 7420 CPU, 3GB LPDDR4 RAM, and comes in 32, 64, or 128GB storage options. Just as the iPhone 6s is the best iPhone Apple has ever put out, the Galaxy S6 is the best smartphone Samsung has ever made.

4. LG G4

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One thing Samsung put the lid on with the S6 was the removable battery–something most smartphone makers have done. If you’re still looking for a flagship with a removable battery, however, the LG G4 is your phone. It’s also the only smartphone with unique offerings of leather or ceramic backplates (great for those that don’t like all-metal phones. Inside you’ll get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU and 3 GB LPDDR3 RAM. And add in that 16MP camera with optical image stabilization and the LG G4 is a hard Android phone to pass up.

5. Moto X Style

Motorola, or Moto as it prefers to be called these days, is by far one of our favourite brands in the Android space. The company, once owned by Google, now Lenovo, has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, pumping out excellent hardware in the form of phones and wearables. And this year’s Moto X Style and Moto 360 are no exception.

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Moto has been championing stock Android since around 2012, when it was acquired by Google. The first handset out of the blocks under this new regime was the Moto X, an utterly awesome handset that ditched superfluous specs and hardware in favour of useful additions and a stripped down approach to software.

The Moto X Style is the latest handset and it carries on the Moto X philosophy beautifully with excellent specs, understated design and an emphasis on usability over marketable specs and features. We LOVE this phone and we think you will too.

6. HTC One M9

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The HTC One M9 is probably the best looking Android smartphone on the market. It’s got a beautiful brushed metal body that comes in gold on gold, gold on silver, and gunmetal grey on grey color options. Inside you’ll find a killer Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octacore processor with 3GB of RAM. Another nice thing is that it has retained its microSD card slot–something which some flagships are starting to abandon–so you can upgrade the storage of the M9 on the cheap.

7. OnePlus 2

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The OnePlus 2 was probably one of the most hyped Android phones this year. That’s because everyone loves an underdog and OnePlus came fighting out of the gate not a few years ago to take on the big players in the Android world. With the OnePlus 2 the company has made great strides, but it’s still not going to be enough to compete with other Android flagships. That’s because the OnePlus 2 lacks NFC, a microSD card slot, wireless charging, and a removable battery. It also only comes in in 16GB and 64GB storage sizes. That being said, it does feature a new USB Type-C port and the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octacore processor. And then there is the price: the 16GB model is just £239 and the 64GB model is only £289–by far the most cost effecting phone on this list.

8. Google Nexus 5

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Speaking of low cost smartphones, there’s one just a bit more expensive than the OnePlus 2, but not by much. The Google Nexus 5 is manufactured by LG and is only £299–and it has the added blessing of being an Android handset designed hand-in-hand with Google, who of course make Android. It’s certainly not the most powerful Android handset on the market with a 2.26GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and only 2GB of RAM, but it does have a decent 5-inch 1080x1920 IPS display at 445 ppi. The Nexus 5 is a great choice for purists and those wanting a solid, low cost device.

9. Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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We’d be remiss if we didn’t give a shout out to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, another spectacular Android device for 2015. It’s got a 5.7-inch display with a 2560×1440 pixel resolution at 518 ppi. For as large as a phone as it is, Samsung whittled it down to be pretty thin: only 7.6mm. Inside you’ll find a whopping 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 32 or 64GB storage options, and a Samsung Exynos 7 Octa Core 7420 CPU. It also kills it in the rear camera department with a 16MP sensor and an f/1.9 aperture.

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