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Best Android smartphones: February 2016 edition

Let's take a look a selection of the very best Android handsets currently available.
Google Nexus 6P
1 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Google Nexus 6P

The Nexus 6P is an odd beast indeed. From a tech point of view it's a powerhouse, with its sharp display and powerful Snapdragon 810 processor. But the exterior is something that might not appeal to all - it's bulky and top-heavy and the fingerprint reader is placed in an odd spot.

It also ditches the much-loved wireless charging feature.

Tech spec:

  • Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 pixels AMOLED multi-touch display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 MSM8994 with Adreno 430
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 12.3-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Non-user-replaceable 3450mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Colors: Aluminum, Graphite, Frost.
Google Nexus 6P
2 of 24 Josh Miller/CNET

Google Nexus 6P

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the Google Nexus 6P here.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
3 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Not a fan of the huge Android smartphones that seem to be all the rage these days? Then the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact could be worth a look. This is essentially an Xperia Z5 crammed into a more compact shell.

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
  • 4.6-inch HD 720p (1280 x 720) Triluminos display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with Adreno 430
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 23-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • 2700mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Waterproof and dust tight (IP65 and IP68)
  • Colors: White, Graphite Black, Coral, yellow.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
4 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact here.

LG V10
5 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

LG V10

The LG V10 is an Android handset that has, given what users tell me, everything that an Android handset needs. It has a powerful processor, sharp display, user-replaceable battery and a microSD card slot.

It also has some gimmicks, such as two front-facing cameras and a secondary display at the top of the main display.

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)
  • 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 pixels IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display
  • Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 with Adreno 418
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 16-megapixel rear camera
  • Dual 5-megapixel front camera
  • User-replaceable 3000mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Colors: Space Black, Luxe White, Modern Beige, Ocean Blue, Opal Blue.
LG V10
6 of 24 Josh Miller/CNET

LG V10

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the LG V10 here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
7 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The new kid on the block, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a powerhouse of an Android handset, but with a price tag to match. Excellent quality components and construction - just don't insert the stylus into it the wrong way!

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)
  • 5.7 inch 1440 x 2560 pixel Quad HD Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 with quad-core 2.1 GHz Cortex-A57
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of storage
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
  • 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Wireless charging support
  • Color options: Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Silver Titan, White Pearl
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
8 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 here.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
9 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The signature S Pen has a whole new design featuring a solid and sleek metallic finish.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5
10 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The Galaxy Note 5 is exceptionally well made, and the engineering and finish is second to none.

Motorola Moto G (late 2015)
11 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Motorola Moto G (late 2015)

Not the most powerful handset by far, but the Motorola Moto G is one of the best handsets for the money, doubly so given that you can buy it unlocked for under $200.

Tech specs:

  • Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)
  • 5.0 inch 720 x 1280 pixel IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Quad-core Snapdragon 410 with 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 with Adreno 306 GPU
  • 1GB of RAM in the 8GB storage version, 2GB in the 16GB storage version
  • 8/16GB of storage
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 2470 mAh battery
  • 13-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Micro SD card support
  • IPX7 certified - water resistant up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
  • Color options: Black and White, but with many accent and trim options
Motorola Moto G (late 2015)
12 of 24 Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola Moto G (late 2015)

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the Motorola Moto G here.

002.jpg
13 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop), upgrades depend on carrier
  • 5.1 inch 1440 x 2560 pixel curved-edge Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4 back panel
  • Octa-core Exynos 7420 CPU with Mali-T760MP8 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 2550 mAh battery
  • 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Wireless charging support
  • Color options: Gold Platinum, White Pearl, Black Sapphire and Green Emerald
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14 of 24 CBS Interactive

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge here.

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15 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy S6

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is not a small handset. In fact, it's quite a handful, as most modern smartphones are these days.

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.0.2 (Lollipop), upgrades depend on carrier
  • 5.1 inch 1440 x 2560 pixel Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4 back panel
  • Octa-core Exynos 7420 CPU with Mali-T760MP8 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 2550 mAh battery
  • 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Wireless charging support
  • Color options: Gold Platinum, White Pearl, Black Sapphire and Blue Topaz
001a.jpg
16 of 24 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S6

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 here.

004.jpg
17 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

HTC One M9

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop), upgrades depend on carrier
  • 5.0 inch 1080 x 1920 pixel Super LCD3 capacitive display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU with Adreno 430
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Non-removable Li-Po 2840 mAh battery
  • 20-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 4-megapixel front-facing camera
  • FM radio
  • Quick Charge support
  • Colors: Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose gold, Gold/Pink
004a.jpg
18 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

HTC One M9

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the HTC One M9 here.

004b.jpg
19 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

HTC One M9

One of the color options for the HTC One M9.

005.jpg
20 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

LG G4

Tech spec:

  • Android 5.1 (Lollipop), upgrades depend on carrier
  • 5.5 inch 1440 x 2560 pixel PS LCD capacitive display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Hexa-core Qualcomm 808 CPU with Adreno 418 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
  • 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • FM radio
  • Wireless charging support
  • Colors: Grey, White, Gold, Leather Black, Leather Brown, Leather Red
005a.jpg
21 of 24 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

LG G4

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the LG G4 here.

005b.jpg
22 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

LG G4

The LG G4 is the only handset features to have a removable battery.

untitled-1.jpg
23 of 24 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime

A cheaper "feature" version of the Galaxy S6 (around $200 compared to $600), with a specific focus on the cameras and LTE.

Tech spec:

  • Android 4.4.4 (KitKat)
  • 5.0-inch 540 x 960 pixels capacitive-touch TFT
  • Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 with Adreno 306
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • User-replaceable 2600mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Colors: White, Gray, Gold.
2015-08-0310-42-23.jpg
24 of 24 James Martin/CNET

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime

For more information, along with pricing on various carriers, read the CNET review of the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime here.

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