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Best Android smartphones for 2017

Want to kick off the year with a new Android smartphone? Here are a selection of high-end Android-powered smartphones that will satisfy even the most demanding users.
By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
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Google Pixel XL

No one knows Android better than Google, and as such the Pixel or Pixel XL are well worth taking a look at.

  • 5-inch or 5.5-inch high-definition AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 package
  • Quad-core CPU with two cores running at 2.15GHz and two low-power cores running at 1.6GHz
  • Adreno 530 GPU
  • 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM
  • 12.3-megapixel rear-camera with f2.0 aperture, 1.55-micron pixels, and gyroscope-based video stabilization
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 32GB or 128GB storage
  • USB-C connector
  • Headphone jack
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 2,770 or 3,450 mAh battery (depending on screen size)
  • Fast-charge (7 hours of battery life for a 15-minute charge)
  • VR ready
  • Android Nougat 7.1
  • Three finishes: Quite Black, Very Silver and limited edition Really Blue

The Pixel starts at $649 (128GB version costs $749) and is available for preorder today, with the Pixel XL starting at $769 (128GB version costs $869).

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Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge

If the Note 7 debacle hasn't put you off Samsung (and it shouldn't, because Samsung make some excellent handsets), then there's always the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge.

  • Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • 5.1-inch quad HD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (576 pixels-per-inch)
  • Snapdragon 820 processor (the Samsung Exynos chipset is used in some regions)
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3,000 mAh battery
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 12-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Wireless charging support
  • Water- and dust-resistant to IP68
  • Color options: Gold Platinum and Black Onyx
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LG V20

The LG V20 will be the first smartphone to come loaded with Android 7.0 Nougat. Again, it's not out yet (it will be with T-Mobile and Sprint by the end of the month, while AT&T and Verizon have yet to announce a release date), but could be worth waiting for.

  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 5.7 inch 1440 x 2560 pixel screen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core CPU
  • Dual 16-megapixel rear camera with 2x optical zoom, OIS, dual-LED flash
  • 5-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 64 GB with microSD (up to 2 TB)
  • 3200 mAh battery
  • Finish ptions: Pink, Silver, Titan
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Motorola Moto Z

The Moto Z is different from the rest of the pack in that it boasts a modular design. It's also water resistant, features a responsive fingerprint scanner, and a high quality 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.

And, just like Apple's iPhone 7, there no headphone jack, which may or may not be a deal-breaker.

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED 1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core CPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 13 MP, f/1.8 rear-facing camera with dual-LED (dual tone) flash
  • 32/64 GB storage
  • SD card slot
  • 2600 mAh battery
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OnePlus 3

The OnePlus 3 has hardware specs similar to high-end smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 or the latest iPhone, but it comes in at a price that's around $400 cheaper.

  • OxygenOS based on Android Marshmallow
  • 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display
  • 16-megapixel rear camera
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core CPU
  • 6GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • USB-C connector
  • 3,000 mAh battery

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