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Best Android smartphones for work and play (November 2015 edition)

Choosing the right iPhone really is a no-brainer since there's only a small handful to choose from, but when it comes to Android handsets, there's a staggering array of choice.

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Topic: Hardware
Google Nexus 6P
1 of 22 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 22 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.

LG V10
3 of 22 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

LG V10

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
4 of 22 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
5 of 22 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

The new kid on the block. 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
6 of 22 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
7 of 22 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
8 of 22 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)
9 of 22 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Motorola Moto G (late 2015)

Not the most powerful handset by far, but probably 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)
10 of 22 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.

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11 of 22 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
002a.jpg
12 of 22 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.

001.jpg
13 of 22 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy S6

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
14 of 22 Josh Miller/CNET

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.

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

004.jpg
15 of 22 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
16 of 22 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
17 of 22 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

HTC One M9

One of the color options for the HTC One M9.

005.jpg
18 of 22 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
19 of 22 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
20 of 22 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

LG G4

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

untitled-1.jpg
21 of 22 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
22 of 22 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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