10 best Android phones 2017: which should you buy?
Update: We have a new entrant for our best Android phones list – the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as broken into the top 10. Read on to find out where it placed.
There’s one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition – the number of phones out there running Google’s hot mobile OS.
The big names are all here; Samsung, Sony, LG and HTC are at the fore. The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.
To help find the most fitting Android phone for you, we’ve rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.
So here they are – the best Android phones money can buy today. For many, many different reasons.
1. Samsung Galaxy S8
Biometrics aside, this is the best Android phone
Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
Samsung has once again taken the top spot of the best Android phone in the world right now.
Samsung’s latest Galaxy S8 is in the top position of this list thanks to an incredible design, amazing display and some truly great power packed into the phone.
Everything that has made Samsung phones great over the last few years has been packed into this 5.8-inch device – that’s almost bezeless too – and comes with top of the range hardware and some easy to use Android software.
There’s a new iris scanner to allow you to unlock the phone with just your eyes and Samsung has also included a new voice assistant called Bixby. It’s not the perfect device some had hoped for, but it’s the best Android phone you can buy at the moment.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8
- Also consider: If you budget can’t quite stretch to the new Galaxy S8, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is still an excellent option with a strong screen and excellent camera, plus it’s now cheaper thanks to the arrival of the S8.
2. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
Samsung still owns second place too
Weight: 173g | Dimensions: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
Second place goes to the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. We’ve loved both the Galaxy S6 Edge and the Galaxy S7 Edge, but this year we prefer the smaller device of the flagship pairing.
The size of the Galaxy S8 Plus may put some people off at 6.2-inches, but we found the device easy to use and the main reason the Plus sits in second place is its higher price.
Everything we love about the Galaxy S8 is available here as Samsung has decided to only really changed the sizes of the screens rather than fiddling with the spec inside the device.
That same powerful 12MP camera and top of the range power setup is here to do everything you want it to as well as the new biometric tech that may allow you to unlock your phone faster than ever before.
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus
- Also consider: Looking for a big screen Android phone? Then say hello to the HTC U Ultra. It won’t be for everyone, but for those who want something a bit different the large 5.7-inch QHD display, punchy performance and solid camera will suit.
3. LG V30
A confident step forward and a boat-load of features
Weight: 158g | Dimensions: 151.7 x 75.4 x 7.4 mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 16MP + 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
Just when you think it’s a Samsung landslide in the best Android phones list, the LG V30 appears!
Building on the G6 from earlier in 2016, the V30 improves in a number of ways including an improved design, larger, more colorful display and an update-to-date chipset under the hood.
In short what you get is a super smartphone absolutely bursting with features, making it great for gaming, movies, photography and music.
Its design isn’t quite as jaw-dropping as the Samsung’s that rank higher than it, nor are its dual-cameras quite the all-round super snappers, but this is a seriously impressive smartphone.
Read the full review: LG V30
- Also consider: LG may have ditched the modular setup we saw on the LG G5, but Motorola’s range of high-end handsets go from strength to strength as it grows its MotoMods catalog. Check out the Moto Z2 Force and Moto Z2 Play for some hot modular action.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 8
When it comes to being the biggest, Note 8 is the best
Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Exynos 8895 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/124/256GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
Three Samsung phones in the top four?! It may seem extreme, but there’s a very good reason why – they’re all really, really good.
The Galaxy Note 8 doesn’t quite hit the heights of its S8 siblings thanks to its lofty price tag and number of similarities to the S8 Plus, but it’s a triumphant return to form for a series that was potentially in trouble after the Note 7 debacle.
But enough about other handsets, what makes the Galaxy Note 8 worthy of its fourth place birth? There’s no question the phablet is more of a niche device, but its iconic S Pen stylus is now even better, with higher accuracy and more levels of pressure sensitivity making it great for sketching and drawing.
Then there’s the massive 6.3-inch QHD Infinity Display which is superb for movies and games, and with a display this big using apps side-by-side isn’t just possible, it makes sense!
Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8
5. Google Pixel 2
The perfect phone for small-handed Android fans
Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 145.7 x 69.7 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 2700mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
A big-screen handset isn’t for everyone though, and for those looking for a palm-friendly phone which still boasts the power and performance of a flagship will like the look of the Google Pixel 2.
It’s bezel heavy design won’t exactly dazzle, but this is a phone you can comfortably use one-handed, with a crisp, clear full HD display and stock Android 8 Oreo at your fingertips.
Like its bigger brother, the Pixel 2 XL, the Pixel 2 also boasts Google’s stunning 12MP camera which takes seriously impressive snaps.
The smaller size does mean the Pixel 2 carries a smaller price tag, but it’s still far from cheap and when it comes to spending this amount we’d recommend plumping for the Pixel 2 XL if its size doesn’t put you off.
Read our full review: Google Pixel 2
6. Google Pixel 2 XL
The knock-out camera is the star here
Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 157.9 x 76.7 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3520mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
Google’s Pixel range has matured in 2017, and the Pixel 2 XL is top dog with its impressive, slender bezel design, dual front-facing speakers and simply fantastic camera.
If you’re in the market for a new smartphone and camera quality is of high importance, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING. The camera on the Google Pixel 2 XL is one of the most – if not the most – impressive snappers we’ve used on a phone.
There’s also a whole heap of power under the hood, and the 6-inch display gives you lots of space to operate.
The design isn’t overly inspiring on the rear, it’s not the most premium feeling phone in the hand – a shame considering the price tag – and the viewing angle on the screen is very narrow before a blue tint creeps in, but there’s no question this is the best phone Google has ever made.
Read the full review: Google Pixel 2 XL
7. Sony Xperia XZ Premium
The perfect phone for 4K fanatics
Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 156 x 77 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 5.46-inch | Resolution: 3840 x 2160 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3230mAh | Rear camera: 19MP | Front camera: 13MP
The Xperia XZ Premium is the flagship smartphone Sony fans have been waiting for, bringing together an eye-popping display, strong snapper and solid battery life.
Those who love watching films and TV shows in 4K can do so on the move with the 4K screen on the XZ Premium – no other phone on this list can boast that – while the front-facing dual speakers also enhance videos and gaming.
If there’s an area the XZ Premium does lack in, it’s design. The flat glass front and rear are sleek, but the plastic edges of the phone detract from the ‘Premium’ part of the name.
Make no mistake though, this is a proper, fully-loaded Android flagship which easily holds its own against the competition.
Read our full review: Sony Xperia XZ Premium
- Also consider: If you fancy something a little smaller, and a little more wallet friendly, then check out the Sony Xperia XZ1. As the name suggests, it lives in the same family as the XZ Premium, but has a smaller 5.2-inch full HD display and 2700mAh battery.
8. Huawei Mate 10 Pro
A battery warrior with a great camera
Weight: 178g | Dimensions: 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 970 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 20MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
Huawei is getting really good at making competitive, high-end flagships these days and the Mate 10 Pro is its best handset to date.
The standout feature is battery life, toppling pretty much every other phone on this list, but it’s also got a decent slug of power under the hood to handle any task you can chuck at it.
For those looking for a strong camera performance from their phone need to take a look at the Mate 10 Pro as well. Phones higher up in this list offer better auto modes, but for camera enthusiasts the Mate 10 Pro provides a great selection of modes and settings.
Read our full review: Huawei Mate 10 Pro
- Also consider: After something a little smaller, and a little cheaper? Then check out the Huawei P10 – a flagship phone that fits neatly into the palm of your hand, it has a heap of power and dual cameras too.
9. LG G6
Weight: 163g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7 Nougat | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2880 | CPU: Snapdragon 821 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
The LG G6 is a top Android smartphone, with an excellent premium design, lovely QHD display and clever dual camera setup round the back giving you plenty to play with and enjoy.
However, some odd choices to go with lower-spec performance and not upgrade the camera in a meaningful way, but with more recent price drops the LG G6 is still more than good enough for our best Android phone list.
That doesn’t mean the G6 isn’t innovative – the screen looks great and there’s raw power, from the camera to the battery to the general snappiness of the handset, rippling through this phone.
Read the full review: LG G6
10. Honor 9
Flagship style at an affordable price point
Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 147.3 x 70.9 x 7.5mm | OS: Android 7 | Screen size: 5.15-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Kirin 960 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,200mAh | Rear camera: 20MP + 12MP | Front camera: 8MP
The Honor 9 makes it into the top ten, and while it may be comfortably cheaper than the rest of the handsets on this list, it’s by no means inferior.
It’s 5.15-inch display keeps the dimensions of the phone low, meaning it’s easy to use one handed, while also maintaining flagship performance under the hood. The Honor 9 will run any app your throw at it.
Round the back you even get dual cameras, with the 20MP monochrome sensor shooting in black and white and the 12MP RGB sensor taking color images. Together the provide improved low-light performance.
Read the full review: Honor 9
- Also consider: If a low cost flagship is what you need, then you’ll also want to check out the OnePlus 5. Like the Honor 9, it offers flagship specs at a lower price tag and wraps it in a premium metal unibody design.
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