So, you want to buy a new phone? If you’re looking for the best smartphone of 2016, you’ve come to the right place. We will guide you through the hottest mobile phones of the year to save you time when you go to your local phone shop.
We continually update this best smartphones feature to reflect recent launches, recognise price changes, and ensure 2016’s latest devices appear alongside the best of 2015 (and before, if applicable). All the listed devices have been fully reviewed by us.
Our best smartphones list covers all operating systems, all sizes, and prices, so you’ll be armed with everything you need to consider when choosing to buy your next device.
Of course, the most important factor in buying a new device is making sure you have the best smartphone for you. The best for your budget, the features you need, the size that feels right and platform that suits you best.
Be sure to let us know what you think is the best smartphone in the comments below.
17. Motorola Moto E (2015)
The Moto E is Motorola’s play for the budget end of the market, with a price tag of £109 seeing it even cheaper than the Moto G. It might not have the fastest processor in the world, but this rarely affects daily use.
Principal to the Moto E is a great design – which now includes interchangeable “Bands” for a lick of colour, a good display, excellent battery life and microSD support for expanding the internal storage. Compared to the original 2014 model, the 2015 Moto E also adds a front-facing camera, a smoother Android experience, as well as all-important 4G connectivity for fast internet browsing.
Despite its low price point and slightly bulky build, the Moto E has glimpses of premium about it. It’s a brilliant handset for just over the £100 mark and the budget handset to beat.
Buy the Motorola Moto E 2015 for the best Android experience on a budget.
FULL REVIEW: Motorola Moto E (2015) review
16. HTC One A9
The HTC One A9 might be best known for its closeness to the iPhone 6 in design, but there’s a lot about this phone to love. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, with a stripped down version of HTC Sense, resulting in a lovely overall experience, full of refinement.
The design is great, it feels lovely in the hand and surprisingly, the performance is very good for a handset that has mid-range hardware.
The AMOLED display is great and there’s an improved camera that beats that of the M9, although it still struggles in low light conditions. There is also an excellent fingerprint scanner.
However, the HTC One A9 is expensive for a device at this level, priced over £400. You might get a premium body, but it’s still a mid-ranger at heart and that’s reflected in performance in some areas.
If you want something that’s well built and a decent size, then it’s definitely worth considering.
Many will say that HTC stumbled with the One M9, choosing refinement in design over dealing with the biggest problem it faced: camera performance. No sooner had the One M9 hit the shelves, HTC launched a bigger device, with better specs in Asia, announcing wider availability of the HTC One M9+ a few months later.
The HTC One M9+ is a better device than the flagship M9 in many ways. It has a large 5.2-inch display that’s not only better quality, it’s a higher resolution too. It offers a fingerprint scanner on the front that’s fast to unlock it and it also doesn’t get quite as hot as the regular M9.
But HTC doesn’t really address the camera issue with the HTC One M9+. Using the same 20-megapixel sensor on the rear, it has the same problems as the regular M9, being poor in low light, and struggling to match the quality of rival cameras, even in good light. It also offers Duo Camera functionality, but it feels like a short-lived novelty, rather than something that makes a pursuasive case for itself.
Ultimately, the HTC One M9+ is the device to pick for the latest HTC experience, but even in this enhanced model, it struggles against flagship rivals. Although we’d recommend this phone over the regular M9, which is expensive at £579, the M9+ is a little hard to come by.