Knowing the best smartphone you can buy right now is more than just a hunch for us. We test out the latest and – sometimes – greatest phones in comprehensive mobile phone reviews.
To drill down to a list of our 5 favorites in the US for 2015, we based the updated rankings on a lot of geeked-out factors: design, performance, battery life and camera quality.
Top 5 best smartphones in 2015
5. LG G4 Luxury leather on a smartphone that tries to please everyone
OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | RAM: 3GB |Storage: 32GB |Battery: removable 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP
LG has tried to focus on what everyone actually wants out of a smartphone, a great looking design, colour rich display and the great camera for photos – but it doesn’t quite deliver as impressively as we’d hoped.
Don’t let that put you off though. There’s a lot going on with the LG G4, and for the most part it’s rather positive indeed. The leather back is much nicer than the plastic option, and it will make your phone stand out among the swath of glass and metal offerings.
Its large, expansive screen is one of the best on the market, the 16MP laser auto-focus camera takes some cracking shots and the rear buttons are easier to hit on a handset this size.
As usual, LG has offered us a phone that’s got a brilliant spec list at a phenomenally low unlocked price – if you’re after something a bit different, this is a great choice.
4. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Curving into the future with impressive specs
OS: Android 5.0.2 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440p | Memory: 3GB |Storage: 32GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2560mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has all the power and features of the table-topping S6, but does it with a little extra flair thanks to the curved edges on each side.
They’re pretty much aesthetics, as they don’t add a huge amount of functionality, but if you’re going on looks alone, the S6 Edge has them in spades.
The price is $100 higher though, making it $300 on-contract and $700 for the full price option. That’s is why it doesn’t join its twin (non-identical) brother at the top of the chart. But if you’re after something that’s wildly different from anything else, with a great feature set and tip-top camera, this is your best phone choice.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 5 As slick as its glass back
OS: Android 5.1.1 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 1440p | Memory: 4GB |Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
Take note of this high-ranking Samsung phablet, because it’s the best phone we’ve tested with a spacious 5.7-inch display. It has the best display on any platform right now.
It ditches the plastic casing and back everyone, but it did make a few key sacrifices along the way. The battery life is no longer swappable, and the microSD card slot is missing.
While some long-time fans are vocal about these two missing features, the Galaxy Note 5 still splitscreen mode and the best camera (tied with the Samsung Galaxy S6 that has the same module).
It’s more expensive than other phones, but the inches you get in return may be worth the price you pay for most trusted monitor.
2. iPhone 6S Bigger, better, sleeker and faster than the iPhone 6
OS: iOS 9 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 1334 x 750 | RAM: 2GB |Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 1,715mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP
What can you say about any new iPhone? Most people are already decided about whether they’re going to buy the new model before it’s even announced – but that hasn’t stopped us giving it a thoroughly good going over.
The good points are the same as usual: a hugely powerful phone, a great camera and the new 3D Touch interface is genuinely useful, and will only continue to get better as time goes on.
The chassis is identical to the previous iPhone 6, which will irk some and might force them to wait for the iPhone 7, but it’s still well-designed. The battery life is actually a little shorter (to fit in the motor for the 3D Touch method) and is the the biggest issue with the phone.
That said, it’s still a brilliant iPhone, the phone that loads of users are desperate to get their hands on, and Apple’s not done any harm at all with this upgraded model.
1. Samsung Galaxy S6 A brilliant phone that shows Samsung still has what it takes
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | RAM: 3GB |Storage:32GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2550mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
While last year’s Galaxy S5 was nothing special, this year Samsung’s started from the ground up to make a truly wonderful smartphone.
The camera is superb, the audio and video quality brilliant and the QHD display crammed into the 5.1-inch screen is the sharpest on the market – although it does suck down the battery rather a lot.
The design is finally something we’re pleased to hold in our hand, rather than the plastic cheapness of last year, and the refined TouchWiz overlay is a lot nicer to use.
It’s actually extended its lead at the top thanks to some amazing price drops – so you can now get the best phone on the market for an incredibly low price these days. A no-brainer.