Picking the smartphone to buy is always going to be a subjective decision with seemingly hundreds of different factors to consider. Just to name a few, there’s the size of the device, the way it feels in your hand, how fast it and fluid the software is, how good the camera is, how much it costs, and how nice the display is.
In this ranking we are going to attempt to keep all these things in consideration and give you our best advice on which smartphone you should consider buying. Some of these are brand new and others are last year’s models that are waiting for an update later this year—so take that into consideration when looking through these rankings.
So as of now in mid-2015, here is our ranking of the 10 best smartphones you can buy right this moment.
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10. iPhone 5s: After hearing the announcement that Apple would begin doing more to at support older devices, we had to put the 5s on this list. At just $99 with a carrier contract, it's the cheapest iPhone you can buy that will actually hold up two years from now. Furthermore, if you're not as into the big phone trend, the 5s is a pretty great sweet spot in terms of size.
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9. Galaxy Note 4: We were hesitant about the Note 4 at first, but the great stylus implementation, beautiful display, and great camera quickly made it one of the very best smartphones of 2014. Who knows? There may even be a chance that it's the last high-end Samsung phone to feature a removable battery and expandable storage. Though nothing is for sure, if that matters to you, you may want to pick this one up while you can.
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8. Nexus 6: There are big phones, and then there is the Nexus 6. Even though the size makes this device something of a novelty, but it's hard not to appreciate Google's decision to upgrade the Nexus line to a proper premium device. Rumors are pointing to an updated Nexus 5 coming this fall, so if you're interested in the big, premium feel of the Nexus 6, it's still definitely a good buy.
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7. Moto X: Although rumors have pointed to a new 2015 model of the Moto X to come this fall, the 2014 Moto X is still a fantastic smartphone. Having received the Lollipop update, it still feels like the kind of device that can still compete with the best of 2015. Throw in the phone-making tool MotoMaker and you have one of the most unique and customizable smartphones you can buy.
Image courtesy of Flickr user John Karakatsanis.
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6. Sony Xperia Z3: While it has trouble standing out in the crowd among the heavy-hitters from Samsung or Apple, The Xperia Z3 really is a fantastic smartphone. It's got everything you'd expect to see in a flagship 2015 device from software to specs—and even the camera. It's especially noteworthy if you're a nostalgic Sony fan at heart because the simplified body of the phone is certainly reminiscent of that classic Sony design.
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5. Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3: When it comes to sheer bang for your buck, there's nothing quite like the $249 Idol 3. It doesn't have flagship-level performance, but if you're looking for more of a midrange device, the Idol 3 is simply the best and most affordable option out there.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Maurizio Pesce.
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4. HTC One (M9): The newest version of the HTC One looks nearly identical to last year's, which is a bit unfortunate for marketing purposes. The truth is that what you're getting is still a top-of-the-line, aluminum smartphone with one of the best industrial designs out there. Furthermore, it still has those great stereo front-facing speakers, which really make it stand out from the crowd of other Android smartphones.
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3. LG G4: The G4 doesn't have the same jaw-dropping, bezel-less design that the G3 had, but the G4 still has the goods where it really counts. More specifically, it's got one of the best smartphone cameras on the market and one of the highest resolution displays you'll ever see. Furthermore, it's really the only flagship smartphone worth buying that still has expandable storage and a removable battery.
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2. iPhone 6 / iPhone 6 Plus: Although it's almost 10 months old, the iPhone 6 still feels like a fresh device with a lot of life in it. Although it might pay off to wait for the iPhone 6s in the long run, as of today this device is still worth every penny and will most certainly hold up two years from now.
Furthermore, one of the best parts about owning an Apple device is that you'll get the upcoming iOS 9 update the day it is released—even if you don't have the most current hardware.
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1. Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge: If there is one smartphone from 2015 that feels both edgy (no pun intended) and incredibly functional, it's the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. The stunning design of the S6 Edge in particular really makes it feel like the display is completely edge-to-edge, resulting in a device unlike anything we've ever held.
Once phones like the Note 5 and iPhone 6s are out this fall, the S6 might seem like an old gimmick, but as of now it's simply the best smartphone you can buy.