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Best smartphone case manufacturers

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With a lot of current generation smartphones featuring metal or glass build materials, keeping them safe from accidental bumps and drops and in pristine condition can be a difficult task for some. A good case or cover goes a long way in alleviating this concern though, that not only keep the device protected, but can add some style points to it as well.

Be it from slim, transparent cases that show off the look of your smartphone, to the ultra rugged covers that keep your device safe from the elements and can survive almost anything, there is no limit to the choice you have in this category. That said, there are a few third-party case manufacturers that stand out, and have become very popular names in this market. Here is a roundup of some of the best smartphone case manufacturers!


Spigen

Spigen is one of the most popular third-party accessories manufacturers out there, and deservedly so. You get a variety of cases depending on your needs, include slim TPU shells, hybrid cases, cases with kickstands, and tough cases with dual layer protection.

The featured series of cases include the Neo Hybrid and the Rugged Armor. Not only do these cases look great, and include carbon fiber elements for a touch a style, but despite being relatively slim and form fitting, you get certified military-grade protection with both. The Neo Hybrid case also includes a bumper frame for additional protection, while the Rugged Armor takes advantage of air cushion technology at the corners to keep the device safe.

Best smartphone case manufacturers

As far as device compatibility goes, Spigen has cases available for most popular flagship smartphones, including Samsung, Google, HTC, LG, OnePlus, ZTE, Motorola, Apple, Sony and Huawei, so if you have a current generation flagship, Spigen will have you covered as far as your case needs are concerned. The cases are reasonably priced too, ranging from $12 to $30 on Amazon.


Otterbox

Best smartphone case manufacturers

The go-to brand of cases if you’re looking for complete device protection is undoubtedly Otterbox. The company has a few different series of cases available, but when it comes to full protection, the Defender and Commuter series are the ones you will be looking for.

The Commuter case is the sleeker of the two, and doesn’t add as much bulk to the device as the Defender case does. You still get dual layer protection for complete impact protection and port covers to keep the device dust free with the former though, while the latter adds a built in screen protector and also comes with a holster that clips onto your belt.

Best smartphone case manufacturers

Device compatibility isn’t as robust as some of the other case manufacturers on this list, but cases are available for the flagship smartphones from Apple, Samsung, Google, HTC, LG, OnePlus, and Huawei. Otterbox cases can be a touch expensive, with prices ranging from $35 to $60, but if you are looking for a case that will guarantee the complete safety of your smartphone, it doesn’t get better than this.


Ringke

Best smartphone case manufacturers

If you are looking for low profile case for your smartphone that offer some protection without adding any bulk or thickness to your smartphone, Ringke cases are the way to go. Granted, the company does have some semi-rugged options, wallet cases, and more available as well, but the more popular choices are definitely the slim series of cases that are available.

One of the more popular series of cases from Ringke is the Fusion series. These TPU cases are transparent and allow you to show off the design of the smartphone. They add minimal bulk and thickness to the device but come with a shock absorbent bumper to keep the phone safe from accidental bumps and drops. A raised lip around the front keeps the display safe, and also included with the case is a screen protector to keep it scratch free.

Best smartphone case manufacturers

What is particularly impressive about Ringke is the number of smartphones that the company has cases available. While most case manufacturers have cases on offer for flagships, Ringke cases are found for mid-range and entry-level smartphones as well. You can find something for most smartphones from Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Google, Sony, OnePlus, Motorola, BlackBerry, ASUS, Huawei, Xiaomi, and more. Ringke cases are affordable as well, with a price range of $10 to $30.


Incipio

Best smartphone case manufacturers

Incipio is a well known name in the mobile device accessories market, and when it comes to cases and covers, the company has something on offer for everyone. Ranging from slim cases, cases with stylish and unique designs, wallet and folio cases, and practical cases that provide a lot of protection, you are sure to find what you are looking for.

Incipio was one of the first case manufacturers to introduce dual layer protection to the market, and it’s not surprising that their most popular series is the Incipio DualPro. A soft interior core is coupled with a hard Plextonium shell to provide military-grade protection from bumps and drops, and it helps that the case looks great and doesn’t add a whole lot of bulk or weight to the smartphone. The best part is that Incipio has a case available for most smartphones from the majority of OEMs, ranging from the entry-level smartphones to the flagships.

Best smartphone case manufacturers

You will have a wide variety of cases to choose from for popular smartphones from the likes of Samsung, Apple, Google, and more, but you will also be able to find cases for smartphones from companies like Alcatel, Meizu, HP, and others. Incipio cases aren’t the most affordable though, but still reasonable enough, with a range of $20 to $70, with something like the DualPro series priced at around $30.


Poetic

Best smartphone case manufacturers

Last, but certainly not the least, is Poetic, which is another well known case manufacturer that offers a variety of cases based on what your needs may be. Their range of cases include slim and transparent hard shell cases, hybrid cases, and rugged cases that offer a lot of protection, all of which add an element of style to the device.

Among the many options, the more popular choices include the Affinity series and Revolution series of cases. The Affinity case features a hard transparent polycarbonate shell that shows off the design of the phone, and comes with a soft shock proof TPU element that offers better back and corner protection. On the other hand, the Revolution case is Poetic’s rugged option, that only keeps the device safe from accidental drops, but also comes with port covers and a front cover with a built-in screen protector.

Best smartphone case manufacturers

Poetic cases are available for a range of entry-level, mid-range, and flagship smartphones, and apart from the big OEMs like Apple, Samsung, HTC, Google, Motorola, Sony, LG, Huawei, OnePlus and others you also get cases for smartphones from Alcatel, ZTE, HP, ASUS, Nvidia, and more. These cases are inexpensive as well, with most of them priced between $10 and $20.


So, there you have it for this roundup of some of the best smartphone case manufacturers out there, based on devices supported, type of protection, and price. That said, there are a slew of options available, so be sure to check out our best cases lists for individual smartphones to find even more choices.

Looking for a case for your phone? Check out some of the roundups for some of the key flagships out there:

Best Android smartphone cameras (February 2017)

In recent years, smartphones have effectively replaced point-and-shoot cameras, and many have even outperformed them. For many of us, these portable computers have even become our main camera, making photo quality a priority when picking a new smartphone.

Are you looking to get a new phone? In this post we put together a list of the very best camera phones out there. These are all stunning performers, but there are different factors that put them on this list. Some are better in some ways, but not in others. Let’s just go through the list and find out which one is the right one for you!

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list regularly as new devices launch.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

See more Google Pixel and Pixel XL photos

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are here, and they truly are some amazing smartphones.

Not only are they the first phones to ship with the Google Assistant on board, they also come with plenty of exclusive software features.

Under the hood, they sport some killer specs, too. Both devices have an AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage and long-lasting batteries. The overall design of these phones may not be the most unique, but they do feel like premium phones through and through.

The Pixel and Pixel XL also have some of the best cameras in existenceUnsurprisingly, these devices really shine in daylight. Images are very sharp and full of detail, which is especially true when shooting in HDR+ mode. Plus, the Google Camera app on these phones is super fast, and it’s especially easy to access it with a quick double-tap of the power button. The app doesn’t have any manual controls, but that doesn’t stop these cameras from really shining.

The cameras also continue to deliver in low-light scenarios, although there are a few downsides when shooting in minimal lighting conditions. For starters, the lack of OIS stands out here, though the cameras do offer electronic image stabilization to help keep images clear.

To learn more about the Pixel and Pixel XL’s cameras, head here.

There are a few things about these phones that will turn some people away, though. For starters, they only sport an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning they’re not nearly as waterproof as the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. There are ways around that, but none that will make the devices truly waterproof. Plus, if you buy the Verizon model, you’ll have to deal with a small amount of bloatware (though you will be able to uninstall it), you won’t be able to unlock the bootloader, and Verizon will be handling all Pixel and Pixel XL software updates (though the company swears it won’t delay them).

If you’re in the market for a new flagship Android phone and don’t mind spending over $650, you should buy the Pixel or Pixel XL… these are two of the best Android phones out there.

Specs

Google Pixel

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,770mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm, 143g

Google Pixel XL

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,450mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm, 168g

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Best Android smartphone cameras (February 2017)

See more Galaxy S7 photos | See more Galaxy S7 Edge photos

As we mentioned in our Galaxy Note 7 entry, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have some of the best Android smartphone cameras out there. They feature 12MP dual-pixel rear camera sensors with an f/1.7 aperture, optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus and an LED flash. The end result is a camera with noticeably faster autofocus over competing flagship smartphones, especially in low light.

To read more about these two devices’ cameras, see our full reviews here and here.

Now let’s talk about the other things the S7 and S7 Edge do well. These devices have now made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4GB of RAM and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g

Read more

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S7
Buy the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Huawei Mate 9

Best Android smartphone cameras (February 2017)

See more Huawei Mate 9 photos

Huawei has done a great job at making its way to the mainstream over the past few years – first with the Huawei P9, and now with the Mate 9.

With a big 5.9-inch display, powerful Kirin 960 processor, dual-SIM capabilities, and an impressive camera setup, the Mate 9 may be one of the best big phones of the year. While its display is ‘only’ 1080p and its software is a bit odd sometimes, we still think the high price tag is worth it.

Plus, the Mate 9 has an exceptional camera. Huawei’s partnership with Leica continues with the Mate 9 sporting a new and improved second generation dual camera setup. Much like the one in the Huawei P9, the camera is centred around a Leica-branded dual camera, with a 12MP RGB sensor supplemented by a 20MP monochrome sensor. Both sensors are behind lenses with f/2.2 aperture and the RGB sensor also sports Optical Image Stabilization for additional stability in photos and videos.

Image quality from the Mate 9’s dual camera array has been impressive. In daylight, you get images that are crisp, full of detail with colors that are more realistic (and less saturated) than those captured by the Galaxy S7 Edge or Pixel XL.

Huawei’s camera app means Pro mode is just a tap away and offers settings to adjust the exposure, ISO and focal point to take stunning photos. The camera app is rather straight forward to use, with options for flash, wide aperture and filters found in the viewfinder.

One of the biggest improvements in the Mate 9 camera is in low light performance, with the Mate 9 now capable of taking low light pictures that are on par with the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, while low light shots are vastly improved, the Mate 9 does struggle with slight movement in low-light, with OIS proving less effective than in other flagship devices. Overall, the camera on the Mate 9 certainly doesn’t disappoint and it seems to be on par with other Android flagships. It’s not perfect – no phone is after all – but the Mate 9 takes gorgeous photos that you’ll be proud to share. Of course, there’s still a lot you should know about the Mate 9’s camera. For more info, head here.

If you’re after a smartphone that offers exceptional battery life and incredible performance, the standard Mate 9 delivers in spades. If money is no object and you want a smartphone that is unattainable to most customers, the Porsche Design Mate 9 might be worth your while.

Specs

  • 5.9-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 373ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 20 and 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm, 190g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

LG V20

Best Android smartphone cameras (February 2017)

See more LG V20 photos

The V20 is basically the phone for power users. It has a a big Quad HD display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, plenty of RAM and on-board storage, and a removable 3,200mAh battery. Of course, the unique Second Screen makes a return this year, along with the addition of Quad DAC, military standard durability, and it’s already running Android 7.0 Nougat.

The V20 also sports a dual camera setup on the back, with a 16MP main sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and OIS coupled with an 8MP wide-angle sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. It may not sound like much, but the wide-angle lens on the V20 really stands out here, and works perfectly in a variety of situations. Not only can you fit more into the frame at one time, but the wide-angle sensor helps make photos appear much more dynamic.

LG’s camera app is packed with features, especially when it comes to manual controls for photos and video. You have granular control over every aspect, including white balance, ISO, exposure, shutter speed, and focus, just as you would on a DSLR. One of the most useful additions to the camera is that it now has built-in focus peaking which makes it a lot easier to tell if your subject is in focus, and if you are a content creator, you will know exactly how useful focus peaking can be.

There are plenty of other details that you’ll want to check out in our full review, so head to this link to learn more about the V20’s camera.

If top-of-the-line specs and an impressive feature set is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the V20.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 513ppi
    • Secondary display: 2.1-inch IPS LCD display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 513 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 16 and 8MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 3,200mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm, 174g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

OnePlus 3T

Best Android smartphone cameras (February 2017)

See more OnePlus 3T photos

We weren’t expecting OnePlus to release another new flagship in 2016, but it happened. If you were a fan of the OnePlus 3, you’ll certainly love the OnePlus 3T.

With its powerful Snapdragon 821 processor backed by 6GB of RAM, the 3T absolutely flies through web browsing, gaming and most other everyday tasks. It also has a bigger battery this time around (3,400mAh to be exact), which is more than enough to get you through a full day of use on a single charge. In addition, the 3T sports a dual-SIM card slot, plenty of on-board storage, and a fast front-facing fingerprint sensor on the front.

The OnePlus 3T also has one of the best smartphone cameras around. It sports a 16MP rear-facing sensor that excels in most lighting conditions. Photos are crisp and well detailed, and we really like the color reproduction the photos have to offer. You get nice, natural looking colors, and the images are sharp enough, but without looking oversharpened and artificial. If you do want some extra sharpening, the HQ mode is available, which adds a fairly noticeable amount of sharpening to the photos. However, the images looked fine in most situations, though we rarely had to use this feature.

The default camera app is pretty similar to the Google Camera, with many of the same modes to be found here, including Timelapse, Slow motion, and Panorama. The only exception is that manual controls are available if you are looking to dial in the setting yourself, but it is otherwise a very nicely laid out and easy to use camera application.

For more information on the OnePlus 3T’s camera, head here.

Basically the OnePlus 3T is a better OnePlus 3, and we’re certainly not complaining. You can buy it from OnePlus’ website in Gunmetal and Soft Gold color options.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 16MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,400mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, 158g

Read more

Buy now from OnePlus

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Best Android smartphone cameras (February 2017)

See more Moto Z and Moto Z Force photos

While the Moto Z and Moto Z Force have their differences, they do have some of the best smartphone cameras around. The Z Force sports a 21MP shooter and the Z proper has a 13MP sensor, though they both come with f/1.8 lenses, OIS, laser autofocus, and 5MP front-facing cameras. Now, if you could choose one of these devices just on camera alone, go with the Z Force; it has a higher megapixel count. While that normally doesn’t matter too much when comparing smartphone cameras, you will see a noticeable difference when cropping photos. Both devices do a great job in both bright and low lighting conditions and their camera apps are very easy to use, making the cameras on the Moto Z fantastic pocket photography companions.

To learn more about the Moto Z and Moto Z Force cameras, head here.

As for the overall design, features and under-the-hood specs, Motorola (well, Lenovo actually) is doing something different with their flagship phones this year. Instead of releasing just one flagship under the Moto X moniker, they’ve decided to release two new smartphones that do things a bit out of the ordinary. The Moto Z and Moto Z Force not only bring flagship-level specs, but also support for modules.

These modules, called Moto Mods, attach to the back of both phones via magnets. There are only a few available right now, but they actually bring some handy features to the phones. You can purchase an external battery module, a powerful speaker, and even a projector!

They both have killer specs, too. Both devices come with a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage, expandable memory, and run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. You might be wondering – what’s the difference between these two phones? The standard Moto Z is super thin at only 5.2mm in thickness, but it only comes with a 2600mAh battery. The Moto Z Force is thicker, has a 3500mAh battery, and also has a shatterproof display.

These aren’t the cheapest phones on the market, but they’re certainly some of the best.

Specs

Moto Z

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 535ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2600mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat (Verizon model) / Android 6.0 Marshmallow (unlocked model)
  • 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2mm, 136g

Moto Z Force

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 535ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 21MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3500mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat (Verizon model) / Android 6.0 Marshmallow (unlocked model)
  • 155.9 x 75.8 x 7mm, 163g

Read more

Buy the Moto Z from Verizon
Buy the Moto Z Force from Verizon

There you have it – our picks of the best Android camera phones you can buy right now. Missed anything? Tell us in the comments!

Next:

Best Android phones

1 day ago

Best Android phones (February 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

With Android thoroughly dominating the mobile industry, picking the best Android smartphones is almost synonymous with choosing the best smartphones, period. But while Android phones have few real opponents on other platforms, internal competition is incredibly fierce.

From sleek devices that impress with premium design, to powerhouses brimming with features, to all-around great devices, and affordable phones that punch above their weight, the Android ecosystem is populated by a staggering variety of attractive phones.

But “greatness” is subjective, and sometimes spec sheets and feature lists are not enough to make an idea of how good a phone really is. In this roundup, we’re looking at the absolute best – the Android phones you can’t go wrong with.

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list regularly as new devices launch.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

See more Google Pixel and Pixel XL photos

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are here, and they truly are some amazing smartphones.

Not only are they the first phones to ship with the Google Assistant on board, they also come with plenty of exclusive software features and some of the best smartphone cameras in existence.

Under the hood, they sport some killer specs, too. Both devices have an AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage and long-lasting batteries. The overall design of these phones may not be the most unique, but they do feel like premium phones through and through.

There are a few things about these phones that will turn some people away, though. For starters, they only sport an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning they’re not nearly as waterproof as the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. There are ways around that, but none that will make the devices truly waterproof. Plus, if you buy the Verizon model, you’ll have to deal with a small amount of bloatware (though you will be able to uninstall it), you won’t be able to unlock the bootloader, and Verizon will be handling all Pixel and Pixel XL software updates (though the company swears it won’t delay them).

If you’re in the market for a new flagship Android phone and don’t mind spending over $650, you should buy the Pixel or Pixel XL… these are two of the best Android phones out there.

Specs

Google Pixel

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,770mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm, 143g

Google Pixel XL

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,450mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm, 168g

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Best Android phones (February 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

See more Galaxy S7 photos | See more Galaxy S7 Edge photos

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32 GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4 GB of RAM, great 12 MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9 mm, 152 g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, 157 g

Read more

Buy Galaxy S7 at Amazon
Buy Galaxy S7 edge at Amazon


OnePlus 3T

Best Android phones (February 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

See more OnePlus 3T photos

We weren’t expecting OnePlus to release another new flagship in 2016, but it happened. If you were a fan of the OnePlus 3, you’ll certainly love the OnePlus 3T.

With its powerful Snapdragon 821 processor backed by 6GB of RAM, the 3T absolutely flies through web browsing, gaming and most other everyday tasks. It also has a bigger battery this time around (3,400mAh to be exact), which is more than enough to get you through a full day of use on a single charge. In addition, the 3T now sports 16MP rear and front-facing camera sensors, a dual-SIM card slot, plenty of on-board storage, and a fast front-facing fingerprint sensor on the front.

Basically the OnePlus 3T is a better OnePlus 3, and we’re certainly not complaining. You can buy it from OnePlus’ website in Gunmetal and Soft Gold color options.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 16MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,400mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, 158g

Read more

Buy now from OnePlus

Huawei Mate 9

Best Android phones (February 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

See more Huawei Mate 9 photos

Huawei has done a great job at making its way to the mainstream over the past few years – first with the Huawei P9, and now with the Mate 9.

With a big 5.9-inch display, powerful Kirin 960 processor, dual-SIM capabilities, and an impressive camera setup, the Mate 9 may be one of the best big phones of the year. While its display is ‘only’ 1080p and its software is a bit odd sometimes, we still think the high price tag is worth it. If you’re after a smartphone that offers exceptional battery life and incredible performance, the standard Mate 9 delivers in spades. If money is no object and you want a smartphone that is unattainable to most customers, the Porsche Design Mate 9 might be worth your while.

Specs

  • 5.9-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 373ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 20 and 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm, 190g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

LG V20


Best Android phones (February 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

See more LG V20 photos

The V20 is basically the phone for power users. It has a a big Quad HD display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, plenty of RAM and on-board storage, dual 16MP rear-facing cameras, and a removable 3,200mAh battery. Of course, the unique Second Screen makes a return this year, along with the addition of Quad DAC, military standard durability, and it’s already running Android 7.0 Nougat.

If top-of-the-line specs and an impressive feature set is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the V20.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 513ppi
    • Secondary display: 2.1-inch IPS LCD display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 513 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 16 and 8MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 3,200mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm, 174g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Best Android phones (February 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

See more Moto Z and Moto Z Force photos

Motorola (well, Lenovo actually) is doing something different with their flagship phones this year. Instead of releasing just one flagship under the Moto X moniker, they’ve decided to release two new smartphones that do things a bit out of the ordinary. The Moto Z and Moto Z Force not only bring flagship-level specs, but also support for modules.

These modules, called Moto Mods, attach to the back of both phones via magnets. There are only a few available right now, but they actually bring some handy features to the phones. You can purchase an external battery module, a powerful speaker, and even a projector!

They both have killer specs, too. Both devices come with a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage, expandable memory, and run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. You might be wondering – what’s the difference between these two phones? The standard Moto Z is super thin at only 5.2mm in thickness, but it only comes with a 2600mAh battery. The Moto Z Force is thicker, has a 3500mAh battery, and also has a shatterproof display.

These aren’t the cheapest phones on the market, but they’re certainly some of the best.

Specs

Moto Z

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 535ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2600mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat (Verizon model) / Android 6.0 Marshmallow (unlocked model)
  • 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2mm, 136g

Moto Z Force

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 535ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 21MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3500mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat (Verizon model) / Android 6.0 Marshmallow (unlocked model)
  • 155.9 x 75.8 x 7mm, 163g

Read more

Buy the Moto Z from Amazon
Buy the Moto Z Force from Amazon

ZTE Axon 7

Best Android phones (February 2017): our picks, plus a giveaway

See more ZTE Axon 7 photos

ZTE’s Axon Pro from 2015 was a good phone, but it fell short in a few key areas. It came to market with only one storage option, no expandable memory, and the dual camera setup on the back of the device felt a bit gimmicky. Not only does the company’s latest flagship fix all of those problems, it brings much more to the table.

It has a big 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, the latest Snapdragon processor, plenty of RAM, multiple storage options, and yes, expandable memory up to 256GB. It also sports some killer front-facing speakers, all-day battery life, a great camera, and a sleek, attractive design. While certain parts of the software could use a little more polish, the ZTE Axon 7 goes toe-to-toe with the best in the Android market. It’s also inexpensive at only $400, making this an even more attractive option for folks looking to score a solid flagship device.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 538ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 20MP front camera, 8MP rear camera
  • Non-removable 3250mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm, 175g

Read more

Buy at Amazon

Cast your vote, and participate in our giveaway!

There you have it – our picks from the best Android has to offer right now. Out of those listed, which do you feel is the very best? Be sure to sound off in the poll below. Each month we will also be conducting a giveaway, giving our readers a chance to win the phone with the most votes.

Winner, January 2017: Google Pixel XL (11,450 total votes)

Congratulations to Carlos B. from Portugal, the winner of our January 2017 giveaway!

Best Android Phone (February 2017)


Check out our related best lists:

Android emoji – everything you need to know

Emoji seem to have taken over the world, with emoticons quickly becoming a dying tongue around the inter webs. And for good reason; these little icons offer a convenient and friendly way to express emotions. Even turds look cute when pictured as emoji!

But what about us Android users and enthusiasts? You may recall that for a while emoji just showed up as lame squares, and in some cases that continues to be the case. This is because the first major phone maker to adopt these was Apple, in an attempt to attract more users from Japan (where emoji first became popular). It didn’t take long for this to explode and become the amazingly popular trend it now is, with most smartphone users adopting the cute hieroglyphs.

See also:

Where did emoji come from?

November 2, 2016

Want to learn more about how emoji came to be? We have gone through the whole story in a separate post, which you will find right above. What matters here is that Android now has support for emoji (and has for a while, of course), but your experience will vary depending on multiple factors. Our plan here is to take you through an extensive guide on the Android emoji experience. Shall we get started?

Not always supported!

While Android does officially support emoji, these cute icons don’t exactly work with every device. Emoji officially entered the Android world with version 4.1 Jelly Bean, but those were black and white versions of the colored symbols. It wasn’t until Android 4.4 KitKat that Google decided to integrate colored emoji to their operating system. Then came Android 7.0, which brought compatibility with Unicode 9 emoji.

This means your experience will vary depending on the device and software version you are touting. It’s worth noting the vast majority of people are somewhere above Android 4.1, though. According to Statista, only about 2% of Android owners were using anything under Android 4.1 as of September 2016. This means most of you can enjoy emoji at least to a certain extent.

You probably know whether your phone sports emoji support or not, and how these would look. Are you seeing a bunch of squares when iPhone users send you messages? Do you see simpler icons in black and white? You know the deal.

Apps with emoji support

Regardless of whether your phone supports emoji or not, the experience won’t be as streamlined as we wish. Some applications will get emoji support only with certain Android versions. The guys over at caniemoji.com have put together a table clearly showing where each of the most popular apps stand. Let’s take a look.

Android emoji – everything you need to know

We will go through some of the most popular apps with native emoji capabilities.

Facebook Messenger

This tool, which has replaced every other form of communication for many of us, comes with integrated support for emoji. There is a button on the bottom corner of the screen, when you open a conversation, which shows four little faces. Just tap on it and you will be presented with a plethora of emoji to use on your conversations.

Furthermore, if you are worried about having emoji support for text messaging, you will be glad to know the app can also replace your stock SMS app.

Download Facebook Messenger

WhatsApp

In WhatsApp you can simply open a conversation and tap the happy face icon located on the bottom-left corner of the screen. There’s all kinds of emoji there!

Download WhatsApp

Hangouts

We know it’s hard to get people to use Hangouts, but also know the true Android fans out there stay true to Google’s messaging service and utilize it whenever they get a chance, so we just had to add this service here.

Getting to the emoji is easy. Open a conversation and look at the bottom-left corner of the screen. There will be a happy face there, which will unveil all supported emoji with simple tap.

Download Hangouts

Google Messenger

Most Android phones nowadays come with Messenger pre-installed, but that wasn’t always the case. Some phones still prefer going with alternative apps. The good news is anyone can get this application from the Google Play Store.

This SMS app is simple, yet feature-full. But let’s get to the point – one of its wonders is native emoji support. Simply open or start an SMS conversation and look towards the bottom-right section of the screen. Once again, the smiley face will be there. Tap it to see all available emoji.

Download Google Messenger

Google Allo

Allo is Google’s own WhatsApp-like service. The application links to your phone number and Google account, offering all kinds of neat messaging features. Among them is full emoji support. These can be found on the bottom-right corner of a conversation screen.

Download Google Allo

Snapchat

Snapchat and its disposable nature also make for a good emoji conversation. You can even create your own emoji characters! They call these “Bitmoji”, but that is a whole other story. The point is you can totally make use of all those happy faces within the app.

They become available when creating a snap or sending a message. Within the message screen, simply open a conversation and the option will appear on the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Download Snapchat

Skype

Still using Skype? You can enjoy emoji too! Just open any thread and find it on the bottom-left area of the screen, next to the text input option.

Download Skype

Keyboards with emoji support

Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with app solutions. All these services have emoji options in varying areas and deal with them in different ways, making for an inconsistent experience. Using emoji straight from the keyboard may be a better alternative. There is a sea of keyboards with emoji support out there, but we will give you a few of the most popular ones to get you started.

Gboard

Want to stick with Google applications? This is the tech giant’s very own alternative and works like a charm, especially when trying to send cute turd emoji to your friends. The main feature here is the ability to search for these, as opposed to simply browsing through them. If you know what your emoji looks like, you can just type in a description and find the right icon (e.g. poop).

The process takes a couple steps. Find the comma button, located towards the bottom-left area of the keyboard. Press and hold, then select the smiley face. There will then be a search option right above the emoji, if you would rather conduct a search.

Download Gboard

Swiftkey

Swiftkey continues to be a favorite among many an Android user, mostly for its magical prediction and customization prowess, but it is also great for sending emoji. Just press and hold the enter button (bottom-right area of the keyboard) to see all your options.

 

Download Swiftkey

Swype

Swype is another very popular keyboard. And yes, it does also feature emoji support.  It is not the most convenient way to emoji, but support is there. Simply start typing something like “smile” and the respective emoji will appear in the prediction options.

Keep in mind this is the only paid app in this app. It costs $0.99, but they do offer a free trial.

Download Swype
See also:

Guess which country uses the most emoji every day? ?

September 10, 2016

Wrapping up

You are now ready to join the emoji party! How hit the comments and tell us which emoji are your favorite. Also, how do you use emoji? From apps? From keyboards?

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

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It wasn’t that long ago that USB Type-C was a pretty uncommon port. A lot has changed in 2015. This year we’ve seen the LG G5, HTC 10, OnePlus 3, Huawei P9, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and countless other phones jump into the USB-C fray. That’s in addition to 2015 adopters like the OnePlus 2, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P.

Needless to say, USB-C is here to stay. One of the biggest downsides to the new standard however, is that you have to either buy a ton of adapters so you can keep using your chargers, portable batteries, and other microUSB accessories — or you have to start over again from scratch. If you already have invested heavily into power packs and other accessories, going the former route might make the most sense. That said, a portable battery charger designed for USB Type-C has its advantages over using an adapter with one designed for microUSB. First, charging speed will be much faster with a Type-C connection. Second, less adapters and other cables to bring along with you.

See also:

Best Android phones

3 weeks ago

It’ still early days for USB Type-C portable battery chargers, but a quick look at Amazon turns up a growing number of options. Below we listed just a handful that we felt were worth highlighting due to their brand recognition, as well as their positive ratings and reviews.

Anker PowerCore+ 20100 mAh

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

The Anker PowerCore+ packs 20100 mAh and is comes in at $50.99 on Amazon. Along with the 10 LED capacity indicator, the PowerCore+ has 2 USB ports outputting power at 2.4A each, and a USB Type-C port. Included in the box is the power bank, a USB to USB Type-C cable which is used to quickly charge the power bank, a travel pouch, and a micro USB cable. Keep in mind that you don’t just charge the power bank using type-C, there’s also Type-C output, meaning you can charge your Nexus 6P (or whatever have you) from the battery charger as well.

The Anker PowerCore+ is also utilizes a number of special technologies to help ensure the best experience possible, such as PowerIQ, a proprietary technology used to replicate the charging protocol of each device to ensure safe and efficient charging. VoltageBoost is another proprietary technology that detects cable resistance in order to provide a steady charge. It is worth noting that Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 is not supported with this one however.

Buy on Amazon

RAVPower 20100 mAh

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

The RAVPower 20100 mAh External Battery pack is offered for $59.99 on Amazon. The battery pack is a simple black box with a four dot LED battery indicator. The battery pack has a micro USB port used to charge the battery pack, a USB 3A Type-C port, a USB port capable of supporting Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 and 3.0 technologies, and an iSmart USB port.

The iSmart port is used for devices that have been identified by RAVPower, and is optimised on a device by device basis. There’s certainly plenty of juice here too, as 20100 mAh is enough juice to power a Galaxy S6 close to 5 times, and an iPhone 6S nearly 8 times. The pack has overcharge and circuit protection to protect your devices from the very thing that keeps them running.

While the RAVPower is the more expensive than the first two options, it’s big battery combined with Quick Charge 2 and 3 support make it a pretty compelling option.

Buy on Amazon

Talentcell 10400 mAh

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

The Talentcell 10400 mAh power bank the least expensive device on the list, at just $26.99 on Amazon. The power bank is charged via micro USB 2.0 and has a USB Type-C port, a full sized USB port, and an LED flashlight. Included in the box is the power bank and a male to male USB Type-C. This power bank supports a variety of Type-C devices other than the 12 inch Macbook, and can charge up to two devices simultaneously.

If you are looking for the cheapest option out there, the Talentcell fits the bill, and is still relatively well reviewed. Of course, there’s something to be said for brand recognition and trust, so if that’s a factor for you — you may be better off considering one of the previous power banks.

Buy on Amazon

iVoler 10000mAh

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

Once again, a lesser known brand name but the ivoler is aggressively priced at $31.99, making it a tad more expensive than the Talentcell. The ivoer 10000 mAh offers one standard USB port and one Type C that supports up to 5v 3a. While the iVoler doesn’t have Qualcomm quick charge support, it does claim to offer rapid recharge capabilities that lets it top off many devices from 0% to 100% in around 3.5 hours or less using Type-C.

Personally, we’d probably pick the TalentCell over this one, but it never hurts to have a few more options.

Buy on Amazon

 ORICO 10000mAh Portable Battery

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

Orico isn’t exactly a hot brand in the battery pack market, but this is a pretty solid looking offering. There’s input and output support for Type-C and the pack intelligently detects the ideal furrent from 0.5 to its max of 2.4A. You’ll also find 1 USB type-A slot for your traditional devices that need powering up, and a  microUSB in for charging up the battery (though you can also use the Type-C port for this if you prefer).

The 10,000 mAh size is similar to what we’re seeing from many of the other packs on this list, and the pricing is just right at $28.99.

Buy on Amazon

AUKEY 30000mAh Portable Charger

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

Aukey is a pretty well known entity, building quality batteries at fair prices and this 30,000 mAh powerhouse is no exception. This battery pack sports two standard USB ports and one USB-C. The USB-C port not only can be used to charge your devices, but can also charge up the battery pack as well. This huge battery pack also features support for Quick Charge 3.0 and offers AiPower Charging Technology to bring you the safest maximum recharge rate for all your USB powered mobile devices.

At $49.99 it’s a bit on the expensive side, but if you need a high-capacity option that also happens to support USB-C, there’s few that compare to this one.

Buy on Amazon

AUKEY Portable Charger

Best USB-C portable battery chargers

Looking for something a bit more compact than the 10000 to 30000 mAh options presented? Aukey has your back with the new USB-C version of its portable charger. With a 5,000 mAh battery capacity and a size that fits nicely in your pocket, this charger is capable of rapid charging at 5V 3A and has enough capacity to charge just about any phone on the market at least once. The charger also features special tech that prevents your device from receiving excessive current or overcharging, and the included USB-C cable even has a special adapter end that allows you to use it on iPads or iPhones in addition to your Android USB-C devices.

At $20 this is a highly affordable power bank and perfect for those looking for something small that they can take with them just about anywhere they go.

Buy on Amazon

Related products we recommend:

Best USB-C portable battery chargers
4 Port Quick USB-C Car Charger
4 ports charge all your devices at the fastest speeds possible. Let's face it we all want our phone charges as fast as possible. Well you need not to worry. Our car charger has the BEST and LATEST technology. Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 & 2.0 means you can charge your devices up to four times faster than conventional charging. The USB Type C charging port is perfect for all the new upcoming tech that is launching with USB Type C.

Best USB-C portable battery chargersUSB Type C Quick Charge 6 Port Wall Charger

We recommend the Charged 6 Port USB Wall Charger. Why? It has a USB Type C Port and a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 port alongside 4 other fast charging ports. What this means is that it will charge all your devices at the fastest speeds possible . Currently priced at $29.99 at Amazon.

Buy at Amazon

Any other solid options you are aware of that didn’t make it onto our list? Give us a shout in the comments and we’ll be sure to take a look.

Best dual-SIM Android phones (January 2017)

While many folks can get by with a single-SIM handset, there’s something to be said about the flexibility that is afforded to you when you have a dual-SIM device. A dual-SIM setup allows you to not only potentially have two different phone numbers but you can also have one SIM for data, another SIM for calling and text, and you can more easily travel abroad without having to remove your primary SIM card.

Typically manufacturers do not make dual-SIM versions of all their phones, instead they usually create dual-SIM models for phones that are popular in international markets. Sorted by price, on this page is where you will find our list of the best dual-SIM Android phones currently available. We will keep this list up to date as new phones are released, and as always please share your thoughts on what you think the best dual sim Android phone is.

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

See more Galaxy S7 photos | See more Galaxy S7 Edge photos

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4GB of RAM, great 12MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12 MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g

Read more

Buy the Galaxy S7 from Amazon
Buy the Galaxy S7 Edge from Amazon

OnePlus 3T

Best dual-SIM Android phones (January 2017)

See more OnePlus 3T photos

We weren’t expecting OnePlus to release another new flagship in 2016, but it happened. If you were a fan of the OnePlus 3, you’ll certainly love the OnePlus 3T.

With its powerful Snapdragon 821 processor backed by 6GB of RAM, the 3T absolutely flies through web browsing, gaming and most other everyday tasks. It also has a bigger battery this time around (3,400mAh to be exact), which is more than enough to get you through a full day of use on a single charge. In addition, the 3T now sports 16MP rear and front-facing camera sensors, a dual-SIM card slot, plenty of on-board storage, and a fast front-facing fingerprint sensor on the front.

Basically the OnePlus 3T is a better OnePlus 3, and we’re certainly not complaining. You can buy it from OnePlus’ website in Gunmetal and Soft Gold color options.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 16MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,400mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm, 158g

Read more

Buy now from OnePlus

Huawei Mate 9

Best dual-SIM Android phones (January 2017)

See more Huawei Mate 9 photos

Huawei has done a great job at making its way to the mainstream over the past few years – first with the Huawei P9, and now with the Mate 9.

With a big 5.9-inch display, powerful Kirin 960 processor, dual-SIM capabilities, and an impressive camera setup, the Mate 9 may be one of the best big phones of the year. While its display is ‘only’ 1080p and its software is a bit odd sometimes, we still think the high price tag is worth it. If you’re after a smartphone that offers exceptional battery life and incredible performance, the standard Mate 9 delivers in spades. If money is no object and you want a smartphone that is unattainable to most customers, the Porsche Design Mate 9 might be worth your while.

Specs

  • 5.9-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 373ppi
  • Octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 20 and 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 156.9 x 78.9 x 7.9mm, 190g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

ZTE Axon 7

Best dual-SIM Android phones (January 2017)

See more ZTE Axon 7 photos

ZTE’s Axon Pro from 2015 was a good phone, but it fell short in a few key areas. It came to market with only one storage option, no expandable memory, and the dual camera setup on the back of the device felt a bit gimmicky. Not only does the company’s latest flagship fix all of those problems, it brings much more to the table.

It has a big 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, the latest Snapdragon processor, plenty of RAM, multiple storage options, and yes, expandable memory up to 256GB. It also sports some killer front-facing speakers, all-day battery life, a great camera, and a sleek, attractive design. While certain parts of the software could use a little more polish, the ZTE Axon 7 goes toe-to-toe with the best in the Android market. It’s also inexpensive at only $400, making this an even more attractive option for folks looking to score a solid flagship device.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 538ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 20MP front camera, 8MP rear camera
  • Non-removable 3250mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm, 175g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

LG G5

Best dual-SIM Android phones (January 2017)

See more LG G5 photos

While the Galaxy S7 series is a minor refresh in terms of design, the LG G5 sees a massive departure from the design language used in the G series, ditching the rear volume/power setup that first debuted with the LG G2. The G5 also adopts a unibody metallic design that has a removable cap for access to the removable battery and a port for modules that allow users to expand the phone’s capabilities by adding a camera grip and other special accessories.

The distinctly different design of the LG G5 may not be for everyone, but there’s little denying that LG has went out of its way to try and innovate in a market where big changes like this aren’t all that common.

Spec wise, we’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with 4 GB RAM, a 5.3-inch display, and 32 GB storage with microSD for expansion. The specs here are certainly impressive all across the board. It’s also worth mentioning that LG has revamped its software, making it faster and less bloated. One controversial move with the software, however, is the removal of the app drawer in favor of what LG says is a “simplified experience.”

Specs

  • 5.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 554ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 16 and 8MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Removable 2800 mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm, 159g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Motorola Moto Z Play

Best dual-SIM Android phones (January 2017)

See more Moto Z Play photos

If you’re looking for a smartphone with insane battery life, a good camera and a modular design, Lenovo’s Moto Z Play might be the phone for you.

The standout feature on this phone is its big 3,510mAh battery, which really impressed us in our full review.

One reason why the Moto Z Play has such good battery life is the sensible spec sheet – you get a 5.5-inch Full HD display and a Snapdragon 625 processor, compared to the more power intensive Quad HD/Snapdragon 820 found on the Moto Z and Z Force. You also get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space, which is expandable up to 256GB. It won’t yield the best performance, but that’s not really the point of this phone.

It’s not the cheapest phone out there, but it does mow down the competition in certain areas.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 403ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3510mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 156.4 x 76.4 x 7mm, 164g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Best dual-SIM Android phones (January 2017)

See more Moto G4 Plus photos

Instead of announcing just one Moto G variant this year, Lenovo brought us three different devices – the Moto G4 Plus, Moto G4 and Moto G4 Play.

The highest-end of the bunch is the Moto G4 Plus, and it brings a handful of notable improvements to the Moto G range. It has a big 1080p display, capable processor, expandable storage, and even a fingerprint sensor this time around. While we had a slight problem with the volume/power buttons and the camera in low light, we can honestly say this is one of the best budget offerings in 2016.

Right now you can buy it in the U.S. for $249.99 through Amazon or Motorola.com.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
  • 2/3/4GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm, 155g

Read more

Buy now from Motorola

So there you have it – our picks for the best dual-SIM options Android has to offer at the moment. Did we miss anything? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

See also:

Best Android phones

3 weeks ago

Next: Best prepaid phone plans

Best Verizon Android phones (January 2017)

With the largest network and an excellent selection of phones, it is no wonder why Verizon is largely considered to be the “top dog” out of all the major U.S. carriers. For those on Big Red’s network, there are quite a few options to choose from, including major flagships that are universally available on all carriers, as well as handsets specific to Verizon only.

Related: Best Verizon prepaid phones

We’ve rounded up the best devices you can get on Verizon’s network. When you make your purchase, keep in mind that Verizon has done away with contract pricing. It’s also worth noting that some of these phones are even cheaper from Amazon, so we’ll try to include the relevant Amazon links if we can find cheaper prices for you. Without any further ado, here are the best Android phones available on Verizon’s network!

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.


Google Pixel and Pixel XL

See more Google Pixel and Pixel XL photos

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are here, and they truly are some amazing smartphones.

Not only are they the first phones to ship with the Google Assistant on board, they also come with plenty of exclusive software features and some of the best smartphone cameras in existence.

Under the hood, they sport some killer specs, too. Both devices have an AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage and long-lasting batteries. The overall design of these phones may not be the most unique, but they do feel like premium phones through and through.

There are a few things about these phones that will turn some people away, though. For starters, they only sport an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning they’re not nearly as waterproof as the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. There are ways around that, but none that will make the devices truly waterproof. Plus, since this is a Verizon model, you’ll have to deal with a small amount of bloatware (though you will be able to uninstall it), you won’t be able to unlock the bootloader, and Verizon will be handling all Pixel and Pixel XL software updates (though the company swears it won’t delay them).

Of course, you’ll be able to buy these devices through the Google Store and activate them on Verizon’s network. Doing so will allow you to take advantage of an unlockable bootloader, software updates from Google, and access to Verizon’s HD Voice and Wi-Fi Calling.

If you’re in the market for a new flagship Android phone and don’t mind spending over $650, you should buy the Pixel or Pixel XL… these are two of the best Android phones out there.

Specs

Google Pixel

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,770mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm, 143g

Google Pixel XL

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,450mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm, 168g

Read more

Buy the Google Pixel from Verizon
Buy the Google Pixel XL from Verizon

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

Best Verizon Android phones (January 2017)

See more Galaxy S7 photos | See more Galaxy S7 Edge photos

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4GB of RAM, great 12MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g

Read more

Buy the Galaxy S7 from Verizon
Buy the Galaxy S7 Edge from Verizon


LG V20

Best Verizon Android phones (January 2017)

See more LG V20 photos

The V20 is basically the phone for power users. It has a a big Quad HD display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, plenty of RAM and on-board storage, dual 16MP rear-facing cameras, and a removable 3,200mAh battery. Of course, the unique Second Screen makes a return this year, along with the addition of Quad DAC, military standard durability, and it’s already running Android 7.0 Nougat.

If top-of-the-line specs and an impressive feature set is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the V20.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 513ppi
    • Secondary display: 2.1-inch IPS LCD display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 513ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 16 and 8MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 3,200mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm, 174g

Read more

Buy now from Verizon

Motorola Moto Z / Moto Z Force (Droid Editions)

Best Verizon Android phones (January 2017)

See more Moto Z and Moto Z Force photos

Motorola (well, Lenovo actually) is doing something different with their flagship phones this year. Instead of releasing just one flagship under the Moto X moniker, they’ve decided to release two new smartphones that do things a bit out of the ordinary. The Moto Z and Moto Z Force not only bring flagship-level specs, but also support for modules.

These modules, called Moto Mods, attach to the back of both phones via magnets. There are only a few available right now, but they actually bring some handy features to the phones. You can purchase an external battery module, a powerful speaker, and even a projector!

They both have killer specs, too. Both devices come with a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage, expandable memory, and run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. You might be wondering – what’s the difference between these two phones? The standard Moto Z is super thin at only 5.2mm in thickness, but it only comes with a 2600mAh battery. The Moto Z Force is thicker, has a 3500mAh battery, and also has a shatterproof display.

These aren’t the cheapest phones on the market, but they’re certainly some of the best.

Specs

Moto Z

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 535ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2600mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.2mm, 136g

Moto Z Force

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 535ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 21MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3500mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 155.9 x 75.8 x 7mm, 163g

Read more

Buy the Moto Z from Verizon
Buy the Moto Z Force from Verizon

HTC 10

Best Verizon Android phones (January 2017)

See more HTC 10 photos

HTC needed a saving grace this year, and the 10 just may be it. The Taiwanese company finally designed a phone that’s different enough from its predecessor yet still sports a familiar design language. With an all-metal chassis, front-mounted fingerprint sensor and a new-and-improved speaker setup, the HTC 10 easily made its way to our best Android phones list.

Under the hood, the 10 comes with some killer specs. A 5.2-inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM are in line with most other flagships this year, and it also comes with expandable storage up to 200GB and a 3000mAh battery that will have no problems lasting an entire day on a single charge. HTC also improved the camera this time around, which was a big flaw in last year’s One M9 flagship.

All in all, the HTC 10 is an awesome device. Great specs and a solid build quality are what you’ll get here… what more could you ask for?

Specs

  • 5.2-inch Super LCD5 display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 565ppi
  • 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 145.9 x 71.9 x 9mm, 161g

Read more

Buy now from Verizon

LG G5

Best Verizon Android phones (January 2017)

See more LG G5 photos

While the Galaxy S7 series is a minor refresh in terms of design, the LG G5 sees a massive departure from the design language used in the G series, ditching the rear volume/power setup that first debuted with the LG G2. The G5 also adopts a unibody metallic design that has a removable cap for access to the removable battery and a port for modules that allow users to expand the phone’s capabilities by adding a camera grip and other special accessories.

The distinctly different design of the LG G5 may not be for everyone, but there’s little denying that LG has went out of its way to try and innovate in a market where big changes like this aren’t all that common.

Spec wise, we’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with 4GB RAM, a 5.3-inch display, and 32 GB storage with microSD for expansion. The specs here are certainly impressive all across the board. It’s also worth mentioning that LG has revamped its software, making it faster and less bloated. One controversial move with the software, however, is the removal of the app drawer in favor of what LG says is a “simplified experience.”

Specs

  • 5.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 554ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 16 and 8MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Removable 2800mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm, 159g

Read more

Buy now from Verizon

How did you like our list? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!

Next:

Best Android phones

2 weeks ago

Best cheap Android phones (January 2017)

There was a time, not all that long ago, that in order to own a powerful smartphone you would either need to commit to a two-year contract, or you would be expected to pay as much as $600 – $800. Thankfully this has changed considerably in the last few years. There are now several manufacturers that offer handsets that bring quality specs and yet are priced low enough you don’t need to take out a second mortgage or sign your life away to a carrier. In this article, we take a look at some of the best cheap Android phones on the market.

Now, obviously the idea of “low-cost” is somewhat subjective. For some folks it is anything under $300, for others it might mean devices that are under $200. With this in mind, we’ll bring you nine devices in all: three that are under $200, three that are under $300, and three that are under $400 — this way everyone wins.

As for how we’ll ‘rank’ the phones? Basically we are looking at a number of factors though price/value ratio is probably among one of the highest factors here. It is also worth mentioning that all devices on this list will be full unlocked, and off contract. For those US readers looking for even cheaper phones and don’t mind going with a locked-down handset through a prepaid carrier, you’ll want to check out our Cricket, AT&T, Boost, T-Mobile and Verizon prepaid lists.

Editor’s note – we will be updating this list as more devices hit the market. This article reflects things from a US/EU centric perspective, though many of these devices and pricing will apply to other international markets as well.

Best phones under $200

Moto G4 Play

See more Moto G4 Play photos

Lenovo’s Moto G4 Play enters the market with a low price tag, solid specifications and a familiar design language we’ve all grown to love.

It sports a 5.0-inch HD display, solid Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB of RAM, and an 8MP rear camera that’s great for snapping the occasional photo. Plus, you get a removable 2800mAh battery, which is a feature many manufacturers have been leaving out of their phones lately.

Specs

  • 5.0-inch IPS LCD display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 294ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 2800mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 144.4 x 72 x 9.9mm, 137g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Nexus 5X (Project Fi only)

Best cheap Android phones (January 2017)

See more Nexus 5X photos

Google chose to release two Nexus smartphones in 2015 – the higher-end Nexus 6P made by Huawei and the LG-made Nexus 5X, which is the true sequel to LG’s beloved Nexus 5 from 2013. Both of these devices feature similar specifications, but they still manage to stand out drastically from one another. The Nexus 5X has a solid Snapdragon 808 processor, a 2700mAh battery and a really great 12.3 megapixel rear-facing camera. It also boasts a fingerprint scanner on the back, a front-facing speaker that provides decent audio quality and of course, this phone runs the latest version of Android.

In our full review, we had just a few gripes. While the Snapdragon 808 processor is very capable of performing just about everything you throw at it, the fact that the 5X comes with just 2GB of RAM makes us nervous for the future. It also only comes with 16 or 32GB of on-board storage with no microSD card expansion, so folks who are used to 32 or 64GB variants will need to rely on cloud storage when it comes to keeping media on the phone.
Considering that the Nexus 6P costed only $120 more than the 5X at launch, it was a tad difficult to recommend this smartphone at the start. Now Google is offering the Nexus 5X on Project Fi for the low price of just $200. If you’re looking for a solid smartphone in this price range and would like to try out Google’s Project Fi network, the Nexus 5X is for you.

Specs

  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 423ppi
  • 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2700mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 147 x 72.6 x 7.9mm, 136g

Read more

See it at Project Fi

Best phones under $300

Moto G4 Plus

Best cheap Android phones (January 2017)

See more Moto G4 Plus photos

The Moto G series has always been among the best bang for your buck smartphones around, and things remain the same with Motorola’s latest mid-ranger, the Moto G4 Plus. It has everything you’d want in an inexpensive smartphone: a big Full HD display, plenty of RAM and onboard storage, and also a great 16MP rear-facing camera. This G4 Plus model also comes with a fingerprint sensor, which is a first for the Moto G line.

The best part? It’s available for just $250 through Moto Maker, so you’ll be able to customize the colors, engraving on the back, greeting, and more.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
  • 2/3/4GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 153 x 76.6 x 9.8mm, 155g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

ASUS ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL)

Best cheap Android phones (January 2017)

See more ASUS ZenFone 3 photos

While the ASUS ZenFone 3 might be a sub-$300 handset, that doesn’t mean it makes many compromises.

In our full review, we told you that the ZenFone 3 is a reliable daily driver, and doesn’t break a sweat while pushing for performance or gaming. Plus, it has a wonderful 16MP rear-facing camera, as well as a battery that will certainly have no problems lasting the entire day on a single charge. Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, this phone is downright beautiful.

When comparing the ZenFone 3’s specs with other devices in this price range, it’s worth noting that you can probably find a similarly-spec’d device for a little less money. Still, if you’re a fan of ASUS devices in general and are looking for a low-cost smartphone that offers very little compromise, you can’t go wrong with the ASUS ZenFone 3.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch Super IPS+ LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
  • 3/4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 152.6 x 77.4 x 7.7mm, 155g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Honor 6X

Best cheap Android phones (January 2017)

See more Honor 6X photos

2015’s Honor 5X has been one of our favorite budget-friendly smartphones for awhile now, but its specifications and software have been aging a little bit lately. Luckily, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor is back with a successor to the 5X, aiming to win over the growing number of consumers looking for a decent smartphone that won’t break the bank.

The Honor 6X sports a big 5.5-inch 1080p display, a zippy Kirin 655 processor, plenty of RAM, 32 or 64GB of on-board storage and microSD card expansion up to 256GB. This device also comes with a feature that we don’t often see on sub-$300 phones – a dual camera setup.

Perhaps our favorite part about this phone is the battery life. While a 3,340mAh unit doesn’t seem all that big, it allowed our Honor 6X to last well into a second day on a single charge. Not bad at all!

This is basically one of the most competitive phones you’ll find in this price range. Dual cameras, a long-lasting battery, an excellent fingerprint sensor and an asking price of only $250… what more could you want?

Specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 403ppi
  • Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 655 processor
  • 3/4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 12 and 2MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,340mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2mm, 162g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Best phones under $400

ZTE Axon 7

Best cheap Android phones (January 2017)

See more ZTE Axon 7 photos

ZTE’s Axon Pro from 2015 was a good phone, but it fell short in a few key areas. It came to market with only one storage option, no expandable memory, and the dual camera setup on the back of the device felt a bit gimmicky. Not only does the company’s latest flagship fix all of those problems, it brings much more to the table.

It has a big 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, the latest Snapdragon processor, plenty of RAM, multiple storage options, and yes, expandable memory up to 256GB. It also sports some killer front-facing speakers, all-day battery life, a great camera, and a sleek, attractive design. While certain parts of the software could use a little more polish, the ZTE Axon 7 goes toe-to-toe with the best in the Android market. It’s also inexpensive at only $400, making this an even more attractive option for folks looking to score a solid flagship device.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 538ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4/6GB of RAM
  • 64/128GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 20MP front camera, 8MP rear camera
  • Non-removable 3250mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 151.7 x 75 x 7.9mm, 175g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Honor 8

Best cheap Android phones (January 2017)

See more Honor 8 photos

Huawei has brought what many have wanted from an affordable flagship for a while now: a gorgeous design, a smaller size, and a great camera. In addition, the Honor 8’s excellent performance and IR blaster are not always common on an affordable smartphone. The Honor 8’s software might not be for everyone, but we think the impressive camera performance and high-end design really make up for it.

While the Honor 8 enters the market in an incredibly competitive price segment, we can say that this is one of the better phones you can buy for around $400.

Specs

  • 5.2-inch LTPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 423ppi
  • HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 145.5 x 71 x 7.5mm, 153g

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

So there you have it – our picks for the best budget-friendly options Android has to offer at the moment. Did we miss anything? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

See also:

Best Android phones

2 weeks ago

Next: Best prepaid phone plans

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

AT&T and Verizon have been engaged in a bit of a cold war for the top carrier spot in the United States for some time now. While both carriers have a great selection of phones, many folks claim AT&T’s selection is a bit broader. AT&T has everything from the best flagship devices to mid-range phones, all the way down to budget friendly options. So if you’re looking for the best AT&T phones, we’ve got you covered.

In the list below, we’ve also added a couple unlocked options at the bottom of the post if you’re interested in going off-contract. Without any further ado, let’s get started!

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.


Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

See more Galaxy S7 photos | See more Galaxy S7 Edge photos

Samsung did a killer job with their 2015 flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Design-wise, many would say those two phones were close to perfect. The company forwent a plastic design and instead included glass front and back panels with an aluminum frame. They weren’t without their flaws, though. The S6 and S6 Edge didn’t offer expandable storage or removable batteries — two features Samsung has been known to include in all its smartphones for years.

Now the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have made their way to the masses, and they fix many of the problems the S6 line introduced last year. While they don’t offer removable batteries, Samsung included expandable storage on both handsets in case the 32GB of on-board storage isn’t enough. Samsung mostly stuck to the same design this time around, though they did shrink down the camera bumps on the back and made the devices a little thicker to make room for larger batteries.

In terms of specs, these are top-of-the-line smartphones. They come with Quad HD Super AMOLED displays, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processors, 4GB of RAM, great 12MP rear-facing cameras and run the latest version of Android. Instead of featuring the same screen sizes this time around though, Samsung kept the S7 at a smaller 5.1 inches, while the S7 Edge has been bumped up to a larger 5.5-inch panel.

Seriously, these are some incredible smartphones. They are a little pricey, but all in all, we think the high asking price is worth it.

Specs

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm, 152g

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3600mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm, 157g

Read more

Buy the Galaxy S7 from AT&T
Buy the Galaxy S7 Edge from AT&T


LG V20

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

See more LG V20 photos

The V20 is basically the phone for power users. It has a a big Quad HD display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, plenty of RAM and on-board storage, dual 16MP rear-facing cameras, and a removable 3,200mAh battery. Of course, the unique Second Screen makes a return this year, along with the addition of Quad DAC, military standard durability, and it’s already running Android 7.0 Nougat.

If top-of-the-line specs and an impressive feature set is what you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with the V20.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 513ppi
    • Secondary display: 2.1-inch IPS LCD display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 513ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • Dual 16 and 8MP rear cameras, 5MP front camera
  • Removable 3,200mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.7 x 78.1 x 7.6mm, 174g

Read more

Buy now from AT&T
Buy now from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

See more Galaxy S7 Active photos

You’re constantly dropping your phone. You always use one of those indestructible phone cases. Your phone has taken a swim more than you have this summer.

Does this sound like you? If so, you should probably pick up the Galaxy S7 Active.

It has mostly all the same specifications as the standard Galaxy S7, but this one comes with a handful of improvements for those who need a more rugged device. It’s IP68 certified for dust proofing and water resistance, and also comes with a MIL-STD-810G certification for salt, dust, humidity, rain, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock resistance. Oh, and it comes with a massive 4,000mAh battery that’s extremely difficult to kill in a single day.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 148.8 x 74.9 x 9.9mm, 185g

Read more

Buy now from AT&T

LG G5

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

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While the Galaxy S7 series is a minor refresh in terms of design, the LG G5 sees a massive departure from the design language used in the G series, ditching the rear volume/power setup that first debuted with the LG G2. The G5 also adopts a unibody metallic design that has a removable cap for access to the removable battery and a port for modules that allow users to expand the phone’s capabilities by adding a camera grip and other special accessories.

The distinctly different design of the LG G5 may not be for everyone, but there’s little denying that LG has went out of its way to try and innovate in a market where big changes like this aren’t all that common.

Spec wise, we’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with 4GB RAM, a 5.3-inch display, and 32GB storage with microSD for expansion. The specs here are certainly impressive all across the board. It’s also worth mentioning that LG has revamped its software, making it faster and less bloated. One controversial move with the software, however, is the removal of the app drawer in favor of what LG says is a “simplified experience.”

Specs

  • 5.3-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 554ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB
  • 16 and 8MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front camera
  • Removable 2800mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm, 159g

Read more

Buy now from AT&T

Going off-contract?

If you don’t mind buying your next smartphone through another retailer, you should absolutely go for Google’s new Pixel or Pixel XL. When you buy one of these phones through the Google Store, you’ll be able to activate it on AT&T’s network. Plus, if you don’t feel like spending $650+ outright, Google also has some decent financing options.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Best AT&T Android phones (January 2017)

See more Google Pixel and Pixel XL photos

Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are here, and they truly are some amazing smartphones.

Not only are they the first phones to ship with the Google Assistant on board, they also come with plenty of exclusive software features and some of the best smartphone cameras in existence.

Under the hood, they sport some killer specs, too. Both devices have an AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage and long-lasting batteries. The overall design of these phones may not be the most unique, but they do feel like premium phones through and through.

There are a few things about these phones that will turn some people away, though. For starters, they only sport an IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, meaning they’re not nearly as waterproof as the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge. There are ways around that, but none that will make the devices truly waterproof. Plus, if you buy the Verizon model, you’ll have to deal with a small amount of bloatware (though you will be able to uninstall it), you won’t be able to unlock the bootloader, and Verizon will be handling all Pixel and Pixel XL software updates (though the company swears it won’t delay them).

If you’re in the market for a new flagship Android phone and don’t mind spending over $650, you should buy the Pixel or Pixel XL… these are two of the best Android phones out there.

Specs

Google Pixel

  • 5.0-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 441ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,770mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 143.8 x 69.5 x 8.6mm, 143g

Google Pixel XL

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 12.3MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,450mAh battery
  • Android 7.1 Nougat
  • 154.7 x 75.7 x 8.6mm, 168g

Read more

Buy now from the Google Store

How did you like our list of the best AT&T phones? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!

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Best Android phones

2 weeks ago

Best Google Pixel Accessories

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Although the Pixel and Pixel XL have been out on the market for a little while now, Google’s flagship family remains one of the best smartphone choices on the market right now. Unlike the Nexus family before it, the Pixel line not only appeals to techies but also to more casual users as well, as evidenced by the continued struggle to keep up with demand over at Verizon. There’s a lot to like about the Pixel and Pixel XL, including beautiful (though clearly iPhone-inspired) designs, fast internals, and stock Android with a few extras including the super powerful Google Assistant.

If you are the proud owner of the Pixel or Pixel XL, congratulations! Now it’s time to make a great thing even better by pairing it with the right accessories. Some of these add-ons are no brainers, like the new Daydream View VR headset and a quality case. What other accessories do we recommend? Keep reading to find out.

See also:

Google Pixel XL review: a Pixel’s perspective

October 27, 2016

Official cases

Best Google Pixel Accessories

One of the most obvious Pixel and Pixel XL accessories would be an official case, and Google has quite a few options here. First up is the clear case. As the name suggests, the transparent case lets you show off the design of your phone, and the ultra thin case barely adds any bulk or thickness to the device. There are precise cutouts for power button, volume rocker, speaker, charging port, camera, and fingerprint scanner. The clear case is priced at $30.

Get the Clear case for the Pixel
Buy the Clear case for the Pixel XL

The next case offers a little more protection, and is built with three protective materials, including a silicon exterior that offers grip and shock absorption, a polycarbonate core that adds support, and finally, a premium microfiber interior. The buttons are covered, and the case is available in a slew of color options, including pink, blue, green, and black. This case is priced at $35.

Buy the Pixel phone case
Buy the Pixel XL phone case

Finally, you have the Live case, that lets you create your own case design, from a slew of choices ranging from artwork, your own photos or others, or even maps of places of your choice. Every case will get a downloadable live wallpaper that complements it. As far as the protection goes, this case is at the same level as the clear case above. The Live cases are priced at $40.

Get a Live case for the Pixel or Pixel XL

Interested in more case options? Check out our official Pixel and Pixel XL case roundup.


Daydream View

Best Google Pixel Accessories

Daydream represents a big leap forward for Google’s VR vision, which first began humbly with Google Cardboard. The Google Daydream View is an official Google-made VR headset that is built with the Pixel and Pixel XL in mind. The headset is made of a fabric material that is super comfortable to wear and once connected you are immersed in a special UI that includes its own versions of Google Play, YouTube and more. The Daydream View also includes a special motion controller allowing you to become more deeply immersed in your VR world.

For more details on the Daydream View be sure to check out our full review.

Buy now from Google Store

Google Pixel Desktop Charging Dock

Best Google Pixel Accessories

Looking for an attractive and easy to use cradle for your Pixel or Pixel XL? The Encased Google Pixel desktop charging dock could be exactly what you’re looking for. With a built-in Type-C compatible port for charging, this nice dock keeps your phone charging while you are at your desk or at your beside table while you’re asleep. The design also makes it easy to still use your phone for things like video chatting, using Google Assistant, navigating through your music apps, and more. The dock not only charges your phone but includes a cable that works with syncing to your computer as well, which is a nice little extra.

At a hair over $26, this accessory is a bit more than the cost of a charger, but it could be perfect for those that are looking for a better way to prop up and display their phone instead of laying it on its back or display.

Get it on Amazon

Chromecast

Best Google Pixel Accessories

If you’re looking for a simple streaming device that works flawless with your Pixel or Pixel XL, there are no better options than the Chromecast. With support for all your favorite apps from Spotify to Netflix and even a growing selection of games, the Chromecast is a great buy that starts at only $35. With the Chromecast, your phone acts as the remote, with Google’s casting technology quickly passing things over from your phone to your TV.

If you are looking for full 4K support there’s also the new Chromecast Ultra. At $70, the Ultra is a great bit more expensive, but the added benefit of 4K could make it worth it for some buyers.

Buy the Chromecast
Buy the Chromecast Ultra

Dual Port USB Type-C Rapid Wall Charger

Best Google Pixel Accessories

While your Pixel or Pixel XL obviously came with a charger in the box, the reality is that many of us have multiple mobile devices these days so having extra ports comes in handy. Google’s official Type-C rapid charger might not be the cheapest option on the market, but it’s designed to quick charge the Pixel (as well as earlier Nexus devices) with support for up to 15W on a single port. There’s also a 1.8-meter long cable that gives you plenty of flexibility when it comes to ensuring you can reach the cable to plug in your phone.

Buy from Google Store

Anker PowerCore+ 20100 mAh

Best Google Pixel Accessories

While the Pixel and Pixel XL have pretty solid battery life, a power bank can always come in handy and Anker is one of the best bets when it comes to power bank brands. The Anker PowerCore+ packs 20100 mAh and is comes in at $50.99 on Amazon. Along with the 10 LED capacity indicator, the PowerCore+ has 2 USB ports outputting power at 2.4A each, and a USB Type-C port. Included in the box is the power bank, a USB to USB Type-C cable which is used to quickly charge the power bank, a travel pouch, and a micro USB cable. Keep in mind that you don’t just charge the power bank using type-C, there’s also Type-C output, meaning you can charge your Nexus 6P (or whatever have you) from the battery charger as well.

The Anker PowerCore+ also utilizes a number of special technologies to help ensure the best experience possible, such as PowerIQ, a proprietary technology used to replicate the charging protocol of each device to ensure safe and efficient charging. VoltageBoost is another proprietary technology that detects cable resistance in order to provide a steady charge.

Buy on Amazon

CHARGED Quick Charge 3.0/2.0 & USB C

Best Google Pixel Accessories

If fast charging is what you want then the CHARGED 3.0 has you covered with 4 ports including a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 port which is the latest tech and also a USB Type C along with 2 smart USB ports that will give your devices the proper power they need to charge as quick as possible. The QC 3.0 port also quick charges Quick Charge 2.0 devices. This charger has all the latest technology and will serve you for some time. While the Pixel doesn’t use these standards officially, it should still charge at faster speeds through this charger, and any existing mobile devices you have will also play nicely here.

The CHARGED Quick Charge 3.0 is currently priced at $14.99.

10% OFF Coupon Code: QC3CAR10 (Enter this code at checkout to receive 10% off)

Buy at Amazon

iOttie Universal car mount

Best Google Pixel Accessories

While car docks aren’t an absolute must, I think you’ll find that pairing your Pixel or Pixel XL with a solid car dock will make life in your car that extra bit sweeter. The iOttie Universal car holder features a one touch mount system that lets you lock the device in place and release with just a press of a single button. Sticky gel pads allows for the holder to be stuck to most surfaces, and comes with a telescopic arm to allow for closer viewing of the screen. The holder can accommodate almost every smartphone, with the allowed width going up to 3.5-inches. The iOttie car holder is priced at $24.95.

Get it on Amazon

Any other Pixel or Pixel XL accessories you feel are worth picking up that we didn’t list? Let us know about them down in the comments.