If you’re in the market for a flagship smartphone in India and are not going the iPhone way (pretty much why you’re here), you’d still need to make the decision amongst the bunch of top-of-the-line smartphones, each offering one or two marquee features while offering a well-rounded Android experience.

There are some gorgeous looking devices, several powerhouses brimming with features, and few with incredible camera optics leading to a staggering variety of attractive phones.

However, form and function are subjective, and often the specifications sheet or the marketing pitch doesn’t tell you the complete picture. In this roundup, we’re looking at the absolute best Android smartphones that you can buy in India right now, and the ones you can’t go wrong with.

Editor’s note: We will update this list regularly as new phones launch in India.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL



The Pixel and Pixel XL came out of nowhere and established themselves as the best Android smartphones of 2016. The design didn’t impress many on the first glance, there was only IP53 rating for dust and water resistance, and the compulsive high price to position it against the iPhones didn’t make a good recipe.

But it packed the best smartphone camera in the market at the time, and packs in a punch under the hood with a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, plenty of on-board storage, and long-lasting battery – all in all making for the smoothest, pure Android experience.

While we are almost looking at the next generation – Pixel 2 – this fall, the Pixel or Pixel XL are two of the best Android phones out there at the moment. Despite not being perfect, they’ve got a lot going for them. While they were priced at ?57,000 and above at the launch, you can get one for just ?44,000 now – a pretty good deal! Did I mention they have the best camera out there?


Specifications

Google Pixel

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

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus



It’s not hyperbole to suggest that Samsung brought respect to flagship Android smartphones when the Android smartphones were merely chasing iPhones, the ‘best’ smartphone for most people back in the day. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in 2015 (and the Galaxy Note 5), Samsung flagships put behind their days of catching up, and stood out on their own.

The well-documented issues faced by the Galaxy Note 7 casted a shadow over Samsung’s mobile efforts, but the company’s latest flagship devices have all the hallmarks of being one of the best phones of 2017.

There’s that excellent design, outstanding display, wireless charging, and IP68 dust and water resistance. However, its voice assistant needs a lot of polish. It might not be the absolute best phone, but as with previous years, it’s likely to be the best phone for most users.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is available at ?57,900 and the Galaxy S8+ is available at ?64,900, and while they are one of the most expensive devices on this list, for most people, it’s worth the spend.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S8

  • 5.8-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 570 ppi
  • 64-bit octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, expandable up to 256 GB with microSD card
  • 12 MP rear camera with OIS, 8 MP front camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery with wireless charging
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm, 155g

Samsung Galaxy S8+

  • 6.2-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display with 2960 x 1440 resolution, 570 ppi
  • 64-bit octa-core Samsung Exynos 8895 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, expandable up to 256 GB with microSD card
  • 12 MP rear camera with OIS, 8 MP front camera
  • 3,500 mAh battery with wireless charging
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm, 173g

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LG G6



LG’s return to form involved going back to basics. From the unique 18:9 display to the dual camera and excellent overall package, there’s a lot to like about the LG G6.

It performs well, has an excellent camera, flagship-worthy battery life and features that people want, such as wireless charging and water resistance. The new 18:9 screen pushes the envelope of smartphone functionality and combined with the super slim bezels, LG has proven that a big display doesn’t have to mean a big phone.

But what makes it a highly recommended smartphone even when Samsung Galaxy S8 gets all the buzz? That’s because the LG G6 is available at less than ?40,000! That’s a crazy great deal for one of the best smartphones of the year.

Specifications

  • 5.7-inch 18:9 QHD+ IPS LCD display, 2880 x 1440 resolution, 564ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4 GB of RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2 TB
  • Dual 13 MP rear cameras with OIS, 5 MP wide-angle front camera
  • 3,300 mAh battery, with Quick Charge 3.0 and wireless charging
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with LG UX 6.0
  • 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm, 163g

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HTC U11



A lot of people root for HTC, but the last couple of iterations of their flagship smartphones were only hit-and-miss. With the HTC U11, the Taiwanese company has got its groove back.

With its fantastic build quality, top-of-the-line specs, a squeezable chassis, and stellar camera, the U11 will tick all the right boxes for most users. The overall experience is rounded out with a rich audio experience and unique Edge Sense feature, making HTC’s latest flagship a truly compelling package.

The HTC U11 isn’t a phone that should be overlooked by any means, and thankfully at ?51,990, HTC has priced it right – which the company rarely does.

Specifications

  • 5.5-inch Super LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 534 ppi
  • 2.45 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 128 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 12 MP rear camera with OIS, 16 MP front camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat with HTC Sense
  • 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm, 169g

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OnePlus 5


The OnePlus 5 may be the most expensive flagship from OnePlus to date, but it is jammed pack with features and comes with an insane spec sheet that makes it worth every penny.

Yes, it’s missing a few key extras like expandable storage and water resistance, and the design sure isn’t going to please everyone. But it’s cheaper than most other flagships in the market today.

Starting at just ?32,999, the OnePlus 5 continues to peddle its affordable flagship pitch – but this time around, it also brings an experience that is on par, and in some ways above the competition (Dash Charge!). Simply put, one can’t go wrong with picking up a OnePlus 5.

Specifications

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 2.45 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 6/8 GB of RAM
  • 64/128 GB of on-board storage, no microSD expansion
  • 16 MP + 20 MP dual camera, 16 MP front camera
  • 3,300 mAh battery with Dash Charge (5V/4A)
  • Android 7.1.1 Nougat with OxygenOS
  • 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm, 153g

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Honor 8 Pro



While the OnePlus 5 got all the buzz for being the affordable flagship, the Honor 8 Pro landed to spoil its party.

It’s got one of the best chipset in the house, a high-resolution display that looks gorgeous, and a good enough dual camera… all packed in a very stylish and solid chassis. The Honor 8 sPro is nothing short of a fantastic flagship smartphone in 2017.

At just ?29,990, the Honor 8 Pro has managed to squeeze in a well-rounded flagship device in mid-tier price segment.

Specifications

  • 5.7-inch QuadHD LTPS-IPS LCD display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 401 ppi
  • HiSilicon Kirin 960 processor with Mali-G71 GPU
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • 128 GB of on-board storage, with microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • Dual 12MP rear camera with hybrid AF, 8 MP front camera
  • 4,000 mAh battery with 18W fast charging
  • Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI 5.1
  • 157 x 77.5 x 7 mm, 184g

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And that’s a wrap! What do you think of our list of best smartphones in India? Let us know your favorite device!

Abhishek Baxi
A technology columnist and a digital consultant, he quit Microsoft in 2011 to go independent and write more, watch a lot of movies, and travel randomly.