2015 isn’t even half way through yet and already we’ve had one hell of a year. For flagship buyers, this year has seen Samsung up its game in a big way with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, with the LG G4 giving power users a great option that (almost) has it all with few compromises other than not necessarily having the latest and greatest CPU. We’ve also seen flagship devices from HTC, Huawei, and a (so far) Japanese only launch of Sony’s Xperia Z4 flagship.
Some of the recurring themes for 2015’s flagships seems to be premium design, optimized software, and less gimmicky extras. It’s a path we are happy to see, as manufacturers are starting to realize that the overall user experience and the looks of the phone matter more to most consumers than just the spec sheet or feature list.
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Of course, flagship is only one side of the coin. The budget world has also seen some pretty big changes in 2015. While last year saw Motorola and OnePlus lead the pack when it comes to “specs and performance for the money”, this year there are more OEMs pushing into this space with hopes of turning the entry and mid-level markets on their heads. Although Huawei’s attempt at a budget friendly yet powerful device appears to have been less successful, at least judging by our full review, Alcatel OneTouch and Asus have really raised the bar in 2015.
Both the Asus ZenFone 2 and the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 give us near flagship level performance and aesthetics while keeping the price tag under $300, both also have even lower-cost variants for those who are really tight on money (or simply don’t want to spend it on a phone) that bring pricing to the sub-$200 range. It’s also worth mentioning that this year’s Moto E (2015) is also an impressive device for the money, though at sub-$150 pricing, it obviously doesn’t compare to the former two devices when it comes to specs.
So which of these phones is the best in their class? We leave that to you, our dear readers. Participate in our polls below and let us know what is your favorite flagship and mid-ranger for 2015 so far.