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What is the best phone? Announcing Best of Android 2015!

Which phone is the best of the best? The one that stands out from all of the rest and the best that money can buy? Which should be top of your Christmas list this year? Let's find out - welcome to Best of Android 2015!

Published onDecember 7, 2015

What is the best phone? The one that beats all others? The best of the best that money can buy? Which should you ask Father Christmas for this year?

If you’re a tech aficionado, this is probably a question that you’re asked quite often. We know we are. Because we’re often asked for advice on what the best phone to buy is, we thought we’d help answer this question for you with the ultimate smartphone comparison.

Welcome to Best of Android 2015.

This year has seen OEMs launch an abundance of smartphones into the market place, ranging from the entry level to the ultra high-end, that remain on many people’s wishlists. If there’s one thing that’s clear from this year, it’s that you don’t always have to pay the ultimate price for the ultimate smartphone. But if you do have a larger budget, which handset should you splash your hard earned cash on?

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To answer this, we’re looking at several key areas where the best flagship smartphones need to perform, and ranking six of the finest smartphones in the ultimate shootout. From the quality and clarity of the display and the audio, to the performance, battery, camera, and the overall user experience, we’re conducting the ultimate smartphone comparison and crowning our Flagship of the Year 2015.

With so many devices released this year and the lines between flagship and midrange becoming ever blurred, we’ve picked the flagship handset from six OEMs to find out which is truly the must have smartphone this year. Which devices have made the cut, we hear you ask? Let’s find out:

Why these 6? Each is the flagship for that particular OEM and the handset that tops many people’s Christmas shopping lists. Google’s Nexus 6P is the ultimate Pure Android experience, Motorola’s Moto X Force boasts the ultimate in smartphone protection and the Galaxy Note 5 remains Samsung’s finest, even if it’s elusive for users in Europe. BlackBerry’s Priv brings back the cool factor of old, the LG V10’s second screen is unique, and the Xperia Z5 Premium is the world’s first 4K smartphone.

Each handset has a feature that makes it stand out from the rest, but now it’s time to find out which is the handset that rules them all.

Over the next week, we’ll be bringing the ultimate smartphone comparison in a bid to crown the ultimate smartphone. We know that some phones look great on paper when tested in laboratories, only to fail in real world conditions. So we’ve conducted a test of both. To win this crown, the best smartphone has to be great in both subjective and objective tests.

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Here’s what we’ve got in-store:

  • Display: which handset is the brightest and has the most accurate colours? Should you buy an LCD or an AMOLED device? When your phone says 50% brightness, is it REALLY 50%?
  • Audio: which handset has the loudest speaker, the best audio and offers great headphone performance? Is 24-bit DAC really better than 16-bit DAC?
  • Battery: which phone has the best standby time, can play back video the longest and can browse the Web for hours on end? How do the handsets stand up to some battery benchmarking? Just how fast do smartphone batteries charge?
  • Performance: how good is the CPU, RAM, ROM and GPU? Which device is for you if you need the ultimate all-rounder, the best for high-end gaming or the ultimate multitasking powerhouse? How long can each handset record 4K and 1080p video for, before overheating, and just how hot do they get with 4K video recording?
  • Camera: arguably one the most important smartphone features, which is the camera that handles multiple scenes with ease? Which is the ultimate camera in your pocket that you can rely on in your time of need? From low light to daylight, 4K and panorama, which smartphone camera is truly the king of imaging?
  • User Experience: which smartphone has the killer feature that tops the rest? Is the Priv’s hardware keyboard and dual curved display? What about the Z5’s 4K display and waterproofing or the Galaxy Note 5’s monster specs and S Pen? Maybe it’s the V10’s second screen and high res audio, or the Nexus 6P’s affordable price for a premium smartphone and Pure Android experience? Or if you have butter fingers, maybe the shatter proof durable Moto X Force is the smartphone that’ll stay by your side?

This week we’ll dive into smartphones like never before and deliver our definitive verdict on which truly is the smartphone of the year 2015. We hope you’ll join us here on the website and over on our YouTube channel. It promises to be a fantastic journey and we’d love to have you along for the ride.

We’re going to be running Best of Android 2015 over the next seven days with a new installment every day at 10am EST. We’re kicking things off with the ultimate display comparison, so join us at this time tomorrow to find out if you should be looking at Quad HD or 4K for your next smartphone.

Check out all the comparisons on the Best of Android page

In the meantime let us know which smartphone you think is going to win in the comments below, and cast your vote in the poll, which closes at 11:59 am PST tomorrow. You can influence the winner of our readers choice award. We’ll compare the results of the poll and our own testing in the roundup, where we’ll crown the crème de la crème of mobile technology.

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