Update: Our best phone list has added new smartphones from Samsung, Motorola and, in a surprise, ZTE. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launch today is surely going to make the cut before the end of September, too. Here’s our new rankings.
Knowing the best smartphone you can buy in 2016, is more than just a hunch for us. We test out the latest and – sometimes – greatest phones in comprehensive mobile phone reviews.
To drill down to a list of our 10 favorites in the US this year, we based the updated rankings on a lot of geeked-out factors: design, performance, battery life, camera quality and software updates.
Sure, your personal preference among iOS 10, Android Nougat and Windows Mobile 10 could sway you to another device besides our top-ranked phone. Likewise, your contract with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile is a personal outlier. The best phone for AT&T may not be available on-contract on Verizon, and vice-versa.
But that’s why we have more than just a No. 1 pick, which, spoiler alert, isn’t Apple’s iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus. We’re not that predictable. Before you lock into a binding contract or spring for an expensive unlocked, SIM-free smartphone, consult our best phone guide, updated regularly.
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10. LG G5
Mods are best innovation in a smartphone we’ve seen
OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.3-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | RAM: 4GB |Storage: 32GB | Battery: removable 2,800mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP
LG’s back, and with an innovative bang. This is a phone that’s designed to fall apart – well, come apart at least. You see, in addition to the clever dual camera, there’s a clip at the bottom that lets you remove and swap out the battery – like old times (i.e. 2014 for Samsung fans).
That’s good news because many new phones lack a removable power pack, and this one actually goes beyond that with new modules. Attach an Hi-Fi audio module for better speakers or a battery-infused camera grip to take almost as many vacation photos as you want.
We’re still waiting for the B&O audio module to make it to the US, but there’s promise that it’ll come along with additional LG G5 modules. It’s another ‘alternative’ phone from LG, and we’re big fans, especially at $99 on contract if you shop well enough.
Also consider: Last year’s LG G4 isn’t a million miles away from this phone in terms of spec, and it’s a darn sight cheaper now. It’s not got the attractive metal body, but if you can rustle up the leather variant you’re getting an absolute steal of a smartphone.