They come in a variety of shapes and designs-- with touch screens and without. They run a variety of operating systems, yet they're the best tools among the smartphones we've reviewed to get the job done when it comes to email, web and document management.
iPhone 6Apple's mainstream phone is larger now at 4.7", but it's still hand and pocket friendly. The IPS display is stunningly colorful and sharp with great viewing angles, and the newest iPhone is fast thanks to the Apple A8 dual core 64 bit CPU. The iPhone 6 has an aluminum body finished in silver, space gray or gold, and it's available with 16, 64 or 128 gigs of storage. It has a very good rear 8MP camera with fast lens and the Touch ID fingerprint scanner that will work with Apple Pay for mobile payments. Editor's Choice 2014.
All major carriers
Samsung Galaxy S6 & Galaxy S6 EdgeWhat a difference a year makes. Samsung's new mainstream sized flagship phones for 2015 are every bit as attractive and elegant looking as the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9. Clad in glass and aluminum, both the GS6 and S6 Edge are classy and attractive phones whose looks match the excellent features inside. From the scrumptious 2560 x 1440 Super AMOLED displays to the fast 2.1 GHz Exynos octa-core CPU these phones are winners. There's a much more reliable fingerprint scanner, a sharp 5MP front camera and an excellent 16MP rear camera with OIS and 4K video capture. Editor's Choice 2015.
All major carriers
iPhone 6 PlusIt's Apple's first phablet, or really big smartphone if you hate that label. The iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5" full HD IPS display that's one of the best, long battery life, a crazy slim design and as ever an attractive unibody aluminum design. The phone runs iOS 8 on Apple's dual core, 64 bit A8 processor with multi-core graphics and 1 gig of RAM. You can get it with up to 128 gigs of storage and in your choice of silver, space gray or gold. Is it a handful? Yes it is. Is it wonderful for watching videos and playing games? You bet! Editor's Choice 2014.
All major carriers
Google Nexus 6This year Google is attacking the phablet market with their 6 inch Nexus 6. It's back to the high line too, with the device priced at $649 full retail and unlocked. The big 4 US carriers will also offer the Nexus 6, so you'll have payment and contract plan options. The Nexus 6 runs on the fastest CPU currently available in an Android smartphone, the quad core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 with Adreno 420 graphics and 3 gigs of RAM. It's available in 32 and 64 gig capacities. It has 4G LTE on 12 bands, WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and a GPS. Surprisingly for Google and Moto, who don't have the best track record with phone cameras, the Nexus 6 has a capable 13MP rear camera with a Sony sensor.
All major carriers, unlocked
LG G4The LG G4 is the company's best high end smartphone yet. With an evolution of the LG G3 design that makes a 5.5" phone seem manageable, a comfortable curve and new leather backs that simply look stunning, it's hard not to like the looks. The LG G4 has a QHD IPS quantum 5.5" display, a truly impressive 16MP camera with a fast f/1.8 lens and OIS, a sharp 8 megapixel front camera and a removable 3,000 mAh battery. The phone runs Android Lollipop 5.1 with LG UI on the 1.8 GHz Snapdragon 808 CPU with 3 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. The LG G4 will be available on most carriers in June.
All major carriers
HTC One M9The HTC One M9 is every bit as gorgeous as the One M8. In fact it has a little more polish, literally and figuratively, and I'd say it's the best looking One yet, though some might have trouble telling the M8 and M9 apart at first glance. The HTC One M9 runs Android 5 Lollipop with HTC Sense software on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core CPU clocked at 2 GHZ. It has 3 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot HTC stuck with the same 5" 1920 x 1080 LCD 3 display as the M8, but upgraded the rear camera to a traditional 20MP model.
all major carriers
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 The fifth generation Samsung Galaxy Note goes high style with a glass and metal design that matches the Samsung Galaxy S6. Undeniably the best looking Samsung phablet to date, the Galaxy Note 5 is also faster, has an even better display and some of the best cameras you'll find on a phone. Like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the new S6 Edge +, the Note 5 runs Android 5.1 and TouchWiz on the 2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 CPU with 4 gigs of RAM and fast UFS 2.0 storage. It has a 5.7" QHD Super AMOLED display, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and the venerable S Pen, but it loses the removable battery and microSD card slot that were staples of previous Note models.
All major US carriers
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+The super-sized version of the Galaxy S6 edge sports a stunning 5.7" QHD Super AMOLED display with side curves. The phone is available in gold and black, and it's a stunning looking piece. Inside, it's mostly the same internals as the Note 5 (minus the pen) and Samsung Galaxy S6. It runs Android 5.1 and TouchWiz on the 2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 CPU with 4 gigs of RAM and fast UFS 2.0 storage. The edge+ has a 5.7" QHD Super AMOLED display, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor and a front 5MP camera and rear 16MP camera.
All major US carriers
Moto X (2nd gen) Once again Motorola mixes extreme fashion with a low price tag, but the 2014 Moto X amps up the specs to battle the flagship competition. The Moto X has a 5.2" AMOLED display, this time running at full HD 1080p resolution. It's wildly colorful with impressive contrast. The Android 4.4 KitKat phone will get the upgrade to Android L and it runs on the Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, just like other high end phones. You can order it with your choice of 25 different back colors, including 4 wood and 4 leather options, and it's one of the best looking smartphones money can buy. The Moto X is available as an unlocked GSM phone with LTE 4G and both AT&T and Verizon sell it too.
AT&T, Verizon and unlocked GSM
Sony Xperia Z3 CompactSony proves that good things come in small packages. The 4.6" Z3 Compact sports flagship specs and a striking design, yet it's one of the few small pocket and hands friendly Android phones. It's ever so slightly smaller than the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Alpha with which it competes and it weighs just 4.55 ounces. The phone is water resistant and it has a colorful and sharp Triluminos display. The Z3 Compact runs on the same 2.5GHz quad core Snapdragon 801 as the 5" and larger competition, and it has dual band WiFi ac, an excellent rear 20.7MP rear camera with large Exmor RS sensor, LTE 4G that works with AT&T and T-Mobile in the US and a big 2600 mAh battery. If you're hankering for a smaller phone and use a GSM carrier, be sure to check it out.
Motorola Droid Turbo The long-lived Droid line of Android smartphones on Verizon Wireless featured angular, masculine designs, raucous screeching robot startup sounds and industrial wallpapers. Moto has evolved, and the Droid Turbo is a more modern and less ominous phone. There's more to the Droid Turbo than updated looks and a cleaner OS: its specs outdo the 2014 Moto X and all flagship Android phones currently on the market except the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The Droid Turbo runs on the latest, greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad core CPU with Adreno 420 graphics, 3 gigs of RAM and 32 or 64 gigs of storage. It's called the Turbo because it comes with Moto's turbo charger in the box, and that's a charger that supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 for extreme quick charging. It has a 3900 mAh battery- impressive, as is the QHD AMOLED display.
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3An inexpensive unlocked phone doesn't have to feel like a handful of compromises. Take the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, a stylish and extremely slim $249 Android 5.0 Lollipop phone with a 5.5" full HD IPS display, a respectable though not class-leading Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, good battery life and even more rare--4G LTE for US carriers. If you use a GSM carrier like AT&T and T-Mobile, then the Idol 3 will work, with no need for a contract or renewals. You can also use it overseas for travel. The OneTouch Idol 3 runs on the octa-core, 64 bit Snapdragon 615, a midrange CPU. It has 2 gigs of RAM, 16 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot. It has dual band WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, NFC and a GPS.