Time flies. It seems like yesterday that we were running our second quarter Top 5 Android phones. Alas, that was back in April, and we’re already back with our top 5 Android phones for the third quarter of 2015.
There aren’t many changes this time. We have the addition of the G4, which easily deserves its place in this list for various reasons, and we’re still including two phones that launched last year but continue to impress us even today. That’s pretty rare in an industry where specs are seemingly updated every couple of months.
Then we have our wild cards, two phones are included this quarter, and both deserve some sort of mention. One isn’t available yet, while the other is about to receive a much anticipated successor. Without further ado, let’s dive into the top 5 Android smartphones for July 2015. And please, as always, keep in mind that these are in no particular order; each phone has plenty of pros and cons.
Galaxy S6/Galaxy S6 Edge
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are almost identical, save for the “Edge” on the latter, so we’re including both in the same bucket here. These devices received critical acclaim at launch, praised for their incredible Quad HD AMOLED displays, killer cameras, Qi/PMA wireless charging, beautiful industrial design and speedy Exynos processors. They’re both easily among the best Android smartphones you can buy right now, though we do wish the battery life was a hair better.
The Nexus 6 might not offer the fastest processor on the block, and some might find it a bit big, but it’s also your best bet for early access to Android updates, including the latest Android M release. We love its massive 6-inch Quad HD display, in addition to its front-facing speakers, built-in wireless charging and decent battery life (depending on the version of Android you’re running). The camera isn’t the best on the market, but everything else is more than enough to balance that out.
The LG G4 is probably a personal favorite right now. Its Snapdragon 808 processor can get sluggish at times, but the camera is a pleasure to use in almost all situations, the battery easily lasts through a day, and the microSD support means it’s easy to expand the storage – something a lot of flagships aren’t offering right now. The same can be said about its removable battery, a feature Samsung ditched for the first time in its flagships this year. The G4 is a perfect phone for folks who still value those features, in addition to a great camera.
HTC didn’t quite launch the best flagship of this year with the One M9, but it’s still a noteworthy smartphone. You’ll find a Snapdragon 810 processor under the hood — one of the few flagships with that this year — and a 20-megapixel camera, microSD expandable storage, a wide-angle front-facing camera, plenty of software customization options thanks to new support for themes, and the front-facing BoomSound speakers we know and love. Package all of that into a beautiful metal body, and you have yourself the One M9.
Galaxy Note 4
Yep, we understand the Galaxy Note 4 was announced back in September, which is like a decade in Android phone terms, but it’s still one of our favorite devices on the market. The huge display paired with an S Pen makes it a productivity and multimedia powerhouse. You also still have the removable battery and expandable storage — two features that might be ditched with the Galaxy Note 5 — a really solid camera and great battery life. It was also the first phone to support Gear VR, now joined by the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, which continues to blow us away.
The Xperia Z4v isn’t out yet, so it’s still a wild card pick. Still, the Verizon-bound smartphone is everything the Xperia Z4 should have been, and we can’t wait for it. The Xperia Z4v packs a Quad HD display, 32GB of storage with a microSD card slot, a 20.7-megapixel camera with support for shooting up to 12800 ISO, Qi/PMA wireless charging, a large 3,000mAh battery and more. Better yet, it’s water and dust resistant, which means it can survive a dunk in the lake this summer.
The OnePlus was on our top 5 list once upon a time, and we’re including it in the wild cards really to discuss our enthusiasm for its successor, the OnePlus 2. We know it’s just over the horizon with an announcement coming on July 27. OnePlus has so far confirmed the OnePlus 2 will feature a modified Snapdragon 810 processor, a fingerprint reader and USB-C. Depending on the price, this could be one heck of a popular smartphone in the coming weeks.