Read about the best new mobile phones of the year, from the high-flying flagships to the low cost options that aim to please budget-conscious buyers.
When ranking the best new mobile phones there are lots of things to think about, including design, hardware, software and price. For anyone looking to upgrade their handset at the moment there is an almost overwhelming amount of choice. Hopefully this list will make things simpler, as it includes options from mainstream big-hitters like Samsung and Apple while also taking a look at alternative models that are equally worthy of your attention. So sit back, relax and prepare to find out all you need to know about the mobiles that will make waves in 2017 and beyond.
In Memorium: Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Yes, we know this phone is no longer available due to its reputation for overheating and exploding but during its short lifespan it was without a doubt the best smartphone ever made. We’ve included it in this list to give you an idea of what to expect from new handsets later in 2017 including the Samsung S8, Note 8? and iPhone 8. The Note 7 was solidly built with a curved Gorilla Glass 5 screen. It was water resistant for about 30 minutes and came with an incredible 5.7 inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display with 4GB Ram and 64GB of storage as standard. The battery life was excellent and it was widely recognised as having the best screen and camera available in the smartphone market. How are we going to beat that? Over to you Apple, Samsung, HTC etc….
Motorola Moto Z
Modular mobile phones may not be a mainstream hit quite yet, but the Moto Z comes closer than any of its competitors to offering impressive add-ons that expand its functionalities in interesting and relevant ways. It is also the thinnest phone in the world, before the modular upgrades are factored in, while also pre-empting the iPhone 7 range by ditching the traditional 3.5mm headphone socket to slim down as much as possible. This may irk some, but with a uniquely future-proof design it is undoubtedly innovative and fundamentally appealing. Its modular add ons include a camera module with a 10x optical zoom, external speakers, a cinema projector and cases with built in battery boosters.
Google Pixel (and Pixel XL)
The first smartphone to be released under the Google brand, the Pixel is best known for its excellent cameras (12.3 megapixel and 8 megapixel) which gives excellent low light performance and colour reproduction. A rear-mounted fingerprint scanner helps keep your data secure, while the inclusion of the latest Android 7.0 software means its far ahead of the competition in terms of software. The phone looks great and comes with a 5 inch, full HD display and useful fast charging mode. 32GB and 128 GB models are available. The larger XL comes with a larger 5.5 inch screen.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Apple may have suffered lower sales than usual following the launch of its latest handset range, but the iPhone 7 Plus still packs plenty of promising features that make it a worthwhile step up for loyal customers. The 5.5 inch 1080p screen, A10 Fusion processor and twin 12 megapixel cameras come together to boost its appeal, especially in comparison with the smaller 4.7 inch iPhone 7 which lacks the dual camera configuration and is therefore a less sensible investment for owners of the iPhone 6S or indeed the iPhone 6S Plus.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Critically acclaimed and eminently stylish, the S7 Edge packs a 5.5 inch screen like that of the iPhone 7 Plus, but outdoes its closest competitor thanks to the fact that this display is curved and has a higher QHD resolution. The capacious 3600mAh battery is also a boon, giving it plenty of life from a single charge, while the expandable storage and premium build quality will convince many people that its high asking price is one worth paying, even in the face of Samsung’s current issues with the newer Galaxy Note 7.
A terrific alternative to the S7 Edge and iPhone 7 Plus, the LG G5 packs top tier specifications (4gb Ram, 32 GB storage) but can often be snapped up at a more affordable price point, helped in part by its manufacturer’s smaller share of the market. A 5.3 inch QHD screen is big without being oversized, while its removable battery is a boon for people who worry about the lack of replacement options on many other modern mobiles. It also has two cameras on the rear rather than one to expand its photographic horizons, while modular add-ons give buyers more flexibility for future upgrades. The modular upgrades are fun and include slide out battery packs, 360 degree cameras, VR headsets, external speakers and a camera plug in.
Relative unknown OnePlus has made a name for itself with its first two releases, so its third-generation flagship is unsurprisingly one of the best new mobile phones around. Aside from its value-conscious price point, it benefits from a 5.5 inch screen, blistering fast Snapdragon 820 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage capacity. There is no microSD memory card slot here, which is a minor downside, but in all it captures the essence of what makes modern mobiles great – power, performance and value for money wrapped up in an attractive package.
While it may have fallen from grace in recent years, HTC has responded to its decline by building phones that are more focused on excellence in one or two key areas. With the 10, audio playback is king and it not only bests its rivals thanks to its built-in speakers, but also delivers unrivalled performance when you are using headphones. A 5.2 inch QHD screen, Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM are all present and correct, so it is a good Android all-rounder even if music is not your life.
Making the move away from cheap and cheerful handsets, Huawei has forged a new niche for itself in the mobile market and the flagship P9 is its latest calling card. It achieves a position as one of the best new mobile phones thanks to its slender design and impressive array of components, from the octa-core Kirin 955 chipset to the dual 12 megapixel primary cameras and 8 megapixel front-facing snapper. Android Marshmallow is installed onboard, with few adornments in place to ensure that the user experience is swift and uncluttered.