THESE Are The Best Phones You Can Buy Right NOW

Reviews Michael Grothaus 13:27, 27 Nov 2015

So many to choose from, but which are the best smartphones of 2015? Here's our pick

Mobile contract wrapping up at the end of this year? Time to consider what you're going to upgrade to then. Or, alternatively, maybe you buy devices outright with a SIM-only contract - lower overall cost, but more upfront - and maybe you've had your current handset for a good few years now? If you're mulling over a new smartphone then look no further, we've taken a long hard look at the very best 2014 and 2015 have produced from every major manufacturer, and this is the list of what we think excels - what is really worth spending your hard-earned cash on.

The good news is you are spoiled for choice right now. There's a plethora, a veritable smorgasboard of different devices for every conceivable taste. Here at KYM we all have our favourites, but we are also frequently asked which phones are the "best". Well, really, what's best depends on what you want it to do. Are you a shutterbug? You need a great camera. Constantly watching videos? A good display is essential, then. And, of course, everyone wants great battery life!

The bad news is that 2014/15 wasn’t an especially AMAZING year for releases, or at least not for there being a broad pool of good stuff.  A lot of phone makers who'd been met with a lukewarm reception just kind of drilled down on what they’d done the previous year. HTC, LG and Sony for instance didn’t do anything particularly exciting, but it was a great year for the big hitters. Apple's iPhone 6 and Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 EDGE far exceeded any previous launches by both manufacturers respectively - the best either has ever had to offer. In the latter part of 2015, things picked up somewhat with solid releases, again, from Apple, with its iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, Google, with the Nexus 6P, and Samsung with the Galaxy Note 5. There were also a few new BlackBerry and Windows 10 handsets released as well. 

Basically, there is something for everybody in today's marketplace. However, despite the subjectivity, there are some clearly outstanding smartphones across the iOS, Android, and Windows 10 ecosystems. Here are the eight we like best (in no particular order).

Nexus 6P 

After the washout that was the Nexus 6, Google needed something special for 2015 in order to rekindle interest in its Nexus line of smartphones. The Big G turned to Huawei to achieve this and the Chinese phone maker well and truly came up with the goods! The Nexus 6P is easily the best Nexus handset ever produced. It looks utterly fantastic and it performs just as well. 

The device has awesome specs and hardware and looks great with its premium metallic chassis. Never before has Google’s Nexus line felt quite so, well, awesome. We pitted Google’s new handsets against one another in our Nexus 5X vs Nexus 6P piece, so if you’re interested in how they compare be sure to check it out!

iPhone 6s (average price £459)


We’ve been long time iPhone fans and Apple has really outdone themselves with the iPhone 6s. Rare of an S-year upgrade cycle, the iPhone 6s features major improvements across the board including the amazing 3D Touch display which adds a new layer of multitouch interaction. The improved cameras with Live Photos support and the insanely powerful A9 chip round out why this is the best iPhone ever.

From our iPhone 6s Review

The iPhone 6s, as expected, doesn’t look like much from the outside. It is exactly the same as the iPhone 6, save for the slight difference in weight, and Apple has largely left the aesthetics alone, meaning if you weren’t a fan of the plastic strip and nubbin-style camera sensor then, well, you’re not going to like this one all that much either.

The only physical change that is noticeable aboard the iPhone 6s is its new colour -- rose gold. Beyond this the handset is simply a refinement of what came before. Apple has improved the camera, performance in general, thanks to the A9 chipset, and added in a bunch of new functionality with 3D Touch.

Samsung Galaxy S6 (average price £599)


Without a doubt the Galaxy S6 is one of the best Android handsets on the market. The S6 is a vast improvement over the S5, eschewing a plastic body for aluminum. It also got a radically upgraded fingerprint sensor (that actually works now), wireless charging, and a heart rate sensor. Just as the iPhone 6s is the best iPhone Apple has ever put out, the Galaxy S6 is the best smartphone Samsung has ever made.

Below is an extract from our Samsung Galaxy S6 Review

"Impressed. Very, very impressed. This is the handset Samsung fans have been waiting for… an actual contender that surpasses Apple’s iPhone in almost every regard. Samsung might have made some erroneous mistakes in the past but all is forgiven now because the Galaxy S6 is easily one of the finest handsets I’ve ever tested. It's great at imaging. It performs great. It looks great. Hell, it’s even got a decent battery life AND a QHD display.

"And it is this latter point which makes the Galaxy S6 so damn compelling. I’ve never tested a QHD handset with decent battery life, even the one’s with HUGE 3000mAh+ setups. This is a HUGE USP for Samsung and one it will likely continue to exploit in 2015 with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, which is tipped to feature an even more powerful screen –– not that you need one."

LG G4 (average price £499)


One thing Samsung put the lid on with the S6 was the removable battery–something most smartphone makers have done. If you’re still looking for a flagship with a removable battery, however, the LG G4 is your phone. It’s also the only smartphone with unique offerings of leather or ceramic backplates (great for those that don’t like all-metal phones). And add in that 16MP camera with optical image stabilization and the LG G4 is a hard Android phone to pass up.

iPhone 6s Plus (average price £539)


This list is primarily dominated by Android handsets–mainly because Apple’s latest iPhone only comes in two models, which is fine considering how awesome the iPhone 6s Plus is. It’s got all the great features of the iPhone 6s, but add in a large 5.5-inch display and a camera with optical image stabilization and this is the iPhone that’s for users who like the biggest screen real-estate and best quality images for their iOS device.

HTC One M9 (average price £579)


The HTC One M9 is probably the best looking Android smartphone on the market. It’s got a beautiful brushed metal body that comes in gold on gold, gold on silver, and gunmetal grey on grey color options. Inside you’ll find a killer Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM. Another nice thing is that it has retained its microSD card slot–something which some flagships are starting to abandon–so you can upgrade the storage of the M9 on the cheap.

OnePlus 2 (average price £239)


The OnePlus 2 was probably one of the most hyped Android phones this year. That’s because everyone loves an underdog and OnePlus came fighting out of the gates not a few years ago to take on the big players in the Android world. With the OnePlus 2 the company has made great strides, but it’s still not going to be enough to compete with other Android flagships. That’s because the OnePlus 2 lacks NFC, a microSD card slot, wireless charging, and a removable battery. It also only comes in in 16GB and 64GB storage sizes. That being said, it does feature a new USB Type-C port and the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core processor. And then there is the price: the 16GB model is just £239 and the 64GB model is only £289–by far the most cost effecting phone on this list.

Nokia Lumia 950 (average price £449)


The last phone on this list technically isn’t out just yet–it ships December 3rd. But when it comes out it’s going to be one of the best Windows Phone’s ever made. It will also be one of the first to run the new Windows 10 OS. Besides boasting Microsoft’s impressive looking Windows 10, the Lumia 950 features a Snapdragon 808 64-bit Hexa-core processor, 5.2-inch WQHD (1440x2560) OLED display, 3GB of RAM, a massive 20MP f/1.9 PureView camera with triple LED flash, a USB Type-C port, Qi wireless charging, and an Iris scanner. If you’re looking for a new Windows Phone to close on 2015, the Lumia 950 is your guy.

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