Motorola Moto X
After the Moto X, you won’t want to go back to any other Android. It’s smart, fast and beautifully crafted. Motorola’s software works together seamlessly to make your life that bit easier and its brilliant Moto Maker means a personalised top-spec smartphone like never before. The Motorola feels like it’s built for everyone, something made even sweeter by the price. It’s no budget Moto G, but it is a reasonable US$550 ($720) for the 32GB model. Who could say no to that? LG surprises us again. There’s barely a single thing wrong with the G3… and so, so much that’s right. Upgrades range from sleeker back buttons to the bigger, better 2K screen and laser-assisted camera. And it still lasts 15 hours. How do they do it?
Apple iPhone 6
With its slim, deeply attractive build and software overhaul, the iPhone 6 is the freshest-feeling iPhone in years. Its larger screen is big enough to be a useful improvement, with gorgeous colours, and this is Apple’s best ever battery.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best sub-5in Android phone around. The power of a full-size flagship, an excellent camera and an impressive battery life are all crammed into a device that’s a pleasure to use no matter the size of your digits. Impressive stuff. Only just toppled by the new LG, HTC’s flagship phone has enough power to take it to the top of the AnTuTu benchmarks. It’s a beaut to look at and to use, and it’s even got a whole load of Lytro-style post-snap refocus features for photographic fun.
HTC One M8
Samsung was first at the phablet game, and with the Note 4 it’s still the best. The ace camera, Multi Window feature and pressure-sensitive S Pen make proper use of the extra screen real estate. Plus, it has the longest battery life of any 2K phone we’ve tested.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Sony Xperia Z3
The refined Xperia Z3 is the phone the Z2 should have been and every bit as good as that sounds. It’s sleeker and easier to hold, but with the same stunning screen, camera and hi-res audio. Not to mention the incredible battery life. PS4 Remote Play is due soon. Believe the hype. To get one of the best smartphones on the planet, you don’t need $1000 or $80 a month any more. You just need an invite. In terms of design, performance, screen and battery life you simply can’t get better than this for anywhere near $400.
Big, bold and stuffed with tech, the Galaxy S5 is a bona fide superphone that will delight Samsung fans, although it has some very stiff competition. It has a faster processor, a slightly bigger screen and a more solid (if not quite stylish) feel than the S4.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Dollar-for-dollar, this is undisputedly the best Android phone you can get for your money. At just $169 without contract for excellent performance, solid hardware, and the gorgeous MIUI, you’ll be hard pressed to find a realistic alternative.