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12 Best Android Phones in 2016


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Only interested in Android smartphones? If so, our best Android phone round-up has all the top handsets all in one place. Your next mobile is on this list.

Winter is coming, and it's the perfect time to upgrade your old phone. Whether you're looking to save a few pennies and pick up a stunning budget smartphone in the Moto G4 (2016) or blow the bank with the Google's first ever Pixel phone this list has something for everyone.

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Those other great choices include the beautiful HTC 10 which is a return to form for the Taiwanese brand, the Leica-branded Huawei P9 and the S7's curvier Edge toting brother. Oh, and don't forget about the Nexus 6P – we gave it 5-stars last year and it's one of a few phones to run the Android Nougat update.

So click forward to find the best Android phone for you.

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Best Android Phone 2016: What you need to know

Not sure what you need, or even how to choose from the selection above? Here are a few pointers to get you started.

What size Android phone should I buy?

Smartphones in general are getting bigger and bigger. Some of you might remember Steve Jobs explaining at the launch of the original iPhone back in 2007: "It’s got a three-and-a-half-inch screen on it. It’s really big."

Fast-forward to the present day and 4-inch smartphones are the smallest, and often cheapest, handsets out there. They’re good for children and users who don’t care for games and multimedia content, but even 'mini' Android phones like the older Sony Xperia Z5 Compact have at least 4.5-inch screens.

5-inch screens are far better for watching movies and playing games on, but they’re right on the edge of too big if you have small hands. Anything between 4.5 and 5.1 inches is generally considered the perfect combo of portability and a display that's good for browsing, gaming and more.

You can, of course, go even larger than this. Phones with 6-inch screens, often called "phablets", are growing in popularity. They’re a good option if you have a long commute, as their larger screens are perfect for watching films, playing games and reading. However, we recommend trying one out in a shop first if you’ve never owned a phone this big before.

Related: 6 Best Phablets in 2015

Will I get the latest version of Android?

Google is constantly looking at ways to improve the Android operating system, and releases major software updates on a regular basis. But that doesn’t always mean the phone you're buying will get that update.

The latest version is Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, which is making its way onto existing smartphones. However, many current handsets still run Android 5.1 Lollipop or even 4.4 KitKat. Google has also just announced Android N, but that won't be coming until later on in the year.

Read our Marshmallow update guide to find out if and when your phone will get the latest version.

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Other things to consider

Finally, you need to think about extra features. Things like NFC, water-resistance, fingerprint scanners and microSD card slots may just seem like bonuses, but they can dramatically improve the overall user experience of a smartphone.

A microSD card slot is a good idea if you want to watch lots of downloaded videos or music, and it’s an essential feature on some cheaper phones that have limited built-in memory. Any phone with 4GB or less of storage will need a microSD card slot.

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