THE SMARTPHONE MARKET IS BECOMING ever-more competitive, making it more and more difficult to choose which handset you should throw your money at.
With buyers being spoiled for choice, we've compiled a list of our favourite smartphones available for you to buy, so you can see which one best fits your needs - whether you're after a smartphone with a high-resolution display like the Galaxy S6 or LG G4, a phone with a physical keyboard like the BlackBerry Priv, or a phone that will protect you from government snooping like Silent Circle's Blackphone.
Keep this page bookmarked, as we'll update it when another worthy contender is launched.
Huawei Mate 8
Huawei, keen to cement its place as the world’s third most-popular smartphone maker, took to this year’s CES to announce that the 6in Mate 8 smartphone will be soon be coming to the UK.
While Huawei’s usual custom features are onboard - such as its nifty ‘knuckle tap’ screenshotting tool and it's selfie-ruining 'beauty mode', the Mate 8 will arrive as one of the first phones to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow straight out of the box. It’s also one of the first to offer a two-day battery life, according to Huawei, which claims its 4,000mAh battery will offer more than 48 hours of juice. The Huawei Mate 8 also challenges the big-name smartphones with its octa-core Kirin 950 processor, 16MP Sony IMX298 rear-facing camera and iPhone-esque Champagne Gold model.
Check out our Huawei Mate 8 review.
Moto X Style
Given Lenovo’s recent bombshell that it plans to drop the Motorola brand, the Moto X Style could be the last flagship smartphone out of the company.
Taking aim firmly at the likes of the Galaxy S6 and Xperia Z5, the Moto X Style packs a high-resolution QHD screen, which comes powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 chip and Android 5.1.1 Marshmallow, which Motorola has left largely untouched. While few changes have been made to the software, the device is offered through the firm’s Moto Maker website which means you can customise the backplate and accents to make the Moto X Style your own.
Check out our Moto X Style review.
Microsoft Lumia 950
The Lumia 950 is the first, and likely one of the last, Windows 10 Mobile-powered smartphones from Microsoft, offering baked-in Cortana voice control, Continuum support and Universal Apps.
The smartphone impresses on the hardware front, too. You’ll find a 5.7in 2450x1440 QHD screen, or a 5.7in display if you opt for the bigger Lumia 950 XL, alongside a dual 20MP rear-facing cameras and 32GB built-in storage which you can expand by a whopping 2TB thanks to the onboard microSD slot. The Microsoft Lumia 950 is also one of the first smartphones to offer USB Type-C, which the firm claims means you can juice up the smartphone to 50 percent after just 30 minutes on charge.
Check out our Microsoft Lumia 950 review.
This is the first time BlackBerry has found itself on our best smartphones list, thanks to the launch of its first Android-powered device.
The BlackBerry Priv marks the first time the firm has ditched its own software in favour of Google's more popular alternative. In a bid to stand-out in the market, BlackBerry has kitted out the Priv with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which comes paired with a 5.4in QHD screen. The high-end specs continue throughout, and you'll also find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 18MP rear-facing camera and 3,140mAh battery.
Check out our BlackBerry Priv review.
The Xperia Z5 is the latest flagship smartphone out of Sony, and offers the IP65/IP68 dust-tight, waterproof design as its Xperia Z3+ predecessor.
This rugged casing houses a 5.2in Full HD screen, and comes with a quirky fingerprint sensor on its side for unlocking the device. There's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor under the hood, but this thankfully doesn't overheat like that found inside the previous model. The Xperia Z5 also brings Sony's next-generation camera sensor, the larger 1/2.3 Exmor RSTM for mobile with 23MP sensor and F2.0 G Lens.
Check out our Sony Xperia Z5 review.
The Nexus 6P will be the first smartphone to ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, along with the Nexus 5X.
Not only is it the first Marshmallow-powered smartphone, it's also the first metal-clad handset to come out of Google. The Huawei-build handset sports a unibody aluminum casing, housing the phone's 5.7in QHD screen, Nexus Imprint fingerprint sensor and a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2.1 octa-core processor, that comes backed up by 3GB RAM. The smartphone also features a 12.3MP camera complete with a 1.55μm sensor that, according to Google, will see the smartphone outperform the iPhone 6S Plus when it comes to photo taking.
Check out our Nexus 6P hands-on review.
iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are the latest flagship smartphones out of Apple, and they improve on their iPhone 6 predecessor with added 3D Touch technology, upgraded internals, and a new 12MP rear-facing camera sensor.
3D Touch means that, much like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus handsets feature displays that are able to measure degrees of pressure as well as movement, offering a new and intuitive way to navigate around iOS. The handset's upgraded A9 chip, according to Apple, makes the iPhone 6S is 80 percent quicker than its predecessor, while the new 12MP sensor pits it against the likes of the Xperia Z5 when it comes to its photo-taking smarts.