THE SMARTPHONE MARKET IS BECOMING ever more competitive, making it increasingly difficult to choose which handset you should throw your money at.
Buyers are spoiled for choice, so we've compiled a list of our favourite smartphones so you can see which one best fits your needs, whether you're after a handset with a high-resolution display like the Galaxy S7, a physical keyboard like the BlackBerry Priv or a smaller phone such as Apple's iPhone SE.
Keep this page bookmarked, as we'll update it when another worthy contender is launched.
The Pixel XL, along with the smaller Pixel, are the first "made by Google" smartphones, and sees the firm looking to take on Apple at its own game.
It gives the iPhone a run for its money in the specs department, too, packing a 5.5in QHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 innards, a high-end metal and glass design and Google's AI-fuelled Assistant software, that claims to be more intelligent than Apple's Siri offering. It's also one of the first smartphones to run Google's Android 7.0 Nougat operating system.
Check out our full Google Pixel XL review.
Apple's latest smartphone isn't all that different from the iPhone 6S before it, but it adds some features that may persuade many to upgrade. First off, it's the first water-resistant iPhone, meaning it's the most clumsy-proof yet. There's also new internals, upgraded cameras, a slick new(ish) design and bigger storage options.
Of course, it's also the first iPhone to dump the headphone jack and use Apple's proprietary Lightning connection for charging and audio output.
Read our full iPhone 7 review.
The OnePlus 3 is the first iteration of the smartphone to finally deliver on its self-acclaimed "smartphone killer" status. It has a slick aluminium design, a Snapdragon 820 processor, a decent 3,000mAh battery that'll get you through a full day and a 16MP Sony IMX 298 sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 on the rear.
Most importantly, the OnePlus 3 is still a bargain at £329 after the Brexit-influenced price hike (it was originally £309).
Read our full OnePlus 3 review.
Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung's latest duo have quickly proved to be the firm's most popular smartphones yet. Improving on last year's Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have added IP68 certification making them fully waterproof, and feature microSD slots, a feature sorely missing on last year's models.
The Galaxy S7 Edge is the star of the show with its 5.5in curved display, which now comes with the ability to showcase third-party Edge apps. The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have the same premium metal and glass design, 12MP rear-facing cameras and plenty of power courtesy of Samsung's Exynos 8890 processor.
In a bid to stand out from the crowd, LG equipped the G5 with a quirky modular design, allowing you to switch out the battery and pair a whole load of accessories and add-ons to the smartphone.
There's also a dual-camera set up, with a secondary 8MP wide-angle lens that has a field of view that's greater than the human eye, according to LG. The handset also has a pixel-sharp 5.2in QHD display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, and Google's latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow software, kitted out in LG's UX 5.0 skin.
Check out our full LG G5 review.
HTC has been keen to big-up its latest handset's camera as the standout feature. The handset has only one rear-facing camera, unlike the LG G5 or Huawei P9, but HTC claimed that the 12MP 1.55um UltraPixel camera, which features the "world's first optically stabilised, larger aperture f/1.8 lens", is the best quality on the market with a DxOMark score of 88.
The HTC 10 also features a unibody metal design with chamfered edges making it just 3mm thick at its skinniest point, complete with a fingerprint sensor which HTC claims unlocks in 0.2 seconds, and a USB Type-C port on the bottom.
Check out our full HTC 10 review.
Apple's 4in iPhone SE is by no means the highest-spec handset on this list, but it's the best for those after a smaller, more affordable phone that delivers top-end performance.
It may look nearly identical to the iPhone 5S, but the specs are more in line with the iPhone 6S. You'll find the same A9 processor, a Touch ID sensor, and a 12MP rear-facing sensor with dual-tone flash. The 1,650mAh battery is not as big as that found on Apple's top handset, but is the best we've seen on an iPhone yet.
Check out our iPhone SE review.
Chinese firm Huawei is quickly cementing its place as one of the biggest names in the smartphone market, and hopes that the Huawei P9, with its premium design and Leica-certified cameras, will help to grow its share even further.
Those cameras are the big selling point here. The dual-lens system has colour and monochrome 12MP sensors, as well as a dual-tone LED flash and a laser autofocus system.
According to the company, the advanced camera technology on the Huawei P9 lets in 90 per cent more light than the Galaxy S7, and 270 per cent more than the iPhone 6S. The Huawei P9 also features a unibody metal design, a 64-bit Kirin 955 chipset and Google's Android 6.0 Marshmallow software.
Check out our full Huawei P9 review.
Microsoft Lumia 950
The Lumia 950 is the first, and probably one of the last, Windows 10 Mobile-powered smartphones from Microsoft, offering Cortana voice control, Continuum support and Universal Apps.
The smartphone impresses on the hardware front with 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 of storage which can be expanded by a whopping 2TB thanks to the microSD slot. The Microsoft Lumia 950 is also one of the first smartphones with USB Type-C, which the firm claims means you can juice up the smartphone to 50 per cent in just 30 minutes.
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 with a 5.4in QHD screen. The high-end specs continue throughout with 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 smartphone from Sony and has the same IP65/IP68 dust-tight, waterproof design as its Xperia Z3+ predecessor.
This rugged case 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, but this thankfully doesn't overheat like that found in the previous model. The Xperia Z5 also brings Sony's next-generation camera sensor, the larger 1/2.3 Exmor RSTM for mobile with a 23MP sensor and F2.0 G lens.
Check out our Sony Xperia Z5 review. µ
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