Top 5 Android smartphones

Let’s pretend for a second, that price won’t matter and we can have all the cash in the world or pretend that companies will willingly give you one week testing periods before charging your credit card. I’m pretending that Samsung, LG, Google and Motorola will gladly give me some high-end Android phones so that I can play with them for a week and give them back if I’m dissatisfied. That’s probably never going to happen, but I would still like to introduce you to my top 5 Android phones list. The smartphones on this list are pure evil, in my opinion, and many of them made me into the tech-freak I am today.

Jokes aside, there are many Android phones to choose from out there, starting from entry level phones for with sub $100 price tags like those in the Android One line from Karbonn, Spice an Micromax. Then there are mid-range phones with price tags between $200 and $400, like the HTC Desire 820, Galaxy Alpha line from Samsung, Sony Xperia E3, Moto G, Lumia 830 and Galaxy Grand Prime. Then there are the high-end flagships which will cost your anywhere between $500 and $1000. In this category, Android phones like the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, HTC One M8, LG G3, Motorola Moto X, Lumia 1020 or the Oppo Find 7. Had enough? There’s another category, though, the underdog flagship category. You can find phones like the Meizu MX4, Huawei Ascend Mate 7, OnePlus One, Xiaomi Mi4, Oppo N1, Oppo Find 7A, Huawei Ascend P7 and Lenovo Vibe Z2 in this category. These phones, or most of them, are well bellow flagship prices, but sport specs equal, if not better than popular smartphones.

Since you’ve got so many options you can choose from and Android is one of the favorite and most well-regarded operating systems out there, you can clearly end up totally confused at the end of your smartphone hunt. I want to try to make it easier for you and give you my top 5 Android phones list so that you might be able to narrow or broaden your search area. Anything goes, as long as it’s a good bang for buck ratio and you can find it in stores. Here you go!

5. OnePlus One

The OnePlua One flagship killer, as it has been dubbed, is nr 5 on this list because of its awesome bang for buck ratio. There are two things that can be called outstanding about the OnePlus One. The first one is that you can’t buy it just like that, you need to get your hands on an invitation from somebody who already has a phone. There will be a period of pre-orders at the end of October, so if you’re interested in the OnePlus One, you will be able to buy it without an invitation. The other outstanding thing is CyanogenMod, the ROM installed on top of Android which offers endless possibilities to customize your Android experience. You can get the OnePlus One for $300-350 and the Android device offers specs comparable to the Galaxy S5 or HTC one M8.

The OnePlus One has a 5.5 inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution display with 401 ppi, Snapdragon 801 quad-core Krait 2.5GHz backed by 3GB RAM and 16 or 64 GB internal storage, 3100 mAH battery but no microSD card slot. The OnePlus One sports a 13 MP. 4128*3096 pixel rear snapper with autofocus, dual-LED flash and features like touch focus, face detection, HDR and geotagging. It’s also capable of shooting video at 2160p@30fps, 2160p(DCI)@24fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps, HDR and stereo sound recording. Its front cam is a 5 MP shooter (1080p@30fps), perfect for your selfie needs.

4. Galaxy Note 4

The Galaxy Note 4 is one of the most popular devices you can think of right now, and not by accident. Besides the behemoth size and specs of the device, the Note 4 has the added benefit of a wonderful Super AMOLED screen which is already being called the best you can find out there. Samsung did well with this design, making it attractive to all kinds of customers. TouchWiz overlaid on Android has been improved for the device and you can benefit from hundreds of apps and features designed especially for the Galaxy Note 4 S Pen stylus. Sure, it’s an expensive device and you’ll probably have to buy if with a contract, but if you prefer unlocked, it will set you back around $750, the least.

The Galaxy Note 4 display is a 5.7 inch Super AMOLED display with a 1440*2560 resolution and 515 ppi, and the device has a fingerprint sensor built in. The Galaxy Note 4 sports either a quad core Snapdragon 805 CPU or an Exynos 5433 CPU, the former being clocked at 2.7 GHz, while the latter is an octa core configuration. The Galaxy Note 4 has 3 GB RAM to work with as well as 32 GB expandable internal storage. If you choose the Snapdragon 805 CPU configuration, it will come with the Adreno 420 CPU whilst the Exynos configuration will bring the Mali-T760 GPU. The Note 4 has a 16 MP rear sensor with LED flash, autofocus, optical image stabilization and features dual shot, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, HDR, face and smile detection, panorama and HDR, as well as a 3.7 MP shooter on the front.

3. LG G3

LG is my go-to brand when it comes to smartphones, because I’ve grown up on LG phones and have learnt to work with their UI on top of Android. That being said, it’s not the reason why the LG G3 is on this list. The LG G3 is on this list because it encompasses everything good LG could do with Android. The LG G3 is the best phone LG has ever made and it quickly won the hearts of many Android enthusiasts thanks to its great screen that rivals the Galaxy Note 4, great specs and a pretty good design that appeals to a wide audience. It’s also appropriately priced at around $500, which is mostly standard for an Android flagship.

The LG G3 sports a True HD 5.5 inch display with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 534 ppi. A powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor running at 2.5 GHz powers the LG G3 with an Adreno 330 GPU, a 13 MP camera with OIS+, a massive 3.000 mAh Li-Ion battery and 2GR/3GB RAM options aboard. The device comes in 16GB/32GB internal storage variants with a microSD card slot good for up to 128 GB additional memory. LG G3 currently runs on the Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system.

2. HTC One M8

This particular device has won over many Android fans and is currently the number one smartphone for many gadget reviewers. Besides being a beautifully sturdy and well-designed phone, the HTC One M8 impresses with great specs and a 4 MP dual camera that performs surprisingly well. Even though the phone doesn’t have any water or dust proof certification, it’s been known to survive the most harsh conditions. The One M8 will retail for around the same price as the LG G3 and will surely become your soul mate if you decide to get it for yourself. The big selling point of the One M8 is its speaker setup: front facing BoomSound speakers that will blow your minds. Oh, and you can choose an Android or a Windows version, although the Android version is the one relevant right now.

You get a 5 inch Super LCD3 screen on the device, with a 1080*1920 resolution and 441 ppi pixel density. The HTC One M8 runs on a quad core Snapdragon 801 CPU with Adreno 330 GPU, backed by 2 GB RAM and available in 16 or 32 GB storage configurations, expandable via microSD card. The HTC One M8 has a 4 MP dual camera with a depth sensor on the rear and a 5 MP selfie shooter.

1. Huawei Ascend Mate 7

The Ascend Mate 7 might come as a surprise to most of you reading an top Android phones article, mainly because the phone isn’t even on the market yet.  But I feel that the Ascend Mate 7 deserves this spot already, because it manages to impress with its design and powerhouse specs, combined with a very low price. The Ascend Mate 7 can easily rival the Galaxy Note 4 for around $500, which in my mind, is an extraordinary bang for buck ratio. What I prize most on the Mate 7 is its screen, which constitutes most of the phone actually. The bezels on the Mate 7 are among the thinnest I’ve seen, even though they’re not as invisible as the Aquos Sharp bezels. It also has a fingerprint sensor which reportedly works better than any other fingerprint sensor on the market. Overall, I like the idea behind the Mate 7 and I like that the company is trying to get the latest technology into the hands of those who can’t afford to pay a thousand bucks for a phone.

The Huawei Ascend Mate 7 display is a 6 inch IPS LCD screen with a 1080*1920 resolution and 368 ppi pixel density. The Mate 7 has Emotion UI 3.0 overlaid on Android and it will look familiar since it borrows some of the iOS 7 design elements. he Ascend Mate 7 runs on an octa core HiSilicon Kirin 925 CPU backed by a Mali-T628 GPU. The Ascend Mate 7 has 2 GB RAM available for the 16 GB expandable storage configuration and 3 GB RAM for the 32 GB expandable storage configuration. A 13 MP rear sensor with LED flash and autofocus, featuring geo-taggin, HDR, face detection and panorama, as well as a 5 MP front shooter are also included in the package, alongside a massive 4100 mAH battery. Even though the camera could have been better, the Mate 7 is a powerhouse. I’m curious to see how it will fare on the market, as the Mate 7 is set to launch by the time the holiday season kicks off.

Bonus round: Sony Xperia Z3

I added this bonus round because the Sony Xperia Z3 running on Android 4.4 KitKat absolutely deserves a special mention in this top 5 Android phones. I must be honest, I do not like the design Sony chose for their smartphone line, as much as I don’t like the Lumia design. It seems to be a bit boxy and rigid, but I can certainly live with it. I chose to include the Xperia Z3 because it’s possibly the smartphone with the best battery life you can get out there, for a relatively affordable price, of course. I really enjoy that Sony keeps things simple with the overlaid UI on Android and I also appreciate that the Xperia Z3 has a great camera setup and IP68 certification. It’s actually a powerhouse and deserves all your attention, even though Sony hasn’t been doing so well in smartphone revenue lately. A new device is coming up (besides the Xperia Z4) which will supposedly be a phablet version of the Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3X and the gadget seems like a powerhouse from what we’ve been hearing, even more so than the Xperia Z3.

The Xperia Z3 has a 5.2 inch screen with 1080*1920 resolution and 424 ppi pixel density. It runs on a quad core Snapdragon 801 CPU with Adreno 330 GPU, backed by 3 GB RAM and either 16 or 32 GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card. We have a 20.7 MP main shooter and a 2.2 MP selfie camera at hand, everything running on Android 4.4.4 KitKat. You will make use of a 3100 mAH battery on the Xperia Z3 and the phone will leisurely last you for 2 straight days.