Number 10: Nexus 6
Here at TechRadar, we check out every phone under the sun, putting the ones that matter through our rigorously vigorous testing process to create our indepth mobile phone reviews.
However, with so many to choose from, we’ve spent hours whittling them down to a top ten, taking into account the power, specs, design and most importantly: value for money, although we’ll always point you in the direction of the latest handsets – after all, nobody wants to be carting around a phone that doesn’t get any updates in a year’s time, right?
So whether it’s one of the many slick Android handsets, the latest iPhone or one from a range of other cool operating systems, we’ve extensively tested them all so you don’t have to!
Here are our rankings for the best smartphones around, currently available in Australia.
10. Nexus 6
Google’s best ever phone is also its biggest ever
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.96-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 3,220mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 2MP
Google’s latest Nexus is a phone that moves away from the usual ‘super cheap superphone’ and into phablet territory with its latest offering. The good news is the screen is also supercharged: massive at 6 inches, it’s also got a stunning QHD resolution.
You’ll always be getting the latest updates to Google’s Android OS with this one, and while it’s certainly something you’d have to use two handed (make sure you’re fine with that before buying, as it’s put a lot of people off that we’ve shown it too) it’s tremendous display, premium specs and great use of Android 5.0 Lollipop make one of the best phablets to date.
It’s not cheap, but it’s the best Nexus ever made. And, when you think about it, you’re not going to need to hold onto your money, as you’ll require both hands to grab onto this two-handed monster.
- Nexus 6 review
Number 9: Sony Xperia Z3
9. Sony Xperia Z3
A solid phone with a good screen and excellent battery life
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.15-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 3,100mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera: 2.2MP
The Xperia Z3 is a phone that offers the best of Sony with some really polished tweaks thrown in for good measure. The screen is one of the brightest around and really benefits from Bravia technology, and the longer battery life embarrasses a number of other big smartphones around at the moment.
We do expect more from the camera, and the black bezels above and below the display ruin the aesthetic somewhat, but the ability to Remote Play your PS4 more than makes up for it – it’s a really cool feature and means you can keep gaming while someone else is hogging the TV.
The Z3 is a brilliant phone with a few rough edges – but Sony’s also great at bringing the cost of its handsets down, so this represents really good value for money for a flagship.
- Sony Xperia Z3 review
- See the best Sony Xperia Z3 deals
Number 8: iPhone 6 Plus
8. iPhone 6 Plus
Apple’s first bigscreen phone is a stunner
OS: iOS 8 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Memory: 1GB |Storage:16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2,915mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
Put simply, this is the bigger version of the smaller iPhone 6. But Apple’s done a bit more with its first phablet, with some increased specs to offset that higher price.
The screen is Full HD and really packs some stunning colour reproduction. The camera on the back host optical image stabilisation, so pictures looks sharp and also brighter, thanks to more light being let in.
The iPhone 6 Plus also has something that’s eluded iPhone fans for years: a really good battery, with Apple using that extra space to cram in a few more mAh units.
It’s one of the most expensive phones around, and is bettered on spec by a few others – but if you’re an Apple fan looking for a ‘bigger’ experience, this is the phone for you.
- iPhone 6 Plus review
- See the best iPhone 6 Plus deals
Number 7: Samsung Galaxy Note 4
7. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung’s latest phablet is the best bigscreen phone available
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 3GB | Storage: 32GB |Battery: removable 3,220mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 3.7MP
Samsung created the phablet category and continues to lead it, cramming in so much technology into the Note 4 while bringing the S Pen stylus that many love to use.
The main thing we love is the screen though: Super AMOLED technology combined with QHD resolution means a pin sharp display, and one that we just can’t take our eyes off, with the bigger size actually working to show off the extra pixels.
It’s not cheap, and the interface isn’t as clean and clear as on the Samsung Galaxy S6 range, but that could all change soon – in which case, this is one of the most fully featured phones that rewards those willing the pay the premium and put the time in to learn its powers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
- See the best Samsung Galaxy Note 4 deals
Number 6: Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
6. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
A small Android phone packed with big features
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 4.6-inch | Resolution: 1280 x 720 | Memory: 2GB | Storage: 16GB |Battery: 2,600mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera: 2.2MP
Less powerful with a lower-res screen than its bigger brother, the Z3 Compact still uses most of the high-end specs, fuses them with things like Remote Play and the 20.7MP camera, and does it all at a really low cost for a phone of this power.
The 4.7-inch display makes this one of the best phones to hold and use in day to day life, and it’s also got a brilliantly long-lasting battery too, so if you’re not a fan of the gargantuan models on show, there’s a lot to love with Sony’s mini flagship.
The best of Sony in a smartphone – if that’s what you’re after, this is the phone to go for. It’s the ergonomics and the price that impress, and while it’s not quite got the spec sheet of the main Z3, it feels a lot more polished.
- Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review
- See the best Sony Xperia Z3 Compact deals
Number 5: LG G3
5. LG G3
A superb flagship phone for an excellent price
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 | Memory: 2GB/3GB |Storage:16GB/32GB | Battery: removable 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera:2.1MP
The LG G3’s main selling points are simple: price and an ultra clear screen. It’s got a lot of other technology in there to attract you too, but it’s those two elements that show it off so well, as well as fan favourite features like a removable battery and memory card slot.
LG has always offered a premium experience for a lower price than its rivals, and with a QHD screen it’s got four times the pixels of some phones on this list, and it also comes with a number of other enhancements too – although with those extra pixels packed in, the display is a bit darker than others on the market.
Laser-based auto-focus? Check. Improved design? Check. Overhauled and simplified UI? Double check. It’s a little big for some hands, thanks to the 5.5-inch display, and the camera isn’t up to scratch – but for the price it’s easy to forgive those elements when there’s so much else to love in this handset.
- LG G3 review
- See the best LG G3 deals
Number 4: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
4. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Curving into the future with impressive specs
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | Memory: 3GB |Storage:32GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2560mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has all the power and features of the table-topping S6, but does it with a little extra too, thanks to the curved edges on each side.
They’re pretty much aesthetics, as they don’t add a huge amount of functionality, but if you’re going on looks alone, the S6 Edge has them in spades.
The price is a lot higher though, which is why it doesn’t join its twin (non-identical) brother at the top of the chart, but if you’re after a phone that’s wildly different from anything else with a great feature set and tip-top camera, this is your choice.
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review
- See the best Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge deals
Number 3: HTC One M9
3. HTC One M9
Not quite up the 5 star standard, but HTC still has the most beautiful phone around
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920×1080 | Memory: 3GB |Storage: 32GB | Battery:2840mAh | Rear camera: 20.7MP | Front camera: 4MP
HTC’s been used to living at the top of our charts for the last couple of years, and while it’s not quite managed it in 2015, it’s still a phone with the best build quality out there.
None of the old favourites are missing, so BoomSound enhancement still really turbocharges the audio and the Sense overlay remains one of our favourites, thanks to being sophisticated and really powerful.
The camera has been boosted to 20.7MP, although doesn’t have the impressive snapping power of some of the other phones on the market, and the design language still means this is one of our favourite phones to stick in the pocket.
It’s a touch more expensive than before, and doesn’t take a huge leap forward from last year’s model – but then again, that was nearly perfect, so where was HTC to go?
- HTC One M9 review
- See the best HTC One M9 deals
Number 2: iPhone 6
2. iPhone 6
Bigger, better, sleeker and faster than the iPhone 5S
OS: iOS 8 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 1334 x 750 | Memory: 1GB |Storage:16GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 1,810mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The iPhone 6 – a real step forward for Apple and a phone that’s a real joy to use, hold and feel. It’s got all the same ingredients that make iPhones special: while it doesn’t excel in any given part of the smartphone recipe, it just works, promoting simplicity over fiddly menus..
The camera has a lower megapixel count than others, but it’s fast, bright and easy to use. The screen is too low-res compared to the phones around it, but pops and fizzes with colour and brightness. And that design – we have to keep coming back to it as it feels beautiful in the hand.
The sticking point is it’s still one of the most expensive phones on the market, and spec-fiends will note it’s not quite got the technology inside to truly back up the cost.
But don’t let that put you off: if you’re in the market for a handset from Apple, or just been tempted by one in the past: buy the iPhone 6. It’s excellent, a pure joy to use.
- iPhone 6 review
- See the best iPhone 6 deals
Number 1: Samsung Galaxy S6
1. Samsung Galaxy S6
A brilliant phone that shows Samsung still has what it takes
OS: Android 5 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | Memory: 3GB |Storage:32GB/64GB/128GB | Battery: 2550mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 5MP
While last year’s Galaxy S5 was nothing special, this year Samsung’s started from the ground up to make a truly wonderful smartphone.
The camera is superb, the audio and video quality brilliant and the QHD display crammed into the 5.1-inch screen is the sharpest on the market – although it does suck down the battery rather a lot.
The design is finally something we’re pleased to hold in our hand, rather than the plastic cheapness of last year, and the refined TouchWiz overlay is a lot nicer to use.
It’s pretty expensive mind, so make sure you’re after a truly A-grade experience before buying as you’ll be paying handsomely for it – but if you do take the plunge, you’ve got the best phone on the market.
- Samsung Galaxy S6 review
- See the best Samsung Galaxy S6 deals
You might also like…
If a phone isn’t in the top 10 best phones in the world list, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving two hoots about.
Here’s a few handsets you might want to think about should none of the above tickle your fancy… although you’re clearly VERY hard to please:
HTC One M8
A stunning phone with very few flaws
OS: Android | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB |Battery: 2,600mAh | Rear camera: 4MP dual | Front camera: 5MP
The HTC One M8 has tumbled dramatically out of the top 10 after holding onto top spot for the best part of a year, so why the demise? Well it’s now pretty old compared to the handsets making up the top ten, and there’s a new kid on the block in the shape of the One M9.
It’s still the same perfectly design handset though, with impressive BoomSound speakers and the short-live, yet innovative Duo Camera on the year – but the One M9 is almost identical, and just a bit better all round.
There’s been a small price drop too since the arrival of the One M9, and you certainly won’t be getting a poor phone if you choose to pick it up – but for just a bit more you can have its up to date successor. Your call.
- HTC One M8 review
- See the best HTC One M8 deals
Samsung Galaxy S5
A year old, but still very capable
OS: Android | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB |Battery: 2,800mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 2MP
If Samsung’s latest duo of flagship devices (the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge) are too rich for your wallet then you can always consider last year’s Galaxy S5.
Sure it doesn’t have the same premium design as the current generation, but the plastic body means it’s dust and water resistant as well as giving you a removable battery and microSD slot – all things not available on the S6 range.
The drop in price also makes the Galaxy S5 more attractive and it’s stuffed full of tech and sports a fantastic screen to ensure you still have an enjoyable mobile experience.
- Samsung Galaxy S5 review
- See the best Samsung Galaxy S5 deals
Nokia Lumia 930
Hey Nokia, (now Microsoft), nice flagship phone!
OS: Windows Phone | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 32GB |Battery: 2,420mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
The Lumia 930 does lack compared to the competition, but only in a couple of areas. Windows Phone is still a sub-par operating system for most people, thanks to the poorer apps and lower amount of control. But then again, for a lot of people the improved Office functionality and simple interface is a boon.
It’s strong in both design and power, although a little last-gen on the latter element, and coupled with a very capable camera, is a phone that’s easy to recommend to those looking for something different.
Windows Phone aside, there’s a great deal on show here to make this a top-rated smartphone. The build quality is excellent and iconic, and the camera is powerful and results in mostly great snaps. We like that 32GB is on offer as the base model, and wireless charging built in is perfect.
- Nokia Lumia 930 review
- See the best Nokia Lumia 930 deals
A flagship phone for half the cost
OS: Android | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB |Battery: 3,100mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP
If you fancy trying something a bit different then Chinese firm OnePlus has a rather enticing proposition. It’s first flagship smartphone (and only device to date), the OnePlus One, as the same feature set as 2014’s flagships, but at a fraction of the cost.
You can pick up the One SIM-free from just £229, which is a steal when you consider it packs a 5.5-inch full HD display, Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 13MP rear facing camera.
It runs the community backed CyanogenMod version of Android which comes with lots of handy little extras. The design is hardly inspiring and the lack of a microSD slot may put some off, but for the price you can’t really go wrong
- OnePlus One review
Perfect for fans of the smaller screen size
OS: iOS | Screen size: 4-inch | Resolution: 1136 x 640 | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB/64GB |Battery: 1,560mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP
Remember this? After the furore with the iPhone 6, it’s easy to forget that the Apple iPhone 5S is still alive and kicking.
It’s still a bit expensive, but that said it’s sucked down the iOS 8 software pretty well, and is still pushing on as a decent option for a slightly cheaper iPhone, especially if you like the smaller sized screen.
Plus, you can use it with the Apple Watch and pay for things on the go using the cunningly named Apple Pay – although for some reason Touch ID won’t be enabled to work online, where it will be for the iPad Air 2 and friends.
- iPhone 5S review
- See the best iPhone 5S deals
Physical keyboards FTW, right?
OS: BlackBerry 10 | Screen size: 3.5-inch | Resolution: 720 x 720 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB |Battery: 2,515mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 2MP
Come again? BlackBerry is still going? Well yes it is, and in the past year it’s launched both the Passportand the Classic.
They certainly won’t be to many people’s taste, but those unable to drag themselves away from a physical keyboard on their phone have the Classic to fall back on.
It takes the best bits of design from the firm’s much loved Bold series and brings them into the 21st Century with the BB10 operating system and improved specs. Great for those always emailing and messaging on the go, just don’t try and play games or watch movies on its 4:3 display.
- BlackBerry Classic review
- See the best BlackBerry Classic deals
Source:: phones revews