With the unveiling of LG’s leather-clad G4, the 2015 picture for flagship Android smartphones is nearly complete.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) has yet to announce its Nexus 5 — although there’s a decent chance its next Android phone will be manufactured by LG and based on the LG G4.
The 2015 edition of the Moto X is an even bigger question mark, now that Lenovo (OTCMKTS:LNVGY) is calling the shots.
However, the big releases are here. The Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 and now the LG G4 are battling for Android supremacy and taking on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Which is the best Android phone of 2015? Here’s a rundown on the flagship Android phones that deserve consideration.
The Best Android Phone of 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6
If there is one smartphone that has everything riding on it for 2015, it is the Galaxy S6.
Samsung remains the top-selling Android phone vendor, but sales of last year’s Galaxy S5 were disappointing, its mobile division was in trouble, and Apple managed to surge past the company to take lead as world’s largest smartphone vendor.
Samsung pulled out all the stops on the Galaxy S6, producing what was easily the best Android phone it has ever produced. The Galaxy S6 is attractive — with Samsung’s typical plastic banished in favor of a sleek metal and glass body — and even the usual bloatware has been reduced.
Galaxy S6 Key Features
- 5.1-inch Super AMOLED, Quad HD display (557 ppi)
- Octa-Core Xynos CPU
- Gorilla Glass front and back with aluminum trim
A powerful Android phone with a beautiful display, excellent camera and premium look, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a top contender for best Android phone of 2015. In fact, it’s probably the best choice for the typical Android phone shopper. For more detail, check our hands-on review.
The Best Android Phone of 2015: HTC One M9
The HTC One M9 was one of the big Android phone reveals of Mobile World Congress 2015.
It didn’t stray far from last year’s One M8 (read our review here), and that’s a good thing.
HTC One M9 Key Features
- 5-inch Super LCD3, Full HD display (441 ppi)
- Brushed aluminum case
- HTC Boomsound 5.1 channel surround sound with Dolby Audio
The One M9 shifts the UltraPixel camera to the front for low-light selfie performance, and addresses criticism of its main camera by switching to a 20MP primary shooter. For fans of premium, metal-clad smartphones, the HTC One M9 is a top choice for 2015.
The Best Android Phone of 2015: LG G4
LG doesn’t get the same media attention as Samsung and HTC, but it quietly produces some of the best Android phones on the market.
This year, the company decided to go beyond offering a high-powered and capable smartphone and made the G4 look the part of a flagship smartphone. The back features a unique ceramic coating and it’s also available wrapped in genuine leather.
LG G4 Key Features
- 5.5-inch IPS Quantum Display at Quad HD resolution (538 ppi)
- Ceramic-coated back, with leather option
- Unlike new Galaxy smartphones, still features removable battery and microSD card storage expansion
A big smartphone — the closest in this group to “phablet” status – with an excellent camera, the LG G4 will have many fans.
The biggest knock against it as a contender for best Android phone of 2015 is probably LG’s choice to go with the Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 808 CPU. The choice avoids the overheating issues that have plagued the flagship Snapdragon 810 CPU, but there is a performance penalty that comes with the less powerful chip.
The Best Android Phone of 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
The wild card for 2015 is a variation on the Galaxy S6. Samsung took the side-wrapped curved display from last year’s Galaxy Note Edge and applied the effect to its flagship smartphone.
The result is an Android phone that looks and feels like nothing else out there and has a few special tricks, namely the ability to use those edge displays for notifications, frequently used app launchers and keeping software buttons off the main display area.
Galaxy S6 Edge Key Features
- Same great specs as Galaxy S6 (including Octa-core Xynos CPU, fast charge and 16MP optically stabilized camera)
- Dual edge curved, 5.1-inch Quad HD, Super AMOLED primary display (557 ppi)
If the definition for best Android phone of 2015 includes both powerful specs and stunning style, the Galaxy S6 Edge is tough to top. However, you’ll need to pony up an extra $100 (on contract) for the Edge compared to the standard Galaxy S6.
The Best Android Phone of 2015: Winner
Everyone’s definition of “the best” varies, however there is one Android phone that hits all the right notes: The Samsung Galaxy S6.
It’s not the biggest, its camera sticks out a bit (just like the iPhone 6) and it lacks the funky look of Samsung’s own Galaxy S6 Edge or the leather-clad LG G4.
But the Samsung Galaxy S6 is an attractive looking device with a powerful CPU, excellent display and some serious photo chops. For most smartphone buyers, this is the one that deserves the best Android phone of 2015 title.
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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