Smartphones have made our lives easier, but choosing the best smartphones in 2015 is no easy task. It has been a weird year for smartphones in general, where most phones manufacturers were involved in a race to the bottom. The top end segment didn’t see much in terms of innovation, but existing technology was improved upon, and we saw some very well made and beautiful phones. This also was a year of when flagships, didn’t carry an eye-popping price tag anymore, and companies like Motorola, Asus and One Plus, deserve a special mention for starting this new trend!
So without wasting anymore time, let’s get on with our list of the top 10 smartphones that money can buy in 2015. Remember, all of these smartphones come with their own set of unique pros and cons, so this list is by no means set in stone. Have a read, see which one of these catches your fancy, and go for the one that complements your usage pattern the best! As always, direct buy links are included with each phone, so that you can snag that perfect phone as soon as you set your heart on one!
The 10 Best Smartphones in 2015: The Definitive Countdown
Android and iOS are the only two operating systems which have been featured in this list. While the thought may not surprise many people considering how dismal Windows 10 Mobile shares(1.7% in Q3 2015) are, we hope to see a revival from Microsoft for the next year. With that out of the way, let’s dive straight into the list!
#10. One Plus 2 (Price: $390)
Starting off the list, we have the One Plus 2 hailed by the company as the flagship killer for 2015. Although not a true flagship in many ways than one, One Plus brought an amazing device to the table at the price point they offered. With the pesky invite system being done away with, there is no reason to look any further if a dual sim flagship is what you’re on the look out for.
- The processing package is absolutely top notch, and One Plus has done well to get amazing battery life from the device.
- The build quality is great, and the materials make for a very comfortable in hand feel.
- The lack of NFC is a bummer for those looking to use mobile payments.
#9. Droid Turbo 2 (Price: $624)
One of the most innovative devices to be released this year, the Droid Turbo 2 is everything the Moto X Pure was not. Motorola continued to impress us this year with their top of the line hardware and customizability options that make them stand out in the smartphone OEM space.
- The shatter proof screen provides a level of protection against drops and falls unheard of before.
- The Turbo packs in a big battery as well which should keep the power users juiced up throughout the day!
- It is a Verizon exclusive at the moment. We hope that Motorola rolls out an international variant of this phone soon!
#8. Huawei Mate S (Price: $799)
Huawei has made some excellent phones this year, and that has earned them two spots in this coveted list. The Mate S has been sized down to a more manageable 5.5 inches of screen size, and the all aluminium unibody design looks great and feels wonderful as well! This is also the first phone to emulate the latest iPhone’s Force Touch feature in the Android is a pretty neat feature, and it remains to be seen how the company can use it to further enhance the user experience.
- The HiSilicon Kirin 935 in this phone really shows off how far Huawei have come with their chipsets.
- Force Touch on Android is a pretty neat feature, and it remains to be seen how the
- Huawei’s Emotion UI can seem a little too childish and overly simplistic at times.
#7. LG G4 (Price: $430)
For the past few years, LG has been providing stiff competition to their Korean bigger brothers, Samsung. The G4 is the culmination of all their efforts. With a distinctive backplate design and what is ostensibly the best camera in the smartphone space right now, you can’t go wrong if you decide to pick up this beast of a phone.
- The camera quality, especially of still images, is the best in the market. The software is top notch as well providing granular manual control.
- In an industry where SD cards and Removable batteries are a dying breed, the G4 provides both in a move which will surely please consumers who love the ease of use of swapping out batteries when out of juice.
- The lack of a fingerprint sensor in a flagship for 2015 raises a few eyebrows.
#6. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus (Price: $700)
The S6 Edge Plus is one of the most beautiful phones that money can buy. Long ridiculed for their use of plastics in flagship products, Samsung went back to the drawing board for this one. And the metal and glass masterpiece that is the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus bears testimony to the craftsmanship of Samsung engineers.
- The gorgeous AMOLED display is the best you can find in a smartphone right now.
- The camera comes up as a close second to the G4 and the V10.
- Samsung failed to capitalise in making use of the Edge screen to provide any real extra functionality to the device.
#5. Xperia Z5 Premium (Price: $659)
Sony has been out of the smartphone game for a while with their earlier iterations of the Z series failing to ship in huge volume. With the Z5 premium, though, they’re right back into the fray. Sporting glass on both sides and a metal bezel around it, this phone looks as good as it performs.
- This is the first phone to come with a 4K display and media content on it looks fantastic.
- Incorporating the fingerprint sensor into the power on/off button makes it more intuitive and easy to use than most other implementations.
- The 4K display and a top of the line Snapdragon SOC makes it a battery hog.
#4. Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (Price: $610)
Coming in at number 4 is the Galaxy Note 5. The Note lineup of devices has always been a favourite of productivity-minded people and for creative professionals. With this iteration, Samsung has done away with the expandability features opting for an unibody design that has angered a few loyalists of the Note series. However, the Note 5 remains the nest choice if stylus functionality matters to you.
- The S Pen Features are unmatched by any other smartphone in the market.
- Its camera has the best auto mode among Android smartphones encouraging you to just point and shoot!
- Despite the powerful hardware, lack of software optimisation has caused it to have hiccups while multitasking.
#3. iPhone 6S Plus (Price: $935)
Apple has been in the midst of a lot of controversies with the recent generation of iPhones. However, there is no denying the fact that the iPhone 6s is an excellent device. If you’re an Apple fan, this is pretty much the version of iPhone you should get as double the amount of RAM and larger screen real estate, make the 6S Plus a clear winner.
- The camera has seen a significant improvement especially in the videography department with the addition of 4k video recording.
- The new A9 chip is among the fastest SoCs in the market right now and iOS just flies on this device.
- The battery life is pretty disappointing for a flagship-level device.
#2. Nexus 6P (Price: $599)
The Nexus line has been Google’s brainchild and every fan of stock Android adores this line of devices. The 6P pretty much nails all the department from build quality to design and performance. Famous for having appalling cameras, Huawei has managed to turn it around this time, and the 6P is without a doubt the best Nexus device yet.
- Stock Android and the guarantee of getting the latest versions of Android as soon as they’re launched are the best perks of owning a Nexus device.
- It has the fastest fingerprint sensor among all the other devices available and it is consistent as well.
- Being a phablet-class device with no phablet specific functionality makes one wonder if stock Android is holding back the 6p from unleashing its full potential.
#1. LG V10 (Price: $660)
Finally, we have come to the number one spot on the list. As I said earlier, this year has been LG’s year and the V10 has worked on and perfected all the minor gripes that we had with the G4. The industrial design accentuates the military grade drop test rating; the V10 is as tough as it is beautiful. The internal hardware and LG’s software skin work perfectly to make a phone that comes as close to being perfect as is possible with current technology.
- Using the same optics as the G4, the V10 takes one thing further by adding a manual mode to video recording as well; providing the best camera experience on a smartphone thus far.
- The second screen on top of the main display makes for the perfect notification hub.
- Keeping both displays on at the same time causes battery drain to increase significantly, possibly a software bug that should be dealt with in future updates.
And with that, we come to the end of this list with LG claiming the top spot in our Best Smartphones in 2015 Countdown! If you do end up buying any one of the phones from this list, be sure to tell us which one caught your fancy and why. And we hope you have just as much fun with your new phone as we did rummaging through a pile of phones to compile this countdown. Bye bye, and Happy Holidays!