iPhone meets its match
Samsung Galaxy S6
Why we chose it: Classy and brassy, this beautiful Samsung effort is rock-solid, but still approachable. Who it's for: Android lovers seeking a refined, high-end phone. Top strengths: Design, camera, operational speed.
Striking curved design makes this the S6 to crave
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Why we chose it: Gorgeous curves make the Edge feel like a luxury phone. Who it's for: Buyers looking for a distinctive device. Top strengths: It has everything the S6 has, in an even more stylish package.
A touch of the future
Apple iPhone 6S
Why we chose it: An excellent all-arounder, Apple's iconic iPhone builds on past strengths. Who it's for: Everyone, but you get the most of it if you also use an iPad or Mac. Top strengths: Ease of use, seamless build, option to buy direct from Apple.
Bigger iPhone is (mostly) better
Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Why we chose it: The 6S is just like the iPhone, but bigger. Who it's for: Apple fans who enjoy a larger screen. Top strengths: Bigger battery than iPhone 6, optical image stabilization for video.
A mighty phone with a mighty pen
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Why we chose it: With its stylus for navigation and writing, the Note 5 is the ultimate Android phone for power users. Who it's for: Those who love a beautiful, large-screen display, and people who value writing or drawing by hand. Top strengths: Productivity, stylus use keeps the screen smudge-free, large screen.
Best-ever Nexus a high-end win
Google Nexus 6P
Why we chose it: This best-ever Nexus does everything you throw at it very well, for a great price. The cost-to-value ratio is through the roof. Who it's for: People who want a high-performing device for less than the superpremium phones cost. Top strengths: Fast, accurate fingerprint scanner, loud speakers, reliable camera.
The best mini Android phone around
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
Why we chose it: It's a terrific deal for a camera that soars and a water-resistant body. Who it's for: People who want a smaller-size Android phone. Top strengths: Camera quality, value.
Raising the bar on camera control
Why we chose it: The big, pretty LG V10 isn't cheap, but it does introduce some amazing manual controls for the phone's photo and video capturing. Who it's for: This high-end handset will appeal to anyone looking for a top-of-the-line Android device. Top strengths: Camera software; textured, elegant design.
Inexpensive but good, with a software surprise
Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 (5.5)
Why we chose it: This 5.5-inch device has a surprisingly low price tag for all that the phone can do. Who it's for: Budget-seekers, especially those who prefer that their phone isn't tied to a specific carrier. Top strengths: Loud speakers, camera, "reversible" software layout.
One of our favorite budget Androids
Motorola Moto G Late 2015
Why we chose it: The perennially likable Moto G offers the best customization around. Who it's for: Wallet-watchers looking for a midrange phone with lots of personality. Top strengths: Customizable look, comfortable build, good price.