Phones:

Best Android phones of 2016

Updated

In a sea of never-ending Google Android handsets, CNET shows you the cream of the crop. If you're looking for the best, this list will have it. If you want the phone with the most powerful hardware, or one with the latest Google software, or the handset with the biggest value, look no further. Check out the list below and sign up for our Mobile Weekly newsletter to catch the latest Android winners.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Why we chose it: It's an ideal combination of features and performance. Who it's for: Android fans who want the best phone to date. Top strengths: Awesome camera, lightning-fast performance and great battery life -- plus expandable storage and water-resistance.

Price: $639.99 - $694.99 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding This is the phone to beat

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Why we chose it: It's our first 5-star phone. Who it's for: Anyone willing to pay a premium for design. Top strengths: Everything the S7 has, plus a sexy design, larger screen and bigger battery.

Price: $748.72 - $794.99 Check prices

5 stars Spectacular The ultimate splurge

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.

Price: $479.88 - $839.99 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding

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.

Price: $449.00 - $479.00 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

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.

Price: $404.98 - $416.80 Check prices

4.5 stars Outstanding

LG V10

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.

Price: $599.99 - $699.99 Check prices

4 stars Excellent

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.

Price: $199.99 - $294.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good

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.

Price: $173.90 - $179.99 Check prices

3.5 stars Very good
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