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Top 5 2016 Android Phones Available Now: Full Specs & Features Overview

By Jiran , Sep 05, 2016 05:00 AM EDT
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With all the Android devices that are being released this year competing which among them deserves to be on the top of its kind, here are the Top 5 Android Phones that are the “must considered” over the rest.

Android has the biggest market portion in the smartphone ecosphere, whereas Apple's segment is just divided among a few iPhones with noticeable alterations. Among these Android devices that can be found on the market, the variation in screen size, processor, features and hardware design makes choosing the best Android phone tremendously hard.

Here are the Top 5 2016 Best Android Phones available now:

5. Google Nexus 5x

The Nexus 5X, co-designed by Google and LG, is the mid-range offering and a respite from the 6" Nexus last year, leaving its sibling to fill the premium, large-screen role which delivers you a fresh first-party Android software experience.

Hardware

Nexus 5x is a mid-range phone and has an identical look with its sibling, the Nexus 6P. From its front to its back, it could easily be mistaken to be a Motorola device with its misleading dual but not really speaker setup in front and the positioned camera in the center with a laser AF hints at LG, but the absence of the trademark back buttons separates it from LG's handsets.

The front is simply flat with some tiny edge where the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with oleophobic coating technology meets the side of the phone.

The back of the phone includes a smooth buildup to the camera bump. The hump is about normal in size and is centered so it doesn't make the phone wobble. The physical is a smooth polycarbonate which is very pleasing to the touch, but its semi-matte varnish amasses its fair share of fingerprints.

The device weighs 136g which makes it comfortably light in the hand and can be used using one-hand operation. The camera hump doesn't give any trouble, but there is incidence wherein our finger touches it instead of the fingerprint scanner which causes the occurrence of smudges of the lens.

Above the screen is the speaker grille that covers the earpiece but not an actual loudspeaker grille while the lower grille houses the LED notification light. The 5 MP/1080p shooter camera is also above the screen together with the proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor.

Below the screen is the loudspeaker grille. There are no physical buttons on the phone like its predecessors. The navigation keys are embedded in the screen of the phone.

The right side of the phone houses volume rocker and the power button. Buttons of the device are quite narrow and low which is not very comfortable to use.

The nanoSIM card slot is on the left side of the phone which needs a tool to open it. It has no memory card slot to expand storage.

There are microphones on both top and on the bottom. The 3.5 audio jack together with the USB Type-C port is also available below.

Display

The device flaunts a 5.20-inch 1080p IPS LCD capacitive Corning Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen with Oleophobic technology. It is remarkable even at a quick look the maximum brightness level (455nits) may not be the best, but the attained contrast ratio of 1542:1 is outstanding because of the nicely deep blacks. The screen is also attuned for nearly perfect hue rendering right out of the box.

The low reflectivity of Gorilla Glass 3 and high contrast of the screen allow it to remain legible even in bright daylight. The 5.2" screen of Nexus 5X is above average in this detail.

Connectivity

The Google Nexus 5X has equipped with an LTE Cat. 6 modem for speeds up to 300Mbps down and 50Mbps up.

It is powered by the usual Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4GHz and 5GHz and Bluetooth 4.2 with A2DP. NFC is there, which is to be used with the new Android Pay.

The USB Type-C cable can transfer data at USB 2.0 speeds regardless of the provided cable is Type-C on both ends.

There's no TV-out technology which means you're stuck with the wireless Cast method.

Battery Life

The Google Nexus 5X gives a 2,700mAh battery and it has a new OS feature to make sure the battery is used efficiently.

Performance

The Google Nexus 5X is powered by Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 chipset, Hexacore CPU (4x1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 2x1.8 GHz Cortex-A57), 2 GB RAM memory and Adreno 418 GPU.

The Nexus 5X provides great output for its price. The processor isn't the fastest but comes close enough to modern flagships.

Camera

In terms of camera, the rear camera offers a 12-megapixel shooter, has a f/2.0 aperture, supports a laser autofocus and dual LED flash. It can also record 2160p@30fps video, 1080p@30fps video or 720p@120fps video with HDR while the front facing camera deals a 5-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture with HDR.

4. Google Nexus 6P

The Nexus 6P is stunningly designed by Huawei and Google to please both power users and average users alike.

Hardware

Nexus 6P's front structures dual speaker grilles very similar looking to the 5X and Moto Nexus 6. The metal body of the device is very much Huawei's design. The camera setup and round fingerprint sensor were mostly design collaborations with Google.

The LED notification light is located to the left of the front facing camera lens. The speaker grilles in front of the screen give a horizontal line of balance that is confusing users which way is up or down.

The device is 178g. It's sturdy, and its weight is quite well distributed.

The right side of the device features a power key, and volume rocker key right below it while the upper left side houses the nanoSIM card tray.

The underside is where the USB Type-C port resides and the top edge gives the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

The back of the device is the most exciting side where there is an abundance of sensors, antennas, and goodies. The "camera hump" isn't really as big as it looks in some images. The shading and outline of the metal overstress the hump. It sports a 12.3MP Sony sensor, dual LED flash, laser focus transmitter, and the NFC antenna. Below the black lump of camera glass is a noise canceling microphone, and the fingerprint scanner is a little further down.

Display

The Nexus 6p uses a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display which makes for a pixel density of 515 ppi.

Color accuracy of the screen is not perfect and it's certainly far from the calibrated output of the LG Nexus 5X though this one comes with an LCD.

Low brightness didn't hamper the sunlight legibility and Nexus 6P is one of the best phones we've seen in this respect. It essentially matches the last year's Samsung Galaxy Note5.

Connectivity

This phone offer LTE Cat. 6 @ 300Mbps down and 50Mbps up, HSPA @ 42.2 down and 5.76 up, 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC, which is for Google's new Android Pay service.

The device supports data transferring at USB 2.0 speeds only despite of using the new USB-Type C connection.

Battery Life

Nexus 6P houses a 3450 mAh battery. A test was conducted and it is found out that the Nexus 6P has an exceptional idle battery drain. Thanks to Marshmallow's Doze feature which helped in saving battery.

Performance

The Google Nexus 5X is powered by Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 810 chipset, Octa-core CPU (4x1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A57), 3 GB RAM memory and Adreno 430 GPU.

Camera

Just like the Nexus 5X, the Nexus 6P offers a 12.3 MP Sony sensor, a dual-LED flash, and laser autofocus. The variation between the two are the CPU's processing power which comes down to the Nexus 6P capable of 240fps @720p while the Nexus 5X is only capable of 120fps @720p.

The front-facing camera is an 8MP shooter and captures above average images for a usual front camera. HDR+ didn't seem to work to an advantage. The selfies taken with HDR+ turned off had better exposure than those with HDR+ on.

The front camera can also shoot 1080p videos which do a good performance in keeping the correct exposure on the main subject.

3. Samsung Galaxy S7

The Galaxy S7 is the latest Samsung flagship device which comes after its successful predecessor Galaxy S6. Samsung has many features, improvement, and comebacks to offer this time and let us see how did it fought for its title.

Hardware

Like the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Galaxy S7 is made up of premium dual glass design and an aluminum frame which is a step up for the past 5 generation of the S-devices which is made up primarily of plastic.

This year's flagship has a tough Corning Gorilla Glass 4 panels that have been shaped to slope on the sides of the device that its top and bottom.

The IP68 certification was also returned in Samsung's flagships after introducing it in S5 and removing it in S6, now, in S7, users can enjoy again dust resistance and water resistance which user can actually submerge the phone in tap water up to 1.5m deep for 30 minutes.

On top of the display is the selfie front camera, earpiece, LED notification light, proximity and ambient light sensors while below the display are the Samsung's staple design for smartphones - the physical home button and the two capacitive buttons (back and task manager) on its both sides. The home button houses the fingerprint sensor which is fast to use.

At the back of the phone, the curved sides similar to Note 5 are more deceptive. The camera is centrally placed while the flash and sensors are on it right.

The top of the device holds the SIM tray and the microSD card plus the secondary microphone of the device.

The bottom has the microUSB 2,0 port, the primary microphone, a single speaker and the 3.5 audio jack.

The right side of the phone is where the power button resides, while on the left side offers the volume buttons.

Display

Samsung Galaxy S7 comes with a Quad HD Super AMOLED 5.1-inch display.

The minimum display brightness is 2.1nits, which is faultlessly appropriate for late-night reading in dark rooms.

Connectivity

Samsung's Exynos 8890 chipset is combined with an LTE Cat. 9 modem with a maximum speed of 450Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink. When in an HSPA network, you'll get a maximum of 42Mbps and 5.76Mbps correspondingly.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 supports Wi-Fi ac networks for fast local connectivity. Wi-Fi, a/b/g/n at 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks are also supported. Then there's Bluetooth 4.2 LE (for smartwatches, sports sensors and such) and apt-X codec (for high-quality audio streaming).

NFC support is there for Samsung Pay which lets the S7 replace your credit card and for pairing with other devices and reading NFC tags.

The microUSB 2.0 port supports fast charging and regular USB 2.0 transfer speeds. With the included adapter you can easily use the USB Host and OTG support where connecting a mouse or a keyboard, USB flash sticks, or just using the Galaxy S7 as a power bank becomes possible.

Battery Life

The smartphone packs a 3,000mAh power bank which one more key area where Samsung gives you more with the Galaxy S7. It also supports quick charging.

S7 is also capable of wireless charging with pads in compliant with both Qi and PMA. Samsung also sells you a fast wireless charging pad, which can fill up the battery approximately as fast as a cable do.

Performance

The Galaxy S7 comes with two different specs, one with the Snapdragon 820, the other with the Exynos 8890. Qualcomm's chipset has a quad-core CPU and Adreno 530 GPU while the Exynos' chipset has an octa-core CPU and a Mali T880 MP12 GPU.

Camera

The rear camera of the phone offers a 12-Megapixel shooter with f/1.7 aperture and can record 2160p@30fps video, 1080p@60fps video, 720p@240fps video with HDR functionality and dual-video recording.

Samsung Galaxy S7 has the best camera you would ask in a smartphone. It works great with the colors of the objects and even during at night. Night shoots are the best making it a good camera shooter whatever time of day.

The 5MP camera in the front shoots images as good as the S6, at least in terms of resolution and has f/1.7, and a screen fill flash is now available, too.

Image quality from the front camera is the same as the predecessor. It can't give high-contrast scenes well and blows out the highlights, but in all fairness, that scene would challenge a primary camera as well. More balanced lighting produces better results, and in any case, skin tones are rendered in a very pleasing true-to-life way.

Videos are limited to 1440p, which is the most that can fit on the sensor in 16:9 ratio, and is also the resolution of the display.

2. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The S7 Edge has the same specifications and features like S&. The only difference they have is the larger screen plus a software feature integrated with the curve screen on both sides of the phone.

Hardware

If you've familiarized yourself with last year's Galaxy S6 or S6 edge, there are no surprises on the S7 edge for you as all the panels are identical.

The front panel of the phone is almost occupied by the 5.5" display and has a lesser bezel than the S6 edge's screen. Up above are the earpiece, the familiar sensors, a LED notification light, and the 5MP selfie camera.

Below the screen is the acquainted button layout: the hardware Home Key embedded on it is the fingerprint scanner and on its both sides are capacitive Back and Task Switcher keys.

The metal Power button on the right side while the volume keys are on the left.

The top has the second mic and the card slot. It lodges both nano-SIM and microSD cards and is secured with rubber gasket for water resistance.

The 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB port, the primary mic, and the loudspeaker are all at the bottom of the device.

The 12MP camera is on the back, still accounting for a small hump like the S7, and accompanied by single LED flash and a heart-rate sensor on its right.

Like the S7, S7 Edge has an IP68 certification for water and dust resistant.

Display

Galaxy S7 Edge has a 5.5" Super AMOLED screen and has dual-edge design and minimal bezel that keep the illusion of a much more solid handset.

The Galaxy S7 edge has the same maximum screen brightness as the S7 when the brightness slider is pushed manually all the way to the right while in overdrive mode, which kicks in under bright sunlight if you have Auto brightness ON, it goes quite a bit higher than the S7 to 610nits. The minimum display brightness is 1.8nits, which is effortlessly fit for late-night reading in a dark room.

Connectivity

Samsung's Exynos 8890 chipset is combined with an LTE Cat. 9 modem with a maximum speed of 450Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink. When in an HSPA network, you'll get a maximum of 42Mbps and 5.76Mbps correspondingly.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 edge supports Wi-Fi ac networks for fast local connectivity. Wi-Fi, a/b/g/n at 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks are also supported. Then there's Bluetooth 4.2 LE (for smartwatches, sports sensors and such) and apt-X codec (for high-quality audio streaming).

NFC support is there for Samsung Pay which lets the S7 edge replace your credit card and for pairing with other devices and reading NFC tags.

The microUSB 2.0 port supports fast charging and regular USB 2.0 transfer speeds. With the included adapter you can easily use the USB Host and OTG support where connecting a mouse or a keyboard, USB flash sticks, or just using it as a power bank becomes possible.

Battery Life

The smartphone offers a 3,600mAh battery, higher than the S7's 3,000 mAh capacity.

Like the S7, it also supports a fast charging technology and a wireless fast charging technology almost the same speed with the wired charging.

Performance

The device has two variants of running processors, for the US version, it runs Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 chipset, Quad-core CPU, and Adreno 530 GPU while the global version of the device runs Exynos 8890 Octa Chipset, Octa-core CPU, and Mali-T880 MP12 GPU.

The Galaxy S7 edge is one of the most powerful smartphones to date. The new processor and graphics run enough increase over the previous generation to make a worthy purchase of the device.

Camera

The rear camera of the phone offers a 12-Megapixel shooter mixed with f/1.7 aperture and can record 2160p@30fps video, 1080p@60fps video, 720p@240fps video with HDR functionality and dual-video recording.

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge like S7 has the best camera you would ask in a smartphone. It works great with the colors of the objects and even during at night. Night shoots are the best making it a good camera shooter whatever time of day.

The 5MP camera in the front shoots images as good as the S6, at least in terms of resolution and has f/1.7, and a screen fill flash is now available, too.

Image quality from the front camera is the same as the predecessor. It can't give high-contrast scenes well and blows out the highlights, but in all fairness, that scene would challenge a primary camera as well. More balanced lighting produces better results, and in any case, skin tones are rendered in a very pleasing true-to-life way.

Videos are limited to 1440p, which is the most that can fit on the sensor in 16:9 ratio, and is also the resolution of the display.

1. Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Galaxy Note 7 is the best Android phone in the world. It has an amazing design with a stunning curved screen and thoughtful features like wireless charging, s-pen and water and dust resistance.

Hardware

The Galaxy Note7 is symmetrical with the left and right sides which are identically curved on the front and back. It's one of the best-looking pieces of hardware Samsung has ever put out.

Samsung put the new and tougher Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the exterior which is it's the Note7 which is the first phone to use it.

The front panel of the phone looks slightly different due to the addition of an iris scanner on the right of the earpiece, next to the selfie camera. It's basically a second front camera, but it reads infrared light. To help it in the dark, there's an IR LED located on the left to the earpiece.

Below the screen is the other biometric sensor - the fingerprint reader embedded in the Home button on its side are capacitive keys (App switcher and Back), which are invisible when off and their backlight goes out quickly.

The top side of the Galaxy Note7 houses a microphone and the card slot. It's a hybrid slot that accepts two cards - nanoSIM and microSD, but on dual-SIM models, you can drop the extra storage in favor of another phone line.

The bottom of the phone has the new USB Type-C which is a first for Samsung, the trademark S Pen stylus, the primary microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Galaxy Note7 is IP68-certified, officially it can last for up to 30 minutes underwater for up to 1.5 meters depth.

The camera on the back is almost leveled with the back and right next to it features Samsung's sports sensors - heart rate and blood oxygen. This is Galaxy S7's excellent camera, but the software has been retouched so we expect some improvement.

Display

The screen of the Galaxy Note 7 has dual edge curves like the S7 edge. It measures 5.7" in diagonal. It vaunts a Super AMOLED display and it is the first Samsung device to wear the Gorilla Glass 5 that can survive to shoulder height drops.

The screen extends a higher maximal brightness of around 430nits when in manual mode. Auto mode can drive the brightness even higher; 650nits is the highest we observed.

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 is also the first mobile devices to support HDR video. It's not HDR like in the camera. This one has 10-bit color instead of 8-bit, that's four times the number of shades. This prevents color banding and empowers detailed scenes that feature both very bright and very dark areas.

Another feature is the Blue light filter, which we've seen it before on other Androids before. The natural light is blue during the day and fades to yellow in the evening. Looking at blue light, even from a small screen, can mess up your body's internal clock and make it think it's daytime. The filter can be toggled manually, but it's best scheduled to turn on in the evening and turn off in the morning.

Connectivity

The Galaxy Note7 is the first Samsung phone with a reversible USB Type-C port. However, the company is unwilling to break away from USB 2.0, so they included two adapters - one Type-C to full-size USB 2.0 and one to microUSB 2.0.

Samsung Galaxy Note7 offers also raging wireless Internet speeds. Users may get LTE Cat. 12 (or Cat. 10 or 9). Wi-Fi is fast too - with 2x2 MIMO and 802.11ac it can reach speeds up to 620Mbps. The latest Bluetooth 4.2 with LE and ANT+ are available as well. Global positioning is handled by GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou.

Samsung Pay uses NFC-based contactless payment terminals NFC or by emulating old-school MST technology that replaces your credit card.

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 has a sealed 3,500mAh battery. That's a 500mAh upgrade over the old Note5, but 100mAh short of the Galaxy S7 edge.

Samsung has redesigned the Power saving system they had before which is now, it can be concluded that it is even more powerful and flexible. It has two modes - Mid and Max - and each shows an estimate on how long the phone will last.

The Galaxy Note7 is a great performer in terms of battery life. According to GSMarena, they measured 90h Endurance for the Exynos 8890 version and 81h for the Snapdragon 820 one.

Performance

The device runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box. The device runs Exynos 8890 Octa Chipset plus Octa-core CPU and a Mali-T880 MP12 GPU.

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 is one of the fastest phones on the market, consistently spearing close to the top. There is plenty of competition with Snapdragon 820 out there, however, this year the Galaxy Note doesn't completely rule the field.

Camera

Samsung came up with a completely new camera scheme for the Galaxy S7, and they've reused it once again in the Note7 and they've even enhanced the camera UI.

The camera offers a 12MP camera sensor (4:3 aspect ratio) with an impressive Dual Pixel autofocus technology. The camera is faster and more accurate than any other system that had before. It also packs Optical Image Stabilization for better low-light performance which is helped by the bright f/1.7 aperture and reducing handshake in videos.

The pictures taken from the Galaxy Note7 camera are very detailed with little to no noise. They have tweaked the processing to make images punchier which includes the contrast, color saturation, and sharpening.

Samsung has definitely been conservative with the maximum resolution of the selfie camera (5MP) and the photo quality is fairly good, however. Photos are detailed, but you'll want to leave Auto HDR on as the camera's dynamic range isn't as good as on the primary camera.

The Samsung Galaxy Note7 can shoot 2160p @ 30fps videos, of course, but it also does 1080p @ 60fps.

The 5MP selfie camera does pretty well and can shoot videos at QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440px), while most competitors are capped at 1080p.

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