Android 2015 phones

Best Android Phones: Holiday 2015

As we hit the middle of November, the holiday shopping season is starting up. As we have for the past several years, this year we are putting together a series of holiday guides with recommendations for various product categories and some quick links to those products. These holiday guides also act as a way for us to look over all the devices that have been released in a given year to see which still hold up.

We'll be starting things off this year with smartphones. Smartphones are an enormous market, and the average phone lifetime still being only 18-24 months, many gifts given this holiday season are going to be smartphones. So let's take a look at what we believe to be the best Android phones that you can buy this holiday season.

Best Android Phablet: Samsung Galaxy Note5

The term phablet is a bit silly in my opinion, but it has become a fairly common term to describe smartphones with very large profiles. The definition of a phablet is not exactly concrete, and it mainly has to do with a device's chassis size. For example, the Nexus 6 and Galaxy Note5 are clearly phablets, and it's fairly safe to say that the iPhone 6s Plus is one too. However, I don't know if I would describe the LG G4 as a phablet. It has the same screen size as the iPhone 6S Plus, but the use of on-screen buttons and smaller overall chassis size mean that it ends up straddling the line between your standard smartphone and a phablet. When looking at which devices are available in many regions, I think it's pretty clear which phablet offers the best value at the absolute high end, and which offers the best value for someone who is looking to spend less than what they would on a typical flagship.

I don't think it would be wrong to say that Samsung really pioneered the phablet category. The original Galaxy Note was laughed at by many, but as time has gone on Samsung has improved on it, and now every vendor offers a similarly sized device. With that in mind, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Galaxy Note5 is my recommendation for a high end phablet. It comes with everything that makes the Galaxy S6 a great phone, but in a larger size and with some additional improvements. Just as an overview, you're getting a 5.7" 2560x1440 AMOLED display, Samsung's Exynos 7420 SoC, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and 32, 64, or 128GB of internal NAND. Some differences from the Galaxy S6 apart from simply being larger include improved camera image processing, making it a serious contender for the title of best smartphone camera, and the inclusion of Samsung's S-Pen for navigation and drawing.

The Galaxy Note 5 costs 9 for the 32GB version in the US. There are often deals that can help bring the price down a bit, such as a recent off offer from T-Mobile. The 64GB model bumps the price to 9. It's worth noting the prices for the Galaxy S6 Edge+ as well, which is to the Galaxy Note5 what the Galaxy S6 Edge is to the standard Galaxy S6. It starts at $779 for 32GB, and $859 for 64GB. I personally think the edge design looks cool, but there's definitely a trade off in terms of ergonomics, and I don't think it's worth the additional cost unless you really want to own Samsung's absolute highest end phone.

For buyers who aren't fans of the Galaxy Note5, or who are looking for something that isn't quite as expensive, the Nexus 6P is definitely worth considering. Like the Galaxy Note5 it has a 5.7" 2560x1440 AMOLED display, but inside you get Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 paired with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of NAND.

Some highlights of the Nexus 6P are the camera and the chassis. While we haven't published our Nexus 6P review yet, it uses the same sensor and lens arrangement as the Nexus 5X which I felt has one of the best cameras of any smartphone. The aluminum chassis of the 6P may also be more appealing than the metal/glass design of the Note5, although I didn't feel that the design and ergonomics were at the same level as devices like Huawei's own Mate S or the iPhone 6s Plus.

Of course, the biggest appeal of the Nexus 6P is its price. At $499 for 32GB, it undercuts most flagship phablets by $200 or so, while being competitive in many other respects. You definitely lose out on the performance of Samsung's Exynos 7420 SoC, but there are obviously tradeoffs that are made when targeting a lower price. The promise of software updates along with a great camera, an aluminum build, and a great fingerprint scanner make the Nexus 6P a very worthwhile choice for a phablet at a lower price than the latest and greatest flagships. European customers will notice that they get charged a significant premium for the Nexus 6P, with the 32GB model priced at around 700€. At that price I would probably consider other devices unless one is determined to stay with a Nexus phone for the support and updates.

Best High-End Android Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S6

While phablets have grown immensely in popularity, the normal flagship devices from the players in the Android space tend to be smaller than the 5.7-6.0" displays that ship on phablets. Not having to push a large size also opens up more opportunities to offer a great device at a lower price than the competition. Taking that into consideration, I think there are two key flagship devices that are worth considering if looking for a flagship phone in a typical size, along with one clear winner for a smartphone that offers a lot for a lower price than flagship smartphones.

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  • Easy Access: The simple user interface on one of the earphones allows you adjust the volume, play/pause, select songs and answer/hang up calls completely effortlessly.
  • Compatible with iPhone 6/6s,6 Plus/6s plus, 5 5c 5s 4s,iPad Air, Samsung Galaxy S6,S5,S4,S3 Note 4 3, HTC M9 M8 M7, LG Flex 2 G3 G2, and Other Bluetooth Android...
  • What You Get: Wireless headphone, user manual, charging cable and 5 different sizes earbuds. LIFETIME WARRANTY.
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Wireless (MoKo)
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Padgene Padgene Stylish 6" Android 4.4.2 Unlocked Smartphone, Dual Core / Sim 3G GSM Touchscreen Smartphone, Black
Wireless (Padgene)
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Bluetooth Selfie Stick, Next Gen New for 2015 - Compact, Ultra Portable, Telescoping Extendable, Built in Bluetooth, Works with Android Galaxy S4, 5, 6, Note 3 & 4, & iPhone 4, 5, 6, & 6+ (Pink)
Wireless (Shenzhen Top Star Industry Co., LTD.)
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Cotechs Cotechs Blue Gel Case Skin Tpu Cover For New 2015 Oneplus 2 Android Smartphone
PC Accessory (Cotechs)
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