1. Apple iPhone 6S
An iPhone S update year usually means a couple of new features that most people could take or leave, but the iPhone 6S is the most exciting S model for a long time. It bucks the usual trend, delivering a phone that will offer plenty to iPhone users new and old alike, with 3D Touch a principle new feature that will lead iPhone functionality going forward.
Image Credit: Pocket-lint
Improved battery life, enhanced cameras and slick operability from iOS 9 all make the iPhone 6S great to use, even if the screen resolution is still behind the current flagship curve. The addition of Live Photos, 4K video and baked-in Hey Siri might be less integral to all, but they’re the kind of fun features people want and that Apple delivers well. The iPhone 6S is a device that doesn’t disappoint.
2. Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
The “standard” Galaxy S6, with its new metal build, was considered an impressive design push for the flagship range. The S6 edge, on the other hand, is an extravagant foray into capturing the imagination of public and pundits alike by showing off just how far design can be pushed.
When design is done correctly it fuses aesthetics with functionality. The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge does exactly that; it’s a phone that turns heads, rightfully reinforcing its position as one of the most enticing flagships on the market and the most exciting phone we’ve seen for some generations.
This year we’ve had not one but two Nexus phones and while the 5X wasn’t quite that exciting, the Huawei-made 6P flagship not only makes Android Marshmallow shine, but it also makes most of the other Android devices currently available seem like part of the “everything else” crowd.
The Nexus 6P is the absolute definition of top-tier, and the best Nexus device to date. If there were ever a time to try out the best of what Google has to offer, now is that time. Huawei did us all a favour and finally paired great hardware with great software in this handset.
4. Huawei Mate S
Over the past year we’ve seen the rising tide of Chinese smartphones and Huawei has long been saying it has ambitions to establish itself globally as a consumer smartphone brand. The Huawei Mate S is the company’s best smartphone ever, and a genuine reason to sit up and take notice.
There’s a lot to love about the Huawei Mate S. We like the finish of the metal body and the slimness that Huawei has achieved. The fingerprint scanner is excellent too, and there’s great performance from both cameras, along with some impressive attention to detail in Huawei’s software. The Huawei Mate S is a commendable smartphone and a welcome addition to the company’s range, worthy of consideration for those looking for top-notch quality without the cost.
5. OnePlus 2
When does one plus two equal more than three? When it’s the OnePlus 2, the budget self-styled “flagship killer” that’s full of top-end features at such an affordable price point. This 5.5-inch sequel to the original OnePlus One has been through a software revamp, embodies a top-spec Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, and even squeezes in flagship features such as a fingerprint scanner, for just £239.
The OnePlus 2 is an exceptional phone, without just taking the price into consideration. It lives in its own space, because nothing else at this price point delivers nearly as much. The OnePlus 2 has single-handedly demolished the mid-range market, and while it lacks some elements of flagship finery such as a QHD screen resolution or NFC, we didn’t miss such features during our week of use. If only it was easier to actually buy one.
The EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards will be taking place at the end of the month for the 12th year celebrating the best devices over the last 12 months, across 12 categories. The categories span phones, tablets and laptops to cameras, smarthome and connected toys and as usual, we will be giving you a run down of all the nominees in each category through a series of features.
Best tablets and 2-in-1’s was up first so you can read all about the nominees by clicking here, but this feature concentrates on the best phones of 2015. There have been quite a few changes in the smartphone market this year, not just in terms of design, but also in terms of the technology within them.
Of course they have all become faster with upgraded processors, but USB Type-C has now appeared on some devices, fingerprint sensors are now pretty much a given and some displays are taking things one step further with either dual-edges or force touch.
Design has greatly improved too with Samsung really pulling it out of the bag with the Galaxy S6 edge and Huawei stepping up to the mark firstly with the Mate S and then again with the Nexus 6P, but which smartphone will be crowned winner of the Best Phone of 2015?
Click here to see the Awards nominees for 2015’s Best Phone in a little more detail to help you make your mind up about which one should get your vote.
Voting in the 12th annual EE Pocket-lint Awards is now open so you can let us know which one of these great devices you think should win the Best Phone award for this year and give us your verdict on all the other tech across the 11 select categories.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 26 November in association with EE. For now, keep an eye on the EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2015 hub for all the latest on how the voting works, who the elite judges are and the EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards shortlist.