There are a lot of phones in Sony's range, and it can be confusing to figure out which is the best for you. The best might be the most powerful, the one with the largest screen, or even the smallest screen depending on your preferences. There's also the best value, or simply the cheapest. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2017.
Also see: Best Phone Deals
Sony has several ranges, which include the Xperia Z, X, E, M and C. The latter is all about great selfies, while the E and M are budget and mid-range options. Z was the previous flagship range, but that's now been taken over by X, with no fewer than six X-series phones launching in 2016.
"We can't comment on future product launches but the X series is a new concept under the new brand vision which sets the X series apart from our previous range of not only the Z series, but also our entry and mid-range series line-ups. The X series delivers our global hero smartphones bringing new user experiences focused on three core concepts: camera, battery and design," said the firm in a statement to PC Advisor.
In the UK Sony sells more than a dozen different models, with new ones arriving regularly. The latest additions are the Xperia XZ and X Compact, which we've now added to this list.
What you'll find below is a brief overview of why each phone could be the best for you and the latest prices. The great thing about opting for one of last year's models is that you can get it for a knock-down price and there's certainly nothing to complain about in terms of performance even though there are newer, faster models this year.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2017
Sony Xperia Z5
- RRP: £549 inc VAT
The Z5 may be a year old, but far from being relegated from our best phones roundup, it's still there, and deserves to be. It's a great phone with a capable - if not class-leading - camera.
It cost £549 when it launched but these days you can pick one up for under £350 if you hunt around.
It has a fantastic 5.2in full HD screen, and looks great with its all-glass front. If there's one snag, it's that Sony backtracked on the 'waterproof' claim and says you shouldn't use it underwater. However, with its IP68 rating, it's still one of the most waterproof around and many owners have happily used their Z5 for underwater photography and video.
The Z5 was the first Sony phone to come with a fingerprint scanner, cleverly built into the slim power button on the side.
Ok, so it has been surpassed by today's flagships for performance and camera quality but at this price, it's still great value.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
- RRP: £429 inc VAT
If a 5.2in screen is too large, the Z5 comes in a smaller format: the Compact with a 4.6in, 720p display.
The Xperia Z5 Compact was for a long time the best small phone around, but the relatively high price of £429 meant there were better-value options if you could live with a larger phone. In other respects, such as design and specs, the Compact is just a Z5 in a smaller frame. Some don't much like the 'sharp' edges but it's a minor quibble. The responsive fingerprint scanner is a great feature and the Snapdragon 810 with almost stock Android provides slick performance. However, the camera (which is identical to the Z5's) isn't as good as Sony makes it out to be.
Expect to pay around £320-350 for a Z5 Compact now. That's not exactly cheap, but overall, it's still a top-notch phone.
Sony Xperia X
- RRP: £459
The naming covention can be confusing at first, but X is the new Z. The Xperia X is a 2016 flagship (actually, that crown is taken by the new XZ on the next slide, so it's more of a 'premium' smartphone) which follows in the footsteps of the Xperia Z5, although it has a few corners cut here and there to make it cheaper than rival Android flagships.
A few of these might prove hard to accept depending on your priorities. The X isn't water-resistant, for example (but the XZ is). It also has a slower processor than the fastest available, but it does get an excellent camera. Many also like the 5in screen which strikes a good balance between readability and bulk.
It was pricey when it launched back in June at £459, but you can already buy it for under £400 from Amazon. There are a few colours to choose between, and the wallpaper matches the body colour.
Read our full Xperia X review.
Sony Xperia X Compact
- RRP: £379
As the name, suggets the X Compact is the sort of replacement for last year's Xperia Z5 Compact offering users a smaller and more managable phone. It has a 4.6in screen which is even smaller than the iPhone 7.
The Sony Xperia X Compact is an odd little smartphone. On the one hand its build quality, lack of waterproofing and lack of a standout feature make it harder to recommend compared to the older Xperia Z5 Compact. The X Compact isn't waterproof for starters.
However, if you want a sub-5in Android smartphone with excellent battery life it’s the best current option out there. For all its flaws, we also kept coming back to the phone largely due to its sheer portability. Just don’t buy the blue one.
Read our Xperia X Compact review.
Sony Xperia XZ
- RRP: £539 inc VAT
The XZ is now on sale and it £549 from Sony's online shop. It's Sony's new flagship phone and has an exciting-sounding 23Mp rear camera with "triple image-sensing" technology.
It has a 5.2in full HD screen and a Snapdragon 820 processor, and a polished metal back. It's actually a matt finish rather than gloss, but this helps to mask fingerprints. Like most of Sony's other phones, there's a choice of colours - blue, black and grey. We really like the dark blue finish which sets it apart from most other phones. You just have to get on with the boxy design.
We've ranked it here in the list because, like the X, the XZ is merely splash-resistant and can't be submerged. This feels like a step backwards when Samsung and Apple's latest phones are water-resistant.
Read our review of the Xperia XZ.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
- RRP: £230
By no means new (it was launched in mid-2015) the M4 Auqa was Sony's first octacore 64-bit phone, using the Snapdragon 615 processor.
Far from looking like a budget phone, the M4 is easily confused with the Xperia Z3. It's a great size, too, with a 5in 720p screen.
And if you're wondering, the Aqua suffix does indeed mean it's water-resistant, and has the same IP68 rating as the Xperia Z5.
The 13Mp camera isn't the last word in image quality these days, but it will still give the best phones a run for their money and don't forget that Sony is one of the only manufacturers which puts a dedicated shutter button on its phones which makes Xperias that bit nicer to use as a camera.
Sony Xperia XA
- RRP: £269.99
Being a part of the new X-series, you'd assume that the XA would be a premium model with an equally premium price. But no, the XA is a smart-looking 5in phone that now costs £199 from Amazon (it originally cost £269 when it launched a couple of months ago).
Costs are saved by using a plastic finish rather than metal, and a 13Mp camera instead of the 23Mp extravaganza found in the XZ. There's also a mid-range processor, so don't expect ultra-fast performance. And no, it isn't waterproof.
The tiny side bezels make it appear that the screen runs right from edge to edge, but its quality is noticeably inferior to the very best IPS screens on phones. But you do have to remember the price: the XA costs three times less than flagship phones.
It's no world beater, but as you'll see in our full Xperia XA review, it is a solid choice for the money.
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
- RRP: £629 inc VAT
Forever to be known as the "4K phone that wasn't really 4K", the Z5 Premium was - and is - an ostentatious phablet that divides opinion. Some think it's too big, too expensive and over-specified, while others love its acres of smooth glass, both front and rear.
Roughly the same size as the 5.5in iPhone, the Sony Z5 Premium also has a 5.5in screen, but with four times the resolution. With 3840x2160 pixels, its 806ppi trumps every other phone out there, even today.
The problem is that most of the time the phone runs at 1920x1080, and it's fairly hard to see the extra detail that 4K offers on a screen that's 10 times smaller than most 4K TVs.
The rest of the specs are similarly premium, with the Snapdragon 810 CPU, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and the same 23Mp camera as the other Z5 models (which, naturally, shoots 4K video). And it's also water-resistant. It still holds up well against the 2016 flagships, but is arguably better value now.
It originally cost £629, but Sony now lists it at £579. But if you look around, you'll find it for under £500 on Amazon and other sites.
You can also read our full Z5 Premium review.