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Best new phones | 29 best new phones coming in 2016 & 2017 we want

New phones coming in 2016 and 2017. We look at the best new phones that you must see before you upgrade, including the best new Android phones, best new iPhones, best new Windows phones, best new Samsung phones, best new Sony phones, best new HTC phones, best new LG phones and more.

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  • Apple iPhone 7
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
  • Apple iPhone 8
  • Lenovo Phab2 Pro
  • Moto Z & Moto Z Force
  • Google Pixel X & Pixel XL
  • Microsoft Surface Phone
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
  • Sony Xperia XZ
  • Sony Xperia Z6
  • Apple iPhone SE
  • HTC One M10
  • Huawei P9
  • LG G5
  • New Moto G 2016
  • Nextbit Robin
  • OnePlus 3
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
  • A look back
  • Apple iPhone 6s
  • Apple iPhone 6S Plus
  • Asus Zenfone 2
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6P
  • HTC One A9
  • HTC One M9
  • HTC One M9+
  • Huawei P8 & P8 max
  • LG G4
  • LG G Flex 2
  • Microsoft Lumia 950 & XL
  • Moto X Force
  • OnePlus 2
  • OnePlus X
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
  • Sony Xperia Z3+
  • Sony Xperia Z5
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
  • Xiaomi Mi Note and Xiaomi Mi Note Pro
  • More stories
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New phones coming in 2016 and 2017. We look at the best new phones that you must see before you upgrade, including the best new Android phones, best new iPhones, best new Windows phones, best new Samsung phones, best new Sony phones, best new HTC phones, best new LG phones and more. We'll also look at the highlights from last year with the best phones of 2015. Also see: The best new tablets you can't afford to miss in 2016.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Apple iPhone 7

iPhone 7 UK release date: 7 September 2016 (launch), 16 September (on sale)

The cat is finally out the bag, and Apple has unveiled its iPhone 7 to the world. There are some welcome changes in the new iPhone, for example the new stereo speakers and IP67 waterproofing, as well as the faster performance available from the Apple A10 Fusion processor. However, the much rumoured dual-lens camera made its way only to the iPhone 7 Plus (see the next slide).

We're less pleased by the loss of the headphone jack (you now need to use a pair of Lightning-connected headphones or use the adaptor supplied in the box with your old ones). And what sounded fantastic at the launch event - that Apple would keep the iPhone 7 at the same price as the iPhone 6s but with double the storage capacity - turned out to be true only in the US. In the UK the entry-level iPhone 7 is £60 more expensive than was the 16GB iPhone 6s, and the price gap increases for the other models.

Read more about the iPhone 7 here.

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New phones coming in 2016 and 2017. We look at the best new phones that you must see before you upgrade, including the best new Android phones, best new iPhones, best new Windows phones, best new Samsung phones, best new Sony phones, best new HTC phones, best new LG phones and more. We'll also look at the highlights from last year with the best phones of 2015. Also see: The best new tablets you can't afford to miss in 2016.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Apple iPhone 7

iPhone 7 UK release date: 7 September 2016 (launch), 16 September (on sale)

The cat is finally out the bag, and Apple has unveiled its iPhone 7 to the world. There are some welcome changes in the new iPhone, for example the new stereo speakers and IP67 waterproofing, as well as the faster performance available from the Apple A10 Fusion processor. However, the much rumoured dual-lens camera made its way only to the iPhone 7 Plus (see the next slide).

We're less pleased by the loss of the headphone jack (you now need to use a pair of Lightning-connected headphones or use the adaptor supplied in the box with your old ones). And what sounded fantastic at the launch event - that Apple would keep the iPhone 7 at the same price as the iPhone 6s but with double the storage capacity - turned out to be true only in the US. In the UK the entry-level iPhone 7 is £60 more expensive than was the 16GB iPhone 6s, and the price gap increases for the other models.

Read more about the iPhone 7 here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 Plus UK release date: 7 September 2016 (launch), 16 September 2016 (on sale)

With previous iPhone launches the Plus model has always been simply a larger version of the standard iPhone, but with a larger, higher-resolution screen and a bigger battery. That's still the case, although with the iPhone 7 Plus you also get a second camera at the rear, with a 56mm telephoto lens. This allows it to feature a 2x optical zoom.

Read more about the iPhone 7 Plus here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Apple iPhone 8

iPhone 8 UK release date: September 2017

Apple is set to go big on the iPhone's 10th anniversary, which could go some way to make up for this year's relatively minor upgrade. A combination of design and hardware changes should make the iPhone 8 the most radical new iPhone to date.

The iPhone 8 could be the iPhone with which Jony Ive finally gets his own way: an iPhone that resembles a single sheet of glass with an edge-to-edge OLED screen. According to an Apple supplier, at least one of the company's new iPhones for 2017 will have a glass body. The TouchID scanner is thought to be hidden within the glass, while the physical Home button will be gone.

Other rumours suggest the iPhone 8 will feature wireless charging for the first time, and possible biometric features such as facial recognition or iris scanning. It'll run the Apple A11 processor and motion co-processor, and be devilishly fast.

Click here for more iPhone 8 rumours.

(Image via ConceptsiPhone.)

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Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Lenovo Phab2 Pro

Lenovo Phab2 Pro UK release date: September 2016

Announced at June's Lenovo Tech World, the Phab2 Pro won't hit the UK until September (at $500 in the US, with UK pricing TBC). But when it does, it should be the first Project Tango phone.

Project Tango is, in essence, a Google project that allows a smartphone to detect, map and learn its position relative to the room/world around it without the use of external signals such as Wi-Fi or GPS. It can also detect surfaces and obstacles within your environment, and can recognise known environments.

This means it opens a whole new world of possibilities: developers could create apps and experiences previously impossible on a smartphone, including real-time 3D mapping, measurement of physical spaces and augmented-reality gaming. 

There's a 6.4in Quad-HD screen, an octa-core 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (plus microSD support). The battery is huge at 4050mAh, but probably also necessary given the large screen. Oh, and there are four cameras on this beast of a phone.

Read more about the Lenovo Phab2 Pro here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: LG V20

LG V20 UK release date: 6 September 2016 (launch), End of September (onsale - in Korea, other markets to follow)

Successor to the LG V10 (which never actually made it to the UK), the V20 is set to be LG's second flagship of the year. More importantly, it is the first phone to run Android Nougat out of the box and, as LG itself teased before the launch, has a stellar audio experience shipping with a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC and B&O earphones.

As suspected, the V20 is not - like the company's LG G5 - a modular phone. However, the 3,200mAh battery is removable, which will please many users. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0 over USB-C.

It's powered by the flagship-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. There's 64GB of storage, plus up to 2TB expansion possible through microSD.

As before two screens feature, with a secondary always-on screen sitting above the 5.7in Quad-HD (256x1440, 513ppi) IPS Quantum Display main panel to offer alerts and notifications at a glance.

Read more about the LG V20 here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: New Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Moto Z, Moto Z Force UK release date: September 2016

It came as no surprise when Motorola announced two new phones at the Lenovo Tech World Show in early June, and it was even less surprising that they were called Moto Z rather than Moto X (although Motorola insists this is a new- rather than replacement line). But while we were expecting a new Moto Z Play and Moto Z Style, we actually got a new Moto Z and Moto Z Force. 

These are indeed the modular phones the rumours were referring to, with new 'Moto Mods'. These snap on to the back of the phone like a rear cover, attaching themselves using high-powered magnets. Moto Mods will be compatible with future Moto Z phones, too.

The first Moto Mod is the JBL SoundBoost, which turns the Moto Z into a tiny boombox. There's also the Moto Insta-Share Projector, which can create a screen of 70in, a Power Pack and Moto Shells.

The Moto Z is claimed to be the world's thinnest phone at 5.2mm, and has a metal aluminium and steel body with a 5.5in Quad-HD AMOLED screen. There's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and 32- or 64GB of storage. There are lots of other features too but, interestingly, no headphone jack - you'll need to use an included adaptor with the USB-C port.

The Moto Z Force is a tougher version of the same phone with a second-generation shatterproof screen, which makes it slightly thicker at 7mm. Plus there's a higher-capacity battery and a higher-specified 21Mp rear camera with laser- and phase-detection autofocus.

The phones will be available in the US in the summer (known as the Moto Z and Moto Z Force Droid), but won't hit the UK until September. Prices are still to be confirmed.

Read more about the new Moto Z and Moto Z Force here.

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Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Google Pixel X and Pixel XL (new Nexus 2016)

New Nexus phones UK release date: 4 October 2016 (TBC)

We were expecting two new HTC-built Nexus phones (codenamed Marlin and Sailfish) to arrive alongside the final version of Android N. However, Google has now released Nougat to existing Nexus users, and there is no sign of new Nexus phones. And it has pointed to the LG V20 as the first phone to run Android N out of the box.

But that does not mean Sailfish and Marlin have swam away. It's now thought that these will be branded Google Pixel rather than Nexus - known as the Pixel X and Pixel XL - and that they will arrive during a special Google event on 4 October.

HTC is expected to be the manufacturer behind the new Google phones. Huawei is also on the scene, having trademarked the name Huawei 7P, although many believe it will instead be responsible for production of the successor to the Nexus 7 tablet.

Many of the rumours we've seen so far focus on the Pixel XL, which is likely to feature a Snapdragon 820 chip. This is more powerful and energy efficient, and builds in support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.

Expect both phones to come with support for USB-C. Read more Google Pixel X and Pixel XL rumours here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Microsoft Surface Phone

Microsoft Surface Phone UK release date: TBC

Surface Phone rumours have been few and far between, leading some to think it's nothing more than a myth. But it was recently revealed by Wired that Microsoft Corporate VP Panos Panay has been working on a prototype of a new phone. 

Should it truly exist, the Surface Phone is expected to arrive in 2016, with a 5.5in Quad-HD AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM, 64- and 128GB storage options (with microSD support), a 64-bit Intel processor and 21Mp rear- and 8Mp front cameras. The Surface Phone could also get a Surface Pen and a USB-C port.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 UK release date: 2 August 2016 (launch), 16 August 2016 (pre-order), 2 September 2016 (on sale)

Samsung confirmed its Galaxy Note 7 phablet at an Unpacked launch event at the beginning of August. By now it should have gone on sale in the UK, but the company has been forced to issue a recall following issues found with its battery cells. Early adopters will have their handsets replaced from 19 September, while the Note 7 should become available to buy once again in early October.

The specification didn't come as a great surprise, and this 5.7in Quad-HD SuperAMOLED display smartphone has a dual-edge screen. There's also an enhanced S Pen, a new iris scanner, IP68 waterproofing, a 12Mp Dual Pixel camera and the return of microSD support. Not that you will necessarily need it, with 64GB of storage onboard.

We can't wait to get the Note 7 into our lab for performance benchmarking, since it should show a marked improvement over the Note 5. Samsung says its 64-bit octa-core processor is 31 percent faster, while the GPU is 58 percent more powerful. With 4GB of RAM onboard this is expected to be one capable phone indeed.

Read more about the new Note 7 here and check out our Note 7 hands-on review.

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Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8 UK release date: February 2017

Samsung traditionally holds an Unpacked event in which it unveils its new S-series flagship the day before MWC. In 2017 this tradeshow runs from 27 February to 2 March, so we expect to see a new Galaxy S8 on Sunday 26 February 2017. Expect it to go on sale in early March 2017.

For its Galaxy Note 7 Samsung is rumoured to be merging its 'Edge' and standard models, so perhaps we'll see the same with the merging of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge. In any case you should expect more of the same metal and glass front/back design it introduced last year in the S6 and in 2016 has extended to the A-series.

When it arrives, you can expect the S8 to be the fastest phone money can buy, with a top-of-the-range processor and 6GB of RAM. There will more than likely be a super-high-resolution 5.1in screen - Samsung may even move up from Quad-HD to Ultra-HD, which is all the more likely given the importance being placed on VR in the next Android OS - Android N - which this phone will run.

Read more rumours on the Galaxy S8 here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Sony Xperia X Compact

Sony Xperia X Compact release date: 25 September 2016

It might be a 'Compact' phone, but the new mini Xperia X's specs are far from insignificant. There's a huge 23Mp camera at the rear (5Mp at the front), plus a generous 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (plus microSD support up to 256GB) propping up a hexacore Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 chip (2x 1.8GHz, 2x 1.4GHz). A fingerprint scanner is built into the power button on the side.

The resolution is just 1280x720, but stretched over a 4.6in LCD panel it should be plenty clear at 319ppi. This is a pocketable phone, just 129x65x9.5mm and 135g.

Read more about the Sony Xperia X Compact here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Sony Xperia XZ

Sony Xperia XZ UK release date: Early October 2016

Sony unveiled a new model in its X-series at September's IFA tradeshow, known as the Sony Xperia XZ. It's got a monster 23Mp camera at the back, and flagship-level specs such as the Snapdragon 820 chip, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Sony also claims of bettery battery life and new adaptive fast charging.

The Xperia XZ boasts a 5.2in screen surrounded by a metal casing available in a range of colours: Forest Blue, Mineral Black and Platinum. Its edges are curved in what Sony calls a "Loop Surface" designed to make the phone appear seamless and fit comfortably in your hand. It's water-resistant, but not waterproof.

Read more about the Sony Xperia XZ here.

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Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Sony Xperia Z6

Sony Xperia Z6 UK release date: TBC

Sony neglected to announce the Sony Xperia Z6 at MWC 2016, instead revealing a new Xperia X family comprising the Sony Xperia X and Sony Xperia XA. But this doesn't mean the Sony Xperia Z6 is dead: never say never, says the company, which has since clarified that it isn't ruling out the possibility at some point in the future.

You can read the latest rumours on the Sony Xperia Z6 here. 

Now we'll take a look at some of the best phones that have already gone on sale in 2016.

Best new phones 2016: Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE UK release date: 31 March 2016

Apple confirmed its iPhone SE during a special event on 21 March. The phone went on sale on 31 March at £359 (16GB).

The rumours turned out to be true, and while the iPhone SE looks vey much like an iPhone 5s, but with matt chamfered edges and a shiny stainless steel Apple logo, on the inside it's very much iPhone 6s.

Headline features include the Apple A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor, plus a 12Mp iSight camera that can also capture 4K video. 

Read our iPhone SE review here.

Best new phones 2016: HTC 10

HTC 10 UK release date: May 2016

HTC on 12 April unveiled its HTC 10, successor to the HTC One M9. It continues to major on sound, but the BoomSound stereo speaker setup looks a little different at the front, with the tweeter at the top and woofer on the bottom edge of the phone.

In common with the LG G5 it's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820-powered smartphone with 4GB of RAM, but it's slightly faster-clocked at 2.2GHz. HTC has also upgraded the screen to a 5.2in Quad-HD Super LCD 5 screen, and implemented a fingerprint scanner.

The HTC 10 is priced in line with the Galaxy S7 at £569, and available to buy now.

Read our HTC 10 review here.

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Best new phones 2016: Huawei P9 & P9 Plus

On 6 April Huawei unveiled its new flagship P9 alongside a P9 Plus. You can re-live the launch event in our Huawei P9 launch live blog.

The rumours were very much on the money, save for the naming scheme - there's no P9 Lite or P9 Max in sight. As expected, there's a new dual-camera system produced in collaboration with Leica. Unlike other dual-lens cameras, one sensor is RGB and the other monochrome. This and the new super-accurate fingerprint scanner found in the Mate 8 are highlights.

Performance is excellent with the octa-core Kirin 955 processor inside, alongside 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (that's in the standard P9 - the P9 Plus has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage).

The Huawei P9 and P9 Plus are aluminium unibody handsets with full-HD displays - the P9 has a 5.2in IPS panel, while the Plus is fitted with a 5.5in Super AMOLED screen.

The Huawei P9 is now available to buy in the UK, while we hope the P9 Plus will be coming soon.

Read our Huawei P9 review and Huawei P9 Plus review here.

Best new phones 2016: LG G5

It's not long since we welcomed the LG G4, but the LG G5 was announced by the company on 21 February. It's the company's first modular-design smartphone, which can be transformed into a digital camera or Hi-Fi player. It features a sleek aluminium unibody with a slide-out battery.

In common with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge the LG G5 has an always-on screen (here 5.3in), which makes it easier to check the time or notifications at a glance. Another innovative feature is the two cameras on the rear - one with an extra-wide 135-degree lens.

Key specs include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (with MicroSD up to 200GB), a 2800mAh removable battery and Android Marshmallow. The G5 comes in Silver, Titan, Gold or Pink, and will be available to pre-order in March for an April release.

The LG G5 costs £529 and went on sale on 8 April 2016.

Read our LG G5 review here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: New Motorola Moto G4 & Moto G4 Plus 2016

Moto G, G4 Plus UK release date: June 2016

The Moto G is hardly a flagship phone, but it stands out as one of the best budget options with a good all round spec, design and performance. As expected, Motorola unveiled a new version of the Moto G (the Moto G4) and Moto G Plus on 17 May.

Those names might lead you to believe the new Moto G4 Plus is a larger version of the Moto G; actually it's just a premium version, with a 16Mp (rather than 13Mp camera), a fingerprint scanner and potentially more RAM, depending on which storage model you purchase.

Both phones feature a 5.5in full-HD screen, a Snapdragon 617 chip, Adreno 405 graphics and a 3,000mAh battery.

The Moto G4 went on sale in early June at £169 via Amazon, Argos and Tesco Mobile, while the G4 Plus was an Amazon exclusive at £199 from mid-June.

Read more about the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus here.

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Best new phones 2016: Nextbit Robin

Things on Kickstarter are often a complete load of rubbish but the Nextbit Robin is a success story which we're looking forward to seeing in the flesh.

The firm was founded in 2012 and its key staff have been involved with Android since the beginning. Collectively, they've worked on launching phones including the G1, Nexus and HTC One M8 and M8.

The phone arrived in February 2016 with a price tag of $399, the 'cloud-first' smartphone has a different approach to most other Android devices on the market. There is on-board storage but the phone will automatically optimise by doing things like moving unused apps and photos to the cloud.

Read our Nextbit Robin review here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: OnePlus 3

OnePlus 3 UK release date: June 2016

The OnePlus 3 was unveiled on 14 June 2016, and for the first time is available to buy without an invite immediately after the launch. Prices start at £309.

The OnePlus 3 features a new metal design - albeit with the same Alert Slider key on the side - in which it houses a 5.5in full-HD AMOLED screen. There's a whopping 6GB of RAM that works with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip to make this a very powerful phone indeed.

There's no microSD slot, but plenty of storage with 64GB onboard. The fingerprint scanner remains, and NFC returns - woohoo! 16Mp rear and 8Mp front cameras are just two more of the OnePlus 3's impressive specifications given that low, low price.

For more details read our OnePlus 3 review or see our OnePlus 3 UK release date, price, new features and specification article.

Best new phones 2016: Samsung Galaxy S7 & Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung has officially unveiled its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Samsung fans will be pleased to know the handsets see the return of both a MicroSD slot and waterproofing, and although it's not removable the battery has been bumped up to 3000mAh in the S7 and 3600mAh in the S7 Edge. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S7 review.

Both phones feature a Quad-HD SuperAMOLED screen - the S7 at 5.1in and the Edge at 5.5in - and these feature new always-on (except when it's in your pocket or at night) technology, making it easier to check the time or read notifications at a glance.

Inside these Android Marshmallow phones you'll find either the Exynos 8890 or Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, depending on the market. You'll also get 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Also see: Samsung Galaxy S7 vs Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

The camera has been downgraded to 12Mp, but larger pixels and a f/1.7 aperture will allow it to receive 95 percent more light. This is also seen at the front for the 5Mp selfie camera, and Samsung says the S7 is the first phone with a Dual Pixel sensor.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are available to buy at £569 and £639 respectively from Samsung, and are also available from UK mobile operators. See best Galaxy S7 deals

Read our Samsung Galaxy S7 review and Samsung Galaxy S7 edge review here.

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Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Sony Xperia XA Ultra

Sony XA Ultra UK release date: Available now

In mid-May Sony announced the Sony Xperia XA Ultra, a new model in the X family with a 6in edge-to-edge screen. It's set to be the mother of all selfie phones, with a 16Mp front-facing camera that has both an LED flash and optical image stabilisation.

In other respects the XA Ultra has a largely mid-range spec, with an octa-core MediaTek MT6755 processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 2700mAh battery with Quick Charge support. It will be available in Graphite Black, White and Lime Gold.

Pre-orders have not yet begun for the new Sony Xperia XA Ultra, though Mobile Fun has set up a page on which you can register your interest for the upcoming XA Ultra.

Learn more about the Sony Xperia XA Ultra here.

Best new phones 2016: Xiaomi Mi 5

Xiaomi chose MWC 2016 as the platform to unveil its new flagship, the Mi 5. It's a beast of a smartphone, which Xiaomi claims achieved a staggering 142,084-point score in AnTuTu. That score was made possible by a combination of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (with Adreno 530 graphics and Quick Charge 3.0 support) and up to 4GB of RAM.

Other specifications of interest include a 5.15in full-HD IPS screen, a 16Mp camera with optical image stabilisation and support for 4K video, a 3000mAh battery, a fingerprint scanner and the MIUI 7 operating system, which is based on Android Marshmallow. 

Xiaomi phones aren't officially available in the UK, but they are obtainable from suppliers such as Geekbuying, which lists the 32GB/3GB, 64GB/3GB and 128GB/4GB models for sale at £294.58, £334.81 and £387.98 respectively. The Mi 5 went on sale on 1 March 2016.

Read our Xiaomi Mi 5 review here.

Best new phones 2016 & 2017: Xiaomi Mi Max

Xiaomi Mi Max UK release date: Summer 2016

In common with the Moto G and Moto X phones covered earlier in this round-up, the new Xiaomi Mi Max isn't a flagship. However, it is exciting for the fact it will be the first phone to run MIUI 8.9 (which we have a hunch will be released on 13 August), and the fact it is an absolute beast with a 6.44in screen.

Xiaomi phones aren't sold in the UK, but Gear Best has already confirmed it will ship the Mi Max to the UK for £355.10. That's for the top-end model, with the Snapdragon 652 chip, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The Mi Max can also support up to 128GB of additional storage via microSD, but it does so at the expense of its dual-SIM dual-standby functionality - both cards require the same slot.

Read more about the Xiaomi Mi Max and MIUI 8.0 new features here. Plus keep an eye out for our Mi Max review coming in the next couple of weeks.

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Best new phones 2015: Apple iPhone 6s

Apple's iPhone 6s went on sale in the UK on 25 September. (See also: best smartphones for business.)

There are some key changes in the new iPhone 6s, with a new Rose Gold colour option and a 12Mp iSight camera with support for 4K video recording. Live Photo is a fun new feature, with the iPhone recording a second and a half of video either side of the still image to help it come to life.

iOS 9 comes preinstalled on the new iPhone, and there's a new 3D Touch screen that can differentiate between a light and hard tap, allowing you to 'peek' and 'pop' into content. The screen is otherwise the same, a 4.7in Retina HD screen with 326ppi.

Also new is a second-gen Touch ID fingerprint scanner that's reportedly twice as fast, and an Apple A9 processor, now with the M9 motion coprocessor built-in and always-on. Apple says it's 80 percent faster for CPU tasks and 90 percent for GPU tasks.

Best new phones 2015: Apple iPhone 6s Plus

As well as the iPhone 6s (previous slide), Apple has made available the new iPhone 6s Plus, on sale in the UK from 25 September.

As with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the key differences between these two phones are in their screen size and overall dimensions and weight. With a higher-resolution 5.5- rather than 4.7in screen, the iPhone 6s Plus is necessarily larger and heavier, at 158.2x77.9x7.3mm and 192g. It also has a larger-capacity battery.

 The 6s Plus gets the same new features as the iPhone 6s, which means the A9 processor, 12Mp iSight camera with Live Photo, the 3D Touch screen (which can also go up to three times brighter to serve as a Retina Flash for the 5Mp selfie camera), and new Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

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Best new phones 2015: Asus Zenfone 2

We've yet to get our hands on an Asus Zenfone 2, but the top-end model (ZE551ML) is now available at Amazon for £309.99 (Buy the Asus Zenfone 2 here). This powerful phone has a staggering 4GB of RAM and a 2.3GHz 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor. For storage 32GB is fitted, and you can get more through microSD. There's 4G LTE support (dual-SIM, dual active), a 5.5in full-HD IPS screen, and 13Mp rear- and 5Mp front cameras. The stylish brushed-metal case is just 3.9mm thick at the edges. Running the fully customisable ZenUI software, the Zenfone 2 also has Trend Micro security preinstalled. The Asus Zenfone 2 is well worth a look.

Best new phones 2015: Google Nexus 5X

Google's Nexus phones have always been popular, but the 2014 Nexus 6 didn't go down quite so well. Was it too expensive? Was it too big?

Google is now hedging its bets with not only a new Nexus 5X but also a Nexus 6P - so, there is something for everyone.

The new Nexus 5 is made by LG and comes with a 5.2in full-HD screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU, a rear fingerprint scanner, a USB Type-C charging port, 12.3- and 5Mp cameras, 2GB of RAM and 16- or 32GB of storage, plus a front-facing speaker. It also runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

The new Nexus 5X is available to buy now.

Best new phones 2015: Google Nexus 6P

This new Google phone is the more capable of the two new Nexus phones, with a 5.7in Quad HD display, a metal unibody chassis, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v2 processor, 3GB of RAM, a fingerprint scanner, a 12.3Mp rear camera and 8Mp at the front.

As with the Nexus 5X, the new Nexus 6P runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It is available to buy now and will ship in October.

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Best new phones 2015: HTC One A9

HTC's One A9 is the much talked about iPhone 'copycat', but as HTC points out it has been making metal unibody phones for several years now. HTC says it is 'simple, robust and without too many frills'.

There's a 5in full-HD screen, a Snapdragon 617 processor, 2GB of RAM, microSD support, a fingerprint scanner and a 13Mp camera.

The HTC One A9 costs £469.99 SIM-free (Carphone Warehouse) and should ship by 12 November.

Best new phones 2015: HTC One M9

We are massive fans of the HTC One M8, and the HTC One M9 is even better (Buy HTC One M9 here). Although HTC has kept the full-HD screen rather than the quad-HD screens seen in the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the HTC One M9 is a very attractive phone with some impressive performance. You can check out our HTC One M9 review here, and learn more about the HTC One M9 release date, price and specs here. The phone went on sale in the UK on 31 March from £569 SIM-free, making it £30 cheaper than its rival the Samsung Galaxy S6.

Best new phones 2015: HTC One M9+

A 5.5in-screen phablet version of the HTC One M9 is the HTC One M9+ - and this is the one we were waiting for, with a Quad-HD screen and a fingerprint scanner. It's been announced only in China at 4,299 Yuan (£522), and although HTC's PR team got in touch to tell us that the M9+ will never officially make it to the UK, rumours are spreading that it is coming to Europe after all. For now, though, if you want one you'll have to buy it online from a grey-market importer.

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Best new phones 2015: Huawei P8 and Huawei P8 max

Huawei's latest flagship has a gorgeous unibody metal design that's stylish enough to rival HTC and Apple, yet it undercuts the price of those smartphones with a starting price of 499 Euro, or £357. There is a standard 5.2in Huawei P8, or a huge 6.8in Huawei P8 max. The phone and phablet should have gone on sale in the UK in April, with a worldwide launch following 15 May. We're unable to find the Max version for sale right now (check out our Huawei P8 and P8 max UK release date, price and specs), but keep your eyes peeled - it's worth hunting down.

Best new phones 2015: LG G4

LG is calling the LG G4 the 'most ambitious smartphone yet', which is focused on delivering 'comfortable elegance, a great visual experience and a human-centric user experience'. (Buy the LG G4 here.) We stand by our statement that the LG G3 was the very best phone you could buy in 2014, and things just get better with the LG G4 - although opinion is divided on that leather case (also available in ceramic versions). Key specifications include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, a 5.5in Quad HD IPS Quantum display, 32GB of storage (with microSD support) and a 3000mAh removable battery. The LG G4 was unveiled at a press event on 28 April, and went on sale on 28 May from £500 SIM-free.

Best new phones 2015: LG G Flex 2

The G4 and G4 Note aren't LG's only exciting new smartphones for 2015. At CES 2015 it unveiled the LG G Flex 2, a curved-screen handset. (Buy LG G Flex 2 here.) The G Flex 2 is a 5.5in-screen smartphone with a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core chip, and it features self-healing technology.

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Best new phones 2015: Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL

Part of the reason we're so excited about the upcoming Microsoft Lumia 950 and 950 XL is that they are among the first handsets to run full Windows 10 - Microsoft is to finally tackle the Windows Phone apps problem by running one OS across phones, tablets, PCs and laptops. The Lumia 950 has the beefiest spec of any Windows Phone we've seen too, and the XL is a larger version with a 5.7in Quad HD screen and a faster Snapdragon 810 processor. You can pre-order them now, and both new phones will go on sale in November, priced at £450 for the 950 and £530 for the XL.

Best new phones 2015: Motorola Moto X Force

The Moto X Force is the UK version of the Motorola Droid Turbo 2, and will go on sale in the UK in mid-November from £499 (32GB). 

The waterproof Moto X Force features a shatterproof 5.43in Quad-HD (1440x2560 pixels) display, a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, a 21Mp rear camera and 5Mp at the front. There are 32- and 64GB storage options, plus microSD support, and a high-capacity battery for up to 48 hours battery life.

Best new phones 2015: OnePlus 2

The OnePlus One is an amazing phone that was for a long time virtually impossible to get hold of. Priced from £229 it has the spec to match a £600 smartphone, hence OnePlus marketing it as a flagship killer. The OnePlus 2 is so much better, with improved specs and just £239. It was unveiled on 27 July in a unique virtual-reality product launch, and went on sale on 11 August (find out how to get a OnePlus 2 invite here). Highlights among the spec list include a second-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB of RAM, USB Type-C and a fingerprint scanner. Check out our full OnePlus 2 review.

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Best new phones 2015: OnePlus X

The OnePlus X is a smaller, cheaper version of the OnePlus 2, and was unveiled at a London launch event on 29 October. It costs from £199 for the Onyx glass version, although a limited-edition Ceramic model will also ship.

It's lost the fingerprint scanner and USB-C port of the OnePlus 2, but features a smaller 5in 1080p display and now features microSD support. Performance won't be as strong with a Snapdragon 801 under the hood, but that price tag is appealing.

Best new phones 2015: Samsung Galaxy A7

Samsung has confirmed its Samsung Galaxy A7, a gorgeous phablet with a 6.3mm unibody metal chassis, a 5.5in Super AMOLED screen and a 64-bit octa-core processor. The Samsung Galaxy A7 is not yet on sale on the UK, but will come in both single- and dual-SIM variants.

Best new phones 2015: Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Everyone always bangs on about Samsung's Galaxy S line-up, but it's the Note series that really impresses. The Note 4 was unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event prior to September's IFA tradeshow (3 September 2014), and right now sits at the top of our fastest smartphone and best phablet charts. Traditionally Samsung's Note launches are held at IFA in September, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 was this year unveiled several weeks early in August to give it a headstart on the new iPhones. But in the US only, for now - the Note 5 is rumoured to come to Europe in January.

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Best new phones 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6

If you're a Samsung fan but would rather stick to a phone than a phablet then the Samsung Galaxy S6 is just what you're looking for. (Buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 here.) With Samsung finally answering build-quality criticisms, it follows in the trend of the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 with a metal and glass body. There's also a quad-HD screen, plus plenty of other radical new features, including a super-fast Samsung Exynos processor (paired with 3GB of RAM), and a redesigned fingerprint scanner that works a lot more like Apple's Touch ID and, you know, actually works. The Samsung Galaxy S6 was unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event on 1 March 2015, and went on sale on 10 April 2015. Prices start at £599 SIM-free.

Best new phones 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active has now been confirmed by the company, although unfortunately for UK customers it's exclusive to the US. If you really want one keep your eyes peeled on the likes of eBay and Amazon. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is a rugged version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 with IP68 waterproofing protection and three physical buttons below the touchscreen. Many of the remaining specs are the same as that of the S6 itself, although the Active also features an Activity Zone, allowing you to quickly launch a compass, torch or stopwatch.

Best new phones 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

A second version of the Samsung Galaxy S6 launched alongside the standard S6 at MWC. (Buy the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge here.) It follows the trend set by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge, but with two curved screen edges rather than one and a marginally higher-capacity battery than is found in the S6. In other respects the specs are in line with the standard S6, but expect to pay a premium for that fancy screen. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge went on sale in the UK on 10 April 2015. Prices start at £760 SIM-free for the 64GB version.

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Best new phones 2015: Sony Xperia Z3+ (UK Sony Xperia Z4)

After all the rumours that the Sony Xperia Z4 would be delayed until September, the Z4 was recently unveiled in Japan. The Z4 won't come to the UK, but in late May Sony announced its Sony Xperia Z3+ over here. (Buy the Sony Xperia Z3+ here.) The UK version of the Z4, the Z3+ is almost identical - read our Z3 vs Z3+ comparison to see exactly how it differs to both Z3 and Z4. In essence, the Sony Xperia Z3+ is a slightly slimmed down and much faster version of the Z3, with performance we expect to fall in line with the HTC One M9. The Z3+ went on sale in the UK in June.

Best new phones 2015: Sony Xperia Z5

The new Sony Xperia Z5 is the flagship we were hoping for from Sony when we got the Sony Xperia Z3+. It's caught up with its rivals with the Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM inside, and gets one over on them with waterproofing protection, a brilliant 23Mp camera, and microSD support up to a whopping 200GB.

The Sony Xperia Z5 also comes in Premium and Compact versions and went on sale in the UK in October. For more details see our Sony Xperia Z5 hands-on review and Sony Xperia Z5 UK release date, price and specifications articles.

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Best new phones 2015: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

We've had mummy and dady, now here comes baby. The Sony Xperia Z5 mini (better known as the Z5 Compact) is a great follow-up to the Z3 Compact, smaller in size and likely to be around £100 cheaper in price, yet with few sacrifices in the specification.

In common with the Z5 and Z5 Premium the Z5 Compact offers the Snapdragon 810 processor, along with microSD support up to 200GB, the new fingerprint scanner and 23- and 5Mp cameras. It has a smaller (4.6in) and lower-resolution (720p HD) screen, and has a lower-capacity 2700mAh battery, but remember that there will be less drain from the screen. One other difference is that you get 2- rather than 3GB of RAM.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact went on sale in October. For more details on the mini Z5 see our Sony Xperia Z5 Compact hands-on review and Sony Xperia Z5 Compact UK release date, price and specifications articles.

Best new phones 2015: Sony Xperia Z5 Premium

The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium is the first 4K phone to market, with a 5.5in 2160x3840-pixel display that has a crazy-high pixel density of 806ppi.

The Premium is necessarily larger and heavier than the standard Z5, and has a slighly larger-capacity battery. In other respects it's the same phone, which means you get a Qualcomm Snapdagon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, microSD support up to 200GB, 23- and 5Mp cameras and a brand-new fingerprint scanner.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium will go on sale in November. Read more about the Z5 Premium in our Sony Xperia Z5 Premium hands-on review and Sony Xperia Z5 Premium UK release date, price and specifications articles.

Best new phones 2015: Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro

Xiaomi has officially unveiled its Xiaomi Mi Note and Mi Note Pro, with the latter hailed as the most powerful phone in the world. Both offer staggering value at £244 and £350 respectively, given their amazing specs. These two Chinese phones are fitted with 5.7in curved screens - the Mi Note full-HD and the Note Pro Quad HD. The Mi Note Pro in particular should offer unrivalled performance, thanks to a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core chip, a massive 4GB of RAM and Adreno 430 graphics. And still it's thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus. There's loads more to drool over in Xiaomi's juicy spec sheet too. The Mi Note went on sale in China on 27 January and sold out within minutes, while the Mi Note Pro went on sale on 6 May. These phones won't officially go on sale in the UK, but it's probable that you'll be able to get them on grey-market or auction sites (see How to buy Xiaomi phones in the UK).

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

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