The 20 best smartphones available to buy in the UK right now. The best phones you can buy in the UK - Best Android phones, best iPhones, best Windows Phones - best mobile phone reviews. Keep reading to find out what is the best phone of 2015. Updated on 22/6/15.
Smartphones are an important and personal tech purchase so at PC Advisor we review all the major handsets available to buy in the UK. Here we rank them into the 20 best smartphones of 2014/2015. See also: What's the fastest smartphone of 2015: processor, web and graphics performance comparison
We test and review smartphones in-depth and here are the best of the best from all the operating systems including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. We update this story all the time as we review the latest smartphones. See also: Best Android smartphones in UK: What's the best Android phone you can buy in 2015?
If you've visited this page in the past you may notice that we've cut the number of smartphone in the list. There are now just 20 to help you get a clearer and more concise look at the best phones on the market.
Best phones list: Smartphones to look out for in 2015 UK
Although we've ranked the best smartphones which we've reviewed, there are some upcoming handsets to be aware of. Once we've had them in, tested them fully, and reviewed them, they are likely to make this chart. This means it might be worth holding off your purchase for a little while. Take a look at: The best tablets of 2015: What's the best tablet in the UK right now?
Many of the big name smartphones for 2015 have launch including the Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9 and LG G4 - We should also have a review sample of the Sony Xperia Z3+ very soon. However, we're still waiting for the arrival of the iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) and Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (which will launch alongside the Galaxy S6 Plus) plus expect new Nexus devices from Google at some point, too.
Adding to the list are the OnePlus 2 which is shaping up to be quite the phone and Motorola will announce new devices just a matter of hours later. We're expecting new models of the Moto G and Moto X.
Smartphone material poll
Best phones of 2015: How to choose which phone to buy
One of the biggest things you need to decide when choosing a smartphone is which operating system to use. Although there are others around, it's best to stick with the big names including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and potentially BlackBerry. If you're already using one then it might be best to stay in that camp – especially if you've invested time and money in its apps. However, it's not difficult to switch so you should consider them all. Note there aren't any BlackBerry devices on the market at the moment which we think are good enough to make this list but check out our BlackBerry Classic review.
Design will come down to personal taste and most of the top smartphones now have a very thin and light chassis. The best smartphones typically use premium materials like glass, aluminium or even steel and on this front you're best off trying a phone out in the flesh to see whether it feels good for the size of your hand.
It's worth pointing out that only a handful of the best phones on the market come with a waterproof design. It's mostly Sony offering this feature across its Xperia Z range.
The screen size of a high-end phone is typically 5in or above with a key exception being the Xperia Z3 Compact. You're looking at a Full HD (1080 x 1920) resolution typically or even higher at Quad HD (1440 x 2560).
These days, all the best phones have decent processors and plenty of memory. Some may be quad-core with 2 GB of RAM while others are octa-core with 3 GB of RAM. Despite benchmark scores, you're typically going to get great performance from these devices - you tend to get what you pay for.
What is more important to look at is storage as once you run out, that's it. If you want to store lots of apps, photos, videos and music then look for a phone with plenty of internal storage – 64- or even 128GB. Less is ok but check for a microSD card slot meaning you can add more by buying and inserting a memory card.
When it comes to cameras, more megapixels is a good sign but isn't the be and end all so make sure you click through to our full review of each phone for our thoughts as well as sample photos and videos. See also: Best phone camera 2015.
Whether you care about it or not, the best phones will typically come with some additional hardware. The latest iPhones have fingerprint scanners, and so do many of Samsung's Galaxy phones which also often have heart rate monitors and even UV sensors. Lots of top phones have an IR blaster so you can control other gadgets around your home such as your TV. Audio fans will enjoy the stereo speakers of the HTC One M8 and M9 while Sony's Xperia Z3 range and some other phones offers High-Res playback support.
Battery life will no doubt be important to you and there are still only a handful of phones which come with wireless charging built-in making it easier to keep your handset topped up. Battery life varies from device to device, so click through to our reviews to see how they got on in our tests.
Best Smartphones of 2015: best phones reviews
20. Apple iPhone 5S
- Reviewed on: 6 February 15
- RRP: 16GB £459 inc VAT; 32GB £499 inc VAT
Even more than a year after launch, the iPhone 5S is still a great choice. It's roughly £100 cheaper now to buy SIM free and has TouchID, a great camera and remains a solid performer. The 4in screen is cramped compared to the 5in (and bigger) rivals, but if you want a smaller smartphone, we can still recommend it.
Read our Apple iPhone 5S review.
- Reviewed on: 13 October 14
- RRP: £420 inc VAT
The standard, non-customised Moto X is a desirable smartphone, but it's a little overpriced especially if you compare it with the Nexus 5. So Google's phone may lack the premium build quality and hi-res camera, but in most other respects it's a match for the Motorola at a significantly lower price. What makes the new Moto X really attractive is Moto Maker, as it's unlikely anyone else will choose your combination of customisations. (But it may also make it harder to resell when it's time to upgrade.) It's just a shame that Motorola decided not to add a microSD slot: there's no such thing as too much storage.
Read our Moto X (2nd gen.) review.
18. YotaPhone 2
- Reviewed on: 13 May 15
- RRP: £440 inc VAT
There are a lot of things to like about the YotaPhone 2 and we applaud the company for doing something different. The design is excellent and if you want a dual-screen smartphone this is the one for you (ie. don't buy the original). Although the concept works pretty well and there's potential for great battery life, there are a few downfalls. We're mainly disappointed by the slow nature of using the e-ink screen and the awful ghosting. The price is also a barrier (even at £440) and means it comes short of rivals in areas such as photography and storage.
Read our YotaPhone 2 review.
17. Sony Xperia Z2
- Reviewed on: 8 May 14
- RRP: £599 inc VAT
Although not much has changed from the Xperia Z1, the Xperia Z2 is another solid effort from Sony. The smartphone is a good all-rounder with a great screen, camera, build quality and performance. We just wish it wasn't quite so bulky.
Read our Sony Xperia Z2 review.
16. HTC Desire Eye
- Reviewed on: 5 November 14
- RRP: £399 inc VAT
We are thoroughly impressed with the HTC Desire Eye: it's fast, it's great value (assuming it comes in around £350), it has a nice screen and it sounds great. Better still, it makes you look pretty.
Read our HTC Desire Eye review.
- Reviewed on: 24 February 15
- RRP: £650 inc VAT
The Galaxy Note Edge is one of the most interesting smartphones around and while the edge screen is genuinely useful at times, it also remains a slight gimmick. Hardware is top notch and although we dislike the faux leather, build quality is good. The Note Edge is big and expensive so it might be worth waiting for the next generation before taking the plunge.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review.
- Reviewed on: 28 January 15
- RRP: £342 inc. VAT
This really is the Samsung iPhone, and the South Korean firm has done a fantastic job of it. By putting build quality before specification it has produced a truly desirable, premium phone with a mid-range price. And still the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is still astonishingly fast.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Alpha review.
13. OnePlus One
- Reviewed on: 20 April 15
- RRP: From £229 inc VAT
There are only two, possibly three, bad things to say about the OnePlus One, if you are happy to buy online direct from OnePlus. We wish there was expandable storage, and it's bigger than other smartphones with similarly sized displays. And if we are being really harsh, we would hope for a better camera. But at the price the OnePlus One is an amazing deal. It's a flagship smartphone for a mid-range price. Bargain. Get them while they are hot.
Read our OnePlus One review.
12. Google Nexus 5
- Reviewed on: 13 October 14
- RRP: £299 inc VAT
Google and LG have done a fantastic job with the Nexus 5, producing a very desirable phone at an outrageously low price. It's the best value-for-money smartphone out there right now.
Read our Google Nexus 5 review.
11. Sony Xperia Z3
- Reviewed on: 8 October 14
- RRP: £515 inc VAT
The Sony Xperia Z3 is undoubtedly a decent and desirable smartphone but Z2 owners will have little reason to upgrade unless PS4 Remote Play or High-Res audio are must-haves. In terms of the wider market, the Z3 is up there with the best and a solid choice even if it doesn't have the amount of bells and whistles which others do.
Read our Sony Xperia Z3 review.
- Reviewed on: 6 November 14
- RRP: £249 inc VAT
We're seriously impressed by the Honor 6 which costs just £249 while providing specs you would normally pay a lot more for. It has a decent 5in Full HD screen, high quality cameras, good battery life, 4G support, good performance, expandable storage and wireless features like NFC and an IR blaster. The microSD cards slot is limited to 32 GB and Emotion UI isn't the best Android software but these don't stop the Honor 6 being the best value smartphone around.
Read our Honor 6 (by Huawei) review.
- Reviewed on: 5 November 14
- RRP: £599 inc VAT
The Galaxy Note 4 is a bit of a handful and is rather expensive but lovers of the Galaxy Note range will likely be enamoured with this edition. It is, on the whole, a great device with plenty of power and features. As long as you're aware that you're buying a huge phone and will get the most out of what it offers. Otherwise a smaller and cheaper handset is probably a better choice – the Galaxy S5 or one of its rivals.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review.
- Reviewed on: 23 April 15
- RRP: £760 inc VAT
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is a beautiful smartphone, one of the most attractive but the design has flaws such as sharp edges. While a non-removable battery is an inevitable outcome, we're surprised about the lack of waterproofing and a microSD card slot. Hardware is strong with a gorgeous screen, fast processor and great all-round camera. The key point here is that while dual edge display sounds like an amazing innovation it has very limited in functionality so simply isn't worth the extra money compared to the regular Galaxy S6.
Read our Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review.
7. HTC One (M8)
- Reviewed on: 8 April 15
- RRP: £550 inc VAT
Like the Galaxy S5 and Xperia Z2, the new HTC One M8 isn't a big leap compared to the previous model. What HTC has done is taken a great phone and made it better. The M8 looks and feels gorgeous and with important upgrades including a microSD card slot and an innovative camera. This is one desirable smartphone. The HTC One M9 is now available but the M8 remains a good choice since the 2015 model is very similar.
Read our HTC One (M8) review.
- Reviewed on: 10 December 14
- RRP: 16GB £539, 64GB £649, 128GB £699
If you are an iPhone user, and you specifically want an iPhone to be your next smartphone, the iPhone 6 is the best yet. It's a slick, well-built, beautifully designed handset. Performance is good, the display is good, and the iOS eco-system is, well, good. Where the choice becomes more difficult is in quantifying the value of the iPhone 6 in the wider market. Step over to the Android world and you could get a similar experience with a better display for a lot less money. And you could expand the storage. There is no question that these days there is better value in the Android world, but value isn't really the point with an iPhone. iPhones are great, and the iPhone 6 is the best yet. If you are dedicated to using an Apple phone, it should be your next handset.
Read our Apple iPhone 6 review.
5. HTC One M9
- Reviewed on: 21 April 15
- RRP: £579 inc VAT
The HTC One M9 is a genuinely desirable smartphone with the best design and build available in Android land, even with Samsung upping the ante. It's good to see the powerful Snapdragon 810 and more memory, however, some key hardware remains the same meaning M8 users are unlikely to be tempted to upgrade – and the old model is now an attractive buy at around £350. The fact the Galaxy S6 is the same price with more impressive specs is also not a good thing for HTC.
Read our HTC One M9 review.
4. LG G3
- Reviewed on: 1 June 15
- RRP: £259 inc. VAT
When the LG G3 came in at under £500 we were impressed. A year on and a phone that packs amazing features including a Quad HD display and a camera with a laser auto focus is one of the bargains of the market. The LG G3 is surprisingly small considering the 5.5in display and we like the more premium design. It's another winner from LG, and well worth your consideration in 2015.
Read our LG G3 review.
3. LG G4
- Reviewed on: 20 May 15
- RRP: £500 inc VAT
LG has gone down an unexpected route with leather models which we like apart from a couple of colours. The so called ceramic model will be cheaper but feels cheap and plasticky. On the whole, hardware is once again strong - particularly the camera - but not massively different from the G3 and has tough competition. We feel build quality could be better with a metal frame and dimensions going down, not the reverse. This is the flagship to go for if you want a removable battery and expandable storage but it's a shame to see features like wireless charging dropped. (Remember the G3 is now a steal at under £300 SIM-free)
Read our LG G4 review.
- Reviewed on: 6 November 14
- RRP: £349 inc VAT
The Xperia Z3 compact is great little smartphone offering pretty much everything available on the full-size Z3 (including PS4 Remote Play and High-Res audio) apart from a Full HD screen. The new design is thinner and lighter plus the display is bigger than previously. At £349, this is not only the best mini smartphone you can buy, it's one of the best smartphones around.
Read our Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review.
- Reviewed on: 20 April 15
- RRP: £599 inc VAT (32GB), £660 inc VAT (64GB)
Samsung's Galaxy S6 is the best Android phone of 2015 so far, although we've yet to see what's to come from the LG G4 and Sony Xperia Z4. It's fast, it's well built, it has a gorgeous screen and the software isn't overly intrusive. The fingerprint scanner is vastly improved, the heart-rate scanner a potential draw for some users, and the wireless- and fast charging welcome inclusions. We'd like to see the price come down (which we are sure it will) and it's a shame we've lost the removable battery, waterproofing and microSD support, but these are all things we can live with.
Read our Samsung Galaxy S6 review.