Best Smartphones of 2016 : Learn more about your dream phone !

So, you want to buy a new phone? If you're looking for the best smartphone of 2016, you've come to the right place. We will guide you through the hottest mobile phones of the year to save you time when you go to your local phone shop.

Take a look and we guarantee you'll find the best smartphone for you, beginning with the very best phone currently available...

This is our selection of 2016's best smartphones – get the lowdown with our in-depth reviews, buyer's guide and quick-fire summaries.

Best smartphones of 2016:

1. OnePlus 3

It took a long time, but the Nexus 6P has finally been dethroned as Alphr's number-one smartphone. Why? The answer is simple: the OnePlus 3 does most things as well or better than the Google phone, and it costs £70 less.
From its smoothly finished, gloriously fabulous chassis, to its super-sensitive and reliable fingerprint reader, the OnePlus 3 is a class act. In fact, it looks and feels more like a £600 smartphone than a £309 one. Yes, you read that right, it’s only £309.

Despite the low price, OnePlus has squeezed in a monster roster of components that sees it stretch out a huge lead over its mid-price rivals. Its Snapdragon 820 processor, huge 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage are unmatched at this price and its 16-megapixel camera isn’t half-bad either.
It’s the battery life that really seals the deal, however, with stamina that will last you all day and into the next. It’s so good that it almost matches the Samsung Galaxy S7, a phone that’s £260 more expensive.

2. Google Nexus 6P

Everyone had high hopes for the new Nexus phones, and it's fair to say that Huawei delivered on its side of the bargain. Tasked with creating Google's new big-screened phone, it served up the Nexus 6P – a stylish, speedy phone with a long list of talents.Price: 16GB SIM-free, £379 inc VAT; from free on a £28/mth, 24mth contract
Where to start? There's a pair of superb cameras, great software, impressive battery life and a big, sharp, colourful 5.7in display, which is protected by a burly layer of Gorilla Glass 4. You can choose between 32, 64 and 128GB models, and the only thing that'll bother some people is the decision not to include a microSD slot – well, that and the decision to opt for a USB Type-C charging port. Leave your charging cable at home and you may end up cursing Huawei's insistence on using the latest USB connector.

Suffice to say, the Google Nexus 6P is a superb smartphone and it remains so, even well into 2016. Why is it so awesome? Simple – because this 5.7in handset gets pretty much everything right, and wraps it up in a picture-perfect package that doesn't cost a huge amount of money.
It's not the very best anymore because the OnePlus 3 is here and it's even better and even more reasonably priced. But if you don't fancy the OnePlus, the 6P is still great.  

Looks aren't everything, as Google’s 2015 Nexus 5X ably demonstrates. Built by LG, the Nexus 5X is something of a frumpy, plastic-clad lump compared to its glass and metal competitors, but it has all the qualities you'd expect from a high-end phone – and it undercuts them on price, too.  Price when reviewed: 16GB SIM-free, £299 inc VAT; 32GB SIM-free, £379 inc VAT


Upfront, there's a 5.2in Full HD screen that is bright and colour-accurate, so images look lifelike and natural, and thanks to an impressively high contrast ratio, it more than holds its own against flagships at twice the price. Combined with a pixel-perfect camera that snaps 12-megapixel photos and 4K video, and locks onto subjects super-quickly with its laser-targeted autofocus, the Nexus 5X is a lovely, lovely phone.
Of course, none of this would be worth a damn if the Nexus 5X didn't hit the right notes for performance and stamina, but it does just enough to stay in contention. The six-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 delivers enough punch to keep things ticking along nicely, even if it's a way off the pace of pricier flagships. The only downside? The 2,700mAh battery simply isn't big enough to deliver more than a day's use – you'll find the quick-charge function (50% charge in half an hour) coming in very handy indeed.
Okay, so it can't rival the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact for looks, but it’s a much bigger bargain. For your money, you get one of the best mobile-phone cameras around, slick performance and – most important of all – pure Android 6 Marshmallow. It’s a class act. 
The Samsung Galaxy S7 is the most capable smartphone on the market today, with great performance, the best camera in the business and a polished design that no other handset can match. It's a brilliant phone, especially now Samsung has brought back storage expansion via microSD and water and dust resistance.Price: 32GB SIM-free, around £569 inc VAT
There's really very little it does wrong. Samsung's 5.1in Super AMOLED screen is simply divine, and the screen technology allows for the clever always-on capability – you can set the Galaxy S7 to display the time and basic notifications all the time, and without adversely affecting battery life.

It's little surprise to find a superb camera in the S7. It might look like a downgrade at first sight – it's dropped from 16 to 12 megapixels – but Samsung has taken the opportunity to enlarge the camera sensor's pixels and increase the lens aperture to maximise the camera's light-gathering abilities. The phase-detect autofocus, a feature more commonly found on DSLRs, has been improved, too, now locking onto subjects super-quickly. In short, it's a great camera.
The clincher is the S7's performance – and it's battery life. The octa-core processor absolutely hammers through benchmarks and games, and it makes for a gorgeously silky experience in everyday use. Astonishingly, battery life is best in class, too, with the Galaxy S7 outlasting all of its rivals in our video-rundown tests. 
So, why isn't it number one? Simple: the only reason it doesn't swing top spot is that it's significantly more expensive than the OnePlus 3, and for our money, isn't quite as good value. 
If you can't quite afford the S7, though, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is still a great phone and significantly cheaper, so make sure you check out our review of that handset, too.

5. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Just like its stablemate, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is pretty much as good as it gets. It's not a huge upgrade on last year’s model, but with improvements all round – a better camera, bigger screen, better Edge screen functions, the all-important return of the much-missed microSD slot, weather-proofing and superb battery life – it’s a big enough update to maintain Samsung’s position at the top of the smartphone tree.Price: 32GB SIM-free, around £569 inc VAT
It certainly helps that it looks bloody gorgeous, too. The glossy glass finish spreads across a glittering metallic base, while the 5.5in screen curves quickly away to reveal the dainty, softly curved edges. It really is something special.

Turn it on, meanwhile, and Samsung's expertise with Super AMOLED technology shows: the screen delivers class-leading levels of brightness, colour accuracy and contrast. It's really quite stupendous, and it shares the clever always-on technology of the standard S7, which allows the time and basic notifications to be displayed permanently, and without hammering the battery.
And talking of battery, the S7 Edge has an enviable ability to pair ridiculous, high-end performance with the best battery life Alphr has ever seen. Meanwhile, a clever feature allows you to limit the frame rate in games to squeeze even more battery life out of the S7 Edge. It's just a great smartphone. 

The iPhone 7 is a great smartphone and despite the controversy surrounding the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, it's an improvement all-round over the iPhone 6s.Price: 32GB SIM-free, £599 inc VAT
Our favourite feature is the Force Touch home button, which mimics the feel of a physical button, without the inherent unreliability of a mechanical buttons. It feels brilliant, and in conjunction with Apple's 3D Touch display, lends the iPhone 7 a futuristic feel that no other smartphone can match.
The camera is also an improvement over last year's, with a wider, brighter aperture of f/1.8, an improved lens and quad-LED flash, and better performance in low light.

Everything else about the iPhone 7 screams quality. The luxurious feel and design will be enough to loosen most wallets, but that's just part of the phone's appeal.
The Apple A10 Fusion processor is incredibly fast, and this year it's more efficient than ever, gaining extra battery life by running less demanding tasks its lower power cores. The battery life still isn't up there with the Android competition, but it's getting better, and that can only be a good thing. 
Nevertheless, the iPhone 7 is all round a better phone than the iPhone 6s – and if you buy one, you're very unlikely to come away disappointed. 

Apple's big smartphone is extra special this year. Instead of one camera on the rear, it has two, with the extra snapper allowing you to get twice as close to your subject as the standard snapper.Price: 32GB, £719 inc VAT; 128GB, £819 inc VAT; 256GB, £919 inc VAT (all SIM-free)

There are other reasons to choose this over the 4.7in iPhone 7, though, despite the fact that internally it's largely the same.
It has a bigger battery, which in turn is larger than in last year's iPhone 6s Plus, and a bigger screen, although 5.5in has become a common screen size these days.
The 5.5in screen is still "only" Full HD – which might not sound like much compared to the Quad HD displays on rival Android phones – but with that many pixels crammed into such a small space, it still looks fantastically sharp. And with Apple's new "Wide color" technology in place, it looks better than ever, with colour more vibrant and lush than ever before, but without sacrificing colour accuracy or overall quality. 
The Apple A10 Fusion processor still delivers fantastic performance in everything from Safari to games, but it's the combination of its two extra low-power cores and that bigger battery that makes the difference here, pushing battery life well beyond the single day of most smartphones.
The downside is that, thanks to the weak pound, the iPhone 7 Plus is more expensive than ever, and that's likely to put it out of reach for many, but make no mistake, the iPhone 7 Plus is one fabulous smartphone. 


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