This list contains a variety of premium and mid-range smartphones you should seriously consider if you need to make a smartphone purchase right now.
That said, several big tech companies — including Apple, Google, and Samsung — will be releasing new smartphones in the coming months.
Since five of these top phones are about to become last year’s models, we’ve listed their successors, their likely release dates, and their price tags, at the very bottom of the list in case you’d prefer to wait for any of those phones.
Here’s our list of the best smartphones you can buy right now.
Note: Prices may vary depending on the retailer.
If you were a BlackBerry fan in the company's heyday, you're going to love the BlackBerry Classic. It looks similar to older BlackBerry models but features a sharp touchscreen and an excellent physical keyboard.
The BlackBerry KeyOne with Android is the company's successor to the Priv, which also ran Android and had a slide-out physical keyboard. With the KeyOne, BlackBerry returned to basics and kept the keyboard as a permanent exterior feature.
This could be a great device for those who want a physical keyboard but also access to Google's apps and services, which aren't available on other BlackBerry devices.
The Galaxy Note 5 is a killer big-screen phone, and it's still technically the latest Galaxy Note phone you can buy as a result of the Galaxy Note 7's exploding battery issues. Like previous versions of the Note, it has a large vibrant display and a stylus for taking notes. The metal-and-glass design is great, too.
Wait for it: Samsung will announce the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23. It will likely cost more than the Galaxy Note 5, but if the rumours are true, it will come with an improved camera and overall performance upgrade.
The Axon 7 is made by ZTE, a Chinese smartphone maker that's relatively unknown in the US.
Why does it deserve a spot on this list? Because it offers the same -- if not better -- specs as the top Android players here, and it will cost you $US250 less than the big-name brands like Samsung, LG, or HTC.
That means if you don't like the Nexus devices and don't want to pay top dollar for a Galaxy S8, the ZTE Axon 7 might just be the phone for you.
The Moto G5 continues to be our favourite budget-friendly Android smartphone, as it proves that 'good-but-not-great hardware can become strong value at the right price,' according to my colleague, Jeff Dunn, who reviewed the phone.
With the G5 Plus, you get a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, a fingerprint scanner, a great battery life, a 12-megapixel camera that beats other phones in its price range, a near-pure version of Android, and a sleek design.
Still, at the G5 Plus' $US230 price tag, you'll be making a few compromises over the premium flagships. For example, there's no NFC for mobile payments. And the phone still uses microUSB for charging while USB-C -- the new standard for charging smartphones -- has been out for a couple years now.
Wait for it: Motorola and Lenovo recently announced the new Moto G5s and G5s Plus, both of which come with improvements to the camera and design. You may want to check out their details at the end of this list before buying the Moto G5 Plus.
The regular Z model is one of the thinnest phones we've held, and it's gorgeous. We also love the fact that it runs a near-pure version of Android.
The Moto Z also supports different modules that can attach to the back of the phone to give it new and better functionality. For example, you can attach a speaker module for better sound, or a projector module to project videos on a nearby wall.
The Moto Z should work with most carriers. The Moto Z Force model is a Verizon exclusive that's currently available for a pricey $US720. Compared with the regular Z model, the Moto Z Force has an extra strong screen that Motorola claims is shatterproof, as well as a larger battery.
Wait for it: The Moto Z2 Force Edition is now available for pre-order for about $US750. We haven't tested the phone yet, but it comes with updated specs over the original Moto Z.
The Huawei Mate 9 boasts a huge 5.9-inch display and great battery life, thanks to its larger-than-average battery.
It's also one of the fastest Android phones you can buy at the moment, and Huawei's own layer of software that runs on top of Android largely maintains the pure Android look that we prefer.
The Mate 9 features a dual camera that helps create depth-of-field effects -- blurry backgrounds, otherwise known as 'bokeh' -- that the iPhone 7 Plus also has.
It's not water-resistant like Samsung's Galaxy S8 or Apple's iPhone 7, but for $US600, Huawei's Mate 9 makes a strong case for a place in your pocket.
The iPhone SE, with its 4-inch screen, is the very best small-form smartphone you can buy at the moment. You get all the best apps, ecosystem, support from Apple, and the same performance as the iPhone 6S for a relatively low $US400 price tag.
It also comes with Apple Pay, among other premium features like Live Photos and a fingerprint sensor -- not to mention great battery life.
The iPhone 6S Plus also gets a $US100 price drop as a result of the iPhone 7 Plus, and that's a great deal.
Fine, you don't get all of the latest features that the iPhone 7 Plus has, like water resistance or that fancy dual-lens camera, but the iPhone 6S Plus is no slouch. It runs on the powerful A9 chip and has features like 3D Touch, which can detect how hard you press on the screen and open up a new layer of controls for your apps.
It also has an incredibly fast fingerprint sensor, as well as Live Photos, which let you capture a three-second video with audio when you press the shutter button.
Wait for it: Apple usually holds its annual iPhone event in September -- next month -- which means new iPhones. With that in mind, the iPhone 7 Plus will likely get a price drop, and will replace the iPhone 6s Plus in this list when the time comes. If you can hold on a little longer, you'll do well to wait for Apple's annual iPhone event to get the full details.
HTC's U11 has an excellent camera, an eye-catching mirror-finish, and speedy performance. You can even squeeze its edges to open any app you want, including Google Assistant, which is an interesting feature.
In almost every respect, it's a great Android smartphone, but it's let down by a missing headphone jack. It also has larger borders around the display, which is now becoming 'old-fashioned' in terms of design.
The G6 is LG's best smartphone, and it's truly a great phone. LG finally implemented key features like a premium design and water resistance, which finally put LG phones in the same league as other flagship smartphones from Samsung and Apple.
The G6 has a good dual-lens camera that everyone should be pleased with. It also has a slightly-taller-than-average screen that's great for viewing and using your apps, as it shows more of an app than regular screen.
Unfortunately, though, it's running a somewhat older processor, which prevents me from recommending the G6 outright. The Snapdragon 821 processor in the G6 is still a great processor, but Samsung announced the Galaxy S8 with the latest Snapdragon 835 just two months after the G6 was released. With that in mind, you're likely to feel the G6's older processor start to slow down before the Galaxy S8's.
The OnePlus 5 is one the top Android smartphones you can buy for its classy, simple design, excellent performance, great camera, and even better price tag. It also includes a headphone jack.
Sure, it has regular borders around the display, which is starting to look outdated, but you won't care when you pay $US150 less than smartphones that have ultra-narrow bezels, like the LG G6 and Galaxy S8.
Samsung's Galaxy S8 is the best-looking smartphone out right now, period. Yes, it's better-looking than the iPhone 7. The curved glass on both the front and back of the S8 is a refinement of its predecessor, the Galaxy S7. And the ultra-narrow borders around the screen makes the S8 the new reference for premium, luxurious design in smartphones.
Apart from looks, the Galaxy S8 is laden with features, including water resistance, a taller-than-average screen that's great for viewing more of your content, fast charging, wireless charging, face recognition, iris recognition, the best-in-class camera, Samsung Pay, and a hidden home button.
It sounds like the S8 should take the top spot on this list, but I'm not a fan of Samsung's layer of software, called Touchwiz, that runs on top of stock Android. Unfortunately, it will inevitably prevent the Galaxy S8 from receiving the latest Android updates from Google on time when they're released. And, overall, I prefer stock Android's clean look and functionality.
It's true that the Galaxy S8 wouldn't have features like face or iris recognition without Touchwiz, but those Samsung-specific features don't tempt me as much as timely Android updates. And Samsung's own software isn't even fully baked onto this phone yet; the company's own Siri-like virtual assistant, Bixby, will not be ready at launch, and will roll out in an update for this phone later in the year.
The Galaxy S8+ is identical in features to the S8, except it's slightly larger and features a larger 6.2-inch display.
The bigger S8+ model pulls ahead of the regular S8 in this list due to its size-to-screen ratio. It's about the same size as the Plus models of iPhone while sporting a much larger screen. Also, apps and content look fantastic on the large display.
Without a doubt, the iPhone 7 brings the best apps and ecosystem to its users. And by ecosystem, we mean the support you get from Apple if something goes wrong, as well as getting the latest software updates straight from Apple.
It also works amazingly well with other Apple products, too, like Apple's wireless AirPods.
The hardware also got a few improvements over the iPhone 6S, like water resistance, a camera that performs better in low light, a more powerful processor, and even redesigned antenna bands. However, a few point were docked due its lack of a headphone jack.
Wait for it: Apple usually holds its annual iPhone event in September -- next month -- which means new iPhones. If you want Apple's latest iPhone, you'd do well to wait a little little longer when Apple announces its upcoming iPhones. Indeed, the iPhone 7 won't be Apple's latest iPhone for much longer.
The iPhone 7 Plus' dual-lens camera is the key feature that places the larger iPhone 7 Plus in over the iPhone 7.
It lets you take pictures with a professional-looking 'bokeh' effect, in which the background is blurry in contrast to the subject. The second lens is also a telephoto lens that achieves 2x optical zoom, which means it zooms into subjects without sacrificing picture quality like digital zoom does on most smartphone cameras.
Yet, like the regular iPhone 7, the lack of a headphone jack played a role in the iPhone's demotion from the top spot of this list.
Wait for it: Apple usually holds its annual iPhone event in September -- next month -- which means new iPhones. If you want Apple's latest iPhone, you'd do well to wait a little little longer when Apple announces its upcoming iPhones. Indeed, the iPhone 7 Plus won't be Apple's latest iPhone for much longer.
The new Pixels are Google's first smartphones -- the company took more control over the hardware than it did with its earlier line of Nexus devices.
What you get is a sleek-looking aluminium phone with a stylish glass panel on the back that cleverly offers grip for your index finger. The Pixel XL's camera holds its own against the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8, too, and its HDR mode adjusts your photos to look amazing.
Google's Pixel XL, the larger model with a 5.5-inch screen, shares the same specs as its smaller sibling, the Pixel. Yet the XL doesn't offer more features that help justify its higher price tag like the iPhone 7 Plus does -- it's just a larger Pixel.
Wait for it: Google's Pixel XL has been available for nearly a year now, and the rumour mill is suggesting that we can expect the Google Pixel 2 in the upcoming months. If you fancy the Google Pixel as your next smartphone, you may want to hold out a little longer for the Pixel 2, as it's rumoured to come with some significant upgrades.
Yes, despite the availability of the newer and flashier Galaxy S8, Google's Pixel still takes the top spot because it runs stock Android and Google's Pixel launcher, which gives Android a cleaner look and gets the latest Android updates on time.
It's also a superior phone overall to our previous top pick, the iPhone 7 Plus. It has a better screen, is lighter, and has useful features like fast charging.
The Pixel runs on the powerful and power-efficient Snapdragon 821 and 4 GB of RAM, which should hold up until the next Pixel is released. It also has an excellent 12.3-megapixel camera that easily holds its own against the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8. If you want the best Android experience, this is the phone to get.
Wait for it: Google's Pixel has been available for nearly a year now, and the rumour mill is suggesting that we can expect the Google Pixel 2 in the upcoming months. If you fancy the Google Pixel as your next smartphone, you may want to hold out a little longer for the Pixel 2, as it's rumoured to come with some significant upgrades.
Samsung is gearing up to announce the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23. We don't know any details for sure yet, but if the rumours are true, you could expect a slightly larger Galaxy S8+ with a stylus and a dual-lens camera system. Check out the latest on the rumoured specs.
So far, the rumours say we can expect the 'S' models of the iPhone 7 to be announced at Apple's annual iPhone event in September, which will probably come with incremental upgrades to the iPhone 7's performance and features.
There's also rumour mongering about a special-edition iPhone that many are calling the 'iPhone 8' that's supposed to come with an extra special design to honour the 10th anniversary of the very first iPhone launch. Check out everything we know about the iPhone 8 here.
Both the rumour mill and the common annual smartphone release cycle suggest Google will release the Pixel 2 in the coming months.
So far, rumours are saying the Pixel XL 2 will come with a refreshed design that's more premium than the current model. The regular Pixel 2 is said to come with a more modest design update.
We're expecting bigger screens for both Pixel 2 models, updates to the already-excellent Pixel camera, and perhaps water resistance, which the original Pixels did not ship with. We are hearing that it won't come with a headphone jack, though, which would be interesting. Check out Pixel 2 rumour roundup for more details.
The new Moto Z2 Force Edition comes with a shatterproof display, a 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a sharp 1440p resolution, the same powerful Snapdragon 835 chip that's inside the Galaxy S8, 64GB of storage, a 12-megapixel dual-lens camera system, a slim and light design, some degree of water resistance, and compatibility with various Moto Mod modular accessories.
It's available for pre-order now, and costs about $US750 depending on your carrier. Check out more in-depth details about the Moto Z2 Force Edition.
Motorola and Lenovo recently announced the Moto G5s and G5s Plus, which will be released this fall in the US. They bring a few improvements over the original G5 smartphones.
The new Moto G5s features an all-metal design compared to the half-metal, half-plastic design of the original G5. It also has a slightly larger 5.2-inch display versus the original's 5-inch display, and it has a slightly larger battery, too. The G5s' camera is 16 megapixels, which is a bump up from the original G5's 13-megapixel camera. It will come with a higher price tag closer to $US300.
The Moto G5s Plus also has a few improvements over the original G5 Plus. One of the biggest improvements is a 13-megapixel dual-lens camera system. The screen is also bigger at 5.5 inches compared to the original's 5.2-inch display. As with it's smaller sibling, the G5s Plus comes with a full-metal design. The G5s Plus will come at a higher price tag of around $US350.
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