Best Android phone - which should you buy?

The top Android phones compared

Best Android phone 2013 which should you buy

There's one key way in which Android is massively different from its Apple-branded smartphone competition - the number of phones out there running Google's hot mobile OS.

Samsung makes loads of them. Sony's releasing three every second. HTC is producing award-winning handsets, and LG is bringing up the super-cheap superphone brigade.

On top of that, there's a glut of other names in the mix, with the likes of Acer, ZTE, Huawei and OnePlus all offering cheap smartphones - and Google's gone high end with the Nexus range.

The many variations in screen size, processor power, software features and design makes finding the best Android phone for you extremely tough.

To help find the best Android phone for you, we've rounded up the best Android handsets out there today, rating the phones on hardware performance, OS upgrade potential and, of course, how shiny and nice they are to have and boast about to work colleagues.

So here they are - the best Android phones money can buy today. For many, many different reasons.

Google Nexus 6

10. Google Nexus 6

The Google Nexus 6 is a super-sized version of the 2014 Moto X. The phone that everyone expected to be a super-cheap device is now firmly in the 'Hmmm... I wonder how much can I get for my kidney?' category - but that's thanks to the high-end chipset, the crisply sharp QHD screen and a massive battery.

At six inches, this is very, very much a phablet - but then again, it offers so much that you'll really start to warm to it quickly. Plus the edge-to-edge design means it's nowhere near as large as it should be - if you can get over the price, it's a must have.

There's a lot to like about Nexus 6. Android Lollipop looks great on this bright, 6-inch AMOLED display and the 13-megapixel camera is more true-to-life than 2013's Nexus 5 and Motorola's other smartphones combined, even if it doesn't quite measure up to what Samsung's doing.

This is the best Nexus Google has ever crafted. And, when you think about it, you're not going to need to hold onto your money, as you'll require both hands to grab onto this two-handed monster.

Sony Xperia Z3

9. Sony Xperia Z3

The Sony Xperia Z3 manages to improve on the already excellent Xperia Z2 in some key areas. The screen is a large 5.2-inches with a full 1080p resolution and the technology behind the screen gives a boost to the overall brightness of the display, which makes it look fantastic.

The Xperia Z3 also packs some impressive specs with a quad-core 2.5GHz processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM. These improved specs are all housed in a slimmer and more stylishly designed chassis, giving the Xperia Z3 a truly premium feel. It's also water and dust resistant.

It does a lot of things right, with some excellent hardware specs and a stylish design. If you own a PlayStation 4 then the Remote Play feature that lets you stream PS4 games to the handset could be of real interest - and if it's not, it should be.

It's a great phone, but the experience isn't quite flawless enough to get it any higher in our charts, with a disappointing camera and buggy software being chief among its problems.

Xperia Z3 Compact

8. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony has done such a good job of shrinking down the Xperia Z3 into a smaller handset with only a few minor cuts to the specifications that it has, perhaps by accident, created a more desirable phone.

It has the same 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor as the Z3, along with an Adreno 330 GPU and very good 20.7MP camera. The smaller 4.6-inch screen gives the Z3 Compact a better battery life than the full size Z3, as well as being more comfortable to hold. The price has also been cut, making the Z3 Compact a more compelling purchase.

Easily the best compact Android phone on the market today. Sony has worked hard to fit some excellent features into this handset despite its smaller stature and it has paid off. This is great work from Sony, and doubly brilliant if you own a PS4 too thanks to the Remote Play feature.

Moto G

7. Moto G

Anyone looking for phone at the affordable end of the spectrum will find the Moto G offers considerable bang for your buck.

For starters, it has a winning camera that's simply better than all the similarly-specced snappers in the Moto G's price range.

With water resistance becoming rarer – we're looking at you, Samsung – it's nice to see it well implemented, with charge and headphone ports that are water resistant by themselves.

And the vanilla Android Lollipop design with a few Moto upgrades makes for a good combo. The Moto G offers a very clean experience, with near flawless performance.

OnePlus 2

6. OnePlus 2

Delivering a phone that feels more premium and has a sturdier build, OnePlus has upped its game with this second generation handset.

With a 5.5-inch display that matches the iPhone 6 Plus for pixel density – 401 ppi – the OnePlus' panel offers excellent viewing angles, although it can look washed out in direct sunlight.

The surprise inclusion of a functional fingerprint scanner is a welcome addition, and one that brings the OnePlus 2 into line with Samsung and Apple's handsets, adding to the phone's premium feel.

It's not without its flaws, but when you consider that the OnePlus 2 costs a fraction of price of certain flagship phones, you may be willing to make some compromises.