The best phone of 2017: 15 top smartphones tested and ranked

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13. HTC U11

One of the best phones for music out there

Release date: June 2017 | Weight: 169g | Dimensions: 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 7.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 16MP

Amazing audio
Very impressive camera
Fingerprint magnet
Squeezable edges don't impress

You might think HTC is something of a forgotten brand – and, to a degree, you'd be right. But if you discount HTC you'll be missing out on its latest flagship, which offers exceptional performance in a couple of areas.

The HTC U11 features an eye-catching design, programmable, squeezable sides and great audio performance – and if you’re a fan of Iron Man then you have to check it out in Solar Red, which is seriously beautiful.

The U11 was the first smartphone to introduce squeezable sides, and while the feature has since appeared in the two new Pixel handsets (and to better effect), the U11 remains the only phone on which you can set the action to launch something other than Google Assistant.

Plug in the bundled pair of headphones, meanwhile, and prepare yourself for a seriously impressive sonic experience, with the HTC U11 kicking out audio at a fantastic level. 

It’s not quite the all-round package that some of the phones here offer (hence its lower position), but the reduced price makes it a more attractive proposition.

HTC U11 photography samples

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Also consider: It's hard to know what to recommend here, as there's nothing that really compares on the market right now. However, for the price you'd probably look at the Galaxy S8 or the LG G6 as something a bit different.