Best phone 2016: the 10 top smartphones we've tested

The best smartphone right now is the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

We're all about reviewing and rating all the phones here at techradar. There's nothing we like more than brewing a pot of tea and deciding where each new phone should sit in the list.

However, sometimes they don't make it into the top 10 - sad, we know, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a quick look to see if they fit your needs. After all, there are very few bad phones these days...

ZTE Axon 7

ZTE Axon 7

High end features on a stranger to the flagship game

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440x2560 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3250mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 8MP

This phone is about to drop into our top ten and - spoiler alert - it's looking like it's going to feature highly as it punches.

It's got dual speakers, good battery life and a whole heap of power, along with an impressive screen and a few other features folks might not expect from a brand like ZTE.

What's more, it comes with a low, low price compared to the competition - so how will it fare compared to the likes of the OnePlus 3?

Huawei Mate 8

Huawei Mate 8

Great battery life but a middling interface

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | RAM: 3-4GB | Storage: 32GB/64GB | Battery: 4000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP dual | Front camera: 8MP

This is obviously more phablet than phone, but it's an intriguing one given it's lower on the price scale. There's a great, speedy fingerprint sensor on the rear, the display is still stunning despite not being the sharpest around and the battery life is much stronger than most on show here.

However, Huawei's Emotion UI is still a bit hard to master, trying to ape the best bits of both Android and iOS but not really managing either. The speaker grille doesn't look amazing, and we wish the fast charging cable came along at purchase.

Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X

Smaller, but still (almost) perfectly-formed

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16GB/32GB | Battery: 2700mAh | Rear camera: 12.3MP dual | Front camera: 5MP

The Nexus 5X is a phone that offers the very latest version of Android, a decent (ish) spec list and a more hand-friendly size to plop in your pocket.

The screen is a decent resolution and really clear to boot, and the price isn't as high as you might find on other phones in this spec bracket.

The best thing is that this will be constantly updated to the latest version of Android for a good while yet, and with an improved camera it's definitely worth a look - especially if you're not a fan of the cumbersome skins Samsung and LG like to chuck on their phones.

Lumia 950

Microsoft Lumia 950

The beginning of a smartphone revolution?

OS: Windows Phone 10 | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB |Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 5MP

Maybe you're bored of the iPhone. Perhaps Android just doesn't do it for you. Maybe you're just wondering if there's something different out there? Well, Windows Phone 10 on the Lumia 950 will intrigue you. It can offer a PC-like experience by extending out to a larger monitor, and the camera is pretty strong.

However, there's one issue: apps. Or the lack thereof - and when combined with the slightly plastic design, it fails to trouble the top 10. However, it's a legitimate choice and easily one of the most impressive Windows Phones ever.

Full Review: Microsoft Lumia 950

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry + Android = more impressive than expected

OS: Android | Screen size: 5.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | RAM: 3GB | Storage:32GB| Battery: 3410mAh | Rear camera: 18MP | Front camera: 2MP

BlackBerry is back - and it's taking a new direction by finally jumping into bed with Android. It's got a slide-out keyboard, a superbly sharp screen, splendidly powerful innards and some decent privacy settings too.

However, it's not cheap. At all, and the keyboard - something we all used to love - now feels a little outdated. Combined with the chunkier design (to facilitate that keyboard) and some lag in performance, this isn't top table worthy. But there's a lot of promise here, and we're glad to see BlackBerry is still swinging.

Full review: Blackberry Priv

OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2

The 'flagship killer' with a fantastic price

OS: Android 5.1 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 3GB/4GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB | Battery: 3,300mAh | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 5MP

The OnePlus One was a brilliant phone in 2014, offering a great price for top end specs - it truly was a bargain phone.

The good news is the One Plus 2 has repeated that trick, upgrading the internals while (mostly) keeping the same low price. Its clever overlay still impresses and the little tweaks (such as audio improvement) work quite nicely.

We would have liked to see some upgrades on the screen front, or NFC for mobile payments, but on the whole the brand has managed to avoid stumbling over the 'tricky second album' - it's not quite top ten material, but for the price it's a decimatingly good smartphone.

Full review: OnePlus 2

HTC One M9

HTC One M9

Beautiful design - as always from HTC - but not quite as good as the M8

OS: Android 6 | Screen size: 5-inch | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 2,840mAh | Rear camera: 20MP | Front camera: 4MP

The HTC One M9 is no longer in our top list of phones, but that doesn't mean it's not a stunning device with loads of great features.

For one, it's still got some of the best construction we've ever seen on a phone - it's jewellery-grade, according to HTC, and we're largely inclined to agree.

The screen is still clear and crisp, and while the rear camera isn't as innovative as the dual-sensored One M8, the front facing affair takes some superb selfies.

Available for a lot less cash nowadays, the HTC One M9 is still a decent buy.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6

Perfect for fans of the smaller screen size

OS: iOS 9.1 | Screen size: 4.7-inch | Resolution: 750 x 1334 | RAM: 1GB | Storage: 16GB/64GB/128GB |Battery: 1810 mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP

After the iPhone 6S launched, you'd be forgiven for forgetting that the iPhone 6 even exists. But it's right there - looking identical to the 6S and still packing loads of tech that makes iPhones, well, iPhones.

It's still a bit expensive, but that said it's sucked down the iOS 9.1 software pretty well, and is still pushing on as a decent option for a cheaper iPhone, especially if you're not bothered about tricks like the 3D Touch screen.

Plus, you can use it with the Apple Watch and pay for things on the go using the cunningly named Apple Pay - and with improved camera optics and a better battery compared to the predecessor, this is still one hell of a nifty phone.