Our verdict on the best Android phones - constantly updated

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 cut the Ericsson ties but still is cranking out the Google-branded handsets. Then you've got Android-powered phones from Acer, LG, Huawei, Motorola, ZTE and many others, and while HTC has ceased the practice of releasing more phones than centipedes have shoes (they do wear them, you know) it's still one of the more prominent Android manufacturers.

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

Do you physically and emotionally need a QWERTY keyboard? Are you the sort of oddball who prefers the rough pressing needed to make resistive touchscreens work? If so, you won't find much luck here, as those technologies are sadly phased out of the Android world as buyers get enamoured by fancy, glossy capacitive touchscreens.

Are you struggling to work out which are the best Android Widgets? Or even stuck wondering: "Actually, what IS Android?"

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.

10. Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 still has a lot to offer, but as you can see it's taken a tumble down the rankings now it's successor, the Galaxy S5, is on the scene.

Its plastic body means it feels far from premium, but the on screen experience is still strong and there's plenty of grunt under the hood to keep everything running smoothly.

You'll also find Android 4.4 KitKat now residing on the handset and the price has dropped since the S5 appeared, making the Galaxy S4 a more affordable option.

Quick verdict

It may be over a year old now, but if your budget can't stretch to one of 2014's flagship devices the Galaxy S4 is still a very capable device.

The heavy TouchWiz overlay and vast array of Samsung bloatware may put some people off, but you're unlikely to be disappointed considering the lower price.

9. Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

The Moto G rocks up with a 4.5-inch 720p display, punchy 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and pure Android 4.4 KitKat on board.

Add to that a 5MP camera, the choice of 8GB or 16GB of internal storage and connections such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and you've got a pretty decent mid-range handset. But wait...

... take a look at the price tag and you'll be astounded by how little the Motorola Moto G will set you back - £130 SIM-free, or £100 on PAYG, it's a steal.

It's not all good news, there's no microSD slot, NFC or removable battery, but these are relatively minor points which can be easily overlooked thanks to the low price.

Quick verdict

If you're looking for the best budget smartphone on the market then look no further, for the Android 4.4 toting Moto G gives you more than enough bang for your buck.

8. HTC One

HTC One

Before you all bust a spleen about the HTC One's mighty tumble from top spot hear us out. Unless you're desperate to pay slightly less per month, the new HTC One M8 does everything the One does - just a whole lot better.

If you've got your heart set on HTC's Sense UI, its Ultrapixel camera, or the sultry premium design you're better off spending a little bit of extra cash and nabbing yourself the superior One M8.

That said, if your budget really can't stretch that far the HTC One is still an accomplished handset which feels great in the hand and works wonderfully well - although the battery life can be a little hit and miss

Quick Verdict

The original One still deserves its place in the top ten, but remember that this has one year fewer in terms of HTC promising to keep it upgraded, so if you pick it up now you might not get the newer versions of the software in 12 months time.

7. Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact

We said that the HTC One Mini is best down sized flagship around, and at its price point it is, but if you're willing to spend a little extra cash the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact is well worth considering.

Unlike the One Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini, Sony hasn't reduced the specs of the Xperia Z1 Compact. Instead it's kept the same 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, Adreno 330 GPU, and 20.7MP camera from the Xperia Z1 and squashed it all into a smaller package.

The one thing that does suffer is the screen, which is pushed down to 4.3 inches and sees its resolution slashed from full HD to 1280 x 720 - that's still better than an iPhone.

Quick verdict

Want a top-end Android handset without the bulk? Look no further - the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact offers up an excellent array of specs in a package which is similar in size to the iPhone 5S.

6. Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5

The Google Nexus 5 is certainly a phone for the Android purists, as well as anyone who wants a flagship handset, but doesn't fancy parting with hundreds and hundreds of hard earned pounds.

Android 4.4 KitKat, a full HD 4.95-inch display, quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM means the Nexus 5 is set up nicely to please most users, but it's not without its flaws.

First up there's the average battery life which means it struggles to last a whole day, while the 8MP camera on the rear offers up substandard performance for what is essentially a top-end handset.

Quick verdict

If you're after a top Android handset, but don't have the budget to stretch to the likes of the HTC One M8 or Sony Xperia Z2, then you can't really go too wrong with the Google Nexus 5.