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 most 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.

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. 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. Pay a little bit more and the Moto G 4G offers you superfast LTE data speeds and a microSD slot.

It's not all good news, there's no 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.

9. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The original Galaxy Note started the phablet revolution that now lays before us and Samsung's third generation device is the best example of this form factor on the market.

The Galaxy Note 3 comes with Samsung's own S Pen stylus which provides a host of additional features on top of the traditional tap, tap, tap. The 5.9-inch Super AMOLED full HD display is eye popping, and while it makes for a large handset in the hand and pocket, that's kinda the point.

There's plenty of power under the hood - it once held the crown as the most powerful phone in the world - and the impressive battery life will keep you going all day.

Quick verdict

If screen real estate is a key factor for your smartphone then the Galaxy Note 3 is the smartphone for you, but if you just want a high powered wonder there's better available on the market.

8. HTC One Mini 2

HTC One Mini 2

Like the look of the HTC One M8, but less fond of its price tag and size? Well the HTC One Mini 2 could be the smartphone for you.

It sports the same premium metal chassis, Sense 6 UI and front facing Boomsound speakers as its bigger brother, but allowances have been made on the 4.5-inch 720p display, lower grade 1.2GHz quad-core processor and Duo Camera has been kicked to the kerb in favour of a 13MP single lens.

The camera is still a decent offering, although it obviously lacks some the fancy features of the M8, and a smooth, fluid UI and premium design makes the One Mini 2 a solid package.

Quick verdict

A great compramise if the HTC One M8 is just out of reach for you, but at this price point you are a little spoilt for choice.

It's worth checking out the Xperia Z1 Compact and OnePlus One, but neither look or feel as good as the One Mini 2.

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.