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Review: Best Android phones, from budget-friendly to gorgeous

CNET has picked Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge as

CNET has picked Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge as one of the best Android phones of 2016. Photo Credit: CBS Interactive

There’s probably no tech category that’s as competitive as phones, particularly Android phones. Here are four of the best Android phones on the market, according to CNET’s editors.

The following CNET staff contributed to this story: section editor Jessica Dolcourt, senior associate editor Lynn La and senior editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit


CNET RATING (Out of 5)

5 stars (spectacular)

THE GOOD The super-special Galaxy S7 Edge has a gorgeous larger curved screen and battery than the otherwise identical standard S7. The extra navigation tools can be helpful when used judiciously.

THE BAD The extra navigation tools can slow you down, and it’s pricier than other good phones.

THE COST $599.99 (refurbished) to $779.99

BOTTOM LINE The gorgeous Galaxy S7 Edge makes the best Android phone that much better.


CNET RATING (Out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD Polished design; awesome camera; long battery life; MicroSD storage slot, and water-resistant.

THE BAD It’s annoyingly reflective, a smudge magnet and selfies look plastic even with no filter. There’s no removable battery, which isn’t surprising, but is still a compromise compared with 2014’s S5.

THE COST $479.99 (refurbished) to $679.99

BOTTOM LINE The fast, powerful, beautiful Galaxy S7 phone is 2016’s all-around phone to beat.


CNET RATING (Out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD The OnePlus 3’s sharp camera, powerful processor and enduring, quick-charging battery make a knockout combo when you factor in its low price.

THE BAD The camera has a distinct bulge. Power users may be disappointed that the phone doesn’t have a swappable battery or expandable storage.

THE COST $399 to $495

BOTTOM LINE At $400, the OnePlus 3 is the best budget Android phone you can buy, with a premium look and feel, and performance fast enough to go head-to-head with any high-end handset on the market.


CNET RATING (Out of 5)

4.5 stars (outstanding)

THE GOOD The Google Pixel has a fantastic camera, especially in low light. It’s also elegantly designed. Google Assistant takes one of the most natural, human approaches to answering your voice.

THE BAD The phone’s display is dim in outdoor sunlight and its camera’s Lens Blur feature is shoddy. It’s splash-resistant rather than dunkable, and it’s pricey compared to previous Google Nexus devices.

THE COST $649.99

BOTTOM LINE If you’re wary of Samsung or looking for a worthy iPhone alternative, the Google Pixel is the high-end Android phone to get.


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