Cutting edge internals. '80s-inspired exterior. The Colorware iPhone 6S Retro gives Apple's latest handsets a vintage makeover. Based on the Apple IIe, the exterior design retains the phone's love-them-or-hate-them antenna bands, but gives the aluminum areas a beige paint job with faux exterior vents like you would have seen on Apple's older computers. The effect is completed with a rainbow Apple logo, making these handsets instantly recognizable as custom editions. Available in both 6S and 6S Plus varieties, in three capacities, and limited to just 25 examples of each.
The similarity to the iPhone 4 is undeniable. So is the fact that the OnePlus X is the company's best phone yet. It's available in two versions: Onyx, which has a rounded, polished black glass backplate, and Ceramic, which has a gray zirconia ceramic back that's baked at 2,700º F for over 28 hours and takes 25 days to make. Both models have brushed anodized metal frames with 17 microcuts for added texture, as well as 13 megapixel, f/2.2 rear cameras, Snapdragon 801 processors, 5-inch, 1080p AMOLED screens, and unique SIM slots that can support two nano SIMs simultaneously or one nano SIM and a microSD card. Both run OnePlus' OxygenOS, and have 16GB of internal storage.
The hardware expertise of Blackberry meets the software smarts of Google in the Blackberry Priv. The first phone from the Canadian company in quite some time, it runs Android lollipop, enhanced by Blackberry add-ons like the Blackberry Hub unified inbox, BBM, and DTEK, a specialized privacy app that aims to plug any potential security holes. Of course, it offers a full physical keyboard in the form of a slider that acts as a trackpad for cursor control, and also has solid specs, including a 5.4-inch, 2560x1440 OLED screen that's curved on both sides, 32GB of storage with a MicroSD expansion slot, and a 18 MP, Schneider-Kreuznach-certified dual-flash camera.
Once you get past what operating system it runs, there are two things that are most important on a phone: the screen and the camera. The LG V10 Smartphone has unique features for both. On the screen side, it has a 5.7-inch QHD display, and above a 160 pixel-tall "second screen" that can be set to stay on, showing the time, weather, and battery status, and can display shortcuts or incoming notifications when you're using the device. Above that, there are two 5 megapixel front cameras that work in concert with sophisticated software to join the two images into a single wide-angle shot, eliminating the need for a selfie stick (not that you'd use one anyway). The 16 megapixel shooter on the back is no slouch either, with 4K recording in 16:9 or 21:9 cinematic ratios, an f/1.8 aperture, and optical image stabilization. The stainless steel frame, grippy backside, 4GB of RAM, microSD slot, and Snapdragon processor are just a bonus.
With both the hardware and software coming from the same company, the Google Nexus 6P is as close as you can come to an iPhone-like experience without actually using an iPhone. The aluminum-bodied phone is powered by an 8-core, 64-bit processor running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and has a 5.7 inch 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display. It also packs in a fingerprint sensor on the back, NFC for mobile payments, a Sony-made 12.3 megapixel rear camera with 240 fps slo-mo and 4K video recording, and a USB Type-C port for charging. It comes in three colors and 32, 64, and 128GB capacities.
Yes, they look the same as their predecessors on the outside. But the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are no slouch upgrades. For starters, there's the new force-sensitive touchscreen that gives you new shortcuts and gestures from both the home screen and inside apps. That 4.7 or 5.5-inch screen is covered by a new, stronger kind of glass, while the metal shell is made from the same custom alloy as the Apple Watch for greater strength. Of course, there's a faster A9 processor, and since the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world, it got a healthy boost, too, with a 12 megapixel sensor, faster autofocus, and 4K video shooting and editing on the back, a new 5 megapixel sensor on the front that uses the screen as a flash, and new Live Photos that use burst shooting to turn still shots into GIF-like shorts.
It's not the only phone to shoot 4K video. It's just the only one that can play it back natively. The screen of the Sony Xperia Z5 Smartphone measures 5.5 inches, yet packs in full 4K Ultra HD resolution, making it the sharpest, highest-resolution display you'll find on a phone. The camera is similarly impressive, with a Sony-made 23 megapixel sensor, Hybrid Autofocus that can lock on to your subject in as little as 0.03 seconds, and a bright f/2.0, 24mm wide-angle lens. Other features include 4K video capture (obviously), an integrated fingerprint sensor for added security, and a battery that lasts for up to two full days.
When it comes to specs, the Nextbit Robin Smartphone is solid, if not a standout. There's a 5.2-inch, 1080p screen, 13 megapixel camera, USB-C, a Snapdragon processor, and 32GB of onboard storage — "onboard" being the key term there. Thanks to a heavily customized version of Android, the Robin's software is able to give you 100Gb of additional cloud-based storage by automatically optimizing the space on your phone, moving the stuff you don't use — including apps — to the cloud while making sure your essentials are accessible even when you're offline. Need something back? Just tap and it'll be right where you left it, a feat that's far more impressive than any spec sheet.
Named after the city where it was designed — San Francisco — the Obi Worldphone SF1 has global aspirations. It's aimed at emerging markets but is far from generic, with a unique design that includes a squared-off top, curved bottom, and floating 5-inch, Full HD display. It's powered by a 1.5 GHz 64-bit Octa-core Qualcomm processor, and has up to 32GB of storage, expandable via micro SD, up to 3GB of RAM, dual SIM slots for travel, a Sony-made 13 megapixel rear camera, and support for Dolby Audio 7.1 surround sound. Oh, and its name isn't its only connection to the Bay Area — company co-founder John Sculley was a former CEO of Apple, and is otherwise known as the guy who ran off Steve Jobs.
Built with security in mind, the Turing Phone is strong in more ways than one. It uses decentralized authentication to ensure that your messages and calls stay private, going so far as to directly verify identies when communicating with another Turing Phone. It's also made from Liquidmorphium — better known as "liquid metal" — an alloy stronger than titanium or steel that combines with a Gorilla Glass IV front cover and IPx8 waterproofing to make this an unusually rugged phone. Other features include a custom UI running atop Android, a quad-core processor, a 5.5-inch 1080 screen, and up to 128GB of storage. Available in three colors, all of which feature angular designs on the back.
No apps. No camera. No nonsense. Designed by Jasper Morrison, the Punkt MP 01 Phone is meant to put the spotlight back where it belongs: on calls and messages. The 2-inch LCD display — protected by Gorilla Glass — is ideal for dealing with SMS messages, and the built-in noise cancellation ensures that your conversations sound great. It does have Bluetooth, since handsfree systems are handy, but without the need for a bevy of other radios, battery life is fantastic, and the soft-touch paint finish and angled back plate make it a pleasure to hold.
Get flagship-level features without a massive contract with the OnePlus 2 Phone. The followup to the OnePlus One, it's powered by a 64-bit, octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, paired with an Adreno GPU, up to 4GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of storage. The 13 megapixel camera has large 1.3µm pixels and optical image stabilization for better low-light performance, a laser focusing system, a fixed aperture of f/2.0, and dual LED flash. Finally, the 1080p screen measures 5.5 inches across and is protected by a layer of rugged Gorilla Glass, and of course, it arrives completely unlocked, with dual Nano SIM slots for easy network hopping.
You're not buying it for its camera, although at 8 megapixels, it's more than serviceable. You're not buying it for the quad-core processor, or 4.7-inch, 720p screen. You're buying the Marshall London Smartphone for music. It doesn't disappoint, either, with dual front-facing speakers and headphone ports, a knurled scroll wheel for volume control, a dedicated, one-touch music access button, a Wolfson WM8281 chip and Bluetooth aptX for superior audio quality, and included Marshall Mode in-ear headphones.
If your smartphone and your e-reader had a baby, it might look a lot like the YotaPhone 2. Combining the features of an Android smartphone with an electronic paper display on the typically forgotten backside, it's the world's first dual-screen smartphone. The rear e-ink screen is covered by a touch-sensitive, curved matte finish, and allows you to read, text, email, or tweet without even flipping over to the LCD screen. The rear screen stays on all the time, but uses way less energy and can hold a charge for up to five days. Practical use paired with imaginative design make it easy to see why some are calling this the smartphone of the future.
As smartphones demand more of our time, getting away from them is becoming more difficult. The Light Phone is designed to serve as a happy medium between staying fully connected and going off the grid. It's about the size of a credit card, works on the global GSM standard, and has its own number, as well as an app that lets you forward calls from your smartphone. Best of all, there's no real screen, so you won't be tempted to hop online, giving you a refreshing break from the digital world without leaving you without any means of communication.
It's not yet another unibody aluminum handset. And that's totally fine by us. The LG G4 Phone differentiates itself from the crowd using a subtly curved body with a back that's clad in full-grain leather, and adorned with the volume and power buttons you'd typically find on the sides. The back is also home to a new 16 megapixel camera with an f/1.8 aperture and three-axis optical image stabilization, while the front features a new, 5.5-inch Quad HD display with improved color reproduction, brightness, and contrast. Powered by a speedy Snapdragon 808 processor, it's also available with plastic rear covers should the leather not suit your style.
With a laser-like focus on privacy, the Blackphone 2 is the handset of choice for encrypted communications. It features high-end specs, like a 64-bit octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, a 5-inch 1080p display, Gorilla Glass 3, and a MicroSD card slot for expandable memory. But it's the software that's special, starting with the custom PrivatOS 1.1. With it, you can configure multiple Spaces — one for work, one for personal use, and one for top-secret stuff, for example — to keep your digital lives separate, and also carry on encrypted, isolated conversations with the included Silent Text, Silent Contacts, and Silent Phone apps, secret agent-style.
No micro SD slot. No user-accessible battery. And no Apple branding. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge takes a page from Cupertino's book to deliver a metal and glass phone that's the company's best yet, made even more interesting by the signature dual-curve, 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display. Other specs include an octacore processor running Android 5.0, a 16 megapixel, f/1.9 rear camera with optical image stabilization, a 5 megapixel front-facing camera, 3GB of RAM, and support for both WPC and PMA wireless charging, meaning that if you need to plug it in to charge it, you're doing it wrong.
Most of us long ago moved on from the business acumen of the Blackberry to the do-it-all prowess of iPhone and Android, but if you just can't give up your physical keyboard, the Blackberry Classic Smartphone is for you. This new device features an instantly-recognizable layout, with a full QWERTY keyboard mounted below a 3.5", 294 ppi screen running Blackberry 10 OS. As you'd expect, it's a whiz at email, and also features an 8 megapixel camera, 16GB of internal flash storage, and all the BBM goodness you can handle.