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.
It doesn't matter how much awesome stuff your phone can do — if the battery's dead, it's not doing anything but taking up space. That's why the Motorola Droid Turbo augments its stout feature set with a huge 3900mAH battery that provides up to 48 hours of use and the ability to grab another eight hours of juice in just 15 minutes using the Turbo Charger. As for the feature set, it includes an incredibly sharp, 5.2-inch Quad HD screen, a 21 megapixel rear camera with 4K video recording, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a quad-core 2.7 GHz Snapdragon 805 processor, water repellant coating for life's little mishaps, and a sturdy back made from black ballistic nylon or metalized glass fiber with Kevlar underneath.
Google's newest flagship handset is here, and it's huge — in more ways than one. As the name suggests, the Google Nexus 6 boasts a 6-inch screen with a 1440x2560 display, surrounded by minimal bezels to keep things as small as possible. Other features include a quad-core 2.7GHz Snapdragon processor, a 13 megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and a f/2.0 lens, a two megapixel front cam, dual front-facing speakers, a spacious 3220 mAh battery that offers over 24 hours of use from a single charge, and Android 5.0 Lollipop, the best version of Google's operating system yet.
A 5-inch screen on a phone isn't that big a deal anymore. But a 5-inch screen on a phone that actually fits in your pocket is. And that's exactly what the Sharp Aquos Crystal Phone promises to be. By removing the bezel around the screen, it manages to offer a big screen and a compact body, alongside features like Harman Kardon LiveStage audio processing, an eight megapixel camera, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, and eight gigabytes of internal storage. Available exclusively from Sprint.
As much as we might like to criticize others for their selfie-filled Instagram accounts, the fact of the matter is we all take them from time to time. And there's no phone better at it than the HTC Desire Eye. Sporting 13 megapixel BSI sensors and intelligent dual-LED flashes on both the back and the front, it's the ultimate phone for one-handed self-portrait enthusiasts. It's no slouch as an actual phone, either, with three dedicated microphones for excellent clarity, HTC BoomSound speakers, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 5.2" Full HD display, 4G LTE, and a waterproof unibody design.
We all know by now that Bluetooth headsets are a serious fashion faux pas — so if you're going to wear one, make it as small as possible. The Motorola Moto Hint Earbud fits that description perfectly. This tiny 'bud automatically turns itself on when you put it in your ear and turns off when you pull it out, letting it provide up to 10 hours of talk time per charge. And if you pair it with a Moto X, you can get notifications, make calls, send messages, and even ask questions without lifting a finger — which is a lot more than we can say for the monstrosity that was hanging out of your ear circa early 2008.
For only the second time in its history, the new iPhone isn't just better than its predecessor — it's bigger, too. Available in both 4.7- and 5.5-inch variants, and in three colorways, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sport a speedier A8 processor, a new M8 motion co-processor, Retina HD screens (1334 x 750 for the 4.7, and 1920 x 1080 for the 5.5), slimmer bodies that are curved on the edges so they're more comfortable to hold, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an improved 8 megapixel camera with faster autofocus and 240 fps slo-mo, optical image stabilization in the Plus, 128GB storage options, support for faster LTE, and a special landscape interface for the Plus model. But perhaps the most interesting new feature is support for NFC, making these the first iPhones to support Apple's new ApplePay mobile payment service, which lets you check out at select retailers using nothing but your phone and your finger. We hear it plays pretty well with a certain new watch, too.
Samsung's Galaxy Notes are known for having large screens. Ridiculously large, some would say. But if you've been thinking they need to be just a little larger, say hello to the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. This new phablet features a unique curved Edge screen on the side that provides quick access to your favorite apps, alerts, and extra functionality, and can even serve as a notification screen if you're watching a video. Specs-wise, it's a solid performer, with a 2.7 GHz Quad-Core processor, Android 4.4, a 16 megapixel rear shooter, a 3.7 megapixel selfie cam, 3 GB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11 ac WiFi, and a new S Pen.