With its curved screen and body, this phone stands out from the crowd, but that’s not just a design quirk: it’s been engineered to be more ergonomic and durable than your standard handset – so it can bend a little without breaking (unlike some phones we could mention). It has a 5.5 inch 1080 x 1920 screen, 3000mAh non-removable battery, 3G RAM, 16GB internal storage and a microSD slot. There’s also a 13MP back camera with optical image stabilization and 2.1MP front camera. The 2.0GHz Snapdragon 810 processor keeps it all running like that. *snaps fingers*
It’s £499.99 SIM free or from £37.50 per month on a contract.
Sony Xperia Z3
We crowned it smartphone of the year in 2014, and it’s still a good pick now. It has a generous 5.2 inch IPS LCD screen (bigger than the iPhone 6) with a vibrant 1080 x 1920 display, 3100 mAh battery that provides up to 16 hours’ talk time, front-facing speakers and fabulous cameras: 20.7 MP rear and 2.2 MP front-facing plus a selection of camera apps. It’s also dustproof and waterproof for up to 1.5 metres for thirty minutes and comes with PS4 Remote Play, which lets you stream PS4 games and play them on your phone, all powered by a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor.
It’s £479.95 SIM free or from £32 per month on a contract.
Motorola Nexus 6
Another well-powered phone, this one has a 3220mAh battery and turbo charging so you you’ll never have to live without it for long. Its 5.96 inch AMOLED screen is one of the biggest you’ll find, and the 1440 x 2560 resolution makes the extra hand stretch worth it. It has a 13MP back camera with optical image stabilisation plus a 2MP front camera, and front facing stereo speakers. It’s running Android Lollipop 5.0, upgradable to 5.1.
The 32 GB model is £479.99 SIM free or from £33.50 per month on contract; the 64 GB model is £549 SIM free or from £44 per month.
Huawei Ascend G7
This might be a budget phone, but it has some higher end specs, including a 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, and a good quality 13MP camera. It also has 4G connectivity and NFC capability, excellent battery life and a good-looking metal body with tough Gorilla Glass 3 protecting the screen. It has a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM, and just 16GB storage – but there’s a microSD slot so you can extend it.
It’s £199.99 SIM free or on contract from £21.99 a month.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Essentially a miniature flagship, this phone has a lot of the advantages of the Z3 but in a smaller (and cheaper) package. If you can cope without the latest version of Android (this runs 4.4 KitKat) and a 4.6 inch HD display, you’ll get great performance and a good battery life in a waterproof, dust-resistant package. It has a 2600mAh battery, 2.5 GHZ Snapdragon 801 processor, and the same impressive 20.7MP back camera and 2.2MP front camera as its big sister.
It’s £429.99 SIM free or from £27.50 per month on a contract.