Mobile phones have come a long way since the early days – though the Nokia 3310 still has nostalgic appeal, the majority of us want to get a lot more from our phones these days! Two thirds of UK adults now use smartphones and a staggering 90% of 16- to 24-year-olds own one, according to Ofcom. That is a huge market, and manufacturers have really stepped up by delivering some fantastic handheld devices with functions to suit every user.
With so many great new smartphones on the market, you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice this Christmas. Whether you are treating yourself to an upgrade or hunting for someone special’s gift, take a look at our guide to 2015’s best smartphone devices.
iPhone 6s by Apple
The latest edition of the iPhone series shows that Apple have listened to public demand. The 6s features a 4.7 inch screen and introduces deep touch technology to its display. The phone responds to the pressure of your touch in a range of new ways, making this the most interactive Apple phone yet. The 4K iSight camera offers a huge 12MP lens and ultra HD video filming, plus a 5MP front-facing camera for video calling. The improvement in quality is noticeable, with sharper pictures and improved sound. A 320 Kbps audio output makes video playback, gaming and music sound great, and the whole thing is wrapped up in a sleek, smooth case.
Although one of the pricier smartphones on the market this year, the iPhone 6s is a great investment – especially if your phone is what makes your living. If you prefer a phone that has the edge over others, Apple could have the answer. However, if you won’t make use of all the features and tools, you may want to consider a less expensive device that still offers everything you need.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
A companion to the fantastic Galaxy S6, the Edge+ takes smartphone technology a little further. Bigger than a phone but smaller than a tablet, the 5.7 inch curved dual-edge display uses a 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution. The 16MP camera shoots HD video and panoramic images, and the phone connects to your TV or computer via Bluetooth so you can display your images and movies in full screen.
Samsung has thrown in 100GB of cloud storage alongside the phone’s 64GB internal memory drive, but there is still no SD card function for additional space. However, SideSync technology makes it easy to transfer everything to your computer without interruption – and you can even answer calls direct from your PC. The Edge+ will set you back more than the standard S6 model, but you will see the benefit with extra battery life and greater capabilities.
The classy LG G4 is available with a leather back in a range of three colours, setting it apart from other phones on the market. If design really matters, then this is a great choice. The sleek leather back also makes gripping the phone a little easier – perfect for handling the generous 5.5 inch screen comfortably. There is a lower priced model also available with a plastic back, if you like the phone but don’t want to splash out for a fancy case.
The phone features plenty of great camera effects, such as auto-focus and light trail capabilities. Video is shot in HD with a 16MP still image camera – plus an 8MP front camera for video calling and selfie taking. The slight curve ensures that it fits well in your hand and in your pocket, so it is still a practical choice despite that larger size.
Nexus 6P by Google
While Android proves increasingly popular with manufacturers and consumers everywhere, Google haven;t yet broken into the market fully with their smartphone offerings. The Nexus 6P could be about to change that. This great model stands up to its competitors. Inside the smooth aluminum casing, the Nexus is now running Android Marshmallow and offering better battery life, speed and performance as a result.
Stand-out features of the Nexus include a 5.7inch 4K HD display, the stereo audio output and recording features and the fingerprint scanner. The 12.3MP camera doesn’t quite match the output of other smartphone models, but it more than makes up for this in performance. Photos and videos are sharp and well-focused, so amateur photographers may well want to keep one of these phones in their pocket.
Sony Xperia Z5
The Sony Xperia range has seen several new models recently, but the Z5 is offering something different. The design has received a major overhaul and the phone now features a frosted glass covering, smoother edges and a thinner design. The full HD display looks great on the 5.2 inch screen, and the camera has been upgraded to a staggering 23MP. To store the many pictures you are sure to take, the phone supports a 200GB memory card as well as 32GB of internal storage space.
If your mobile phones tend to meet with disaster on a frequent basis, the waterproofing of the Z5 will appeal to you. The case is resistant to splashes and spills, and users report it surviving accidents in the bath or the sink with no problems. If you use your phone for hours at a time or when you’re on the go, the Z5 combines a 520 hour standby battery life with Quick Charge 2.0 technology for rapid charging.