H1 2015 in review: Best smartphones

Several days ago, we summarized 2015's first half by taking another look at the major events that occurred – device announcements, technology advancements, software releases, all that good stuff we all live and breathe. Then we honored the best smartwatches launched during the past six months. H1's best tablet and its runner-up got the same treatment soon after. And now, there's just one unchecked item on our to-do list. Ladies and gents, it is time to announce the best smartphones of H1 2015, and if you're a follower of our review section, you should have no troubles guessing which two handsets we've picked.

Have you missed our previous recaps of H1 2015? Here they are:

Best smartphones of H1 2015: Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge

For the longest time, Samsung has been crafting some of the best, most sought-after phones, and looking at the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, we can only say that Samsung's still on top of its game. Its recipe for success? Well, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge combine brains with beauty, functionality with flare, all with a dash of TouchWiz on top. 

Seriously, there's just so much to like about Samsung's top smartphones! Made of metal and glass, they instantly draw the attention with their outstanding looks. That is especially true for the Galaxy S6 edge, which is unique with its twin-curved AMOLED display. But as we mentioned above, beauty goes hand-in-hand with brains – the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are packed with top-notch hardware, including gorgeous Quad HD displays, an efficient Exynos SoC, and a pair of marvellous high-res cameras. 

Now, right after the announcement of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, many were disappointed to learn that they both lacked microSD card slots and removable batteries. But, like it or not, that's the way things are seemingly going for the company, at least as far as high-ends are concerned. Instead of microSD storage expansion, the S6 and S6 edge offer up to 128GB of blazing-fast internal storage, and to compensate as much as it can for the lack of a removable battery cell, Samsung has equipped the devices with both rapid charging and wireless charging functionalities.

All in all, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are two of the best smartphones in existence, and it is going to take quite an effort on behalf of Samsung's competitors to beat these high-ends. However, there's this one particular smartphone that's no less awesome and definitely worthy of a mention in this post. 

Honorable mentions:


LG's best smartphone yet has plenty to stand its ground with – from the look and feel of its exterior to the prowess of its main camera and the list of useful software features that come baked into it. Notably, the LG G4 is one of the few phones that may come with premium leather covering its back. The material feels nice, looks outstanding, and is quite the conversation starter. Once you turn it on, you're greeted by a large, high-resolution Quad HD display that brings your content to life and, thankfully, doesn't hurt the system's performance. Speaking of which, the LG G4 may not come with the top SoC available in Qualcomm's portfolio, but even with a Snapdragon 808, LG's flagship runs just fine through most tasks. And then there's the 16MP, optically-stabilized main camera on the LG G4. Anyone from amateurs to experienced photographers would love it for its ease of use and broad selection of manual controls, available at a tap's distance. In just a few taps, you can take beautiful shots even in challenging situations. In a nutshell, if the LG G4 seems like a phone you're falling for, don't hesitate to make it your daily driver. In all likeliness, you won't be disappointed.

Huawei P8

Gone are the days when Huawei's smartphones were cheap and uninspiring. The Huawei of today is a well-known player on the smartphone market, experienced in making some seriously good hardware. A great example of that is the Huawei P8. Sure, it might not seem like anything out of the ordinary at first glance – the phone packs a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 13MP main camera, a Kirin SoC, and a 2680mAh battery, which are specs making it a decent upper mid-range phone, but nothing beyond that point. Then you suddenly realize that all this hardware comes inside a premium, metal-made body only 6.4 millimeters in thickness. Quite a feat of engineering, if you ask us.



1. zig8100

Posts: 243; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

Bam! Iphone not even an honorable mention! Ha!

2. abdane

Posts: 507; Member since: Oct 07, 2011

Not defending it or anything, but this is H1 of 2015, iP6 and iP6 Plus were released in H2 2014.

4. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

He knows he will get likes for hating the iPhone on phonearena, cuh

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The iPhone 6 with its 1 GB of ram, HD display, 8 MP camera with NO OIS, dual core 1.3 GHz CPU, and 16 GB of storage. The iPhone 6 should only get an honorable mention for making the most money for giving the least tech. Wait should that be an honorable mention? Well if there is a category for the biggest rip off, then the iPhone 6 wins it by a landslide.

8. gaming64 unregistered

The butthurtness is strong in this guy.

22. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Nah, its just fact. Based on the specs alone, the iPhone is a mid-ranged phone. Sure, those were flagship specs in 2012, but it isn't 2012 anymore. If Samsung had released the S6 with a quadcore 1.3Ghz CPU and 1GB of RAM and a 750p display, they would have been ridiculed like hell if it was an S or Note. But Apple is never ridiculed when they do wrong, except by the readers. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are both half-assed-tastic phones that are way overpriced. Considering that if Samsung released a brand new phone right now with 2012 specs, it would be under $400.

30. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

The iPhone 6 with its 1 GB of ram, HD display, 8 MP camera with NO OIS, dual core 1.3 GHz CPU can still beat most phones like the Huawei P8, LG G4, HTC M9 in speed tests and performance. Everything is spec to you android guys.. this review is reviewing the phones performance and experience which i can say remained second only to the S6 a extremely impressive, worthy of a honorable mention. Its a mid-ranged spec phone that faster and greater performance than most 2015 flagships/

37. sgodsell

Posts: 7365; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

See a typical iPhone user trying to compare and do a speed test and performance with an iPhone 6 (HD). The 3 phones you listed are FHD, QHD, FHD. So the FHD display's are pushing twice as many pixels on their displays as the iPhone 6. The LG G4 with its QHD display is pushing 3.7 times the number of pixels compared to an iPhone 6 display. Not to mention those phones cost consumers less money compared to an iPhone 6.

41. Ahovking

Posts: 711; Member since: Feb 03, 2015

Yes the 3 phones i listed are FHD, QHD, FHD.. with the SPEC to match.. with 2 and 3 GB of ram blaming slower performance on more power screens is pathetic

31. Shocky unregistered

Certain aspects of the iPhone 6 share more with mid range Android devices but not all. It's unfair to compare them to mid range devices for a number of reasons, I'm not an iPhone fan but the hardware is generally very good, especially graphics performance and display quality.

33. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

"Based on the specs alone" That's actually right. But beyond specs, the iPhone is still impressive. Its performance still top-notch despite having specs from 2012, which is impressive in its own right. The reason why they need such "underpowered" specs, is that iOS is optimized for a few devices only. I am not an Apple fan of any sort, but these specs war is truly stupid. Tech goes two ways, software and hardware. iPhone 6 would still be a better buy than some Android flagships around.

39. kryme

Posts: 469; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

ios have ntn in it so it down need much..... look at it like this... if u put android on the current iphone u wouldnt want to use that thing.... but if u put ios on the s6 oh lord i kno u see wat would happen.... point is ios is empty dont need much to run smooth.... android need power.... i'm interested in wat tizen will be... because it runs very smooth on very low specs and its basically touchwiz with 70% of its features....

20. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Good points, but most iphone users don't care about specs. If Apple gave them 256M ram and 2GB of storage, 300Mhz cpu, they would still eat it up. Only problem is, it looks more and more like iphone 6S (and further iteration of iphone from cupertino) is going to be just a step up in cpu, memory, camera specs from iphone 6. So would isheeps have any reason to buy 6S, 7, 8, 9 etc if they already have iphone 6? What will apple do from this point on to get it's user base to upgrade to new iphone frequently, now that big screen card has been played and that increasing specs is not a big draw for isheeps? Number of isheeps on planet earth is finite, and soon or later Apple will hit peak isheep.

23. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

They will do as they do now. They will release one new feature per year on each iPhone, after it has been on Android for at least 3 years. The iFans always wanted a large screen, they just rather criticize Samsung for doing it first, when it was Apple who should have did it first. They also criticized it because they are all Steve Jobs butt kissing losers. When he said no one would buy those "hummer phones", the fans simply rode with it saying yes we dont need big phones. My sister criticized my Note 3 at the time saying no iots to big and she would never buy a phone that big. Now she has a iphone 6 Plus and she loves it. Like all ifans she said, "well I an change my mind" The iPhone doesn't do enough to be garnted amazing specs, which is why iOS is so limited. That is fine. But if you're not going to offer advanced hardware capabilities or advanced software capabilities, than you shouldnt charge for what doesn't exist either. The iPhone 6 should cost $499 of contract with the 6 Plus being $549 and that't it. They would sell even more of them likely. But again, if ANY OEM, especially Samsung released a brand new flagship model with 3 year old specs, they would get killed by the media.

43. Chakra

Posts: 136; Member since: Dec 02, 2009

you underestimate the buying motivations of a typical iphone user. As long as it has apple, and an incremental number, or addition of S, they will keep on buying the new iphone. It's all about the, "Look at me, I'm cool. I have the new iphone"-Factor. That's what make them fanboys.

27. Supersonic

Posts: 226; Member since: May 15, 2015

I agree with you sgodsell.

21. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

So? hell, even if iphone 6 was released in 2012, it would still be in contention for "best phone of 2015" title if it could actually contend!

3. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

You seem really obsessed with the iPhone. Maybe you should purchase one. Great device.

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Did you even bother to read the header? H1 2015!

29. gaithggg

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

dummy , this articale for 2015 and the iphone in 2014

38. Simona unregistered

that is really weird.. probably bcos they repeats themselves round n round best phones; iphoe shansung , iphoe shansung , iphoe shansung , iphoe shansung , nothing else..

5. waddup121 unregistered

we back to the list again!

6. alouden unregistered

GS6 and Edge. That's fair. By all accounts they are excellent phones. Looking forward to the second half releases.

9. gaming64 unregistered

H2 2015 will feature more competition......and a dozen Apple articles :P

10. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

I.have to agree that Samsung hit it out of the park. I am really enjoying my s6 so far. If I have one grip I would say the battery is pretty awful, it's simply to small.

11. ithotarachi

Posts: 7; Member since: May 12, 2015

I have the s6 edge and I agree with you. Its blazing fast with the stock touchwiz launcher, which I cant say about other samsung phones besides the note 4. The battery life last me pretty much the whole day, but it does have its days where it drains super fast

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Edge baby! The best phone I've ever used...bar none.

24. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I 100% concur. But the Note 5 is going to be better. I find myself just picking up my phone just to hold it even though I already checked my email, Facebook and other notifications. I just find it hard to put down. Tho at this point it is the least featured phone I've owned in a while after having the last 3 Note models, it's just so cool to hold and use just because it is so nice in design. In fact for me, even if it was plastic and had the same look and feel, it would be equally as good.

14. saenaedewe

Posts: 72; Member since: May 01, 2013

I chose LG G4, I don't like phones with physical button in front and also the price of S6 and S6 edge are crazy expensive here in my country (its price is the same as iPhone 6/6 plus)...

16. murphslaws

Posts: 54; Member since: Apr 22, 2015

Thats relatively cheap when you think about how much older the iphones are haha.

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