PhoneArena Awards 2015: Best Smartphone

PhoneArena Awards 2015: Best Smartphone
Reviews are something we have a ton of. In 2015 alone, we brought you well over 100 reviews of smartphones and tablets, as well as reviews of gadgets and accessories made for smartphone users. Needless to say, some of these products we didn't quite like, while others delighted us with their features. This article is about the latter kind. To be more specific, with the latest post in our PhoneArena Awards of 2015 series we're announcing the best smartphone of 2015. 

To some of you, our top pick will not come as a surprise. After all, the phone got one of the highest review scores we had given in recent history. And rightfully so, as it is a masterpiece of a phone. In fact, it comes from a company that's been at the top of the smartphone market for many years and has been making some of the most influential handsets ever. Ladies and gents, the best smartphone of 2015 is the...

Apple iPhone 6s

There's no such thing as a perfect smartphone. There never was, and our guess is that there never will be. But every once in a while, we come across a phone that gets very close to that point, and the iPhone 6s is one of them. Of course, some of you will argue that Apple's flagship device is inferior to many competitors in terms of specs – that its screen has only 326 ppi, that its camera is just a 12MP shooter, that its battery cell holds only ~1700mAh worth of charge. Sure, some other phones exceed these figures by a considerable margin, but let us not forget that the smartphone experience goes beyond the device's specs. And a great overall experience is what the iPhone 6s has to stand out with.

Right off the bat, the iPhone 6s is a thing of beauty, just as a phone of the high-end class is supposed to. The iOS software experience makes Apple's phone reliable, easy to use, and always up to date on the latest software, not to mention the superb catalog of iOS applications and media that are at a tap's distance. Speaking of taps, the 3D Touch technology built into the display is innovative and brings a new level of smartphone interaction. In fact, some other phone makers are already trying to emulate it. Then there's the camera, which, despite its seemingly average resolution of 12MP, snaps consistently great photos and videos. And as far as real-life battery life goes, the highly efficient iPhone 6s is in no way inferior to its competitors. All in all, the iPhone 6s may be a pricey handset, but there's just so much value that you get in exchange!

Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy S6

The Samsung Galaxy S6 was a worthy candidate for the top spot and ended up only a few votes short of grabbing it. Indeed, it is a well-made smartphone, and one setting a milestone in the evolution of Samsung's S-series. How does it do that? With design, performance, and efficiency. Made of glass and metal, the Galaxy S6 is probably the best-looking smartphone in the series, and one that's radically different when compared to its plastic-made predecessors. Oh, and did we mention the potent hardware under its hood? The speedy SoC, RAM, and storage, shot the Galaxy S6 to the top of the performance charts when it launched. Add an awesome camera to the formula and you get a smartphone well-worthy of its review score.

Story timeline

Related phones

iPhone 6s
  • Display 4.7" 750 x 1334 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1715 mAh(14h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S6
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 2100 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 2550 mAh(23h 3G talk time)



1. 27satz

Posts: 158; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Biased/Paid article.

3. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Ha, like there's any reason to pay them. Give thirty seconds of thought to the "tech-review sites are secretly on the take from Apple, Samsung, [insert brand you don't like here]" conspiracy theory and you'll realize it makes no logical sense. Whatever helps you rationalize this, I guess...

20. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Kinda agree PA, iPhone maybe a bad phone in 2016, but Android phone this year is worse. So I kinda agree.

16. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

They awarded the Note 5 "Best Large Smartphone", and named the Nexus 6P the runner up, with nary a mention of the iPhone 6s+. How can you claim bias or corruption?

17. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Wow. 6s best smartphone? An ipod touch with a SIM card tray.

42. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

People must love that tray huh?

50. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

Did you saw that tray? It is the best tray ever. :-)

64. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lol exactly.

77. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

Because PA had to put one Apple product first irrespective of what was the best in each class. The 6s+ is clearly a better smartphone than the 6s why did it not win the best smartphone?

81. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Because it's absolutely trounced by the Note 5. Are you srs? lol @ iPhone 6s+

28. rick_mobile

Posts: 359; Member since: Dec 13, 2010

In the past majority of people were ignorant and scared of changed; they thought the planet was flat and that one could fall off the edge and that was 'the best ideology'. Any smart observation scared people and was thought of as evil. Now, most people think the iphone is "the best smarthphone" lol. I see history repeats. Good for apple shareholders atleast.... For now..

62. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Best phones of 2015...shows 2 phones. OK

65. Brewski

Posts: 722; Member since: Jun 05, 2012


86. coldspring22

Posts: 349; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

iphoneareana. Isn't that blatantly obvious? Iphonearena has only one master, and that's Apple. This website had review of iphone 6S splashed across the top for two months!! Meanwhile, superior Android phones like Nexus 6p, Moto Droid Turbo 2 got tiny little rectangle off to the side for coverage. Check out pocketnow or phonedog for much more even handed coverage of all smart phones.

92. janis

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 10, 2014

i had iphone 5s, swapped it for lumia 930, sold lumia get samsung s6 edge, so far my thoughts: iphone works well with my macbook, i really like that music sync, because i love tol isten a lot of music, othe than that terrible phone, battery is bad, bazels are huge, UI is boring. windows- best virtual assistant(cortana) very simple UI, still it is more interesting than IOS, because of live tiles. not much apps available, considering apples appstore has millions of useless apps, really USELESS. samsung s6 edge- my phone of the year, its more less same size as iphone 6, but display is bigger, when compared display quality reading and checking pictures, i can easily say samsungs one is way sharper, it charges from 0-100 in 1h, battery goes all day, even on heavy usage, pretty much i was able to remove all touchwiz look, so only thing i dont like about it is, i cant really find proper music app which i would really like. this is just me and my opinion, if price same then all other features better on samsung(display, charging, battery life, wireless charging, UI which can be adjusted, design is better as well) sometimes simplicity on iphone is ok, but it gets so boring. performance wise, i think my macbook has more lags than my samsung, macbook pro is late 2013.. clear winner here is samsung, every single category.

2. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

The Galaxy 6S? Not the Edge?

4. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

IPhone arena

5. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

Best phone by ecosystem: IPhone Best phone by hardware: Galaxy note 5

6. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

Best phone by ecosystem: IPhone Best phone by hardware: Galaxy note 5 Best camera phone: Lumia 950 xl

7. TyrionLannister unregistered

Lumia 950xl isn't even close to the best camera phone. The 1020 and 808 beat it still. Besides, I don't see any site claiming it's better than G4 or note 5 or 6s+ yet.

9. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Duh, because those sites are paid by LG, Samsung, and Apple. Remember, if you disagree with someone it's because they're being paid.

10. NewroticSlob

Posts: 182; Member since: May 09, 2013

What is the going rate for a positive review nowadays? :)

12. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Sarcasm is strong in this one

8. submar

Posts: 713; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

feeling abused when using iphone

11. TheoryOfChaos unregistered


13. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Butthurt is real, I will never get it why fandroids get so upset about what PA says, but I guess teenagers have to spit their hate somewhere in the internet

22. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

As I said above, they gave the Note 5 "Best Large Smartphone" and the runner up was the Nexus 6P, and never even mentioned the iPhone 6s+. I'm far from Apple's biggest fan, but I'm not enough of a twat to claim that PA is biased towards Apple.

14. fistigons

Posts: 368; Member since: Feb 11, 2012

Nexus 6p would probably be my choice for phone of the year. It has everything(and more) that the reviewer praises the 6s for, except force touch.

19. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

It was already voted runner-up in the best phablet category, which is arguably a better category than best smartphone anyways.

45. chenski

Posts: 777; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Your right, lets go tell them!

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