PhoneArena Reader Awards 2015: The results are in!

Take away our extensive phone specs database and our news coverage, and what the team at PhoneArena does is pretty simple: We provide expert opinion so that you can make informed purchases instead of ones affected by marketing tricks. But it's also true that we value reader input and actively seek it out. So while our own selection of the best in tech for 2015 was the result of internal consensus, last week we also gave you the opportunity to crowd-source the devices you thought most deserved the PhoneArena Reader Award of 2015. And now, five days after voting was opened, it's time to share the results.

For fun, we thought we'd list the winner and runner-up in each category next to our own picks, and see where that leaves us. Obviously, do keep in mind that the PhoneArena community is, like the global smartphone user base, dominated by Android device owners, followed by a smaller, but sizable iOS fan base, and then a tiny Windows Phone camp. Needless to say, this split means that confirmation bias is very much a reality with these kind of public polls. Just something to keep in mind.

Best Smartphone of 2015

When we looked back on 2015, we shortlisted a number of devices that we thought deserved a shot at the PhoneArena Award for Best Smartphone, and then took a vote. The final count came in favor of the Apple iPhone 6s, with the Samsung Galaxy S6 a close second. That's kind of funny, because the PhoneArena Reader Award for Best Smartphone goes to the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge first, and the Samsung Galaxy S6 second. Third in the ranking was the Apple iPhone 6s, which means that our readers and the PhoneArena team are mostly in agreement—at least if we consider the two Galaxy devices as one, which isn't a preposterous notion, and reverse the winner with the runner-up.

PhoneArena Reader Awards: Best smartphone of 2015

Apple iPhone 6s
Asus ZenFone 2
BlackBerry PRIV
Google Nexus 5X
HTC One M9
HTC One A9
Huawei P8
OnePlus X
Microsoft Lumia 950
Motorola X Pure Edition (2015)
Motorola DROID TURBO 2
Motorola DROID MAXX 2
Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
Sony Xperia Z5
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact

Best Large Smartphone of 2015

With the increasing popularity of phablets, we wanted to acknowledge the best among them in a separate category dedicated to just large smartphones. We ended up handing the gold to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and put the Huawei-made Google Nexus 6P second. As it turns out, our readers agree one hundred percent, and nominated the same two devices, in that same order. For what it's worth, the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium and the iPhone 6s Plus are neck-and-neck for the third spot:

PhoneArena Reader Awards: Best large smartphone of 2015

Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Huawei Mate S
Google Nexus 6P
LG V10
Microsoft Lumia 950XL
OnePlus 2
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
Xiaomi Mi Note Pro

Best Value-for-money Smartphone of 2015

With competition intensifying in all sectors of the industry, and with more and more investment flowing in, the costs of producing a smartphone have followed — just in the opposite direction. Today, you can get a flagship smartphone for the price of what would have been categorized as the mid-range a while ago, or a competent lower-end device for under 160 bucks. This has allowed the value-for-money ratio of those very devices to shoot up, and they thus make for a great bargain.

The PhoneArena Award for Best Value-for-money Smartphone of 2015 went to the Motorola Moto X Pure Edition, followed by another Motorola creation: the Moto G (2015). Due to an error on our end (we blame it on the infectious holiday cheer), the Moto X Pure Edition wasn't included in the poll, so we can't tell if you agree with us. With that in mind, you awarded the first spot to the Moto G (2015) and the second to the OnePlus 2. We can certainly speculate that were it not for this error, Motorola's 2015 flagship would have ranked high, but we obviously can't be sure. Ooops!

PhoneArena Reader Awards: Best value-for-money phone of 2015

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3
Asus ZenFone 2
Meizu m2 note
Microsoft Lumia 640
Motorola Moto G 2015
Motorola Moto E 2015
OnePlus 2
OnePlus X
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
ZTE Axon

Best Tablet of 2015 

With tablets, we once again have an agreement: the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 was the single best slate pushed out in 2015. A worthy tablet in its own right, the giant Apple iPad Pro came in second, closely followed by the sleek Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet. Here's the exact split:

PhoneArena Reader Awards: Best tablet of 2015

Apple iPad mini 4
Apple iPad Pro
Asus ZenPad S 8.0
Google Pixel C
Huawei MediaPad X2
Lenovo YOGA Tab3 Pro
LG G Pad X 8.3
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8-inch
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7-inch
Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Best Smartwatch of 2015

Not at all surprisingly, the smartwatch section of the PhoneArena Reader Awards received the least votes—after all, smartwatch sales still are a drop in the ocean when looking at the big picture. 

In any case, we have yet another match in terms of which particular wrist gadget deserves the honor of being called the best in 2015: the Samsung Galaxy Gear S2. The runner-up, according to the PhoneArena team is the Apple Watch, but our audience actually seems to dig the Motorola Moto 360 2015 more.

PhoneArena Reader Awards: Best smartwatch of 2015

Apple Watch
Asus ZenWatch 2
Huawei Watch
LG Watch Urbane
Motorola Moto 360 2015
Pebble Time
Samsung Gear S2
Withings Activité



1. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Oooh. Good voting my fellow PA users! 2016 going to be the best year for smartphones yet.

7. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

So as the 2017. So as the 2018. technology never stops brother... every year we see a better upgrade... (except SD810 - the biggest failure of 2015 in Smartphone industry).

41. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

The Better The Tech The More Problems Arise, Expect There To Be A Bigger Failure Than The Sd810 Sooner Than Later.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I agree with all of these polls. I would've opted for the gear s 2, but I like the look of the gear s more, and I'm loving it. My N5, and 6S Plus are beasts.

6. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I was waiting for gear S2 but when it came out I went for Gear S.

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah, the gear s is awesome.

19. tedkord

Posts: 17507; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Which Gear S version? I've got the Verizon version, and I'm not very impressed. It's several updates behind other carrier versions, and doesn't function great.

27. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011


33. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

i have the Verizon model too of the Gear S and I had problems at first, mosty with battery-life, but that changed after I switch the conenctions to auto to make sure it stayed conneted to my phone vs using its own cellular. Still lasts 2 work days on a single charge. I still have it and I now have (2) Gear S2's and so far with the same setting, the battery-life hasn't been as good. I dont even use the device per se. I get a beep for my notifications and texts and the screen is always off unless I lift my arm, as with my original Gear S. Yet it barely lasts a day right now, versus Samsung claim of 3 days. That must be the WIFI-only model. Compared to the previous model, it is definitely better looking and sleeker. But I hate trying to go back to typing using the number keys like in the days of old flip phones. I prefer the QWERTY with the original Gear S. No regrets so far, just have to figure out how to get 2 days from a charge. I wish they kept the same sized battery.

20. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Hope it's all good now with no issues bro. And most importantly, I hope your wife is doing ok with the switch from iOS.

31. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanx for your help my dude, it's working great now, and the wife love's her N5. She's glued to it lol. Now I have to sell her iphone, I got a few buyers forn $400.

32. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Anytime my friend. Glad she is loving it.

39. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanx bro, I'm just glad you saw my YouTube video lol. That issue woulda been pretty hard to explain.

44. maherk

Posts: 7050; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What I find it hard to explain, is that crazy woman who pooped her pants.

48. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bro lol, all I can say is....that's Vegas for you. I see the craziest stuff, and love to share it lol.

64. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Youtube video? Does you channel have the same name as your account here? Would like to see.

37. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

what happen to your muscular body Dark? I am seeing that it is replaced by gadgets :)

38. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I don't even feel the need to answer that question.

71. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

no problem, its upto you... but why did you felt a need to reply to this comment then? dont bother yourself instead of showing an attitude... it seems you falsly feel that you are a VIP, but in fact you are just an idiot(me too for replying back to you)... your comment just made you an egoistic idiot infront of me and I will not comment to such a pathetic idiot again... anyway, it doesnt matter how we look to each other. We both are just a random commentors on PA...

72. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Thanks, now get lost, and please correct your grammar.

73. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

you too, get lost and please correct your pathetic attitude

45. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Said no one ever...are you serious? Gear s over S2? or was that a typo?

3. phljcnth

Posts: 563; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

It is Gear S2, not Galaxy Gear S2. Only Androids get the 'Galaxy' branding. Anyway, congrats to Samsung for winning big in the year's awarding!

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 31749; Member since: Feb 05, 2011


34. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Yes that is true. Even though the original gear S had Android, it now also runs Tizen which I felt was a much betetr improvement. When it has Android, it would last barely a full work day on a charge. After the Tizen update I get 2 full work days beofre it dies either on the way home or as soon as I get home.

4. Raito

Posts: 82; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

Something weird,when some Android manufacturer win the poll,everyone celebrating,but when Apple win the poll,everyone lose their minds,talk about fanboyism!but still celebrating that my chosen platform (Windows mobile on Surface Pro) won!!

9. Shocky unregistered

Still puzzling why a device that's got more in common with a laptop than a tablet is proving popular here. Seems to be a regression back to laptops.. I tried Samsung's 12.2" tablet this year and it was uncomfortable to use just due to the size, the Surface 4 Pro is larger and weightier so it's a bit of a mystery. I'm guessing it's one of those tablet's that looks great in principle but once you get hands on people will change their tune.

67. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

It just doesn't make sense anymore for an Apple product to win in any category. Apple's products today just aren't as good as the competition. Apple products aren't that popular either. Their laptopsgtablets haven't sold as well as Windows/Android models and their phones can't seem to break out passed 15% marketshare. Their fans over inflate Apple's product numbers by comparing them to individual manufacturers in the market instead of against the overall market. Given Samsung's and Android's dominant marketshare, plus the fact that their products are arguable better than Apple's offering, it is no wonder that Samsung/Android products get voted for more. Real technology enthusiasts, not the fashion loving wannabes who love Apple and write tech blogs, give credit to good (not just pretty) products. I don't own a Surface Pro, but as a self respecting technology enthusiast there is no way in hell I would ever vote for the iPad Pro over the Surface Pro. The iPad Pro is a worthless, overly expensive product that brings nothing of real value to the category it competes in. The same goes for the Apple Watch. If Apple actually produced decent products tech products again, they would get my vote. Instead Apple makes expensive crap that its fanatics use as fashions accessories instead of real tech.

5. ph00ny

Posts: 2074; Member since: May 26, 2011

Pretty much inline with i chose as the top devices. I think i accidently chose Moto E over Moto G but i was really picking Moto G.

8. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

IMO oneplus X has best value for money as it offers SD 801 for $250 and a premium design with no compromises.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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