These are our favorite phones of 2016

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

Another leaf is about to get torn down from the wall calendar as 2016 is going down in history. And what a fruitful year it was, treating us to so many excellent devices that it's quite hard to pick a favorite.

Yet, that's precisely what we did. We rounded up our most favorite phones of 2016 and gave some necessary argumentation for our top picks. Since time is money, we've kept things short and sweet - no walls of text, just down-to-earth argumentation from the people who love mobile technology as much as you, if not more!

Alan F.
Google Pixel XL 


The integration with Android is at the highest level ever. The promise of Google Assistant's AI is here along with a well-spec'd device.The Pixel XL is THE phone for those who truly love Android.
Тhe cameras on this thing are exceptional even when natural light is scarce. From a software aspect, the Galaxy S7 edge provides as fluid an experience as I've enjoyed on any mobile platform. 

Cosmin V.
Google Pixel XL


My next favorite phone of 2016 after the Note 7 must be Google's Pixel XL. I love the mix of Android stock experience, big screen and, since I travel a lot and take many pictures, a great camera.


It makes for a great Spotify player for the car, helping me save the power of my main phone on long journeys. It's no good for anything else, though.

Daniel P.
Xiaomi Mi MIX


Edge-to-edge' can be done and be stylish without employing curved display shenanigans.


Florin T.
Google Pixel XL


As a Nexus user since the Nexus 4, I find the Pixel XL to be the most complete Google phone to date - definitely a handset that's close to perfection (at least for me).

Luis D.
Samsung Galaxy S7


The Galaxy S7 impressed me with its remarkably polished feel. What's more, the specs are great, the camera does a superb job, and performance is not an issue.


Maxwell R.
OnePlus 3/3T


Spec-for-spec, the OnePlus 3 and 3T follow-on are unmatched in capability (which match/beat most other) and performance for the money. It is my runaway winner for 2016.

Michael H.
Google Pixel XL


"Favorite" means we can ignore price and specs and go with other factors. So, I'm taking the Pixel XL, because this is Google finally taking control end-to-end to compete on its own terms.

Milen Y.
Google Pixel


Smack-dab in the golden mean of smartphone sizes, the Google Pixel is one of the best Android phones. Period. Stellar battery life, great camera, silky-smooth performance. What's there not to like?

Nick T.
LG V20


It is fast, it takes great photos, it has outstanding technical capabilities, but most importantly, it dares to be different even if that makes it look odd and quirky in the eyes of non-geeks.


Peter K.
OnePlus 3T


The affordable OnePlus 3T has been my daily driver for a while now — I love it. Its superb battery life, top performance, as well as the sleek design make it my top pick for 2016. Sorry, iPhone!

Ray S.
Apple iPhone 7 Jet Black


Gloss is back! This passing matte trend was so boring and utilitarian. The Jet iPhone 7 marks the return of stuff that is nice, smooth and shiny. I want to leave my fingerprints all over it right now!


Stephen S
Google Pixel


I was expecting the phone to be alright, but was turned off by the typical flagship-level pricing. And then I saw how smoothly it ran, and the incredible pics its camera could take. 

Victor H.
OnePlus 3/3T


At half the price of its iPhone, Galaxy and Google Pixel rivals, the OnePlus 3T delivers similar performance, great camera and very good battery life. I love its customization options too.

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36 Comments

1. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Go pixel!!! Great phone! Iphone and pixel best iphone available in my opinion

2. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

*phones

4. Kumar123 unregistered

Agreed. They will remain the best phones until their successor arrive in 2017.

12. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

oK. Any benefit of that to you?

34. rocker91

Posts: 88; Member since: Dec 09, 2016

lol i remember how much hate the pixel had before it release, google proved everyone wrong

3. abhinav.snsahu

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 08, 2015

Pixel XL all the way!

5. .KRATOS.

Posts: 442; Member since: Mar 15, 2013

you have forgotten the galaxy s7 and s7 edge

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Ben chose the S7 Edge and Luis chose the S7, so don't know what you're talking about.

11. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I second that. But the majority of them chose the Google Pixel phones, though...

6. jimjam unregistered

Wow yes the most expensive flagships made it on the list - what a surprise. Glad to see a $400 phone on the lost. I'll ignore the alcatel choice which was just a silly filler.

7. jimjam unregistered

Wow yes the most expensive flagships made it on the list - what a surprise. Glad to see a $400 phone on the lost. I'll ignore the alcatel choice which was just a silly filler.

9. shauncusi

Posts: 8; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

I'm surprised there's only one iphone 7plus in this article. haha!

20. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

But knew it would be Ray S.

10. shield

Posts: 834; Member since: Sep 12, 2015

Lg v20

13. FlySheikh

Posts: 444; Member since: Oct 02, 2015

Interesting...

14. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

The best phone that I have owned this year is the Xiaomi Mi 5. SD820, two-day battery life, my top priority. Great build quality, moderate price.

16. danidin

Posts: 40; Member since: May 15, 2014

HONOR 8 - the surprise of the year IMO. great budget good looking phone.

17. monoke

Posts: 1157; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Daniel P. seems to have the right idea. The Mi Mix may not have a great camera or is too unwieldy for daily use. However we can't deny it's evolutionary design and it's eventual impact on the industry.

18. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

LOL, we all knew what Ray S. would pick.

19. cmdacos

Posts: 4099; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

1 person chose iPhone 7 yet it still consistently lands at the top of phonearena's recommendation lists, lol

21. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I'm super impressed with the Axon 7 I picked up. For $400, it's a heck of a device. The speakers are fantastic.

22. plasteek

Posts: 265; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

V20 for real men!

23. fancollo

Posts: 130; Member since: Dec 30, 2015

in europe the pixel and iphone are just ridiculously expensive. the pixel 32gb is 850 dollars (in switzerland, where prices are usually low). the other ones are even more expensive. i can't justify 400 usd on a good camera or an assistant... in general this year phones are just expensive. even huawei joined samsung etc with their high prices. only the OnePlus 3/3T and Honor 8 have a price i want to pay for a phone and are definitely not half worth of the other expensive monsters.

24. skyline88

Posts: 697; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

congrats to OP3 / OP3T! #NeverSettle

25. shnibz

Posts: 509; Member since: Sep 18, 2011

As a S7 owner, I REALLY like my wife's LG V20. Maybe it is quirky but its also great

26. RoryBreaker

Posts: 207; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

Samsung Galaxy S7...which looks like it will be my last Samsung phone due to their stupidity about their edge screen gimmick which they are forcing on their customers.

27. Rydsmith unregistered

But but but.....I was told this is iPhone Arena and you all only have and care for iPhones.

28. KingSam

Posts: 1425; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

I must agree with most of these views. The pixel/xl and s7/edge are really the best. And for price to performance the OnePlus 3/3t kills it.

29. haikallp

Posts: 319; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Every loyal readers of PA would have guessed Ray S is gonna pick the iPhone. Lol

30. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

How about a follow on post listing what phones they use as their daily drivers?

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

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