Top 5 best mid-sized (5.1 to 5.4 inches) smartphones you can buy in the US

In this piece, we'll talk about the best mid-sized smartphones currently available in the US. Before cutting to our picks, however, we'd like to first define what we're looking for.

If you're not into compact smartphones and you find phablets too big for your hands, then your next smartphone is likely to fit in the 5.1 to 5.4-inch display size range, which is what many currently consider to be a mid-sized smartphone. Unsurprisingly, the US smartphone market is flooded with smartphones that fit into this display size category. Here are the best of them:

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge is not only one of the best smartphones that meets our display size criteria but one of the best smartphones out there period.

The Galaxy S6 edge comes with a 5.1 Super AMOLED display running a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels, offering one of the highest PPI density out of all the smartphones currently available in the US. The size and the resolution of the display are just half of the story, though. The interesting bit about the handset, and the only thing that sets it apart from the standard Galaxy S6 version is the dual-curved display.

On the inside, you'll find the Samsung Exynos 7420 chipset, which was the fastest chip in the Android camp throughout 2015. Add in a very capable camera, a premium design and build quality, as well as Samsung Pay capabilities, and it's easy to see why our readers have voted the Galaxy S6 edge as the best smartphone of 2015.

On the downside, it's worth mentioning that the Galaxy S6 edge only comes with an average battery life and lacks a microSD card support. Also, this is a high-end smartphone, so be prepared to dig deep into your pockets if you like what you're seeing.

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Sony Xperia Z5

OK, so the Sony Xperia Z5 isn't available in the US at the moment, but the handset will arrive on US shores in just a few weeks from now. Furthermore, we've already reviewed the international version of the phone, meaning that we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Xperia Z5 when it eventually lands in the US.

With the Sony Xperia Z5, the manufacturer went back to the same Omnibalance design language that it used as inspiration for the previous four smartphones in the series. Still, this is a premium-built smartphone with blazing-fast internals and a new camera module that behaved very well during our Sony Xperia Z5 review, which is something that you should read before committing to a purchase.

Google Nexus 5X

Although it's called the Google Nexus 5X, the spiritual successor to the Nexus 5 actually comes with a 5.2-inch display, meaning that it fits right in the middle of the display size interval we're analyzing in this piece.

If you're a Nexus fan but you don't want the gargantuan Google Nexus 6P, the Nexus 5X is your only choice at the moment. Overall, the Google Nexus 5X is not quite as powerful as the phones we've talked about so far, but the handset still manages to maintain high performance levels thanks to its stock Android version. Furthermore, we also liked the 12MP primary camera, managing to obtain some very good photos with the sensor during our Google Nexus 5X review.

On the downside, we find that the design is a little too uninspiring, the build quality could have been improved, and we've also been dissatisfied with the video recording chops of the device. At the moment, Google is selling the 16GB version of the Nexus 5X at just $349, meaning that prospective buyers should expect some sacrifices ahead of them. 

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Microsoft Lumia 950

Back in September, Microsoft launched its first true flagship Windows 10 Mobile smartphone, the Lumia 950. In our Microsoft Lumia 950 review, we found that the phone has a very crisp display, a good camera, as well as fast internal hardware, but we've also been a bit disappointed with the state of the Windows 10 Mobile OS.

For a few months, the Microsoft Lumia 950 remained an AT&T exclusive in the United States. However, the unlocked version of the handset is now back in Microsoft's US web store, where it can be had for $549. That's a bit of a steep price for a phone that lacks the premium builds of equally priced handsets included here, but if you just have to own a Windows 10 Mobile flagship, the Lumia 950 is your only choice unless you're looking to get the larger Lumia 950 XL.

BlackBerry Priv

BlackBerry's first Android smartphone, the Priv, rounds up our selection of the best mid-sized smartphones around. Featuring a 5.4-inch display with a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels, the BlackBerry Priv barely fits our criteria. Furthermore, measuring 9.4mm across its waist and tipping the scales at 192 grams, the Priv is the thickest and the heaviest smartphone that we've talked about in this article. Both of these measurements are heavily influenced by the fact that the BlackBerry Priv hides a slide-out physical keyboard under its display.

Physical keyboard aside, the BlackBerry Priv also benefits from an interesting pairing of Android's app diversity with BlackBerry's trademark security and privacy tweaks. Furthermore, the design and the build of the handset are both high-quality, which pretty much what you'd expect from a device that's priced a cent under $700. Check out our BlackBerry Priv review for a closer look at this unique Android smartphone.


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