We’ve recently tested new mobile phones from the likes of Sony, Motorola and Vodafone, finding a handful of Best Buy smartphones plus some Don’t Buys to avoid.
The best of the bunch impressed us with its clear, vibrant, easy-to-read screen, good-quality photos and videos, and a useful battery life of nearly 24 hours of continuous calls, or 12 hours of web browsing.
The worst, on the other hand, offers just eight hours of call time or 5.5 hours of internet use – and you’re unlikely to want to share the photos it takes.
If a good value is important to you, it’s worth noting that we’ve found some new Best Buy smartphones that cost less than £200 to buy outright (SIM-free).
Just looking for the overall top-scorers? Take a look at our Best Buy mobile phones.
Expensive vs cheap mobile phones
There’s a huge price difference between the cheapest and most expensive phones we tested in this latest batch. At one end of the spectrum is the £40 Vodafone Smart Turbo 7, while at the pricier end is the £515 Sony Xperia XZ.
The Vodafone has a 5Mp rear camera and 2Mp front camera, while the Sony has a 23Mp rear camera and 13Mp front-facing snapper. Paying more for the Sony also gets you a higher-resolution display, a fingerprint sensor, and NFC capability – meaning you could use it as a contactless payment card, among other things.
The Sony Xperia XZ also has an IP68 dust- and water-resistance rating, which means it should survive a trip to the beach or a thirty-minute dip in up to 1.5 metres of water.
However, extra features don’t always mean a phone that’s better at the basics, and we regularly find models that look good on paper but don’t deliver in the test lab, meaning they’re likely to be frustrating in everyday life.
Most reliable mobile phones
Smartphones are often pretty expensive, and many of us pay for them through 18- or even 24-month contracts to avoid a high upfront cost – so the last thing you’ll want is an unreliable handset or one with quirks that drive you mad every time it’s in your hand.
We survey thousands of members each year about their experiences with their mobile phones. From the responses we receive, we calculate reliability scores for all the big brands to reveal the ones you’re most likely to be able to rely on.
To give yourself the best chance of bagging a phone that’s built to last, check out our reliability ratings on our best mobile phone brands page.
Latest mobile phone reviews
Click on the links below to read individual reviews of the latest phones we’ve tested. Models are listed in alphabetical order.
- Huawei Honor 8 (32GB) – £365
- Motorola Moto Z(32GB) – £465
- Motorola Moto Z Play (32GB) – £345
- Sony Xperia X Compact (32GB) – £365
- Sony Xperia XA Ultra (16GB) – £295
- Sony Xperia XZ (32GB) – £515
- Vodafone Smart Turbo 7 (8GB) – £40
- Wileyfox Spark (8GB) – £89
Prices are correct as of 12 December 2016 and are subject to change.