We list every smartphone that won a perfect five-star review from us in 2015; nine mobiles that are all-round superstars, from cheapy devices to the most awesome flagship phones.
The very last five-star phone of 2015 was Google’s own-brand Nexus 6P, designed and manufactured by Huawei. Boasting unique and stylish looks as well as premium specs – for less cash than most flagship phones – the Nexus 6P is well worth its perfect score and remains one of the very best phones right now in 2016.
Blackberry may have been off the boil for the past few years, but the Canadian company came back strong in 2015 with the surprisingly awesome Priv.
This 5.5-inch phone combines the very best of Blackberry and Android into a premium handset with a strong emphasis on security and productivity, and it works beautifully. In fact, the Priv was our first ever 5-star rating for a Blackberry phone here on Recombu.
LG’s G4 had a lot to prove, after the previous year’s LG G3 stole our Best Phone Award from the likes of Sony and Samsung. Thankfully the G4 is a solid, if not particularly innovative, handset that does everything right. The 5.5-inch screen is crisp and colourful, that 16-megapixel camera is one of the most dependable snappers around and you can expand the on-board storage thanks to microSD support, something missing on a few of the other flagship devices here.
Samsung Galaxy S6
Winner of Recombu’s Best Phone 2015 Award, the Galaxy S6 of course grabbed all five stars in our in-depth review. Gone is the plastic design and pointless features of yesteryear; instead we have a pleasing metal-and-glass frame and streamlined TouchWiz interface, as well as a gorgeously vibrant Super AMOLED screen and fantastic 16-megapixel camera.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
The S6 Edge may basically be a Galaxy S6 with a curvy screen, but that unique and rather stand-out design makes it one of the most attractive and compelling handsets of 2015. Of course, the actual functionality of those curved edges is what you might describe as ‘minimal’, but that didn’t put us off awarding a full five stars as the S6 Edge is still a fantastic all-round phone.
Sony Xperia Z5
The colourful 5.2-inch screen, responsive fingerprint sensor, awesome 23-megapixel camera and impressive audio support makes the Xperia Z5 one of Sony’s best phones to date.
Read next: The best Sony Xperia smartphones right now
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
The Xperia Z5 Compact was the only sub-5-inch phone released in 2015 to get a perfect score in our review, so anyone after a mini mobile should look no further. The Compact retains almost all of its bigger brother’s features, including that versatile 23-megapixel camera, while packing a fun and vibrant design that’s easy to clutch.
Vodafone Smart Ultra 6
If you’re strapped for cash and only have a hundred quid to splash out on a new blower, check out the Smart Ultra 6 from Vodafone. This network-branded Android mobile blew us away thanks to its crisp HD screen, surprisingly decent camera and silky smooth performance.
Microsoft Lumia 640
The glossy plastic design may lack sex appeal but the Snapdragon processor gives a stutter-free experience and the 8-megapixel camera and sharp 720p screen round off some impressive hardware. Best of all, the Lumia 640 will easily keep you going all day and beyond thanks to the excellent battery life.