Best AT&T Android phones (February 2016)

AT&T and Verizon have been engaged in a bit of a cold war for the top carrier spot in the United States for some time now. While both carriers have a great selection of phones, many folks claim AT&T’s selection is a bit broader. AT&T has everything from the best flagship devices to midrange phones, all the way down to budget friendly options.

Below you’ll find our list of the best Android phones available on AT&T’s network. We’ve also added a couple unlocked options at the bottom of the post if you’re interested in going off-contract. Without any further ado, let’s get started!

Editor’s note – We will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.

Update, February 2016: This month we combined the Galaxy S6/S6 Edge entries, and removed the BlackBerry Priv, HTC Desire EYE, HTC Desire 626 and LG G Vista 2 from our list. We also removed pricing tiers.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

It’s hard denying that Samsung has always been the king of large-screened smartphones, and that still holds true today. With its crystal clear 5.7-inch display, powerful Exynos 7420 CPU and killer 16MP rear-facing camera, the Galaxy Note 5 is one of the best Android phones available on the market right now.

It’s an all-around solid device, boasting an all-glass chassis that’s similar to that of the Galaxy S6. It comes with an improved S Pen and some great multitasking features that will make it easy to get work done. The software is much more clean and simple than we’ve seen from the company in the past, too.

With all of that said, though, this device doesn’t come without its caveats. Samsung’s decision to omit the microSD card slot and removable battery has been a controversial one, especially among Samsung die-hards. Even with these notable omissions, the Note 5 can still be considered one of the best out there.

You can purchase the Galaxy Note 5 from AT&T starting at $24.67 per month with an installment plan or for $739.99 full retail.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 518ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm, 171g

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Buy now from AT&T


Samsung Galaxy S6 / Galaxy S6 Edge

Depending on who you ask, one might tell you that the last truly impressive member of the Galaxy S family was the widely popular GS3. While the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 were not bad handsets, their highly derivative nature came under fire, bolstered further by the fact that many of its rivals have since taken to pushing more premium builds made of metal, glass and other similar materials.

With the Samsung Galaxy S6, the Korean giant has finally delivered a truly premium Galaxy S experience, melding a glass front and back with a metal frame. Most tech journalists and even everyday tech enthusiasts agree that the redesign is a welcome one. Of course, Samsung’s new look isn’t without sacrifice, ditching Samsung staples like a removable back and battery. The microSD slot is also absent on the Galaxy S6. Another major change for the Galaxy S6 is the processing package, with Samsung electing to leave behind Qualcomm, solely offering up its Exynos 7420 processor, paired with 3GB RAM. And finally, the software has also been scaled back a bit with the latest iteration of the Galaxy S.

Like the idea of the Galaxy S6, but hoping for something that stands out even further? The Galaxy S6 Edge offers the same specs, but adds dual edges and a few special features that take advantage of the phone’s unique design.

While not as pricey as their larger brothers, the Samsung Galaxy S6 series is still up there. You can purchase the Galaxy S6 proper from AT&T for $19.50 per month with a payment plan, or for $584.99 off-contract. The S6 Edge is a little pricer — it starts at $23.84 per month with a payment plan, or it can be yours for $714.99 full retail.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 577ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB storage options, no microSD expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,550mAh battery (S6), 2,600mAh battery (S6 Edge)
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8mm, 138g

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Buy the galaxy S6 from AT&TBuy the Galaxy S6 Edge from AT&T


LG V10

If you aren’t completely satisfied with the LG G4, perhaps the V10 will suit your needs. It has the same powerful Snapdragon 808 processor and 16MP rear-facing camera as the G4, but with a few extra features included. Most notably, the V10 sports a secondary “ticker” display LG calls the Second Screen. This extra display aims to provide its users useful information without the need to turn on the main screen. It will display app shortcuts, notifications, and even weather and battery percentage information. Although the placement is a bit wonky, we’re sure you’ll be pretty happy with the added benefit of having a secondary display.

The V10 also has two front-facing cameras for wide-angle selfies, a fingerprint scanner that’s actually really reliable, a MIL-STD-810G Transit Drop Compliant rating for shock absorption, and a 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC electronic processor with support for Qualcomm’s QFE2550 closed-loop antenna tuning solution. It’s also the first smartphone ever to come with a manual mode for taking video.

The LG V10 is available now from AT&T for $23.34 per month with an installment plan or for $699.99 full retail.

Specs

  • Main display: 5.7-inch IPS Quantum Display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 513ppi
    • Secondary display: 2.1-inch IPS Quantum Display with 160 x 1040 resolution, 513ppi
  • Hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 2TB
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP Dual Lens front camera
  • Removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6mm, 192g

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Buy now from AT&T


Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

The Samsung Galaxy S6 may be the phone to beat in the design department, but it’s by no means a tough phone. For those who need something that will keep up with the horrors of an active lifestyle, Samsung put together the Galaxy S6 Active.

This device is special in that, unlike most other rugged smartphones, it does not sacrifice in the specs department. It comes with the same Exynos 7420 processor, 3 gigabytes of RAM, 5.1-inch Quad HD display and pretty much everything else that the S6 brings to the table. This thing is powerful in every sense of the word, and it even comes with a whopping 3500mAh battery, meaning it can run laps around the regular Samsung Galaxy S6 without breaking a sweat.

The Galaxy S6 Active is rated IP68, which means it can be submerged under 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. In addition, it meets MIL-STD-810G standards for shock resistance. And for the workout buffs Samsung has added a direct shortcut button to the Activity Zone, giving you quick access to tools like the weather, a stopwatch, a flashlight an an S-Health overview. Think of this like a Samsung Galaxy S6, but tough and without lackluster battery life.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is available from AT&T for $19.84 per month with an installment plan or for $594.99 off-contract.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 577ppi
  • Samsung Exynos 7420 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3500mAh battery
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 146.8 x 73.4 x 8.6mm, 150g

Read more

Buy now from AT&T


LG G4

The LG G4 enters the market promising pristine performance, a design that will have any crowd turning heads, insane battery life and customization like we no longer see in modern smartphones.

In an industry where most manufacturers sacrifice battery life for thinness, LG manages to stand out from the crowd by offering a massive 3000mAh battery. It also happens to be removable, so you can easily swap batteries at will. Furthermore, it supports expandable memory, which also happens to be a feature under risk of extinction.

Oh, and this phone looks good! You can switch your back plates, but I am sure you won’t want to once you put that genuine leather back in there. Add in the fact that the phone comes with one of the best smartphone cameras in the market and you have a true winner. Of course, you can read our LG G4 review to see what this phone is all about before you fork out your hard-earned cash.

The LG G4 is available from AT&T for only $15.44 per month with an installment plan or for $462.99 off-contract.

Specs

  • 5.5-inch LCD Quantum Dot display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 538ppi
  • Hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 149.8 x 76.2 x 6.3-9.8mm, 155g

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Buy now from AT&T


Going off-contract?

If you’re not keen on spending $600+ on one of the off-contract smartphones listed above, there are certainly some other smartphones out there that are worth your hard-earned money. The top two off-contract smartphones that we’d recommend can’t be purchased from any carrier, which is why they didn’t make our initial list. So if you’re looking for a great off-contract smartphone, you can’t go wrong with the Nexus 6P or Motorola Moto X Pure Edition.

Nexus 6P

As the successor to last year’s Motorola Nexus 6, Google recently unveiled the Huawei-made Nexus 6P. This device is the higher-end of the two Nexus phones announced at Google’s event, and that’s incredibly apparent when looking at the spec sheet.

It comes with a big 5.7-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, super fast Snapdragon 810 processor, a giant 3450mAh battery and an impressive 12MP rear-facing camera. Want to get your hands on one? The Nexus 6P is pretty cheap, considering the specs and build quality. You can purchase it from the Google Store starting at just $499!

This is really one of the best Android handsets we’ve ever seen. If you have a few hundred dollars to spend and aren’t keen on the best from Samsung or LG, get the Nexus 6P.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 resolution, 518ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32/64/128GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 12MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3450mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 159.3 x 77.8 x 7.3mm, 178g

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Buy now from the Google StoreBuy now from Amazon


Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (aka Moto X Style)

With the original Moto X, Motorola proved you don’t need to have the latest specs to get a great user experience. With the second generation, the Lenovo-owned company took no chances and double-downed on the spec side as well, packing the new Moto X (2014) with a dense 5.2-inch AMOLED screen, a beefy processor, and a capable 13MP camera. But with the Moto X Style, Motorola reaches the perfect balance between performance, simplicity, price and… well, style.

By Style we are mostly referring customization capabilities, a factor which has been an integral part of the Moto X experience since day one. Customers can use Moto Maker to manipulate their devices’ aesthetics to their will. You can change the color of the metal areas, engrave the back and even choose from a plethora of back options, including materials leather, wood, rubber and other materials.

The device is not a bad contender in terms of hardware, either. The larger screen puts the phone up with contenders like the OnePlus 2, Nexus 6, LG G4 and the Galaxy Note series. It may not sport the “best” processor in the market, but the Snapdragon 808 is pretty close to the 810, and Motorola has proven time and again they can make a super fast phone without the greatest chipset.

It’s worth noting that the phone will be sold in most markets under the Style branding, though in the United States it will be sold as the Moto X Pure Edition, an unlocked model that will play nice with all U.S. carriers. You can purchase the Moto X Pure Edition from Motorola or Amazon for only $399.99.

Specs

  • 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 520ppi
  • 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16/32/64GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 21MP rear camera, 5MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3000mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 153.9 x 76.2 x 11.06 mm, 179g

Read more

Buy now from MotorolaBuy now from Amazon


How did you like our list? Do you have any other suggestions? If so, feel free to voice your opinion in the comments below!

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By | 2016-02-25T17:00:11+00:00 February 25th, 2016|Android Related, Just the Tablets|0 Comments

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