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Major Android Flagship Phones in 2017

We’re getting closer to the halfway point of the year, and there are plenty of new and shiny Android flagship phones on the horizon. Some of the major flagships are already available to the public, but a few are still months away, or don’t even have a release date set yet for launch.

Related: 10 Best Upcoming Android Phones for 2016

Every year after the next is a bigger year for Android, so with new, and impressive phones coming from Google, Sony, HTC, LG, Huawei, Motorola, and especially Samsung, there’s a lot to cover and see. If you don’t know what flagship you’re interested in the most, or haven’t heard about all of them yet, take a look at what’s in store for Android this year.


Motorola’s New Flagship: The Moto Z2

Last year, Motorola released the Moto Z, their flagship for 2016, and it’s as fantastic of a phone now as it was then. One of the Moto Z’s biggest selling points is its modular design and accessories. During a press conference where a few mod pictures were shown off, it’s easy to see that’s still going to be a big focus going forward.

Related: Best Alcatel Phones: From Starter to Flagship Smartphones

gamepad 2017 flagships

Thankfully, since the Moto Z2 uses the same Moto Mods system as the phone from last year, all of your old Moto Mods will still work with the shiny new flagship.

Why Should You be Excited?

The original Moto Z was a great contender for the best phone of the year in its range, so it’s easy to think that the Z2 will surpass it. We don’t have anything confirmed about the specs by Motorola themselves yet. however, because of a geekbench listing for the new flagship, we know a little about what’s under the hood.

moto logo 2017 flagships

What we’ve seen of the Moto Z2’s specs has been solid overall, even if the amount of RAM included is lower than some of the other flagships I’ll be talking about.

On the outside of the phone you have the Moto Mods system, which lets you snap on impressive accessories to better your phone, or make it feel unique. Other than the gamepad show off at the conference, with what looks to be the Moto Z2 inside, many other Moto Mods will be available, and are already available to use with your Moto Z.

moto mods 2017 flagships

The more we learn about the Moto Z2, the more it sounds like it’s going to be just as fun of a phone as the one that came before it. We don’t have a confirmed date for the launch yet, but if it follows suit with the original Moto Z, we’ll know more this coming June.


LG’s New Flagship: The LG G6

While LG’s previous G5 didn’t turn many heads with its design, it was still a respectable flagship in its own right. This time around, the LG G6 is kicking the blockier design to the curve for a slimmer model, but at a cost. The new design isn’t going to charge you an extra $100, but it does get rid of the removable battery.

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For some Android users this is an easy trade to make, and for others it’s a dealbreaker. Whatever the case, let’s take a closer look at the LG G6, and see why it’s worth giving your time. This flagship is already available at certain retailers, so keep your eye on this one if you think it’s the Android phone for you.

Why Should You be Excited?

The LG G6 has quite a few improvements over its predecessor I touched on it briefly before, but let’s talk about the design. The G6 looks and feels sleek when compared to the previous model, and is almost completely water resistant. .

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Even if you’re looking at it under water, the 5.7 inch screen displays everything at a 18:9 aspect ratio with a gorgeous 1,400 pixels. If you want to try to tell me this isn’t a beautiful screen, you’re a pretty bold liar.

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Moving onto the back of the phone instead of the front, there are two different cameras to play around with. One is a normal, 13MP camera that looks great, but isn’t anything special, while the other is a 120 degree wide angle lens. With an angle like that, you won’t have to struggle to cram things into the shot, and instead get a fantastic view from your screen.

camera lg 2017 flagships

There are other great features, like the new Google Assistant, and little tweaks here and there to the Android experience, but I won’t dive into a full overview here. If you want more than just a quick touch on the new LG flagship, its Amazon page has more information.


Sony’s New Flagship: The Xperia XZs / XZ Premium

The Sony Xperia XZs actually launched April 5th in the US, but the XZ Premium has yet to arrive in stores. Since both phones are coming out around the same timeframe, and one of them is just an upgraded version, it makes sense to talk about both.

xperia 2017 flagships

I don’t have as many details about the Premium as I do the XZs, but I still know enough to talk about it as a flagship.

Why Should You be Excited?

The Sony Xperia XZs biggest draw to me is the camera. It’s sitting at 19MP which is already impressive, but then that’s followed up with its 960 FPS slow motion recording. You’ll be recording some absolutely stunning videos with this phone, so don’t overlook it. I won’t go into everything about it, but you can read a little more about it here.


HTC’s New Flagship: The U Ultra

HTC is looking to break the mold with their new flagship, The U Ultra. It abandons most of the design principles of older HTC phones with the design, and adopts more a modern aesthetic. Unfortunately, with that aesthetic comes the loss of a headphone jack, but if you already have the cables required, or a Bluetooth set of earphones, this won’t be a problem.

htc1 2017 flagships

Sadly, reviews for the U Ultra haven’t been stellar, so while HTC is trying to break the mold, they’re not going about it in the right ways.

Why Should You be Excited?

To put it simply, you should be excited about this if you’re looking to get something new from HTC, but other than that, I can’t think of too many reasons why you’d pick up the U Ultra. It’s by no means a terrible phone; the specs are decent, the design is form fitting and lovely to look at, and the screen is a large 5.7 inches with 1440p resolution.

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Unfortunately, there’s nothing really remarkable about the U Ultra, other than its differences with other HTC phones. It’s sitting at 4GB of RAM, which is fairly low for a flagship, and the battery at 3,000mAh is average at best.

If you absolutely need the latest phone from HTC, I can see getting this, but good luck paying for it with a lack of carrier deals for the slightly disappointing flagship. You can find out more about the new phone on its Amazon page, and even order one for yourself while they’re still in stock.


Huawei’s New Flagship: The Huawei P10 / P10+

Moving on from HTC starting a new line, let’s go to Huawei who’s continuing one with the P10 and P10+. While both the P10 and the P10+ are the flagship for Huawei, the P10 is easily outclassed by its more expensive variant.

p10 1 2017 flagships

Before I get into it too much, the P10 and P10+ are both great phones, but neither have any crazy features that will make you suddenly jump ship to Huawei. If you’re planning to pick this up anyway, there are a few exciting things you should know about.

Why Should You be Excited?

p10 2 2017 flagships

If you’ve owned the previous model, you have plenty of reasons to be excited for the P10, because it’s a solid improvement on everything you loved. However, while it’s an improvement, the P10 isn’t leaps and bounds ahead of the P9. In fact, on the surface, it practically looks the same.

The major visual difference is the fingerprint sensor on the front, combined with the home button. Other than that, and a slightly slimmer body, most of the changes with the P10 are on the inside.

p10 3 2017 flagships

On the inside, the specs of the P10 are very similar to the Mate 9, and are then slightly improved for the P10+. So if you’ve used a previous Huawei phone before this one, except to the P10 to be slightly faster, snappy, and still great to look at like always.

The dual cameras on the back are still here, and taking shots in low light at 20MP is even better than before. The screen that you’ll see your pictures on is roughly the same size as the P9, and is a 1080p full HD display. On the P10+ you’ll see an even bigger improvement with the 1440p screen.

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If you’re looking to upgrade your older Huawei device, the P10 and the P10+ stand to be a solid flagship to move onto.


Google’s New Flagship: Google Pixel / Pixel XL

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL were released in 2016, but going into 2017, the Pixel is still a flagship phone and contender for this year. While it technically isn’t a new flagship to talk about, it’s still something worth mentioning, even if I won’t touch on it for long.

What’s so Exciting About It?

What’s exciting to me about the Pixel is it’s Google’s take on both hardware and software combined into one place, and it really shows once you take a look at the flagship. From the ground up, the Google Pixel is built to be the perfect shell to house Android, and in plenty of cases, it succeeds.

pixel 1 2017 flagships

At the time, Google Pixel was the only Android phone to feature Google Assistant. Even though it’s now being considered for other devices, it’s still a great addition here on the device it was originally made for, much like the Google Home.

pixel 2 2017 flagships

Google has boasted about the camera on the Pixel before, about the speed and the quality, and they weren’t kidding. The camera is a hair over 12MP, with HDR support, and a shutter speed that’s insanely fast.

This combined with a few smaller, and streamlined touches, such as a unique setting and notifications shade, make for an Android phone that just feels right. If you’ve thought about getting Google Home, but are looking to upgrade your own Android phone instead, Google’s flagship is a safe bet.


Samsung’s New Flagship: The Galaxy S8 / Note 8

I don’t think there’s any way I can talk about flagships without bringing up Samsung at least once. I even did when I first started talking about them, but I felt it was only fitting to save the Galaxy S8 and Note 8 for last. They’re both highly anticipated, even though the last Note had less than desirable results, to put it lightly.

galaxy 1 2017 flagships

The S8 is almost here, so let’s see what’s so exciting about it. I don’t have much to say about the upcoming Note specifically, but expect to see some of these S8 features make the jump to it.

Why Should You be Excited?

Why shouldn’t you be excited is probably a better question. Even if you don’t buy Samsung products, there’s no denying how much they influence the market, regretful and explosive mistakes aside. The Samsung Galaxy S8 shares a few specs with previous S7, but that’s in no way a bad thing when the S7 was as impressive as it was.

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The Galaxy S8 is no different, being one of the few and the first Android phones to launch with a Snapdragon 835. That’s the biggest major change for the inside of the S8, but it’s a big change nonetheless. The camera on the back is the same as on the S7, but the camera on the front has been bumped up to 8MP, and even takes photos with better focus and lighting than the S7 did previously.

galaxy 3 2017 flagships

The phone itself is a gorgeous, if not a large, sight with its 1440p screen, coming in at around 5.8 inches. The phone makes use what Samsung is calling an Infinity Display, which practically makes your phone look like it’s just the screen itself.

samsung infinity 2017 flagships

All over from top to bottom the phone gives off a sense of style that isn’t easily matched by any other phone, and it even has a headphone jack.

It’s getting sad that having a headphone jack is listed as a bonus now, but they’re well on the path of being lumped in with removable batteries. They’ll be seen as a nice addition, but not necessary. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S8’s battery is non-removable, but whether or not it being the same battery in the S7 is a bad thing is up for debate.

galaxy 4 2017 flagships

Like all the other flagships, the Galaxy S8 will come with Android 7.0 stock, and everything will run like a dream on its new hardware. At the same time, it comes with a new personal assistant named Bixby. He’s tied to a button on the device, and will function much like Google Assistant for how you use him.

galaxy voice 2017 flagships

All together it seems like the Samsung Galaxy S8 is an impressively solid phone that hopefully helps with Samsung’s recently explosive reputation. You can pre-order it now off of Amazon with just a few clicks, or through a compatible carrier.


Conclusion

Some of the biggest flagships of this year are already out, with more still on the way, and others yet to be announced. Some of them have been disappointing so far, with others exceeding expectations, but all of them represent each company’s best foot forward in the Android market.

As long as a brand keeps improving, you can’t go wrong with a company’s flagship phone.

If there’s anything I missed, or anything you want to share about the flagships this year, please comment down below!

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