Update, 14 February 2017: Added the OnePlus 3T as best overall, and bumped the OnePlus 3 down to where the OnePlus 2 used to be — still a great value, but not the best available option.

Best overall

OnePlus 3T

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OnePlus caught us by surprise with the release of the OnePlus 3T, an update to an already great OnePlus 3. Arriving just six months after the initial flagship's release, the 3T included the newer Snapdragon 821 processor, a new 128GB storage option, a better 16MP front camera, and increased battery capacity of 3,400 mAh.

OnePlus took everything that was great about the OnePlus 3 and made it just that much better. Featuring all the hardware specs and features you'd expect from a top-tier smartphone — a great screen, solid camera, speedy software, and long battery life — it's one of the best Android phones of 2016.

The newer model comes with a slightly higher price, but with pricing starting at $439, it still costs significantly less than the major competitors' flagship. While there are more affordable OnePlus phones available, none of them come close to matching the high quality experience you get from the OnePlus 3.

Bottom line: OnePlus took an already great phone and made it greater with the OnePlus 3T.

One more thing: The OnePlus 3T's Dash Charge fast charging solution isn't compatible with any other quick charging standards, so you'll need to invest in new chargers if you want to top up quickly.

Why the OnePlus 3T is the best

Premium package at a mid-range price!

OnePlus had already turned a lot of heads with the OnePlus 3. After previously dabbling with different materials, the OnePlus 3 got a premium full aluminum build. Paired with the beautiful 5.5-inch, 1080p display protected by Gorilla Glass 4, it's a stylish design with no compromises. But, apparently, that was just the start for OnePlus.

Just six months later, they released the OnePlus 3T. Powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor and 6GB of RAM, it offered even more efficient and powerful hardware for running a mostly pure Android experience from OnePlus' Oxygen OS. There's solid 16 megapixel cameras on both the front and back, and made up for the lack of expandable storage by offering a 128GB option alongside the standard 64GB.. Other features such as a fingerprint scanner, NFC for Android Pay and two SIM card slots are here as well.

On top of all that, there's a capable 3400mAh battery which offers fantastic battery life during an average day of usage. When it's time to top up, use the included Dash Charge wall plug to get your phone back up to 60% in just 30 minutes.

Here's what Android Central's Andrew Martonik had to say on it in his official review:

Even with the modest price bump, the OnePlus 3T is an amazing value. It has great hardware, slick and responsive software, amazing battery life, strong rear camera and every internal spec you could want. Even its few weaknesses, like slightly low screen brightness, lack of waterproofing and questionable software update frequency, are minimal bad marks on what is otherwise an exceptional phone.

Best for Less

OnePlus 3

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The OnePlus 3 was the latest and greatest phone to come from OnePlus, and the first flagship they've released that felt wholly complete. Featuring all the hardware specs and features you'd expect from a top-tier smartphone — a great screen, solid camera, speedy software, and long battery life — we considered it one of the best phones of the year until OnePlus went and outdid themselves with the OnePlus 3T

But priced at $399, it's still a great value if the upgraded specs of the OnePlus 3T aren't worth the extra money to you. While there are more affordable OnePlus phones available, none of them come close to matching the high quality experience you get from the OnePlus 3.

Bottom line: After years of fine-tuning, OnePlus finally introduced a phone that's worthy of competing in the competitive high-end smartphone market. That phone is the OnePlus 3.

One more thing: The OnePlus 3 comes in a single 64GB version, which is plenty of storage space for even the most avid of media collectors. And it's dual-SIM too!

Best budget

OnePlus X

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OnePlus put style first with the OnePlus X. With an engraved aluminum frame and black Onyx glass on the back, the compact OnePlus X has a polished look and feel to it that stands out among all other OnePlus phones. It's got a brilliant 5-inch 1080p AMOLED display and performs well running the streamlined Oxygen OS.

This is a true budget phone, so it has a weaker camera than the OnePlus 3 and 3T, but it does include the flexibility of either using two sim cards, or one sim card and a microSD — up to 128GB supported. Starting at only $199, it's the most inexpensive of the three.

Bottom line: If you're looking for an affordable, stylish phone in a compact size, the OnePlus X is a decent option.

One more thing:: The OnePlus X almost certainly won't get Android 7.0 Nougat due to the use of an older Snapdragon 801 processor.

Best overall

OnePlus 3T

See at OnePlus See at Amazon

OnePlus caught us by surprise with the release of the OnePlus 3T, an update to an already great OnePlus 3. Arriving just six months after the initial flagship's release, the 3T included the newer Snapdragon 821 processor, a new 128GB storage option, a better 16MP front camera, and increased battery capacity of 3,400 mAh.

OnePlus took everything that was great about the OnePlus 3 and made it just that much better. Featuring all the hardware specs and features you'd expect from a top-tier smartphone — a great screen, solid camera, speedy software, and long battery life — it's one of the best Android phones of 2016.

The newer model comes with a slightly higher price, but with pricing starting at $439, it still costs significantly less than the major competitors' flagship. While there are more affordable OnePlus phones available, none of them come close to matching the high quality experience you get from the OnePlus 3.

Bottom line: OnePlus took an already great phone and made it greater with the OnePlus 3T.

One more thing: The OnePlus 3T's Dash Charge fast charging solution isn't compatible with any other quick charging standards, so you'll need to invest in new chargers if you want to top up quickly.