Best overall

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

See at OnePlus

The OnePlus 5 continues the company's tradition of delivering a flagship-class experience for a couple of hundred dollars less than the competition. The highlight of this year's phone is dual cameras at the back, with a Portrait Mode allowing you to take portraits with a background blur effect.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 835, and while the overall design may not be as groundbreaking as the Galaxy S8, OnePlus has once again managed to get all the basics right.

You can pick up the OnePlus 5 with either 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage for $479, or get the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage for $539.

Bottom line: The OnePlus 5 is a solid choice if you're looking for a phone with top-notch internals, clean software, and all-day battery life.

One more thing: You can now pick up the OnePlus 5 in a Soft Gold color option.

Why the OnePlus 5 is the best

OnePlus refined its formula for the affordable flagship with the OnePlus 5, offering a phone that delivers top-notch hardware and clean software at a price that's $200 to $300 lower than the competition.

The highlight with the OnePlus 5 is the dual camera setup at the back. The primary 16MP camera is augmented by a secondary 20MP shooter that acts as a telephoto lens — giving you 2x lossless zoom. Then there's Dash Charge, which is one of the best fast charging standards available today. With Dash Charge, you can get up to a 60% charge after plugging your phone in for just 30 minutes.

The screen size (and resolution) are unchanged from last year, with the phone featuring a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED panel. The internals have received a significant bump, however, in the form of the 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835. When it comes to the software side of things, OxygenOS delivers one of the best experiences currently available on Android. The user interface is similar to pure Android, but there are several customization options available to make the phone truly yours.

This time around, OnePlus is offering a single global SKU of the OnePlus 5. That means that the same model will be sold around the world, with no variances across regions. The move allows for easier roaming, as the device has 34 LTE bands for global usage.

OnePlus sells a single version of the OnePlus 5 globally, and that's a big deal.

Selling a single SKU also means that all models of the OnePlus 5 sport a dual-SIM card tray, with both slots offering LTE connectivity. That's a big deal.

If you're rocking Bluetooth headphones, you'll be glad to know that the OnePlus 5 has both the aptX and aptX HD audio codecs — which deliver vastly improved sound quality over Bluetooth. The phone also has Bluetooth 5, but it'll be a while before you can take advantage of the standard.

There are a few drawbacks with the device — there's no waterproofing, and you won't be able to use the phone on Verizon or Sprint. That said, it

Best alternative

LG G6 (H870DS)

LG G6

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A brand-new unlocked LG G6 will set you back $649, but the variant up for sale in the U.S. misses out on a few key features. The internal storage is limited to 32GB, and the U.S. model doesn't have LG's latest DAC. If you want 64GB storage, 32-bit Quad DAC, and a dual-SIM slot, your best bet is to pick up the Asian variant (model number H870DS).

Aside from the higher storage, better audio capabilities and two SIM card slots, the LG G6 H870DS is identical to the version sold in the U.S. You're getting a 5.7-inch QHD panel with a resolution of 2880 x 1440, Snapdragon 821, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, microSD slot, dual 13MP cameras, and a 3300mAh battery. The chassis is IP68 certified, and is compliant with the MIL-STD-810G standard.

The main downside with the H870DS variant is that there's no warranty, and you miss out on wireless charging, which is limited to the U.S. model. That said, you can pick up the H870DS for $499 from Amazon.

Bottom line: For $499, the LG G6 H870DS is a very compelling device if you're willing to forgo wireless charging.

One more thing: The Asian variant has LTE bands for GSM carriers in the U.S., so you won't be able to use the phone on Verizon or Sprint.

Best phablet

Huawei Mate 9

Huawei Mate 9

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A large screen, big battery, high-end internals, and Leica optics — the $479 Mate 9 has it all. The 5.9-inch Full HD screen makes it ideal for viewing multimedia on the go, and the dual rear cameras — a 12MP RGB sensor alongside a 20MP monochrome lens — combined with the Leica tuning gives the Mate 9 an edge in this segment.

The Mate 9 also offers global LTE bands, and the phone is compatible with over 1334 carriers in 217 countries. As it is a GSM device, it is limited to T-Mobile and AT&T in the U.S.

Bottom line: The Mate 9 is an all-rounder that delivers amazing value for money.

One more thing: The Mate 9 is the first phone to feature Amazon's voice-based assistant, Alexa.

Best budget option

Honor 6X

Honor 6X

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Retailing for just $199, the Honor 6X gets a lot of the basics right. The phone has a chassis crafted out of aluminum, a 5.5-inch Full HD panel, Huawei's own Kirin 655 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage, and a dual camera setup at the back.

You also get a dual-SIM card tray, but LTE connectivity is limited to the first SIM card — the second SIM is automatically switched to 2G.

The Honor 6X also received the EMUI 5.0 update a few months ago, bringing Android 7.0 Nougat and a redesigned user interface that fixed a lot of issues from earlier versions. Oh, and there's an app drawer now.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a budget phone that offers great value for money, the Honor 6X is a great choice.

One more thing: The Honor 6X is a GSM-only device, and as such it isn't compatible with Verizon or Sprint.

Conclusion

The OnePlus 5 is your best choice if you're looking for a future-proof phone with dual-SIM capabilities. The phone has a great display, top-of-the-line specs, and a software experience that's one of the best available. Support for 34 LTE bands means you'll be able to use the phone in most countries around the world, and with two SIM card slots available, you won't need to switch out your primary SIM card.

Best overall

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

See at OnePlus

The OnePlus 5 continues the company's tradition of delivering a flagship-class experience for a couple hundred dollars less than the competition. The highlight of this year's phone is dual cameras at the back, with a Portrait Mode allowing you to take portraits with a background blur effect.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 835, and while the overall design may not be as groundbreaking as the Galaxy S8, OnePlus has once again managed to get all the basics right.

You can pick up the OnePlus 5 with either 6GB of RAM and 64GB storage for $479, or get the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage for $539.

Bottom line: The OnePlus 5 is a solid choice if you're looking for a phone with top-notch internals, clean software, and all-day battery life.

One more thing: You can now pick up the OnePlus 5 in a Soft Gold color option.

Update: Updated August 2017 with the OnePlus 5 as the best overall pick, and changed out the rest of the recommendations with newer arrivals.