The Android phones we're using, December 2016

Part of our jobs as editors here at AC is using all sorts of different Android phones. Big ones, small ones, red ones and blue ones — we try them all. And while you'll usually find more than one phone in our pockets or bags, we always have one that we use a little more than the rest and do our personal stuff like posting on Instagram or texting our friends with it. We tend to think of that one as our phone.

When we're talking about phones, which is like all the time, we get the same question over and over — which phone do you use? The answer will change as often as the weather, but this is what we're using right now.

Here are the phones the AC editors using in December 2016.

Alex Dobie — Galaxy S7 edge

After a brief stint on a 32GB Pixel XL, I'm back on the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, and using it with the current Nougat beta. The Pixel is the quicker of the two phones, sure, but I'm enjoying being able to use wireless charging again, as well as having a 128GB microSD installed, which basically ensures I'll never run out of space for photos or music. There's no question that the GS7 edge is one of the better looking Android phones, too, compared to the relatively bland "Quite Black" Pixel. Battery life is top-notch too, and I can safely use it without any explosive mishaps.

Andrew Martonik — Google Pixel XL

After some time using the smaller Pixel and enjoying its size, I've landed back on the Pixel XL and it all comes down to one thing: battery life. Traveling this past week and using roaming data, it just showed how much I appreciate the extra battery the XL offers. I'm still loving the software and am completely enthralled by what the camera can do, but moving to the XL means not ever worrying about the phone lasting a full heavy day of use.

Daniel Bader — LG V20

I used the Google Pixel (the smaller one) for almost the entire month of November, and loved it. From its clean-as-a-whistle software (that expression makes no sense) to its excellent software, there probably isn't a better Android experience right now.

But for December, I decided to go big, transitioning to the LG V20, a 5.7-inch phone (in)famous for its Second Screen and removable battery. I have to say that despite dropping a decimal in terms of Android versions, the V20 holds up nicely, especially after a recent performance-improving update, and the software has no jarring deviations from Google's own — just a number of questionably-useful gimmicks that can easily be disabled or ignored. The hardware is solid, certainly more so than the G5, and I am a big fan of the V20's manual camera features that, combined with its second sensor, offer some unique and truly fun experiences.

Florence Ion — Really Blue Google Pixel XL

I had a seance for the Nexus 6P, but I'm hoping to revive it with Android 7.1 over the holiday to see how it fares. I've got sage at the ready if that backfires.

Until then, the Really Blue Pixel XL is my trusty steed and I don't think that will change even after next year's flagships come a-callin'. This phone is simply everything and I love it even more now that there's a Google Home and Daydream VR to accompany it. The camera on this thing is still blowing my mind, too. Just look at the way it captured the Fiords in New Zealand.

Jerry Hildenbrand — Google Pixel

Specifically, the smaller and more superior Pixel. The phone I carry out of the house is a thing I need to depend on. I need it to be able to contact the people I need to contact in the ways I need to contact them without any extras getting in my way. Sometimes I can do more fun things, and I do have a game or two from Google Play installed, but mostly my phone is a phone — it's for making and taking calls, sending messages and getting my email. A few phones do all this the way I like it done, but I think Google does it the best.

The Pixel gives me the no-nonsense software I want that's always up to date. I'll use it until another phone can do the same thing.

Russell Holly — Google Pixel XL

Because Daydream is awesome, the camera is amazing, and the battery gets me through the day.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.