2015 was a record-breaking year for smartphone sales, as vendors continued pushing new innovative mobile features and the number of off-contract and unlocked phone offerings began to increase in popularity among consumers.
Most recently, according to market research firm IDC, in the third quarter of 2015 global smartphone sales increased by 6.8 percent over the same quarter last year. During the year, vendor titans like Apple and Samsung released new models like the iPhone 6s and the Galaxy S6, respectively.
Beyond those flagship models, however, other vendors like Google, Blackberry and Motorola also took the wraps off new cool phones with big screens and touch security features. Following are the 10 coolest smartphones released in 2015.
Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
Apple released its upgraded models of the iPhone 6—the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus—in a blowout event in September.
The upgraded phones are physically similar to their predecessors—the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, respectively—but they also include new style options, such as a new Rose gold finish and a 7000 series aluminium frame.
Apple also added a quicker processor, the 64-bit A9 chip, to its new phones, as well as 2GB of RAM and 3D touch capability to improve how users interact with their phones. The iPhone 6s starts at $1079, while the iPhone 6s Plus starts at $1229, according to Apple's website.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus
Samsung's Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is a 5.7-inch phablet, released in August, which targets enterprise users.
The sleek curved phablet runs on the Android operating system and is powered by a 64-bit 14nm Exynos 7420 processor. But beyond hardware, the smartphone contains Samsung's mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, and new security features such as fingerprint verification and digital tokenization.
The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus also touts a 3,000mAh battery and 4GB of RAM. The device also contains a 16MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera. The unlocked 32GB version of the phone, which comes in gold platinum and silver titanium finishes, starts at $1199.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 is another smartphone aimed at enterprise users, packed with features for multi-tasking and note taking. The slim 5.7-inch smartphone runs on Android's operating system and is powered by a 64-bit, 14nm Exynos 7420 processor.
But more importantly, the Galaxy Note 5 contains a handy new stylus S Pen, allowing users to use their phones to jot down notes and write emails. Samsung also brought multi-window capabilities to the Note 5 so that users can pull up multiple tabs at once.
The Galaxy Note 5 also touts a 16MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera, as well as 4GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh battery and an option of 64GB or 32GB of storage. The 32GB unlocked version of the phone starts at $1099.
Next: Google and Blackberry