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The ReviewGist pick for the best cellphone for music lovers is the HTC One M9. The HTC One M9 comes with front facing stereo speakers for a great surround sound experience, has been tested to have one of the highest volume levels in around a hundred odd cellphones we researched, and has won acclaim from all cellphone experts vis-a-vis its speaker sound quality.


How does a cellphone become a great music player

1. Stereo Speakers: The trend for having stereo speakers was actually started with HTC in 2015 and we used this as a first filter criteria for our selection. Stereo speakers are critical if you want to have a surround sound experience while listening to music and the best cellphones for music should definitely sport one. We found around 30 odd cellphone released over the last two years which come with stereo speakers.
CellPhones with Stereo Speakers »

2. Loudness: The next criterion we considered was the how loud the speakers were. For this we relied on the Speaker Loudness levels as tested by GSMArena. The good folks at GSMArena test every cellphone released by playing on each cellphone the same sound sample representative of music. The resulting audio is tested by a standardised equipment to measure the sound levels. The resulting score is measured in decibels and ranges from 0 to 100, with 100 being the loudest. For our purpose, we narrowed down our list to about 10 odd cellphones by limiting to the set which had a loudness score of atleast 60 dB.
CellPhones with Atleast 64 dB Loudness »

CellPhones with Atleast 64 dB Loudness AND Stereo Speakers »

3. Clarity: Finally we poured through over a few hundred reviews we collected on these 10 cellphones to find out the ones which have been top rated for their sound and music clarity. Our list of the top five cellphones for music quality below have all been rated extremely positively by reviewers for their music/speaker quality.


Top Music Phone

The HTC One M9 is a luxurious feeling flagship Android phone released by HTC mid of last year. Its sound performance though is hard to beat even today which rightly makes it our top choice for the best music phone:

  • 'Brilliant sounding speakers.' - PhoneArena
  • 'Best speakers you can find on a phone. ' - TrustedReview
  • 'There are two speakers on the front (already exceeding the norm), which deliver relatively powerful sound, a clear vocal range and no distortion. ' - DigitalVersus


Runner up for Android Purists with great speaker

Our runner up choice for the best cellphone for music lover is the Motorola Nexus 6. The Nexus 6 is again the Android flagship for Motorola and comes with a clean Android build appreciated by the purists. Its speaker capabilities have been duly noted by most reviewers:


Budget Phone with best music player

The third place in our best music phone for music rankings go to the HTC Desire Eye. Now the only reason the Eye has come in the third place is because it is a relatively older model, having being launched in late 2014. That being said, you might just get a great deal on Amazon for Eye at a sub-$300 price point making it the best music phone you can buy at a budget.

The HTC Desire Eye also stands out as the only one sporting built-in amplifiers along with the stereo speakers and actually has been widely acclaimed for its BoomSound speakers:

  • 'the BoomSound speakers at the front produce pretty deep and loud sounds, with no perceptible audio distortion even at maximum volume. ' - PhoneArena
  • 'I was able to cook in my kitchen and comfortably hear a podcast over the sound of my shopping.' - CNet


HTC One M9

HTC One M9


Top Contenders for the Best Cell Phone For Music - 2016 Compared:

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

HTC One M9
Motorola Nexus 6
HTC Desire Eye
Sony Xperia Z3
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
HTC One M9
Motorola Nexus 6
HTC Desire Eye
Sony Xperia Z3
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
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ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
Release Date
Mar 2015
Nov 2014
Nov 2014
Sep 2014
Mar 2016
Loudspeaker
Yes, with stereo speakers
Yes, with stereo speakers
Yes, with stereo speakers, built-in amplifiers
Yes, with stereo speakers
Yes, with stereo speakers
Speaker Loudness
64.0 dB
66.0 dB
65.0 dB
66.0 dB
66.0 dB
Digital Camera Resolution
20.0 MP
13.0 MP
13.0 MP
20.7 MP
13.0 MP
Installed RAM (GB)
3.0 GB
3.0 GB
2.0 GB
3.0 GB
3.0 GB
Screen Size(Diagonal)
5.0 inch
5.96 inch
5.2 inch
5.2 inch
5.5 inch
Front Webcam Resolution
4.0 MP
2.0 MP
13.0 MP
2.2 MP
5.0 MP
Processor Type
Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2 GHz Cortex-A57
Quad-core 2.7 GHz Krait 450
Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400
Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400
1.3GHz  octa-core, MediaTek MT6753, Octa-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53
Battery Capacity
2840.0 mAh
3220.0 mAh
2400.0 mAh
3100.0 mAh
3300.0 mAh
Operating System
Android OS, v5.0.x (Lollipop)
Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat)
Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat), planned upgrade to v5.0 (Lollipop)
Android 5.1, Android OS, v5.1.1 (Lollipop)
Carrier
AT-T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint
AT-T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
AT-T
T-Mobile

  • One year, that’s the typical cycle a company needs in order to make the necessary adjustments in making a new phone better than the previous one. As we take a look at the bigger picture, we certainly can agree that the HTC One M9, as a whole, has been tweaked and refined to correct the issues that were left outstanding with the M8.


  • The iterative HTC One M9 remains a physical jewel and a strong Android smartphone, but fails to take the next step.


  • There’s no denying it, the One M9 is another fantastic phone from HTC. Yes, it is let down slightly by an inconsistent camera and some software niggles, but the One range remains one of the best all-round flagships you can get thanks to the One M9.


  • The direction of Google’s Nexus line for smartphones has changed in a way with the arrival of the Nexus 6, seeing that they’ve reverted back to high-end pricing – as opposed to the affordable direction of the past two Nexus smartphones - the Nexus 4 and 5. Despite the shift, it’s still THE showcase device that introduces us to the new world of Android, one that continues to redefine and push forward the mobile experience to new heights. It’s so apparent here with Android 5.0 Lollipop! Before we go on any further, we really have to point out the Nexus 6’s starting price of $649 for the 32GB model.


  • The supersized, Android-powered Google Nexus 6 is one of the best mobile devices around; tablet, smartphone, or otherwise.


  • Nexus 6 proves that Google's Nexus program is not only far from dead, it's alive and kicking with a powerful 6-inch phablet that runs its latest Android software. It's bigger than the Note 4, but not better.


  • There you have it, all the good and the bad about the Desire EYE, HTC's selfie-centric handset. The device will most probably be priced as much as an HTC One (M8), which will pit it against many other devices that sit higher in the food chain. In spite of this, the HTC Desire EYE is arguably the best selfie-centric device out there – it has the upper hand when compared with other selfie-centric phones (the Sony Xperia C3, the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime, and the Nokia Lumia 730).


  • With its 13-megapixel front-facing camera, the HTC Desire Eye is the ultimate selfie machine. But it's also an excellent Android smartphone in its own right.


  • The strength of the Desire Eye isn't in its 13MP cameras but its unibody design and flagship-baiting specifications. The excellent screen and front-facing speakers mean this handset punches above its weight.


  • At first read, one might scoff at the seemingly modest Xperia Z3 upgrades against its Z2 predecessor. We are kind of liking Sony's approach, though, as it allows the company to stay on top of the bi-annual Android cycle of spring-fall flagships, while experimenting and improving with greater frequency. The Z3 has a thinner chassis, faster processor, brighter display and better photo and audio quality than the Z2, while keeping everything else great intact.


  • The slender, long-lasting Sony Xperia Z3 appears iterative, but delivers one of the most roundly excellent Android experiences on T-Mobile and features exclusive PlayStation 4 game streaming capability.


  • An improvement over the Z2, but not a huge one. It does pack a great, bright screen but needs to be better packaged to fight the best on the market.


  • The Lenovo Vibe K4 Note is a bit of a mixed bag for us. It's great in certain ways, such as its screen, fingerprint sensor, sonic capabilities, and excellent software. There's also the fact that the smartphone is ready for VR use, and you can pick up the inexpensive ANT VR headset and quickly watch any content in VR mode. Additionally, it's worth noting that you can have up to 128GB of expandable storage while using two SIM cards in this device.


  • Lenovo continues to impress with the Vibe K4 Note. Firstly, the price point of Rs 11,999 and the specs that it features absolutely blow your mind, at least when it was launched in early January. It has a good display, fingerprint scanner and delivers excellent performance overall. While there is a lot to love, there are also a few hiccups when it comes to the device. The camera and build quality could have been better.


More Music Phone Tips:

The best cellphones for music need to have excellent sound clarity and loudness apart from decent storage for your music collection. Our best cellphones for music list for 2016 is filtered for the cellphones which have dedicated stereo speakers. Most of these also come with decent processing power, storage for atleast 2000 songs at the minimum.

Music lovers would like to hear their favourite songs on the go. While choosing the best music phone, also consider the following criterias:

  • good storage capacity
  • good battery backup
  • good music player
  • dedicated music keys
  • FM Radio receiver

A good music phone should offer all these features at a reasonable price. Also excellent sound clarity and loudness is a bit expensive and takes a toll on the battery life - so do check out the phones with good battery life also.