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Let Google tell you what Android phone you need

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Google

Google has quietly launched a new tool named Which Phone to help people find the Android handset that's right for them. The tool asks you to select the three activities you most often use your phone for (choices include calling, texting, gaming, music, photos, and "expressing my style") and how frequently you use it for that. Then, Google does a bit of thinking and offers a choice of three handsets as well as links to start shopping.

Hardly a personalized suggestion

It's a neatly designed tool, but any suggestion that it's matching the phone to the customer is mostly a bluff. Pretty much every combination of activities ends up with Google suggesting you buy a flagship handset (usually the LG G4Samsung Galaxy S6 or Edge, and one wildcard), and if you ask for cheaper options, it just gives you last year's flagships instead. This makes sense, of course, as these handsets offer the best specs and features for pretty much any activity from streaming videos to taking photos, but it's hardly a personalized suggestion.

The recommendations we got first time 'round. (Google)

Thankfully, you can also ask for different sizes, prices, and carriers (this part of the tool is for US users only), and these options do dredge up more specific and sometimes unusual suggestions. By skewing our choices as much as possible, we were even told that the handset for us was the Kyocera Brigadier — a little known, Bear Grylls-endorsed smartphone that offers mid-range specs but military-standard ruggedization. You can see what oddities you can find for yourself here.

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