If you're looking to pick up a new Windows Phone, these are the phones you should check out first.

The choice when looking for a new Windows Phone isn't quite as vast as if you're looking at another platform, but that's not to say there isn't a selection that stands out above the rest.

Whether your taste is for the high end, something in the middle or you want a cheap phone with a good experience, you'll find something to suit your needs and budget. Here are the best Windows Phones you can buy.

For May 2016 we've updated with a new entry from Acer, as its latest Windows 10 Phone finally becomes available.

Microsoft Lumia 950

Lumia 950

The new dawn

Pros

  • Gorgeous display
  • Windows 10 Mobile loaded out of the box
  • Superb camera

Cons

  • Uninspiring design
  • Plastic body could be better
  • Buggy software

The Lumia 950 is one arm of Microsoft's two-pronged attack on the high-end smartphone market to launch Windows 10 Mobile. It's not the highest of the high end but it's absolutely no slouch on the hardware front.

Boasting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 CPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 20MP rear camera, the Lumia 950 can go toe to toe with the best on any platform in terms of raw specs. Add to that a 562ppi 2560x1440 resolution 5.2-inch AMOLED display and you've the makings of a fine phone.

Windows 10 Mobile at launch still had quirks, bugs and things that just weren't fully baked. But the Lumia 950 can take advantage of one of its showpiece features: Continuum. Using either Miracast or the optional Display Dock you can transform the phone into something more akin to a PC. And that's something you only get right now with a Windows 10 phone.

Review | Accessories

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Microsoft Lumia 950 XL

Lumia 950 XL

The new big daddy

Pros

  • Already on Windows 10 Mobile
  • Superb camera
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Not as widely available as the Lumia 950
  • Plastic body could be better
  • Some holes in the software

There's a lot that is the same when you compare the Lumia 950 XL to the Lumia 950. What's different is a larger display, now at 5.7 inches and toting a 2560x1440 resolution, as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 CPU inside.

It's the second arm of Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile flagship range and much of what is good about the smaller phone applies here, too. If you like bigger displays, though, this is automatically your new go-to.

Battery life is a little better compared to its little brother — bigger really is better when it comes to batteries. But otherwise you're getting Windows 10 Mobile with Continuum, a great 20MP rear camera and all the power you could need in your pocket.

Review | Accessories

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Acer Liquid Jade Primo

Acer Jade Primo

A new contender in Continuum

Pros

  • Supports Continuum for Windows 10 Mobile
  • Range of PC-like accessories
  • Solid internal hardware

Cons

  • Not available in North America
  • Unproven camera
  • A little pricey

The Acer Liquid Jade Primo to give it its full title is now an actual, shipping product, having been first revealed at IFA back in September 2015. It's Acer's first attempt at a high-end Windows 10 phone and it's a match, on paper anyway, for Microsoft's Lumia 950. The Snapdragon 808 processor is ample to push Continuum, Microsoft's PC-like experience that presents itself upon docking the phone to an external display.

Acer isn't just leaving it at that, though, and has a range of accessories and bundles on offer to make the most of the Jade Primo. Some will be very much targeted at enterprise customers, but with the "PC in a box" offering that includes a monitor as well as the necessary dock, mouse and keyboard, you've got a fairly compelling alternative to a laptop for the business customer.

But you can also run the Jade Primo like a laptop if you want, or you will from Q3 2016 when the Extend kit goes on sale. Not to mention that there's a third-party offering coming in Nexdock.

Review

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Microsoft Lumia 650

Lumia 650

Sleek, stylish and affordable

Pros

  • Nice display with Glance
  • Metal frame adds an air of premium
  • Great price

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Windows 10 Mobile still buggy in places
  • Hardware isn't a big improvement on the Lumia 640

The Lumia 650 arrived a year after the 640, but without any kind of fanfare, no launch event, nothing. Just a simple press release and the phone was on sale a few days later. That's not to say it isn't a good phone, because it absolutely is. It changes up the Lumia design language just enough to make it feel completely different, with the metal frame coming in and adding an air of the premium to what, still, is a cheap phone.

It's packing a quad-core processor, 16GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, 1GB of RAM and an 8MP rear camera. The tradition of quality Lumia displays continues with a 5-inch 720p AMOLED panel, and you're likely not going to struggle to make it through the day with the removable 2000mAh battery.

And of course, the Lumia 650 is one of the new breed of Windows 10 Mobile devices from Microsoft. While its existing range, including the Lumia 640, wait on an official update, the 650 is ready to roll out of the box.

Review

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Microsoft Lumia 640

Lumia 640

Pound-for-pound one of the best

Pros

  • Nice display with Glance
  • Good battery life
  • Great price

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Low internal storage

What the Lumia 640 proves is that you can have a fantastic smartphone experience without having to spend a lot of money. It's not Microsoft's cheapest but pound-for-pound its one of the best you can buy.

The hardware is on par with the older, but much more expensive Lumia 830, with only the camera really standing out between the two. And the 640 shooter isn't that bad, not when you look at the price of the phone.

Add in good battery life, a nice display with the ever popular Glance Screen and a pending Windows 10 Mobile upgrade and the Lumia 640 will keep on giving a great experience for some time to come yet.

Review | Accessories

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Microsoft Lumia 550

The new entry level

Pros

  • Decent display
  • One of the first Windows 10 Mobile phones
  • Super low price

Cons

  • A bit bland to look at
  • Plastic body could be better
  • Some holes in the software

Alongside the new highest-end phones, Microsoft also announced a new entry-level model: the Lumia 550. One major advantage for this phone is that it comes out of the box with Windows 10 Mobile, so there's no waiting and hoping for the upgrade to arrive.

While it's not set to be available everywhere, where folks can buy one they're going to be getting a great little cheap Windows Phone. It's a noticeable step forward from previous 5xx-series phones and the 720p display and 5MP camera in particular will be welcome improvements over some previous entry-level offerings.

And, as it's the entry level model it can be had for not a lot of money at all. The Lumia 550 is the cheapest way in with Windows 10 Mobile, though you're starting on the ground floor.

Review

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Blu Win HD LTE

Blu Win HD LTE

Not always about Lumia

Pros

  • Great price
  • Dual SIM support
  • Wide range of colors to choose from

Cons

  • Camera isn't too great
  • Lumia apps lacking on Windows Phone 8.1
  • Not available everywhere

Blu is a phone maker in that it's known for using shared designs, but the Win HD is still a great Windows Phone for a good price. While this particular one isn't necessarily available everywhere, you may see it around the globe with different badges and, importantly, a probable different price.

You get a decent 720p display, internals to match any of Microsoft's own mid-range phones, LTE and dual-SIM support, a slick design, and a bunch of different colors to choose from ranging between the subtle to the outrageous.

And Blu has offered up its intentions to update the Win HD LTE to Windows 10 Mobile, so it should live on for a while longer yet.

Review

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Coming soon - HP Elite X3

HP Elite X3

HPs superphone is packing as much on the hardware front as any phone could right now. But it's also not just a phone, it's an entire, portable computing system. Continuum is supported not only through a dock and monitor but also a laptop-style accessory for ultimate productivity on the go — all using the one device. We don't have official pricing or release information at this time, but this is one to watch.