In the order of the very best to the best, GrateNews round up the best of the best smartphones this year. In this year’s list, we have also included some of the lesser known brands that are making a big splash designing the device you use the most everyday. So, if you already own one of these great devices, a big pat on your back, if not, you have been informed.
1. iPhone 7 Plus
If you can get past the fact that the latest iPhone without a 35mm headphone jack, then the iPhone 7 Plus is the best phone launched this year. iPhone 7 Plus comes with a dual-lens element that combines a wide angle camera and a telephoto camera that have a 2 times optical zoom and and up to 10 times digital zoom for photos. The dual-lens camera will be able to shoot pictures with bokeh or “depth-of-field effect”, separating the background from the foreground for portraits. It is also one of the first water-resistant phone from Apple.
2. Google Pixel XL
2016 is the year of the Pixel. Discontinuing the Nexus series, Google’s latest phones, Pixel and Pixel XL, takes full advantage of the Android operating system and Google Assistant to offer an incredibly smooth performance. Although the phone’s battery is smaller than the Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge, the new Pixel XL comes with a fast charging feature that can revitalise your phone for up to 7 hours of usage from a mere 15-minute charge.
3. Samsung Galaxy 7 Edge
Although it is hard to ignore the exploding Samsung phones, Samsung still makes some of the best smartphones in the world. The Galaxy S7 Edge is one of them and features excellent performance, fantastic dual pixel camera and brilliant curve screen display.
4. iPhone SE
The iPhone SE is basically a very small iPhone 6s that packs Apple’s latest A9 chip, M9 co-processor, 12-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. According to Apple, the iPhone SE two times faster than the iPhone 5s on performance, and three times faster on graphics, making it the fastest 4-inch smartphone ever.
5. HTC 10
We have friends that swear by phones designed by HTC. Well if you are a HTC fan, you will be glad to know that HTC 10 is created by fusing the great design elements from previous models as well as improving the not-so-good features. The result is a premium looking smartphone has a great camera, up to 2 days of battery life and sounds incredible with the HTC BoomSound and speakers.
6. OnePlus 3T
If you still haven’t heard of the the company OnePlus, they are known in the industry as the “flagship killer” for producing one of the most talked-about smartphones of 2014. This year, their OnePlus 3T will probably repeat the feat. OnePlus 3T is a super sough-after smartphone that packs a ultra-fast processor, 6GB worth of RAM and a 16MP camera into a sleek metal body.
7. LG G5
Ditching its plastic casing for an all-metal enclosure for the LG G5 seems to have done the South Korean company some good. The new phone doesn’t feel cheap now thanks to its firm aluminium frame. The phone is also full of geeky add-ons like the LG Cam Plus, an attachment that turns the phone into a point-and-shoot camera, the LG Hi-Fi Plus, a DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) tuned by Bang & Olufsen to improved audio playback and removable battery slot. When was the last time you had a smartphone with a removable battery?
8. Sony Z5 Premium
The Sony Z5 Premium is the world’s first ever 4K smartphone. That means that Sony has successfully crammed 3,840×2,160-pixel onto the 5.5-inch display. Unfortunately, that’s is probably the only headlining feature for the phone. Although the phone also features a new fingerprint sensor on top of the on/off button, a 23-megapixel rear camera with 4K capabilities and waterproof design, its hefty $1,100 price tag can be a turn off.
9. Nextbit Robin
Calling it the “first Android phone that makes running out of space history”, Nextbit Robin integrates the cloud with your Android OS seamlessly. The project that started on Kickstarter, received over USD 1.3 million in funding and looks on its way to make their cloud-first smartphone a hit. The company’s first phone, Robin, intelligently backs up your apps, photos and other items and restores them when you need it.
10. Huawei P9
It is hard not to compare Huawei with OPPO. Both Chinese company are vying for the leadership position of offering value-for-money smartphones. This year, Huawei certainly made some people sit up with their collaboration with legendary optics makers, Leica. The P9 is the third dual lens smartphone on the list but it works a little differently than that of the iPhone 7 Plus and LG G5. Both rear cameras takes the shot at the same time with one capturing a colour image and the other a monochromatic shot, resulting in better contrast and details in the images. And having Superman Henry Cavill and Scarlett Johansson promoting the phone for them certainly doesn’t hurt (see video).