We have prepared a list of New Year's gifts for 2016, mainly with new toys – as one might expect in the world of smartphones, where the competition is incredibly high. We hope that the reader will receive an answer to the question “Which smartphone should I buy”.
iPhone meets all the criteria of the top ten smartphones: it has great performance, stylishness and better build quality, availability of appropriate software, customization flexibility and … good price. And although the financial side of the matter did not act as one of the main criteria – after all, almost any flagship on the Android OS in a year (sometimes even six months) becomes 10,000-15,000 rubles cheaper, so if the product is not affordable now, you just need to be patient! Prices Apple on iPhone, of course, rarely change at all – but this factor, on the other hand, when sold to third parties, plays a positive role in keeping the residual price high.
In the review, we will limit ourselves to only those smartphones that are sold in Europe and around the world. That is, smartphones released only for the Chinese market and (for example) smartphones exclusively designed for US or UK mobile operators are not considered in this review at all.
Let's get down to our list of the top ten smartphones at the moment. The prices shown here are for devices without reference to operators.
The only device that made it into the top ten that I have not personally experienced in any form. The new flagship from LG was obliged to participate in these races, if only for a realistic attempt to embody its technical characteristics, which include everything that an ordinary user can wish for – the feeling that such a large device is made of metal and has a removable battery (3200mAh), a killer dual camera (one with a wide-angle lens), an additional control screen above the main display. With a 5.7-inch display, this smartphone is a real 'phablet', although its large dimensions clearly may not appeal to some users. In addition, its own interface add-on from LG over the OS Android and a large amount of alternative software will require some effort from the user to get used to this device, especially if you switch to it from another Android devices. And yet, if you want something big and powerful, but you are not sure of a complete understanding of your needs, and if the device is sold in your country, then I suspect that you are not much mistaken if you choose the V20 device.
➤ Buy on Amazon (from $ 641)
If the design of the DTEK60 device looks familiar, it is only because it was developed on the basis of another device – Alcatel IDOL 4S and has been used in recent months under this name, and also because the T-Mobile operator from the United States really likes mobile hand-held devices based on Windows 10. But that shouldn't worry you, as with the small design and texture changes made by Blackberry to the basic design, the overall look and feel of the device is admirable. The main characteristics of the device were borrowed from the basic design, namely: really very loud stereo speakers under the JBL brand, an excellent camera and a super contrast QHD AMOLED screen. As for the software filling, you can forget all those bad reviews about the interface add-on over the OS Android and the application package in the version from Alcatel, since the DTEK60 device uses the development of a hub from Blackberry 'all -in-one 'and a large number of software security measures on top of more than a standard set of applications for the OS Android. The best hardware combined with the most secure software? Quite possibly and certainly deserves a place in our top ten devices. By the way, if you like the idea, but are afraid that you will not cope with the screen of a 5.5-inch device, then there is a model DTEK50 with a screen of a medium size – 5.2 inches, which scales everything accordingly, except for a couple of excellent stereo speakers .
➤ Buy at Amazon (from $ 499.99)
Model HTC 10 is a kind of return to the previous forms of the company, in the sense that it uses premium hardware, slightly less demanding software in comparison with previous versions of the user interface 'Sense UI', possibly a better camera (1 / 2.3 ″, f / 1.8, laser autofocus system) ever used in devices from HTC and the best in cutting-edge technology that just 'fly'. Cons? Yes, the price, which remains quite high, although the leader on this front is Google Pixel (by the way, the manufacturer of which is the same HTC), but I will return to this a little later. In addition, there is a sense of frustration at the decision to abandon the true stereo system that was present in the previous flagship designs HTC in favor of moving the left pseudo-channel to the 'speaker', which is located above the screen and serves mainly for conversation. True, there is an excellent proprietary digital-to-analog converter that allows you to achieve a good output signal for headphones, and all the other proprietary developments from HTC, which literally scream that the device belongs to the 'first-class segment' of the market. Buying this device won't be too big a mistake …
➤ Buy at Amazon (from $ 549.99)
Samsung Galaxy S7
The fiasco that befell the Galaxy Note 7 arsonist this year has seriously tarnished Samsung's reputation in some way, but the Galaxy S7 is still a strong player in the OS field Android. Yes, there is Samsung's TouchWiz add-on and a gallery under its own brand, applications for browsing the Internet and a mailer (there is no point in listing their names, triple duplication of functions), but if you are used to using smartphones from Samsung, then you will feel at home. Including controversial points such as the presence of a physical home button and the location of the back button on the right side (which is not correct from the point of view of any other user Android!). But this format remains steadily popular, especially with new users who appreciate the presence of a physical button in case of unforeseen circumstances. There are innovations for the brand loyalists too, from lightning fast speeds to award-winning cameras (fantastic AF speed and incredibly 'bright' results). Throw in water resistance and a AMOLED screen to die for, and then it's clear why the Galaxy S7 continues to grab the attention of smartphone users.
➤ Buy on Amazon (from $ 515)
Moto Z and Moto Mods
For some time now, the search for solutions has continued to create a modular smartphone that could be adapted to various needs. The 'Ara' project from Google was frozen, the modular G5 smartphone from LG came under fire … and then Motorola (now owned by Lenovo) took up the implementation of the idea. And she succeeded. The Moto Z might not be for everyone, but if you invest in a pile of (magnetic) 'gadgets', then surprisingly you get an adaptable smartphone solution. The base model Moto Z is ultra-thin, but powerful enough by the standards of 2016, a device that does not represent anything special, except for the fact that in the blink of a second you can connect an additional 2200 mAh battery without interrupting the operation of the device itself (unlike the model LG G5 where you have to turn off the changer). Or undock this module and connect very, very loud JBL SoundBoost speakers. I have listed the most valuable and interesting modules, although there are still others: the expensive and frustrating Hasselblad camera module and the even more expensive picture projector module. It's an open system, and in theory, future Moto phones of the same form factor will be able to use the modules that exist today. At the moment, smart Moto Z is the most advanced solution on the market, which I successfully use to solve the problem of choosing a device with different characteristics for different days.
➤ Buy on Amazon
- Smartphone only (from $ 499.99)
- Smartphone + Camera module (from $ 699.98)
- Smartphone + projector module (from $ 743.96)
Well of course iPhone and I'm only listing 2016 models here. Despite the popular opinion circulating recently, which claims that it is worthwhile to make an effort to find old 6s models due to the presence of a hole for headphones, my sympathies still lean towards the current model, thanks to its improved hardware filling, water resistance and loud speakers. Still, iPhone remains a divisive device among its users. Some swear by his name that they will not buy any other device other than iPhone, whether due to the presence of games and applications, a new home button and a grid-like user interface, excellent performance, advanced gestures 3D Touch or because of brand / image quality and high residual resale value. Although the opinion of other users (okay, the opinion of 88% of smartphone users) speaks of the closed file system, which does not have the ability to change the interface and the high purchase price. If you can afford to buy iPhone, then such a purchase may not be a bad investment and the 7 itself is the second best phone in history iPhone (see the rest below!). Now with 32GB of storage, iPhone 7 is an extremely solid choice that is easy to recommend, provided the user is happy to live with Lightning / Bluetooth headphones or use an adapter for wired headphones.
➤ Buy on Amazon (from $ 649)
Instead of wandering madly about pricing on iPhone (in my opinion, the device under discussion now has a low residual value anyway), the new flagship from Google is positioning itself as the first independent development Google premium for the consumer market. There is no need to search for Nexus devices online anymore, as Pixel models (we are considering both models here: XL with a 5.5 “screen and a standard one with a 5” screen) are sold in the most fashionable stores in many countries around the world. And the 'best of Google' is embodied in this phone as an end-to-end presence in the interface of the digital assistant system 'Google Assistant' – as a gift, now its interface looks like a well-known service Google Now, but over time it will get better and try to do more in all corners of the system. And although the speed of the internal components with the chipset means that the OS interface Android works on this phone much faster than on other devices, and the photos taken with its camera in HDR + mode (using computer technology) are not only exceptional, but they can be generated in almost real time. Made of metal, decent hardware from HTC, but not elite class, as the display and speakers look faded compared to the '10' model from the same HTC, which was already mentioned in this list above. The XL model is insanely priced, no carrier tied, and at least the standard model inspires some confidence, but on the way out, both devices are unlikely to deserve the price indicated on the price tag now. Buy any of these on a contract basis and you will have a clean Android, all the latest system security updates and an amazing experience with Google overall.
➤ Buy on Amazon (from $ 648)
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
If you liked the stunning Galaxy S7 mentioned above, but would like to get more in every way and without compromise other than the price for the device, then you should look towards the Galaxy S7 edge. The screen is 0.4 inches larger, but without much compromise in size, thanks to the rounded edges of glass on both sides (obviously, hence the name of the model: edge – edges, border). The battery also has 600 mAh more charge, but the biggest advantage in choosing this model is the stylishness. After recalling the new Galaxy Note 7, now forever, the S7 edge device gets an additional place among the flagship line from Samsung and gets it absolutely deservedly. The phone looks impressive and feels great in the hands. Admittedly, you will need to put the device in a case due to the large number of open areas made of glass. Glasses are lost on this, but this is not a problem – you come home and you can take the device out of the case and enjoy this work of art. The 'edge' option doesn't add much to the functionality of the device, most of the users I've talked to don't use this proprietary dropdown 'feature', but these are all minor factors. If you are not afraid of the price tag and do not regret the money for it, then this is still the best Android device in the world, even nine months after the start of its sales, with a slight advantage over the Pixel device mentioned in this article.
➤ Buy on Amazon (from $ 585)
So, we've just revealed the very best 'Android device' ever. In fact, we've listed a long list of awesome Android devices, but the OnePlus 3 phone can't be ignored for its price tag. The whole point of the OnePlus model was the idea of offering a flagship at a budget price, abandoning the costs of traditional device advertising and the usual distribution channels of the product. The first and second models in this line were a clear compromise in terms of the quality of the internal components, but the OnePlus 3 device received the best. This phone has got everything one would like to see in a flagship smartphone model: from a 5.5-inch AMOLED display to a Snapdragon 820 chipset with 6 GB of RAM and an excellent camera in a premium metal case, and all this happiness costs about 28 000 rubles, according to rough estimates, this is half the price of what they ask from fans of the S7 edge and Pixel scale. It is the example of the OnePlus 3 smartphone that demonstrates the true cost of the device – here is the price that the phone would cost you if you did not have to subsidize marketing campaigns around the world, pay for the maintenance of stores and display windows, etc. It is interesting to note that at the time of this writing статьи, надпись на сайте под моделью OnePlus сменилась на 'Нет в наличии', что может только усилить слухи о возможном запуске в продажу модели OnePlus ‘3T’. This is the same '3' model, but with a QHD display and a chipset with better performance. Hopefully, the pricing policy will remain the same and then this list of the top ten smartphones will not change. Follow the changes on our website.
➤ Buy on Amazon (from $ 509)
iPhone 7 Plus
So, we are not looking at the price tag. Yes, yes, the price is not taken into account. If you want the best, you have to fork out. And if the price is too high, then something on this list should hopefully suit you. I have already mentioned the advantages of the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus here. Having the ability to shoot video in 4K resolution and other possibilities for working with images, then after a few months of using a 32 GB model, you will face the problem of lack of disk space and no matter how carefully and economically you treat the device in terms of installing additional toys and programs. Model iPhone 7 Plus works with the latest version iOS, uses the latest and fastest version of the chipset from Apple, has a large capacity battery (2900 mAh on a device with excellent energy saving characteristics), has the latest version of high-volume stereo speakers and full protection against water, has all the usual advantages of the 'Plus' version of working in both landscape and portrait modes. And also added something else that is inherent only in this version of devices. Namely, a dual camera, but not the same as that of all other offered devices. The iPhone 7 Plus has an optional 2x zoom lens, which gives the stock Camera app the ability to take pictures using the available zoom. You won't believe how many photographs change – objects in the photograph are larger and stand out well against the general background. In addition, the Plus version offers to use the 'Portrait' mode (it should be understood correctly: artificially blurring the background) – yes, other manufacturers have tried to do this, but as always, only Apple did it best.
Well, here is the winner – the best advice to any buyer who does not know what he needs is 'buy iPhone' (if finances allow) – it turns out that all the needs of demanding users, especially those who have an inclination work a lot with photos and videos, more than covered by one of the many offers from Apple.
➤ Buy on Amazon (from $ 749)