So you’re looking for the best Android smartphone or maybe an iPhone upgrade or you’re that unique breed of Windows 10 mobile lovers. Worry not, here’s the best smartphones 2016 could offer.
Best Overall Smartphone
Samsung S7 Edge
Well, the Note 7 would have been my pick for the best smartphone of 2016, but it kept blasting off… So the second best thing you could get is the S7 Edge. Samsung S7 Edge has used an all new Exynos 8890 SoC coupled with 4GB RAM and a 32GB storage which can be upgraded using a microSD card. It is waterproof, and features an AMOLED display with a 2560×1440-pixel resolution, with a screen size of 5.5 inches.
It is powered by a 3600mAh battery, which allows it to offer better battery life over its last generation and runs the Android 6.0 Marshmallow which may get updated in the coming days to Nougat. Though, the best feature of the smartphone is its new 12MP Dual Pixel camera, which shoots amazing photographs even in low light.
iPhone 7 Plus
Apple’s 2016 dual-camera bigger screen smartphone is probably one of the best-looking smartphones of this year. The smartphone which sticks to its 2015 design has just made iPhone’s look better with its beautiful 5.5-inch screen, improved rerouted antenna lines and a more integrated camera bump. And to provide an icing on the cake, they are available in newer colors – Jet Black and Matte Black which is also water-resistant.
On the inside, it houses Apple’s fast A10 Fusion chip and newer stereo speakers. The camera has also received a notable upgrade, with 12MP dual-lens capable of 2x optical zoom. If the 5.5-inch display is large for you, you could also consider the smaller iPhone 7 which lacks the dual camera but packs almost the same magic!
Best Large Smartphone
Google Pixel XL
After years of partnering with multiple phone makers, this year Google finally made a smartphone which is made by completely by Google. Be it the software of the phone or the design, everything is done by Google. The Google Pixel XL could probably be called the best smartphone of 2016 but Samsung just took the lead thanks to its waterproofing, wireless charging and years of experience.
The Pixel XL packs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, backed by the Adreno 530 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. The performance of the Pixel XL is amazing thanks to its seamless integration of the clean Android Nougat interface and the Google’s exclusive talk assistant Google Assistant. The Pixel XL features a 12.3 MP rear shooter with a f/2.0 aperture and electronic image stabilisation. Of course, if you’re not a large screen person the 5.0-inch Pixel is also available, which is identical the XL in terms camera performance, battery life, and overall performance.
Best Smartphone To Buy
The OnePlus 3T is the probably any reviewer’s go-to recommendation for buyers looking for a premium experience at a reasonable price. A slight update over its predecessor, the OnePlus 3T preserves same build quality with an upgrade to the top-line Snapdragon 821 chip. The 6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, fast fingerprint scanner, Dash charging remain constant, with a slightly tweaked version of stock Android, dubbed Oxygen OS and larger battery of 3400 mAh. The upgrade 16MP camera on the back does not disappoint either and offers PDAF as well as OIS.
Best Smartphone for Battery Life
Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
The Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime a compact version of the company’s Redmi Note 3 features a 5-inch 720p display, a Snapdragon 430, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. But features a humongous 4100mAh battery, which Xiaomi incredibly managed to pack into a phone with a much smaller footprint. Because of its less taxing components, the Redmi 3s Prime is one of the best phones with a long battery life.
The camera department comprises a 13MP f/2.0 aperture camera with PDAF and a LED flash and at the front is a 5MP unit with a f/2.0 aperture. The design is excellent, the hardware is very well balanced and the performance feels great for a budget smartphone.
Best Smartphone for Music
The HTC 10 flaunts the traditional HTC design, with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB RAM and 32GB storage. The 12MP UltraPixel rear camera is great to shoot with, and you also get OIS. HTC 10 features a 5.2 inch 2K resolution panel with beautiful viewing angles.
But the USP is its audio quality, which gives the best music quality you can get on any Android mobile available for purchase today. The new speaker setup houses dedicated woofer and tweeter (each with its own amp), helping to more accurately reproduce sound across a range of frequencies, along with a certified Hi-Res audio processing system, with high-precision DAC and tuned headphone amp, is ready to make your headphones sound as good as possible. The HTC 10’s software includes custom listener profiles, which allow multiple users to configure EQ settings tailor-matched to their particular needs.
Most Elegant Smartphone
Xiaomi Mi MIX
Xiaomi made quite a splash with what they called a ‘concept phone’; a phone that will give us a glimpse into a future where smartphones are nothing but slabs of glass that project the magic that lies within. The phone is nothing but a 6.4-inch bezel-less IPS screen with a 2080×1080-pixel display. The Xiaomi Mi MIX sports the Snapdragon 821 and either 4 or 6GB of RAM depending on the version (and price). The base 4GB model of the MIX comes with a 128GB of onboard storage and the premium 6GB edition has 256GB storage!
The primary camera is a 16MP shooter with a f/2.0 aperture while the secondary camera is a 5MP shooter located below the screen. To run all these pixels, the phone houses a whopping 4400 mAh battery which supports fast-charging through its USB-C port.
Best Windows 10 Smartphone
Lumia 950 XL
Microsoft’s Lumia 950 XL ushered in a new era for Windows 10 on mobile with its 1440p 5.7 inch AMOLED display, an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, Qi wireless charging capability, a 3340mAh battery, and a great 20-megapixel camera. The Lumia 950 XL comes with 32GB of included storage that can be expanded by up to 200GB with a microSD card.
Windows Phones have always been a pleasure to shoot pictures with. The rear-facing, 20-megapixel PureView camera has a ZEISS f/1.9 lens with a three-LED flash to assist in capturing stunning stills and 4K video, while the front-facing is a 5-megapixel camera.
A built-in iris scanner works with Windows Hello to provided an extra layer of security to your device, Cortana is always there to help and Microsoft Continuum lets you plug in your phone at your desk to take advantage of a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.