Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
20th Dec 2016
A fresh year is around the corner. But before we bid adieu to 2016, let us find out which smartphone ruled the market. With Satya Nadella killing the Lumia line-up, the smartphone space was dominated by Android handsets and iPhones. Interestingly, while one tech giant exited the smartphone hardware market, the other one jumped right into it. Yes, I'm talking about Google, which launched its very own Pixel smartphones. So does it take the top spot? Let us find out:
Apple iPhone 7 / iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus may not have a fresh design, but they comes with Ingress Protection certification. Apple's latest smartphones are no more afraid of water or dirt. The compact 4.7-inch version is powered by the A10 Fusion processor is the most powerful chip on a smartphone so far. To put things in perspective, the A10 is 40 percent faster compared to the A9. In the photography department, you get a 12-megapixel snapper with 6-element lens. It supports 4K video recording. For selfies, there's a 7-megapixel Facetime camera. Apple has let go of a 3.5 mm jack. The phone uses the lightning port will be used for audio out. Its bigger sibling, the iPhone 7 Plus flaunts a 5.5-inch Full HD screen. While most of its specs are similar to that of the iPhone 7, the Plus model comes with a dual-camera setup. It comprises of a 12-megapixel OIS snapper coupled with a depth sensor. Such setup enables you to alter the depth-of-focus of a photograph.
Google Pixel / Pixel XL
The first Google-branded smartphone comes with premium construction. With two models, it takes on the iPhone duo. The handset features a 5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen. It is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 821 chipset and has 4 GB RAM. it comes with a fingerprint sensor that also doubles-up as touch-pad. In the photography department, you get a 12-megapixel rear camera with EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation). The phone runs the latest Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. If you like pure Android experience, this handset is perfect for you. The XL model comes with all the goodness of the Pixel. Moreover, you get a "pixel"-packed 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The Galaxy S7 Edge is the best looking smartphone Samsung has ever produced. Despite featuring a 5.5-inch screen, the handset has quite a compact footprint. Speaking of the screen, the Korean giant has used a beautifully curved Quad HD AMOLED panel. Thanks to the powerful Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chipset, the handset runs without any hint of a slowdown. The S7 Edge has one of the best cameras in the market. The 12-megapixel snapper backed by OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) shines in the low-light photography. The phone is filled up to its gills with features including heart rate sensor, fingerprint sensor, and even barometer. Don't be fooled by its streamlined design, the phone is water and dust resistant.
OnePlus 3 was an excellent handset, but that did not stop the Chinese smartphone maker from making it even better. Dubbed as the OnePlus 3T, the new phone retains the classy metal design of the original and crams in more performance and battery life. The OnePlus 3T sports a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen. The handset is powered the latest Snapdragon 821 chipset. It has 6 GB RAM and comes in 64 GB and 128 GB variants. Keep in mind that the phone lacks a microSD card slot. Much like the original OnePlus 3, the 3T comes with a 16-megapixel camera. However, the selfie camera has been souped-up from 8-megapixel to 16-megapixel. OnePlus has bumped up the battery capacity from 3000 mAh to 3400. The OnePlus 3 is 4G VoLTE compatible, which means you can you can use it with Reliance Jio. Other features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, NFC, and 3000 mAh battery. On the software front, you get Oxygen OS 3.1 with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow at its core. Overall, you get top-end smartphone experience without spending more than 30 grand.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Throughout the year, I tested a lot of smartphones. Usually, I use phones, write a review, and send it back as soon as possible. However, only once I wasn't in a hurry to return a mobile phone. The handset in question is Samsung's Galaxy S7 Edge, which is according us is the smartphone of the year. From a company that was panned for aping the iPhone, Samsung has come a long way. With its unique curved screen and incredible use of metal and glass, the S7 Edge makes the latest iPhone look dated. It is not only about the looks either, the phone is an all-round performer. Be it camera, gaming, video playback, or battery life, the S7 Edge gets it right.
Best Of 2016: Smartphone Of The Year
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