Flagship devices fall into two distinct categories. A flagship product is a symbol of pride for owners and pinnacle of technology offerings from the brand. But there is a new line of flagship devices that offer the same performance of the elite mobiles for a fraction of the price. So we have two categories, the Flagship and the Flagship Killers. This year 2016 saw the usual line up of flagship device and a large number of Flagship killers. I asked our readers “Which is the best mobile of the year?”, in both the categories. Here are the nominees:
Best Flagship mobile of the year:
Samsung S7 Edge
iPhone 7 Plus
Motorola Moto Z
Best Flagship Killer of the year:
Lenovo Z2 Plus
Le Max 2
Asus Zenfone 3
Flagship or Flagship killer, the underlying question is, which would be your choice of best mobile in the year 2016. So let us aggregate the results from these 2 segments and line up the Top 3 mobiles of the year 2016.
No 3: Google Pixel XL and iPhone 7
Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL is arguably the best mobile from Google till date. It replaces the Nexus line up and competes head on with iPhone for the premium segment. The Pixel and Pixel XL were not great on design. Infact I would call it an ugly phone with very bad design. It is not water-resistant and it is not durable. But the Pixel XL is the fastest android mobile on the planet. Its performance is amazing and its camera is out of the world. It has good battery life. It is a costly affair, but the Pixel XL is a premium flagship unlike the Nexus line up. People chose the XL over Pixel because Android users love large screen and they need bigger battery. I would also suggest the XL over the Pixel, but it is a heavy phone to hold in the hand. Hence, I leave it at the third position.
This year’s iPhone has the best in class camera, super fast performance and an improved iOS with loads of interesting feature. An iPhone is an iPhone. You cannot compare it with an Android. But for any user who is looking to choose between an iPhone and Android, this year the Pixel was there to compete. Yet, iPhone 7 has the fastest smartphone experience. It has the best app eco system and everything just works. iPhone users prefer the iPhone 7 over 7 Plus. They understand that the iPhone 7 Plus has a larger battery, better camera and bigger display. But that is not what an iPhone user likes. Maybe for someone who is moving from Android eco system, the iPhone 7Plus will make sense, but otherwise the iPhone 7 is a clear winner.
No 2: Oneplus 3 / 3T
Oneplus has come up from nowhere and today they are one of the top choices for anyone looking to buy the best Android mobile. Last year Oneplus 2 was a big disappointment. But Oneplus 3 made up for the lost grounds. Later this year, Oneplus 3T, a new and improved version of the Oneplus 3 was launched. It had a faster processor, bigger memory and a beefier battery. But still Oneplus has their own weird marketing strategies. They don’t think like a matured company and behave like teenagers. They have a mind of their own. I have the Oxygen OS as it has loads of bugs. But once you get a mobile, it all smooth waters. The Oneplus 3T is a sturdy mobile with good display, amazing performance, mind-blowing battery (Dash charge) and everything priced under Rs 30k. I would prefer the Oneplus 3T over Pixel because of its sleek design and price. It is time Oneplus comes out of its Flagship killer image and move on to the Flagship league.
No 1: Samsung S7 Edge
The Samsung S7 Edge is undoubtedly the best smartphone of the year 2017. S7 and S7 Edge are similar phones, but people prefer the S7 Edge for its design and curved display. The display quality is top-notch and even for a curved display mobile, it has solid construction. It has the best camera in a smartphone. The Exynos internation variant outperforms any Snapdragon 820 mobile. If only the Note 7 has not run into battery issues, the Note 7 would have won the title. But the S7 edge is no less than the Note 7. If you are looking to buy the best phone of the year 2016, I would highly recommend the Samsung S7 Edge.
Honorable Mention: Le Max 2
I have used the Le Max 2 6 GB version extensively and I must say that it is one of the best mobile I have used this year. Le Max 2 does not come with any new ground breaking killer feature. It is a powerful mobile with no compromises on the hardware specifications. It has a stupendous QHD screen, premium metal body design, fast and stunning camera, latest version of Android and a killer price. Now the obvious question in everyone’s mind is about comparing the OnePlus 3 and Mi 5 Pro with Le Max 2. Le Max 2 does have a few glitches like the slow fingerprint scanner, which will be eventually fixed as it is a software issue. Le Max 2 has better battery, RAM management and display. It is available for less than Rs 20k and for that price it is as good as the Oneplus 3. It gets just an honorable mention because of its non-easily-repairable design, lack of color options and a few minor software glitches. Yet the Le Max 2 would be a good choice for anyone looking to buy the a good flagship device at a low-cost.
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So that concludes my take on the Top mobiles of 2016. Wish you all very Happy New Year. Let us hope that the 2017 is a better year for technology and lets look forward to a very interesting and productive new year.