Smartphones are now more popular than the PC, with billions upon billions sold every year and of course they come in many varieties, toughest question is likely which would to go for. Well, whilst it’s very likely you have your own personal preference, we’re here to help you make that decision that much easier with our quarterly Top 5 Smartphones You Can Buy Right Now.
As we delve in to our second Top 5 of 2017, as expected, a with a number of brand new Smartphone announcements behind us, there’s a whole new lineup of Smartphones entering our Top 5.
So, let’s get to it with this, our Top 5 Smartphones You Can Buy Right now, Q2 2017.
It’s literally just arrived and already it’s a device worth getting, this is the, rather unoriginally designed, but still the best value Smartphone around, OnePlus 5. Now we know what you’re likely thinking, what happened to 4, well we always said that the 3T was essentially a 4 without enough to grant the number bump, which begs the question, is the OnePlus 5 worthy of a double number bump? Well, not quite, but you’re still getting a fully fledged flagship machine out of this thing, for a very decent price!
As always, you can expect the latest in silicon inside the OnePlus 5, and this is no exception, Snapdragon 835, check, stupid amount of RAM, up to 8GB, dual Camera set up, check … pretty much the only thing you won’t find on the OnePlus 5 is a microSD Card Slot. Other than that, the device has you covered. Speaking of that dual Camera set up, and the majority of the design choices made with the OnePlus 5, we can’t help thinking a certain inspiration was found from a certain fruit company, though at least you will find a headphone jack if that’s something you were worried about, in terms of over-inspiration.
Other than it’s rather copycat back, and rather ugly front, the OnePlus 5 is about what it’s always been about, incredible value, though this year that has made a step up in price, £449 will get you the 64GB version with a measly 6GB of RAM (we’re clearly being sarcastic here), but if you jump up to £499 you’ll get 128GB of storage which is plenty, and that stupid 8GB of RAM! To emphasise, this isn’t stupid for RAM management, Android does have a well known RAM leak issue, this is due to the fact that Android isn’t even built to optimise that amount of RAM correctly. This is literally just to look good on a spec sheet, so don’t expect any difference from the 6GB.
Whilst the LG G6 was a surprise top-spot on our last Top 5, time hasn’t been too kind for LG as there’s a collection of Smartphones which quite frankly outdo it, plus age hasn’t done it too well either. That’s not to say the device still isn’t a solid Smartphone however, and we still regard it as one of the better Smartphone choices you have today.
The big glaring omission in the G6, which will keep it falling down in positions, naturally is a lack of 2017 hardware in the processor department, this is still running the Snapdragon 821, shared by the Google Pixel above, but that’s not to say it’s necessarily a bad chip at all. Yes, we would have preferred an 835, but thanks to Samsung being pally with Qualcomm, that would have led to the G6 not coming out until possibly May, and ask any Pixel owner how they feel about the 821 performance, they aren’t exactly saying it’s slow.
Luckily the G6 has a few aces up its sleeve regardless to make you forget the 821, first of course is that display. 18:9 aspect ratio may seem like a crazy move and it is, watching video is an … interesting experience on this thing, but it’s all about the feel of having a much larger display on a smaller physical form factor and miniaturising any requirement for bezels, which we expect will be a massive trend in 2017, for better or worse. Better as it looks awesome and you get more real-estate on the display, worse as let’s be honest, you’re going to have many accidental taps on the display. LG have also massively improved the dual Camera set-up on the G6, no longer compromising the second lens meaning those super-wide photos are going to look even better.
It’s hard to believe that the iPhone 7 is not much more than 4 months till it’s year anniversary, the tech media would have you thinking it’s centuries, but it’s not and remains a very good player in the Smartphone game, maintaining the Top 3 spot. Being the only device on this list running anything other than Android will always be a unique pro or con for many, though we take the pros much greater than the cons in terms of the market Apple are aiming for, and the market they’re most definitely achieving in. You don’t get a record sales quarter with a device that isn’t any good, and with its refined design, great Camera and incredible Dual-Camera on the Plus variant, its easy to see why.
The iPhone 7 isn’t without its flaws, iOS could do with clean up after the iOS 10 pile up of feature feature feature in such a small space, essentially clogging up the once simple and ease of use operating system, though even with that clog, it remains the best choice for the majority, for the average joe, and for many who work and write for us here, and why is that? Because the iPhone remains the best choice for those who need a Smartphone that’s powerful, remember this is the fastest by a long mile Smartphone their is, and just does the job and does it well and reliably!
or, if that’s not what you’re looking for, try this;
It’s here, the latest Samsung Galaxy S8, and it’s bigger cousin, the S8+. Surprisingly the Galaxy S8 is the first of Samsung’s flagships not to top our list in it’s first entry and we’ll get to why that is shortly, but first let’s talk about the many pros of this flagship Smartphone.
Samsung focused heavily, with the Galaxy S8, on their new Infinity Display, which naturally isn’t really infinity, but takes the bezel-less design as far as realistically possible before creating a usability nightmare, and pairing that design with Samsung’s incredible AMOLED technology was always going to result in what clearly is the best Smartphone display there’s ever been. Performance from the Galaxy S8 is as you’d expect, it’s snappy out of the box regardless of Snapdragon 835 or Exynos version (differences of which are much more minimal this time around), however we must note that we have seen quite a number of glitches and lag which were surprising as they were absent from the Galaxy S7 when tested this early.
Whilst the display and specs are incredible on the Galaxy S8, and we mean industry leading, the clear reason it’s not number 1 is it’s surprising number of annoyances. The fingerprint scanner is dreadful in it’s placement and accuracy, of which the Iris and Face Recognition is no replacement for, so we’re back to Pattern or Password, the Camera is now worse than a number of new entries in the Competition such as Sony’s XZ Premium, and whilst not a major con, it’s hard to see outside of the display what their is to entice you to the Galaxy S8 from an S7.
HTC have been through a process of re-inventing themselves more times than any other company, but we think they’ve a winner in the U11. Don’t get us wrong, we weren’t big fans of the U and U Ultra either, but were fans of those devices design, which has now been thoroughly refined and polished, and just looks awesome. Granted if you get the Black or White finishes, everything is rather status quo from what you’d expect, but choose one of the colour finishes, especially the Red, then you’ll truly see how eye-catching this design can really be! Now, don’t get us wrong, the U11 does not have a bezel-less design like the S8 and G6, but that in itself is one of its charms, Android isn’t ready for those odd aspect ratios, and majority of consumers just want a Smartphone which does the job and looks good doing it!
The U11 also has a EXOMark Score highest of all Smartphones, topping the score of the Google Pixel, which granted was the device which brought that test to the mainstream, as let’s be honest no one had heard of them before. The key to that though is the Camera in real world use, and it’s snappy, quick and takes great consistent shots, which to us is what makes a great Camera, not the specs, but the consistency in quality.
Whilst you won’t find a headphone jack on the U11, yes yes I know, thankfully HTC weren’t stupid to leave out the adapter like they did with the U and U Ultra! BUT, they did provide a very decent pair of USB-C Earphones in the box and software which allows you to completely customise your Audio experience, as well including noise cancellation on a software level, which as you can imagine needs to be heard to be believed. HTC U11 also has a fantastic Audio experience on the device itself, with Dual Speakers on front and a woofer under neath.
So, there you go, this is our Top 5 Smartphones Q2 2017. What do you think of the list, if you disagree or feel we’ve missed some out please let us know, but until then we’ll be back with our Q3 list near the end of September, which by then we should begin to hear about the upcoming iPhone, then we’ll be able to see how some of the new entries this month will favour against it, which we can’t wait to see.