The best of 2016 smartphones – A roundup

​2016 should be called an year of versatility for the smartphone markets. We have seen a shower of smartphones in almost all the segments; be it a budget or a mid ranger or a flagship killer. As the year gets to its end, let’s look at a few smartphones which made buzz the most, be it for good bad or the ugly.

iPhone 7 and 7 plus

Although Android enthusiasts might not completely agree, Apple has launched really a beast (it’s a beast for both its specs as well as its price tag). 

Boasting a dual camera setup with major enchantments in specs sheet, the phone has been in news for its series of firsts and a lack of earphone jack as well.

Who can forget all the memes on the jack. Haha!

Google Pixel and Pixel XL

What came as a replacement for the Nexus line of affordable flagship phones by Google was the Pixel series of flagships. Although these seemed to be somewhat similar to the iPhone in terms of its design language, the smartphones have got the best of hardware with Vanilla Android, giving the best of what an Android smartphone could do. 

The smartphone Pixel XL uses a dual camera setup (on lines of iPhone 7 Plus) which Google claims to be the top rated camera ever made. 

And of course they do contain a headphone jack (unlike the iPhones 7). Although they seemed to represent the Nexus lineup, they were far from their predecessors for their price range.

Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 7

Samsung has continued its Galaxy range of smartphones in the obvious three variants S7, S7 Edge and Note 7. Although the smartphones have got the best of hardware and performance statistics, what made these smartphones to be remembered forever is the battery failure issues and the havoc that followed, causing the Korean giant a very unfortunate 2016.

While the iPhones were trolled for their headphone Jack, Samsung has won the maximum trolls for its battery blasts and ban of smartphones in airplanes. LMAO!

Moto Z Moto Z Play

Motorola has gone through a new phase of its history with the company acquired by Lenovo, and what followed was a new range of midrange flagships. These have come in place of the X series of Motorola with a similar pricing and specifications. What made these smartphones unique is the Moto Mods, making them one of the successful commercial products using Modular technology. These attachable mods work as an extension of the existing hardware (say camera) or enable a new functionality (projector mod). With Motorola promising to bring in more mods, these are the phones one can watch out for.

Moto G4 Plus

Released as the successor of the Moto G3, what surprised many is the camera setup. Boasting a Laser Auto Focus 16 MP camera and a fingerprint sensor, the phone was a perfect bet. And these are the phones under 15K which are going to receive Nougat, at least the fastest.

Along with Moto G4 Plus were released Moto G4 and Moto G4 Play, which like a sort of a smartphone for every 1000 bucks spent.

Lenovo Zuk Z1

One midrange device which houses an outdated Snapdragon 801 processor, Lenovo Zuk Z1 is one of my favorite for its performance. Running on a cyanogen os 12 (Lollipop), the phone is no less to a flagship at a price segment of 13,499. 

Although Zuk Z2 has also been announced, I seriously liked the Zuk Z1 much more than the latter.

Oneplus 3

Oneplus smartphones have been one option for those who look for stock Android and flagship hardware, at an affordable price. The latest addition to the Oneplus series is the Oneplus 3. With a powerful specs sheet and Oxygen OS running on Marshmallow, all together at a price tag of 27,999 is what makes one call it a flagship killer. 

One successor to this is the Oneplus 3T released recently this year, which is an upgrade to the successful Oneplus 3.


Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Mi5, MIX

Xiaomi has already become a familiar name to the Indian market with its affordable smartphones. Starting from the highly successful Redmi 1s and then the Made in India Redmi 2, Xiaomi has come up with Redmi Note 3 this year, which is currently the highest sold smartphone in India, as per the stats. With Snapdragon 650 processor, 3GB RAM and a fingerprint sensor at a pricetag of just 12,999 sounds seriously stunning. Another innovative smartphone was the Xiaomi MIX, a smartphone with no bezels. With one of its kind design and features, MIX is a blend of design and performance.

These are some of my best picks from this year’s releases. Hope 2017 would see even more competitive smartphones from the best of the bests.

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