As has been the case for a while now, every year brings bigger, better, and more capable smartphones. With technology growing rapidly and no shortage of innovation, flagship smartphones have repeatedly redefined what smartphones can do. Certain trends have been seen on devices throughout the industry, including wide-screen aspect ratios and dual-camera setups. But the phones that truly stood out this year did so by being excellent overall packages.
We’ve gone through our records to compile a list of the smartphones we liked the most in 2017. While most of them are expectedly flagship devices, we’ve also included a couple of affordable options, purely for the sheer quality and value for money proposition. Here are the top-rated smartphones that we’ve reviewed in 2017.
Apple iPhone X
Arguably the most desirable phone available today, the Apple iPhone X is priced from a mammoth Rs 89,000 onwards, with the 256GB variant going up to Rs 102,000. What you get for all that money is an experience, a smartphone that pushes the boundaries of technology, and offers you gloating rights over one of the most beautiful smartphones available today. With Face ID for unlocking your phone and a unique design where the screen is almost the entirety of the front, the Apple iPhone X is the smartphone of the future.
When the OnePlus 5 launched back in June this year, it showed the way forward when it came to raw power and specifications on the Android platform. With an incredible 8GB RAM, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, and a dual-camera setup that allowed for portrait shots and lossless zoom, the phone was quickly proven to be one of the fastest and most capable Android smartphones you could buy.
With the launch of the OnePlus 5T, the original 5 is no longer on sale. However, the successor makes small improvements over it, offering most of the same capability and power, while improving on certain aspects including the screen and software. Priced from Rs 32,999 onwards, the OnePlus 5T offers the flagship experience without the high pricing typically associated with flagship smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ came a bit earlier and were highly rated in our reviews. But it is the Galaxy Note 8 that stood out and showed Samsung’s abilities in the smartphone space. The first Samsung smartphone to come with a dual-camera setup, the Galaxy Note 8 also comes with the trademark stylus, and the creativity features associated with it.
Priced at Rs 67,900, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is an expensive phone that takes on the Apple iPhone range head-on, with enough on offer in terms of features, camera performance and overall capability to justify the price and the flagship credentials.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
One of the earliest hits of the year has gone on to become India’s top-selling smartphone of 2017. Launched back in January, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 made a huge impact on the mid-range and affordable smartphone segments, offering capable performance, excellent battery life and the reliable capability of Xiaomi’s MIUI user interface at well under Rs 15,000. One of the first phones to be powered by the 14nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 showed just what can be achieved without spending too much.
Xiaomi Mi A1
The Xiaomi Mi A1 was launched around September this year, offering exactly the same level of value and capability as the Redmi Note 4 before it. Priced at Rs 14,999 at launch but now available for Rs 13,999, the Mi A1 pushes the lines when it comes to features for the price. With a dual-camera setup that offers lossless zoom and portrait mode, and its near-stock Android software, the Xiaomi Mi A1 is still our first recommendation for a phone at under Rs 15,000.
Perhaps the most surprising entry on our list is the HTC U11. Launched back in June, the HTC U11 was perhaps overshadowed by the OnePlus 5 and the buzz around its launch, but the device is one of our favorites nonetheless.
With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB of RAM, a surprisingly good camera, and the excellent efficiency of Sense UI, the U11 brought HTC back to the dominance it once held with the One M8. Unfortunately, competing smartphones and reducing interesting in HTC haven’t quite allowed the U11 to shine as it deserves to.
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