“Whatever your priority might be, we have rounded up the top smartphones that can suit every need”
If you are someone who has a keen interest in the consumer tech segment or are the go-to guy for device-buying opinions, you must have been asked about the “best smartphone” to buy. Getting hold of this Holy Grail however, is a tough task, given there is no perfect answer.
Every user has different needs and expectations from their smartphones, and one person’s perfect phone might not exactly be the best pick for someone else. Although it is quite tough to filter out the overall best smartphone, there are definitely best options according to specific needs. Join us as we list down the best smartphones for every need.
Best Big Phone – Samsung Galaxy S8+
We wish we had a Note series device we could recommend here. Nonetheless, the latest Galaxy flagship is a no brainer if you’re looking for a big screen for all your multimedia needs. The Samsung Galaxy S8+ (review) sports a beautiful 6.2-inch QHD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display that is among the best – if not the best – smartphone displays till date. Surrounding the display is… well, practically nothing. The top and bottom of the display come with minimal bezels to house the necessary sensors while the side bezels are non-existent, thanks to the curved nature of the screen. With features like an octa-core Exynos 8895 SoC, up to 6GB of RAM, IP68 certification and a 3,500mAh battery, the Galaxy S8+ is a beast of a smartphone. And did we mention it comes with a headphone jack?
The 4GB RAM-toting Galaxy S8+ is available in India at a price of Rs 64,900, and is available via both offline and online channels.
Best Small Phone – Apple iPhone SE
From the best large phone to the one that impresses while also being completely pocket-able – the Apple iPhone SE. There aren’t many smartphones with small form factors that also come with impressive power under the hood. But the year-old iPhone SE (review) fits that description pretty well. It’s basically the internals of an iPhone 6s fitted inside an iPhone 5s body. The 4-inch display is easily manageable with one hand, while an Apple A9 processor and a PowerVR GPU takes care of providing the required oomph in the power department. Moreover, with the introduction of iOS 11, there are a few more treats heading the way towards the SE.
After receiving its share of price cuts, the iPhone SE is now available at an attractive price of Rs 20,999 in India.
Best Budget Flagship – OnePlus 3T
If it’s a budget flagship you’re talking about, it has to be the OnePlus 3T (review). The device has received positive feedback from the users and critics alike. That’s all because it houses a powerful Snapdragon 821 SoC, 6GB of RAM, as well as a 5.5-inch 1080p Optic AMOLED display, all encased in a minimalist metallic body. Moreover, features like the Dash Charge technology, a blazing-fast fingerprint scanner and an almost stock-like Oxygen OS make buying the 3T an even smarter choice. Do take a note however, the OnePlus 3T is soon going to get a successor in the form of the OnePlus 5, so you might want to wait for a few days before getting yourself the 3T.
In case you were wondering, the OnePlus 3T has been priced starting Rs 29,999 and is available exclusively via Amazon India and the official OnePlus website.
Best Stock Android Phone – Google Pixel XL
It has got to be the latest Nexus, right? Well, it used to be, not anymore. The Nexus era is over, and the Pixel devices are here to stay. The larger of the two Pixel phones, the Google Pixel XL (review), has all the power it needs while also running the purest form of Android you’ll ever find on a phone. At its core, the device packs a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 3,450mAh battery that supports fast charging. The front is dominated by a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display, while the rear flaunts a rather peculiar glass and metal design. Stock Android is what it is – smooth, fluid, and without all the unnecessary clutter that comes preloaded on other smartphones.
Interested folks can pick up a Pixel XL online for Rs 54,000, which is a good Rs 12,000 less than its launch price.
Best iOS Phone – Apple iPhone 7 Plus
From the Android bandwagon to iOS. The latest iPhone 7 Plus (review) is a de facto choice in this category. The smartphone comes in a beautiful metal design, which is now offered in black, jet black as well as a red hue in addition to the usual colours from Apple. If you’re one who loves iMessage, or one who owns an older iPhone and doesn’t want to switch to another OS platform, the iPhone 7 Plus is the best device you can get. The A10 Fusion chip makes everything from games to app launches a breeze, while the device will also be supported much longer than any Android smartphone in the market today. However, the key highlight of the smartphone is its dual camera setup at the rear, which allows for lossless 2x optical zoom as well as some picturesque portrait shots.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is available via leading online and offline stores, starting at a price of Rs 58,999 for the 32GB variant.
Phone with the best battery life – Lenovo P2
All that power inside your smartphone is of no use if you are forced to keep your phone tethered to the wall socket or a power bank because of the poor battery life. But there’s one phone that excels at avoiding exactly this situation – the Lenovo P2 (review). It’s fuelled by a beefy 5,100mAh battery, which makes its battery life just phenomenal. With moderate usage, we got almost three days of battery life on the P2, and that is saying something. In our video playback test, the device lasted a stupendous 24 hours and 30 minutes before dying. An extremely power efficient Snapdragon 625 adds to the cause, while other specs like a 5.5-inch full HD display and up to 4GB of RAM are the cherries on top. If there’s one thing that disappoints in the P2, it has to be the camera performance.
For those interested, the Lenovo P2 is available on Flipkart starting at Rs 16,999 for the 3GB RAM variant.
Best Camera Phone – Samsung Galaxy S8
While there aren’t many improvements in the camera department from the S7 to the S8, the latter is still one the best camera phones that money can buy. In the past, Samsung smartphones have tended to prefer saturated pictures than more natural looking ones, and that continues with the Galaxy S8. But it’s also worth mentioning that a large number of people actually prefer the saturated and punchy colours. The Galaxy S8 is stacked with a 12MP camera on the rear with dual tone flash. It has impressive features like dual pixel technology for faster focussing, as well as OIS for more stable stills and videos. The great performance continues in low light as well, where the device performs much better than most smartphones out there in the market. At the front, the Galaxy S8 comes equipped with an 8MP front shooter for selfies and video calling.
Special mention – Google Pixel
With its 12.3MP rear camera, the Google Pixel is also a great option if the camera is your priority. Despite lacking OIS, the videos and photos don’t turn out too shaky, thanks to the Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS), which works surprisingly good. But above all, the HDR in the Pixel is a class above the competition. It works very well, and makes the photos shot with the Pixel stay head to head with the other flagships. For selfie lovers, an 8MP front camera is there for the taking.
Best VFM Phone – Moto G5 Plus
As you might have noticed, most of the smartphones in this roundup carry hefty price tags. But that doesn’t mean that there are no phones that can offer a bucketload of value while being easy on your wallet at the same time. The Moto G5 Plus (review) is one such example. It’s got all that one would need in a smartphone – a compact 5.2-inch full HD display, a Snapdragon 625 SoC, up to 4GB of RAM and a 3,000mAh battery, all without burning a hole in your pocket. Additionally, it’s worth highlighting that its 12MP snapper at the back is arguably the best in its class. If you thought the goodies end here, think again, as the G5 Plus also offers a stock Android experience with the latest Nougat version, albeit with a few added features.
The Moto G5 Plus is available at a starting price of Rs 14,999 for the 3GB RAM variant.
Special Mention – Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
If you aren’t a discerning shutterbug and are looking for something that offers a larger display with a stellar battery life to back it up, then the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (review) ticks most of those checkboxes. In fact, the Redmi Note 4 also comes with a Snapdragon 625 SoC and is available in various configurations with up to 4GB of RAM – while being more affordable than the Moto G5 Plus.
Most Innovative Phone – HTC U11
HTC might not be at the same position in the market that it was a couple of years back, but that hasn’t stopped the Taiwanese giant from making headlines yet again. With the U11 (first impressions), the brand showcased its extremely reflective Liquid Glass design, which can change colour depending on the angle light hits it. However, the highlight of the device is something else – its squeezable sides. Yes, you read that right. The sides on the smartphone can be pressed (or squeezed, as HTC likes to call it) to perform a customisable action. This can be anything from opening up the camera, to launching Google Assistant or any specific app. When it comes to hardware, the U11 is no slouch, drawing power from the top-notch Snapdragon 835 SoC, up to 6GB RAM and a 3,000mAh battery.
Special Mention – Moto Z2 Play
The Moto Z series is known for its modular accessories, or Moto Mods, and the Moto Z2 Play (first impressions) is no different. It comes with a 16-pin pogo connector at the rear, which allows you to add various accessories such as a JBL SoundBoost 2, a TurboPower battery pack or even a GamePad and StyleShell. So, if you want to go down the modularity lane, you know the Moto Z series is a good place to start.
Best Multimedia Phone – LG V20
If you ask us, the LG V20 (review) is one of the most underrated smartphones of last year. It comes with brilliant features like dual displays, dual rear cameras as well as adequate power under the hood with a Snapdragon 820 processor and 4 gigs of RAM. But there are a few lesser known facts about the V20 that’ll actually prove its worth in the multimedia department. For instance, the audio is tuned by B&O PLAY and is delivered through a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC for improved quality via earphones. Talking about earphones, it is worth mentioning that you’ll find B&O PLAY earphones bundled inside the box. Then there are other features like microphones that can record high definition audio, or manual controls for video recording, both of which make the experience of an audiophile even better. Meanwhile, if you’re one who likes to spend time on YouTube or Netflix, then a large 5.7-inch 2K display is all set and ready for action. In a nutshell, the V20 is an amazing device for media consumption, and there are no two ways about it.
Surprisingly, the V20 is currently available online at a price of Rs 34,490, which is big chunk below its launch price of Rs 54,999. You can also buy the smartphone via major brick-and-mortar stores across the country.
That brings us to the end of this ultimate list. Which is the first feature you look in a smartphone? Do let us know in the comments section below.