The year 2017 was an exciting one for smartphones. While we had some of the best smartphone launches, it was also the 10th anniversary of the iPhone that the company believes will define smartphones for next decade. As the year comes to an end, here is our annual round up around the best smartphones of 2017. In no random order, these are the best smartphones of 2017.
Apple iPhone X:
This year Apple launched not just two (iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus), but a third smartphone as well. Celebrating the 10 years of iPhone, this new smartphone is also known as iPhone X (ten) and has some of the revolutionary features onboard. For the iPhone X, Apple has adopted FaceID for unlocking the phone and bid goodbye to finger TouchID. Many had doubts about how accurately will it work or how secure will it be but Apple doesn't launch anything half baked. Powered by Bionic A11 chip with neural engine, the phone is fast and also introduces Animoji. Apple has also used a vertical camera module at the rear and the FaceID camera at the front can also capture depth images.
Google Pixel 2 XL:
Google did a pretty impressive job with the Pixel smartphone last year and the company has just raised the bar with the Pixel 2 XL. Putting AI on the forefront, Google's Pixel 2XL is using technology in every best possible way. Just by slightly pressing the device from the sides activates the Google Assistant, which made us lazy to type. Unlike other players adding two camera module for capturing depth images, Google had put AI to use here as well. Even using a single camera, the Pixel XL 2 is able to create bokeh images. When capturing an image in portrait mode, the image is processed where the software identifies the subject and blurs the background. And there is no match to Pixel 2 XL's low-light photography. The screen offers rich colours and look superb. However, the Pixel was in news about screen burn on the OLED display but we didn't experience the issue on our review unit.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8:Samsung's Note 7 was one of the best smartphones but the unfortunate incidents of the battery exploding on this device forced Samsung to recall the product. While the experts had their doubts about the next flagship Note, Samsung had put a great show with its flagship devices this year. Of the three - Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Note 8 - our favourite is the latter. Samsung has improved the functionality of the S-Pen multiple folds. It now offers some unique features such as taking notes on the lock screen, live notes, using S-Pen to highlight a paragraph for Google Translation, and more. Samsung also added a dual camera at the rear for capturing bokeh images, which the company calls as 'Live Focus'. The Note 8 launched in India runs on Samsung's Exynos processor and had great processing power. Not to mentioned the super bright display is a delight to look at.
Xioami Mi A1: Xiaomi has been really aggressive with smartphone launches in India this year. While the Redmi Note 4 was one of the best selling handsets for the company this year, Xiaomi teamed up with Google to launch the Mi A1 - an Android One device. It had the stock Android operating system and Xioami apps such as Mi Remote can be installed with a single tap. The Mi A1 also packs in a dual camera which is great at capturing depth images. Featuring a 5.5-inch full HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, the Mi A1 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor.
Honor 8 Pro
Coming from the house of Huawei, Honor launched a handful of dual camera phones in India this year, of which the Honor 8 Pro was the best. The highlight of the Honor 8 Pro is the dual camera. Unlike most dual camera smartphones where the secondary lens is a telephoto lens, it comes with one RGB sensor and one monochrome sensor. The former captures colour information whereas the latter captures more light. To capture DSLR like images with depth effect, one has to switch to wide aperture mode from the options displayed in the camera app. The camera instantly focuses on the subject, blurring the background and there is also an option to adjust aperture level between 0.95 to 16. There is also an option of wide aperture effects that can be used for adjusting focus and blur after capturing an image. Honor 8Pro's camera app also has a Pro mode for manual settings, monochrome mode for capturing black and white images, night shot for low light images and light paining to name a few. Images captured can be saved in RAW format and one can even turn on object tracking where camera tracks and focuses on the particular object.