As the year unwinds, the picture of the best smartphones of the year is crystal clear. Every major phone that is noteworthy has already been announced and provided their reasons to be the best smartphone you should own. The list includes the expected entries, but their name alone didn’t earn their ticket on this list; they are terrific phones that will make solid options for anyone.
With the holidays also upon us, this list might make your shopping just a little easier. You really can’t go wrong with any of the phones on this list. Here are the 5 best smartphones you can buy right now.
iPhone 7 Plus – $769
The iPhone 7 Plus is the best iPhone ever. You might roll your eyes at the statement, but it’s true. It’s faster, has a superb camera and even comes in two new sleek colors. The new dual-camera has features like 2x optical zoom and Portrait mode which adds a bokeh effect to pictures. The effect looks pretty sweet if done correctly. It’s also IP65 rated, meaning it’s more durable with a water-resistant design. The new taptic home button, dual stereo speakers and A10 chip with 3GB of RAM round out the terrific phone.
Pixel XL – $769
Google finally decided to make its own proper phone, and the Pixel XL is it. The spiritual successor to the Nexus line is fully loaded with the latest Android software and features. The design won’t stand out, but this phone just plain works. It’s the first Android phone to come with Google Assistant, a more diverse assistant than Siri ever has been, and she offers rich conversations with users by remembering the topic at hand. The Pixel XL also works Google Fi, which means you can travel the world and pay Google’s low data rates.
Samsung S7 Edge – $769
The Note 7 was supposed to occupy this spot, but it blew it (pun intended). The Galaxy S7 Edge is a worthy replacement, even if it doesn’t have the stylus. It still features the curved display, expandable storage and the signature glass on glass design that still looks great. This phone is probably the best looking device out there right now. It also packs a stellar 12MP camera, which can arguably beat the iPhone or Pixel cameras in some situations.
Read our full Galaxy S7 Edge review.
OnePlus 3T – $439
The newly minted OnePlus 3T is the best budget phone you can buy right now. At only $439, it’s more than $300 cheaper many of the other phones on this list. It also boasts 6GB of RAM, a 1080p display and an all-aluminum design that feels terrific in the hand. There’s even a new Gunmetal color option that’s a nice improvement over the previous Graphite option. It is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 821 processor and has an insane 16MP selfie camera, just in case you’re into selfies.
Read the full OnePlus 3T review here.
Moto Z Play – $449
The Moto Z Play is the dark horse on this list. A variant to the Moto Z introduced in May, this edition makes a few sacrifices like a Full HD display to shed a few hundred bucks from its price. That’s a good thing, and I think it’s why the Moto Z Play gets a spot on the list over the Moto Z. It can be bought for as little as $450 right now. Its main selling point is its modular design; it uses magnets and pins on the lower back that can attach accessories like external batteries or projectors to increase the function of the phone. Lenovo is already updating the device to Android 7.0, complete with Google Daydream VR support. Couple that with an industrial design that screams premium, and this might be the most overlooked top Android smartphone out there.
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