Todd’s 5 Favorite Smartphones of 2017 (so far)

I figured that this was as good a post as any as a follow up to my must have laptops post from yesterday. As mentioned, mobile tech is my forte. I was one of the first kids in school to get a cell phone and my interest (and love) hasn’t dwindled over the 20 years or so since. I am in the camp that believe phones are more than just phones. That manage our day to day lives. Not only do they keep us informed of what is going on in the world, they cure our boredom, they monitor our health, they capture unforgettable moments of our lives and most importantly, they help us keep in touch with our loved ones.

Today I’m going to run through what I think are the top 5 phones on the market today. Some may disagree with this list (as always) but all of the models listed will appear in any top 10 list you see around the web. So I must have some idea what I’m talking about!

Sure, I’ve neglected to mention up and coming handsets such as the offerings from Motorola and Nexus but there will be time for that later. So for now, here we go –

Google Pixel XL

There are those of you I am sure who are going to see the Pixel XL at the top of this list and think I’ve completely lost my mind. That’s fine and if this was an ordered list I’d be inclined to agree with you. But it’s not. It’s just 5 phones in a random order that I personally kinda like 🙂 Anyway, let’s talk the Pixel.

The first thing that everyone always says about the Pixel is the design sucks, it’s uninspired, it’s bland blah blah blah. Sure, I agree with them. But let’s not forget Google itself with its services and products. They’re all very minimal in terms of design. Function over looking pretty has always been the core objective and the Pixel XL follows that to a tee.

The other gripe is that it’s not water resistant. I guess not many people really need this if we’re being honest but the fact that so many smartphones out there advertise the fact they can go to the bottom of the Atlantic as a key feature kinda makes us want it. And when we see a new phone on the market that doesn’t offer this feature we question its quality.

iPhone 7

No top, recommended, favorite or “whatever else” list would be complete without Apple’s iPhone 7. It is THE phone of the moment. It does everything the ever-popular iPhone 6S did – and more and to satisfy all of the Apple fan boys out there, it comes in a slightly different design and a fantastic new shiny color – “Jet Black”. Even the Apple haters among us would have to agree that it is certainly a thing of beauty and even if you never send an e-mail, text or make a call – ever, you still want to own one because they’re that god damn pretty. But enough of that, let’s talk about the handset as it is a phone after all, not a work of art.

The key (new) features are the fact it’s water resistant (no surprises there) and the dual camera. Given that Apple can ship millions of new devices with the tiniest of changes to an existing model these features along with the new tech under the hood make quite a change.

There is no doubt in terms of design that this phone is THE best looking smartphone around. The 5.5” screen on the plus is simply gorgeous, it’s shiny and has a whole bunch of new colors.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

If I wasn’t an iPhone user then I would undoubtedly purchase one of these phones. For me, it’s the second best smartphone in existence and despite the problems Samsung other flagship handsets have suffered in recent times, nobody can argue that it most definitely deserves it’s place on any top list of smartphones in 2017.

The design like with most Samsung products are stunning. In fact I think Samsung are the only firm out there who can come close to competing with the likes of Apple in the design stakes. The S7 in itself is a fantastic looking device and the S7 Edge is simply a thing of beauty.

The choice as to whether you go for the iPhone or the S7 Edge will ultimately come down to your choice of operating system. If you’re an android user then the S7 is the phone for you. If you’re a fan of Apple and iOS then most definitely go for the iPhone 7.

LG G5

This is the flagship offering from LG’s android range and it is also a work of art. Whilst it might not appeal to the iPhone and Samsung fanboys, if you’re looking for a well price, good quality modular smart phone then you need look no further than the G5.

In terms of the pros and cons. The biggest gripe I have with this device has to be the battery. It simply needs a lot of improvement to be able to compete with other premium devices. A poor battery has no place in today’s all day phone usage landscape. The lack of an app drawer is also off putting for some people although for me personally that’s not something I’m too worried about.

Like most of the LG range, the screen however is fantastic and is comparable to its rivals. The wide camera angle on its 8MP offering is excellent and as far as performance goes you’ll struggle to find better. However, it is what it is. It’s not a Samsung or iPhone killer but it won’t kill your wallet either.

Sony Z5

I’ve been a huge fan of Sony devices for a number of years now. I fell in love with Vaio laptops back in the early 2000’s and have owned a number of their tablets and phones over the years. I was a huge fan of Sony phones in the early days, then they went away for a bit and now they’re back with their Z5. Why is it that any time Sony do a Z range – of anything – it’s just beautiful looking!

In terms of design, this is right up my street. It’s elegant, it’s refined and it’s not an iPhone! But as they say, looks aren’t everything (thank the lord) so let’s see what makes it worthy of my top 5. First things first, the design… Oh wait, I already said how BEAUTIFUL it is. So let’s go for the next best thing. Battery life. It’s excellent on this model but the phone itself is still prone to heating up which is a bit off putting. There is no finger print sensor either which is a little bit frustrating, but let’s be honest, who REALLY needs it?

Having written this I am thinking to myself that I could perhaps easily fit another 5 or even 10 devices into this list. The past few years, no doubt because of the success of the iPhone, the smartphone market has been awash with genuine challengers to Apple’s crown. Sure, Samsung have had their blips with their exploding handsets (a minor problem :|) but there is no doubting that they are a genuine competitor.

Let’s not forget other manufacturers are not resting on their laurels either. Google have become a major player in their own right with the release of their Pixel series and LG/Motorola and Sony all have devices in the pipeline which might not be enough to take the crown of the iPhone but certainly put up a good fight against the other manufacturers out there.

One thing is for sure, 2017 is going to be an interesting time for Smartphone manufacturers. There are rumors people are falling out of love with Apple so the time might just be right for a competitor to take over.



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