From hundreds of smartphones launched this year, the GS team has selected only the choicest smartphones that according to experts have incredible build quality, excellent performance, DSLR-type camera, and fantastic battery life. Thus, here presenting a revisit of those best smartphone launches of this year which not only got top ratings from experts but also became a mass hit. Most of these astonishing smartphones were reviewed on this website when launched in the Indian market. Hence, this article is just an endeavor to look back and find out the best of the best in the Indian smartphone market this year.
► Best Flagship Smartphones This Year
Unlike any year in the history of iPhone, this year Apple launched two variants of its iconic iPhone named iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X. Surprisingly both the smartphone went on sale in India in less than two months of short period. Apple iPhone 8 Plus with a bigger screen 5.5-Inch in full HD resolution is the phablet version of the iPhone 8. Th eighth edition of the iPhone sports a pocket-friendly screen size of the retina display with impressive 326 PPI pixel density. 3D touch and multi-touch support with the top-line security of the iOS eco-system do not just limit the innovation for making only calls.
The iPhone 8 with a 4.7-Inch screen, the iPhone 8 Plus with a 5.5-Inch display and the latest iPhone X with 5.8-Inch display comes with lots new enhancement onboard regarding data security, better display, stunning camera, and personalized experience – those were missing on the iPhone 7S, the most loved iPhone till now. Cutting Age A11 Processor, Remote wireless charging, Facial ID, and store more HD images on the same storage are some mattering enhancement on the recent variants of the iPhone. However, battery draining, especially on iPhone 8 and iPhone 8S, is a matter of significant concern. As far as iPhone X is concerned, display, dual camera, security, performance are four key areas where Apple has significantly delivered. However, the price Apple asks for the feature enhanced is just too high.
The price difference between Apple iPhone 8 and 8S reflects significantly in the variation of their specifications. Amid the iPhone 8 and 8S, those willing to improve, the 8S is the best alternative, but the pertinent question is should you upgrade to iPhone 8S when the iPhone 7S still looks classier. Moreover, the launch of iPhone X just added to the confusion. However, iPhone experts make explicit that iPhone 7 Plus users should wait for something extraordinary than those two recent launches as they are not primarily the next-generation device instead possess improved specs. Hence It would be worthwhile to stick to the ever classier iPhone 7S and wait for Apple's next user-friendly innovation at an appropriate price.
► Best Samsung Flagship smartphones with Super Processing Power
If Apple is apprehensive of any technology giant that is Samsung. Even though Google rules the online realm, yet Samsung is the name that makes Apple jittery. Samsung Apple has been locked horn from the courtroom to the global market. In recent ads, Samsung took potshot on Apple iPhone, projecting the advanced hallmarks of the Galaxy 8 Plus. Accordingly, if you wish to buy a smartphone par excellent like iPhone but not from Apple, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus is the answer. Apparently, iPhone X seems to be a counter the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus smartphone.
The Note series smartphones from Samsung is a standalone collection of the most advanced smartphones with super-computing power. The design and internal build of the NOTE smartphones are such that hundreds of productivity application run with lots of ease. Samsung Note smartphone with every new launch sets a benchmark as to how superiorly a smartphone can be made to accustom to the same level of computing power as a desktop has. With a Samsung Note, much more business side activity is possible hence it is rightly called a key to the business on a portable device, on a smartphone.
Therefore, the Samsung Note Series smartphones have its consumer base who is ready to spend money on the high-end features. This year Samsung brought the Galaxy Note 8 to the Indian market. Undoudebtly today this top-end Samsung smartphone is one of the best smartphones with high-level features.
► Why are Google Pixel Devices not the best-selling Smartphones?
“Perception” is a million dollar word in today's competitive world. Often brands fail to break public's narrative and perception of them. Today Google has the maximum presence in our life. Hence it gets to customize our online experience as what we get to see, read, and watch. However, while choosing hardware, Google is not yet the first preference of many. Why is that so? Perception! Public trust Google as the online giant but while buying a smartphone, they would still boast their faith in either Apple or Samsung's device.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are two mind-blowing phones came in the Indian market this year. In spite of having the wherewithal to stand next to Samsung – Apple's flagship, Google Pixel smartphones yet to get die-heard fan base hence they are not the popular choice. In fact, that would not happen until Google gets into the manufacturing of its devices. The strategy to outsource product design is not working in favor of Google. Moreover, Google needs to do a lot more to make its hardware a status symbol.
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, both are my favorite because of impressive build quality and bloat-free top line hardware and juicy user interface. Both the phones come in an aluminum casing yet weighs less than 150 grams. The Google Pixel 2 XL bears a 6-Inch screen with QHD display. However, what matters is, in 60000 Rupees the second generation Google flagship smartphones with associated brand value still appears lesser than that of Samsung and Apple.
► For a Camera Smartphone Sony is still the Best Brand
The list of best premium smartphones launched this year is not yet over. Next in the line is a fabulous smartphone from the Apple of the consumer electronics market, Sony. The Sony Xperia XZ1 is a reliable driver, and it possesses tons of striking camera features. Sony launched this dual SIM premium smartphone months before. Accordingly, it is one latest premium smartphone in the Indian market and going by its feature it is one of the best flagships.
There is enough reason to cheer for this Sony phone and its signature Sony design besides an incredible 5.2-Inch Full HD screen, and the 19MP primary camera with CMOS sensor. Sony has also launched a compact version of this phone, Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact. The device due to its smaller screen would not get much of the attention of Indian smartphone users, however. Want to make a movie with a smartphone camera, try a Sony Smartphone, why not this Sony flagship. Not just camera, this phone is also a powerhouse, features the best of Snapdragon processor and other associated hardware.
► Will HTC succeed in repositing itself in Asian Smartphone market?
HTC has almost lost its steam, and in an asset restructure, recently also lost its talent pool to Google. However, that has not affected its ability to launch a next-generation smartphone with exceptional features. HTC U11 at the price of 45000 Rupees is one such smartphone with lots of amazing features. What makes HTC U11 superior is its 5.5-Inch QHD display, Octa-Core Snapdragon Processor with 6GB RAM, 128GB Internal memory and 12MP Primary Camera with BSI sensor for 2K video recording. However, the surprising feature is the far superior 16MP front camera, which also features a BSI sensor, selfie voice command, and can record High Definition full HD Video. The enhancements that make this HTC smartphone all good is its powerful 3D speaker, an amiable processor that never heats up, neat & bright display, and on top of that the best-rated near-DSLR camera.
HTC needs to get its Brand perception right. It must be clear how it wants to position itself in the mobile phone market. Apple tried to woo budget customer with iPhone 5C, a cheap alternative to the ever-popular iPhone 5S, but the endeavor measurably failed. In fact, that is a lesson for every brand. Apple iPhone besides providing a great device with incredibly secured iOS eco-system is also a sign of status symbol in society. How the need for a standard variant arises, then? Hence, HTC should rebuild its brand image and should target only at one segment of the market. Not all the company can match Samsung, which sales 1500 Rupee phone to 65000 Rupees phone in the Indian market.
► Would you wait for the launch of this Samsung Flagship Smartphone?
Soon Samsung is going to launch a variant of its flagship the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8 Active. The phone would have high-end specifications like Super AMOLED 5.8-Inch QHD display, 4000 mAh battery, the latest Octa Core Snapdragon Processor, 2K Video Recording and many other great features. Therefore, while buying any of the Samsung flagship devices, compare all the available variants in the market. One of the reasons to report the yet-to-be launch flagship variant here is the fantastic battery life it has – besides apparent exceptional top-end traits.
If I were out there in the market to buy a premium top-end smartphone for personal use, one of the Huawei offerings would assuredly find a place in my top preference. The reason is the build quality that Huawei warrants on its smartphones. Huawei smartphone is the best to hand over to a wayward kid who might use it as if it is a hammer to fix things around. I am saying this from my family experience.
Thus, before saying YES to any of the devices from Samsung, Google Pixel, LG, Sony, and HTC, check the specs of Huawei Mate 10 Pro as well. A super-premium smartphone is this Huawei champ in a super-build quality on sale around 61000 Rupees in the Indian market. What makes this phone my favorite is its 6-Inch AMOLED QHD display, fantastic battery life, 6GB RAM, Octa-Core Processor, 128GB Internal memory, 12MP+12MP dual primary shooter, and light in weight aluminum slim-trim body. The pro characteristics of this Huawei smartphones include a dedicated super-efficient processor, grand camera, and seamless connectivity with a bigger screen for a desktop computer on the phone.
► Best Smartphone under 40000 Rupees
The under 40000 Rupees price basket, OnePlus today governs with its two extra-ordinary flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T. Both the OnePlus smartphones come with unbeatable specs. The first has a 6GB RAM, and the latter has an 8GB RAM. In fact, on paper, both these smartphones exceed – specifications of my laptop. This much computing power in a smartphone is insane.
The camera specs of both the smartphones are identical. That is 16MP+20MP rear shooter with dual LED flash and Exmor-RS CMOS Sensor for 2K recording. Moreover, the front camera is a 16MP shooter with Exmor-RS sensor limited to Full HD recording, but in performance – undoubtedly incredible. Going by the specs and the review of OnePlus 5 on Gadget Shiksha, it is a well-recommend smartphone at its today's price.
Here the GS editorial team has picked up only the high-grade smartphones with best battery life. However, if I have to select one from them, I would vouch for this fifth generation of the OnePlus flagship smartphone.
► Nokia has relaunch itself with this Super Smart Mobile phone
The best competitor of the OnePlus 5 series smartphones would be the Nokia 8, a flagship smartphone that is helping the most successful mobile phone brand once upon a time – to reposition itself in the world market. Nokia 8 comes with some incredible specifications, and the same tried tested long-lasting battery.
The key specifications of this dual SIM Nokia smartphone are 5.3-Inch QHD IPS screen, and for processing – 64-Bit Octa core Snapdragon 835 processor that saves 25% of power during multitasking, also 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory. Also, the camera of this efficacious Nokia smartphone is impressive. The primary camera has a dual sensor, 13MP+13MP, and the front camera, a 13MP shooter can record video in full HD quality. However, missing FM features could disappoint potential buyers like me.
► Top Smartphones under 30000 Rupees
Under 30000 Rupees, Sony Xperia XA1 Plus is an excellent choice. This Sony smartphone is available in two variant: one with 32GB internal memory and another with 64GB internal memory. Thanks to the MediaTek processor, it lacks significant processing speed, but it is a profound camera smartphone. The 23MP primary shooter though limited to record just full HD video but captures ultra high definition images in high accuracy thanks to Sony's own Exmor-RS CMOS Sensor. Moreover, the front camera of this Sony smartphone can film full high definition video, too.
In the price of twenty to twenty-two thousand, Samsung Galaxy A7 2017 is an unimaginable smartphone with outstanding battery life. Also, the screen of the phone is appropriate 5.7-Inch Super AMOLED. Further, for smooth multitasking, it possesses noted hardware such as Samsung's Exynos Octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 3600 mAh battery with fast charging. Moreover, 16MP front and the 16MP rear shooter of this 20000 Rupees smartphone is just extraordinary in quotidian use.
► Best-Selling Smartphones under 20000 Rupees
Oppo has been advertising its smartphones as the best selfie camera smartphones and rightly so. However, Oppo F5 also has the best battery life – often rare in budget smartphone specialized in one kind of liveliness. Apparently, the camera feature of the Oppo F5 is incredible. Its primary camera is just a 16MP shooter with CMOS shooter whereas the front camera is a 20MP shooter with the same CMOS sensor. Oppo F5 has been in the Indian market for some time now and has been one best-selling budget smartphone. Hence it does not require too many words to illuminate before buyers. We have already recounted this super selfie smartphone in one of the smartphone review articles. If camera matters on your smartphone, then under 20000 Rupees, Oppo F5 is a sound selection. This budget smartphone also has some modification currently on sale: F5 Youth and F5 64GB.
If the battery life of a smartphone is your primary concern, then Xiaomi Mi Max 2 could be an invaluable device for you. It comes with a large 5300 mAh battery. The reason behind giving such power onboard is the expansion of this phone. It is not a smartphone rather a phablet near to a tablet with 6.4-Inch grand full HD screen. Thanks to an Octa-core Snapdragon processor and 4GB RAM, it also turns out to be a mini computing powerhouse providing ingenious multitasking and gaming experience to end users.
I prefer to a big screen smartphone so do a large chunk of smartphone users. Hence, it is not extraordinary that one of the best markets for big screen smartphones aka phablet is in India. Further, the phone also has variants with inequality in their internal memory: 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. Though, only the 64GB appears to be grander by all accounts and appropriately priced hence is one of the best phablet below 15000 Rupees.
► Buyers Favorite Smartphone under 10000 Rupees
If you are scanning for something unimaginable around 10000 Rupees, Xiaomi is one of the top smartphone brands you could head to. Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is celebrated not just for path-breaking specs but preferred more for an impressive battery backup it has.
Last year, after a long gap, Samsung returned to the intermediate budget segment with two powerful smartphones, designed for warranting an incredible experience to end users. No doubt today Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) and J5 (2017) are two of the top 10 smartphones in the budget segment of the Indian smartphone market.
Conclusion: Smartphones discussed here have best in class build, fluid performance, near-DSLR camera, and a fast user interface for a fantastic end-user experience. Decide which one you should buy based on – what is your budget, how you are going to use your new smartphone, and how best you are going to associate it with other ordinary activities.