The countdown has begun. We are exactly a week away from 2016, and I believe it is time we compile all the tech that mattered this year before we bid goodbye to it. Thus, Toppers of 2015.
In the series introduction, I had mentioned that you are going to determine the Toppers of 2015. And guess what, you have done a great job voting for your favourites in the form I shared with you. Now, with over 50 responses, it is time I share the results. One thing though - the from will still be open, and you can continue to vote for your favourites until the 30th December. So if you haven’t, you still have a chance: Go Vote!
Coming to smartphones...
It is evident that smartphones have become our primary piece of tech. This year, we saw smartphones that are so powerful, they are able to handle everything from 4K video editing to heavy gaming. And complaints like “the camera isn’t good” and “the screen looks terrible” have completely faded away, even in phones that cost under $200.
So now that we are heading towards building of what comes closest to “the perfect smartphone”, let us count down the top 3 flagships and top 4 affordable smartphones that we saw this year. Again, the results have been determined by you, as the vote count suggests.
Top 3 flagships:
3. Nexus 6P
Google bet their best phone on Huawei, and Huawei did an excellent job with the 6P. First of all, the phone is huge - 5.7” of screen estate makes it an obvious successor to the Nexus 6. The phone is an improvement in many ways, both hardware and software wise. The all-metal body, the fingerprint scanner and the forward facing speakers are great hardware updates, while stock Android M with features like Doze and Android Pay make for a silky smooth experience - one that almost no other phone can furnish.
2. Samsung Galaxy S6/Edge
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and its variants are undoubtedly the best phones Samsung has ever produced. On paper, the Exynos chip and 3 GB RAM make for some serious power, and the can handle everything you throw at it. The phone hosts the best smartphone camera of all time, with the 16 MP sensor, OIS, and 4K recording capabilities, paired with Samsung’s crispy image processing.
However, the S6's most standout feature is its looks. Samsung went all out to replace the plasticy material of the previous generations with glass and aluminum, and they succeeded in making the phone "a statement" to carry around, just like the iPhone is.
Overall, if you are in the market for an Android phone and you pick this (or any other S6 and Note variant), you'll definitely be satisfied.
1. Apple iPhone 6S/Plus
With almost 65% of the votes to their side, the iPhone duo has taken the crown this year. And I agree with it.
Having used the 6S myself for over a month now, it is very close to the perfect phone. I’m not hundred percent satisfied by how it looks and feels, and I’m not sure if it is worth shelling out over $700 for this phone, but the iPhone makes a statement no other product can match. This phone/s, just like all iPhones, is a success. With 3D Touch, 4K video recording, and that beastly A9 chip, there is nothing to compare on the performance side of things. Sure it doesn’t have an OLED panel and doesn’t boast any software features for the 6S Plus’s screen estate, and the 6S has a short battery life, but as an overall package, you can’t go wrong with this phone.
Those are the flagships! Undoubtedly, you can never go wrong buying any if them as all of them are excellent devices.
Here are the statistics:
Top 4 affordable phones:
(Why 4? Because the vote count difference was extremely small)
4. Nexus 5X
The 5X borrows the “perfect” screen size from the legendary Nexus 5 and hardware and software features of the flagship 6P. Essentially, you are getting the best of Android an a phone that is not heavy on (and in) your pocket. Just like the 6P, the 5X has the fingerprint scanner and the same 12 MP camera. The software works seamless, just like it is intended to. If you want an affordable stock Android phone, don’t look further.
3. OnePlus X
I haven’t used the OnePlus X myself (thanks to its invite system), but if I follow MKBHD’s views, this phone is the best you can get for its price. The OnePlus X is very similar to the OnePlus One, a fantastic phone even today. And it does look great, with the best display in the category. If you want a phone for under 20K INR and can wait for an invite, this is the phone to go for.
2. OnePlus 2
Yes! Another OnePlus. This one is obvious - the Snapdragon 820 processor, 4 GB RAM and the 3300 mAh battery puts this phone well on top of the spec sheet. And with the Oxygen OS customisability features, this phone is a no-brainier pick for the person who want ultimate control over his/her phone.
1. Motorola Moto G (Gen. 3)
I am in India, the country where the Moto G rules. Ever since the first Moto G, people have been a fan of the price vs. performance ratio. Make no mistake, the 2015 Moto G is a great phone: very few software tweaks and great feeling hardware makes this phone desirable. Performance is up to the mark and you can buy one and be satisfied for at least two years - a fantastic deal for about $200.
There we go! Those are the best phones you can buy in 2015 (and early 2016). I’ll link all the related posts from this year if you want to read a little more.
I have one complain with all the above phones (excluding phablets): battery life. Almost all phones, including all the ones I listed in the poll are brilliant pieces of engineering and you cannot really go wrong buying any of them, but almost all of the sub-5” phones have terrible battery life. Phones like the iPhone 6S and the Nexus 5X rely on software features to improve battery life. For how long will this last? When will phone-makers work on improving battery life just as they have on improving performance, displays and cameras? I’ll be waiting till next year to see this resolved (hopefully).
Come back tomorrow for some more Toppers of 2015! And don’t forget to vote, if you still haven’t.