There are a number of factors at play when it's time to really consider what kind of smartphone you want to purchase. Do you desire a phone that everyone else will have? Easy-to-use features? A well-priced model? Certainly, there’s more to consider on an individual basis than just the specs of a smartphone. Each is unique and special specific to its carrier.
2016 was the year of the camera, display quality and water-resistant capabilities when it came to the smartphones that debuted. If there were a High School Yearbook Superlatives page for phones, there was the “Most Popular” (iPhone 7); there was “Most Likely to Succeed” (Google Pixel) and the “Least Likely To Succeed” (farewell, Samsung Galaxy Note 7). Most of the new handsets available today all boast stunning features and bold design, but a lot of the ranking comes down to personal preference and price points.
With that in mind, these are the five leading smartphones of 2016, ranked for popularity, reviews, design and features.
1. Apple iPhone 7 Plus: The phone to end all smartphones, thanks to the weeks of hype leading up to Apple’s autumn event where the new phones debuted. While the loss of the headphone jack and the hefty price leave something to be desired, the phone was ranked “one of the best point-and-shoot cameras ever” on a phone, according to CNet. While the camera does compete on the same playing field as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Google Pixel, the effects for portrait photos and its wide-angle optical image stabilization all make for nice touches. Its thin body and sapphire crystal lens cover also plead the handset’s case for best-in-design.
2. Google Pixel: The Android model to end them all, the Google Pixel phone features a resolution of 1080 x 1920 with a full HD display and a 12MP rear camera that remains unrivaled, according to TechRadar. The smartphone hit the market with the most fanfare, with it being Google's very first smartphone.
3. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: The 32GB model received rave reviews for its camera (12MP rear camera and CMOS 5 MP front-facing camera) and features (longer battery life than the Galaxy S7, water-resistant up to 30 minutes in five feet of water and its storage that goes up to 256GB). The overall cons did include its signal quality and the fingerprint security system, according to Best Buy. The price is also on the high side. The Samsung website marks its Gold Platinum model at about $795.
4. OnePlus 3T: This model is the recent update on the OnePlus 3 version and features more storage, longer battery life sharper images thanks to the improved front-facing camera. Deemed the “favorite budget Android” by CNet, this model should last the user a while. The 128GB storage option was a prevailing highlight as was its speedy 6GB of RAM.
5. Motorola Moto G4: For the fourth generation LTE with 16GB memory, Best Buy reviews ranked this handset number one for its price ($199.99, the same starting price for the phone on Motorola’s website). The water-repellent Moto G4 also features a big 5.5” display with 1080p Full HD, earning it high marks for its screen quality.