Best of 2017

It was, un­doubt­edly, an ex­cit­ing year for smart­phones. We bring you a round-up of the best smart­phones of 2017 in no par­tic­u­lar or­der.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - FEATURE - BY NIDHI SINGAL

Ap­ple iPhone X

In 2017, Ap­ple launched three smart­phones – iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X (to cel­e­brate 10 years of the iPhone). The iPhone X has some rev­o­lu­tion­ary fea­tures – FaceID for un­lock­ing the phone (it has parted with TouchID), the Bionic A11 chip with neu­ral en­gine that makes the phone faster, and the new An­i­moji fea­ture. Ap­ple has also used a ver­ti­cal cam­era mod­ule at the rear and the FaceID cam­era at the front to cap­ture depth im­ages.

Google Pixel 2 XL

Af­ter do­ing an im­pres­sive job with the Pixel smart­phone in 2016, Google raised the bar with the Pixel 2 XL. By putting AI at the fore­front, Google’s Pixel 2 XL is us­ing tech­nol­ogy in every best pos­si­ble way. Just slightly press­ing the de­vice from the sides ac­ti­vates the Google As­sis­tant – a con­ve­nient fea­ture that makes typ­ing ob­so­lete. Un­like other play­ers who are adding two cam­era mod­ules to cap­ture depth im­ages, Google has put AI to good use. Even with a sin­gle cam­era, the Pixel 2 XL cre­ates stun­ning bokeh im­ages in the por­trait mode. Pixel 2 XL’s low-light pho­tog­ra­phy is un­matched, too.

Sam­sung Galaxy Note 8

Sam­sung Note 7 was an ex­cel­lent smart­phone un­til un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dents of bat­tery ex­plo­sions forced the man­u­fac­turer to re­call the prod­uct. Ex­perts had their doubts about its next flag­ship, Note 8, but Sam­sung proved them wrong. In the Note 8, Sam­sung has im­proved the func­tion­al­ity of the S-Pen ex­cep­tion­ally. It now of­fers some unique fea­tures such as tak­ing notes on the lock screen, live notes, us­ing S-Pen to high­light a para­graph for Google Trans­la­tion, among oth­ers. Sam­sung also added a dual cam­era at the rear for bokeh im­ages, which the com­pany calls ‘Live Fo­cus’. The Note 8 launched in In­dia runs on Sam­sung’s Exynos pro­ces­sor and has great pro­cess­ing power. Also, the su­per bright dis­play is a de­light to look at.

Xioami Mi A1

Xiaomi has been re­ally ag­gres­sive with smart­phone launches in In­dia this year. While the Redmi Note 4 was one of its best­selling hand­sets in 2017, Xiaomi teamed up with Google to launch the Mi A1 – an An­droid One de­vice. It has the stock An­droid oper­at­ing sys­tem and

Xioami apps such as Mi Re­mote can be in­stalled with a sin­gle tap. The Mi A1 packs in a dual cam­era which is great at capturing depth im­ages, has a 5.5-inch, full-HD dis­play with Corn­ing Go­rilla Glass pro­tec­tion, and is pow­ered by Qual­comm Snap­dragon 625 pro­ces­sor.

Honor 8 Pro

Huawei launched a hand­ful of dual-cam­era phones in In­dia this year un­der the Honor brand. The Honor 8 Pro was the best of them all. The high­light of the Honor 8 Pro is the dual cam­era. Un­like most dual cam­era smart­phones, the Honor 8 Pro comes with one RGB sen­sor and one mono­chrome sen­sor – the for­mer cap­tures colour in­for­ma­tion whereas the lat­ter cap­tures more light. To cap­ture DSLR-like im­ages with depth ef­fect, one has to switch to wide aper­ture mode from the op­tions dis­played in the cam­era app. The cam­era in­stantly fo­cusses on the sub­ject, blur­ring the back­ground and there is also an op­tion to ad­just the aper­ture level. There are also op­tions for wide aper­ture ef­fects that can be used for ad­just­ing fo­cus and blur af­ter capturing an im­age. Honor 8 Pro’s cam­era app also has a Pro mode for man­ual set­tings, mono­chrome mode for capturing black and white im­ages, and night shot mode for low-light im­ages. Im­ages cap­tured can be saved in RAW for­mat, and one can even turn on ob­ject track­ing in which the cam­era tracks and fo­cusses on the ob­ject.

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