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.
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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