The BaT­Tle Of The Ti­Tans

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch - - INDULGE -

THE SMART­PHONE Su­per Flag­ship war has been an in­ter­est­ing one. For years it played out be­tween Ap­ple and Sam­sung on one side, and a chang­ing star cast of other brands on the other. For a few years, HTC had a flag­ship with the chops to take on th­ese two gi­ants; at an­other point Google Nexus phones gave them a run for their money; and then ei­ther LG or an­other brand played a guest ap­pear­ance and quickly faded into obliv­ion. For the last few years, though, it’s been a straight out bat­tle at the top among the Ap­ple iPhone, the Sam­sung Gal­axy S se­ries and the Sam­sung Note phone. It even started to get a lit­tle bor­ing. That dra­mat­i­cally changed this year.

The Pixel from Google came out with all guns blaz­ing. It’s a phone that has no weak­nesses, ticks all the boxes on the hard­ware front, a phone that slaps on glass and metal on the out­side to make it­self look very pretty and then adds even more fire­power with its Google As­sis­tant add-on. And to en­sure that ev­ery­one got the point that this was a top-of-the-line flag­ship phone, Google also priced it re­ally high.

THE CON­TENDERS

There are oth­ers that should be part of a flag­ship shootout. Xiaomi, One Plus, Honor, Mo­torola, Len­ovo, HTC, LG – all have con­tenders. But this is about the tus­sle for the top spot and also about be­ing bru­tally re­al­is­tic. The Sam­sung Note 7 blew it­self out of this race (lit­er­ally), the HTC 10 is a bril­liant phone but hasn’t been able to take on th­ese three (I do hear though that HTC has some mind-blow­ing phones up its sleeve that may well bring it back in com­pe­ti­tion soon) and all the oth­ers have great prod­ucts but can’t be con­sid­ered if this is a bat­tle of the Su­per Flag­ships. That leaves us with three phones that truly can rule the roost. The iPhone 7 Plus, the

Sam­sung Gal­axy S7 Edge and the

Google Pixel XL. Let’s take them apart in a su­per shootout. res movies, read­ing an ebook or play­ing a game, the dif­fer­ence be­tween a Quad HD and Ap­ple’s Retina dis­play does be­come ob­vi­ous.

CAM­ERA

The iPhone 7 Plus has re­ally got its op­tics game on point. And this is be­cause of a very in­tel­li­gent use of its dual lens. It can be used as an op­ti­cal zoom and also does a great job with dif­fused DSLR-style back­grounds. I also found its op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion to be far su­pe­rior. While the Pixel XL is claimed to have the best phone cam­era ever, my re­sults were great but not as good as the 7 Plus (ex­cept in low­light pho­tog­ra­phy). The S7 Edge has a great cam­era but is beaten by the other two phones quite con­vinc­ingly.

BAT­TERY

I’m glad to an­nounce that none of the three phones come with an ex­tra fea­ture where the phone bat­tery blows up. But there is an added twist in the tale as mAh rat­ings don’t tell the real story. On pa­per, the Pixel XL and the S7 Edge have bet­ter bat­tery packs built-in, but in real life, the iPhone 7 Plus out­lasted them in ev­ery test I tried. This is a huge deal for Ap­ple as its most criticised fea­ture has al­ways been its very poor bat­tery life.

FI­NAL WIN­NER DIS­RUP­TIVE FEA­TURE

Each has one that re­ally mat­ters. The S7 has the curved screen and uses it very in­tel­li­gently, the Pixel XL has Google As­sis­tant that works well, while the iPhone 7 Plus dual cam­era is a game changer. No win­ners here be­cause great in­no­va­tion de­serves a pat on the back.

PRICE

The S7 Edge has been around for a while and thus, its price has taken a nice, com­fort­ing fall. You can get one for about

50,000. The Pixel XL wants to be seen as a pre­mium flag­ship and is priced at 67,000 and the iPhone con­tin­ues its legacy of be­ing su­per high-priced and thus, clocks in at 72,000. Ap­ple seems to have the best cash­backs (of upto 12,000), but you can get some good deals on­line and off­line on the oth­ers too. Many ways to an­swer this. If you own an iPhone 6, buy the 7 Plus. If you own an iPhone 6S Plus and still want an up­grade and a change, con­trol that urge and wait for the next iPhone. If you own an An­droid phone and want to up­grade to some­thing newish, buy the Pixel XL. If you aren’t in any camp or have no loy­alty to any brand/OS or are an in­tel­li­gent per­son not swayed by hype or just want the best bang for your buck in a Su­per Flag­ship, the S7 Edge is the way to go!

VI­SU­ALS DON’T COME EASY Google Pixel XL claims to have the best cam­era, but is also priced at 67,000

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

The curved glass form fac­tor makes the Sam­sung Gal­axy S7 Edge quite a win­ner

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