DON’T WANT THE NEW IPHONE?

HERE ARE SOME AL­TER­NA­TIVES

USA TODAY International Edition - - MONEY - Eli Blu­men­thal @eli­blu­men­thal

On Tues­day, Ap­ple in­tro­duced a rad­i­cally re­designed iPhone X with a slew of im­pres­sive new features and, as ex­pected, a $1,000 price tag.

For some, this may be the iPhone they have waited years for. Oth­ers may be in­trigued by the new iPhone 8, which features a de­sign sim­i­lar to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus but adds iPhone X features such as wire­less charg­ing and an im­proved cam­era at a more af­ford­able price tag.

Be­fore you com­mit to plop­ping down hun­dreds of dol­lars, how­ever, you should know there are quite a few very good An­droid al­ter­na­tives.

BEST FOR MOST PEO­PLE: SAM­SUNG GAL­AXY S8

The Sam­sung Gal­axy S8 al­ready packs many of the new features Ap­ple added to the iPhone X, in­clud­ing a sharp 5.8-inch edge-to-edge dis­play, fa­cial recog­ni­tion and fast wire­less charg­ing, in ad­di­tion to the al­ready stan­dard wa­ter re­sis­tance.

While the iPhone X’s dual cam­era may trump the Gal­axy S8s 12megapixel sin­gle shooter, the S8 still has an im­pres­sive cam­era.

The big­gest rea­son the S8 has this spot, how­ever, is its price.

An un­locked, 64GB Gal­axy S8 cur­rently sells for $724.99 on Sam­sung’s site, but the com­pany has an ag­gres­sive pro­mo­tion run­ning (per­haps co­in­ci­den­tally tied to the busy smart­phone sea­son) that al­lows you to trade many pop­u­lar older de­vices for $200 to $300 off.

Un­der the pro­mo­tion, you can even get $200 for trad­ing in a 5year-old iPhone 5, as­sum­ing the de­vice pow­ers on and there is no other ma­jor dam­age to the phone or screen.

At $424.99 or $524.99, it’s hard to beat the S8.

RUN­NER-UP: GAL­AXY NOTE 8

The Note 8 is an im­pres­sive de­vice that has nearly all the same features as the S8 but with a slightly larger dis­play, dual-cam­eras and sup­port for the S-Pen sty­lus. While it is a strong de­vice on its own, un­less you re­ally want

the S-Pen or dual cam­eras, at $929.99 for the 64GB un­locked ver­sion be­fore trade-in (Sam­sung also has an iden­ti­cal trade-in of­fer avail­able), you are bet­ter off sav­ing the money and go­ing with the S8.

RUN­NER-UP: HTC U11

The HTC U11 is one of the sleek­est de­vices on the mar­ket.

While it lacks an edge-to-edge dis­play, dual cam­eras or a head­phone jack, it is a top per­former that is also gor­geous, not with­stand­ing the fact that it is fin­ger­print prone.

The 16-megapixel rear cam­era is a par­tic­u­lar stand­out, and it has other 2017 sta­ples such as wa­ter re­sis­tance and a sharp dis­play. How­ever, at $649.99, you are still bet­ter off go­ing for the Gal­axy S8.

ON A BUD­GET: ONEPLUS 5

The OnePlus 5 is the lat­est de­vice from pop­u­lar Chi­nese smart­phone man­u­fac­turer OnePlus. For $479 un­locked for the 64GB ver­sion, the OnePlus 5 con­tin­ues the com­pany’s tra­di­tion of of­fer­ing topof-the-line specs at a much more af­ford­able price. While the dis­play is not edge-to-edge or as crisp as oth­ers on this list, the OnePlus 5’s 5.5-inch screen is still sharp, and the pro­ces­sor in here is the same Qual­comm chip that pow­ers the Gal­axy S8, Note 8 and HTC U11.

The dual-rear cam­eras on the OnePlus are not as strong as the oth­ers men­tioned here, and the phone lacks wa­ter re­sis­tance and only works on AT&T or T-Mo­bile’s net­works, lim­it­ing its ap­peal. But at less than $500, it rep­re­sents one of the best deals you can find for a top smart­phone, es­pe­cially if you’re on a bud­get.

RUN­NER-UP: MOTO Z2 PLAY

At $499 un­locked ($408 on Ver­i­zon), the Moto Z2 Play is a strong ri­val to the OnePlus 5. Like the orig­i­nal Z Play from 2016, the Z2 Play has ex­cel­lent bat­tery life, a nice me­tal de­sign and sup­port for Mo­torola’s line of Mo­toMods at­tach­ments that let you add ac­ces­sories such as a gamepad, speaker or pro­jec­tor (all sold sep­a­rately). The 12-megapixel rear cam­era is sim­i­larly not as strong as the best from Ap­ple, Sam­sung and HTC, and the pro­ces­sor in here is slower than the one in the OnePlus. But again, for the price, the Z2 Play is a solid op­tion.

WHAT’S COM­ING

While the phones on this list are the best of what is out to­day, Ap­ple is far from the last ma­jor man­u­fac­turer to have new phones in the works for this year.

Google is said to be re­fresh­ing its Pixel line in Oc­to­ber and LG’s re­cently an­nounced V30, with a sleek de­sign and beau­ti­ful OLED dis­play, should hit store shelves in the next few weeks (ex­act pric­ing and re­lease date are still TBA).

There are also new en­trants to the smart­phone space, in­clud­ing Es­sen­tial from An­droid cre­ator Andy Rubin, which packs plenty of prom­ise if it can beef up its cam­era (and other ar­eas) via soft­ware up­grades.

And if you are look­ing to save even more, con­sider mod­els in­tro­duced last year that are still are on the mar­ket, in­clud­ing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Gal­axy S7 and orig­i­nal Google Pixel. Th­ese should only get cheaper when the lat­est phones ar­rive.

In short, there are plenty of good op­tions if you’re look­ing for a new phone this fall.

MO­TOROLA

The Moto Z2 Play has ex­cel­lent bat­tery life.

SEAN GALLUP, GETTY IMAGES

Sam­sung's Gal­axy Note 8 sup­ports the S-Pen sty­lus.

HTC

HTC’s U11 is sleek but pricey.

LEE JIN-MAN, AP

Sam­sung’s Gal­axy S8 and S8+ are packed with cool stuff.

ELI BLU­MEN­THAL, USA TO­DAY

The OnePlus 5’s sharp dis­play.

KENZO FONG HING

The Es­sen­tial phone with 360 cam­era.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.