1. Xiaomi Mi MIX 18K
First in the list of the 5 best smartphones is the Xiaomi Mi Mix. With its 6.4 inch edge to edge display and 91.3% screen to body ratio, the ceramic Xiaomi Mi MIX is the most futuristic and jaw dropping phone available on the market today. The screen is full HD (2040 x 1080p) and has a pixel density of 363 PPI which isn’t that high for this list but is still quite good in general. Inside is a 6GB RAM and a 2.35GHz Snapdragon 821 CPU powering the Android operating system with 256GB of storage for apps, photos and other media. The Mi MIX would be perfect for someone who has a separate number for work as it has dual SIM capabilities and and a function called Quick Charge which can charge the 4400mAh battery up in no time at all. To go with the high quality processor and RAM are some incredible cameras, 16MP on the back and 5MP on the front. The back camera has the ability to film in 4K at 30fps. Completing the styling of this phone is 18K Gold plating around the rear camera and the fingerprint sensor on the back. A headphone jack comes standard on this phone too unlike the new iPhone.
Powered by the same CPU as the Mi MIX the Google Pixel XL has a slightly higher clock speed of 2.4GHz managing any task you can throw at it and remaining lightning fast. The Pixel XL has a 5.5 inch AMOLED QHD (2560 x 1440p) screen which looks absolutely amazing with incredible colours and a pixel density of 534 PPI, the second highest on this list. Much like the Xiaomi Mi MIX, there is a fingerprint sensor on the rear which is far more natural than on the chin of the phone making unlocking the phone incredibly easy. The Pixel XL comes with 4GB RAM which is more than enough and up to 128GB storage depending on how much you are willing to shell out. The 3450mAh non removable battery is slightly smaller than the one in the Xiaomi but it is more than enough for a day’s use. Just like the Mi MIX the Pixel XL has a fast charging feature and can give you up to 7 hours battery life in just 15 minutes. The camera on the Pixel XL is just amazing, the other four phones in this list all have good cameras but they just don’t measure up to the 12.3MP rear camera, which has the best ever DxOMark Mobile score. Like the Xiaomi and most of this list it can record video in 4K at 30fps. One unique feature of the Pixel XL is the Google Assistant, which is essentially a better more powerful version of Siri on the iPhone. Without a doubt this is the second best smartphone of 2016 narrowly missing out on the number one spot.
The OnePlus 3T is by far the cheapest phone on the list but it doesn’t lack in power or features at all. It matches the Xiaomi and Pixel XL with its 2.35Ghz Snapdragon 821 processor and 6GB of RAM. The AMOLED display is also incredibly clear and crisp measuring up at 5.5 inches with an impressive PPI of 401. A cool feature of the OnePlus is how fast it unlocks via the fingerprint sensor, even when the screen is off it can unlock in 0.2 seconds and continually learns to become faster. Just like the previous two there is a feature called Dash Charge, which charges the 3400mAh battery 60% in just 30 mins, faster than the Google Pixel XL. Two different storage sizes are available to buy, 64GB and 128GB, both of which are more than enough for normal use. Like the Pixel XL the cameras on the OnePlus are amazing, with both the front and rear boasting 16MP. The rear can film in 4K at 30fps and RAW image support is available too which is a big selling point for anyone into photography and photo editing. Unlike the iPhone the 3.5mm audio jack comes as standard.
While the Samsung S7 Edge is a beautiful device, I think it is way too expensive to be just a small upgrade from the S7, which is the reason the S7 Edge didn’t make the list. Compared to the rest, the S7 is down on computing power a little bit due to having the Snapdragon 820, which clocks at 2.2GHz, not the 821 like the others. What it lacks in power it more than makes up for with its display. Coming in at 3560 x 1440p on a 5.1 inch Super AMOLED display with 577 PPI, it is just stunning with such rich colours and deep blacks. It is arguably the best screen available in terms of PPI and resolution. The S7 comes with 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage but it is possible to add up to 200GB via a Micro SD card, all of which is more than is needed for normal, everyday use. The battery coming in at 3000mAh is the second smallest on the list but does have a fast charge feature and can be charged wirelessly. The rear 12MP camera has a feature called Dual Pixel which means it takes brilliant quality photos and can film in 4K like the other. The front camera is just 5MP but is still very good for what it is used for. The Galaxy S7 also managed not to set itself on fire like the Note 7 tends to do, which is always a positive.
Powered by Apple’s brand new A10 Fusion chip, which clocks at 2.34GHz, it manages to match the other phones on the list, however it does lack RAM coming in at only 3GB. The iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black is a very good looking device but Apple just aren’t keeping up with the competition, which is why it comes in at 5th place. It is still a good phone with cameras that stand up to those on the other phones. A big let down is the distinct lack of a 3.5mm jack making it necessary to carry a connector all the time. Overall though the iPhone is still one of the best phones of the year with its crisp Retina HD display and clean and simple IOS operating system.