The one phone to rule them all. The Phone of the Year category in our annual 91mobiles Awards is given to the star of the show or the best phone with no compromises whatsoever. While we have the usual suspects from Apple, Samsung, and LG in the list this year — as is the case every other year — some other regular brands like Motorola and HTC have been replaced by brands that dared to one up the opponents with a more cohesive offering.
If you haven’t already, also check out the nominees for the other award categories
* Sexiest Phone of the Year
* Camera Phone of the Year
* Most Innovative Phone of the Year
* Budget Phone of the Year
* VFM Phone of the Year
So without wasting any more time, here are the nominees for 91mobiles Awards 2016: Phone of the Year. May the best phone win.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus
This year Apple decided to continue with the same design as last year with its flagship smartphone but the bigger smartphone of the two – the iPhone 7 Plus (review) – offered a few additional features that warranted its high asking price. Most importantly, the iPhone 7 Plus offered dual 12MP cameras on the rear – one wide angle and other telephoto. You could use the camera to achieve 2x optical zoom without any loss in details and detailed portrait shots with incredible depth-of-field. Additionally, Apple also added stereo speakers and decided to add waterproofing as well. The controversy of the removal of the headphone jack notwithstanding, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus was a great phone in its own right.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
If there was one phone this year that was unanimously lauded by critics and users alike, it has to be the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge (review). The Galaxy S7 edge with its dual-curved display and IP68 waterproof protection, Samsung raised its design game to another level in 2016. Moreover, the 12MP primary camera with its dual-pixel technology ensured that photographs captured by the Galaxy S7 edge were impressive in both daylight and low-light conditions. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the phone offers a dual hybrid SIM tray, which means that you could insert two Nano SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time.
Google Pixel XL
Google decided to matters related to smartphone hardware-software optimisation in its own hands this year and introduced two new smartphones – the Google Pixel and the Pixel XL (review). The company also killed the famed Nexus line of smartphones in the process. As the name suggests, the Pixel XL was the larger variant of the two with a 5.5-inch QHD display and a higher capacity 3,450mAh battery. The phone’s 12MP rear camera was hailed by DxOMark as the best smartphone on a camera and we confirmed the same in our testing as well. Furthermore, Google baked Assistant right into the software, just like Apple does with Siri. The Pixel XL is a cohesive smartphone that offers a super smooth performance right off the bat.
OnePlus 3 / OnePlus 3T
OnePlus upped the ante with the OnePlus 3 (review) this year. The phone offered more than your money’s worth with flagship-level specs at an affordable price. In our review of the phone we wrote, “OnePlus has addressed many of our qualms with the OnePlus 2, such as the average battery life, rough edges around OxygenOS and most importantly, the frustrating invite-only model.” In fact, OnePlus took another major step recently by updating the already great smartphone with a new smartphone called OnePlus 3T (review) that offered an improved Snapdragon 821 SoC, a 16MP front camera, and a larger 3,400 mAh battery.
Hailed by many critics as the most underrated phone this year, the LG V20 (first impressions) was launched in the last month of this year in India therefore helping it secure a spot in our list. The LG V20 deserves to be in this list thanks to its unique dual-screen feature, dual cameras, support for Hi-Res audio, and a nice, crisp 5.7-inch QHD screen. Unlike the LG G5 (review), the V20 doesn’t offer modularity and that might actually be a good a thing for the phone considering the mods implementation on the G5 was iffy at best.
This concludes our list of nominees for the Phone of the Year award for 2016. Which phone do you think our esteemed jury will pick as the winner? Let us know in the comments below. Also, last chance to cast your vote for the 91mobiles Phone of the Year User’s Choice award, so hurry!