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Ringing Out For Christmas Time: 10 Phones For Your Stocking This Xmas
2016’s been a fantastic year for smartphone launches and if you’re hoping Santa drops something shiny and rectangular under the tree this Christmas, you’re truly spoilt for choice.
In no particular order, here’s our roundup of the top ten phones available right now:
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
It’s hard to beat the king, and Samsung’s latest flagship still has the *drum roll* Edge over much of the competition. Offering a genuine improvement over the S6, with a longer battery life, one of the best cameras on the market and an innovative bevel-edged screen, the S7 Edge is rightly considered one of the year’s standout handsets. It’s not the cheapest phone out there, but it’s one that’ll hold its own well into 2017 and beyond.
iPhone 7 Plus
While perhaps not a quantum leap from its predecessor, Apple’s dual-camera, water-resistant, 5.5-inch screened iPhone 7 Plus is perhaps the best choice out there for those who want a bigger, better iPhone. The dual speakers are a great boost for those who want to stream videos or listen to music without headphones (whatever you think about Apple’s “courageous” decision to forego the headphone jack), and it’s had a considerable speed boost thanks to an improved quad-core chipset.
If you’re a dedicated Android fan, you’ll be delighted with the brand new line from Google that’s destined to replace the Nexus. Effortlessly running Android Nougat, one of the Pixel’s standout features is Assistant - described as your very own voice-controlled version of Google. Add to this a vivid, Daydream VR-ready display and an excellent 2.3MP camera, and there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about Google’s latest premium offering.
The G5’s one of the most innovative handsets launched this year. While its superb performance, quality dual cameras and lively 5.3-inch display are definite points in its favour, the most interesting feature by far is its modular nature. An array of optional accessories like LG Cam Plus, which turns your phone into a functional digital camera, and the 360 VR headset, make this an exciting and versatile phone that’s one to watch as more “LG Friends” join the ranks.
HTC’s always had a strong line of flagships, and the 10 is no different. With a chunky all-metal body, a Super LCD 5 display, speedy Snapdragon quad-core and the camera quality you’d expect from an HTC handset, this is a jack of all trades that excels in all areas. If you’re after a top-quality Android phone with few bells and whistles but quality in spades where it counts, this could well be the one for you.
Fresh from the Chinese startup of the same name, the third OnePlus phone proves that you don’t have to pay top dollar to get premium quality. While it’s in a relatively budget price range, make no mistake: the OnePlus 3 boasts fantastic design, a full-featured 16MP camera and a boatload of processing power. In fact, it’s among the first to offer a frankly ridiculous 6GB of RAM.
Proximity Display, which lets you waft your hand over the phone to “wake” it, and super-speedy charging are a couple more reasons why this is one of the most competitively-priced handsets on the market.
Sony Z5 Premium
Movie buff or devoted gamer? The Z5 Premium is the first ever phone to feature a 4K display, with an incredible 806 pixels per inch making it perfect for razor-sharp viewing. With 3GB of RAM devoted to graphical horsepower, it’s more than capable of handling even the most demanding games. If you demand only the best when it comes to your eyes, the Z5 Premium has a lot to offer - especially as 4K content becomes increasingly popular on handhelds.
Motorola Moto Z
At 5.2mm, the Moto Z is among the slimmest phones on the market, but they’ve somehow managed to pack an impressive Quad HD display and Snapdragon 820 processor into this tiny package, meaning it more than holds its own among the competition. What’s more, it comes with a range of snap-on accessories, making it a great alternative to consider alongside the LG G5 if you like to tinker.
Despite the launch of the Pixel, there’s no need to give up on the Nexus line just yet - and the 6P proves just that. Feature-rich, with an integrated fingerprint sensor and USB-C port for faster charging, it’s also packed with smart power-saving hardware and software that helps you eke a few more hours out of your battery. With a huge 5.7-inch screen, it’s firmly in the phablet category, yet more affordable than many similar handsets out there.
Blackberry may have lost ground to its keyboardless competition in recent years, but the Priv shows there’s life in the old dog yet. Packing both a digital and physical keyboard, the latter tucked neatly behind a sliding mechanism, it’s the best of both worlds - and it more than keeps up in terms of performance, camera and display too. If you long for the halcyon days of having real keys beneath your fingers, the Priv is undoubtedly the top choice.