Wednesday, 16 December 2015

10 Smartphones We Loved in 2015

99techture.blogspot.com

10 Smartphones We Loved in 2015
It's hard to whittle down the hundreds of smartphones launched this year into a list of just 10 favourites. We've seen some phenomenal advances, not just at the top end, but in every segment of the market. Speeds and resolutions always improve, but it seemed as though manufacturers wouldn't let even a few weeks pass between product launches this year - competition is so fierce that product recommendations can change from one day to the next.
A lot happened in 2015: fingerprint sensors went mainstream, metal displaced plastic in nearly every premium offering, big displays became normal, screen resolutions jumped off the charts, and cameras became seriously good. Features that were restricted to phones which cost over Rs. 40,000 not too long ago started turning up in models that sell for less than Rs. 10,000.

Here are our picks of the 10 phones that shaped the landscape of 2015 in India, in no particular order.

1) Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Easily on of the most beautiful consumer products of 2015, this is one smartphone you can't take your eyes or hands off. Samsung's display engineering, and manufacturing expertise clearly has no match, and the rest of the metal body is just as stunning. The processor is fast, the camera is fantastic, and even the software is appealing. If you want to be seen and noticed, this phone is well worth the premium over the equally capable Galaxy S6.

2) iPhone 6s
What list would be complete without an iPhone? Apple's 2015 model retains the styling of its predecessor, but a new force-sensitive touchscreen and significantly improved camera keep things fresh. The new iPhone's speed improvements are tangible, and the iOS ecosystem has plenty of diehard fans. While not a huge jump over its predecessor, the new iPhone is still an impressive device with few alternatives available that beat it.

3) Google Nexus 5X
Its bigger sibling, the Nexus 6P, might be getting more attention, but we love this phone for offering nearly all the same features at a much lower price and in a regular-sized body. It's fast, has a great screen, and a fingerprint sensor that just works. Of course, Android Marshmallow is one of the biggest draws. We'd go with the 32GB model since non-expandable storage is one of its very few major flaws.

4) Lenovo K3 Note
Chinese giant Lenovo made huge strides in the Indian smartphone market this year with a variety of models that flew off store shelves, but perhaps none more so than the K3 Note. This phone represents the best value you can get under Rs. 10,000, with specifications and performance that rival many phones that cost twice as much. It's a great device for anyone who needs a little more than the basics.

5) Xiaomi Mi 4
The Xiaomi Mi 4 burst onto the scene at the beginning of this year, with the company's trademark fanfare. The high-end hardware and lowball pricing had an immediate impact on competitors, and long after other phones would have been retired, the Mi 4 still feels premium. A promised update to Android 6.0 and a significant price cut will keep this one on our radar for some time still.

6) Moto X Play
The Moto X Play is an easy choice due to its dependability. It's not flashy or over-the-top but a solid smartphone that simply works. Being a Motorola, you can be assured of good build quality and timely software updates. The Moto X Play offers a Nexus-like near-stock Android experience, excellent all-round performance, improved battery life, and good camera. More importantly, it offers one of the best value propositions in the sub-Rs. 20,000 segment.

7) Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Galaxy Note 5 is easily the best smartphone with a stylus in the market and one of the best high-end phones currently available. We love the Galaxy Note 5 for its aluminium-and-glass body and striking design. It also happens to have one of the best cameras of any phone today. The highlight of the Note 5 is its stylus, which can be used to boost productivity or simply get creative thanks to its pressure sensitivity.

8) Gionee Marathon M5
The Marathon M5 is the latest weapon in the war against bad battery life. With a 6020mAh battery, the M5 will easily let you do a 24-hour movie marathon on your phone. With regular use, one can go multiple days without needing a charge. The Marathon series from Gionee is all about battery life so other aspects of the phone take a back seat. The M5 makes it to our list purely because of its ability to outlast any other smartphone in the market.

9) Google Nexus 6P
The Huawei-built Google Nexus 6P is the kind of device that other smartphones look up to. Featuring Android Marshmallow with the stock user interface, the Nexus 6P is premium in every way. From the beautiful metal build, to the gloriously detailed screen, to the absolute power under the hood, the Nexus 6P is one of the best Android smartphones you can buy right now. The Nexus 6P also features an excellent set of cameras. And the icing on the cake? The ability to shoot in 4K or at 240fps 720p.

10) Asus ZenFone Selfie (3GB/32GB)
Camera and selfie lovers rejoice, the Asus ZenFone Selfie is the smartphone for you. The phone has 13-megapixel cameras with dual-tone LED flashes both at the front and the back, and also features a laser autofocus for the rear camera. Indoor and low-light shots are absolutely stunning, and selfies are among the best we've seen on a smartphone. Along with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC, the Asus ZenFone Selfie represents serious value at under Rs. 20,000.

What was your favourite phone of the year? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Rs. 58900

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Fantastic performance
Unmatched original style
Incredible camera

No microSD slot
Difficult to grip securely
Read detailed Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review
Display
5.10-inch
Processor
1.5GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1440x2560 pixels
RAM
3GB
OS
Android 5.0
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
16-megapixel
Battery capacity
2600mAh See full
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Apple iPhone 6s
Key Specs
News
Display
4.70-inch
Processor
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
750x1334 pixels
RAM
2GB
OS
iOS 9
Storage
16GB
Rear Camera
12-megapixel
Battery capacity
1715mAh
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LG Google Nexus 5X
Rs. 31900

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Pure Android 6.0
Fingerprint sensor
Good camera
Good overall performance

Limited storage
Expensive
USB Type-C adapters required
Ditches wireless charging
Read detailed LG Google Nexus 5X review
Display
5.20-inch
Processor
1.8GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1080x1920 pixels
RAM
2GB
OS
Android 6.0
Storage
16GB
Rear Camera
12.3-megapixel
Battery capacity
2700mAh See full
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Lenovo K3 Note
Rs. 9999

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Great performance
Lots of software tweaks
Good screen and sound

Average camera quality
Battery life could have been better
Read detailed Lenovo K3 Note review
Display
5.50-inch
Processor
1.7GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1080x1920 pixels
RAM
2GB
OS
Android 5.0
Storage
16GB
Rear Camera
13-megapixel
Battery capacity
2900mAh See full
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Xiaomi Mi 4
Rs. 19999

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Good performance at a great price
Good camera
Good battery life

No storage expansion
Slightly heavy and uncomfortable
Read detailed Xiaomi Mi 4 review
Display
5.00-inch
Processor
2.5GHz
Front Camera
8-megapixel
Resolution
1080x1920 pixels
RAM
3GB
OS
Android 4.4
Storage
16GB
Rear Camera
13-megapixel
Battery capacity
3080mAh See full
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Motorola Moto X Play

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Good battery life
Near stock Android
Improved camera

Low light camera performance could be better
No water resistance
Read detailed Motorola Moto X Play review
Display
5.50-inch
Processor
1.7GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1080x1920 pixels
RAM
2GB
OS
Android 5.1.1
Storage
16GB
Rear Camera
21-megapixel
Battery capacity
3630mAh See full
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Samsung Galaxy Note 5
Rs. 53900

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Pleasing aesthetics
Solid performance 
Good battery life

No expandable storage
No IR blaster 
S Pen mechanism prone to damage
Read detailed Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review
Display
5.70-inch
Processor
1.5GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1440x2560 pixels
RAM
4GB
OS
Android 5.1.1
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
16-megapixel
Battery capacity
3000mAh See full
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Gionee Marathon M5
Rs. 17999

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Insane battery life
Sturdy and well built
Decent camera
IR blaster
Fluid interface

Low-res screen with exaggerated colours
Very heavy
Amigo UI is not for everyone
Read detailed Gionee Marathon M5 review
Display
5.50-inch
Processor
1.3GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
720x1280 pixels
RAM
3GB
OS
Android 5.1
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
13-megapixel
Battery capacity
6020mAh See full
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Huawei Google Nexus 6P
Rs. 39999

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Great design and build
Fantastic display
Excellent camera
Blazing performance and software
Good battery life

No expandable storage
Expensive
No wireless charging
Read detailed Huawei Google Nexus 6P review
Display
5.70-inch
Processor
2GHz
Front Camera
8-megapixel
Resolution
1440x2560 pixels
RAM
3GB
OS
Android 6.0
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
12.3-megapixel
Battery capacity
3450mAh See full
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Asus ZenFone Selfie
Rs. 17999

Reviews

Key Specs

News

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Battery life

Camera

Value for money
Excellent front camera
Quick and accurate autofocus on rear camera
Looks and feels good
Good screen and UI

Outdoor shooting is average
Read detailed Asus ZenFone Selfie review
Display
5.50-inch
Processor
1.7GHz
Front Camera
13-megapixel
Resolution
1080x1920 pixels
RAM
3GB
OS
Android 5.0
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
13-megapixel
Battery capacity
3000mAh