tech

What were the top smartphones of 2017…

…and are they still worth it in 2018?

Daanesh Kalyaniwalla, Deputy Editor - #GNTECH
12:52 January 3, 2018
Google Pixel

It’s really difficult for a smartphone to be truly perfect in every possible way. However, for this list we looked at the phone and its value for money here in the UAE. Here are some of the best smartphones released last year and whether they’re still worth your money or not.


1. Google Pixel 2 XL

 

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The Pixel 2 XL is definitely my choice for the best smartphone of the year. The device comes with the best smartphone camera packed into a unique body with Google’s AI and all of 2017’s top internals. What about the display issue? While as a normal user, you wouldn’t notice any issues with the display. Compared to Samsung’s current offerings you might find the colours a bit washed out and dull. I’ve used the phone for over a month now, and I have no plans of moving off the phone anytime soon. 

Is it still worth your money? Since Google phones still aren’t officially available in the UAE market, you can find the device on websites such as Souq.com and Noon but at slightly higher prices than their official retail costs. That being said, if you’re looking for the best Android experience on the market, this is it.


2. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

 

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My second choice for 2017’s best smartphone is the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. At a price of Dh2,799, this device is the ultimate value-for-money flagship with a great camera, immensely long battery-life (thanks to its huge 4000 mAh battery) and Huawei’s AI integrated Kirin 970 chipset.

Is it still worth your money? The Mate 10 Pro is still very much a new phone and doesn’t dent your pocket the way most new smartphones do.


3. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

 

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An immersive display like no other, the S Pen and Samsung’s gorgeous dual-pixel cameras make the Note 8 my next pick on this list. Thanks to the Samsung Super AMOLED display which can produce 1,200 nits of brightness, it’s no surprise that displays have become such an important part of our smartphone experience.

Is it still worth your money? Most definitely. There’s nothing in the market that can give you the ‘Note’ experience and the next one isn’t due till the third quarter of 2018.


4. HTC U11+

 

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Following the very well received HTC U11 comes the U11+. Taking the criticism of its predecessor, the U11 Plus climbs to number 4 in our list of favourites for the year. A clean OS, 18:9 Super LCD6 display and a 3,930mAh battery is what’s new in the U11+.

Is it still worth your money? It released here in the UAE just yesterday, so yes, it’s definitely worth your money.


5. OnePlus 5T

 

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Starting at Dh2,199, the OnePlus 5T is another value-for-money package currently available in the UAE. After releasing the OnePlus 5 in June, the company updated its flagship with the 5T a mere 5 months later. Coming with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6 or 8GB RAM and an updated dual camera system, OnePlus 5T is a great choice in case you don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket for your next smartphone.

Is it still worth your money? Considering the rumours circulating around the OnePlus 6 coming in March, I don’t know how a customer is ever supposed to have the satisfaction of buying a device if the parent company keeps updating the phones at a rapid pace, forget about the competition.


6. iPhone X

 

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The iPhone X is an amazing phone with the heftiest price-tag on any iPhone ever. It features the best ‘still camera’ on a smartphone, a unique notch with some insane tech to power the company’s Face ID, Apple’s glorious new internals and a battery that lasts all day (but also takes forever to charge).

Is it still worth your money? If you want the best Apple smartphone and can afford Dh4,099 (or the ridiculous Dh4,799 for the 256GB) on a smartphone, go for it. But if you are going to take on instalments for a smartphone that doesn’t even come with a compatible fast charger in the box, then you might want to see what else is on the market.


7. Blackberry Motion

If you’re not in the market for a smartphone for your social media but instead need a work horse, this is the device for you. The phone was launched in the UAE during the GITEX Technology week and comes with Blackberry’s boxy body-styling, an amazing UI experience and fantastic battery-life.

Is it still worth your money? At Dh1699, the Blackberry Motion is a great buy for professional use.


8. Nokia 8

 

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2017 saw the relaunch of the Nokia. Over the year Nokia aimed at putting great specs into the hands of users at very competitive prices. The Nokia 8 was the company’s flagship launch of the year and came with a small form-factor, metal uni-body, Snapdragon 835 processor and a dual-camera setup. Focusing on the millennial audience, the Nokia introduced the “Bothie” feature where both cameras can be used to live stream on social media such as Facebook and Youtube. Nokia has even kept up with its promises of regular updates on its devices, thus the Nokia 8 now has the all new Android Oreo too.  

Is it still worth your money?  If you’re looking for a clean Android experience with a decent camera, at Dh1,699 the Nokia 8 is a very good smartphone available right now.


9. Honor 7X

 

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At number 9 comes a Dh999 smartphone, which provides an 18:9 ‘Full View’ display, a dual camera set-up and a 3340mAh battery.

Is it still worth your money? Yes! Of course! Look at that price!


10. Motorola G5S Plus

Last year we saw the Motorola G5 and G5 Plus at MWC in Barcelona. Motorola listened to its customer’s feedback, updated the line-up mid-year, and gave us the G5s and G5s Plus. The G5s Plus comes with a 5.5-inch, Full-HD display, a 13-MP dual camera and a 3,000mAh battery.

Is it still worth your money? If you’re looking for a cheap smartphone, at Dh1,099 the Moto G5s Plus should be one of your first choices.


What to expect in 2018?

While all the above mentioned devices will be updated as the year goes on, if you’re the type who wants to be absolutely up-to-date with your flagship smartphones you can look forward to the following devices releasing in the first quarter of 2018.

1) Samsung S9 and S9 Plus – Continuing after the brilliant S8 from the beginning of 2017, the S9 is expected to have an even better display than its predecessors, a dual-camera setup and a bigger battery. Head here for more information on the device.

2) Huawei P20 series – The P in the P series of Huawei’s phones has always stood for photography. In its third generation with Leica, Huawei plans to launch a triple camera set-up on latest generation of devices. For everything we know on the devices, head here.