The Best Tech Awards 2017: Curtain Raiser
Heya! beautiful people. A grand welcome from SuggestPhone, to SuggestPhone.com, 2017 is about to end and It has been a stupendous one for all of us. You taking time to visit us, again and again, means a super lot to us and motivates us big time to keep going ahead publishing more awesome and quality technical stuff here.
2017 has been quite a success for us since you are here already. It has taught us new things, enabled us to make new strides in providing great content that not only suggests but also alleviates the knowledge horizon. Since Its farewell time for 2017, we are going all kamikaze with our very last correspondence for the year with you.
Behold, SuggestPhone TBT Awards 2017, The Best Tech Awards conceptualized and realized by SuggestPhone, where we’ll be awarding and giving out big shout outs, praises, claps, cheers and also booos to all the great and dump tech that 2017 offered. TBT Awards is our very own #tbt throwback of 2017. We’ve come to these awards after talking a lot of people from different age groups to know, what they think about the smartphones of 2017 and who according to them stood out in technology all over 2017.
We know we are going a little MKBHD style here but we couldn’t resist presenting these awards and accolades to the impressive lot of smartphones that just baffled us at times and made us believe for a moment in the OnePlus tagline, “Never Settle”.
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Without further ado, let’s start the ceremony.
We’re doing SuggestPhone TBT awards for the very first time and we hope you’ll be delighted. We’ve been hard at work collecting responses from people amongst you, our readers, from different age groups, so you are our jury and you are the audience. The awards are to be given in 8 categories namely,
1. The best low budget smartphone (<10k)
2. The best mid-budget smartphone (<25k)
3. The best value for money smartphone
4. The best camera and video awards 2017
5. The best design and build awards 2017
6. The best, most complete phone of the year 2017
7. The boundary pusher smartphone of 2017
8. The best software-smartphone 2017
We’ll also be mentioning some honorary runner-ups or mentions for smartphones that were really close to the winners but couldn’t make it to the edge. Let’s begin the awesomeness, keep your guesses in mind and let’s see how good are you in reading minds.
1. The best low budget smartphone (under Rs. 10000)
India witnessed a lot of new, exciting budget smartphones this year. The technology and surely taken big leaps with manufacturers pushing the feature set miles ahead. The budget segment has seen some healthy competition this year with the new cutting-edge tech coming at humble price tags. In the under 10,000 range, on asking various people about their choice in the range along with our own assessments, reviews and ratings on SuggestPhone.com, we have come to an unsurprising conclusion.
The SuggestPhone TBT 2017 award for the best low budget smartphone under 10K category goes to the all praise-worthy Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. The smartphone ticks all the boxes you can expect from a modern smartphone and packs all of that into a stylish package just under Rs. 10,000. If you particularly dislike Xiaomi, Moto E4 Plus could be the right choice, E4 Plus also packs a lot of features and has done good for Motorola, that giant 5000mAH battery is just icing on the cake. The only thing, we find not going with this smartphone is the MediaTek SoC, had It been a Snapdragon, we would’ve liked it more.
2. The best mid-range smartphone (<25k)
The under 25,000 segment has not been very impressive as It seems compared to previous years. There seems to be a general trend where the manufacturers are placing their smartphones either in the flagship range or the under 15,000 range, trying to get the budget going with them. Based on our reviews, ratings and people’s choice, Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro takes the trophy here by a very close margin. Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro makes a complete package with a weird deficiency: Gyroscope.
Closing in on the trophy is Moto X4, followed by Xiaomi’s Mi A1 and Moto G5S Plus. As you would be thinking right now, we are quite confused with this award being given to Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro. In our opinion, Galaxy A9 Pro is not worthy of Its price, while the Mi A1 and Moto G5S Plus do quite well at significantly lower prices. Although the Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro has more going for it on paper, the difference is not very staggering. If we could include smartphones released in 2016, we get better alternatives such as OnePlus 3T and Xiaomi Mi 5, at similar prices.
3. The best value for money smartphone
Year by year, we have been seeing vendors pushing the prices with better and more complete experiences at astounding rates. Many OEMs have been putting new bleeding edge tech before the Indian population at aggressive prices. In this clutter, the one which provides the most isn’t the winner simply, the one that provides the most relevant and comprehensive set of features takes the trophy. As soon as you say the words, best value for money in India nowadays, OnePlus 5T is the permanent answer.
No surprises here, we too bow down to greatness and award OnePlus 5T the trophy for providing brilliance at a nominal price. We have other runner-ups at lower price tags too such as Xiaomi Mi A1 and the not much known Coolpad Cool Play 6, is an absolute dirt cheap smartphone for the beastly power it packs. Great work, OnePlus.
4. The best camera and video awards
We’ll be taking this in a little more detail as there are two awards at stake here, camera and video are two different aspects and Its not particularly necessary for a great camera smartphone to also have great video capabilities. So, let’s start with the camera awards and this as you know, goes unarguably to Google’s mighty Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL with a DxO Mark score of 98, nothing or no-one can doubt the abilities of this stupendous camera, what Google Pixel 2 does with a single sensors truly remarkable and again is worth everything.
The machine learning and image processing done by Google’s camera is beyond any contemporary cameras, even the best in class dual sensors. Pixel 2 packs a single, 12MP sensor and Its beyond every other smartphone camera on the market. So, If you are into smartphone photography, Pixel 2 is your go-to choice without a second thought. Congratulations to Google for achieving such a feat. Winning an award from SuggestPhone is no easy deal after all.
On the video front, things have been quite interesting too but Apple’s iPhone X blows the competition away. Apple has packed much of Its video prowess in the iPhone X and It clearly shows. Good work, Apple with iPhone X. Apple iPhone X is our winner of the best video camera award for 2017.
5. The best design and build awards 2017
2017 has been all about forgetting bezels. Most of the flagships launched in 2017 followed the trend initiated by Xiaomi Mi Mix back in 2016. The build quality of smartphones, in general, has improved quite a lot, with new innovative designs coming in. The design is a subjective term and depends on person to person.
Talking many people, we found a tie between Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Apple iPhone X. In our opinion, Apple iPhone X screams premium in every aspect of design. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is no less with that gorgeous Infinity Display. Though both of them have some nitpick issues such as the fingerprint sensor placement on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the notch on the Apple iPhone X. These issues seem to fade away once you get these masterpieces in hand. So, the best design and build award is shared by Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Apple iPhone X.
6. The best and most complete phone of the year 2017
Flagships are everywhere, Apple, Samsung, Google, OnePlus, Sony, Xiaomi and the list continues. Every flagship is more or less same on hardware yet there are minor differences that add up and make a smartphone more complete than others. Completeness again is not defined by the quantity but the quality and utility of those features that make a smartphone experience complete. Being a super close call, the best smartphone of the year goes to Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Galaxy Note 8 has been Samsung’s bounce back, harder and stronger than ever after the Note 7 controversy. Samsung Galaxy Note 8 brings the cream of hardware along with some superb camera performance, a large RAM, giant storage, best in class SoC-Snapdragon 835, headphone jack and that Infinity Display that is beyond words, Its also IP68 certified and has a glass back to support wireless charging. The experience that Note 8 brings is complete and coherent, thus deserving our SuggestPhone The Best Tech Award for the best, most complete smartphone of 2017. Good going Samsung!
This was probably the most coveted and tough call for us to make given the competition. As a runner-up, we’d like to mention LG V30, as this masterpiece by LG packs the best of hardware, respectable dual-camera performance, beautiful bezel-less display, wireless charging and is IP68 certified, yep, this one also bears the headphone jack. You might be thinking so why Samsung Galaxy Note 8? The answer is very qualitative.
LG V30 does almost everything Samsung Galaxy Note 8 does, but the former isn’t topping the charts or even close to the very best in that department, while Note 8 does all of It with utmost quality and lies in top 3 in every department of a smartphone you can think off. LG V30 does it all but doesn’t do it the best way, while the Samsung Note 8 does. This doesn’t mean, LG isn’t making progress here. LG V30 is an insanely great phone at Its price but doesn’t score much of an unassailable lead over Galaxy Note 8.
7. The boundary pusher smartphone of 2017
This category is for smartphones and manufacturers who really pushed the boundary and saw new horizons for the future of smartphones. This award is not being awarded on the grounds of market success but on the grounds of innovation that inspired others and took the smartphone journey ahead by a significant leap. SuggestPhone is proud to award the best boundary pusher smartphone 2017 to Xiaomi for Mi Mix 2.
Xiaomi showed us the exhilaration that comes with sheer innovation back in the day with Mi Mix. The dream of bezel-less was set in stone and was destined to be a reality back when Mi Mix, showed the world, that those bezels are no boundaries but opportunities. Mi Mix 2, built on that momentum and pushed the design race ahead with a more sophisticated ceramic design that just feels exquisite.
Mi Mix 2 falls no short of any flagship with Snapdragon 835 on board, but as always with Xiaomi, Mi Mix 2 falls very short of expectations from a 35,000 smartphone in terms of camera. Mi Mix 2 hence was not able to capitalize much but gave the industry a lot to aspire for. I personally am no fan of the device due to the awkward and severely poor cameras but nonetheless, the build quality and design are way ahead.
We’ve to mention another great smartphone of the year, the undoubted and supremely beautiful iPhone X. Apple’s believe on the notch, didn’t rub everyone that well and there was a lot of rant about that top-notch design. As time is passing, people are embracing the notch and the power It beholds. FaceID may not be the gold standard as TouchID was, but It will be soon. The advanced security that FaceID packs in such a small area with the convenience of just picking up your smartphone and boom.
Apple deserves a lot of credit for making ‘Facial recognition’ a real standard in security terms, unlike the earlier cheap versions of facial recognition found on Samsung Galaxy flagships and others. As recent reports show, most of the smartphones in 2018 are moving towards ‘Facial Recognition’ as an authentication method, all thanks to the Cupertino boys and their influence on the industry. After all of that, iPhone X is truly great but not quite hits the perfection that is expected from a device of that price and status in the industry. It appears to be a great first-generation device with a lot of room for improvements.
8. The best software-smartphone 2017
When we talk about software here, we mean not only the operating system but also the ecosystem and minor features here and there that uplift the experience. 2017 hasn’t been quite the dream year for Apple software department. iOS 11 has faced a lot of controversy due to irritating bugs found here and there even after the final release, the battery life has been worst and a lot more. Android, on the other hand, is searing high with Oreo. Though as always the majority of the smartphones in the Android world don’t have Oreo, It is sad but Its the reality people have come to accept.
Oreo puts Android in its own league with tons of improvements under the hood. The new minor UI improvements and the power of customisation make Android users gush even after having a year old Android on their device. If we keep it to this year only, Android has been continuing its progress, strongly with Oreo being a strong platform for future releases to build upon. iOS, on the other hand, has had quite significant improvements like the new file system APFS and a lot more revolutionary under the hood but the bugs and poor experience has devastated users paying a premium and still being vexed. iOS 11 has been quite a leap for iPad and now puts the device closer than ever to a laptop computer with the inclusion of files app and that mac-style doc with improved split screens takes the iPad experience to a whole new level.
Apple’s status with software has been quite respectable over the past few years. The efficiency, simplicity, and functionality of iOS with fast updates for almost everyone, every year has been the perfect world but iOS 11 with its plethora of bugs has diminished that reputation a bit. I know, bugs are the hard reality in every software but with Apple, you don’t expect that, Its the hallmark of Apple products and services.
We are not putting Android vs iOS battle here, right? we are talking about the best software smartphone, which is more than the just operating system as said in the beginning. Android has a myriad of devices in its domain. Each and every vendor implementing Android in their own flavor, which lately has been doing more harm than good. Come on people! we love stock Android, don’t you get that? So as It comes, SuggestPhone TBT Best Software-Smartphone goes to Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL for a ton of software prowess Google has infested into these flagships, you see the power and might of software everywhere.
From stock Android performance to latest features, best Image processing, lots of machine learning and who can forget ‘Now-Playing’? Assistant is best as ever in the race for virtual assistants, Google Lens and a lot more is about to join the party as Pixel exclusives. ARCore is already there in developer preview, and being the first to get the latest updates of Android, how heavenly does that feel? for any regular Android user, that's Elysium right there! Google has done quite remarkable stuff with software in the Pixel 2 and is driving the race for AI on smartphones. All praise be to Google!
SuggestPhone The Best Tech Awards 2017: Closing Notes
So with that, we come to the conclusion of the very first SuggestPhone The Best Tech Awards 2017. (YAY!) 2017 in one word has been phenomenal for us and we hope your 2017 was none less. The year brought a lot of new, amazing, exciting tech to the table and man, we were just in love!
We are very grateful to technology and Its makers in general for alleviating our lives to scale we don’t even acknowledge. We are again very thankful and full of gratitude for you, our readers for motivating us to keep presenting fresh and best technical coverage. What a journey 2017 has been, we hope 2018 brings new, ripe hope, and unlocks new horizons of love, prosperity and knowledge for you.
We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading. If you did, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get updates about all our articles, as soon as they get out of the oven. Do follow us on Instagram and Medium as well for engaging posts about smartphones and what’s the latest happening in the mobile Industry. Do not forget to read our latest debut post on Medium, covering the beautiful and enlightening journey of smartphones in 2017, Its rad! Do check it out on Medium and don’t forget to applaud. "
In the end, we at SuggestPhone would like to wish you a very happy and crazy new year, 2018. Enjoy this moment in full with your loved ones. It is time to be thankful, grateful for everything, acknowledging our wrongs in 2017 and enter 2018 with a solid footing. So, what was wrong about SuggestPhone or something you didn’t like, or would like us to improve in 2018? Do tell us in the comments, we’ll be waiting to hear from you, mate. Till then,
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