Android option is always dominating on the Smartphone market from big, small, skinned or stock. Google has different marketing strategy from Apple. They don’t go with rigid launch cycle as Apple, but they seem going with endless new devices all year. The problem is the options which are quite many. Good news here is we test and review every smartphones especially in US market.
Be sure that you read on what you need when buying. So, here is the last year’s model off to complete your list today if you are looking for the best smartphone.
|Name||Operating system||Processor Speed||Dimensions||Screen Size||Camera Resolution||Battery Life|
|Google Pixel||Android 7.1 Nougat||Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|5.6 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches|
|1920 by 1,080 pixels||12.3 MP rear, 8MP Front-facing||7 hours , 21 minutes (LTE video streaming)|
|Google Pixel XL||Android 7.1 Nougat||Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|6.1 by 3.0 by 0.3 inches|
|2,560 by 1,440 pixels||12.3 MP rear, 8MP Front-facing||6 hours, 43 minutes (LTE video streaming)|
|LG V20||Android 7.0||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|6.1 by 3.0 by 0.3 inches|
|2,560 by 1,440 pixels||Dual 16 MP and 8 MP Rear, 5 MP Front-facing||4 hours, 38 minutes (LTE video streaming)|
|Samsung Galaxy S7 Active||Android 6.0||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|5.86 by 2.95 by 0.39 inches||2,560 by 1,440 pixels||12 MP Rear, 5 MP Front-facing||10 hours, 300 minutes (LTE video streaming)|
|Galaxy S7 Edge||Android 6.0||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|5.94 by 2.86 by 0.3 inches|
|2,560 by 1,440 pixels||12 MP Rear, 5 MP Front-facing||10 hours(LTE video streaming)|
|ZTE Axon 7||Android 6.0||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|5.97 by 2.95 by 0.31 inches|
|2,560 by 1,440 pixels||20 MP Rear, 8 MP Front-facing||6 hours (LTE video streaming)|
|Samsung Galaxy S7||Android 6.0||Qualcomm Snapdragon 820|
|5.61 by 2.74 by 0.31 inches|
|2,560 by 1,440 pixels||1,440 pixels 12 MP Rear, 5 MP Front-facing||9 hours(LTE video streaming)|
|Huawei Honor 6X||Android 6.0||Kirin 655|
|5.9 by 3.0 by 6.0 inches|
|1,920 by 1,080 pixels||12 MP and 2 MP rear, 8 MP Front-facing||5 hours 35 minutes (LTE video streaming)|
|OnePlus 3T||Android 6.0||Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|6.0 by 2.9 by 0.3 inches|
|1,920 by 1,080 pixels||16 MP Rear, 16 MP Front-facing||10 hours (LTE video streaming)|
|Motorola Moto Z Force Droid||Android 6.0||Qualcomm Snapdragon|
|6.14 x 2.98 x 0.27 inches|
|2,560 by 1,440 pixels||21 MP Rear 5 MP front-facing||5 hours, 56 minutes (LTE video streaming)|
- Google Pixel – The Compact Smartphone with Fast Processor Performance
The unlocked Google Pixel is about $649 for 32GB and about $749 for 128GB. Basically the design is similar to the larger sibling, the Pixel XL. For those who need ergonomic 5.0-inch design, Pixel is the right option. If you go with this one, you lose some screen resolution because it is a bit smaller, but both of them have the similar features and performance.
This phone is also completed with excellent Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processors which are the newest Android OS and it comes with built-in Google Assitant capability.
It is the big reason why this is one of the best 5-inch Android phone which is the rival for Samsung Galaxy S7, in our argument.
Display, Design and Features – Lighter than Galaxy S7
Google Pixel has some similar design cues inspired by the Apple iPhone 7 such as the metal unibody chassis, rear camera in the upper-right corner as well as a bottom-firing speaker. For this review, we are talking about the Quite Black Pixel with very dark gray look but it has sleek design. You can find other colors such as Very Silver and Really Blue.
It has 5.7 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches of height, weight and depth while the weight is only about 5 ounces. It is identical to Galaxy S7 which is about 5.6 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches. Although Galaxy S7 is smaller than Google Pixel, but its weight is heavier which is at 5.4 ounces.
At the back, the Pixel has a pane of glass located in the upper half and there is a fingerprint sensor placed in the middle. The design is very unique to support the Pixel to be different from other model. It allows you to register more than five fingerprints so you can unlock the phone but it is a bit longer to wake and to unlock, especially if you compare it to iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7. You can use Motion gestures to swipe down on fingerprint scanner so you can access the notifications shade. This makes the phone is really convenient.
There is also a USB-C charging port you can find on the bottom and on either side there is a speaker as well as a mic. It has a volume rocker and power button on the right, while the SIM card slot is on the left. The headphone jack is up top which is about 3.5mm. There is no microSD card slot which makes you limited in internal storage. It also doesn’t have waterproofing feature or wireless charging. If these are important to you, it is better to go with Galaxy S7.
Speaking about the display, it has 5-inch 1,920 by 1,080 AMOLED display which is bright, clear and crisp. But, it is not enough to deal with the S7’s (5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED panel).
Note: If you compare it to iPhone 7’s Retina Display, the Google Pixel is sharper with accurate colors, terrific viewing angles and doesn’t give any problem if you use the phone under direct sunlight.
Network, Connectivity and Performance – Strong Network Performance and Cleaer Transmissions
It gives you wide array of GSM (850/900/1800/1900) and CDMA (800/1900) as well as LTE bands (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/29/30/41) with its solid performance on any provider, but this is unlocked and supports band is only for all US carriers. The test was done in Midtown Manhattan and based on the result was it provided strong network performance with the top download speed about 41Mbps. It is also possible to go with dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC.
It has good voice calls and clear transmissions through the earpiece and the noise cancellation for outgoing calls are solid. A minor robotic edge to voice appears but it doesn’t give any clarity problem. We recommend that the earpiece volume can be a bit louder.
Processor, Camera and Battery Life – Top Qualcomm Snapdragon, Battery Life Better than Pixel XL
Just like the larger sibling, the Google Pixel will be supported by top Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. The CPU performance tests were done on Geekbench and it received a single-core core of 1,524 as well as multicore score of 4,127. It is quite the same as the Pixel XL. The results are similar to Snapdragon 820-used by Galaxy S7. (1,695/3,955) it seems because Geekbench has not been optimized in Snapdragon 821.
The on JetStream browser gives us the information about how the phone handles advanced Web applications and the Google Pixel was scored about 55.227 and it meant that it was the higher than the S7’s.
The Google Pixel works with 4GB of RAM and it is perfect for multitasking and gaming. You can use it to play demanding games such as GTA: San Andreas and Asphalt 8 with no troubles at all. It is quite different from Pixel XL that was physically warm during the test.
The battery life is solid which about 7 hours and 21 minutes with the maximum brightness screen and stream full-screen video over LTE. It is better than the Pixel XL which is only about 6 hours and 43 minutes. It is because the lower-resolution display so it can work 2 hours longer compared to the iPhone 7 (5 hours, 45 minutes). The Galaxy S7 is the winner among them all with 9 hours. In another world, Pixel XL has strong standby time while the Google Pixel supports fast charging that fully can be done in just an hour.
Camera Performance – Brighter than S7
The camera is identical to the XL. Both of them have 12.3-megapixel rear camera and it has laser autofocus. In comparison to iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7, when you shots with Auto mode and no adjustments, it has excellent camera performance. It captures clear and detailed images with bright colors, even brighter than the S7 and it gives the same level of clarity as the iPhone S7. It also works well in lower light that even beat out the S7 especially in capturing details in dark areas.
The rear camera is capable to record 4K video with smooth and stable performance. It is equipped by great electronic image stabilization (EIS). The Google Pixel has good stabilization since this device has software-based instead of physical lens adjustments, but the S7 and the iPhone 7 are more stable to panning around. The Google Pixel tends to jitter and even lose focus especially in turns.
The front-facing camera has 8-megapixel with clear shots in most conditions. It also allows you to go with solid video chats.
Software and Google Assistant (24/7 Help) – First Ever Phone with Android 7.1 Nougat OS
The use of Android 7.1 Nougat means that it is a version of operating system that is still not been used by other phone. Of course, it has some significant changes. You cannot find the app screen in the home screen and you only can access it by swiping up just like circular app icons. Google also has big commitment to deliver software updates.
The most interesting part is the Pixel is the first phone with built-in Google Assistant. To call, hold down the Home button or you can say “OK Google”. Use voice commands to do various tasks including making phone calls, receiving weather updates or even adding events to your calendars. It also uses machine learning and it means that it can be better by the time since it is possible to be integrated with Google Home. Even for the Non-Pixel users, they can still get Google Assistant but using Allo. You know, when it has built-in support that is the plus.
Other highlight is the 24/7 live support. To access, you have to go through the Support tab in Settings menu. You can text or request a phone call from Google support representative. This service has been tested twice, before launch and a week after. The text chat is the best part especially for its accessibility. Even they provide followed up email by offering a return merchandise authorization just to make sure that the issue was solved.
About the phone support that is 24/7, based on the test it was about little long to wait their call back. Over the weekend, two attempts were done to contact the support, but it seemed unanswered. Besides, there was no follow up by email later. We think that the live support Google provides better than anything from other phone automakers.
Google Pixel also has an unlockable bootloader that allows you to root the phone and you can install ROMs. You will get standard set of Google apps if you check the software load. There is 25.11GB of available storage from the total 32GB. Well, it can be the low side. But, there will be free unlimited storage for your videos and photos by using Google Photos. It helps a lot since it doesn’t come with MicroSD card. Our best suggestion is pay 100 dollars more so you can get the 12GB version which will give you 749 dollars for the total.
Excellent camera performance
Fast Snapdragon 821 processor
Newest Android 7.1 Nougat software
Google Assistant support 24/7 live help
Unlimited Google photo and video storage
|Not waterproof smartphone
No wireless charging
No expandable storage
The Google Pixel is a handful Android phone especially for the price and the hardware that is so competitive with other models. Its highlight is its software performance and no Android phone on the market that is capable to beat the Pixel. If you have no concern on the software, then we recommend you to go with Samsung Galaxy S7 which provides higher resolution display, expandable storage, long battery life and waterproof design.
If you want latest Android software with cool and new features in Google Pixel XL but don’t like the large phones, it can be a superb option.
- Google Pixel XL – The Best Big-Screen Android Phones with Google Support and Top-Notch Hardware
This is a great phone with promise of latest version Android and it means you will get guaranteed upgrades. It also promises about customer support 24/7, Daydream VR, voice assistance to deal with its competitor, the Apple’s Siri. Google has to deliver some promises to make it as a five-star product.
It is still one of the top phablets we recommend you to get. It is the strong rival for LG V20 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Design, Display and Features – Slimmer and Lighter than iPhone 7 Plus
At the very first glance, we think that the design reminds us to Apple iPhone 7 Plus, but some differences are available. The metal body is attractive with different antenna lines and on the back, there is a camera. The back is completed by a panel of glass covering the top half to give nice visual design. It comes in Very Silver, Really Blue and Quite Black.
If we are talking about the size, it is still the same as other new phablets. It has 6.1 by 3.0 by 0.3 inches of HWD while the weight is about 5.9 ounces. If you compare it to iPhone 7 Plus, this phablet is slimmer and lighter. Since it is quite big, you cannot hold it on one hand. If what you need is a compact phone with big screen, we recommend you to choose the Galaxy S7 Edge that is only about 5.9 by 2.8 by 0.3 inches with the weight is about 5.5 ounces. Or, try to go with smaller Pixel that is the same device as the Pixel but it has smaller 5-inch 1080 of display.
On the right side of the phone, it is the place for the power button and below it, there is a volume rocker. You can use the power button to launch camera by pressing it twice. For the left side, it sits microSD card slot. Well, it is different from S7 Edge or other Android phones, the Pixel XL lacks of microSD card slot which means that you cannot expand the storage more than you expect.
At the bottom, it is where the USB-C charging port is added with mic and a speaker on either side. It has very loud speaker but doesn’t match with the thunderous front-facing pair that you can find on ZTE Axon 7. At the top, there is 3.5 mm of audio jack that is not presented for the latest iPhone. Pixel XL only has two bad things, the waterproofing and the wireless charging. If you have big concern on these features, you should go in S7 Edge.
On the back, it is equipped by a circular fingerprint scanner so you can register five fingerprints with the support Pixel Imprint. It is a fast and responsive scanner although it is not faster as 7 Plus and S7 Edge especially to wake and unlock the screen. Pixel XL has more extra functionality for its sensor. It is because the motion gesture so you can swipe down on the scanner to display notification shade.
The front part of this phablet is dominated with well-calibrated and bright 5.5 inch of AMOLED display with terrific viewing angels. It can give you a very crisp 534 pixels per inch. It means that the display is even sharper than the Retina on iPhone 7 Plus. But, it is still not enough to deal with Samsung’s especially in color saturation. It also has a built-in night light feature to change the color temperature of the screen automatically so it makes you easier at night to not harm your eyes.
Network and Connectivity Performance – Works Major Carrier in US and Good Call Quality
The network connectivity is quite strong especially for the unlocked and no branding model on the body. It is compatible with GSM (850/900/1800/1900), CDMA (800/1900), HSDPA (850/1700/1900/2100) and LTE (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/29/30/41). It means that this device works on major carrier in US.
The top download speed that has been recorded during the test was 40Mbps which was good even in highly congested area. When it was used in less-crowded Jersey City, it provided more impressive 64Mbps down. It is designed with Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and dual-band Wi-Fi.
About the call quality, it has good score. It has clear transmission with mild robotic tone which doesn’t bring any impact for its clarity. It also has strong noise cancelation with the earpiece volume on the low side.
Processor System and Battery Life – Processor Close To Galaxy S7, Longer Battery Life Than iPhone 7 Plus
This Pixel XL supported by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and 2.15GHz. It is more powerful than the Snapdragon 820 you can find in the top-notch Android phones. The Pixel XL scored about 1,661 single-core and 4,156 multicore in Geekbench. It means that it is quite close to the Galaxy S7. But, these are not enough to beat Apple iPhone 7 Plus (3,463/5,612).
It has fast multitasking and it comes with 4GB of RAM. It can be a nice gadget for those who love playing games like GTA: San Andreas and Asphalt 8 without issues at all. But, it does seem a bit warmer than others like the Pixel. Although it has noticeable heat radiating from the glass panel at the back, it doesn’t give any impact to its performance.
The battery life is good but it is not fantastic. Based on test to do stream full-screen view with LTE and maximum screen brightness, it only could last for about 6 hours and 43 minutes. Well, it is longer that the 6-hour of iPhone 7 Plus but it still needs more power to battle with the S7 Edge (10 hours) in the same tests. For the standby time, it is truly spectacular. Charge the phone fully and you can use it over weekend without plugging it. Even the battery life was about 37 percent left when you didn’t charge it for three days or more.
The fast charging completes the offer with the included adapter so you can charge it to 35 percent in just 30 minutes. For full charging, it takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. The battery saver mode can help you to tamp down the screen brightness level and blocks the background apps to save its power.
Camera Performance – Brighter Than S7
Well, it is still lack of optical image stabilization (OIS) but it is great enough with the 12.3-mp of rear-facing camera to deal with two best phone cameras on the current market, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. For outdoor use, it gives you clear captures with little noise or blurs detailed pictures. The color is brighter than the S7 and it has very good low-light shooting. But if it is all about the one that performs better in low light, the answer is the iPhone 7 Plus.
In shadew detail, the Xl is quite better than the S7, and the iPhone 7 Plus is better than the XL. As for zoom, the iPhone 7 Plus has better close-up pictures than those phones.
For video performance, it can be recorded in 4K with more than 30 frames per second. XL doesn’t have OIS which reduces jittering but it comes with best electronic image stabilization (EIS). Based on the test, it works with software and the result is quite close to Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It has smooth video recording in a single long shot but using a camera around or turning will give you some artifacts.
The front is the place for 8-mp camera that gives clear, reliable selfies and good enough for video chatting.
Software, Google Support and 24/7 Help – Best to Compete Siri
Just like the Pixel, the Pixel XL is the first phone with Android 7.1 Nougat. As you boot up the phone and see the home screen, you can see the clear differences. Somewhat it feels like iOS and you can swip up from its bottom to access all apps. The company redesigned the Apps icon to be circular. It is also the first phone that has Google Assistant to answer the Siri and it is built-in. To access, a long press on the home button, or just saying “OK Google” is work.
The Google Assistant supports wide range of tasks such as adding events to calendar, making subscriptions to weather updates or news, playing music, sending text, launching apps, making phone calls, answering general questions and the last is navigating with Google Maps.
The exclusive feature is 24/7 live support. Based on two times of test, it has accessible and easy to use live chat support text. Once you click the chat button under the support panel, it will connect you to a representative for few minutes. In addition, Google provide support via voice 24/7 but you have to wait a much longer and you will get in touch with a representative. During the test, two attempts at calling phone support went unanswered and there were no follow-up by email. It is safe to say that the live support makes it better than other phones.
About the pre-installed apps, the Pixel Xl is totally pure Google experience with Google Assistant, Google Launcher, Google Now, and some full suite of Google apps. On 32GB model, the memory left is about 24.43GB. You can use the unlimited Google Photo cloud storage for photos and videos, but you should go with the 128GB since it doesn’t give any lack of microSD card slot. The bootloader is unlocked which means it is possible to root and install ROMs.
|Fast processor Snapdragon 821
Latest Android 7.1 software
24/7 of life support
It is a success to compete with some top-notch phones on the current market. It has powerful hardware, excellent software with promising updates, extensive customer service support and more so that it is the best rival for Apple. However, it is hard to give it a full five stars because we think Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is better with the expandable storage, wireless charging, longer battery life and waterproof design. Others may think about the LG V20 with the removable battery, unrivaled audio performance and the secondary display. We strongly suggest the Pixel Xl for those who want to get updates and Google’s support.
- LG V20 – Best Offer from Android with Thoughtful List of Features
It is not enough to beat Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 and Apple’s iPhone 6S Plus with the LGV10. It was too big, heavy and bulky. Now, the company has something more different with the coming of LGV20. It loses many parts from the predecessor such as the unusual textures, the massive weight and the challenging body shape. It is now a great phone with minimalist design, very lightweight and svelte.
Design, Features and Display – Very Thin and Light Smartphone
It comes with aluminum shell but it doesn’t have unibody design as its competitors. The back is completed with a button on the left side that pops open to rear cover in order to see the removable battery. Even if it is removable, it has very solid metal cover that wouldn’t break and bend with serious pressure. It is also quite easy to put it back to its place. It is designed with microSD card slot and single SIM card slot.
The body is designed to meet the MIL-STD-810G drop test and toughness standards and it is not all covered in rubber. It is only about 7.6 mm of thickness and the weight is about 174 grams which is very thin and light to make it close to Note 7 and iPhone 7.
The big disappointment is its display which is not being water resistant, since it has removable battery, but it is presented with the concept of a second display. Above the main screen, you can find a small display which is designed for quick access button, show notifications as well as alerts. The V20 doesn’t have second selfie camera lens which supports this new device to have 2.1-inch wider screen and increasing resolution to 160 x 1,040 pixels.
The second screen works to serve you its best. It has five shortcuts of your choice so you can customize the screen and add quick access shortcuts such as flashlight, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This is helpful for the notification.
Its primary display is quite big that is 5.7-inch IPS LCD which has 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. It has the same experience as the V10 and the G5, but it comes with sharper look. It has high resolution to give you nice color, clarity and contrast. The phone has slim body but it is too big that you cannot use for one-handed.
Audio System – Clean and Loud Speaker with Quad-DAC
The V10 had 32-bit single DAC and it is the first with a Quad-DAC. It helps your music sound better. But it depends on your ears, your headphones, your listening environment and your choice of music. If you use a pair of B&O Play H8 headphones with wired instead of Bluetooth connection, it provides brighter music with slightly deeper bass and the sound stage is more expensive with the Quad-DAC active. The high-pitched vocals were good, but not spectacular. It has handy second display when you are listening to music because the app will show up simple controls even when the screen is dark and locked.
If you unplug the headphones, you will get loud and clear speaker with only one at the bottom of the device which should be something more than that.
Besides, the V20 comes with HD audio recorder app with clever array of microphones that will allow you to record your voice and then sing against the backing track, or record concerts as well as musical events. It is capable to save files in hi-res FLAC or WAV format. This is the winner for those who love voice recording.
Battery Life – Slightly Better than Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or iPhone 7 Plus
When the back cover is unveiled, it will show you the 3,200mAh battery. It has good battery life but somehow it is inconsistent. To use it for shooting HD video with many pauses and the screen still lit up, it made an impact to the battery percentage displayed on the screen. But, if you use it to play some games, it will quickly change in faster drain. However, it is still slightly better than Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge or iPhone 7 Plus.
Camera Performance – Better Than iPhone 6S and Galaxy S7
On the rear panel, there is camera bump which is quite large with two camera lenses, laser autofocus system and flash unit. It comes with bad-ass camera phone that can deal with iPhone 6S plus and Galaxy S7. But it should be more to deal with iPhone 7 Plus. On its back, it has the same setup as G5 with the 16-mp camera and 8-mg for the wide-angle shots. If you take a picture on a sunny day with wide lens, it provides vivid colors, beautiful landscape view and extensive detail. It doesn’t go with any software help or it is because a camera lens setup to optimize it. It is pleasure to use with manual mode for the hardcore. It is equipped by panorama, slow-motion shot, LG’s pop-out picture mode and bizarre mosaic effect.
For the front camera, it provides the same wide angle selfies as the V10. It has superb performance with the beauty mode to smooth out lines and facial imperfections. It is also a pleasure to record video with wide angle selfie lens to make live streaming. The front camera supports full HD quality but UHD or full HD at 60fps is presented on the rear. The HDR mode allows you to use front and rear as well. That is the main reason why you have to purchase it.
Software Performance – First Phone With Promising Android 7.0 Nougat and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Processor
With the use of Android 7.0 Nougat that is pre-installed on this device, it will be the first phone to come with the latest OS from Google. It allows you to have a short drag on the notification shade with some quick shortcuts to show which is mostly available in the second screen. Even you can swap between two most recently used apps simply by having a double tap of the recent key. With the Android 7.0 installed at launch, it means you don’t have to wait for the update.
Move on the speed and performance, no complaints were found. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor together with 4GB of RAM which makes it the best rival for Galaxy Note 7 and the Galaxy S7. It doesn’t slowdown when you use it to play in HD with normal and hard mode. But, it has quite sensitive display will make you have to deal with slight touches and lead to open apps, auto-rotation sometimes got confused.
|First phone with Android 7.0 Nougat
Durable metal body
High quality audio
Improved camera stabilization
Bright secondary display
|Hard to use one-handed
The software layer is heavy
Unlocked version may not compatible outside U.S. and Korea
B&O certification not available in U.S.
The LG V20 is good for people who need the best offer from Android. It has thoughtful list of features you cannot find in other Smartphones. It has lossless recording and playback hardware, wide-angle camera and other impressive features, but the camera performance is a letdown. We hope that they will improve it with an OTA update. If you need the cheaper option than it but more powerful Google Pixel is the alternative.
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Active – Sleek Phone with Bigger Battery and Better Performance
It is more than just a Galaxy S7 in rugged clothing. It is more durable with shatter-resistant built compared to the previous model. The battery is bigger and the phone has customizable Active button to give even better for those who want to use it for camping, hiking and outdoor activities. Although it is a bit bulkier than the standard, it has the same beautiful display, sharp camera and blazing performance.
Design and Features – Easy One-Handed Use
For its design department, it is quite promising. It is an attractive phone for its own right but it is no Galaxy S7. It doesn’t go with glass and metal build since it was replaced by matte green reinforced metal frame, textured camouflaged back and rubberized edges. It is possible for you to go with gold or gray color options.
It comes with 5.86 by 2.95 by 0.39 inches (HWD) with the weight is about 6.53 ounces. It is bigger and heavier than the standard S7, but it is not builky compared to Kyocera Duraforce and Sonim XP6. It works best for one-handed although its weight increased. It doesn’t weight down your pocket.
It is quite durable as the S6 Active. It has IP68 waterproofing that allows it to withstand submersion in more than five feet of water for 30 minutes. The standard S7 also has better water protection, but it still doesn’t meet the MIL-STD-810G rating just like the S7 Active. It can deal with extreme temperature, shock, pressure, vibration, altitude and other hazardous conditions.
For the rugged qualities, it is still the same as the Galaxy S7. The front of the phone is designed with the same 5.1-inch of Quad HD AMOLED display that is great for viewing angles and strong visibility even in sunlight. There are three physical buttons below the display including the smooth Home button and built-in fingerprint sensor just like the GS7. The S7 Active also has textured back and options buttons, but they aren’t backlit. But they are responsive and easy to distinguish.
On the right side of the phone, there is a power button with combined SIM and microSD card slot that works with 200GB SanDisk card. The left side comes with textured Active button that you can program with several different functions as well as volume rocker. The micro USB charging port and speaker are located on the bottom while 3.5mm of audio jack is up top.
Network and Connectivity Performance – Clear Transmission and Excellent Noise Cancelation
The S7 Active is capable for a comprehensive set of AT&T network bands GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz), UMTS (850/900/1900/2100MHz), and LTE (1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/20/29/30/38/39/40/41). During the test in midtown Manhattan, it was average for the network performance. It also supports dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 as well as NFC.
The decent call quality completes its clear transmissions and it is free from garbling. But, it has harsh and robotic voices. The earpiece volume is loud and it has excellent noise cancelation.
Battery and Software Performance – One Of The Most Powerful Android Phones
Basically the S7 Active has the same internal hardware as the S7 that is Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of ram, 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera. It is fantastic and it is one of the most powerful Android phones with one of the best mobile cameras.
The battery life is better than the original with the larger 4,000mAh battery. It can last for 10 hours and 30 minutes during the test with full-screen video over LTE at maximum brightness level. It is longer than the standard GS7 that is only for 9 hours as well as Kyocera Duraforce that only for 6 hours and 6 minutes. The supersized battery supports fast charging that can fully charged in just 90 minutes.
The phone uses Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Samsung’s TouchWiz skin. It has the same home screen, apps and general look as the regular S7 with one addition: Activity Zone. If you press the Active button, it will launch the Active Zone app that will show you some interesting widgets such as barometer, S health, weather, compass, flashlight and stopwatch. Once you have a longer press of active button, it launches direct TV. Double press will launch emergency zone that allows you to call 911 or emergency contacts quickly. Even you can program the active key to launch any three apps based on your needs.
Longer battery life
Sharp and bright display
Customizable active button
|Middling call quality|
The cost to get Samsung Galaxy S7 Active means to add $60 of the cost of the standard Galaxy S7. If you are the person who needs to replace broken phones regularly, it is better for you to go with the Active. It is more expensive than the Kyocera Duraforce or Sonim XP6 from AT&T devices but it has serious hardware and software features.
The choice about Galaxy S7 and S7 Active is more about the design. If you don’t mind to have less sleek design, bigger battery, but has better performance then you should go with the Active.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – A Large and Waterproof Smartphone with Long Life Battery
This is a striking smartphone that will go back with some fan-favorite features and its previous model, the S6 Edge was a big hit. We also like the smaller Galaxy S7, but the Edge has bigger battery and the curve glass trademark with not much larger package. The camera performance, both of them are identical. The difference is only in the battery life and design.
Design – Narrower Than Google Nexus 6P and iPhone 6s Plus
By borrowing the idea from whole bunch of Samsung phones in the previous year, it is designed together in a right combination. It has tight efficiency as the S6 Edge, bigger screen just like the S6 Edge + and the superior functionality just like the older Galaxy Note Edge. Its curved design makes it elegant with 5.9 by 2.9 by 0.3 inches of height, weight and depth. The weight is about 5.5 ounces. It means narrower and less heavy to deal with its rivals like Google Nexus 6P and iPhone 6s Plus.
It has 5.5-inch of quad HD screen on its front with the same resolution and quality as the S7 although the S7 Edge has flexible plastic OLED while the S7 has traditional glass substrate. It has lower pixel density than the S7 but it doesn’t matter for its practicality. Its screen is now brighter than the panel on Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6.
It also has a combination of home button or fingerprint scanner that is the same as on the S6 placed below the screen. There is also a standard micro USB port for charging and syncing. The company doesn’t go with the newer USB-C so that they can keep their accessories and chargers.
Just like the S7, the S7 Edge has IP68 rated so that it is waterproof and it is sealed against dust. For this point, it is better than the iPhone and Nexus.
Networking, Voice Quality and Battery Life – Excellent Noise Cancellation and Battery Life
It uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset as the S7 which means it has the same performance. It also has excellent Wi-Fi performance with the dual band 802.11 ac. It supports voice over LTE or VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling. For the unlocked model, it works for CDMA, GSM and LTE on US carrier. If you want to move it between carriers, you should go with the unlocked version.
For the voice quality, it is good with solidly loud earpiece with no distortion. But the speaker at the bottom is too easy to cover with your thumb and it is not too loud although it is a larger phone. The earpiece audio is sharper and less harsh than the S7. It also has excellent noise cancellation and it supports voice over LTE and Wi-Fi calling just like S7.
The battery capacity is 3,600mAh and it is excellent. It works for 10 hours of video streaming to make it as the perfect rival for the Nexus 6P. If you leave the phone in standby mode in eight hours, the battery only drains about 7 percents. It supports fast charging and wireless charging. The battery can be filled in 2 hours of fast charging. It is even much better than Galaxy S7.
Software – Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
The most unique feature for the Edge is the software. It is the most notable and useful phone from Samsung with the use of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. It is more functional than ever. To bring up an edge panel, you can swipe in from the right side of the screen. There are dozen possible edge panels with the open SDK that we could hope in the future.
The interesting part is the always-on screen to display the time, date and basic notifications when it is locked. It also shows calendar or few custom images based on the themed. It doesn’t drain the battery much and you can disable it anytime you need.
For US carrier, it only has 32GB version, but you can add microSD card that can be more than 200GB. However, Samsung doesn’t go with Google Adoptable Storage so that the microSD card is the part of the internal memory. By using phone’s settings screen, you can move your downloaded apps to the card one by one.
The 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor has excellent performance just like the Galaxy S7. It can deal Nexus GP, but it is outmatched by iPhone 6s Plus for gaming frame rates. However, iPhone has lower screen resolution so it is good to play high-intensity games in this phone.
Camera and Video – Improved Low-light Performance
It has the same camera module as the S7 and it has more subtle exterior bump compared on the S6 edition. Samsung mentions that they drop it from 16-megapixel unit on Galaxy S6 to 21-megapixel unit with larger pixels that can improve low-light performance. It also has more focus pixels to improve the low light focus.
When you double-tap the home button and the camera will open, it takes about 0.6 seconds, just like the Galaxy S6. It has quicker focus that is directly evident and the shutter is very quick. It has much brighter image than the S6.
The 5-megapixel front camera is quite good but with minor improvement from the S6. It has less noisy images. The bigger improvements for selfies come with the support of Selfie Flash mode that will light up the screen when you are shooting an image especially in the dark.
Now, the video can record up to 4K resolution at 30 frames per second on its main camera as well as 1080p on the front camera. It has excellent video recording that can maintain 30 frames per second although in dim conditions.
The audio and video playback, the Snapdragon 820 really works for any content. No cabled way to attach the S7 to big screen anymore but you will use wireless screencasting.
|Top of the line in all ways.
More functional than the predecessor
Longer battery life
Smart and gorgeous design
|Not much internal storage
In a relatively small phone, the Edge gives you big screen with 5.5 inches in 2.86-inch of width. It is 3-inch wider than the rivals. It is stylish with the support of curved glass and it is easier to hold. It has great processor with faster model and 3,600mAh of battery that is bigger than the rivals. It is all about large and waterproof smartphone in a long battery life. If you want to scribble on the screen with S Pen, we think Galaxy Note 5 is the great option. But, if you love simpler with pure Android experience and no bloatware, then you should pick Nexus 6P, since it is also cheaper.
ZTE Axon 7 – Sleek and Powerful Smartphone with Affordable Price
It is also updated to Android Nougat. It is the first phone that is compatible with Google Daydream VR.
Design – Less Chunky, Born to Beat Samsung, LG and Apple
It feels like the mature version of the previous Axon Pro with all metal design and less chunky. It seems that the company is ready to compete with Samsung, LG and Apple. Just with one hand, you can hold it but with the palm-stretching dimension and the slippery aluminum design, it is quite hard to reach the corners without using two hands.
The front comes with 5.5-inch 2K display and edge-to-edge screen for minimalist look. The front also has awesome sounding dual front-facing speakers, three out-of-the-way capacitive buttons and small front-facing camera.
There is no fingerprint-sensing home button to take up the space on the front but the biometric sensor is embossed on the back. Even it is easier to find the fingerprint sensor on the phone instead on the taller Nexus 6P. It is just as fast and accurate. It also has its logo on the front of the device to give cleaner look to all around. At this time, it is only available in Gold for the ZTE Axon 7. The company has a plan to add Quartz silver too.
With 5.5 inches, with a 2560 x 1440p quad HD resolution, the ZTE Axon is still the same as the previous model, but it is now designed with an AMOLED display, not an LCD. In addition, it also has improved battery life because the colors really pop on the screen. Even outdoors, the quad HD displays shines brightly. It also supports VR.
Specs and Performance
It is designed with default 64GB of internal storage.
64GB of internal storage
Stunning dual front-facing speakers
|Slippery design in hands
Not on all US carriers
Not much better than Samsung’s camera
ZTE Axon 7 is a newcomer for Android phone with its sleek design. The specs are powerful and the unlocked price is reasonable. It is the strong rivals for Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and iPhone 7.
Samsung Galaxy S7 – A Luxury Spill-Proof Phone with Refined Performance, The Destroyer of Its Rivals
The coming of Samsung Galaxy S7 is the proof that Samsung has more concern on its performance improvements by restoring the crowd-pleasing features you couldn’t find from the S6 such as the microSD slot and the longer battery life. It is a truly one-handed best Android phone with more functionality and better battery life.
Size and design – Narrower than S6 and Excellent Visible Screen for Waterproof Design
There are a lot of people talking about its arrival last year. It is true that today many Smartphones are getting boring but at the same time it is the most personal computers with the cameras to record our lives and they support us to still connect to friends and family through social media, text message and phone calls.
Right now, we have to deal with phone size bloat where most phones are designed with wider and wider, sounds harder to hold it with one hand. But, the case is different from this phone that it is narrower than the S6. It is about 2.74-inch and the S6 is around 2.78-inch. The width is the same as the HTC One M9 and it is still narrower than other high-end Android phone. It is the right option for those who think that the high-end phones are too big.
The Galaxy S7 comes with AMOLED screen with the same size that is 5.1-inch and the resolution is 2,560 by 1440 as the S6, but Samsung supported it with brightness improvement. In S6, the visible screen is quite high and excellent, but the S7 is much better. These phones are better than the iPhone 6S.
The most interesting part is that Samsung returned the waterproofing to the Galaxy S7 and they ditched the irritating port cover that was taken from the Galaxy S5. It is designed with water-repellent coating insidethe device. Even when you wash and dried the phone or spill hot coffee on it, you wouldn’t face any issues at all. The rate for the phone is IP68 which means that it is fully submersible as well as dustproof.
Indeed, the S7 is identical to the S6, but it doesn’t mean that both of them don’t come with its uniqueness. The S7 has more rounded back with touch thicker to support bigger battery. The bigger battery gives the phone less protruding camera bump on its rear. It is about 5.36 ounces which is heavier than the S6 that is only about 4.87 ounces. The metal and glass unibody design comes in black or gold with physical Home button that can be used as a fingerprint sensor located below the display. The sensor is still the same as the S6 that is quite good but it seems it needs off-center touch. The phone also has traditional Micro USB, not USB-C to charge.
Phone and network performance – Qualcomm is Back with Snapdragon 820
Since the Qualcomm is back, it is expected to make its phone and network performance better than before. The Snapdragon 820 is added to make Samsung S7 to have the finest modem in its business especially for highly competitive app performance.
The support of Snapdragon 820’s X12 model can give the LTE download speed even more than 600Mbps and uploads more than 150Mbps for every carrier. The presence of 4X4 MIMO also makes faster performance on T-Mobile and the 3 x20 carrier is important on Sprint. Based on the test, it didn’t have any trouble with 150Mbps symmetrical Wi-Fi connection.
Moreover, the phone supports voice-over-LTE or VoLTE as well as Wi-Fi calling. The company provided the unlocked model for all US carriers, but if you purchase a model from a carrier, it will exclude frequency bands for each of other carriers. What we can suggest to you if you have a plan to buy a carrier unit, it is better to treat the phone exclusively with that carrier. But if you want to move around, you should go with unlocked model. There was no problem with the call quality. It is even little better. It has loud earpiece with no distortion. It also has excellent noise cancellation.
About the battery life, it is labeled with 3,000mAh cell that is better than the S6. During the test, the S6 had annoying activity of draining even in standby mode. But, this behavior doesn’t come to S7. It got about 9 hours in video streaming rundown that is even better than the S6 (7 hours and 13 minutes). In standby mode with no heavy CPU usage, it drained about 11 percent in eight hours and that was not bad. It also supports both fast charging and dual-standard wireless charging. It comes with fast charger that allows you to get fully charged from 0 in just 90 minutes.
Android Performance – Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Perform Better than S6 And Galaxy Note 5
It is powered by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with Samsung’s skin on its 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor. Soon, LG G5 will join it to use the same processor. Thanks to the Snapdragon 820 for faster performance than other Android phone. It has 2,333 single-core and 5,330 multi-core to make it better than Galaxy S6 (1,440 single/4,811 multi) as well as Galaxy Note 5 (1,472 single/5,020 multi). In addition, it has better GPU performance. But, it is still not enough to beat the iPhone 6S that has 2,475 Geekbench score with the Snapdragon 820 and better on-screen graphic frame rates with lower resolution.
You will love to use the controls of Asphalt 8 for its responsiveness and the S7 is very smooth and you can launch any apps quickly with no lag. It will remind you to the past two generations of Galaxy models with dual window or pop-up multitasking.
The icons are restyled and Samsung showed that they want to lighten the burden of the Android Skin. The Briefing screen was ditched to the left of the main home display. In the end, it is like to get rid of the app drawer and more identical to iPhone-like interface. On screen, it floats the date, time, battery status, basic notification information on screen. Swap it out and you can find a calendar or few preset images. The always-on screen information doesn’t take much battery life which is conventional and you can turn it off if you don’t like it.
However, there are many bloatware applications that take big space on the device. The bloatware apps are impossible to move to SD cards or even delete them. The phone’s microSD card pops to the SIM card slot above the SIM card and it supports even more than the previous maximum 200GB card SanDisk offers. The Google’s Adoptable Storage feature was disabled by Samsung to make the memory card like an internal memory to the system so you have to move apps back and forth from Application Settings screen. You cannot move the built-in apps, but you can move the downloaded apps to the SD card.
Gear VR – Free Gear VR Headset Promotion
For those who order Galaxy S7, there will be free Gear VR headset as its promotion. You can spend your time for watching music, movie, gaming as well as adult content but it didn’t overheat. You will be spoiled by the more powerful PC-based VR experiences just like the HTC Vive. With the Snapdragon 820 processor, it has smooth motion and it has no lag, but the content of MilkVR app from Samsung is quite disappointing especially for the resolution. If you watch movies and music videos, you can see the pixels that can be distracting.
For people who wear glasses, the GR VR cannot make you change the focus of two lenses independently so you will get a lot of double vision. Probably, there will be more content for the Gear RV that will let you to watch non-VR movies in virtual big-screen format.
Photos and Video – Brighter Image than the S6
The Galaxy S6 had 16-mp camera but Samsung replaced it with 12-mp shooter with the larger pixels to improve the low-light performance. The focus pixels are also increased to speed up the focus in low light. There is also no pulsing you can see on the S6 as the camera will work to find the focus. The S7 comes with better white balance than the S6 to give your skin not less orange. The best part is the low-light improvements. It is much brighter than the S6. The images are sharper and less noisy.
The front camera has 5-mp that is very good but with minor improvements over the S6. It has less noisy images with the bigger improvement for those who love selfies, thanks to Selfie Flash mode that will light up the screen if you take a shot in the dark.
Move on the video where you can record for more than 4K resolution at 30 frames per second on its main camera as well as 1080p on the front camera. It also has excellent video recording with 30 frames per second for very dim conditions.
For the audio and video playback, the use of Snapdragon 820 supports any content that you can throw at it. It doesn’t have cabled way to attach S7 to big screen anymore. What you can do is using wireless screencasting.
|Small and high-end Android phone
Excellent modem and Wi-Fi performance
Sharp and bright screen
MicroSD card slot
|Small internal storage capacity
Camera is not better than the S6
Samsung Galaxy S7 is good for those who need luxury phone and it is one of the top Android lineups. The design is conventional with the powerful smartphone with refined performance and the dual cameras or modular build. It is the smallest flagship Android phone and it can destroy all Android rivals especially in its class.
The changes are incremental and it comes with better hardware compared to the iPhone. However, if you love mobile gamer and you want a phone with professional camera mount and you want to use FaceTime, it is not recommended to go with S7, but you will need Apple phones.
In the end, if you are looking for a spill-proof with single-and operation of 4G smartphone that has terrific camera, the best to fit you is Samsung Galaxy S7.
Huawei Honor 6X –Faster Performance and Cooler Camera Capabilities
We are entering the 2017 year and the trend of 2016 is about the affordable smartphones with high performance. There is a big indication for the coming of Honor 6X with 32 GB unlocked version with several improvements such as smooth performance and better camera with secondary lens. For the UI layer, it is still heavy but it can be free from the slowdown that was a big issue in the previous generation. Therefore, many people anticipated its meaningful improvements.
Design, Features and Display – No Brushed Finish, Circular Fingerprint Sensor
No much changed has been presented by the company to make it quite different from the previous model. The company removed the brushed finish and there is fingerprint sensor in circular shape, not in square. On the back, there are two camera sensors. The metal unibody slab is unchanged and it is available in silver, grey or gold.
The smartphone is designed with 149 by 76.2 by 0.76mm (HWD) while the weigh is about 161g that is identical to the Honor 5X. It is too wide to reach across by using your thumb, but there is a Mini screen mode that allows you to shrink what it shown and then move the keyboard to other side with one hand easier.
On the right, there are volume rocker and power button with audio jack 3.5 mm and the bottom comes with microUSB port sandwiched placed between the speaker grille and the microphone. The left side has microSD card slots and SIM. The latter has 256GB card and it also has second SIM in case that you need two different numbers.
The fingerprint sensor has fast and responsive design just like the one on the Honor 8. It also comes with the same set of programmable feature that will let you to touch and hold it to take photo once the camera app is open. Then, swipe right or left so you can browse photos.
There is 5.5-inch of Full HD IPS LCD with the same resolution as they could provide for the Honor 8. It works about 403 pixels per inch (ppi). Although it is not too sharp, the text and video is still crisp. It has good color reproduction and highly customizable so you can choose whether you will go with warm and cold temperature. It also has good viewing angles too.
Just like the previous Honor models, this smartphone has a setting to allow you improve the brightness under the sunlight. It also has blue-light filter that can reduce eye strain especially at night.
Network Performance and Connectivity – Strong Network Performance
Like the Honor 8, the 6X is basically an unlocked GSM phone with the LTE bands 2/4/5/12/20/ 38. The band 17 is the only key emission. It has strong network performance during the test and the top download speed is about 16.6Mbps. For other connectivity, it is equipped with Bluetooth 4.1, but it doesn’t have NFC or dual-band Wi-Fi.
Overall, it has good call quality with clear voices and natural tone free from robotic edge. It is designed with strong speakerphone even when you enable the Loud Voice mode. The noise cancellation is good but blotting out traffic noise. No occasional sound of wind that cause the audio-crackling to the mic.
Processor and Battery – Higher than Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 and Solid Battery Life
The Honor 6X is powered by HiSilicon Kirin 655 Ota-Core chipset with 2.1 GHz. The processor has good capability with the score about 56,602 on AnTuTu benchmark. It means it is higher than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 that is used by Motorola Moto G4 which is only about 46,260 but it is still below the HiSiicon Kirin 950 in Honor 8 that has 91,712.
But the regular usage of 3GB RAM is the fresh air here. It has smooth multi-tasking with swift switching between apps and it doesn’t encounter any instances of slowdown. It can handle GTA: San Andreas and Asphalt 8 Airbone without any issues.
For the battery life, it is very solid to support the phone to 5 hours, 33 minutes in rundown test with the full-screen video streaming over LTE in maximum brightness. It is a little less than the Motorola Moto G4 which has 5 hours and 58 minutes.
The phone also supports fast charging with the included adapter and built-in Battery Manager to reduce the power drain and it works to manage as well as control all apps running in the background. It also has two different power saving modes.
Camera – Well-Lit Settings and Clear Images
A dual-sensor camera setup is added with one 12MP shooter on the top and 2 MP sensor on the bottom of the Honor 6X. The camera has well-lit settings. It can generate clear and detailed pictures with the autofocus locks on quickly. The shots become grainy in dimmer light, but it has HDR or Night mode to reduce the muddiness with the longer focus and post-processing time. But, the challenging part is the low-light settings makes the pictures look dull with fair amount of blur and noise.
The secondary sensor allows you to take pictures indoors and out by focusing on objects in the foreground and then blurring out the area behind it. It gives a fun setting for those who love playing with photos. It also allows you to use it post-capture simply by pressing a shutter icon placed at the bottom of the photo frame and then change the focus point.
The Honor 6X comes with manual controls and all are accessible under Pro Camera as well as Pro Video mode, simply by swiping it to the left. It allows you to adjust ISO, white balance, focus and aperture. It can record stale 1080p video at 30fps, but the lower light recording will suffer from graininess. It has front-facing snapper with 8-mp but provides clear shots. It really depends on the lighting.
Software – Google Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
The Honor 6X comes with Google Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow together with Huawei’s custom EMUI skin on its top. There is no official announcement has been made by Huawei whether it will get Google Android 7.0 Nougat or not, but from the update history, it is from Lollipop to Marshmallow.
Speaking about EMUI 4.1 skin, it has heavy layer that is identical to the one that you can find on the Honor 8. It also has an Apple iOS-like interface that they removed the app drawer and splash apps across the home screens. They also redesigned the notification shade and the setting menu.
Additionally with Honor Community, Health, Store, Supports apps and others, you will find many bloatware such as Bookings.com, TripAdvisor, Twitter, News Republic, Mopria Print Service and others.
We glad that the pre-loaded apps are possible to uninstall and with the total 32GB of internal storage, you only have 20.77GB left. It is possible to use a microSD card with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s adoptable storage feature that you can treat it as your internal storage.
|Impressive quality shots with dual rear camera setup
Front camera for good selfies
Flawless performance with Octa-core processor
Smooth gaming performance
Lots of inbuilt storage and RAM
Faster unlock, online payments and chip level security with fingerprint scanner
Long battery life
Slim and lightweight
Impressive metallic finish body
Dual SIM 4G with VoLTE Support
|Hybrid SIM 2 Slot
Washed out display
Not replaceable battery
The Honor 6X will be placed in between the cheap Motorolate Moto 64 and the pricier ZTE Axon 7. Motorola gives you virtually stock Android and the compatibility to deal with every major carrier. It is one of the Best Smartphone For Gaming and Business.
The Honor 6X is good because it has nicer build and faster performance. The camera capabilities are cooler and it is the right option if you love the idea of middle-ground.
OnePlus 3T – Faster Performance, Excellent Camera Quality and Long Battery Life
The OnePlus 3T is a truly surprise offering. It is not a phone that we expect from Chinese startup to launch when revealed its 2016 flagship. It is about six months to its arrival. After half a year, they killed off the OnePlus 3 and now it is only handset that you can purchase from the firm. The 3 is possible to be launched in few countries. It is not a new phone but it has the same design, RAM, screen, rear camera and fingerprint scanner as the 3T.
If you don’t know about why you should go with the new model, it is because the company mentioned that the engineers found solution to deal with nagging issues on the 3, and they do it quickly since they don’t want to wait for about six months to launch it in 2017.
It means that going with this phone will let you to have slicker performance, punchier selfie snapper, new storage option and longer battery life with the slightly higher price from the 3. It is a phone with super performance but still at the reasonable price. It also has strong feature set.
Design – Premium Metal Unibody With the Same Deign as OnePlus 3
The design is similar to the OnePlus 3. It has the same weight that is 158g with the same size which is 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm and the same aluminum unibody. It is also has the same factory fitted but removable screen protector and the same rear camera protrusion.
It has more premium design with the first metal unibody smartphone in OnePlus 3 that is cut from a single slab of aluminum. It offers pleasing result with the metal chassis as the mark of it evolutionary look.
There are two color options to provide that is the Graphite and the Soft Gold. At the front, nothing special with standard black or white slab coated in Gorilla Glass 4 and the main highlight is the indented fingerprint scanner for the home button oval placed below the display.
The fingerprint scanner is quicker to recognize your digits and unlock it, even faster than the OnePlus 2. There wasn’t issue when it is issued. It is also claimed that it is faster than Apple’s Touch ID. There are also touch-sensitive navigation keys that are only visible when you tap it with single white LED illuminating for few seconds before then disappear to the bezel. The keys are easy to hit and responsive. You can customize it in the setting menu, so you can perform extra functions with hold action instead of a tap. Swap them round if you want the back key to be on the right instead on the left.
A factory-fitted screen protector is added to prevent scratches, but somehow it can be annoying. It doesn’t cover the screen completely. You can see the edge of the protector for each side of the display which can distract you especially for on-screen action, but you can remove it easily and it doesn’t cause a residue on the glass.
The left side is the place for volume rocker and notification slider. It is a 7.35 mm thick and the latter has three positions that are all notifications, priority notifications and silent, to let you quickly adjust the setting so you don’t have to wake the screen.
You can find the Apple’s mute switch on iPhone and now it can be found in OnePlus 3 which can be helpful if you want to mute your phone during cinema trips or meetings quickly. On the other side, it has power or lock key which is below the dual SIM tray. The OnePlus 3 supports you to have two SIMs. If yougo with Huawei P9, it offers you second SIM slot that can be used as a microSD slot, but they don’t provide it here. It doesn’t come with expandable storage option.
We love how they designed it with well-positioned buttons as long as your hands are big enough so you can hit them without any troubles if you use the phone one-handed. Nothing you can find on the top edge, but the base has speaker grille, headphone jack and USB-C port. They are not ready to ditch the 3.5mm jack, a different storey with Motorola for their Moto Z.
The back has gently curving rear as well as antenna bands at the top and bottom of handset that reminds you to HTC One M9 but the square camera bulge is like what you can find in Samsung Galaxy S6. The premium design with arched backed are added and it supports the phone nicely in the palm so you have a decent grip. It is not a smartphone with complex deign, but its simplicity makes alluring touch. It is just similar to Apple’s iPhone design. The most important is the premium design doesn’t make it as expensive as the iPhone 6S, Samsung Galaxy S7 and others.
Display – 5.5 Inch of Full HD AMOLED Great Display from Emails to Gaming
OnePlus 3T is suggested to get AMOLED screen technology that is also used by OnePlus 3, and it didn’t happen. It can be helpful because the phone will get the same slim profile and bright display. The AMOLED panel on this smartphone is also featured with the same Full HD resolution that is about 401ppi pixel density.
It means that you will get a clear and smooth text, images and video although the display is still far from LG G5 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It doesn’t have a flagship price tag, but compared to the performance and the power, it is one of the best smartphone. The main highlight for its upgrades is the on-screen performance that makes it even faster than Galaxy S7 and iPhone7 with the presence of new chipset stuffed in it.
For more than that, everything is still the same as previous month o the OnePlus 3 and that is not a bad thing.
Interface and Reliability – Android 6.0.1 With Oxygen OS Interface and Update to Android 7 Nougat
The OnePlus 3T runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow which seems a little bit disappointing since right now there is Android 7 Nougat, but be fearless. It is confirmed by OnePlus that the 3T and 3 will see a Nougat update before the end of 206 so we have to follow the review update to know the new software for the OnePlus 3T.
The support of Oxygen OS on the top of Google’s software is helpful to give more features and customization options. It has clear and fuss-free interface. Swipe down from the top of the screen display and the notification panel provides you editable quick setting as well as screen brightness slider. If you tap the app drawer icon in the dock at the bottom of the screen display, there will be vertically scrolling lit of all your installed apps. The phone also lets you to put your own stamp on the phone through Play Store.
Although it comes with the same software as the 3, newer handsets are added with subtle changes such as new wallpaper, circular and centralized design, and screen brightness slider with a toggle for auto brightness and easy to navigate interface. There is no sign of lag at all.
Music, Movies and Gaming Performance – 128GB and 35mm Headphone Jack
Under the hood, it is powerful with the full HD AMOLED display and larger 128GB of storage option as well as a headphone jack, the OnePlus 3T supports music, movies and gaming. The Play Music allows you to access your own songs you have transferred to the 3T and it provides you the option to use firm’s pay-monthly streaming service. It also has simpler music player app that is the same as the 3 for cleaner and fuss-free offering.
The built-in speaker on the ET kicks out decent volume, it has the ability to fill for casual listening. We don’t expect any solid bass or exceptional clarity for its price. It also has great video playback with the full HD display in clear visuals and bright colors, although it is not the winner when it has to deal with Galaxy S7 Edge, LG G 5 and HTC 10.
The handy addition is the file explorer app to locate video files transferred onto the handset and the Google’s Play Movies app allows you to get wide range of TV shows and films you can buy or rent. For gaming, it is another enjoyable feature in this phone. It is designed with punchier chipset that provides faster load times and smooth gameplay. It doesn’t overheat during extending periods of play so that it is comfortable to hold.
Performance and Benchmarks – Multi Tasking and Super Quick App Load Times
It uses the very latest Qualcomm chipset, Snapdragon 821 that is the same chip you can see in Google Pixel and Pixel XL – together with the 6GB of RAM to provide you enough support if you are serious player.
It can deal with Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 in case of the speed. It has a new chipset and new file system that makes it even slicker than the 3. By the support of Geekbench 4 CPU benchmark, the 3T model managed multi-core of score that is about 4,313 to make it above the Sony Xperia X and Google Pixel XL.
Later, with the same benchmark on the 3 and the same software version with the same Wi-Fi network, it has multi-core score about 3,898.
Then what does it means? It is a super-slick smartphone with prompt apps loading and easy multi-tasking to jump in different apps. It also has improved load times to play games like Boom Beach, Animation Throwdown and Real Racing 3.
Those sound even more impressive if you know the price that you should spend to get it.
Battery Life – Bigger Battery with A Single Charge Lasts A Full Day
The bigger battery is the most welcome addition. It means that it has the same frame as the 3 but it comes with larger power pack. Its battery capacity has enhanced from 3,000mAh to 3,400mAh. It can last for a whole day from 7 am to 11 pm on a single charge with the couple hours of Spotify streaming, WhatsApp messages, few calls, two hour of gaming and range of email activity and healthy slug of web browser as well as other app activity such as news, sport and many more.
But if you are a more casual smartphone user, it may be about a day and a half to use 3T. This means that the battery performance is equal as the battery of Galaxy S7 Edge. After being tested with 90-minute full HD video test with maximum screen brightness level, Wi-Fi connected and account syncing in background, it lost about 14% of 100% battery.
You can use Dash charging feature if you find it running low and it is included in the box. It helps you to deal with fast charging. It can charge about 25% in 20 minutes which is a good blast.
Camera – 16MP Rear And Front, Perfect For Snapper And Selfies
On the rear, no much changes to provide. The 3T and the 3 model have the same Sony-made 16MP of rear camera with metal unibody and single LED flash below it. The camera app has clean interface to allow you to control over HDR (high dynamic range) as well as HQ (high quality) modes. Use the HDR to brighten the darker areas in your photos and take the HQ mode to capture more details, but you couldn’t use both modes together.
It provides you comprehensive manual made by tapping the menu icon located in the top-left corner. It allows you to tweak various settings including white balance, contrast, shutter speed and ISO. You can save images as RAW files for more serious photographers. In most situations, it provides solid camera performance which can be more than iPhone and Samsung.
As a result, the images have little darker because the low light. The competitors may offer it by brightening up the dark areas artificially. The idea about the camera performance in this smartphone is to give the result of what your eyes see in the same image. It is all about personal preference.
The biggest difference is the front camera which is 16MP front snapper the same as the rear. It is not a Sony lens, but the quality is even better than the 8MP on the 3 model or most other selfie smartphones. It provides bright, clear and full of details. It is possible to enhance by using beauty mode.
|Great battery life
|No microSD slot
OnePlus 3T provides improved experience for users without waiting in 2017 to get all-new handset. Several key areas have been improved such as improved battery life, slicker performance.
Many people disappointed because it doesn’t come with expandable storage, but you wouldn’t be mind if you love a smartphone with excellent camera quality and screen resolution. It is still a good option for those who are serious flagship contenders. It is perfect for you who want to have something different and it doesn’t make you to break the bank.
Motorola Moto Z Force Droid – A Bold Smartphone with Top Line Specs and Features
Along with the Moto Z, it can be used with Google Daydream to give you high-virtual reality experiences even more than Samsung’s smartphone lineup. To do that, you have to update it to Android Nougat. Next, go to Google Play store and get the Daydream app. The Moto Z Force is a flagship smartphone that will have improved shatterproof screen. It is hard to find any corners cut for its build quality, performance and design. Moto Z is a powerful device and it provides better experience for its price with JBL SoundBoost and Insta-Projector mod.
At this time, the phone is Verizon exclusive in US and it is a bad news to tell especially for those abroad who need shatterproof phone.
Design – Moto Display Function and Unique Fingerprint Sensor
It is basically the same as the Moto Z but with steroids. You can quickly tell the difference when you hold one in each hand. The Z force is about 163 grams which is 30 grams more than the standard Z. It also has thicker design with the increased 2mm of depth. In addition, the Moto z is the thinnest smartphone in the world and it is not for Moto Z Force.
It comes with 155.9 x 75.8 x 6.99mm and it is constructed from the combination of glass and stainless steel. The glass panel supports all the usual suspects with the ear speaker and front-facing camera. Additionally, it has few niceties such as real LED flash for selfies, unique fingerprint sensor that let you to wake the device and put it to sleep.
Near the fingerprint sensor, there are two small holes and they are the proximity sensors to power the Moto Display function that allow you to get a glimpse at the notifications and time just by waving your hand over the phone. It is cool and small touch that you wish for all phones to have this feature.
Move on the back, it has large camera bump. Its rear has more interesting design as well as hardware features. The black glass strips are added for its top and bottom. It is also completed with slate of stainless steel and subtly laser-etched with the thin lines and logo. It has stunning look with the details that seems will be drowned out by fingerprint.
The MotoMod connector is also provided as a set of gold-colored ports for modular accessories to be snapped onto the phone and it allows you to transmit data or battery juice. There are volume keys and textured power button on the right side. It may take a little longer to learn the button layout on the Z series because the equidistant layout.
The design is also highlighted with nano SIM and microSD slot on its top and the USB-C slot on the bottom. It has 3.5mm headphone jack. We glad that the USB-C 3.5mm adapter is included so that the old headphones are still fine. But you cannot charge and then listen at the same time.
Display, Specs and Performance – HD AMOLED Display, Support Android 7.0 Nougat and Smooth Performance
It has impressive quad HD 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display. It shows with vibrant and detail. The phone is reinforced with Moto’s Shattershield technology that will not make it crack or shatter even if you drop it about five feet. It means that the phone is equal to Gorilla Glass-sporting rivals.
The AMOLED screen is about 5.5 inches which is the same as iPhone 6S Plus. For some people, it is too big for one-handed use, but it is still easy to wrangle with some quick task. Most will tell you that the phone is most comfortable for two-handed.
With the unique design and attributes, the design inside is still similar to other modern flagships such as Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, HTC 10 and OnePlus 3. It is supported by Android 6.0 Marshmallow and light adjustments are added to give you better experience. It supports Android 7.0 Nougat.
Besides, it is also designed with Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor at 2.2GHz and it provides you about 530 GPU to handle the visuals. This phone also supports NFC if you are looking to get started with Android Pay.
It is built with the sufficient amount of 4GB RAM and it lags behind what you can find in OnePlus 3 with 6GB RAM. In another word, it doesn’t matter to go with 4GB RAM because it is quite enough for modern smartphone. You can choose whether you will go with 32 GB or 64 GB of onboard storage and this offer is only available through Moto Maker. But, it is recommended to go with the former and then invest for a microSD card.
Move on the performance, the processor supports smooth experience even to be used for latest game. The average score is about 2,341 and the multi-core score is about 5,387 based on GeekBench 3. It means that the device is equal to Samsung Galaxy S7 in US but with the same processor as well as the LG G5. Whether you will use it for normal or heavy performance, it is highly capable phone and it wouldn’t get bogged down easily or even stutter as long as you are not those who love to download a ton of apps or games.
It handles most common smartphone tasks quite well. It even has betters call quality than the iPhone 6S. It has crisp sound with the HD calling. It only has earpiece as the only output which sounds flat and tiny. You may only love to listen through headphones or Bluetooth speaker.
Camera – 21 MP Sensor with Dual Flash Rear and 5 MP Front Facing Camera
Before, the company had difficult situation on the camera sensors and imaging software to deal with the rivals, but they can prove that they have something better with the Moto Z Force.
First, it comes with more capable rear-facing camera compared to the thinner Z counterpart. It has 21 MP-sensor with few helpful features for your photos pop such as dual LED flash, optical image stabilization as well as laser autofocus. They keep the same ability to trigger the camera app by two flicks of the wrist.
The camera is good to take pictures in low light and it is much better than the Nexus 5X especially for its color accuracy, dynamic range and clarity. The camera software got an overhaul since the company provided robust Pro shooting mode that allows you to tweak the ISO, focal depth, aperture and white balance.
The front facing camera is 5MP that works well to capture in various conditions, but it is still have lower megapixel count and lack of image stabilization. It is good for video chat and quick selfies. It is also capable to shoot about 1080p video at 60 frames per second and 4K resolution at 30 frames per second.
Battery Life – 3,500mAh and Longer Battery Life
One o the improvements that the company would like to offer in this phone is the battery life. The reason behind its increased thickness is because the battery. Before, it was presented with 2,600mAh in the Z and now the Z Force has 3,500mAh, a significant increase. It should provide about 40 hours of mixed use before you need a charger.
During the test, it was capable to work for two full days before it needed a charger. Mix of texting, shooting photos and videos with some light Pokemon Go was the test to reach the mark. With the support of Turbopower charging capability, it gives you 15 hours by charging it in just 15 minutes. If you have 20 minutes, it gives you 50%.
microSD card slot
functional modular backs
|No headphone jack
Cannot charge and listen to music
Verizon and US exclusive
The Moto Z Force is the powerful and fetching Android smartphone that delivers long-lasting use. It has interesting MotoMods. If you don’t mind with the fingerprints and you don’t think that to keep it clean is a must, it is good for you who need a smartphone with improved camera software although it is still below Samsung and LG.
It is a smartphone with unique identity and it doesn’t fall back. It is for those who want something different.
We think those are the 10 lists you can pick for your best smartphone plans. If you still have no idea about the best one for you in 2017, here is a simple guide to buy a smartphone.
Best Guide To Purchase A New Smartphone
Don’t be so serious. All smartphones are good, but only one that may go with your needs. Here to help you, we have a buying guide for you to get the right smartphone to answer your need.
The Hardware Choices
Most manufacturers have big effort to set their smartphones with spectacular feature, but it is important to ask yourself: Does Quad HD display is crucially important for you? Or do you really need 4K camera? As you know that most high-end devices are completed with 5.5 inches of screens or even larger. If all that you need is a small phone, Android selections are pretty thin for this year such as the Sony Xperia X Compact and Samsung Galaxy S7.
The Software Versions
So, all Android is not equal. If you compare HTC and Samsung, of course they have their own Visions about Android at this time. Android 7.0 Nougat is available on two Pixel devices such as LG G5 and V20 as well as the unlocked HTC 10 and Xperia phones.
If you don’t mind to wait next few months, there is more Android 7 phones will be launched such as LG G6 as well as HTC U. Most of them still use Android 6.0 Marshmallow. You should buy a Pixel if you want the latest version of OS.
The Unlocked or The Carrier-Approved
At this time, especially in US market is still dominated by carrier-sold phones. But right now the high-quality unlocked options are also ready to hit the market. We have found phones even less than $100, but surely you love to spend more to get higher quality level. The interesting part is you don’t have to break the bank so you can use good Android device.
To get high-quality Android phones, there are some with completely unlocked and you need about $250 without strings attached. But, there are still many people choose their phones through carriers to get single point for support and service including the monthly payment plants to lower the upfront phone prices.