ION Picks : Smartphone of the year 2016

Perfect SmartphoneThis year at ION we have tested a lot of devices, I mean literally a lot of devices. Some devices were great, some were meh! okay and some were really bad. 2016 has been an explosive year for smartphones, literally we have seen Samsung Galaxy Note 7 burning, and we have seen devices like OnePlus 3 exploding the smartphone industry and setting up a new benchmark for a flagship device. So for you all, what is a perfect smartphone? Does it exist? I believe there is nothing like a perfect smartphone, its still a myth, a dream. But what we can have is, a glimpse of that perfect smartphone. As MKBHD says and we still believe there are 5 pillars for a perfect smartphone: 1-Performance 2-Display 3-Battery 4-Camera 5-Build.

flagship smartphonesThe year 2016 was all about Snapdragon 820/821 powering all the flagship devices, where Snapdragon 820 being a standard in H1 and Snapdragon 821 in H2. This year we saw all the OEM’s working hard to make sure that all 5 pillars of a perfect smartphone that we discussed above, are achieved. Be it Samsung for Galaxy S7 Edge, Google for Pixel, LG for G5 or V20, OnePlus for OnePlus3 or 3T and Lenovo for Moto Z. And without any second thoughts all these devices are great, the best a OEM can manufacture. All of them have an excellent display, powerful performance, great battery life, premium build and a camera that can easily replace a point and shoot camera. So if all the boxes are checked then why is there a need to pick the one best smartphone of  the year? Why couldn’t we just have 5? The reason for this is that in achieving the above set goal of 5 pillars of a perfect smartphone, 4 out of 5 manufacturers have priced their device over 40k and only one of them have priced their device just under 30k. We have been admiring this Chinese OEM since 2014, the day they announced their flagship device with then standard Snapdragon 801processor and priced that device at a cost 60% less than a premium flagship from Samsung or LG. The OEM has been killing flagships from other OEM’s for more than 2 years and made us addicted to NEVER SETTLE. Founded by Pete Lau and Carl Pei, OnePlus has been following one flagship a year model and they have been pretty successful in creating a buzz in the smartphone industry since the day they arrived. This year OnePlus announced its flagship smartphone OnePlus 3 in many countries along with India on June 15, 2016. It has been available in India unlocked invite free (finally) from the beginning. OnePlus 3 has been a value for money device with an active developer support.

This year OnePlus announced its flagship smartphone OnePlus 3 in many countries along with India on June 15, 2016. It has been available in India unlocked invite free (finally) from the beginning. OnePlus 3 has been a value for money device with an active developer support. Backed by xda-developers community with cooperation of OnePlus releasing its source-code for developers to play with. With this, OnePlus themselves are actively hearing its consumers and squashing bugs.

Few reasons which make OnePlus 3 the Smartphone of the Year:

1) Stock Android Experience

Redmi Note 3
Android works the best when in its purest form and OnePlus is trying to keep it the same. Just a little tweaks to improve upon what was left out. We still miss the Google Play Edition devices that used to exist a long ago and are now exinct. But Oxygen OS is closest one could get to Vanilla Android experience.

2) Nougat has Arrived

Nougat OnePlus 3The OnePlus 3 is backed by a strong dev support and Oxygen OS too finally maturing. We believe OnePlus 3 users will soon get an OTA for stable build running Android Nougat 7.0. OnePlus recently released its first Android 7.0 beta build for the OnePlus 3, bringing the phone up to the latest (stable) version of the Android, while also including features from OxygenOS 3.5. But currently this can only be done by sideloading the OS and OnePlus promised and OTA by end of this year and we believe OnePlus 3 users will soon get an OTA for stable build running Android Nougat 7.0.

3) 6GB RAM

OnePlus 3 has this one thing which is found very rarely on spec sheets right now. True, it is something to brag about but more RAM do helps (if used wisely). If we compare it with Pixel and Pixel XL, they do come with 4GB memory in case you wanted to know.

4) Fastest Charging Device Ever ft. Dash Charge

Dash ChargeDash charging is bae. Honestly, this should be the USP of this smartphone. OnePlus 3 is one smartphone which holds not too much battery but insanely fast charging makes up for it. One can get up to 60 percent of charge in barely 15 mins. Though fast charging is already out in other smartphones including Pixel but as of now Dash Charging is the best.

5) Optic AMOLED FHD Display

OnePlus 3
We believe if full high-definition display is made to its best quality reproduction of color gamut, maintaining its sharpness it is good enough even today. Not only this cut down costs it will save a small share of the battery too. OnePlus 3 comes with AMOLED display which we find good enough for every use case.

6) Perfect Pricing

Redmi Note 3
Google Pixel one of the most good-looking Android smartphones starts at ₹57,990. Whereas that edgy Samsung Galaxy S7 edge which is pure classic beauty is now available for roughly around 50k INR. The OnePlus 3 on the other hand flaunting its brushed metal build costs approximately half of what others are selling at ₹27,999 which makes it total value for money.

7) Gold is the New Black

Redmi Note 3
OnePlus 3 now has options. Along with Graphite option, OnePlus is now selling the OnePlus 3 in soft gold as well. This is by far one of the best implementation of Gold as a color option making it much more desirable rather than those dazzling looks which bling.

8) Dream smartphone for Flasholics

OnePlus devices have always been a priority for custom ROM lovers and dev community, falling just next to nexus devices. The bootloader of these devices from OnePlus are easy to root unlock and gaining root access is a piece of cake.  With acive XDA community and OnePlus disclosing the source code for the OP3 (camera HAL, RIL, device trees, etc.) on the very first day. OnePlus released almost as much source code as a Nexus device for the OP3, which is pretty good.

Oneplus 3 costs about half the price of conventional flagships, OnePlus delivered an experience that not only attempts to challenge its competition but actually surpasses them in a few areas.

This story involves joint efforts by Hans Gogia.

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One comment on “ION Picks : Smartphone of the year 2016
  1. Pingback: 2 months with OnePlus 3T : The more, The merrier

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