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2 Best Premium Android Smart Phones In 2017

Smart Phone has become synonymous to daily routine. You wake up, the first thing in your hand is a smart phone. In a way they revolutionized everything we use daily. From the watch to camera. Everything is inbuilt and you only have to carry one brick instead of many. That is the comfort right? However, 2017 has been an year of design rather than hardware. Yes, there are some very significant changes made in camera and processing department but really, it has been all about aesthetic.

So, here are 2 best premium smart phones that we think can revolutionize your daily life.

We are going to compare each of these smart phones under six categories, Design and Aesthetic, Camera quality, Hardware and Performance, Price tag, Popularity and Usability.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Design and Aesthetic

This is one of the earliest phones that came into market in 2017 without bezels. It kind of set the trend for bezel less displays. However, you can argue that the chins at the top and bottom are sizeable. The curved edges on the sides are just absolute beauty. One may feel that it is uncomfortable to use or it just gets in the way of “normal” smart phone usage, but trust me it is so much better looking and we will get to the usability part later. Now, not everything is fine with this phone’s design. The placement of the unreachable fingerprint sensor was annoying to many of those who used this phone. Don’t think that you would get used to this kind of placement, it is frustrating and painful every time you stretch your finger to reach that might sensor.

One thing to gloat about it the headphone jack. It is pretty much intact while most of the smart phone vendors chose to ignore the fact that not all of its customers own a Bluetooth headset. I also like the way the phone feels too big in the hand. It is true that most of us want more screen and involving experience. S8 does just that. With the 18:5:9 aspect ratio it feels way too big and long but the immersive experience is top notch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a notch like iPhoneX does – what a shame?

The chassis of the smart phone is all metal and the glass of the screen just blends in with the rest of the body. If you have noticed, some of the smart phones especially Asus, does a very bad job at making the screen a part of the phone.

Camera Quality

We can’t really say that this is the best camera you can get in 2017. However, it does a pretty good job at taking photos. From the previous iterations of the galaxy series, S8 has come a long way in terms of low light photography and price. This has become a thing in 2017 – dual camera sensor. Well, S8 doesn’t rock any of that, but still you will get a descent shot of photo. The rear camera is 12MP which is not bad and the selfie camera is 8MP, this is impressive though. Most of us would take a selfie rather than handover our phone some stranger walking on the street to click a photo of ourselves, right? With 8MP and Samsung’s image processing techniques you can get a very great quality selfie. Some already feel that Samsung’s focus on low light mode has knocked its position in giving a better quality normal images. The phone processes your daylight photos little too much and makes them look pale. Over exposing the pictures can be a problem, but not so much that you hate the camera.

Hardware and Performance

It is an absolute beast in terms of performance. The phone feels snappy and the app launching is very fast. It either comes with snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895 chipset. You definitely can’t play high graphic games in this phone because it only gives 4 GB RAM. For the daily browsing and whatever that you possibly could do with your phone, it is just enough. There is only variant of internal memory, which is 64GB. I personally like more memory. For those of you who take lots of pictures and do most of your work on your phone, this is the best you can get. Also, you can extend the memory with the microSD card, up to 256 GB. That is just amazing. With a DPI of 570 pixels per inch, 1440 X 2960 Px screen guarantees the crisp and bright feel of a premium phone. Also the battery required to power this screen is meager with only 3000 mAh at hand. You can easily run out battery in a day. Though it depends on the usage, with a beast like S8 you at least need 4000 mAh to get you through the day.

So, what does it mean? It means, your phone will never hangup on you and you will never run out of memory while you are clicking pictures. You also get to watch 4K movies and videos seamlessly. It can run out of battery before you click more pics.

Price tag, Popularity and Usability

In India, the price starts from Rs 53,900. When this phone first came out, not many people were willing to buy it. There were mixed feeling among the customers. However, once they got used to this Phablet, owing to its humongous 5.8 inch display, everyone loves this. As per many customers, the phone was intuitive and all the applications that came with it were easy to use. Though you won’t find a much appreciated home button, you will get through this phone without much fuzz. Unapologetically, I would say this is one of the best phone you can get in 2017.

What disappoint us?

The lack of more battery power is definitely a flaw. The price tag is sore but with iris scanning, finger print sensor and state of the art hardware, you can expect this. Still the price tag is way too high for regular smart phone users. Forget about students. It does not run stock android. Samsung’s bloat ware is as annoying as it gets. For that matter any phone with bloat ware is annoying as hell. Though you can just disable the apps in the settings it still is frustrating to have a bunch of unused and unwanted apps sitting on your homepage for the first time you pick up your phone. It’s update to Oreo is awaited. We are really tired of Android 7.0!

Google Pixel XL 2

Design and Aesthetic

This is not the best design in 2017 at all. The bezels are still evident on the edges. The it encircles the screen is annoying to look at, but hey, let’s see what else this offers before we move on to next. The rear end of the phone does have an interesting texture with the portion below the camera in one color and above it with another color. That has become a thing in Pixel phones. The surface feels and looks premium. That is all where it ends in terms of design. By all means it is not the most aesthetically pleasing smart phone out there. The screen to body ratio is good but not great like iPhoneX. In one way iPhoneX did everything, that other smart phones failed to do.

The 3D rounded edges gives a good feel in the hand. The casing with texture will make sure you don’t accidentally drop your phone. One more thing which is worth talking about is the ring on the rear camera. Last time google failed to secure the glass of the camera,it was a havoc among the customers. This will make sure the camera glass stays in the spot. The side squeeze which Google borrowed from UTC, is an additional touch. Now, with a squeeze on the sides you can invoke Google assistant. The more interesting feature is that you customize the pressure on the squeeze.

The Pixel 2 XL’s casing is all metal and glass which should make it look premium and it surely does. The front facing speakers on the bezels is something unexpected but cool. Most of the smart phones houses the speakers on the bottom chin or rear of the phone, which just spoils the quality of the sound. The front facing speakers is the only reason for them to leave the bezels on the sides.

Camera Quality

Without a hint of the doubt, this camera is the best in the market. The image processing techniques are just state of the art and final image is beauty. Interestingly you get unlimited Google Photos space with Pixel. Th camera is quick to focus and the colors don’t look over saturated. They look perfect in fact. The wide apertures on the rear and the front cameras does bring in extra light to help with low light photography and the noise observed in Pixel photos is way too less. The rear camera is 12.2 MP with an aperture of f/1.8 slightly bigger than Galaxy S8 with f/1.7 and the front facing camera is 8MP with an aperture of f/2.4. Though video recording is not as good as other premium phones like iPhoneX, it still gives you descent footage. One thing Pixel doesn’t have is dual rear cameras to take portrait mode photos. The science behind portrait mode is just clicking two photos with different focus and combining them to blur the surrounding when compared to the nearest object – you. This can very well be accomplished with bokeh filter and that is what Google used in their phones. Google Lens is something you will come to love once you start using the phone. Overall, the camera performance and quality are top notch, the photos look perfect and you get lots of free cloud storage on photos. Bingo!

Hardware and Performance

The screen is QHD+, with 2,880 x 1,440 resolution. The 18:9 aspect ratio has really kicked off since Galaxy S8. The smaller version Google Pixel 2 is very similar in specs and hardware modifications but only thing that comes in between is screen size. Pixel 2 XL, comes with a 6 inch huge display and QHD while the Pixel 2 is a 5 inch display a  huge chin on top and bottom. If you are looking towards buying some what trendy phone go for 2 XL.The screen comes with a DPI of 537 pixels per inch, which we personally adore. More pixels in new Pixel 2! The smaller version does have a rocking 443 DPI, admirable but if you have budget go for XL.

It comes in two variants, 64GB and 128 GB. The RAM is 4GB, standard for 2017. It has an Octacore (Snapdragon 835) processor, which should make it faster and easier to browse. If you are multitasking in your phone, then you can surely use some extra threads offered by Octacore processors. It also comes with Bluetooth 5.0, which means you can connect two speakers at once, though the speakers can be out of sync, you can still use it in other use scenarios. IP67 water resistant, standard again.

The battery (3520 mAh) is better than some of the smart phones but it doesn’t beat the budget smart phone Moto X4 (5000 mAh). It also features something called always on display, which does suck up your battery pack but it looks cool. If you are not a fan of it, you can always turn it off in the settings.

The smart phones runs android oreo 8.0, this is pretty obvious. Also, the best thing about this phone is it has USB type C port instead of traditional micro USB.

Overall, the performance is really good and the phone responds to your touch. You won’t feel any lag while browsing or when you open multiple tabs in chrome. Since it runs on stock android, you get updates very soon than the rest of the android using world.

Price tag, Popularity and Usability

The price way too high at Rs 73,000 in India. This is not something you pay for smart phones, but it is what it is. Most of the smart phones that came out in 2017, priced around the same range and it is disappointing that not all Google lovers can afford this phone. When it came out there was quite buzz, the form factor did sway the odds in favour of Google. The multi touch screen POLED took the minds of everyone at the launch event and that is what they could talk about it for days. However the screen did have some issues with the “blue hue” when tilted side ways. Google promised that it is just a software glitch and it would fix it. Overall usability is great. Unless you are not comfortable using 6 inch screens the graphics and gestures are very intuitive since it is pure android.

What disappoints us?

There are couple things which really took us aback. The form factor is great but it can be better. The lack of headphone jack is something we don’t want in any phone. Though it released Google buds along with the phone, there are too pricy and why would anyone buy a pair of new earphones every time they buy a new phone. That is so annoying. The screen does tend to over saturate the colors and as a result when you edit the photo and post it online it ends up looking different. This is not a software problem, but Google wanted to keep the colors look natural and dull a little bit. But not all the other smart phones uses the same standards, so when you vein the same picture in others, it just kind of blows up. Other than that, there aren’t any major concerns about this phone.

technovortex verdict

If you ask us, Google Pixel 2 XL, is the best bet in premium android phones right now. Samsung Galaxy S8 does give a similar experience but not at good as Pixel. If you are looking for a cheaper option than Pixel, by all means go for S8. Finally, the decision lies with you. So, make a better use of your money!

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Sritha Bandla
A Tech Nerd, Neurotic Reader, Coffee Lover, Electronics Engineer, Writer, Web Developer, Designer.

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