#6:. Apple iPhone SE
At first glance you might be tempted to say that the iPhone SE fails to bring anything new in the design stakes. That’s true, this is a recycled design, but it’s a high quality design, once the preserve of the top-tier iPhone. Glass meets metal in a device that’s now carrying some retro charm, and still has plenty of fans.
Fulfilling the requirements of those looking for a smaller iPhone – and replacing the iPhone 5S – this iPhone is about as budget as Apple is going. The iPhone SE punches into the mid-range or sub flagship tier of Android, but the only thing mid-range about this phone is the display size.
The iPhone SE has all the power of the iPhone 6S, giving you speed and power that smaller phones often fail to give you. That’s what really brings the iPhone SE into contention: it might be a smaller handset, it might be an older design, but it’s a full-bore iPhone experience.
That’s pared with an excellent camera experience, offering the consistency you expect from Apple. The front camera is a little lacking, but the core experience is what matters here. With smaller smartphones not getting much love recently, the iPhone SE is a breath of fresh air.
- OS:iOS 9.3
- Screen size: 4.0 inches
- Resolution: 640 x 1136 pixels
- Memory: 2GB
- Storage: 16/64GB
- Battery: 1624 mAh
- Rear camera: 12MP
- Front camera: Yes
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OnePlus has consistently pitched its devices as “flagship killers”, offering great specs for a low price point. Its latest handset saw a slightly more subdued launch, but the OnePlus 3 is one of the best smartphones on the market this year, especially at its £309 price point.
As with its predecessors, the OnePlus 3 offers incredible value for money. It has many of the same features and specifications as smartphones twice its price and there is a lot to be said for that.
The all-metal finish of the third generation flagship killer is sleek and sturdy, making it feel like a genuinely premium device that is a far cry from the plastic-backed OnePlus devices that have come before it.
The display is fantastic too, even if it isn’t Quad HD resolution like many of its competitors.
- OS: Android 5.1.1
- Screen size: 5-inch
- Resolution: 720 x 1080
- Memory: 1GB/2GB
- Storage: 16GB
- Battery: 2,200mAh
- Rear camera: 8MP
- Front camera: 2MP
#4:. HTC 10
The HTC 10 marks a return to form for HTC. Leaving no stone unturned, the HTC 10 addresses many of the criticisms of the HTC One M9, focusing on the things that matter in a smartphone, and ditching many of the distractions.
The HTC 10 is built to the high quality standard you expect from HTC, and it’s executed with aplomb. But this isn’t a showy handset, it’s a handset that solid and serious, and that’s a good thing.
There’s an increase to 5.2-inches on the display, this time packing a Quad HD resolution, and power comes from the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset, with 4GB of RAM. There’s also microSD for storage expansion.
But the real interest will be in the camera. Taking no chances, there’s a 12-megapixel rear camera with large pixels to absorb more light, along with optical image stabilisation. The front camera also offers OIS and autofocus, a rare thing indeed and giving great photos.
The result is power, performance, great design and camera performance, held together with fuss-free software that’s slick, fast and free from bloat. The battery life isn’t the best and the display could be better, but there’s no doubting that BoomSound Hi-Fi is the best in the business.
- OS: Android OS, v6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
- Screen size:5.2 inches
- Resolution: 1440 x 2560 pixels
- Memory: 4GB
- Storage: 32/64GB
- Battery: 3000 mAh
- Rear camera: 12MP
- Front camera: Yes