The 5 Best Phones of 2017 (so far)


WhistleOut
20 April 2017

Best phones of 2017 so far

Though we're not even halfway through 2017, it's not too early to roundup our favorite phones so far this year.  

While there's been a rash of new releases this year, only two of these devices grace our list below, the rest having come out in 2016. That doesn't mean they're not still great devices for 2017. 

Keep in mind that the typically-hyped iPhone 8 may throw this list into disarray when it's finally released, though that date keeps changing. 

Here are our top phones of 2017, in no particular order, along with links to cell phone plans to pair them with: 

Samsung S8
Samsung S8

Capacities Available: 64GB
MicroSD: Supports up to 256GB 
Size/Weight: 5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches / 5.47 ounces
Colors: Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold

The Galaxy S8 ships this Friday from Samsung, big news for the throngs of people waiting patiently for this device to come out. 

Samsung knew it had to deliver something big to make people forget about the debacle that was the Galaxy Note 7. Not surprisingly, then, the S8 is a big step forward for Samsung, and smartphones in general. The AMOLED display is truly best-in-class stunning, and makes the IPhone 7's seem almost puny by comparison, despite the phones having nearly identical overall dimensions. Performance is lighting fast, driven by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chipset, and the phone's software, built on Android 7.0 Nougat, is elegant and smart. Let's not forget that the S8 is the first gigabit WiFi-ready phone on the market, despite gigabit networks not being available yet. The Galaxy S8 is a pretty future-proof phone. 


iPhone 7
iPhone 7

Capacities Available: 32GB, 128GB, 256GB
Size/Weight: 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches / 4.87 ounces
Colors: Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Red

Amidst the breathless rumors about the forthcoming iPhone 8 it's easy to overlook the 7, and just what a good device it is. 

For the 7, Apple decided to use the same general design as the 6s, with the exception of their controversial removal of the headphone jack. They also added dust and water resistance, great news for the accident-prone among us, myself included. 

The camera's been upgraded with optical image stabilization on the rear camera for better low-light photos. It's truly one of the best, if not THE best, smartphone camera on the market. Also excellent is the A10 Fusion processor, which makes for a smooth, fast experience, though the 6s is no slouch. Battery life has been improved slightly, and the speakers have been enhanced. 

If you own the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, you already know what great devices these are. If not, you may be eagerly awaiting the arrival of the iPhone 8. 

Google Pixel
Google Pixel

Capacities Available: 32GB, 128GB
Size/Weight: 5.66 x 2.74 x 0.33 inches / 5.04 ounces (Pixel)
Colors: Quite Black, Very Silver, Really Blue

Google nailed it with the Pixel, delivering a smooth performer in an attractive-looking package. 

The Pixel boasts a bright Super AMOLED display, an excellent camera and, perhaps most notably, the most intuitively designed application of the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. Google Assistant is also excellent, and has been hailed the most natural voice assistant on the market. It definitely outdoes Siri. 

A new Pixel is slated for October 2017, but until then, this is a great alternative to an Apple or Samsung device. 

LG G6
LG G6

Capacities Available: 32GB, 64GB
MicroSD: Supports up to 256GB - dual SIM
Size/Weight: 5.86 x 2.68 x 0.31 inches / 5.47 ounces
Colors: Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold

LG's G6 device is a nice update to their line of flagship phones, taking some lessons from Samsung and Apple in delivering a polished, no-nonsense performer. 

Much has been made of LG's use of the Snapdragon 821 chipset over the newer and more powerful 835 chipset; apparently, Samsung used its pull to ensure that the 835 wouldn't be made available in phones before the S8 came out. However, just as the Pixel uses the 821 to aplomb, so does the G6, and it's more than fast enough for all of your usual tasks. The dual cameras are great, capable of taking beautiful wide-screen photos and videos; the display is a thing of beauty, nearly spanning the entire face, perfect for displaying said photos; and the waterproof design reduces worry about potential destruction. All-in-all, a great phone. 

Motorola Moto Z Force Droid
Motorola Moto Z Force Droid

Capacities Available: 32GB, 64GB
MicroSD: Supports up to 256GB
Size/Weight: 6.14 x 2.98 x 0.28 inches / 5.75 ounces
Colors: Black/Gray, Black/Rose Gold, Black/Gold, White

Motorola's Moto Z Force Droid is exclusive to Verizon. If you don't currently have service with Verizon or don't plan on making the switch to them, then this option is obviously not for you. 

If, on the other hand, you are with (or plan on going to) America's largest carrier and are in the market for a new phone, you could do a whole lot worse than the Moto Z Force. The phone boasts fast performance on the back of a Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM, an elegant design, a shatterproof screen, and compatibility with MotoMods, which are add-ons like back plates, speakers, battery boosters, and more. The phone's also water resistant. 

The only bummer is the Droid's lack of a headphone jack, but there are plenty of other features that compensate for this. 


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