Many say that the premium smartphone segment is becoming irrelevant. With companies like OnePlus, Asus and Xiaomi ruling the roost, Samsung and all are fast losing the market. Why then, does the iPhone keep selling so much?
Granted, the Indian market doesn’t buy as many premium phones as some others, but it’s a high margin market, and you literally want every penny’s worth when spending what could be a whole month’s salary, on a phone.
After searching far and wide, from Asia to the US, we finally found our winner, and it was just in time for this issue. Most of the changes in the premium segment happened around the end of the year when all the leaks and rumours finally came true.
Over the past month, we tested every premium smartphone there is, to figure out what made the cut, and what fell short. The results weren’t surprising, but they sure are definitive. The winner for the best premium smartphone of the year is…
Zero1 Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Yes, yes, we’re just as excited about next year’s iPhone 8 as you are. But while Apple works on its iPhone decennial, this year’s iPhone 7 Plus swooped in as the winner of the premium segment. It has Apple’s first quad-core SoC for iPhones, the A10 Fusion. That, with 3GB of RAM and a 32GB memory on the basic model, makes the iPhone 7 Plus the best performer. The iPhone 7 Plus is fast, fluid and powerful. Its AnTuTu scores are about 27% ahead of the Google Pixel XL, which is the best Android phone this year.
All this is complemented by the dual-camera, which is the hero of the device. The 12MP dual-cameras combine telephoto and wide-angle lenses to produce images that are amongst the best that smartphone today can do.
The iPhone’s true power, though, is in its vertically integrated ecosystem. That’s what has won Apple awards like this one before, and it does so this year too. The Google Pixel XL can match the iPhone’s number in many respects, but it cannot produce the real-world smoothness that Apple’s top product does. It is expensive, and most of us can’t afford it, but if you have the money, this is the one to buy.
Runner Up :Apple iPhone 7
You expected the Google Pixel here, didn’t you? The truth is that barring its camera, the iPhone 7 is basically the same phone as the iPhone 7 Plus. It performs the same as its bigger brethren, and the smaller screen produces a few frames more than the 7 Plus when rendering graphics. Overall, the performance numbers are the same, and both phones score 80 on Digit’s ratings.
While the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera isn’t as great as the iPhone 7 Plus, it’s still mighty close. Oh, and another thing. The 32GB variant indeed has slower storage, but seriously, it’s not slow enough to affect anyone.
Best Buy :Moto Z
Innovative, powerful and a shot at the future of smartphones, that’s what comes to mind when discussing the Moto Z. The best modular smartphone of the year brings buttery smooth performance and a really impressive camera. All that at almost 20k less than the Google Pixel devices, or an iPhone. That makes it the best buy amongst premium smartphones.
The mods are indeed expensive, but we expect more options with time. Meanwhile, the Moto Z is still a really powerful device. The Snapdragon 820 on this one goes toe-to-toe with the best smartphones out there today.