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The Best Smartphones of 2016 at Any Price: Pocketnow Editors Vote!

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Our last major list wrapping up 2016, it's time to rank the top phones of the year. This task was too large for just Juan and Jaime, so we reached out to the whole Pocketnow Editorial team with a secret ballot. The results are in. Here are the team's top picks for entry level phones, mid-rangers, and premium flagships!

Top 5 Smartphone Cameras of 2016
Top 5 Audio Phones of 2016

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102 COMMENTS

K_Q_ J_H - posted on December 29, 2016 7:04 am

I CANNOT BELIEVE THE PIXEL BEAT THE S7 AND 7 PLUS. WTF.

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r3load - posted on December 29, 2016 7:39 am

the pixel is much much better than the s7…. the software in the s7 is complete garbage…. ios is also garbage but but at least its smooth

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K_Q_ J_H - posted on December 29, 2016 7:43 am

+Vanneker it’s made of metal *

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Braxton Meyer - posted on December 29, 2016 7:45 am

Then I present to you: Note 7

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Corey Watford - posted on December 29, 2016 7:51 am

I even own a Pixel, and I disagree

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SuperJosch13 - posted on December 29, 2016 7:06 am

Not that surprising actually. The most feature-packed device on the market with great performance is the v20!

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PLAYER SLAYER - posted on December 29, 2016 11:57 am

+Big Mo 1. Camera is awesome in auto mode, and can be _enhanced_ using manual controls. 2. Battery can easily last a full day, unless you’re talking the processor (along with basically every other phone ever). 3. the G5’s modularity had not been improved since it’s release, and the modules it brought were very pointless. 4. Design beauty is subjective, not factual

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PLAYER SLAYER - posted on December 29, 2016 12:04 pm

+Big Mo Just wait till the V30 😉

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Big Mo - posted on December 29, 2016 12:14 pm

PLAYER SLAYER the auto camera sucks especially for the average user who wouldn’t know how to use the manual controls, the battery is probably the worst out of every flagship with a display of 5.5 inches and higher, and not having modularity is a negative factor knowing that the company would rather quit on a project all together rather than taking criticism and improving the negative qualities. Also design may be subjective but most will agree that the V20 is on the uglier side of the spectrum especially when comparing it to other handsets released this year

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PLAYER SLAYER - posted on December 29, 2016 12:37 pm

+Big Mo Did you know that the LG G4 was rated by multiple outlets as the best camera of last year? The V20 has an upgraded version of the same sensor. I’ve also seen a full auto blind shoot-out test, where the G5 was put against the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7, where you could vote on whichever pictures you thought looked the best. On a follow-up article, it was revealed which photos came from which phone, and the G5 was overwhelmingly chosen as the better snapper by the voters. The V20 has the same camera(s) as the G5, pricing that is camera is great. There is nothing wrong with doing a product. The main reasons LG dropped support for modularity on the V20, was 1. People complained about the gap in between the batter holder on the bottom of the phone, and the phone itself (which they fixed by making the whole back cover come off on the V20). 2. Those ‘friends’ were wildly unpopular among G5 users, so it only makes sense to do them. 3. The V20 is much bigger than the G5, making it impossible to make modules that fit on the G5, fit on the V20. And the V20 may not be the prettiest phone of the year, subjectively speaking, but the V line of phones were never meant to be all that pretty. The V10 was made to feel study, and be durable, and the V20 keeps the same idea, but it is marginally better looking than its predecessor.

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Abr3200 - posted on December 29, 2016 11:57 pm

Ugly? Actually I love it and It’s my first LG since 2005 I had the S2, S4, Note 4 And I decide to switch for something different and man, I have no regrets

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Michael Pineda - posted on December 29, 2016 7:10 am

Samsung galaxy S7 Edge user here, anyone?

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Aiden Pierce - posted on December 29, 2016 5:25 pm

yes s7 edge

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Robert Granger - posted on December 30, 2016 8:20 am

Michael Pineda nice dude

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Videoscord - posted on January 6, 2017 1:52 am

Michael Pineda yes S7 edge

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Dippu Chaudhary - posted on January 10, 2017 10:03 pm

Michael Pineda i dont have S7 EDGE
but i have S7 .

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Ken Lin - posted on January 13, 2017 8:08 pm

S7edge here in Black Onyx! Best smartphone of 2016 supposed to be Samsung Galaxy S7edge! best camera, best design, best display, highest water resistant level, super useful and eye catching always on display function! No Comparison!

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IamNOTyourFather - posted on December 29, 2016 7:16 am

PIXEL is good enough but over Galaxy S7 edge? No. just No. And V20? lol.

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Shadow FlyerYT - posted on December 30, 2016 6:47 am

IamNOTyourFather Nigelluss has a point. Your calling people unprofessional because they disagree with you

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Nigellus Ramoz - posted on December 30, 2016 6:52 am

Shadow FlyerYT he even deleted his previous comment because he obviously is wrong, now he’s calling me butthurt, when clearly he’s the one being butthurt by this video.
Can’t argue with kids nowadays

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Monty Dizon - posted on December 30, 2016 1:14 pm

IamNOTyourFather Owned

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Matthew Jardine - posted on December 29, 2016 7:26 am

While I totally agree with the ranking here as a technology enthusiast, I must say that the average consumer would probably be better suited by the 2nd and tied 3rd offerings. The V20 is a beast of a phone, but can be intimidating to many regular people.

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Lycosa - posted on December 29, 2016 7:41 am

Yes they described in the 3RD place those two are awesome for basic people

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jonah travisano - posted on December 29, 2016 9:10 am

GT really…I have found a lot of those under 30 to just want an iPhone and not willing to explore new ideas or phones.

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Matthew Jardine - posted on December 29, 2016 9:11 am

+jonah travisano Yes, there certainly is that demographic as well.

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Tyler Barron - posted on December 29, 2016 10:07 am

Matthew Jardine he literally said that in the video

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Tareef zinedi - posted on December 31, 2016 9:08 am

Maybe so; however, my mom loves it.

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Orlando Camacho - posted on December 29, 2016 7:33 am

Thank God the V20 is getting some recognition!! I’ve always loved Pocketnow and I love my V20. It’s so underrated. Smart pick!

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Q Q - posted on December 29, 2016 5:45 pm

I have the S7 and I’m satisfied with the device but I think that the V20 is a great smartphone.

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Robert Granger - posted on December 30, 2016 8:20 am

Orlando Camacho Nice dude

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Monty Dizon - posted on December 30, 2016 1:13 pm

Orlando Camacho Totally agree!

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Doxy - posted on December 31, 2016 9:30 am

Orlando Camacho much like the G5. got a lot of hate for no reason

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Akarsh jain - posted on December 29, 2016 7:40 am

Who else knew that V20 will be first?

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Zach Young - posted on December 29, 2016 10:58 pm

Akarsh jain me I have one…… probably the best choice I’ve made this year.

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Robert Granger - posted on December 30, 2016 8:20 am

Akarsh jain nice dude

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EdvisKing - posted on December 30, 2016 11:00 am

+Bad Omen well, just because this phone has one of the best cameras, and im not sure, why people are so crazy about camera… increase is minimal every year and not really noticable and still even decreases in some cases, but people still goes crazy lol. For me, price, performance and software is number 1. Second thing is hardware and third one – design. And everything else goes after this.

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Rick Dias - posted on January 10, 2017 8:25 pm

Akarsh jain I had a feeling. I bought it and its a beast.

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L.A.S 1 - posted on February 15, 2017 8:20 pm

Me to

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Mohd Iqbal Salemi - posted on December 29, 2016 7:42 am

i agree with no 1. V20 has incredible feats!

not sure why it is so underrated.

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- BWP - - posted on December 29, 2016 8:02 am

Mohd Iqbal Salemi Users don’t just want lots of features. They want good design aesthetics, which I think the V20 fails to provide. It’s a good phone, but it is ugly compered to the S7 edge. I hope LG learn their lesson just like Samsung did a few years ago and go for a more refined design next time.

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JuanBagnell - posted on December 29, 2016 11:52 am

It’s a tough argument. People say they want pretty phones, but then we see so many ugly cases, so where’s the advantage in an all glass slippery phone? “Boy I sure love what my phone looks like under this bumper!”
If we’re talking LG, I think they’re response to the G4 was delayed and poor, they spent too much on advertising the features of the G5 we never got to use, and they under advertised the V20 missing a huge opportunity to compete against Samsung. The entire launch of the V20 was miserable. Doesn’t change that it’s a beast of a phone which impresses everyone I show it too. Just too few people really know what it brings to the table.

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- BWP - - posted on December 29, 2016 12:00 pm

Meh, dunno, there’s a reason I still love my 3 years old Nexus 5 and not going to be getting a new phone for another year at least.

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César LM - posted on December 29, 2016 3:10 pm

Mohd Iqbal Salemi its problem is that LG used a patetic marketing to present it to the world, unforgivable mistake in these days.

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Adam Mckeithan - posted on December 29, 2016 7:46 am

Calling it now 2017 Best phone the LG V30

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Jack20 - posted on December 29, 2016 2:16 pm

I’m calling the iPhone 8

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alexdiezg - posted on December 29, 2016 6:11 pm

Adam Mckeithan I’m calling it the Samsung Galaxy S8

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Adam Mckeithan - posted on December 29, 2016 7:19 pm

+alexdiezg good joke

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alexdiezg - posted on December 30, 2016 2:47 am

+Adam Mckeithan yours as well

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James Kim - posted on December 31, 2016 12:50 am

I’m calling it on the next nokia. Yall already know I’m 100% right.

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Olddirtytiger - posted on December 29, 2016 8:16 am

love the HTC10 surprised it weren’t there

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JuanBagnell - posted on December 29, 2016 11:42 am

It scored well, just not enough to crack the top three.

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MarioPL - posted on December 29, 2016 6:08 pm

Me too, love my 10.

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MrNoobieNoobish - posted on December 29, 2016 8:29 am

The honor 5X is from 2015

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MrTheKrafter - posted on December 29, 2016 6:17 pm

Your name fits you well.

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f266101463 - posted on December 29, 2016 11:28 pm

isn’t there a new 5x?

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Robert Granger - posted on December 30, 2016 8:19 am

MrNoobieNoobish nice dude

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Tod 1 - posted on January 23, 2017 10:52 pm

f266101463 6x

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Asmma Alzahrani - posted on February 3, 2017 8:59 am

MrNoobieNoobish

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Ojaswin Singh Josan - posted on December 29, 2016 9:27 am

Finally some love for the V20 <3

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JuanBagnell - posted on December 29, 2016 10:58 am

LOL we’re getting savaged in the comments 😀

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Ojaswin Singh Josan - posted on December 29, 2016 5:30 pm

Well, it certainly doesn’t include the people who understand the reasons for picking the V20 😉

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nikolokendo - posted on December 29, 2016 9:37 am

Google Pixel better than S7 or iPhone ?? With no waterproof. No stereo speaker. No wireless charging. No expandable storage. A dull and uninspired design (including a huge fucking chin on the bottom). You know, things that you kind of expect at that price point.

I mean, come on, it’s a good phone, but its no better than the Galaxy S7 or the iPhone, even considering all the great phones with almost equal battery life, screen, and performance over the year for a LOT less money.

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Jack20 - posted on December 29, 2016 2:01 pm

The S7 does

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Dick B. - posted on December 29, 2016 8:35 pm

nikolokendo – you are correct. Google needs to step up with the Pixel 2 to justify the flagship price. Current Pixels are over-priced by at least $150.

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Dick B. - posted on January 31, 2017 7:00 am

Ivan Rivas – I hope Google does better, but I think they have lost me to ZTE, assuming the bootloader can be unlocked, or OnePlus.

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Dhiraj Uchil - posted on December 29, 2016 9:48 am

V20 is the most underrated phone of the year

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JuanBagnell - posted on December 29, 2016 10:51 am

Agree 🙂

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Jack20 - posted on December 29, 2016 2:01 pm

agreed

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Iqbal Hassan - posted on December 29, 2016 9:58 am

if note 7 was to stay LG v20 would have never been here!

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Iqbal Hassan - posted on December 30, 2016 5:23 am

NoName 69 it disappeared after i reported…you tube knows people like you! ✌

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robertlsy - posted on December 30, 2016 8:41 am

agree ,note 7 with all round winner. too bad it’s was a battery issues

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Michael Chapman - posted on December 30, 2016 10:07 am

I would have agreed with you until I was forced to trade the Note 7 for another phone. I did not want 7 month old technology on the S7 Edge, so I opted for the LG V20. To my amazement, overall this is a better phone experience than the Note 7. I may never buy another Samsung phone. There are good reasons that PocketNow picked the V20. It is an incredible phone.

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Monty Dizon - posted on December 30, 2016 1:15 pm

Fiddle Stick Shoulda woulda coulda but didn’t

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Geometry Dash AngryBoy0644 - posted on December 31, 2016 9:22 am

Fiddle Stick it would have been in second place xd

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Mayank Gupta - posted on December 29, 2016 10:01 am

After watching number 3 & 2..its easier to guess #1

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JuanBagnell - posted on December 29, 2016 10:46 am

Process of elimination LOL.

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Bruce Lee Roy - posted on December 29, 2016 12:10 pm

Mayank Gupta I thought it would go to pixel xl

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Luka Gnidovec - posted on December 29, 2016 1:42 pm

Mayank Gupta Hey! Do you think that the P9 is worth it compared to honor 8 (100€ price difference)

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Mayank Gupta - posted on January 1, 2017 1:15 pm

Luka Gnidovec wasn’t the whole segment wss divided in 150$ price segment so if they compare premium iPhone costs 1000$ here and lg v2 like 850$(my country) but aren’t bith in Premium segment but I still believe if Note 7 was alive..imo it wss best phone of they year

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Anunay Sharma - posted on December 29, 2016 10:03 am

My rankings-

*For Flagship- ($500/INR33000+)*
(1) Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
(2) iPhone 7+
(3) Google Pixel/ LG V20

*Mid range category- ($220-$500/INR15000-INR33000)*
(1) OnePlus 3T/ Oneplus 3
(2) ZTE Axon 7
(3) Xiaomi Mi 5s

*Budget Category- ($XX – $220/INR XXXX – INR15000)*
(1) Xiaomi Redmi Note 3
(2) Moto G4 Plus
(3) Huawei Honor 5C

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Jack20 - posted on December 29, 2016 1:58 pm

The Redmi Note 3 sucks

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José Andrés Montero Rojas - posted on December 29, 2016 4:11 pm

How does it suck?

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Abdessalam Abouriah - posted on December 29, 2016 5:34 pm

Anunay Sharma i agree with you

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Adan el Alacrán - posted on December 29, 2016 9:29 pm

I’m sorry but Samsung Galaxy S7 has much to improve. It has the best looks though!

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Jaguar Paw - posted on January 19, 2017 10:16 am

do you all of have the phones you mentioned?

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Seaborn gonsalves - posted on December 29, 2016 11:41 am

But the mate 9 beats the iPhone 7 plus in your comparison and it didn’t get a place and the iPhone did?Why all the reviewers have to bring iPhones in the list when it doesn’t deserve the place🤔(my opinion)no offense

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shane atherley - posted on December 30, 2016 4:48 pm

and here i was saying the number 1 had to be the mate 9 after seeing the s7 edge and the iphone 7 plus come third

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Phillip Morales - posted on December 31, 2016 1:58 am

JuanBagnell that makes complete sense, I’m EXTREMELY surprised the Mate 9 didn’t make it in the Flagship category

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Giacomo - posted on January 10, 2017 5:29 pm

in your personal opinion does the mate 9 rank above the iPhone/ galaxy/ pixel options?

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JuanBagnell - posted on January 10, 2017 5:34 pm

+Giacomo my top three for points went to the V20, Mate 9, and GS7E in that order.

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Giacomo - posted on January 10, 2017 5:35 pm

+JuanBagnell thanks!

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Sheikh Suleiman - posted on December 29, 2016 4:42 pm

best flagship (500+)
1. s7 edge
2. i7 plus
3. pixel xl

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Emad Ahmed - posted on December 29, 2016 5:05 pm

Sheikh Suleman For most people and certainly my favorites.

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Sheikh Suleiman - posted on December 29, 2016 5:15 pm

Emad Ahmed so u agree?

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Emad Ahmed - posted on December 29, 2016 5:18 pm

+Sheikh Suleman I agree but only because these are also my personal favorites and what I consider to be the best just like you. But this list would be different for different people. These are the top contenders market wise though.

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Sheikh Suleiman - posted on December 29, 2016 5:26 pm

Emad Ahmed yeah thats true

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Elias Jr Martinez - posted on January 30, 2017 9:51 pm

The One Plus 3T has only Fll HD Display why?

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Elias Jr Martinez - posted on January 31, 2017 2:25 am

Stop? I am buying the Axon it has 2k display and dual estereo speakers, 1080 I can notice the litte lines which I dont like it, but with Ultra HD Display I can’t notice that.

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Ivan Rivas - posted on January 31, 2017 2:27 am

+Elias Jr Martinez that’s nice but I tell you the truth, it looks great, not that I’m going to argue in fact go buy the axon it’s great but the software leaves a bit to be desired as far as some people opinions go.

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Elias Jr Martinez - posted on January 31, 2017 2:41 pm

updates bro. and what do you really mean when saying Software? what is the problem?

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Ivan Rivas - posted on January 31, 2017 3:30 pm

+Elias Jr Martinez some not as good features that overall feel rushed, the UI also isn’t as great and performance across could be better

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Elias Jr Martinez - posted on January 31, 2017 6:02 pm

+Ivan Rivas
If the 1plus3T had 2k screen that would change definitely my choices. Now days I would use something higher than FullHd for current smarthphones.

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