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Best smartphones of MWC 2016: PhoneArena Awards

Best smartphones of MWC 2016: PhoneArena Awards

And just like that, another Mobile World Congress is behind us. We had an amazing time checking out the latest innovations in technology – from smartphones, tablets, and wearables to talking human-like robots, virtual reality headsets, and blazing-fast 5G networks. We had a blast witnessing the announcements of the latest products by Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, and many other companies. We enjoyed snacking on home-made tapas and sipping on locally brewed beer. But now it is time to pack our bags and head home. Indeed, time flies when you're having fun. 

Before we board our flight, however, we think there's one more thing we should do. We feel obliged to highlight the best smartphone we saw at MWC 2016. And if you've been following our coverage, you might not be surprised by our top pick. 

Best smartphones of MWC 2016: Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge


Best smartphones of MWC 2016: PhoneArena Awards
The Samsung Galaxy S6 was already a really good smartphone. So were the Galaxy S6 edge and S6 edge+. This is why Samsung didn't need to deliver anything radically new with the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. It just had to polish its flagship phone and its counterparts a bit further. And so Samsung did.

On the outside, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge look more or less identical to last year's models. Dig a little further, however, and you'll see how they bring a number of meaningful, practical improvements to Samsung's formula. The two new phones sport better cameras, faster processors, IP68 dust and water resistance, and expandable storage. And all of that in a sleek, stylish body. Sure, the phones are a bit thicker and heavier than their predecessors, but we don't mind that at all, knowing that the two pack bigger batteries and their cameras don't stick out as much. Besides, that new Always On Display feature is kind of neat.

So yeah, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are looking like top-of-the-line Android phones, and we can't wait to give them the full-on review treatment. This is likely to happen very, very soon, as Samsung will be launching them as early as March 11.


First runner-up: LG G5


Best smartphones of MWC 2016: PhoneArena Awards
Few were the phones at MWC that drew as much attention as the LG G5. Many were curious to see its unorthodox, Modular Design in action and to experience its wide-angle, 135-degree secondary camera. Indeed, LG's new Modular Design concept might hold great potential, Although we're not entirely convinced, having tested the modules and accessories made for the LG G5 at the MWC show floor – the camera grip and external audio DAC by B&O being among them. Still, being able to expand the functionality of a smartphone, all while retaining the removable battery and storage expansion, sounds great to us!

As for the wide-angle camera we just mentioned, it is actually something we can see ourselves using – when shooting in tight spaces or when taking photos of grandiose pieces of architecture, for example. And when we don't need the wide-angle feature, the high-quality main camera stands at our disposal. 


Second runner-up: Sony Xperia X Performance


Best smartphones of MWC 2016: PhoneArena Awards
Who doesn't like a pleasant surprise? One came from Sony at Mobile World Congress – the company announced its brand new X-series of smartphones. And the best device in the lineup is the Sony Xperia X Performance, which is shaping up as a great smartphone overall. 

One of the phone's highlights is the latest Qualcomm SoC beating inside it – the Snapdragon 820. Then there's the 23MP camera, featuring Sony's latest – and supposedly really fast – autofocus technique. All of this, along with a 5-inch screen, a 13MP front camera, and expandable storage slot, are housed in a stylish, metal-made body with a traditional Sony feel to it.

All in all, the Sony Xperia X Performance could be a great all-around device – a smartphone made to deliver a no-nonsense smartphone experience, with none of the bells and whistles found on competing devices. Whether that's the case, however, will be known in a few months, when the Xperia X Performance hits the shelves.

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posted on 26 Feb 2016, 13:18 12

1. Skimshaddy (Posts: 32; Member since: 23 Feb 2016)


Awesome!

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 09:51 2

56. Tanujtiwari (Posts: 76; Member since: 18 Mar 2015)


Seriously? There is nothing G5 can't do what S7 can!
Such stupidity phonearena, such stupidity. That G5 can do anything...except bribing this website ofc

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 10:35 7

57. Shocky (Posts: 2119; Member since: 16 May 2012)


Water/dust resistance? wireless charging? low light camera? large battery?

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 10:43 1

59. Tanujtiwari (Posts: 76; Member since: 18 Mar 2015)


Sure. Care to take the blindfold off and see what LG offers? BEST USER EXPERIENCE. BEST ALL ROUND LASER AF CAMERA. UM, A NON FINGERPRINT MAGNET BACK :P I don't even have to talk of pricing, 1 tb SD card support and removable battery. BAM

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 19:51 1

63. DerryAhmad (Posts: 271; Member since: 05 May 2012)


- Best User experience? Subjective. As much as many don't like Touchwiz, the LG's skin were more critized than Sammy's skin
- Best Allround Auto Focus? S7/Edge Autofocus with its Dual Pixel tech was praised as the best one coming out of the MWC 2016
- Fingerprint Magnet Back? Sure. But it's not as Flashy as the Silver/Gold S7/Edge. Many thinks the G5 are ugly. My point, design is subjective.
- 1 Tb SD Card: Even S7/Ege supports that too. Good luck finding one though.
- Removable Battery: Yes. This is the most obvious advantage the G5 has over the S7/Edge. It's modular design is very interesting. But one can also argue the longevity of it. Not to mentioned dust getting inside.
- Dual Camera: the dual camera is very intriguing. It's wide cam surely helpful in scenery or group photos. Quality wise, we have to wait for the review.

Objectively, The S7/Edge has the 'edge' over the G5 on:
- Bigger Battery. Especially the S7 Edge with a whopping 3600 mAh
- Water/Dust Resistant.
- Wireless Charging
- Edge UX (for S7 Edge)- now it become very useful, with lots of options.
- Brighter Camera.
- Gaming Experience. With Vulcan API and Game launcher (for recording, screenshot and uninterrupted gaming experience)
- Liquid cooling system.
- Display. This one is a little subjective. But the S7/Edge Display is brighter than the G5. Also, Displaymate crowned the S7/Edge Display as the best mobile phone display.

posted on 28 Feb 2016, 11:46

64. RuneMaster (Posts: 75; Member since: 31 May 2015)


It's your opinion. And people has their own opinion also. So, bear with it.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 02:55

66. TheGranter (Posts: 41; Member since: 28 Jan 2016)


the lg g5 not being water resistant is reason enough not to get it for me.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 13:22 22

2. Silkrays (Posts: 6; Member since: 19 Feb 2016)


Samsung is winning everywhere now.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:53 2

17. marorun (Posts: 2921; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


So Mr Silk making alternate account to sound like Samsung fan are more numerous?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 16:08 2

28. KONICHIWA-ANNYONG (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2016)


So... Samsung fan = robot?
Typical anti-Samsung attitude.

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 04:22

51. chenski (Posts: 331; Member since: 22 Mar 2015)


Really? This was the only mwc award article it won...

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 10:37 2

58. Shocky (Posts: 2119; Member since: 16 May 2012)


marorun is a self confessed Samsung hater.

If the topic is anything to do with Samsung just pay no attention to him

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 13:36 4

3. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 773; Member since: 11 May 2013)


The Xperia Z design is better than xperia P, the brushed aluminum design looks so dated!
They could have just brought again the design from sony xperia Arc S

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 13:36 15

4. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 214; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)


Why the fuk the LG G5 is a runner up?!

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 13:42 19

5. JMartin22 (Posts: 1889; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)


Because there's nothing standout about it besides a removable battery. All its improvements were lukewarm compared to the generational shift from the S6 to the S7

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:24 23

9. BobbyDigital (Posts: 1821; Member since: 29 May 2014)


But you think something stands out about the S7/S7edge?? They're basically just an incremental update from the previous model. Nothing stand out about them. I think you need to revisit MWC because it's the S7/S7edge that had lukewarm imorovements.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 16:23 11

32. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1117; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


The G5 has a different way to remove battery and an uglier design... Yeh I think I prefer a bigger battery, better camera, better design and water proof.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 18:02 3

34. BobbyDigital (Posts: 1821; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Ugly is subjective. What's ugly to you isn't ugly to others. You really should get used to people not sharing your opinion.

Better camera?? Lmao!! Very much doubt that. Better design is also subjective. And I'm not dumb enough to use my phone in the shower or rain or drop it down the toilet so water proof is a pretty much useless feature for me.

I'll take innovation over me too, same old same old any day.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 23:05 1

45. kartik.07 (Posts: 11; Member since: 04 May 2015)


Comparatively to S7 edge its ugly and s7 edge have best camera, best screen, faster cpu nd gpu new vulkan api and a higher capacity battery only thing g5 have is new way toh remove battery and this post is about best smartphone and not about innovation

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 14:18 2

61. BobbyDigital (Posts: 1821; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Thanks for admitting Samsung didn't innovate. ;-)

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 19:54 1

37. John-Knotts (Posts: 52; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


And yet they won anyway... :)

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 20:00

38. John-Knotts (Posts: 52; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Did you even read the article? They didn't need to innovate after already doing it last year. I'm impressed that they didn't need a bunch of new gimmicks (that no one is going to care about) to win.

To me that says whatever they are doing, they are excelling at. :)

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 21:49 6

42. BobbyDigital (Posts: 1821; Member since: 29 May 2014)


Not at MWC they didn't. LG won those awards. Same thing on other sites as well. Everyone knows PA is iPhonearena on some days and Samsungarena on others.

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 10:45

60. Shocky (Posts: 2119; Member since: 16 May 2012)


Considering they almost nailed it with the Galaxy S6/Edge it terms of design last year an incremental update is more than enough to see off the competition from LG.

They've also brought back water/dust resistance with with no annoying flaps, the sdcard slot, wireless charging is still built-in, low light performance is much better and they made it slight thicker to squeeze in a larger battery which we can all appreciate.

Just admit it, the Galaxy S7 is great phone.

The LG G5 has two new features, that's all. The dual camera setup and and modules.

I haven't seen any evidence these bring anything worthwhile to the table yet, they're gimmicks which smart people users will see through them.

Also the LG G5 is one ugly phone, the camera module is the most pointless thing I've ever seen and it makes it look even worse.

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 14:24 2

62. BobbyDigital (Posts: 1821; Member since: 29 May 2014)


It's a great phone... *To you*. Everyone doesn't nor do they have to share in your opinion. It's nothing more than an incremental update. Samesung has copied Apple's model to a "T".

Samsung has brought nothing new to the table here. It's literally the same phone with a few "updates". But you Samsung fanboys see it as the second coming of Jesus. You're worse than Apple fanboys.

Like I said... Looks are subjective. But again, you Samesung fanboys think because *you* like it, everyone should. It looks plain to me. Same thing as the S6 and S6edge. We've seen it all before.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:52

15. sobit81 (Posts: 32; Member since: 18 Apr 2015)


You are out of this world!!!!!

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:54 7

18. marorun (Posts: 2921; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


He is tottaly right the S7 edge nothing stand out.
Same screen.
Same design.

Only better hardware and better camera.
Nothing innovative.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 15:32 10

23. joeytaylor (Posts: 386; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Not the same screen.
not the same design.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 16:21 1

31. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1117; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


While the G5 just has a different way to remove battery?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 13:56 10

6. DoggyDangerous (Posts: 757; Member since: 28 Aug 2015)


Originally G5 won the best device of MWC 2016 award from GSM Association(the organizer of MWC). Rating of PA doesnt matter. G5 already won the show.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:16 12

8. KillTheKardashians (banned) (Posts: 93; Member since: 19 Feb 2016)


mimimimi LG mimimi i´m braveheart mimimi best phone mimimimi i have small testicles mimimi my life is so lame mimimi

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:52 6

14. marorun (Posts: 2921; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Say the lame troll with a brand new account.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 16:01

26. DoggyDangerous (Posts: 757; Member since: 28 Aug 2015)


You have small testicles? thats bad, poor guy. Plz consult some doctor instead of doing mimimi here. Plz dont do that again, It sounds like one of those small testicle stuck in your throat.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:52 4

16. marorun (Posts: 2921; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Agreed.

PA did not even listen to its reader thats also choosen the G5 as winner.
This show how biased PA can be sometime.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 15:13 1

22. HouTexan (Posts: 431; Member since: 08 Jan 2012)


You actually trust PA polls? Everyone knows that anything Samsung or Apple will have people shooting dor other brands in these polls. Come with a different argument next time.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 23:15

46. DarkVader777 (Posts: 36; Member since: 10 Feb 2016)


Why is Lg G5 even mentioned. Who wrote this article Steve Harvey?

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 00:54

65. JumpinJackROMFlash (Posts: 430; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


Because the G5 is an ugly piece of s**t from a second tier phone maker always second to Samsung.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:09 8

7. GhostRider (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Dec 2012)


Where's the HP Elite X3? The phone is IP67 water-resistant, has dual front facing Bang & Olufsen speakers, has Windows Continuum and has a laptop shell that can connect to the phone wirelessly, has a MicroSD card slot for up to 2TB additional storage, has a 4150 mAh battery, the same Snapdragon 820 as the rest of these, and has an iris and fingerprint scanner. How is such a beast of a phone not on this list? It's definitely better than the Xperia X Performance, and even the G5.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:25

10. KillTheKardashians (banned) (Posts: 93; Member since: 19 Feb 2016)


Because Windows & Plastic

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 05:41

52. dr_fajardo12 (Posts: 118; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


phone arena = wp hater. or maybe phonearena = ms hater

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:26 6

11. meanestgenius (Posts: 9296; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I was just going to comment something similar. The HP Elite X3 was the best (TO ME) smartphone of MWC. As you said, it's a BEAST. At the very least, it should have been somewhere on this list.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:31 6

12. GTNavy (Posts: 44; Member since: 13 Oct 2014)


This is a anti-Windows website. They are punishing Microsoft for their monopolistic past by embracing a new monopoly. The HP Elite x3 had just as equal specs and superior features even. Everything and the kitchen sink. This whole site really disgusts me.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:55 5

19. marorun (Posts: 2921; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


Yeah the Elite X3 really looked like a winner as well.
But i agree with some comment the design of the phone was nothing special.

Still its should be top 3 much more than the S7 thats bring nothing new really..

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 15:01 2

20. Landon (Posts: 375; Member since: 07 May 2015)


Dang. This phone is pretty impressive!

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 15:12 2

21. jellmoo (Posts: 1464; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


I really like the device as well, but we have to be honest, it's a niche device. The G5 and S7 are the better mass market devices and will better suit *most* people. The Elite x3 nails the productivity market very well, but it is a niche sector.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 21:00

40. jkyap (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Feb 2016)


OF COURSE IT IS NOT ON THE LIST SIMPLY BECAUSE IT DOESNT HAVE THE OUTSTANDING CAMERAS OF THE BIG PLAYERS, AND AN EXQUISITE DESIGN. it is not excellent OVERALL, in short. camera and design are the two most important aspects nowadays, because they are probably something that just cant easily be made and something that can make you happy to brag about.

posted on 27 Feb 2016, 00:28 2

48. jellmoo (Posts: 1464; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Two points: 1) How on earth do you know that it does not in fact have an outstanding camera? 2) Are you under the impression that you somehow magically prove your point by yelling?

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 13:01

67. JumpinJackROMFlash (Posts: 430; Member since: 10 Dec 2014)


Also the fact that HP is selling only to enterprise customers which makes it unavailable to regular consumers would be a huge part of this decision! A phone you can't buy as a regular Joe isn't that interesting to a regular Joe.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 14:33

68. meanestgenius (Posts: 9296; Member since: 28 May 2014)


There are ways to get phones being marketed towards enterprise. I'm pretty sure HP will make this device available for all on their website. Even if the average consumer couldn't buy it, that should not take away from the fact that the Elite X3 is a beast of a handset, deserving to be on this list.

posted on 29 Feb 2016, 14:38

69. meanestgenius (Posts: 9296; Member since: 28 May 2014)


I was even able to sign up on HP's website to be notified when the Elite X3 will be available for purchase.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 14:43 8

13. LittleGaGaKiller (Posts: 280; Member since: 19 Jan 2015)


GUYS!!!!! I have just tried S7 edge today at Saturn (local store in Germany) IT IS AMAAAAAAAZING AND THE FEELING IN THE HAND IT'S JUST...... VERY COMPACT AND COMFORTABLE TO HOLD !!! I can't believe how small it is when i compared it to my iphone 6 plus there although both are 5.5 inches!
And i gotta say, the Black color is CLAAAAAAAS and luxurious looking!
Bye iPhone, it was a great/painful journey since September 23rd 2013 !

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 15:34 1

24. joeytaylor (Posts: 386; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


I was really impressed with the gold

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 16:07

27. Xperia14 (Posts: 304; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


No FM-radio = no buy for me. Otherwise it would have been the perfect smartphone for me :(

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 16:09

29. KONICHIWA-ANNYONG (Posts: 155; Member since: 24 Feb 2016)


FM radio is nothing I care about nowadays, but what choices do you have?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 16:12

30. Xperia14 (Posts: 304; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


G5, M10 and Z6 (if there will be one) all have FM radio, but waterproofing and good battery life are also a must for me, so I'll probably have to wait till IFA for a possible Z6...

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 19:08 3

35. ibend (Posts: 3205; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


didnt they already said that Z line is dead, and X will replace them?

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 15:50 2

25. Sondae (Posts: 277; Member since: 02 Jan 2013)


Can't wait for s7 review.

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 22:11

43. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1471; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


It will get a 9.3 just like the iPhone to avoid flame wars

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 17:54

33. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1981; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


i agree samsung gs7 is the same as s6 in design, upgraded camera and UI ONLY. it should be called S6-U upgrade.

lg G5 IS the new and should get grand prize,..lol

posted on 26 Feb 2016, 21:41

41. John-Knotts (Posts: 52; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Because it's new? Seriously? Just no...

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