x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

With so many different (yet similar) smartphones from so many brands from across the globe, one may start feeling a bit lost. Which one of those many is the best phone you can buy right now, in summer 2017?

There is no one-size-fits-all device

The spring months are a great time to get a new phone, especially if it's an Android phone: after all, we have just seen the biggest Android phone makers unveil their best new handsets. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 series and LG G6 are already available, and they are among our top choices.

In fact, there is plenty of great choice currently: the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have proven to be safe buys, Google's new Pixel phones have also garnered excitement (if you can find one). Some great phones are now sold cheaper: the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have lower prices, the LG G5 as well. New-comers like the OnePlus 5 have also made a great impression with solid performance.

There is no definite one-size-fits-all device, as is quite clear these days, and that's why we explore all the options, trying to help you narrow down the choice to some outstanding devices that we think won't disappoint you. We're also breaking them down by categories: after all some people prefer a large, phablet-sized device, while others may want a more conventionally-sized pocket sidekick. We don't go into all that much detail (for those details, make sure to read our in-depth reviews), but we do focus on the most important highlights for each phone. With no further ado, here are the best phones you can buy right now.


Contents:

Regular-size
Big phones (phablets)
$400 FlagshipsSuper compact phones
Affordable phones
Exotic phones


Best phone in a regular size:

Apple iPhone 7

Price: $27.09 on a 24-month lease | $650 for full retail


Display4.7" at 750 x 1334 pixels, LCD
HardwareApple A10 with 2GB of RAM
Camera12MP f/1.8 main cam with 4K video, 7MP selfie cam
Battery1915 mAh

Pros

  • Cleaner design
  • Impressive colors on display
  • Smooth and fast iOS 10 user experience, regular updates
  • Very good camera
  • Great optical stabilization in video
  • Longer lasting battery (but still not great)
  • Water-proof, dual speaker

Cons

  • No 3.5mm headset jack
  • Jet Black model scratches easily
  • Closed ecosystem
  • Less customization options than on Android
  • Pricey

The Apple iPhone 7 kills the headphone jack, but that's not the only reason why there's so much buzz around it.

Despite featuring practically the same design as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6, it adds some significant improvements in everything else: the new A10 system chip is much more powerful, the new rear camera takes better pictures in low light, the front camera takes much sharper selfies, the battery life is better, the screen now has more eye-popping color, the phone is water-proof, and there is now optical stabilization that allows shooting smoother-looking video. Did we mention that the pitiful 16GB base model finally goes the way of the dodo and is being replaced by a 32GB version? For $100 on top of the price of that base model you can get a 128GB version. Add another $100, and you get 256GB of storage, as much as on many laptops, and the most we've seen on a mainstream phone.

Add to this the rich iOS ecosystem that continues to secure the best apps and games first, and one starts to understand why it's so hard to argue against the iPhone 7.

Google Pixel

Price: $650



Display5.0" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 821 with 4GB of RAM
Camera12MP Sony IMX378 camera with EIS, 8MP selfie cam
Battery2770 mAh

Pros

  • Premium design, solid build quality
  • Latest stock Android Nougat
  • One of the smoothest performers
  • One of the best cameras with great dynamic range
  • Promising new Google Assistant
  • Properly implemented Doze should bring improvements to battery life

Cons

  • Comparatively expensive
  • No microSD expansion memory slot

Google is now a hardware company. Its first foray into the creation of a Google phone has resulted in the Google Pixel family. The 5" Pixel features a stylish, metal design and a clean build of the latest Android 7.0 Nougat with a promise for quick updates. The best about the Pixel is that it is one of the best (if not the best) performing phone out there and also one of the very best camera phones. Add to that a brand new focus on AI as the future and a fast and responsive Google Assistant, this phone shows a lot of what Google thinks a future phone would be able to do.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Price: $750

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.8" at 1440 x 2960 pixels, Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 835 with 4 GB of RAM
Camera12MP main cam with Dual Pixel AF, 8MP AF selfie cam
Battery3000 mAh with Fast Charge

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is in many ways a revolutionary new phone: it features a larger, bezel-less display that takes up nearly all of its front and is gorgeous to look at, it sports an even more refined design, and it has become more powerful and smarter with the addition of the new Bixby assistant.

Yet despite its 5.8-inch display (keep in mind that you should not compare inch size directly with other screens, since this one has a different, taller aspect ratio of 18.5:9), it is not too big: it's taller, that's true, but its width is about the same as on the Galaxy S7 predecessor, so it is easy to handle in a single hand. The camera has received some improvements too: it shoots a little brighter images and seems to be able to get more definition in the details. The one thing where we don't have so much change is the battery: it is good, but not great or revolutionary as other parts of this phone.

HTC U11

Price: $600

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.5" `6:9 at 1440 x 2560 pixels, LCD
HardwareSnapdragon 835 with 4 GB of RAM
Camera12 MP rear camera, 16 MP selfie cam
Battery3,000 mAh


The HTC U11 might have a worthless 'Squeeze' gimmick as its most advertized feature, but it's the outstanding camera, fast performance and good battery life that make it worth a look. It's the no-flares flagship of 2017, a phone that still has bezels and that is larger than the taller and narrower phones around, but that still performs admirably well.

OnePlus 5

Price: $480

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.5" 16:9 at 1080 x 1920 px, AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 835 with 6 GB / 8 GB of RAM
CameraDual rear camera, 16MP selfie cam
Battery3,300 mAh

In many ways, this latest OnePlus 5 is an evolution over the OnePlus 3T and the 3: it does not make any tectonic shifts to the software experience, or anything else, but slowly builds up upon a successful formula.

In real-life, it's not so much of a copy of the iPhone 7 Plus as it might look on pictures, but the influence is clearly there. The Dual Camera system allows you to take good looking portraits with blurred backgrounds, but nailing the shot right is hard and fiddly, and worse-off, the main camera might actually be worse than the one on the OnePlus 3T. It's good, just not quite there with the best.

Apart from this, the OnePlus 5 delivers a solid daily experience: fast and clean interface, and battery that will last you a full day, even a longer one.

LG G6

Price: $700

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.7" 18:9 at 1440 x 2880 pixels, LCD
HardwareSnapdragon 821 with 4 GB of RAM
Camera13 MP Duo rear camera, 5 MP selfie cam
Battery3,300 mAh

Pros

  • Solid design, pocketable size
  • Excellent camera, useful wide-angle option
  • Very fast recharging capability

Cons

  • Battery life is good, but not great
  • A bit on the pricey side

The LG G6 marks a new era for LG: less experiments with crazy designs and a focus back on the essentials of great design and performance. The new G6 is not a revolutionary phone, but it still has the extremely cool bezel-less screen with a new, taller 2:1 format. It has also improved its already very good cameras: now you have two 13-megapixel shooter for the dual camera system on the back, so there is no abrupt switch in the camera when you zoom in and out. LG has also improved battery with the G6 to good (but it's still not great), and coupled with nice software experience, the LG G6 is one of the best options for a new phone out there.

Huawei P10

Price: €600

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.1" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
HardwareKirin 960 with 4 GB of RAM
Camera12 MP Duo camera with Leica branding, 8 MP AF selfie cam
Battery3,200 mAh

Pros

  • Stylish, thin design, quality build
  • Good battery life
  • Fast and reliable fingerprint reader
  • Plentiful 64GB base storage option
  • Very good camera quality
  • Good price

Cons

  • Huawei's UI is still ugly

The Huawei P10 is a beautifully designed, stylish phone for a price lower than that of 2017's flagships, yet with a similar level of performance and a very good camera. The bad news is that it will not be sold in the United States (at least initially), but it will be in all other parts of the world.

Under the hood roars Huawei's own Kirin 960 system chip, which is indeed a powerful creation, and Huawei has improved the dual camera system. The idea is to be able to blur the background to images, a nice effect, but not quite as accurate as the Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus. Still, it's nice to have and you get a secondary, black-and-white camera that gives you a different perspective to images.

Sony Xperia XZ

Price: $650 | Review

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.2" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
HardwareSnapdragon 820 with 3GB of RAM, 32GB storage
Camera23MP f/2 24mm main cam, 13MP selfie cam
Battery2900 mAh

Pros

  • Stylish design with smooth Alkeleido metal finish
  • Very good battery life
  • Improved camera with great detail
  • Water-proof!
  • Great for gamers, games arrive first on iOS

Cons

  • Vapid user interface
  • Lacks cool features
  • Pricey
  • Super slow re-charge times

While we are perplexed by the high price of the Sony Xperia XZ, there is a lot to like about it as well. It's a safe option meaning that it has a fast and reliable interface that works well, it has a decent keyboard typing experience and a very good camera that focuses quickly and captures detailed and good-looking images. The phone has also got a solid battery life and is water-proof. It does not get talked about that much, but this is certainly a nice set of advantages and while there is nothing particularly exciting about this phone (we'd even say it's a bit boring), it will get the job done.


A large phone with a great camera (phablets):

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Price: $850

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display6.2" 18.5:9 at 1440 x 2960 pixels, Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM
Camera12MP camera with Dual Pixel AF, 8 MP AF selfie cam
Battery3,500 mAh

Pros

  • Beautiful, stylish design
  • Immersive, bezel-less display with gorgeous colors
  • Base model has plentiful 64 GB of storage + microSD support
  • Water proof! Fast charge and wireless charge support
  • Fastest on Android, Snapdragon 835 system chip
  • USB-C, finally
  • Bixby assistant

Cons

  • TouchWiz icons look a bit ugly
  • Good (but not great) battery life
  • No dual camera system
  • Body is a fingerprint magnet

The Samsung Galaxy S8+ is the bigger of the two S8 siblings. Unlike Apple's devices, though, we have no huge differences here except for the larger screen and the bigger battery. The S8+ is the same beautiful, full-screen phone that display an outstanding level of craftsmanship. It also features a bezel-less, 6.2" display with a 18.5:9 aspect ratio (it's taller than a regular display) that looks gorgeous. The fingerprint is now on the back alongside the camera. The S8+ comes with a new interface and the brand new context-aware Bixby assistant.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Price: $32.04 on a 24-month lease | $770 full retail | Review



Display5.5" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
HardwareApple A10 with 3GB of RAM
Camera12MP f/1.8 28mm main cam, 56mm secondary cam, 7MP selfie cam
Battery2900 mAh

Pros

  • Secondary telephoto camera is a god-send for photo enthusiasts
  • Main cam has wider aperture, takes much better pictures in low light
  • Well-adapted interface for the larger screen estate
  • Great battery life
  • Improved display with impressive colors
  • Dual speakers! Water-proof!
  • Great for gamers, games arrive first on iOS

Cons

  • Physically larger than most its 5.5" rivals, huge screen bezel
  • No 3.5mm headset jack
  • Jet Black model scratches easily
  • Pricey
  • Closed ecosystem

The larger iPhone was never a better iPhone than the smaller one. The iPhone 7 Plus, however, changes that for the first time, Apple includes an impressive secondary camera only in the Plus model, and it has more RAM. And this is important: the secondary camera is a small revolution in smartphone photography, enabling much better looking portrait shots and giving users the option to zoom much closer in pictures while losing little in terms of image quality.

Yes, the iPhone 7 Plus has no headphone jack (Apple says it's because it needed the space for more essential components), but in exchange it has gained water-resistance and a louder, dual-speaker system. The Apple A10 inside the 7 Plus is also a big improvement: yes, common users won't notice much of it, but go into image and video processing, as well as gaming and the gains are easily felt. Apple has also killed the pitiful 16GB storage option in favor of a much more sensible 32GB one, and there is a 128GB model and a 256GB version for heavier users. The only thing that still remains a sore short-coming of this otherwise excellent phone is its pure physical size: it's a gargantuan phone with huge screen bezels.

Google Pixel XL

Price: $770

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.5" at 1440 x 2560 pixels, AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 821 with 4GB of RAM
Camera12MP Sony IMX378 camera with EIS, 8MP selfie cam
Battery3450 mAh

Pros

  • Premium design, solid build quality
  • Latest stock Android Nougat
  • One of the best cameras with great dynamic range
  • Promising new Google Assistant
  • Properly implemented Doze should bring improvements to battery life

Cons

  • Lacks exciting new features
  • Comparatively expensive
  • No microSD expansion memory slot

Google's larger phone, the Pixel XL, is a beautifully crafted device with a metal body, a slight chamfer that makes it a more comfortable in-hand fit, and it's also powerful on the inside. The big highlight of the Pixel XL, however, is without a doubt the stock Android 7.1 Nougat experience with the promise for timely updates in the future. It also showcases Google's idea of a future, where AI will be more useful and the Google Assistant that helps you with your searches is a peek at that.

Motorola Moto Z Force Droid

Price: $30.17 on a 24-month lease | Review

Moto Z Force Droid

Moto Z Force Droid


DisplayShatterShield 5.5" at 1440 x 2560 pixels, AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 820 with 4GB of RAM
Camera21MP with f/1.8 lens, 5MP selfie cam
Battery3500 mAh

Pros

  • Modular design makes it the most versatile flagship Android phone
  • Fast and nearly stock version of Android
  • Very good camera

Cons

  • Can get quite bulky with modules
  • Camera interface is a bit underwhelming

The Moto Z Force Droid is a phone that makes some bold moves: it's the first modular phone by Lenovo-owned Moto brand. Here's how this works: you get a magnetic connector on the phone and you easily snap additional modules on top of that with no wires or other complicated connections. You can get a pico projector, a much louder and better speaker, easily swappable battery and regular back covers, and more.

The Moto Z Force Droid also features the excellent ShatterScreen tech that ensures that the display won't shatter even if dropped from a few feet down on the hard concrete. Not that you should do this, of course. The near-stock software, the good camera and the few Moto tricks, make this one of the most exciting Android phones around.

Huawei Mate 9

Price: $600 | Review

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.9" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
HardwareKirin 960 with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage
Camera12MP f/2.2 main cam with OIS, 8MP selfie cam
Battery4,000 mAh

The Huawei Mate 9 is one of the first major-league phones by Chinese phone and network equipment maker Huawei, and it's excellent. Priced at $600, some $150 less than the price of iPhone and Pixel rivals, it offers impressive looks with a metal body and Huawei's dual camera system on board. It features a somewhat foreign interface, but you get used to it and after using it for a while it will leave you impressed with its consistently smooth animations and transitions. It's a powerful device with a beautiful display and plentiful storage, well worth your attention.

Best $400 flagship: the new category

Price: $450

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

If you want the phone with the best battery life in this list, the Moto Z Play is certainly that. With its economical Snapdragon 625 chip and specs that are not too demanding, this is the true 2-day battery phone and that is quite the gamechanger. Apart from that, it is just a good and thin phone. It is not particularly elegant with those huge magnetic connections, but you can add some neat Moto Mods to spice its looks, or at least use as easily exchangeable covers. The Z Play has also got a solid camera that is able to shoot 4K video and it has been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat.

Honor 8

Price: $400 | Review

Honor 8

Honor 8


Display5.2" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
HardwareKirin 950 with 4GB of RAM
Camera12MP f/2.2 main cam (no 4K), secondary lens
Battery3000 mAh

Pros

  • Competitive price
  • Good-looking design, solid build quality
  • Fast and responsive fingerprint reader
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Interface feels a bit strange and takes some getting used to

The Honor brand is new to the U.S. market, but after the successful and affordable Honor 5X, some phone enthusiasts have already set a curious eye on it.

The new Honor 8 is the brand's new and more refined phone, and the latest one to join the "$400 flagship" battle arena. And it does so with a heavy bang: an extremely stylish phone made out of glass and with an innovative dual rear-cam system that allows creating a fake bokeh-like effect, the Honor 8 is a compact 5.2" phone with the fast, but not fastest Kirin 950 system chip.

If you want something more compact:

Apple iPhone SE

Price: $400 for 32 GB | $500 for 128 GB | Review

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE


Display4.0" at 640 x 1136 pixels, LCD
HardwareApple A9
Camera12MP main cam with 4K video, 1.2MP selfie cam
Battery1624 mAh

Pros

  • Very compact and light
  • Unprecedented power at this form factor
  • Outstanding camera
  • Smooth and reliable software experience
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Design feels dated, at least - not exciting
  • Loudspeaker lacks depth

Big phones are just not everyone's cup of tea (at least not yet), and that's why there is still a market for extremely compact devices that you can easily use with a single hand.

The iPhone SE is one of the best such phones you can get at the moment: in fact, it's the only phone of such small sizes. It stands out not just with its size: even among Android compacts, it offers the fastest performance with a great and consistently reliable 12-megapixel camera that can capture 4K video and supports the fun Live Photos.

On top of that, the small iPhone SE features better battery life than even the iPhone 6s and 6: its smaller screen size and newer silicon allow for more effective use of battery. Add to that the affordable (at least in the US) price, and you have quite the appealing small phone.

Sony Xperia X Compact

Price: $500 | €450 full retail | Review

Sony Xperia X Compact

Sony Xperia X Compact


Display4.6" at 720 x 1280 pixels, LCD
HardwareSnapdragon 650 with 3GB of RAM
Camera23MP 1/2.3" main cam, 5MP selfie shooter
Battery2700 mAh

Pros

  • Very compact for the screen size
  • Screen has high brightness
  • Very good camera
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Questionable, all-plastic design
  • A bit too thick

The most notable alternative to the iPhone SE in the compact phone market is the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact. 

Rather unfortunately for many, the way of evolution has proven to be towards larger and larger screen sizes and now it's hard to get a contemporary Android phone with good performance under a 5" envelope. The Xperia Z5 Compact, however, does deliver just that: a no-compromise performance courtesy of the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 system chip and Sony's best 23-megapixel camera.

The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact features a 4.6-inch screen with slim bezels that make it a very compact device for its size, it has that signature eye-catching Sony design and remains usable with a single hand.

For those on a budget:

Nexus 5X

*Available on Google Project Fi only
Price: $250 full retail | Review

Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X


Display5.2" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
HardwareSnapdragon 808 with 2GB of RAM
Camera12MP main cam, 5MP selfie cam
Battery2700 mAh

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Stock Android, quick updates
  • Very good-looking display
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Plastic, uninspiring design
  • No expandable storage
  • Video capture is very shaky

The Google Nexus is back. 

After a lackluster year for the Nexus series with the overwhelmingly gigantic Nexus 6 that even Google admits failed the modest sales expectations, this year Google brings the successor to one of the most demanded Nexus phones of all times: the LG Nexus 5. The new Nexus 5X is also made by LG and it shows the way forward for Android: it runs on the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow, finally has a native fingerprint scanner and charges via the fast and reversible USB Type C connector. Those all pale in comparison with its biggest promise, though: a hugely improved camera. The Nexus 5X is the first phone to ship with the 12.3-megapixel Sony IMX377 image sensor, a 1/2.3" sensor, one of the largest ever on an Android phone. It has large pixel and aspirations to be among the very best smartphone cameras. If that wasn't enough, Google has priced the Nexus 5X at a very alluring price: just $380 for the 16GB model and $430 for the 32GB version.

Moto G5 Plus

Price: $230 for 32 GB storage, 2 GB RAM 
$290 for 64 GB storage, 4 GB RAM

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.5" at 1080 x 1920 pixels
HardwareSnapdragon 625 with 2 / 4 GB of RAM
Camera12MP Dual Pixel main cam
Battery3,000 mAh

Pros
  • Very affordable price
  • Clean and fast build of Android
  • Very good performance
  • Fast and decent camera
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Plastic design elements are a bit on the cheap side

The new Moto G5 Plus brings back the Moto G series to where it first started: an amazing value-for-the-money proposition. At under $300, this phone is great value: it ships with the latest Android 7 Nougat, it's got very good performance and a clean interface, it's got a decent camera and above average battery life.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Price: €360

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.2" AMOLED at 1080 x 1920 pixels
HardwareExynos 7 Octa with 3 GB RAM
Camera16MP f/1.9 main cam, 16MP selfie cam
Battery3,000 mAh

The new Galaxy A5 (2017) is more than just the sum of its parts: it's a beautiful, stylish, compact phone that features water-protection, a rarity in affordable phones of this class. It also just runs well on Samsung's new TouchWiz interface, it has got a rock solid battery life that could go to as much as two days, and it features cameras that do great in daylight. It's biggest drawback is the poor video stabilization that makes all of your footage look as if it was recorded during an earthquake, but if you do not care too much about that, the A5 (2017) is a great phone. Remember that the Samsung A series are not officially sold in the United States.


Something exotic:

Xiaomi Mi 6

Price: $470

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.2" LCD at 1080 x 1920 pixels
HardwareSnapdragon 835 with 6GB of RAM
CameraDual camera (12MP 27mm + 12MP 52mm)
Battery3,350 mAh

Pros

  • Affordable price for top-grade hardware
  • Beautiful design
  • Interesting new dual camera

Cons

  • Lacks bezel-less design implementation
  • Only available in Asia

The Mi 6 is the 2017 flagship for Chinese Xiaomi. It builds up on the successful formula: top-notch hardware for an affordable price. The Xiaomi Mi 6 is also an improvement over the previously released Mi 5: it features a much more solid design, it's got a brand new dual-camera system with a secondary telephoto lens, and it's got a longer battery life. All of that comes at a price of less than $500, which is certainly impressive.

Xiaomi Mi Mix

Price: $800 full retail

Xiaomi Mi Mix

Xiaomi Mi Mix


Display6.4" at 1080 x 2040 pixels
HardwareSnapdragon 821 with 6GB of RAM
Camera16MP f/2.0 main cam, 5MP selfie cam
Battery4,400 mAh

Pros

  • Crazy 93% screen-to-body ratio
  • Ceramic back, stylish look
  • Fast performance

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No bezel design also means it's easier to crack the screen if you drop the phone
  • Only available in Asia

Xiaomi is a company that has been growing quickly in China, but that does not sell its phones in the United States or Europe officially. And that's a pity.

It's Xiaomi Mi Mix is a limited-edition all-out crazy phone with a 93% screen-to-body ratio and a giant 6.4-inch display that fits in a body roughly the size of the 5.5-inch Apple iPhone 7 Plus. With a ceramic back that is very hard to scratch it also looks good. While currently the world is awaiting the 2017 Samsungs and Apples that will most certainly get this new bezel-less look, in China such a phone has already been available for months now. Sure, it's pricey at $800, and yes, it's only made for China, but your street cred would go way up if you can import this baby that will only work with AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. You'll definitely feel like you've come back from the future.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2

Price: $630

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Display5.7" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, OLED
HardwareSnapdragon 821 with 6GB of RAM
Camera23MP f/2.0 main cam, 8MP selfie cam
Battery4,070 mAh

Pros

  • Curved glass and metal cutting-edge design
  • Fast performance
  • High quality audio

Cons

  • Only available in Asia
  • Glass design makes it prone to shattering

The less extravagant, but equally cutting-edge in terms of style and looks Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is really something that you should know about. Like a close cousin of the discontinued Galaxy Note 7, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 features similar curves and elegance, but does not explode in your hands. It's an extremely well-crafted phone, but unfortunately also one made only for Asia with its MIUI interface and other quirks. Still, if you want a phone that you can proudly show as a design masterpiece, this baby will work on AT&T and T-Mobile if you want to import it. Keep in mind that this comes with no warranties or proper service, though.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Price: $200

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4


Display5.5" at 1080 x 1920 pixels, LCD
HardwareSnapdragon 625 with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage
Camera13MP f/2.0 main cam, 5MP selfie cam
Battery4100 mAh

Pros

  • Stylish metal build
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Very affordable price
  • MIUI skin is rich in options

Cons

  • Made for Asia, not sold officially elsewhere
  • MIUI interface feels different
  • Hard to get

The Redmi Note 4 would be the ultimate affordable smartphone had Chinese company Xiaomi made it for the U.S. or Europe.

With a killer metal design, a fast and reliable fingerprint scanner, decently good-looking display and a fast performance with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, it is a heck of a deal for $200 or less (yes, that's the full retail price). But it didn't: the Mi Note 4 is not officially sold in the Western hemisphere, meaning even if you get it on eBay or some less-known third-party seller, you won't get any proper warranty or service. The risk's on you, but if you want to take it, we understand.

Honor Magic

Price: $710

Best smartphones you can buy right now: July 2017

Pros

  • Crazy curved, bezel-less design

Cons

  • Made for Asia, not sold officially elsewhere
  • Pricey
  • Hard to get

Xiaomi is not the only Chinese company to go all-out with a crazy flagship phone: Huawei spin-off Honor has the Honor Magic. This phone features curves all around and a nearly bezel-less design that screams 'futurism' like no other. Yes, it's experimental, and sure, it's another made-for-China device, but it's definitely worth a look for the sheer craziness that went into this design. It's also a powerful, flagship-grade product that delivers solidly in terms of performance and camera quality.

The comment section has been disabled for this story.

Latest stories