PhoneArena Awards: best phones, tablets, and smartwatches of 2017


If you feel like there's a new smartphone coming out every day, then you're not too far from the truth. The total number of phones added to our database throughout 2017 stands at 334, and the year isn't even over yet. 

Of course, some of these smartphones are better than others, and some of these better smartphones are worthy of even greater attention. So before we switch over to "Holiday Mode" for a well-deserved break, we're going to honor the best phones of 2017, along with the best tablets and smartwatches that we got to check out over the past 12 months.

But in addition to these three device categories, we have a fourth one dedicated to phones offering the best bang for their cost. We simply had to: great value-for-money phones are more relevant then ever now that a high-end model can cost over $1000.

So, which one's the best bang-for-the-buck smartphone released in 2017? The answer should come as no surprise to frequent readers. Ladies and gents, give it up for the...

Best value-for-money smartphone of 2017



Yup, you guessed it: it's the OnePlus 5T.

The OnePlus 5T may not be waterproof. It does not sparkle either. It may not have the bells and whistles some other, more expensive models have to offer, such as wireless charging or a super-high display refresh rate. But it's a great phone nonetheless. It excels when it comes to essential factors like performance and battery life, while the quality of the display and the photos it produces are more than adequate for the price point. All in all, if $500 is all you have to spend on a smartphone, then the OnePlus 5T would be a great choice.

Runner-up: Moto G5S Plus


While we're at it, there's another budget-friendly phone deserving a shoutout: the Moto G5S Plus. Seriously, it's amazing how much phone you can get nowadays for just about $250, and Moto's budget offering is the evidence. While not perfect, the G5S Plus delivers solid performance across the board, which makes it a great choice for buyers on a tight budget or for those looking for a reliable backup handset. 


Next up we have the year's best tablets. Yup, tablets are still very much a thing, even though there aren't quite as many grand announcements as there used to be. And if you're looking for a tablet, here's one you can't go wrong with:

Best tablet of 2017



The Apple iPad Pro 10.5 is the year's best tablet for a number of reasons: not only because it's an excellent specimen, but also because most of Apple's competitors in the tablet category have simply stopped trying. And there's a lot to like about the iPad Pro 10.5: the fast performance, the long battery life, the beautiful display, the great-sounding speakers, the wide selection of software and Apple Pen support, to list a few examples. The larger iPad Pro 12.9 is almost as awesome, but we'd say that Apple's 10.5-inch offering strikes a better balance between size and features.

Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Tab S3


Yet if you're looking for an alternative, then the next best thing after an iPad is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3. It may not have the processing power of the iPad Pro, while Android may not have as much to offer in terms of tablet-optimized applications, but its screen is great and HDR10-capable, and its speakers are loud and punchy. Plus, the Tab S3 is more affordable and comes bundled with an S Pen stylus. 


We're getting closer to the most exciting category of them all: that honoring the year's best smartphone. But first: smartwatches! 

Best smartwatch of 2017



Whether you're a sports enthusiast or a techie looking for an extension of their iPhone, the Apple Watch has you covered. It is light and comfortable, it is fast functional, it is seriously resistant to water and well-enough-equipped to track your every step with precision. On top of that you get access to Apple's ecosystem of apps made to work with the Apple Watch, while the in-built cellular connectivity enables independent phone calls, data access, and Apple Music streaming.

Runner-up: Samsung Gear Sport


But again, rival Samsung has an alternative that's nearly as good. The Samsung Gear Sport is the runner-up in this category, and while it may not be as proficient when it comes to exercise tracking, while it may not have as much access to optimized apps, it has a gorgeous circular display and a convenient rotating bezel for navigation. Plus, it is just as resistant to water damage as the latest Apple Watch.


And now for the grand finale. 

Best smartphone of 2017



Yes, it has a notch. We get it! And just like you, we wish it didn't have one. It makes the iPhone X feel imperfect and unfinished and... somehow not quite worth the $1000 asking price. But notch aside, the iPhone X gets so many things right! All cameras take excellent photos that look gorgeous on the wide color OLED display. Performance is super smooth thanks to the powerful processor and the efficiency of iOS. The built-in navigation gestures are quick and easy to get the hang of, while Face ID is surprisingly reliable. No less importantly, the iPhone X is simply a phone worth being excited about – it's like holding a piece of the future in your hands today.

Runner-ups: Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8


Samsung's best phones for 2017 were really close to grabbing the Best Smartphone award. The Galaxy Note 8 is definitely among the top options for smartphone enthusiasts, for users in need of a powerful camera, and those demanding top productivity capabilities even on the go. And the Galaxy S8 serves as an example of how a "bezel-less" design should be executed: with elegance, style, and attention to detail. Both have vivid displays, water resistance, and tons of other cool features a high-end phone should deliver. 

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103 Comments

1. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

iPhone X deserves it. S9 will beat it anyway just 2 months left

5. TechNeck

Posts: 652; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

We'll see. :/

24. daniyal_05

Posts: 93; Member since: Nov 15, 2017

I love it how despite this propaganda not many people are buying the IphoneX

30. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

Are you salesman or something? Always talking about sales and that too with wrong figures.

128. HillaryClinton2020

Posts: 191; Member since: Feb 08, 2017

Because not everyone afford it. Apple rocks deal wit it

129. Ralph.

Posts: 249; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Majority off Apple fans just start to realise it's not worth the price. Almost more than quarter have left apples theology telling their users to think differently. No more overpriced underspeced mediocre for the non adopters. It's only you whose still controlled by Apple. Apple sucks deal with it.

10. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

S9 will beat X with 845 processor? Or with that super slow iris scanner? Hahaha

22. Peacetoall unregistered

Deteriorating cheap battery of iphone x and throttling of the cpu done intentionally by apple can be easily beaten by any mid range android phone

28. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

Yeah maybe after 2 years, maybe.

29. Peacetoall unregistered

its not maybe its intentionally. it will slowdown after just 1 yr

31. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

How many of your devices have beaten iPhone 7? Hahaha none

35. Peacetoall unregistered

I don't buy devices to beat iphone 7 I buy devices according to their reliability , consistency and productivity. buying shiny ornament with apple logo on it is not my taste

55. NickHill

Posts: 388; Member since: May 07, 2016

Or maybe you’re hiding that you’re too poor to afford them.

94. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

I bet Samsung is watching closely. Samsung is about to get a winfall of sales. Apple 1st quarter Christmas sales are about to tank with their admission of slowing phones on purpose, which potentially encourage sales of new phones. Next year I will be able to get the original iPhone X for $400

86. sissy246

Posts: 7120; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

The note 8 has done that already.

11. Techlover2018

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 14, 2017

The only phone deserves this crown this year is LG V30 which got everything right. Great high res oled display. Widest aperture dual camera. Super slim bezels on all sides. Keep the fingerprint scanner (and in place). Hi fi audio via 3.5mm jack. Not priced rocket high. So, V30 is an overall winner in almost all departments.

38. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Mate 10 Pro has f1.6 and better oled. In many places v30 costs more than 800 dollars

139. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

lol 1.6 on Huawei means nothing. Havent you read the comparison results?

42. thedizzle

Posts: 197; Member since: Oct 05, 2017

Im iffy on the POLED display but everything else about it I liked, just took too long to release and I went with the note 8 instead.

135. dorfoz

Posts: 156; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Sorry no. Lg isn’t even android’s side chick. So get in line. You have to kick off Samsung from riding the android penis for you to even get dethrone to that.

148. Valinor

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

I own the lg v30. It has a few annoyances: - Auto mode in camera is not the best. Shooting auto gets you crappy photos sometimes. Also autofocus is not the fastest and continuous shooting is slow. Yes you can use manual mode but if im with a group of friends and having fun, i dont have time to go manual. - front camera is realllllly bad. Especially in low light. And I dont live in a sunny country so photos are bad most of the time. - screen is great, but not on par with samsung. - way too late releasing the phone. New generation of phones are almost here. LG is the last company releasing their 2017 phone. - customer service is the worst of all brands. Dont get me wrong, I totally love the phone and for me its better than the iphone 8 and samsung s8. But thats because I find those phones boring. But if you look at the features they all have, then lg is still a bit behind.

33. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

S9 will beat it? How? With that same S8 design? without faster CPU? without 3D facial recognition? with that same old same old heavy android skin??? Nope, no chance. My guess is S9 will be even more of a flop than S8. Market is already have saturated with various shapes, colors and speeds of android "smartphones". Unless S9 have some killer features which add substantial values or meaning to the everyday usage of a smartphone Samsung won't be able to come even close to those galaxy S4 and S7 days ever again...

36. Peacetoall unregistered

after 1 year Samsung s6 can easily beat iphone x due to massive throttling done by apple.

52. Ralph.

Posts: 249; Member since: Dec 20, 2017

Troll and a Samsung hater.

108. KIANO

Posts: 91; Member since: Feb 13, 2011

By the time when S9 are on the market, iPhone IX will be released around that time if not too later. Perhaps another blowout quarter sales because IX is the next big upgrades from the current ones despite the number 9 below 10. Who knows?! By the way, IX = 9. IX and XI look similarly written yet they are 9 and 11. iPhone IX iPhone XI One wonders what the iPhone 11 looks like, next year 2018?

155. tcomm

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 08, 2017

Pixel 2 XL: Worst Screen Award!

4. TechNeck

Posts: 652; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Has it been an iPhone who won best phone for the past few years?

13. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

On this site? Probably. But not in the real world. The best phone of 2018 will be the S8 The best phone of 2017 is the S7 The best phone of 2016 is the S7 The best phone of 2015 is the S6 The only iPhones I am aware if that had similar was the 4, 4S and 5S. And the original iPhone 6.

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Best tablet and smartwatch rightfully goes to Apple, tablet because nothing else competes and watch because it's packed with features and support from devs, I'll take my S3 Classic over the Apple watch any day though because I can't stand to look at the Apple watch. Anyway the X is so far away from being the best phone of the year it's literally an unsurprising joke to see you guys picked it anyway smh.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17358; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The gear S3 was released in 2016, so it doesn't count. Otherwise, it's hands down better than the Apple watch. The iPad Pro, that when I can agree with. I don't think any major surface Pro's were released in 2017, but I could be wrong. As for smartphone, that's just laughable. And they get indignant when they're called out on their bias. SMH.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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