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. 



156. sphonel

Posts: 17; Member since: Sep 24, 2014

iPhone X phone of the year because they finally tried their best to be like Android, but fell short of course.

154. bauhaus

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 25, 2017

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 phone of the year at this site: Iphone. It has won every single time on this page!!!! Thats simply not even serious. The X is cool but to say apple has had the best phone 4 years in a row is a joke. Highly biased site. I would vote note8 but the real joke is the iphone winning 4 years in a row.

153. iurisimo

Posts: 10; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

iphone x phone of the year ? like really ? editor is a sheep...

150. verty

Posts: 132; Member since: May 07, 2012

How is iphone x better than the Note 8. PhoneArena and bias!!! Though you guys were cured of this Apple bias

149. osterrich21

Posts: 190; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

The Phone arena is a joke.

147. GrosseFatigue

Posts: 211; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Note 8 and S8+ are mature phones, beautiful designs and screens limited only by their 835 chip. I said 2 years ago that Samsung would have the upper hand because with their screens. Apple now buy their screens from them. Beside the X and their chip their other phones are really lagging two generations behind but that does not seem to bother Phone Arena. All I know is that having lived with high res Samsung screens since the Note 4 and 1080p Amoled before that, I cant go back to an LCD and a lower res. I still have a Note 3 around to check lower res -and super Amoled. I don't like it.

146. lightyears

Posts: 69; Member since: Aug 24, 2015

Note 8 is the king. Unfortunately no competition

144. darkkjedii

Posts: 31798; Member since: Feb 05, 2011 I’m shocked at this one.

140. ColinW

Posts: 413; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

I cannot see how such a flawed phone as the X is the best. It is a WIP and catch-up phone that adds little to the progress that has been made in smartphone design and features in recent years.

138. KingSam

Posts: 1543; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

I know the honor 7x just launched but its better than the g5s. Moto G is falling off on value.

137. imlegitcusimthasht

Posts: 306; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

iphonearena believes the iPhone X is best phone. Come on, Note 8 lets you do a lot more and runs smooth as butter

126. Elnas228

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 23, 2017

Well really prefer the site more than any flagship

113. TypicalGeek

Posts: 220; Member since: Feb 19, 2015

But can it take great selfies? After testing Pixel 2 XL, iPhone X, Note 8, V30 and 5T, iPhone X and Pixel 2 XL are the only two phones deserve BPOTY. I don't mind either one. Apple Swipe takes a little to get used to, and Pixel artifact in blurring the portrait can be annoying, but they will only get better over the time.

111. dazed1

Posts: 815; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

IPhonex winning over Note 8 is a C O M P L E T E - J O K E

141. darkkjedii

Posts: 31798; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

No it’s not, it’s their choice. Make your own website, and do your own reviews and polls.

107. shnibz

Posts: 522; Member since: Sep 18, 2011

Aka the Apple and Samsung awards... No thanks

96. darkkjedii

Posts: 31798; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Phone of the year: Note 8 Design of the year: iPhone X. Watch of the year: Apple Watch series 3 Tablet of the year: iPad 10.5. The iPhone X is an excellent all around device, but lacks some key features, that would make it truly outstanding. It's got the sickest design on the market, and the more I use it (found a good deal on Craigslist this past Wednesday), the more I like it. It still needs a few more (like 10 key features) to truly be a Note 8 competitor The Jedi has spoken.

99. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Phone - Note 8 Design - S8 Watch - Apple Watch 3 Tablet - iPad Pro If I could have kept my X, I was also gonna get an Apple Watch 3 with Cellular. But oh well. I may buy it at a reduced price next year. I don't have to have new toys right now.

101. darkkjedii

Posts: 31798; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I think Apple did a great job with the series 3. The new heart rate monitoring, and the fitness app overhaul are tops for me. Great device. I kept my eye out for an X on OfferUp, and craigslist, and just like clockwork...found a 256 gig X for $600. Didn’t bother asking the guy why he was selling it so cheap, but the cheap price was alarming, so I had him meet me at AT&T. Everything checked out, now I have the space grey. Series 3 coming soon. The flock thinks I hate Apple...nahhh, I just tell it like it is.

87. YeahYeah

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Half baked phone win phone of the year. Why am I not surprised. 1. Overpriced 2. Bad design 3. Failed Face id 4. No fps 5. Bug issues 6. Not so good battery 7. Poor call quality If all this makes it phone of the year then it deserves it..

89. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Don't forget, it will slow down in a year, lol

97. makatijules

Posts: 835; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

Maybe 2!

85. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

OMFG what a joke. The iPhone X is in no F-ing way better then the note 8.

84. justdoitstas

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 17, 2017

I think all users know that you sold your mind for Aplle. But try don't show this all the time. P.S. When I open this page, I know answers about best devices!!!

72. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Apple Watch I can understand winning, while not the best in every category it’s the overall performance, features and ‘feel’ of the watch that make it the best. Tablet category I guess I can see the iPad winning, though some Samsung tablets have a huge benefit with the pen and multi-tasking capabilities. iPhone X winning I simply do not understand. Sure the X is different, but so is having an enormous goiter growing out of the side of your neck “different”. If the writer(s) of the article felt obligated to give the nod to Apple in every category, then it would have been more credible to select the iPhone 8/8 Plus as the best smart phone.


Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Before opening this article i knew it would be apple all over and ipa proved me right

68. DFranch

Posts: 568; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

So the only thing Apple didn't win is the value category, because apple don't do value. BS!!!!!

78. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

You are very smart....

66. alamin25

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 01, 2017

I phone x dont deserve first place

60. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Apple best in everything as usual.....

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

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless