10 Smartphones We Loved in 2015

10 Smartphones We Loved in 2015

It’s hard to whittle down the hundreds of smartphones launched this year into a list of just 10 favourites. We’ve seen some phenomenal advances, not just at the top end, but in every segment of the market. Speeds and resolutions always improve, but it seemed as though manufacturers wouldn’t let even a few weeks pass between product launches this year – competition is so fierce that product recommendations can change from one day to the next.

A lot happened in 2015: fingerprint sensors went mainstream, metal displaced plastic in nearly every premium offering, big displays became normal, screen resolutions jumped off the charts, and cameras became seriously good. Features that were restricted to phones which cost over Rs. 40,000 not too long ago started turning up in models that sell for less than Rs. 10,000.

Here are our picks of the 10 phones that shaped the landscape of 2015 in India, in no particular order.

1) Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Easily on of the most beautiful consumer products of 2015, this is one smartphone you can’t take your eyes or hands off. Samsung’s display engineering, and manufacturing expertise clearly has no match, and the rest of the metal body is just as stunning. The processor is fast, the camera is fantastic, and even the software is appealing. If you want to be seen and noticed, this phone is well worth the premium over the equally capable Galaxy S6.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Rs. 58900

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Fantastic performance
  • Unmatched original style
  • Incredible camera
  • Bad
  • No microSD slot
  • Difficult to grip securely
Read detailed Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review

2) iPhone 6s
What list would be complete without an iPhone? Apple’s 2015 model retains the styling of its predecessor, but a new force-sensitive touchscreen and significantly improved camera keep things fresh. The new iPhone’s speed improvements are tangible, and the iOS ecosystem has plenty of diehard fans. While not a huge jump over its predecessor, the new iPhone is still an impressive device with few alternatives available that beat it.

Apple iPhone 6s

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Great design
  • Fantastic performance
  • 3D Touch enables new UI paradigms
  • Retina Flash on the front is great
  • Bad
  • Touch ID is too fast!
  • 16GB storage in base variant
  • Expensive
  • Battery life could be better
Read detailed Apple iPhone 6s review
BUY NOW

3) Google Nexus 5X
Its bigger sibling, the Nexus 6P, might be getting more attention, but we love this phone for offering nearly all the same features at a much lower price and in a regular-sized body. It’s fast, has a great screen, and a fingerprint sensor that just works. Of course, Android Marshmallow is one of the biggest draws. We’d go with the 32GB model since non-expandable storage is one of its very few major flaws.

LG Google Nexus 5X

Rs. 31900

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Pure Android 6.0
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Good camera
  • Good overall performance
  • Bad
  • Limited storage
  • Expensive
  • USB Type-C adapters required
  • Ditches wireless charging
Read detailed LG Google Nexus 5X review
BUY NOW

4) Lenovo K3 Note
Chinese giant Lenovo made huge strides in the Indian smartphone market this year with a variety of models that flew off store shelves, but perhaps none more so than the K3 Note. This phone represents the best value you can get under Rs. 10,000, with specifications and performance that rival many phones that cost twice as much. It’s a great device for anyone who needs a little more than the basics.

Lenovo K3 Note

Rs. 9999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Great performance
  • Lots of software tweaks
  • Good screen and sound
  • Bad
  • Average camera quality
  • Battery life could have been better
Read detailed Lenovo K3 Note review

5) Xiaomi Mi 4
The Xiaomi Mi 4 burst onto the scene at the beginning of this year, with the company’s trademark fanfare. The high-end hardware and lowball pricing had an immediate impact on competitors, and long after other phones would have been retired, the Mi 4 still feels premium. A promised update to Android 6.0 and a significant price cut will keep this one on our radar for some time still.

Xiaomi Mi 4

Rs. 19999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Good performance at a great price
  • Good camera
  • Good battery life
  • Bad
  • No storage expansion
  • Slightly heavy and uncomfortable
Read detailed Xiaomi Mi 4 review

6) Moto X Play
The Moto X Play is an easy choice due to its dependability. It’s not flashy or over-the-top but a solid smartphone that simply works. Being a Motorola, you can be assured of good build quality and timely software updates. The Moto X Play offers a Nexus-like near-stock Android experience, excellent all-round performance, improved battery life, and good camera. More importantly, it offers one of the best value propositions in the sub-Rs. 20,000 segment.

Motorola Moto X Play

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Good battery life
  • Near stock Android
  • Improved camera
  • Bad
  • Low light camera performance could be better
  • No water resistance
Read detailed Motorola Moto X Play review

7) Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The Galaxy Note 5 is easily the best smartphone with a stylus in the market and one of the best high-end phones currently available. We love the Galaxy Note 5 for its aluminium-and-glass body and striking design. It also happens to have one of the best cameras of any phone today. The highlight of the Note 5 is its stylus, which can be used to boost productivity or simply get creative thanks to its pressure sensitivity.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Rs. 53900

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Pleasing aesthetics
  • Solid performance
  • Good battery life
  • Bad
  • No expandable storage
  • No IR blaster
  • S Pen mechanism prone to damage
Read detailed Samsung Galaxy Note 5 review

8) Gionee Marathon M5
The Marathon M5 is the latest weapon in the war against bad battery life. With a 6020mAh battery, the M5 will easily let you do a 24-hour movie marathon on your phone. With regular use, one can go multiple days without needing a charge. The Marathon series from Gionee is all about battery life so other aspects of the phone take a back seat. The M5 makes it to our list purely because of its ability to outlast any other smartphone in the market.

Gionee Marathon M5

Rs. 17999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Insane battery life
  • Sturdy and well built
  • Decent camera
  • IR blaster
  • Fluid interface
  • Bad
  • Low-res screen with exaggerated colours
  • Very heavy
  • Amigo UI is not for everyone
Read detailed Gionee Marathon M5 review

9) Google Nexus 6P
The Huawei-built Google Nexus 6P is the kind of device that other smartphones look up to. Featuring Android Marshmallow with the stock user interface, the Nexus 6P is premium in every way. From the beautiful metal build, to the gloriously detailed screen, to the absolute power under the hood, the Nexus 6P is one of the best Android smartphones you can buy right now. The Nexus 6P also features an excellent set of cameras. And the icing on the cake? The ability to shoot in 4K or at 240fps 720p.

Huawei Google Nexus 6P

Rs. 39999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Great design and build
  • Fantastic display
  • Excellent camera
  • Blazing performance and software
  • Good battery life
  • Bad
  • No expandable storage
  • Expensive
  • No wireless charging
Read detailed Huawei Google Nexus 6P review

10) Asus ZenFone Selfie (3GB/32GB)
Camera and selfie lovers rejoice, the Asus ZenFone Selfie is the smartphone for you. The phone has 13-megapixel cameras with dual-tone LED flashes both at the front and the back, and also features a laser autofocus for the rear camera. Indoor and low-light shots are absolutely stunning, and selfies are among the best we’ve seen on a smartphone. Along with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC, the Asus ZenFone Selfie represents serious value at under Rs. 20,000.

Asus ZenFone Selfie

Rs. 17999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Excellent front camera
  • Quick and accurate autofocus on rear camera
  • Looks and feels good
  • Good screen and UI
  • Bad
  • Outdoor shooting is average
Read detailed Asus ZenFone Selfie review

What was your favourite phone of the year? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Missed the news? Here’s a list of all phones launched at MWC 2016 on one handy page – or catch our full Mobile World Congress coverage.

[“Source-Gadgets”]