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Smartphones from Yesteryear that are Still Kicking Ass in 2017

04 September 2017 | Reymart Jan Sarigumba

While it’s always an awesome feeling to have the latest smartphone at hand, the burning question is: will it make a life-changing difference?

It’s 2017 and even from an avid tech user’s point of view, it already looks like we have now reached the peak of our technological innovation. Most new features that we get from the latest devices nowadays are just small incentives that aren’t really game changing as it used to be five years ago. That is why, it’s safe to say that flagship devices from a year or two ago are still relevant today, even with all the newest flagships coming out soon this year like the iPhone 8 and the Galaxy Note 8.

If you’re simply looking for a kick ass phone that won’t burn your wallet, you will never run out of options. Below is our pick for the best smartphones of yesteryear that will still give you the best value for your money.

Camera phone

As far as the camera goes, resolution (pixels) is only as good as a phone’s camera sensor. That’s why most smartphones today invest more on perfecting a better algorithm and integrating better hardware into smartphone cameras than further increasing its megapixels. That’s why even smartphones from last year and the year before that are still at par with the latest flagship devices of today when it comes to the camera.

Our pick: Galaxy S7

This phone has simultaneous 4K video and 9MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, Auto HDR, and panorama on top of its phase detection focus and optical image stabilization (OIS). It can even take impressive low-light shots - a feat that majority of the phones today couldn’t pull off. Its camera sensor is so good that it even got retained in the Galaxy S8. Despite being 1 generation behind, its camera is still as relevant as it first came out.

The latest handsets from Samsung


There’s never a shortage of phablet sized smartphones today. 5-inch screen phones and above have already become a standard and it’s quite appropriate for smartphones knowing that people love to stream videos through their phones. You don’t really need to buy a Note 8 for that, there are phablets right now that could satisfy your need for that for a fraction of the price.

Our pick: Galaxy Note 5

This spot would’ve been taken easily by the Note 7 if not for its battery fiasco. However, that’s not to say that the Note 5 doesn’t come nearly as good. It’s a Galaxy Note device, whether we like it or not, it will remain relevant for a long time. Not because of its premium smartphone branding, but because of its highly intuitive features that go beyond what a typical smartphone could do. The S-Pen carries loads of features that will take on-the-go productivity to the next level of ease!

Note series has become a staple of phablets because it invented one of the very first phablets.

Large battery capacity

There are but a few phones that come equipped with a sufficient battery to help it go all day with just a single charge. Surprisingly, Xiaomi managed to create an extremely compact device that could carry a battery size that we’d only get to enjoy in a tablet-sized device.

Our pick: Xiaomi Red Mi 4X

This phone is hands down one of the most juiced up smartphones that you’ll see to date, for its size. It carries a 5-inch screen but its body is no bigger than an iPhone 6. You can easily grip it with just one hand, but still enjoy a big enough screen for hours of video streaming (courtesy of its supersized 4000 mAh battery).

The latest smartphones from Xiaomi

Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
From RM 485.00 #xiaomi #redmi5plus Manufacturer: Xiaomi [Brand new imported set, unsealed box] Warranty Labelling / Inspection purposes Model: Redmi 5 Plus Network: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE 2G bands GSM 850/900/1800/1900 — SIM 1 & SIM 2 CDMA 800 & TD-SCDMA 3G bands HSDPA 800/900/1900 /2100 4G bands LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 34(2000), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500) Speed HSPA, LTE, GPRS, EDGE Dimensions: 158.5×75.5×8.1 mm (6.24×2.97×0.32 in) Weight: 180 g SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) Display type: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors Size: 5.99 inches 92.6 cm2 (~77.4% screen-to-body ratio) Resolution: 2160 × 1080 FHD (~403 ppi pixel density) OS: MIUI 9 (Global ROM) Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 CPU: cta-core ARM Cortex A53 Up to 2.0 GHz GPU: Adreno 506 RAM: 3 GB / 4 GB Memory: 32 GB / 64 GB Card slot: No Primary camera: 12 MP (f/2.2, 1.25 μm), phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash Features: geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama Video: 1080p@30fps, 720p@30fps, Secondary camera: 5 MP WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11b / g / n, DLNA, hotspot 2.4 WiFi / WIFI Direct / WiFi Display Bluetooth: 4.2, Bluetooth HID GPS: Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS USB: microUSB 2.0 Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, ambient light sensor, hall sensor Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh 5V / 2A Color: Gold What's in the box 1 x Phone 1 x Power adapter 1 x USB cable 1 x SIM needle 1 x User manual *ALL GOODS SOLD ARE NOT REFUNDABLE!!!* WARRANTY TERMS & CONDITIONS 1 YEAR LABOUR SERVICE FROM THE DATE OF PURCHASED AGAINST ALL MANUFACTURING DEFECTS EXCLUDING ANY DAMAGE CAUSED BY UNAUTHORIZED THIRD PARTIES OR WATER/LIQUID DAMAGE. 3 MONTHS WARRANTY COVERED FOR LCD DISPLAY, TOUCH SCREEN, KEYPAD, TRACK PAD AND TOUCH PAD. 3 MONTHS WARRANTY COVERED FOR CAMERA, BATTERY, EARPHONE AND AC TRAVEL CHARGER.

Sleek all-in-one device

There are phones that are made to take on loads of heavy tasks, while there are also phones that are made to be just phones, and they’re damn good at it!

Our pick: iPhone 6 and 6s

It’s been a subject of debate, whether or not iPhones are better than Androids. While the answer will greatly depend on your priorities (what matters most to you in a phone), no one can deny the fact that the iPhone’s UI is what keeps its fans coming back for more. Even Android manufacturers emulate Apple’s iOS interface but still couldn’t come close. It’s plain, simple, and pleasing to the eyes. Everything that you’ll ever need is right where you can see it.

If you’re budget conscious and do not mind a little compromise on the specs sheet, you can go for the iPhone 6. If you can spare a little bit more to enjoy a snappier processor, you can go for the iPhone 6s. Either way, these phones are still winners in today’s smartphone scene despite the iPhone 8 scheduled for release soon.

The latest devices from Apple

Take your pick! You don’t need to shell out a fortune just to afford a premium tier smartphone experience. For just a fraction of a price, these smartphones will give you a flagship-level smartphone experience.

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