It's a great time for smartphones. In recent years, tech giants like Apple, Samsung and Google have produced some stellar flagships that have not only wowed on the design front but consistently impress with hardware as well. So much so that one doesn't really need to buy the newest device in the market, but can rather consider last year's model that are available today with massive discounts.
You have a flagship like the LG G6 launched earlier this year that brings a near bezel-less design, a very 2017 trend, along with some of the best specs seen this year that can still take on the likes of the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8. And the best part is that the price of the G6 has fallen considerably since its launch. Similarly, the iPhone 7 Plus, for example, is still a fantastic choice for Apple fans who haven't been too impressed with what the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus have to offer. Apple's latest iPhones (excluding iPhone X) essentially look similar to last year's models only with minor upgrades in hardware. In fact, lower sales of the iPhone 8 series has partly been due to fans sticking to iPhone 7 or waiting it out for the iPhone X.
There are a few flagships in our opinion that still stand the test of time and are definitely worth your money today even if they are a year or so old.
Samsung in recent years has produced some gorgeous smartphones across its various rice segments. But leading the pack is its flagship S series that has been pushing the boundaries in design in recent years, introducing curved edge displays and near bezel-less displays most recently with the Galaxy S8. Now, the Galaxy S7 from last year may not have an edge display or and edge-to-edge design, but it does come with a premium look and feel nevertheless. And at Rs 37,000 (Amazon India), this is still a worthy smartphone a year on.
The Galaxy S7 sports a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display and is powered by an Exynos 8890 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage, which is expandable via microSD card. The 4G VoLTE Galaxy S7 sports a 12-megapixel dual pixel rear camera with OIS and an f/1.7 aperture, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 Plus has been one of Apple's bestselling devices ever since its launch last year. In fact, despite the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, last year's models are still outselling this year's flagships, as per a recent survey. This is understandable as the iPhone 8 series doesn't really bring any major changes to the table. This also means that fans who can't afford to get the pricy iPhone X just yet can still consider buying the iPhone 7 Plus over the iPhone 8 Plus. Last year's Plus model is going at Rs 55,999 for the 32GB variant compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, which is priced at Rs 70,000 for the 64GB variant.
The iPhone 7 Plus was the first iPhone to bear a dual rear camera system which provides 2x optical zoom and also creates depth of field photos or bokeh shots via the Portrait Mode. The device sports a large 5.5-inch Retina HD display and is powered by a 64-bit A10 Fusion chipset. It also sports a 7-megapixel front-facing camera and supports the company's latest iOS 11 operating system.
Pixel and Pixel XL
Google entered the smartphone game with the launch of its very own Pixel and Pixel XL flagships last year. The handsets bear the Made by Google tag, which means these are the purest Android devices out there. They highlight stock Android experience and are among the first to receive Android 8.0 Oreo update. They sport a unique dual glass and metal design on the back that has become trademark Google. Apart from this, the Pixel and Pixel XL sport last year's top-of-the-line specifications that continues to make it a fantastic choice even today.
The Pixel sports a 5-inch QHD AMOLED (1440x2560) display while the Pixel XL comes with a larger 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display. The Pixel XL houses a larger 3450mAh battery compared to the 2700mAh battery inside the Pixel. Most of the other hardware remains the same. They are both powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC and come in a choice of 4GB + 32GB and 4GB + 128GB options. They feature a 12.3-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.4 aperture.
Currently, you can find the Google Pixel for as low as Rs 34,999 for the 32GB variant and the Pixel XL for Rs 39,999 for the same storage option.
The HTC 10 was a big win for the company last year, garnering rave reviews from all corners of the word. In our review of the device, we lauded the phone's build quality, display and front camera. The company has had a few hits and misses over the years, but the HTC 10 was one of the better devices that was later succeeded by another fantastic device, the HTC U11. The U11 does not come cheap, but luckily, the HTC 10 does and is still a pretty great device that is worth a look at if you're in the market. It is currently priced for as low as Rs 29,990 (Flipkart) in Gold.
The HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Quad HD (1440x2560) display and is powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. It features a 12-UltraPixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The handset houses a 3000mAh battery. The current price of the HTC 10 is particularly great considering it was initially launched at Rs 52,990.
LG can be credited for kicking off the bezel-less trend this year as it was one of the first to bring a full-screen display when it launched the G6 earlier this year. The LG G6 came to India with a price tag of Rs 51,990, but a few price cuts later, the device can now be found at an attractive Rs 33,990 (Flipkart, Amazon India), which is a pretty great deal for a phone is still pretty new compared to the other flagships on this list.
The LG G6 sports a 5.7-inch QHD+ (1440x2880 pixels) FullVision display with a near bezel-less front and an 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Snapdragon 821 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.