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What is the best premium smartphone of 2017?

Smartphones

So what is the best premium smartphone 2017 had to offer?

So if you like your smartphones to ooze quality, style and class, then look no further if you are thinking of buying a new premium smartphone or upgrading from a budget or mid-range model. This will always be an expensive exercise, and prices of £600 – £800 are now quite normal and some costing even more. With so many choices out there, making a mistake will be costly. Here is our list of the best premium smartphones of 2017.

Also, check out our 2017 top ten of the best mid-range and budget smartphones here and here and the best feature phones here.

  1. Samsung Galaxy S8

    Samsung Galaxy S8
    Samsung Galaxy S8

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    • OS : Android 7
    • Chipset : Samsung Exynos 8895
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.8″ AMOLED 1440 x 2960
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 68.1mm x H 148.9mm × D 8mm
    • Weight : 155g
    • Pros : Beautiful design, great camera, fast performance and an amazing screen.
    • Cons : Biometric scanners are a bit hit and miss and Bixby is not the full implementation.

    Samsung are making the best premium Android smartphones at the moment, and the Galaxy S8 is a real winner. Sure there is the S8+, but you can probably live without the slightly bigger display and battery for the extra cost. Also there is the iPhone X, but at a much higher price, does it really offer much more for your money?

    Straight off the bat, the design of this premium smartphone is beautiful and is indeed way ahead of a lot of the competition. This is going to set the benchmark for the other manufacturers to compete against. The screen is amazing to look at and has a minimal bezel. The performance and camera is probably the best out there at the moment. Battery life is excellent and gives a lot of usage and wireless charging to boot.

    With all the good things said about this smartphone, there has to be a downside, and there is. The biometric scanners are a bit hit and miss and still need more development before they will function well. This model introduces the new Bixby voice assistant, but it is not a full implementation which will come later.

    Samsung for a long time, have been making quality Android smartphones. They are one of the few companies that are giving Apple a run for their money. This premium smartphone is well worth getting and it is not the most expensive one here. So for us, the Samsung Galaxy S8 gets the well deserved number one spot.

  2. Google Pixel 2 XL

    Google Pixel 2 XL
    Google Pixel 2 XL

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    • OS : Android 8
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB or 128GB
    • Display : 6″ POLED 1440 x 2880
    • Camera : 12.2MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3520mAh
    • Dimensions : W 76.7mm x H 157.9mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 175g
    • Pros : Great camera, lovely design and large display.
    • Cons : No 3.5mm headphone jack and poor display viewing angles.

    So with the Samsung Galaxy S8 in first place, what phone will be second? A tough decision, but the prize goes to the Google Pixel 2 XL. It was a close call, but the Samsung just pipped it to the post.

    This premium smartphone has a lot of features to make this a top premium smartphone. The display is among the largest available. The design is up there with the best. Performance is not a problem and it has a 12.2MP camera that is among the best. The 3520mAh battery ensures lots of usage between charges. Storage sizes of 64GB or 128GB will offer lots of space to store your media files.

    Like the Samsung Galaxy S8 above, no phone is perfect, and nor is this one. There are issues with the display and its viewing angles. And like the trend starting with other smartphone manufacturers, there is no traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. So even though this phone got second place, it is still a worthy contender for a top premium smartphone.

  3. Apple iPhone X

    Apple iPhone X
    Apple iPhone X

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    • OS : 11.0.1
    • Chipset : Apple A11 Bionic
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 64GB or 256GB
    • Display : 5.8″ AMOLED 1125 x 2436
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 7MP front
    • Battery : 2716mAh
    • Dimensions : W 70.9mm x H 143.6mm x D 7.7mm
    • Weight : 174g
    • Pros : Cutting edge design, beautiful screen, great battery life and loads of performance.
    • Cons : High price and no 3.5mm headphone jack.

    So the most expensive and hyped Apple iPhone X and it is not at the number one slot. What is going on here then? Well just because a phone is really expensive, does not always mean it is the best. Sure, not everyone is going to agree, but this is what we ranked it as. Is this just an overpriced phone, or are we just going to accept these prices later on with other makes as well?

    The design of the phone shows its class as a premium product. There is no denying that people are going to love this phone. The display near enough takes up the whole front of the phone with a very minimal bezel. The home button is gone and this is handled on the display now. The battery, camera and performance have all been upgraded and do not disappoint, and like the iPhone 8 you get wireless charging.

    The only things that you can really fault on this premium smartphone is the high price and not having a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is Apples premier phone at the moment and they have pulled out all the stops to make this warrant the price. Some may not agree and others will buy it without a second thought. FaceID has given problems and does not work as well as it could.

    There is no denying that this is a really good smartphone and I am sure other reviews will have this at the number one slot. And it would be worthy of being there, hence there is a not a lot to dislike about this phone.

  4. Huawei Mate 10 Pro

    Huawei Mate 10 Pro
    Huawei Mate 10 Pro

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    • OS : Android 8
    • Chipset : HiSilicon Kirin 970
    • RAM : 4GB or 6GB
    • Storage : 64GB or 128GB
    • Display : 6″ AMOLED 1080 x 2160
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 4000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 74.5mm x H 154.2mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 178g
    • Pros : Huge battery, large display and a great camera.
    • Cons : No 3.5mm headphone jack.

    The competition for Samsung is hotting up all the time and this is a good candidate. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a phone that will certainly be on a lot of peoples lists. Samsung are making the best Android smartphones at the moment, but they better not be too complacent. As many other makes are close behind.

    This smartphone has two big things about it. The battery will give up to two days of use if being careful and the display is up there with the biggest smartphones. The design is really cutting edge with a minimal bezel. Previous CPU’s have been a bit lacklustre, but this one seems to be a lot better and gives nice performance. The camera is really good and has a lot of options not normally found on a smartphone.

    Whilst this phone has a lot of good features going for it, we wonder if it can really justify its price, as this makes it compete with other phones that are better.

    Huawei have not always been this good, but hopefully this is a taste of what they will be like in the future. If they can keep this up, then they could be higher up our list next time.

  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

    Samsung Galaxy Note 8
    Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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    • OS : Android 7.1.1
    • Chipset : Samsung Exynos 8895
    • RAM : 6GB
    • Storage : 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
    • Display : 6.3″ AMOLED 1440 x 2960
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 8MP front
    • Battery : 3300mAh
    • Dimensions : W 74.8mm × H 162.5mm × D 8.6mm
    • Weight : 195g
    • Pros : Lovely design, beautiful display, excellent performance and great camera.
    • Cons : High price and okay battery life.

    If large phones are you thing, then this is the one for you. The phablet class of smartphones has been around for a while now, and the Galaxy Note 8 is Samsung’s latest model. After the fiasco of the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung needed to get things back on track. And this new model looks like the one to do it.

    This smartphone has one of the best displays and cameras with performance to match. The S Pen is great to use with lots of nice features to take advantage of it. A traditional 3.5mm headphone jack is still present, which most people want. Storage capacities are extremely good and all but the biggest media collections will fit.

    There is not a lot of bad things to say about this phone. The most obvious one is the price, but for this class of phone, it could seem justified. Battery life is okay but not brilliant like some of the other phones here.

    With the problems of the Galaxy Note 7 still fresh in peoples minds, then this might seem a tough choice to go for. But the Galaxy Note 8 has none of those problems and this should help to secure a brighter future for the Galaxy Note range. This phone almost ticks all of the boxes.

  6. LG V30

    LG V30
    LG V30

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    • OS : Android 7.1.2
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 6″ POLED 1440 x 2880
    • Camera : 16MP rear and 5MP front
    • Battery : 3300mAh
    • Dimensions : W 75.4mm x H 151.7mm x D 7.4mm
    • Weight : 158g
    • Pros : Great design, lovely display and awesome sound.
    • Cons : Okay camera.

    LG are a brand of smartphone that has been gaining traction for some time now. Like some of the other smartphone makers, they could be biting the heels of the big players soon. The LG V30 is certainly a phone that is making LG stand out from the crowd.

    With a lovely design and a display to match with a minimal bezel, then this phone certainly looks the part. The specifications are very good and it has a CPU with enough performance for just about anybody. Its audio capabilities are much better than quite a few of the other phones here.

    This phone certainly is very good, but the camera, although incorporating some clever ideas, is slightly let down with its operation. This might not bother too many people, but if taking a good picture is important to you, then this could well be a problem. LG have certainly made a good phone here, but it is not the cheapest and some cheaper phones are better.

  7. Apple iPhone 8 Plus

    Apple iPhone 8 Plus
    Apple iPhone 8 Plus

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    • OS : iOS 11
    • Chipset : Apple A11 Bionic
    • RAM : 3GB
    • Storage : 64GB or 256GB
    • Display : 5.5″ IPS LCD 1080 x 1920
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 7MP front
    • Battery : 2675mAh
    • Dimensions : W 78.1mm x H 158.4mm x D 7.5mm
    • Weight : 202g
    • Pros : Good battery life, lovely display wireless charging and great cameras.
    • Cons : High price, no 3.5mm headphone jack and slightly dated design.

    The Apple iPhone 8 Plus is the smartphone one down from the iPhone X in Apple’s model list. It may not be as exclusive as the iPhone X, but it certainly is up there with the best premium smartphones.

    The phone has been improved in a number of places over the previous iPhone 7 Plus, but is this enough? Wireless charging is really handy and the camera and performance is not lacking, and stereo speakers provide excellent sound output. Large storage capacity options will consume all but the biggest media collections.

    The design has not changed much since the iPhone 7 Plus and carries on the tradition of not having a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is not a cheap phone and unfortunately there are other cheaper models that are better than this.

    The iPhone 8 Plus costing a fair bit less than the iPhone X, could be the one to got for if the extra expense of the iPhone X is too much. Upgrading from an iPhone 7 Plus might not seem much of an improvement, but this is still a fantastic premium smartphone to get.

  8. Sony Xperia XZ Premium

    Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    Sony Xperia XZ Premium

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    • OS : Android 7.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.5″ IPS LCD 2160 x 3840
    • Camera : 19MP rear and 13MP front
    • Battery : 3230mAh
    • Dimensions : W 77mm x H 156mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 195g
    • Pros : Amazing display, lovely cameras and great performance.
    • Cons : Design not to everyone’s taste and the 4K display lacking content.

    Sony have long been making smartphones and the Xperia XZ Premium is their current high end model. With features to match the best premium phones here, but it only got in towards the end of our list.

    The big thing this premium smartphone has over all of the others is the 4K display with HDR. There is no doubt that this is an amazing display and certainly better than a lot of other models here. Audio performance is excellent and still has a 3.5mm headphone jack which is slowly being removed from other models. The camera performs just as a premium model should and will satisfy even the most scrupulous photographers.

    The design is similar to previous models, so this may not seem much of a change to some people. The 4K display, although fantastic, is lacking in content to play. But this will improve as time goes on. Its specifications and performance are definitely up there with some of the best phones here. But maybe it is not enough and a better premium smartphone can be had for a similar price.

  9. HTC U11

    HTC U11
    HTC U11

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    • OS : Android 7.1
    • Chipset : Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
    • RAM : 4GB
    • Storage : 64GB
    • Display : 5.5″ SLCD5 1440 x 2560
    • Camera : 12MP rear and 16MP front
    • Battery : 3000mAh
    • Dimensions : W 75.9mm x H 153.9mm x D 7.9mm
    • Weight : 169g
    • Pros : Modern looks, beautiful screen, amazing performance, lovely audio and a great camera.
    • Cons : No 3.5mm headphone jack, average battery life and Edge Sense not to everyone’s liking.

    The once mighty HTC has been going through a bit of a rough time. They used to be the cornerstone of smartphones, but the competition got greater and greater and they struggled to keep up. Well maybe the tide is turning, as the HTC U11 has made it into our list.

    The design is very modern and looks as good as the competition. The 5.5″ high resolution display is extremely clear and a joy to use. Performance is not a problem and it can easily handle any task you give it. Audio quality is great from either the built in stereo speakers or from the supplied headphones, but they connect via the USB-C connector and not a traditional 3.5mm jack.

    The Edge Sense squeezable sides is something you will either like or hate, but it does work well and its settings are configurable. Battery life is not the best and does not give the same running time as other phones here. HTC still have a little way to go, to get back to their old self, but they are slowly getting there. This premium smartphone is certainly worth a look.

  10. Apple iPhone 8

    Apple iPhone 8
    Apple iPhone 8

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    • OS : iOS 11
    • Chipset : Apple A11 Bionic
    • RAM : 2GB
    • Storage : 64GB or 256GB
    • Display : 4.7″ IPS LCD 750 x 1334
    • Camera : 8MP rear and 7MP front
    • Battery : 1821mAh
    • Dimensions : W 67.3mm x H 138.4mm x D 7.3mm
    • Weight : 148g
    • Pros : Wireless charging and nice camera.
    • Cons : No 3.5mm headphone jack, not much of an upgrade over the iPhone 7 and dated design.

    If the larger screen of the iPhone 8 Plus is a little too much and you prefer your phone a bit smaller, then the iPhone 8 could be for you. And it is cheaper than the iPhone 8 Plus and a lot cheaper than the iPhone X.

    The main new feature of the iPhone 8 is Wireless charging which other phones have had for a while now. The CPU, screen and camera have improvements over the iPhone 7. The stereo speakers and headphones are good, but like the iPhone 7, there is no 3.5mm jack. Fast charging is good and you can achieve 50% in half an hour, but being a smaller phone than the iPhone 8 Plus, the battery will not last as long. 64GB storage space is now standard and 256GB is the new top capacity, replacing the previous 128GB.

    All in all this is a nice premium smartphone if you do not want the extra size of the iPhone 8 Plus or cannot stretch to the expense of the iPhone X. If you currently own an iPhone 7, then the new features and design of the iPhone 8 may not seem enough of an improvement to warrant an upgrade. Compared to other premium Android smartphones, this phone does not quite hit the spot.

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