So far this month, we‘ve counted down our top picks this Christmas amongst gadgets, gaming, wearables, and budget smartphones. Now, we‘re here to take you through our top choices in premium smartphones released this year.
To clarify, when we say “˜premium smartphones‘ we‘re referring to products that are either flagships, are positioned in the premium end of the price spectrum, or offer high-end features.
Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments, but for now, enjoy the list!
There’s little getting away from it – as Apple’s worst branding campaign punted this year, if it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone. Coupled with the most powerful version of iOS yet, and a 13 megapixel camera, the 6s breathed new life into the design language the iPhone 6 introduced.
Largely the pinnacle of Apple’s 2015 efforts, the iPhone 6s proved that Apple still has the know-how and marketing magic to take a smartphone to success.
Huawei Mate S
While the Mate 8 might be the last device we expect to see from Huawei this year, the company have had a bumper year releasing tasteful high-end competitors such as the P8, and none fit that bill more so than the Mate S.
In-hand, the Mate S cool metallic finish delights, while the device’s fingerprint sensor is one we’re happy to punt as the best-in-class. Between a quality camera, gorgeous display and the latest version of Huawei’s Emotion UI, the Mate S stands out as Huawei’s best product released this year in our eyes.
The LG G4 took LG’s G series into a bold new direction this year, bringing with it one of 2015’s most acclaimed smartphone cameras, a premium leather back, and the addition of manual mode for photographers. What this amounted to was a smartphone that brought a sizeable amount of energy into LG as a brand, and birthed sibling devices such as the G4 Beat and G4 Stylus.
At a relatively affordable price point, the LG G4 took LG to greater heights this year; shooting higher and sharper.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
We weren’t a fan of Samsung’s efforts with the Galaxy S5, but, admittedly, the South Korean giant blew us away in a return to form with the Galaxy S6; we even fittingly christened our review ‘beauty, at last!’
With arguably the best smartphone camera on the market today, alongside a unique USP in the form of a curved screen and a slim metallic body, the Galaxy S6 Edge formed the zenith of Samsung’s 2015, and, despite its price, is one of our most favourite devices released this year.
Huawei Nexus 6P
Motorola’s Nexus efforts, while appreciated, failed to resonate with a larger audience due to its price, which flew in the face of Google’s traditional efforts to make Nexus devices affordable and accessible.
Taking on the task of producing the higher-end version of this year’s Nexus handset, the 6P, Huawei produced a stunning effort that combines a high-quality camera coupled with a stock Android experience. The result of which is a phone that, despite not being easily available to many South Africans, is one to lust after.
What‘re your thoughts on our list? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and listen in to our first awards podcast where we take you through our thoughts on this year’s hottest smartphone picks – stay tuned to hear our all-stall number one choice!