GSMArena's Part 1 and Part 2 list, they are pretty poor.
Not enough time and thought was placed in these articles.
The Best Phones of the Decade? It should include releases before 2020, and basically covers the transition from Feature Phones/Symbian and Smart Phones/Windows Mobile. To what we have are now "Super Phones" in terms of Affordable/Android and Luxury/iOS.
So here's my take, and why:
This was one of the most innovative devices of the decade. Apple and Google borrowed heavily from the concepts of this product. It's innovation wasn't marketed, they went bankrupt shortly, and now no-one remembers this little gem. Honorable mentions to the Kai OS, and the Apple iPhone 2G (which was the other early innovator).
Since we're discussing failed competitors, this product was very competitive for its time in terms of hardware, software-wise it was actually decent too. Borrowing heavily from its QNX roots from the RIM PlayBook, and reminiscent of Linux/SailfishOS. But it's ecosystem was basically starting from scratch, being 3-5 years too late behind iOS/Android and no prospects of getting traction. Honorable mentions to the Blackberry Torch 9800, Z10, and the Priv.
This held the future for the company (Maemo), and it was for a long-time the best companion for developers and IT professionals. However, as we know, things went differently with Nokia pretty much going the way of Blockbuster due to poor management. Honorable mentions to the Nokia N950, N9, and SailFish OS.
HP Elite X3.
I promise we will get to the mainstream Android/iPhone devices, but lets discuss Microsoft's ecosystem. Without a doubt, Windows10 Mobile was a great software able to compete with the likes of Apple's iOS 7.1 and Android 4.0.3. So now combine that on the best hardware in the ecosystem, and you get the HP Elite X3. It's a shame that Microsoft laughed at the iPhone 1-2-3, then sabotaged Nokia, and never admitting their mistakes. They hurriedly released a hacked-up Windows Phone 7 (and 7.5) which was still based on the ancient Windows CE, facepalm. Windows Phone 8 (and 8.1) was a half-step, not good enough against the above Android/iOS software let alone their ecosystem. By the time they released the full Windows10 Mobile, which was a proper Windows10 Pro Operating System but scaled down for mobiles, the ecosystem war was over. What they released in 2016 needed to be out in 2009 or 2011. Despite all that, there were some decent offerings, and here are their honourable mentions: HTC HD2, HD7, HTC 7 Pro, Lumia 1020, Lumia 930, HTC One M8, Lumia 950 XL, and Alcatel Idol 4S.
Talking about the above three, Buttons! The once stable front of mobile devices, keyboards, have now become extinct. This device was the best example of combining the new "superphone" with a keyboard. There hasn't been any Qwerty Phones that were as competitive against their Bar Phones since. Plus, it was sick playing some GBA/PS1 games with the GameGripper. Honorable mentions to the Moto Cliq, Droid 1/2/3, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play.
Since we're discussing "gimmicks" (or features) that are dealbreakers for some people, I thought we should quickly mention some other ones. The CAT S61 and the Sonim XP8 are champions of ruggedness. We could mention the "limited" Samsung Active S6/S7/S8 phones too. The LG G5 and Moto Z were innovative with their approach to modularity (also very durable). The Motorola Atrix invented the concept of docking, particularly with the LapDock, whereas it was perfected with the Razer Phone 2/Project Linda, and the Samsung DeX. The ASUS ZenFone 2 gets a special mention for having a competitive processors in its day, but it was Intel x86-based! And for the category of style let us honour the Sharp Crystal 1 and 2, and Xiaomi Mi Mix. The only mention of "foldables" is deservedly for the Huawei Mate X, as it was the more practical prototype.
Panasonic Lumix CM1.
Photography, photography, photography. Personally, I think it is overrated. However many tech journalists and fanboys don't think so. When it comes down to it, QUALITY beats QUANTITY. Having only one BIG sensor is much better than a SMALL sensor, even if there are a dozen of them. This is the best camera-phone period. Other camera-phones are newer, more advanced, and have a better compromise in terms of size and features. But this has the best performing camera. Yes, its better than the Samsung K-Zoom, Samsung S4 Zoom, Nokia 808 PureView, and even the championed Lumia 1020 (honourable mentions). I guess the Selfie-Cam is also important, and some devices like the Oppo N1, Honor 7i, and ASUS Zenfone 6 have the best based on their form-factor. The only thing possibly able to compete with this Rear Camera would be possibly the latest Huawei P40 Pro, Samsung S20-Ultra, Oppo Find X20, iPhone 12, or perhaps the Google Pixel 5... and that's only because they use much better software to boost the small sensors on those multiple cameras.
Samsung Galaxy S ii.
This is where I agree with the author. On the category of "regular sized" android devices, there are many contenders. However, Samsung has consistently been at the forefront in this mainstream category. And the S2 was Samsung at its MOST competitive. There are people who are still using it, just replace the battery every once in-awhile, and run a Custom Rom (ResurrectionRemix anyone?). It's over nine years old !! Other honourable mentions go to, HTC Nexus One, Moto Atrix, HTC One X, LG Nexus 4, and countless others too many to name.
Samsung NOTE 4-Exynos.
Where I mentioned an older Samsung, here I will mention a newer one. On the category of "large sized" android devices, its the most popular segment. Where the Apple iPhone 3G/4 invented the Superphone, Samsung practically re-invented it. The Samsung Note is legendary in its status, and each year it was THE phone. At least until 2015, that's when Samsung started to remove some features, increase its price, and where the competitors caught up. The Note 4-Exynos still has a Removable Battery, Headphone Jack, and microSD slot... and despite its age, it has a decent processor/camera/display and great Custom Rom community. Since I haven't mentioned too many "Best Phones" in this list (only ten), then it is only fitting to mention as many Honorable Mentions for this category, as, it is the most popular one. Here goes: Samsung Note, Note 2, Sony Xperia Z2, OnePlus One, Note 3, Note 4, Alcatel Idol 4s, Moto X Style, S6+, Note 6, LG V20, ZTE Axon 7, S7+, S8+, Pixel 2XL, Note8, S9+, Note9, Razer Phone 2, ASUS RoG, ASUS RoG Phone 2, Sony Xperia 1, S10+.
Lastly, let's mention The Apple iPhone. Which version? All of them. Each year they manage to improve upon the previous, sometimes by a little, and sometimes by a lot. The staple of focus has been on the SoC, Display, and Camera. Yet in some cases they change the industry with their innovation, like the addition of Free Software Updates, Siri, Reversible Port, Sleek Hardware Design, Fingerprint Scanner, 64-bit SoC, Pressure-sensing Screen and Tactility, Waterproofing, Modern Computer Processing. Just compare the 2008 and 2009 iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS to the likes of the Nokia N95, BlackBerry Bold 9000, HTC TyTN II, and Motorola Cliq. How about the 2010 iPhone 4 to the likes of the Nokia E7, Blackberry Torch 9800, HTC HD7, and Motorola Milestone 2. Or the 2016 iPhone SE to the likes of the Sony XZ1 Compact or the Sharp R2 Compact. What about the 2014 iPhone 6 Plus, to the likes of the Samsung Note 4, LG G3, or Moto X Style. It's true, I am not a fan of the company, but I give credit to where its due. Each iPhone deserves an honourable mention (except the "budget" iPhone 5c, iPhone Xr, iPhone 11).
So there you have it TEN phones to think back over the decade. And for the true enthusiasts, there's another 50 Honorable Mentions in there, not including the 8 Windows Phones and 13 iPhone models over this period. So overall there's almost 100 devices named here, and although that sounds like many, I did have to exclude most. This list is about the devices that were "the best" or "most innovative", I obviously had to exclude devices based on factors such as "best price" or "best value" since that's heavily region specific, and it would mean having to consider used phones and ex-flagships. Besides, an individual may be able to increase their budget and save up more, but you cannot magically improve a device's hardware or software for the most part. So cost is mostly irrelevant when listing these devices over the decade. PS: there is one typo in there, see if you can spot it ; )
i, 02 Jan 2020damn i still want a first gen Mi Mix tbhIts still available as a brand new sealed box phone in India for some reason.
The best devices from iPhone, Nexus, Pixel, Galaxy S, and Galaxy Note line of the 2010s..
1. 5S / SE
2. 4 / 4S
3. 11 Pro
2. 2 XL (panda}
4. 7 edge
5. 5 (underrated) over 4 (best-seller)
4. 7 (RIP)
5. 3 over 4 due to the 4's emmc failure
I actually think the matte black iPhone 7 is one of best designs for an iPhone. Comfortable size. The last to offer a metal back but the first to remove headphone for that product line. That's why I can't rank it that high.
The Note10 might be the worst Note since the 5 but with all the newer specs inside of it, it shouldn't rank below Top 5.
The Pixel 4 is a black mark to the Pixel line but I can see Google rebounding. Pixel 4 isn't a terrible phone, per se. Just feels like the S6 and Note5 that went backwards. Or the Nexus S that didn't really move forward.
Sometimes newer isn't always better and sometimes newer is simply better even if takes a step back because the software or its inmards makes everything feel new.
Better designs, sizes, more practical hardware features.
Better cameras (better algorithms) with its computational photography, better screen to bezel ratio, more efficient SoCs, and far better software.
Since I'm more about the software experience than hardware, I tend to side with Pixels which is why the most recent years is what I prefer more even though the industry became really stagnant and boring. I can't see myself going back and using Lollipop or any software before that.
My LG G5 is a better all-around phone than my Google Pixel 3 and Essential Phone. But why do I still prefer the latter two? Because they're both on Pie. Being smaller also helps. I can't even upgrade to a Pixel 4 because I do use the fingerprint scanner for certain apps and Android 10 broke some of my apps.
Anonymous, 02 Jan 2020There's some such an obsession with consumers wanting big batteries and a bezeless displays th... moreIn Europe, Sharp is known for the really cheap and nasty TVs and radios they pedalled 90s/00s. It's not a brand anyone would want on their phone.
I think 2015 might have been my least favorite year in phones but I enjoyed going to the movies with my gf that year. It was also the year I started downloading from torrent sites. I know I'm late in the game but I didn't really care to download illegal movies for many years. I held off from it. I did do the Napster stuff back in 2000 and then Kazaa and Morpheus but I never got into the Pirate Bay stuff until 2015.
Now I have every movie I ever wanted but I still don't have the urge to download them because I have Regal Unlimited Plus which means I can go to the movie theaters daily to watch the same movies repeatedly. And the Netflix kinda killed my urge for it. Streaming is way easier and doesn’t take up space. My 2 TB Seagate external hard drive still has 177 GB of space but only because I deleted some TV shows I will never watch or is already found on Netflix.
Too bad Qualcomm messed up with the Snapdragon 810 for 2015. They did make it up with the 820/821 and 835 right after. But I guess 2015 was a nice break from tech. Let's be real, this phone hobby will have its valleys. I watch that YouTuber, J. Williams, and I wonder why he buys so many phones? He's not even sponsored. I had 11 phones at one point and it's essentially pointless to have that many. Keep what you really need. Sell the rest that only clutters.
GrandMaster, 01 Jan 2020Then bring out your own innovation mate. People like you with such negativity and hate is not ... moreI'm clearly not a businessman. People are overly positive, constructive criticism is needed.
The latter half of the 2010s was the less interesting decade. But in tech, usually newer is better but not always. And my 6 of my Top 7 favorite phones was released in 2016 or after.
Google Pixel 3 (2018)
Essential Phone (2017)
LG G5 (2016)
Xiaomi Mi 3 (2013)
LG V20 (2016)
Apple iPhone (2016)
Google Pixel (2016)
The first half of the 2010s had better designs and more comfortable sizes along with still offering removable battery. The iPhone 4 / 4s, 5 / 5s, Nexus One / 4, and HTC One M7 / M8 are some of the best phone designs we've ever seen. The first half of the 2020s could duplicate what 2010-2014 did with all these foldable concepts. The real revolution for smartphones started in the late-2000s with iPhone in 2007 and Android by 2008. From 2010-2014 was really more like Phase 2. We're headed to Phase 4 from 2020-2024.
Like I said before, I can reminisce about old phones but I wouldn't want to use them. I loved the Nokia 3310 but it's not like I'm going to go back using one. Although perhaps phones released from 2016-2018 can help change my mind or at least make me use my phones longer. I actually still see some people use an iPhone 4 or 4s. June 24, 2020 will mark 10 years of the iPhone 4. I remember getting mine on launch like it was yesterday. And Nexus One gets its 10 years as well this Sunday (January 5).
I don't think anybody can use the same phone forever and ever. Eventually, I will have to upgrade. That's just life. Everything gets old and dies. I will probably upgrade within 18 months from now with the Microsoft Surface Duo or whatever new RAZR smartphone Motorola comes up with as long as the price and specs are decent enough. Nothing really lasts forever especially with their degrading batteries sealed inside.
The one that has held up well is my PS Vita slim and I gor mine second-hand back in May 2017. Battery after 6+ years can still hold a decent charge. Only my Xiaomi Mi 3 has lasted beyond 5 years for me when it comes with smartphone. Surprising because when I first got in July 19, 2014, I questioned Xiaomi's longevity being it was Chinese. Has stood the test of time but it's still not my favorite compared to newer ones I bought.
There's some such an obsession with consumers wanting big batteries and a bezeless displays that some of the important/handy features of phones get taken away.
A Notification LED.
A Headphone Jack.
A full screen without having to remove side bars for content.
No notches and holes on screen.
A nice size screen, but with a manageable weight for pocketability and for one handed use.
So what the best these days is, is worse at this point than it used to be in my opinion if you want the above.
I still use my Samsung 6 Edge plus. A nice sized screen with a 16:9 Quad HD display with no notch or holes, weighing just 154 grams with a notification light and a headphone jack. Now that's what I am talking about.
Looking for an upgrade but struggling to find a suitable phone.
s-pen pusher, 02 Jan 2020i had both the razer phone 1 and 2 and i really liked them, but they were not really the first... moreSharp makes some really good phones but I don't understand why can't they release them globally
How did you'll leave out the S8 but put the iPhone X?
The S8 came before, and was the first major phone with a new aspect ratio and infinity display. It started and inspired the quest for all bezel less phones today.
Love the Community, 01 Jan 2020I have the RoG Phone II but what's so special about it to warrant the appearance in this article?the original rog phone was the first to implement an overclocked soc, which then qualcom copied with the 855+. the rog phone 2 was the FIRST phone to utilize a 120Hz refresh rate OLED panel (prior to this 120Hz was only possible with LCD and that claim by sony fans about xperia flagships is a lie and not even officially acknowledged by sony mobile).
Davy Jones, 02 Jan 2020I know that but the razor phone was the first one to utilize it.i had both the razer phone 1 and 2 and i really liked them, but they were not really the first smartphones with 120Hz display. the honor belongs to the sharp aquos line with a good 1 year lead. as for those saying that it was a sony xperia, it's a lie. even sony mobile itself did not acknowledge this officially. also, experts who tested their recent flagships purported to be with hidden 120Hz option can only increase the refresh rate of their panels by up to 75Hz, which is typical of regular 60Hz panels. even if it were true it is not enabled and it cannot be enabled at all even with flashing. while other oems are following suit with high refresh rate, back in september sharp announced the sharp aquos zero 2 with 240Hz OLED. although the device was launched back in December 2019, it will not be available until the first quarter of 2020 and will, as usual, be available only in japan.
Why everyone seems to forget that Sharp Aquos Crystal is exist even before Mi Mix launched in China
Anonymous, 01 Jan 2020First 120Hz was brought by Xperia X / X Performance. Sadly locked at 60Hz to use less power. I know that but the razor phone was the first one to utilize it.