BATTLE OF THE HANDSETS: THE BEST OF 2016 (SO FAR)

June 20, 2016

We’re only half way through 2016 and and we’ve already seen some outstanding phones come to market with manufacturers like Samsung and Sony really stepping up the game. In this review we will take a look at what we consider to be the best five flagship handsets on the market so you can choose which one would best suit you.

The cost to own your desired phone

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Tariffic's Top Five Handsets of 2016 (so far):

LG G5

LG G5

LG has taken a brand new 'modular' approach to its new flagship phone, the G5. The G5 comes with some of the usual high-end specs, featuring a 5.3" always-on QHD display, a 16MP Camera, a removable 2800mAh battery, a fingerprint sensor, the latest version of Android, and micro SD card capabilities.

What differentiates this phone, however, is the ability to remove the bottom piece of the phone, along with its battery, and replace it with custom LG accessories. These "magic" attachments include a more advanced camera which comes with extra battery life, an enhanced speaker for high quality audio playback, a 360 degree video camera and various others.

The G5 has also received some criticism, with users complaining about the high price of these magic attachments. The modular approach definitely has potential, but as a first-to-market device, it may need some refinement.

Pros: Great screen, first mainstream modular handset

Cons: Battery life, modularity needs refinement, inconsistent build quality

Huawei Mate 8

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The Huawei Mate 8 hit the South African Market at the beginning of the year. Packing a huge 6" FHD (1920 x 1080) screen, it can definitely be described as a 'phablet'.

The phone comes with a fingerprint sensor, a 16MP camera, 4GB of RAM and a much-desired 4,000mAh battery. It's a great phone for users looking for a high-end Android device with a large screen.

Some criticisms of the phone include an ugly speaker grill and a mediocre camera.

Pros: Big 4,000mAh battery, big screen

Cons: Camera, speaker grill, too big for users with small hands

Sony Xperia Z5

Sony Xperia Z5

The Xperia Z5 is the latest of Sony's Xperia range of smartphones, seeing great amounts of incremental change over the past two years.

The Z5 is both water and dust resistant. With a high quality glass and metal body, the Sony flagship is one of the best looking phones on the market.

When it comes to hardware specs, the phone doesn't disappoint featuring a 5.2" FHD screen, a 23MP camera, 3GB of RAM, a 2,900mAh battery, an Octacore CPU, and a Snapdragon 810 graphics card.

Many users report battery life lasting longer than both the Galaxy S6 Edge and the iPhone 6S in day-to-day use tests.

Some downsides to the phone is the absence of wireless charging, and some user reports of the phone heating up abnormally.

Pros: Water and dust proof, high build quality feels great, 23MP camera, battery life

Cons: No wireless charging, reports of heating up, glass body can break when dropped

Apple iPhone 6S Plus

Apple iPhone 6S Plus

Even though this phone was released last year, it’s still worthy of making our list. The iPhone 6S Plus is Apple's latest and greatest smartphone. The phone has a 5.5" FHD LCD screen and weighs 192 grams. It's a large phone, smaller than the Huawei Mate 8 but larger than both the G5 and Z5.

Users who find themselves enjoying the size and the “immersiveness” of an iPad but need the portability and functionality of a phone will love the 6S Plus.

The phone's internal hardware includes Apple's latest A9 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 2750 mAh battery, and a 12MP camera. While the phone packs less RAM than most of its Android competitors, Apple's iOS is known to use less RAM and therefore the phone can perform just as well with less.

The iPhone lacks the convenience factor of wireless charging and quick charging which its primary competitor (Samsung) seems to have perfected.

If you're a fan of Apple's iOS or find yourself tied into the Apple ecosystem then this phone is definitely your best bet.

Pros: Big screen, iOS, great performance

Cons: Inferior battery life to competitors, no fast charging, new iPhone expected soon

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The S7 Edge is the second flagship phone released by Samsung with a curved display. The biggest changes since the previous generation are a big increase in battery size, wireless fast charging, a bigger display, and dust and water proofing.

The display on the S6 Edge received very positive feedback, and as a result Samsung has kept the same display specs (QHD), but increased the size from 5.1" to 5.5" (the same size as the iPhone 6S Plus).

The phone features 4GB of RAM, a 12MP Camera, the latest octa-core Exynos CPU, a fingerprint scanner, heart rate sensor, and expandable memory. It is also IP68 water resistant.

The S7 Edge has been widely acclaimed as the best smartphone in the world right now, with very few points to fault it with. The camera is top-class, taking brilliant, vivid images and performing well in low-light.

Pros: Excellent camera, high quality design, vibrant and clear screen, great battery life

Cons: Screen can be overly reflective, high price

2016 has given us some amazing handsets and we’re very excited to see what the rest of the year brings. Did we miss a phone out? Let us know at info@tariffic.com and we’ll add it to our list to review next time.

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