The European Imaging and Sound Association has decided the best smartphones of 2016. Jurors from 50 editorial offices across 23 European countries each voted for winners in four categories. Do you agree with EISA for choosing the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10, LG G5 and Huawei P9?
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A consortium of European technology journalists selected the best smartphones from among several different categories. Important criteria were "advanced technology; most desirable features; ultimate expression of design; most satisfying ergonomics and the best price-performance ratio." Below we show you the four main winners and invite you to join the discussion.
EISA Award 2016-2017 "Smartphone with the best camera": Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge
The fact that the camera of the Galaxy S7 takes good pictures is undeniable. However, the professionals at DxOMark don't agree with EISA's judgment and place the HTC 10 above it in its ranking. In its judgment EISA writes:
"The camera featured on Samsung’s flagship duo is capable of an amazing performance in practically every shooting environment. The Dual Pixel Sensor boasts 12 megapixels with extended size that speed up the process of autofocusing using phase detection. The brighter f/1.7 lens captures more light and makes the camera capable of highly detailed and beautiful pictures even in the dark. You can save photos in RAW format and shoot videos in 4K resolution. The camera software of the Galaxy S7 / S7 edge is smart and easy to use and provides a Pro mode for those occasions when manual settings are required for highly creative and professional-looking photographs".
Many of the points also apply to other devices, so it's not clear on which points the Galaxy S7 camera is actually better than the Huawei P9 or HTC 10. But that's not so bad. Those devices received different awards.
EISA Award 2016-2017 "Mobile innovation ': LG G5
The LG G5 is considered innovative, but has had little success in the past few months. AndroidPIT was also convinced of LG's courage and it even won the Korean company an award in February. Unfortunately, that was not enough to bring big success. However, its price is now falling faster than any other smartphone on the market.
EISA still praised it as if LG never flopped:
"A fascinating high-end smartphone in its own right, it’s the inclusion of LG’s Friends feature that elevates the G5 to the realms of true excellence. The innovative modular design makes the phone look, act and feel different according to your specific needs at any particular moment. It also shoots amazing pictures, thanks to its dual camera system with wide-angle lens option. Users can add the CAM Plus module as a lightweight grip to provide dedicated manual controls at the tip of the finger, or enhance the audio quality using the 32-bit DAC of the Hi-Fi Plus Module. The G5 also features an amazing 5.3-inch Quad HD display with 850 nits maximum brightness and high pixel density for a perfect viewing experience even outdoors."
Especially alongside the Moto Z, the biggest talking point of the G5 is expansion through modules. Instead of opening the phone up, there is a magnetic panel that users can snap accessories to. Why it was not lauded by EISA, we will explain below.
EISA Award 2016-2017 "Consumer smartphone": Huawei P9
The category "European consumer smartphone" goes to the Chinese-built Huawei P9. Undoubtedly, Huawei has brought a competitive device to the market and we've recommended it to buyers. There are also buying arguments here from EISA:
"Sometimes the value of getting the important stuff right cannot be understated, and that’s precisely what the Huawei P9 does. Sporting a 5.2-inch IPS-NEO LCD with Full HD resolution, octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 955 SoC and Android OS 6.0 with Emotion UI 4.1, the P9 is available in an impressive choice of finishes produced from a wide variety of materials. But that’s not all, Huawei makes history by being the first manufacturer to introduce Leica’s photography knowhow to mobile devices. The dual-lens camera captures more light and provides better clarity for both photos and videos. While the 3000 mAh battery has enough power for capturing every precious moment between charging, the classy finish of those diamond-cut edges with rounded corners on the unibody design combined with 2.5D glass makes the P9 both practical and beautiful in equal measure."
If we're honest, this is what the real issue is:
EISA Award 2016-2017 "Advanced smartphone": HTC 10
The category "European Advanced Smartphone" went to Taiwanese company HTC. The text reads like a mixture of those for the Huawei P9 and LG G5. It also focuses on the improved HTC Sense user interface:
"Boasting the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, ably backed up by 4 GB of RAM, a 5.2-inch QHD display, 3000 mAh battery and Quick Charge 3.0 charger, HTC’s 10 has a stunning UltraPixel camera with 12 megapixels resolution and a selfie-camera. OIS and HTC’s Sense UI largely purified of duplicate apps and bloatware are just some of the notable specifications that make this the best flagship smartphone of the year. But scratch under the surface and you’ll discover a whole host of other standout features. Add to the mix a 24-bit Hi-Res Audio certified audio DAC for the highest quality sound and a gorgeous unibody metal design with chamfered contours and dual-textured finish, and it’s clear why the HTC 10 puts the smart into smartphone."
The HTC 10 is definitely an excellent smartphone. However, it's a bit too late to recommend this phone for purchase if you're looking for innovation and a pure Android experience.
Who fell through the cracks
EISA only included products that could be purchased from October 1 within the year the winners were selected. So the Lenovo Moto Z, or the older Nexus 5X and 6P, and even the upcoming Nexus smartphones Sailfish and Marlin, all fell through the cracks. So the judgments that EISA applied to each of the above smartphones are already partially outdated. Some models are coming to market that make the above products look old, especially within the next six weeks. This includes:
Do you agree with the award winners? Let us know in the comments.