Being head honcho here at Mobility Arena means that a fair quantity of smartphones get to pass through my hands each year for review, evaluation and/or testing. From January till now, I have handled twenty-nine such devices. We have just less than two months to the end of 2016 and it is safe to say that most major smartphone announcements for the year have been made. This looks like a good time to look at that list and pick out my favourite smartphones of the year.
My Favourite Smartphones of 2016
- UMi Plus: The UMi Plus is still the greatest surprise of the year for me. I had followed UMi intently for a while, noting the great specs matched with great prices that they offered. Then UMi sent us the Plus to review. It turned out to be a really beautifully designed and built smartphone. From the large delicious display to capable processor, copious RAM and solid battery, there is little to dislike about the UMi Plus. My UMi Plus review.
- Infinix Note 3: The Note 3 was the first smartphone from Infinix Mobility that I have ever drooled over. Before its arrival, while Infinix phones were good bang for the buck, they were mostly drab and uninspiring in the design area. The Note 3 changed that. Add the big screen and great battery life to the mix, and it is a winner. The Note 3 is unarguably Mobility Arena’s battery champ of 2016. That battery just goes on and on. My Infinix Note 3 review.
- Microsoft Lumia 950: With the Windows mobile platform having slid into an insignificant share of the smartphone market on earth, on the moon and everywhere else in the entire cosmos, you would wonder why a Lumia smartphone is making this list. Wonder no more. The truth is, the Lumia 950 is still one of the best cameraphones of the year, if not the very best. It kicks the ass of the iPhone 7, Galaxy S7, Google Pixel and every other pretender to the throne that hit the cameraphone scene this year. When I need to take the most amazing photographs, I take my Lumia 950 along with me. My Lumia 950 review.
- Lenovo Vibe S1: The Vibe S1 is hands-down the most drop-dead gorgeous smartphone I have handled in 2016. Absolutely drool-worthy. And absolutely slippery in the hand or on a table too. It has 4G LTE, good performance and a good camera, as well as great audio output from the loudspeakers. Best of all, it is a handy 5-inch smartphone. My Lenovo Vibe S1 review.
- Infinix Zero 4 Plus: The Zero 4 Plus feels and looks like a souped up, more elegant sibling of the Note 3. There’s solid design, great display, powerful processor, copious RAM, solid battery life and 4G LTE bands that include Glo’s elusive 28(700). What’s not to like? My Zero 4 Plus first impressions.
That is my top 5 list for 2016. Barring any surprise arrivals for us, this list is not likely to change before the year runs out. Should another smartphone that strikes a resounding note with us come in before December 31st, I will be sure to update the list, so stick around.
2016 has been an exciting year of smartphone reviews here at Mobility Arena. Well, every year is, actually. We love the variety of smartphones that we get to review and keep looking forward to having more for you.
If you have used or handled more than one smartphone this year, you must have some impressions about them. Which of them is/are your favourite(s) and why? Share your stories, please. And don’t forget to share this post with your social circles. Cheerio.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.