Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
There are hundreds of smartphone models from dozens of manufacturers on the market today. Even in offline stores, you can find many devices from a variety of vendors. And the 'virtual shelves' of online stores like Aliexpress are strewn with smartphones from unknown manufacturers like Vkworld or Doogee. How do you choose the right device?
- Rating of the best smartphone manufacturers
- What to look for when choosing a smartphone
- The best low-cost smartphone firms – budget up to 5000 rubles
- Rating of the best smartphone manufacturers in the middle price range up to 20,000 rubles
- Samsung (J series)
- The best premium smartphone brands
- Samsung (S series)
Rating of the best smartphone manufacturers
|The best low-cost smartphone firms – budget up to 5000 rubles||1||Digma|
|The best smartphone manufacturers in the middle price range up to 20,000 rubles||1||Xiaomi|
|4||Samsung (J series)|
|The best premium smartphone brands||1||Apple|
|2||Samsung (S series)|
What to look for when choosing a smartphone
When choosing a smartphone, regardless of manufacturer, you should pay attention to the following specifications:
- The amount of RAM. A characteristic that determines the performance of a smartphone. The 'minimum viable' capacity is 1 GB, but of course more is better;
- The amount of permanent memory. The internal storage contains the operating system itself and installed applications. Therefore, if there is not enough permanent memory, you may face the impossibility of installing new programs and games. The minimum viable size is 8 GB;
- Generation of the processor. The 'fresher' the chip, the better: it consumes less power, heats up less, and works faster;
- Operating system version Android. It just so happens that Google's 'even' OS versions run more stable and smoother than the 'odd' ones. So smartphones with Android 4.4 KitKat, Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 8.0 Oreo are recommended for purchase;
- Battery capacity. The higher it is, the longer the smartphone will work without connecting to an outlet. Smartphones with a battery less than 2000 mAh are not recommended for purchase.
- It is also important to determine the characteristics that you need. For example, if you plan to surf the Internet a lot, then you should buy a smartphone with 4G support. For photography, camera resolution is critical – the larger the better. But for fans of viewing media content on the screen, the display resolution is important.
The best low-cost smartphone firms – budget up to 5000 rubles
Digma is a Russian-Chinese manufacturer of mobile electronics. The line of smartphones includes several dozen ultra-budget devices based on processors MediaTek and Spreadtrum. The devices are simple and do not represent anything special, but reliable, which makes them a good choice in the budget price segment.
The flagship series of smartphones is called VOX, and the last model at the end of 2017 is the VOX Fire with 4G support, a 5-inch HD-screen covered with 2.5D glass, 8 GB of permanent memory and a 5 MP main camera. The price is appropriate – well below 5 thousand.
- Minimum price;
- There are interesting devices.
- Very low performance of manufactured smartphones.
Alcatel is a Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer. He produces not only smartphones, but also various switches, equipment for mobile base stations, etc. Mobile devices from this manufacturer are 'youth-oriented': they offer features that children and teenagers will definitely like – bright body colors, LED panels, high-definition front camera, etc.
Alcatel have two budget lines at once – Pop and Pixi. There are no fundamental differences between them. The devices are quite suitable for everyday use, but do not survive falls very well.
- Optimal price;
- Attractive design;
- Fresh versions of firmware;
- Poor build quality and components used.
Fly is a Chinese manufacturer of ultra-budget smartphones. Often produces devices under other brands (for example, special models for mobile operators). It also has its own 'premium' sub-brand, Wileyfox.
In the ultra-budget segment, this manufacturer has four lines at once:
- Power – smartphones with a capacious 4000-5000 mAh battery;
- Selfie – smartphones with a front camera with a resolution of 8 megapixels;
- Cirrus – 2.5D smartphones with 'premium' design;
- Nimbus is an ultra-budget line aimed at youth (bright body colors).
The company updates its smartphone lineup every three to four months. There were no typical problems for the brand, so with a budget of up to 5 thousand rubles, you can buy a device from Fly.
- Variety of models;
- Good build quality and components.
Lack of updates;
Low-performance devices come across.
ZTE is one of the largest smartphone and telecommunications equipment manufacturers in China. Like Fly, it often produces devices for other brands. The company has three lines of smartphones – the flagship Axon, the budget Blade and the 'youth' Z. It is worth noting that after 2014, ZTE reduced the release of smartphones, focusing on telecommunications equipment – it is working on standard networks 5G.
The budget Blade series smartphones are similar in characteristics and user experience to the models Honor from the competing manufacturer Huawei. Despite their price, they are distinguished by the most beautiful design in the ultra-budget segment and good performance.
- Attractive design;
- Good technical characteristics.
- Relatively high price;
- Low-performance devices come across.
Rating of the best smartphone manufacturers in the middle price range up to 20,000 rubles
Xiaomi is one of the largest Chinese manufacturers of electronics and home appliances. It produces smartphones of the middle and top price segments. In the range of 'up to 20,000 rubles', the line Redmi deserves the greatest attention. And especially the 3S model, which, despite the price of 11-14 thousand rubles, depending on the seller, is equipped with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal memory, an energy efficient processor MediaTek and even a fingerprint scanner.
In addition, the A1 model deserves attention. Unlike other smartphones Xiaomi, it runs a 'clean' operating system Android 7.1 Nougat, as well as a dual camera and a high-performance Snapdragon processor.
The rest of the smartphones Xiaomi run a proprietary operating system MIUI based on Android. This should be taken into account when choosing, as this environment offers an unusual user experience.
Another non-critical drawback Xiaomi is limited support for contactless payment Android Pay even in those models that are equipped with an NFC module.
However, despite these two non-critical flaws, smartphones Xiaomi are some of the best in the mid-range.
- Lots of great devices in the mid-range;
- High functionality of smartphones out of the box;
- Regular updates;
- Unusual user experience;
- Smartphones are targeted at the Chinese market, which leads to the appearance of non-localized programs in the firmware or to functional limitations when used in Russia;
- Limited functionality in some aspects;
But the main advantage of smartphones Meizu is the screen. The display is bright, clear, rich, with excellent color reproduction.
However, smartphones Meizu have one important drawback. All of them are produced exclusively for the Chinese market and therefore come without Google Play Services preinstalled (including the Play Store). You will have to download and install them yourself.
- Excellent screen quality;
- Regular updates;
- Convenient, intuitive user interface;
- Smartphones are targeted at the Chinese market, which leads to serious functional limitations in the firmware (which, however, can be circumvented).
The company Huawei produces two lines of smartphones – budget Honor and flagship Mate. The most interesting device in the first is Huawei Honor 6A. Despite the price (9-10 thousand rubles, depending on the retailer), the smartphone is equipped with:
- Metal body;
- 5-inch HD display with excellent color reproduction;
- Fingerprint scanner;
- 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of permanent memory;
- Operating system EMUI 5.1 based on Android 7.0.
- It works Huawei Honor 6A is fast, stable and just nice. And the same is true for almost all smartphones of the series Honor released after 2016.
But the Mate has one of the best cameras on the market. But they cost more than 20 thousand rubles.
- Lots of great smartphones in the mid-range;
- Fast and stable work;
- Good quality of the camera and other components;
- Convenient, simple user interface;
- Irregular and often missing updates.
Samsung (J series)
Samsung has a huge number of lines, series and just models of smartphones. Only actual about 50! But the most interesting of the budget series is the J.
In the J series, Samsung produces relatively inexpensive, but high-quality and nimble smartphones. Moreover, the J3 and J5 models of fresh revisions (updated annually) are recommended for purchase. They are equipped with a good camera, a fairly productive 'stuffing' and a capacious replaceable battery, which is enough for a whole day of mixed use. And they also have the current version of the operating system – Android 6.0 Marshmallow or even 7.0 Nougat.
There is only one drawback. Smartphones of this series are equipped with an IPS display, and not AMOLED, as in the current revisions of the A line. Therefore, such attractive software 'features' as a constant display of the clock on the screen or backlighting of the edges when receiving notifications do not work in them .
- Low price;
- Lots of pre-installed apps;
- High functionality;
- Relatively low performance;
- Possible glitches;
- Non-standard user interface in the latest versions of the operating system;
- Too many preinstalled applications that duplicate each other;
The company LG has a huge number of mid-range smartphones, and most of them are not in a specific series. But there are common features between them. Among the unambiguous advantages of smartphones LG of the middle price range are:
- Nice screen with natural colors (similar to sRGB mode on AMOLED – displays);
- Lots of practical software functions (access to phone, notes, camera, messages, etc. directly from the locked screen; control of font size by 'tweaks' right in the application interface);
- Not a bad camera;
- Long battery life;
- Maximum stable signal reception.
In addition, there are even 'trend following' models among mid-range devices. For example, LG Q6. It features an 'elongated' 18: 9 display (like the Samsung S8, Google Pixel 2 XL, or even Apple iPhone X) with rounded edges. And it looks really beautiful.
The disadvantage is the non-standard location of the power key – in most models it is located on the back panel, right under the camera. It will take habit. In addition, the fingerprint scanner is a rare guest in mid-range smartphones LG.
- Convenient, intuitive user interface;
- High quality components;
- Good quality of connection with the network;
- Lower performance than analogs from the middle price range;
- Non-standard key layout.
The best premium smartphone brands
The company Apple produces smartphones iPhone – and, in principle, this review can be completed, since this line needs no introduction.
The main advantage of smartphones iPhone is their balance. That is, when choosing, you do not need to pay attention to the RAM, camera or processor – the device will work smoothly and take beautiful photos anyway. And in the 2017 models, the software shooting algorithms were also finalized, making iPhone almost an ideal tool for a mobile photographer.
When buying iPhone it is better to take the latest models. They get the most up-to-date operating system versions while maintaining high performance after each update. In addition, Apple constantly improve the camera, screen, processor and other components, making smartphones more and more perfect.
- Excellent optimization of the operating system;
- Excellent camera quality on the latest models;
- Fast, smooth, stable performance;
- Lack of customization options;
- Synchronization software required.
Samsung (S series)
If you need the highest performance from a smartphone, then you should pay attention to the S series from Samsung. The most top-end processors and the maximum amount of RAM are installed in these devices. Thanks to this, the smartphone works incredibly fast and easily copes with even the most difficult tasks.
The high performance is evidenced, for example, by the fact that Samsung released a special DoX dock with the release of S8. If you connect it to a monitor and install a smartphone in it, you get a full-fledged computer with support for multiple windows, keyboard and mouse input, and other 'features' – except for Android.
- Highest performance;
- Excellent delivery set;
- Regular updates of the operating system for a long time;
- Excellent quality of the camera and other components;
- High price at the start of sales;
- A huge number of pre-installed applications that duplicate each other;
- High cost of maintenance and repair;
Sony smartphones are the perfect solution for mobile video enthusiasts. Indeed, it is Sony that makes cameras that are used by all other manufacturers (including Apple and Samsung, as well as those occupying the top of the DxOMark Google rating and Huawei), so why would it deprive its smartphones at least something?
A prime example is support for slow motion shooting at 120 frames per second. It first appeared in the Sony Xperia XZ smartphone. And only then this function was 'stolen' by other manufacturers. Sony does not skimp on the optics for its camera modules either, installing the best lenses.
In addition, Sony uses the Bravia Engine in its smartphones to ensure maximum color saturation on the display. In combination with native 4K resolution (as in the current flagship Xperia XZ Premium) and HDR support, the result is a rich and clear picture (which is slightly spoiled by the pastel shades of the system interface).
And another advantage of Sony smartphones – almost all of them support 2 SIM-cards.
There is also a drawback. A non-standard design may not appeal to most buyers, and lack of development may appeal to most geeks. Indeed, all Sony premium smartphones are similar to each other visually and technically.
- One of the best cameras on the market;
- Excellent sound quality thanks to Walkman technology;
- Many useful pre-installed functions (for example, Stamina power saving mode);
- Bright, rich screen with Bravia Engine technologies;
- Lack of technological and software development;
- Non-standard and not always beautiful design.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.