With so many different brands, specifications, and sizes of smartphones available in the market right now, it can be a daunting and an impossibly difficult task to find the right phone for your needs.
Thankfully, you have us to ease things over. The team at Feedbaac.com understands the needs of our readers and chose the best premium smartphones that fall under the AED 2500 price tag in the UAE. These smartphones feature the best in class performance for the price, along with great cameras for your social sharing needs and good battery life to keep it going throughout the day.
Even though the Apple iPhone 6S is a generation or two behind in terms of pure hardware power, it is still a beast in terms of performance, and one of the greats in the compact smartphone category.
The iPhone 6S packs in a 4.7-inch 1334x750 display, an Apple A9 dual-core 1.8Ghz processor, a PowerVR GT7600 six-core graphics chip, 2GB of RAM, and all of it running on a reasonably long-lasting 1715mAh battery that gives upto 240 hours of standby time, 14 hours of talk time and upto 50 hours of continuous music playback. For normal everyday needs, despite the small battery compared to others in this list, a single-charge should let you power through an entire day thanks to iOS’ well-optimized software. It also comes with Apple’s fancy 3D Touch technology that lets you force-touch on certain aspects of the UI like icons, menus, etc., to open up more options or shortcuts.
The iPhone 6S is also a great shooter, with its 12-megapixel f/2.2 back camera capable of packing in great details into a single shot. It can also record 4K videos at 30fps, and take HDR photos. The best part about the iPhone 6S is that it will continue to receive software updates for another two-three years at the least, making it a great future-proof purchase.
The most eye-catching aspect of the Galaxy S7 Edge is of course its Super AMOLED 5.5-inch display with a stunning 2560x1440 resolution, giving even the most mundane picture a crisp and poppy look. The curved screen isn’t just for show either, as it adds a number of nifty functionalities that justifies its price tag. The curved screen can be swiped from any screen to access a set of icon drawers that features apps and tasks like speed dial, app shortcuts, an optional pane for sports scores and news headlines, and even a tool to pull up the flashlight and ruler.
In terms of hardware, the Galaxy S7 Edge is no slouch. Its gorgeous display is complimented by a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics chipset, 4GB of RAM, expandable storage, a front-mounted finger print scanner, and a large 3600mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 2.0. Featuring one of the best cameras on the market, the Galaxy S7 Edge is capable of shooting 12 megapixel f/1.7 pictures with HDR, as well as 4k at 30fps video recording with optical image stabilization for smooth, shake-free videos. The camera uses a Dual Pixel technology that features an incredible fast autofocus allowing you to capture sudden movements or even low light shots quickly without compromising on quality. To top it off, the Galaxy S7 Edge is also water-resistant so it can repel accidental spills and splashes without the need of a protective case or special coating.
HTC’s latest phablet, the HTC U Ultra, is packed with features that the company claims is designed for ‘U’. Off the bat, the HTC U Ultra is a stunner with its gorgeous 5.7-inch 4K display fitted under a molded glass front and encased in a super sleek polished metal body. It comes in four color variants: Brilliant Black, Cosmetic Pink, Ice White and Sapphire Blue.
Other than the main display, the HTC U Ultra also has a second screen tucked on the top-right corner of the device. The screen can be used as a fast and convenient way to access top contacts, app shortcuts, view notifications, check weather, read reminders, control music, and lots more.
Speaking of music, the phablet comes with the HTC USonic audio platform that analyzes your inner ear and automatically adapts the sound profile for a personalized listening experience. The device also uses four high-sensitivity omni-directional mics to capture video and audio recordings in 360-degree or “3D audio”. This can be used to record interviews or podcasts in excellent quality. The HTC U Ultra also captures great photos thanks to its 12 megapixel f/1.8 camera with the new Phase Detection Auto Focus technology for incredibly quick snaps. The device also uses Ultrapixel technology in its 16 megapixel front camera to provide four times more light sensitivity for clear pictures in low light conditions.
Hardware wise, the HTC U Ultra sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics card, 4GB of RAM, dual-SIM, expandable storage, Android 7.0, and a 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support.
Despite being two release generations old, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is still the only option for Note fans around the world. This is, of course, due to the early death of the Note 7 as its dangerous battery issues had Samsung recall millions of device it had shipped worldwide and offer replacements to every single buyer that bought the phablet. However, the Note 5 is still powerful enough to hold up on its own. With its Exynos 7420 Octa-core processor and Mali-T7660MP8 graphics chipset, the Note 5 can still perform tasks and play games just as smoothly as it did back when it launched in 2015.
Slimmer than the previous model and now encased in a sleek metal casing, the Galaxy Note 5 features a top-of-the-range 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for protection against most drops. The phone also comes with 4GB of RAM, Android 7.0 support, and a 3000mAh battery. In terms of optics, the Galaxy Note 5 features a 16 megapixel f/1.9 camera with optical image stabilization for smooth pictures and video recordings. It can shoot HDR pictures and 4K videos at 30fps.
The S-Pen is where the true power of the Galaxy Note 5 is realized and what differentiates it from other phablets in the market. The S-Pen allows you to take memos, adding notes even when the screen is locked, access shortcuts, multi-task between apps, draw, select objects from pictures, edit photos, and more.
The Chinese-owned Xiaomi is slowly and steadily taking to international waters, and is creating quite a buzz with its reasonably priced yet high-spec smartphones. The best part about its branding efforts is that it’s not rejected as a “Chinese phone” and is increasingly becoming a viable option for those looking for a cost effective yet solid device.
The Xiaomi Mi 5s is your standard mid-range smartphone affair with a few nifty features that piques interest. The Mi 5s is fitted with a 5.1-inch FullHD IPS display that tucks in 16 ultra-bright, power efficient LED lights that the company claims improves brightness by 30% while maintaining a vibrant image. The screen is optimized for color and clarity, and comes with a bunch of presets like Sunlight Display, Night Display, Reading mode and more.
The Mi 5s packs a punch in performance as well, with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, Adreno 530 graphics card and 3GB of RAM delivering breakneck speeds in apps and games. The 3200mAh battery is also designed to give a full day’s worth of use on a single charge, with support for Quick Charge 3.0 for fast refills.
Xiaomi also checks off the device with an impressive set of optics that supports 4-axis optical image stabilization that is usually found in professional cameras. This should give its 16-megapixel snapper enough room to deliver smooth, shake-free 4K videos and sharp pictures.
Another Chinese smartphone maker that’s taking the market by storm is OnePlus. It’s renowned for creating high-end devices packed with innovative features while keeping the price reasonably light.
The OnePlus 3T is one such smartphone that performs just as good as it looks on paper. Its most prominent USP is its new Dash Charge technology. The maker claims that a quick 30min charge to its 3400mAh battery replenishes it enough to last for an entire day. Dash Charge is said to be a faster, safer and cooler fast charging technology than any other on the market, and keeps the charge consistent even while streaming live content, playing videos or gaming. OnePlus 3T also boasts powerful internals with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics card, and 6GB of RAM, giving the device enough room to perform tasks smoothly and run even the most intensive games at a consistent frame rate. Needless to say, the phone absolutely demolishes on benchmarks.
In terms of optics, the OnePlus 3T features a 16 megapixel camera in both the front and back cameras, and uses a Smart Capture technology to take lightning fast pictures while intelligently combing pixels to gather more light and reduce noise in every picture. Pictures are also automatically adjusted with HDR lighting and are rendered through a Dynamic De-noise pass-through that further reduces noise and improves clarity. The camera’s manual mode gives even more control for your picture-taking needs, allowing you to fine-tune exposure, ISO, focus and lots more, and also supports RAW image files for post-shot editing. Finally, the camera can also record smooth 4K videos thanks to the new EIS 2.0 dual image stabilization technology that makes the camera stable and shake-free.
The LG V20 is a selfie-crowd pleaser. Unlike most smartphones that feature a narrow-angle front facing camera, the LG V20 understands the need of taking great selfies and has provided a 5MP camera that can take pictures at a 120-wide angle. This means that you can fit in more in a single picture, letting you take the best selfie possible. The wide-angle feature also extends to the rear cameras, which sports dual lenses: a standard 16 megapixel f/1.8 lens, and an 8 megapixel wide-angle lens that captures pictures at 135 degrees. LG V20 is the phone to beat in terms of giving you the flexibility to capture the perfect shot.
Like most high-spec LG phones, the V20 is also crammed with power. It features a gorgeous 5.7-inch Quad HD display that uses quantum technology to enhance contrast and color reproduction. Like the HTC U Ultra, the V20 too features a secondary display on the top, and is used to access contacts, shortcuts, apps, and more. LG has focused on audio this time around, fitting in 3 high AOP mics to record clean, lossless audio that the company claims is close to studio-quality sound. For music enthusiasts, the smartphone also packs in a ESS DAC for a crisper, fuller playback experience.
Sony phones have always been known for their cameras and the Xperia XZ is no different. The device comes loaded with triple image sensing technologies that analyses, adapts and captures the perfect photos. The Exmor RS image sensor helps predict movement to keep the subject in focus and blur-free, while the laser autofocus measures the distance to the object and optimizes the sensor in low light conditions and the RGB-RC IR sensor helps capture natural colors. This results in pictures that’s smooth, sharp and in-focus, allowing you to freeze your favorite moments in great detail at 23 megapixel. Additionally, the Xperia XZ also comes with a 13 megapixel low-light selfie camera that delivers sharper images and in wide-angle.
In terms of internals, the Xperia XZ sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 64-bit processor, an Adreno 530 GPU, a 5.2-inch Full HD Triluminos display, stereo speakers, a non-removable Li-on 2900 mAh battery, and running on the latest Android operating software. The battery supports Quick Charge 3.0 with Adaptive Charging that learns your charging patterns and adapts to them to prevent battery decline, effectively doubling the battery‘s lifespan over time.
The Xperia XZ is also water-resistant so its high purity ALKALEDIO metal body can withstand splashes and spills without damaging the internals.
The third Chinese maker on the list, Huawei has made a name for itself by producing devices that matches the best in the business with not just performance but also style and build quality. The Huawei Mate 9 comes from the same mold and promises blazing fast speeds, great camera and a wide-range of connectivity.
The Mate 9 packs in the latest Kirin 960 processor that is not just super fast, but also uses Machine Learning to learn your usage habits and optimize performance and memory to deliver an always smooth smartphone experience. As the company claims, the Mate 9 is “born fast and stays fast.” It’s other big USP is its large 4000mAh battery that lasts two entire days. The battery also supports Huawei’s state-of-the-art SuperCharge technology that safely charges the device for a full day’s power in just 20mins.
The Mate 9 also carries an excellent camera developed in association with Leica. The dual camera lenses captures exceptionally sharp images that are brimming with detail and vibrancy. The dual 20 megapixel + 12 megapixel camera can take pictures at 2x lossless zoom and record shake-free 4K videos thanks to the built-in optical image stabilization feature. The photo app also allows you to introduce a cool bokeh effect by tapping on any part of the picture.
Last but not the least is the Xiaomi Mi Mix, the largest and arguably the best looking phone of the lot. With its 6.4-inch 1080x2040 resolution edge-to-edge display, the Mi Mix is an absolute stunner with over 2 million pixels jumping in to create gorgeous and rich pictures on the screen.
What further accentuates the Mi Mix’s display is the minimalist, full ceramic body. Created with micro-crystalline zirconia ceramic as the raw material, it has the same hardness as sapphire, that not only feels great in the hands but also gives the confidence of a solidly built and long-lasting device.
With a screen that almost covers the entire body of the device, one might wonder where the speaker grill, front camera and infra-red sensor went. With some technical wizardry, Xiaomi was able to reduce the front-facing camera by 50% and stash it away at the bottom of the device. It also uses the Cantilever piezoelectric ceramics acoustic technology to act as a speaker grill, where the ceramic drive unit converts electric signals into mechanical energy which in turn creates microsesismic waves, causing resonance in the phone metal frame and deliver legible sound waves straight to the ear.
The Mi Mix packs enough power to keep everything running nice and smooth. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor combined with the Adreno 530 GPU and 6GB of RAM work together to keep the device at optimum performance. The large 4400mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 functionality affords nearly two days’ worth of use on a single charge.