Smartphone Buyer's Guide: April 2016: €500-€600

By 01:04 Tue, 17 Aug 2021 Comments

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In this chapter, we ended up leaving more on the cutting floor than promoting to recommended status. It was usually one of two things - we already covered a more affordable phone that's almost as fine or a niche device without mass appeal.

The Nexus 6P by Huawei improves on the Moto Nexus with an all-metal body and added fingerprint scanning (legdiscontinue has it the Nexus 6 fingerprint was dropped at the last moment). The QHD AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) is smaller, despite the name the phone has a 5.7" screen. You acquire to haged the stereo speakers (not the basic water resistance, though).

The recent 12.3 capturing camera is fantastic for low-light photos and videos thanks to its large pixels (1.55µm), even though it lost the OIS functionality. You acquire a much more capable 8MP selfie capturing camera too (up from 2MP).

Huawei Nexus 6P

Pros Cons

  • Metal body

  • 5.7" AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) classy screen with 1,440 x 2,560px resolution (518ppi)

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

  • Octa-core processor; 3GB RAM

  • 32GB/64GB/128GB storage

  • 12.3MP f/2.0 camera; 2160p videos; 8MP selfies

  • 3,450mAh battery (74h Endurance)

  • LTE (300Mbps)

  • Fingerprint reader

  • Stereo speakers

  • No microSD slot

  • Screen colors not calibrated to AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) grecent standard

  • 4k videos suffer from poor auto focus


The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ is a late 2015 addition to the S6 family. It draws the same comparisons with the Galaxy S7 edge as the S6 did with the S7. Sure, grab the S7 edge if you can afford it, but that will be almost €200 more.

You still acquire a brilliant, curved Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) classy screen of QHD resolution, slightly bigger to boot (5.7" vs. 5.5"), a capable capturing camera and a quick chipset. Not as capable and as fast, but the differences don't always justify the price premium.

You suffer from the usual S6 issues, though, no microSD slot and sealed battery. So consider the Galaxy Note 4 as an alternative - more affordable, no such issues, but not quite as attractive (the curved classy screen is unique to see at).

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Pros Cons

  • Metal frame and a curved screen

  • 5.7" Super AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display with 1,440 x 2,560px resolution (518ppi)

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

  • Octa-core processor; 4GB RAM

  • 32GB/64GB storage

  • 16MP f/1.9 capturing camera with OIS; 2160p videos; 5MP selfies

  • 3,000mAh battery (83h Endurance)

  • LTE (300Mbps)

  • Optional dual-SIM

  • Fingerprint reader

  • Heart rate sensor

  • No microSD slot

  • No water resistance like S7 edge

  • More expEnsive than Note 4


Xiaomi was last seen in this guide with the Mi 4s, but the Xiaomi Mi 5 is a phone that can truly challenge the 2016 flagships and it comes at a 2015 flagship price.

It has a metal frame and a brilliant 5.15" screen, 1080p (for all the incompatibility it makes at this size), a Snapdragon 820 chipset like the Galaxy S7, a 16MP f/2.0 capturing camera with OIS and 2160p videos, fingerprint reader on the front, curved glass on the back, plus excellent battery life.

There's no microSD slot though, we found the 128GB model closer to €500 than €600. It's video recording that's the real issue - we were shocked at how poor the 1080p videos were (4K are okay) and the poor audio recording.

Xiaomi Mi 5

Pros Cons

  • Metal frame

  • 5.15" IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) classy screen with 1,080 x 1,920px resolution (428ppi)

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

  • Quad-core processor; 3GB/4GB RAM

  • 32GB/64GB/128GB storage

  • 16MP f/2.0 capturing camera with OIS; 2160p videos; 4MP selfies (UltraPixel)

  • 3,000mAh battery (92h Endurance)

  • LTE (300Mbps)

  • Dual-SIM

  • Fingerprint reader

  • No microSD slot

  • Poor 1080p videos and audio recording


€500-€600 phones we skipped and why

What is Sony doing? The Xperia Z5 hoverс just over €500, but it's a small upgrade over the Z3+, which wasn't fine enough to pick over the Z3. Is the Z5? Well, we start with the same 5.2" 1080p classy screen (brighter, though), same IP68 water resistance, battery life is better than Z3+ not as fine as Z3.

Sure, the recent 23MP capturing camera is better, but continues to exhibit the traditional Sony problems - corner softness, plenty of digital noise, overall not a huge improvement over the older Z3 capturing camera (video stabilization at 1080p is better, but at this price we can have OIS).

Sony Xperia Z5

Then there's the Xperia X, supposedly the replacement of the Z-series. Early indications were that it will cost around €600 when it launches, but for whatever reason that hasn't happened yet. Launching late will undoubtedly harm the phone's sales (even if it launches at a more reasonable price) and, how do we put this tactfully, it's just worse than the Z5.

No, really. You acquire a 5" 1080p classy screen (what is this, 2013?) and while the 23MP capturing camera sounds the same as the Z5, it won't record 2160p video. It's not the Snapdragon 650's fault, so we're not sure what happened. This is a midrange chipset, by the way. We'd pick it over the Snapdragon 810 in the Z5, but why is this even a discussion (for this much cash Snapdragon 820 was to be expected).

Oh, and you don't acquire water resistance. Stereo speakers sure, but no IP68. A snazzy 13MP selfie capturing camera with a 1/3" sensor (the size of the main sensor in the iPhone 6s!), but we still can't shake the feeling that Sony is self-sabotaging itself with that pricing strategy.

Sony Xperia X

Let's change topic - how about those 6" screens, you a fan? Becautilize we have a trio that might interest you. First off, the Samsung Galaxy A9 has a lovely all-metal body and a 6" 1080p super AMOLED.

Or you can have a Huawei Mate 8, also metal with 6" 1080p screen. The A9 has a mid-range chipset so we can understand how its 13MP capturing camera is capped at 1080p, but Huawei's Kirin 950 is a high discontinue chipset and yet the 16MP capturing camera can't do 2160p either. Both cameras have OIS, by the way. You also acquire sizable 4,000mAh batteries and 100+ hour Endurance rating.

Wanna go bigger? We can go bigger! The Huawei P8max has a whopping 6.8" classy screen (still 1080p). It uses an older Kirin and its 13MP OIS-enabled capturing camera records, you guessed it, 1080p videos.

Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016) • Huawei Mate 8 • Huawei P8max

The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL offers a saner 5.7" AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) classy screen and it has QHD resolution! Wait until you hear the 2160p mode of the 20MP capturing camera (with optically stabilized Zeiss lens) too!

We have this one below the fold, becautilize we're not sure about the longevity of the Windows 10 Platform. After years of struggling to hold up any significant market share, we're starting to see app developers call it quits. So we're a small hesitant to commit flagship money to the platform.

Microsoft Lumia 950 XL



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