GSMArena Smartphone Buyer's Guide: 2017 July Edition: €400-€500

By 07:42 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


€400-€500

We're officially in flagship territory now - both current ones and those of yesteryear. Value-for-money is starting to decline as grounds for bragging rights appear.

Now you can buy an HTC 10 for about €450 - a remarkable deal for an underrated flagship. If you don't mind some of the company's recent questionable decisions concerning Sense UI, you can still like a crisp 5.2-inch QHD panel, a powerful, albeit no longer top-of-the-line Snapdragon 820 chip, and a solid 12MP, OIS-enabled, laser autofocus camera..



HTC 10

Specs

  • Build: Metal body
  • Connectivity: Single SIM (microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, upgradeable to 7.0 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.2" Super LCD5, QHD (565ppi), 428nits brightness, 2.378 sunlight; Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera: 12MP with OIS, Laser AF, 5MP selfie with OIS, autofocus; 2160p video (main), 1080p video (selfie)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 820, 4x Kryo (bench: 1,839), Adreno 530 (bench: 28,882)
  • Memory: 4GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 32GB/64GB storage
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (non-removable), 66h endurance
  • Misc: Large image sensor (1/2.3"), stereo speakers, fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Thicker than competition, heavier too
  • Average sunlight legibility
  • Fingerprint reader occasionally wakes the phone accidentally

Review

If you fancy a more trendy 2017 design, the LG G6 will give you the taste of an ultra-wide classy screen for about the same price as the HTC 10. It also will throw in IP68 water and dust resistance into the mix, and a dual capturing camera too.



LG G6

Specs

  • Build: Metal frame with glass back, IP68 waterproof, MIL-STD-810G
  • Connectivity: Optional dual SIM (hybrid/dedicated microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.7" IPS Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) (18:9), Dolby Vision/HDR10, QHD+ (564ppi), 564nits brightness, 3.556 sunlight; Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera: Dual 13MP capturing camera (regular + wide-angle) with OIS, Laser AF, 5MP selfie, 2160p video (main), 1080p video (selfie)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 821, 4x Kryo (bench: 2,126), Adreno 530 (bench: 30,507)
  • Memory: 4GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 32/64/128GB storage
  • Battery: 3,300mAh (non-removable), 72h endurance
  • Misc: Always on Display, fingerprint reader, wireless charging (US only), Hi-Fi Quad DAC (Korea exclusive)

Cons

  • No headphones in retail box (of a flagship!)
  • No Daydream support
  • Average volume with headphone jack
  • 1080p video is not flagship level
  • Many region-dependent features

Review

The G6's display is fully-geared and ready for the next wave of multimedia content thanks to its Dolby Vision/HDR10 compliance. At its current price, the LG G6 is nothing short of a steal.

Yet a handset doesn't necessarily have to experience a rapid price drop to shine in this price bracket - some are priced correct from their very debut. Such is the case of the Honor 9 - the 2017 flagship of Huawei's value-oriented sub-brand.



Huawei Honor 9

Specs

  • Build: Metal body
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (hybrid microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.15 LTPS IPS, 1080p (428ppi), 522nits brightness, 3.289 sunlight; Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera: Dual 20MP + 12MP (B&W + color), 8MP selfie, 2160p video (main)
  • Chipset: Kirin 960, 4x Cortex-A73 + 4x Cortex-A53 (bench: 3,072), Mali-G71 (bench: 29,398)
  • Memory: 4GB/6GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 64GB/128GB storage
  • Battery: 3,200mAh (non-removable), 77h endurance
  • Misc: Lossless 2x zoom, fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Portrait mode is disappointing, fixed-focus selfie cam
  • Quiet audio with headphones

Review

It matches the specs of its pricier P10 sibling quite closely, while undercutting the price by a significant amount. Sure, Huawei has made a few cuts in the capturing camera department, taking away OIS and the Leica branding, but nothing too drastic, really. The Honor 9 still boasts one of the most impressive cameras in this price segment. And the rest of its hardware package is flagship-grade as well.

Despite its specs, which are up there with the best, the Xiaomi Mi 6 also keeps the pricing in check. Sure, the 1080p classy screen resolution is an easy taracquire for ridicule for some, but others still value it for its battery efficiency alone. Plus, at 5.15 inches in diagonal, the classy screen certainly doesn't feel soft.



Xiaomi Mi 6

Specs

  • Build: Metal frame with glass back, splash proof
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (no microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.15" IPS LCD, 1080p (428ppi), 603nits brightness, 3.767 sunlight
  • Camera: Dual 12MP capturing camera with OIS (regular + 2x telephoto lens), 8MP selfie; 2160p video (main), 1080p video (selfie)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835, 4x Kryo + 4x Kryo (bench: 3,547), Adreno 540 (bench: 38,541)
  • Memory: 6GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 64GB/128GB storage
  • Battery: 3,350mAh (non-removable), 80h endurance
  • Misc: Stereo speakers, fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Limited market availability
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • No microSD slot
  • Average 4K 2160p video quality; low audio bitrate
  • Telephoto unusable in low-light

Review

In fact, that compact form factor might just be a huge draw for many. Xiaomi has manged to work around it masterfully, still fitting a strong dual 12MP capturing camera setup, a respectable 3,230 mAh battery and stereo speakers in the chassis. Not to mention a no compromises top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 chipset and a few small bonuses, like NFC and an IR blaster.

At the very top of the price bracket, we find the Sony Xperia XZ hovering around the €500 mark. It's yet another member of Sony's late 2016 lineup, which is enjoying a second lease on life now that their prices have settled down.



Sony Xperia XZ

Specs

  • Build: Metal frame with ALKALEIDO alloy back; IP68 waterproof
  • Connectivity: Optional dual SIM (hybrid/dedicated microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow, upgradeable to 7.1 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.2 IPS LCD, 1080p (424ppi), 608nits brightness, 3.795 sunlight, Gorilla Glass
  • Camera: 23MP main, 8MP selfie (with AF), 2160p video (main), 1080p video (selfie)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 820, 4x Kryo (bench: 2,151), Adreno 530 (bench: 29,548)
  • Memory: 3GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 32GB/64GB storage
  • Battery: 2,900mAh (non-removable), 72h endurance
  • Misc: Large image sensor (1/2.3"), stereo speakers, fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Only 3GB RAM; S820 in the S835 price category
  • Noisy 23MP shots
  • 2160p video has limited FoV
  • Fingerprint reader disabled in the US

Review

Just like the Xiaomi Mi6, the Xperia XZ doesn't have a fancy QHD panel to boast about, but it's FullHD classy screen still scored top marks in our tests. It is also based around last-year's Snapdragon 820 chipset, but that's still plenty capable in 2017.

The Xperia XZ offers an IP68 rating as well as a rather unique design. On a side note, just remember that the side-mounted fingerprint reader is disabled in the US for legal reasons.

Last, but not least, there is the the OnePlus 5. It is currently retailing for exactly €499 - more expensive than any of its predecessors. Yet it brings enough to the table to still be a worthy purchase.



OnePlus 5

Specs

  • Build: Metal body
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (no microSD slot)
  • OS: Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Screen: 5.5" AMOLED, 1080p (401ppi), 435nits brightness, 3.914 sunlight; Gorilla Glass 5
  • Camera: Dual 20MP + 16MP capturing camera (B&W + color) with EIS, 16MP selfie (EIS), 2160p video (main), 1080p video (selfie)
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 835, 4x Kryo + 4x Kryo (bench: 3,601), Adreno 540 (bench: 38,844)
  • Memory: 6GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) + 64GB storage -or- 8GB Random-Access Memory (RAM) (!) + 128GB storage
  • Battery: 3,300mAh (non-removable), 83h endurance
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Same recent classy screen as the OnePlus 3/3T; jelly effect when scrolling
  • Photos noisy even at base ISO, tele cam is no good
  • EIS turns panning 1080p/30fps videos jerky, 1080p/60fps lacks EIS
  • No microSD slot
  • Uninspired design

Review

A 5.5-inch AMOrganic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) panel, Snapdragon 835, 6GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) and an impressive dual 16MP capturing camera setup - the specs sheet gives you nothing to frown about. Well, to be fair, some ingress protection would have been a nice touch, or perhaps a micoSD slot as well.

The phone has been plagued by some software problems initially, but OnePlus should be addressing those sooner rather than later.


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