​Best phone of the year 2016

We list the best 5 phones, smartphones, smartfones, SIM-free phones, Android phones, iPhones, mobile phones and phablets of 2016

There were many great phones launched this year, but which one stood the test of time?

There were many great phones launched this year, but which one stood the test of time?

We’ve reviewed many phones this year. Usually the later models are better than the older ones, but which ones had the most impact and which ones stood the test of time? Here are the contenders for our Phone of the Year 2016 award.

Joint Runners Up

Google Pixel XL
Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL | Powerful Android flagship

Google moved from providing cheap Nexus phones (to attract developers) to the premium, power-packed Pixel range in order to show off new technologies. The Google Assistant, with its amazing voice recognition and AI smarts makes the likes of Siri and Cortana look as bright as a vacuum cleaner, while the partnered Daydream VR headset did things we thought were only possible on powerful PC rigs. The phone itself had a great camera, good screen and was very fast thanks to the latest processor. But it was hugely expensive and not attractive. Furthermore it scuffs very easily and the glass design element on the back is very brittle. It’s a worthy Android standard bearer, but just misses out on the top award.

Apple iPhone 7
Apple iPhone 7

iPhone 7 | Access Apple’s accessories, apps and ecosystem

We had to have an iPhone in the list and the choice wasn’t great. We thought the iPhone 7 Plus would be brilliant but, well, it wasn’t really. Who actually wants a zoom camera? So we plumped for the cheaper 7. Getting rid of the headphone jack and replacing it with the Taptic-feedback sensor to make scrolling and screen-pressing more interactive is just plain arrogant and misguided in our view. But it’s a good phone with a decent camera and, more importantly, gives access to the whole Apple ecosystem of apps, services and accessories.

Huawei P9
Huawei P9

Huawei P9 | Best camera phone of all

We haven’t enjoyed using a phone this much in ages. The dual Leica cameras on the rear are absolutely brilliant and still the best on the market. Add to that a great screen and the fastest fingerprint unlock we’d seen to that point and you’ve got a real winner. What stopped it getting the top award? It’s very very fragile. Even cases struggle to protect this shatter-friendly phone. Love it, but be very very careful with it.

Huawei Mate 8
Huawei Mate 8

Huawei Mate 8 | phabulous all-rounder

This phone pretty much does it all and while the big boys are charging silly money for their phones, the Huawei flagship come in at hundreds of dollars less. It’s fast, fits a six-inch screen in a relatively-small body, has a huge 4,000mAh battery, decent camera and was one of the first to have a fast fingerprint reader unlock on the rear. Why isn’t it our phone of the year? Huawei keeps launching these phones late in Australia and this actually came out overseas in November last year. But this is still a great phone.

Next: And the Winner is…

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesGoogleApplephonemobile phonessmartphoneiPhonePhoneslgsamsungmobile phoneHuaweiMotophabletsphablet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Nick Ross
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?