Apple Inc still enjoys a certain halo when it comes to technological excellence in the gadgets and devices the company makes and sells. The company has been able to create a huge fan base across the world. The best evidence for this, if one is required, is the kind of queues that gather outside the Apple stores when any new iPhone is released.
The company has had to resort to pre-ordering to reduce the crowds in their stores. So, iPhones are in a sense considered the benchmark for smartphones and other phone makers try to follow and compete. There are even cases where Apple has sued its rivals for stealing its technology.
It is therefore interesting to look around and see which of the phones launched in first six months of 2017 that have the specs and features comparable to the last smartphone from Apple, the iPhone 7. Six such devices were listed by Gadgets Now.
Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+
This flagship has to be on top of the list, since the launch created quite a stir and the â€˜infinity displayâ€™ removing as much of the bezel as possible has been a breakthrough feature. With 6.2-inch and 5.8-inch displays, the phones brought in several new experiences.
If one were to count a shortcoming, it has to be the AI-based digital assistant, Bixby. Samsung is still to make Bixbyâ€™s full functionality available to the users outside of South Korea. Appleâ€™s SIRI is far ahead.
This smartphone brought in the dual camera setup and the 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM variants which were also seen as challenging the leaders. The prices of these Chinese smartphones are just around half of what the Samsung and Apples phones are made available to the customers.
HTC U 11
The Taiwanese smartphone major has always remained on top of the charts in terms of the specifications and performance of their devices. The flagship phones of HTC command a premium price also in the markets. The HTC U11 is no exception. A highlight of this particular phone was the presence of all of three digital assistants. Thereâ€™s the Google Assistant, HTCâ€™s own Sense Companion and in addition, it has Amazonâ€™s Alexa.
Another technology and electronics giant from South Korea; but LG has had to play the bridesmaid all the time. The LG G6 flagship also sports a â€˜Full Visionâ€™ display and the dual camera setup. However, LG has not been able to stake-up the numbers when it comes to selling in large numbers. In fact, it has been forced to reduce the prices of the HTC U11 recently.
Sony Xperia XZ Premium
Sony is the lone Japanese smartphone major in the pack and their phones have had very good reviews on technical parameters and features. They have scored very well on the camera front and on this latest flagship, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, there is a 19MP camera in the rear with many features you would expect to see in a DSLR camera. Sony has its customer base though it may not measure up to those of Apple or Samsung.
Asus ZenFone AR
This Chinese smartphone borrows from Sony in terms of the camera and beats it as well. The Asus ZenFone AR comes with a 23MP Sony camera in the rear. The phone comes with 8GB RAM and all other features you usually find in the top end smartphones discussed above.
As the time nears for the release of the much-awaited iPhone 8 in September, many of these phone makers may be planning their own versions to compete globally.