It has been an amazing year that saw many incredible phones, loaded with features which were never imagined the year before. The year 2015 not only saw technology getting cheaper but it saw many new innovations as well. The Indian market especially witnessed tough competition, with newer companies entering the Indian market. Such was the competition that every week we saw close to a dozen smartphone launches, but only a handful devices stood out from the crowd.
Here we have picked the 10 best smartphones of 2015, which introduced something new to the market or were revolutionary in their price segments. Don’t forget to leave your comment below even if you don’t concur with our choice and ofcourse do tell us what is your favourite phone/phones of this year.
The first month of 2015 saw a big bang release in the form of Yu, a subsidiary of Micromax, which launched the Yureka. In our view, Yu couldn’t have a better beginning. Priced very low, the Yu Yureka introduced the Cyanogen OS to the budget segment users and was expectedly a blockbuster till it was phased out towards the middle of the year. It broke flash sale records and was always in the top 5 pick of every analyst.
The reason was quite obvious ofcourse. It was armed with a 5.5 inch IPS display that offered 267 ppi pixel density. A 64-bit quad-core 1.5 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM (which was rarity then) powered the phone. With internal memory of 16 GB and a 32 GB micro-SD card slot, it was also quite attractive in the storage segment. Besides, the Yu Yureka offered 13 megapixel auto focus primary camera with a Sony Exmor R sensor, 5 megapixel front camera, dual-SIM, 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 2500 mAh battery.
You can read our review of Yu Yureka here.
Launched in March, the Huawei Honor 6 Plus carved a niche for itself thanks to the world’s first dual camera set up, that allowed one to focus on objects in pictures after clicking them and a host of other post capture processing. The Honor 6 Plus also offered great processing and RAM at an affordable price.
The Huawei Honor 6 Plus makes it to this list not only for its stellar display and processing ability, but also for its revolutionary dual camera on the rear. The dual camera allows you to fix the focus after the picture has been captured too. It has a 5.5 inch full HD display and runs on Android KitKat (upgradable to Lollipop), with Huawei’s Emotion UI 3.0. The Honor 6 Plus runs an octa-core 1.8 GHz processor, which has 3 GB of RAM. The internal memory stands at 32 GB, to which you can add up to 128 GB via a microSD card. The primary camera of the Honor 6 Plus is an 8 megapixel dual camera shooter, with auto-focus, geo-tagging, face detection, HDR, BSI sensor, flash, and video recording at 1080p at 30 fps. For connectivity, the Honor 6 Plus has 4G, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, and DLNA. It has a huge 3600 mAh battery as well.
Asus Zenfone 2 (4 GB RAM)
This was world’s first phone to have 4 GB RAM and evidently after its release, other companies started to arm their phones with 4 GB RAM. Surprisingly, Asus priced its Zenfone 2 for less than Rs 25,000 despite its amazing specs that include 5.5 inch full HD IPS display, Android Lollipop operating system, 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3580 processor and ofcourse 4 GB RAM. Besides, the phone has 64 GB of internal storage, 64 GB microSD card slot, 13 megapixel rear camera, 5 megapixel selfie taker, 4G connectivity, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi and a huge 3000 mAh battery.
The Lenovo K3 Note was marketed as the Killer Note, and it indeed set the sales charts on fire ever since its launch in June. It still is one of the most recommended phones under Rs 10,000.
As far as specs are concerned, the Lenovo K3 Note is armed with a 5.5 inch full HD IPS display, Android Lollipop operating system, and a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor, which runs the phone with 2 GB RAM. The internal memory of the K3 Note stands at 16 GB, to which you can add another 32 GB via a microSD card. The primary camera of the Lenovo K3 Note is a 13 megapixel unit, while in its front lies a 5 megapixel selfie taker. The dual-SIM phone offers 4G, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi and a 3000 mAh battery.
OnePlus 2 was launched as the flagship killer and it had the necessary features to justify its tag. It really earned OnePlus a lot of credit and goodwill from customers and reviewers alike.
With features like 5.5 inch full HD LTPS display, fingerprint sensor Android Lollipop operating system (with OnePlus’s Oxygen OS), a powerful 1.8 GHz octa-core processor as well as huge 4 GB of RAM. The internal memory of the phone stands at 64 GB, which is not expandable. Its primary camera is a 13 megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation and a host of other features, while the front of the OnePlus 2 is armed with a 5 megapixel selfie taker. The OnePlus 2 is a single-SIM phone with 4G, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, and USB Type C (which allows you to plug in the connector either way). The power is provided by a 3300 mAh battery.
It is yet another budget smartphone that earned a lot of reputation this passing year. The Xiaomi Redmi 2 is still one of the few budget phones to come with an HD display (4.7 inch). Though it has the older Android KitKat operating system but it still looks great with the quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and 2 GB RAM. Besides, it offers 16 GB of inbuilt storage, 32 GB microSD card slot, 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 2 megapixel camera which can record videos at 720p.
The Xiaomi Redmi 2 is a dual-SIM phone with 4G, GPS, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, and Bluetooth 4.0. Power is provided by a 2200 mAh battery.
Samung was a changed company in 2015. It launched a range of devices, both high end and in budget segment. The Note 5 is arguably its best product of the year and it garnered a lot of goodwill for the company as well.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 offers a large 5.7-inch Super-AMOLED display with Quad HD resolution, 4 GB RAM, Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system and is powered by Samsung’s 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset that has four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2.1GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz.
With snazzy metal-and-glass construction, the phablet has a 16 megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation feature and F1.9 aperture. It has a 3000 mAh battery and 5 megapixel front camera with F1.9 aperture. Fast charging and wireless charging facility are also available in the smartphone.
For connectivity, the Note 5 offers 4G, NFC, WiFi (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, micro USB 2.0 port, and GPS with GLONASS and Beidou. Ofcourse it has the fingerprint sensor.
The Moto X Play was the first phone to provide real value in the premium midrange segment. Earlier, the phones that were available in this segment were either overpriced, or flagships that were 1 or 2 seasons old, but that changed from September onwards. The Moto X Play almost revolutionised this space just like the Moto G did for its segment.
The Moto X Play is armed with a 5.5 inch HD IPS display. It runs on Android Lollipop, and has an octa-core processor clocked at 1.7 GHz, which runs with 2 GB of RAM. The internal memory of the Moto X Play stands at 32 GB, to which you can add another 128 GB via a microSD card. The primary camera is a 21 megapixel shooter with a host of features, while the front of the phone has a 5 megapixel selfie taker. The Moto X Play is a dual-SIM phone with 4G, GPS (A-GPS), Bluetooth, NFC, and WiFi. The power is provided by a 3630 mAh battery.
The iPhone 6S Plus was launched in October, and it marked the second successive year of an Apple phablet, a product that they said they would never make. But this is here because of revolution that is the pressure sensitive display. The 3D touch offers users the ability to unlock several functions with reduced touches, by simply sensing increased pressure on the display.
The Apple iPhone 6S Plus is equipped with a 5.5 inch full HD Retina display with 3D touch. Running on iOS 9 the phone has a dual-core 2.0 GHz processor, with a hexa-core GPU, which runs with 2 GB of RAM. Its internal (non-expandable) memory stands at 16 GB (other options include 64 and 128 GB). The Apple iPhone 6S Plus has a 12 megapixel camera with auto-focus, geo-tagging, smile detection, HDR, image stabilisation, dual-LED flash, and video recording at 4K at 30 fps. The front of the iPhone has a 5 megapixel selfie taker which can record videos at 720p and has HDR and burst mode too. The phone is a single-SIM device with 4G, GPS (A-GPS and GLONASS), Bluetooth, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, and NFC for connectivity. It has a 2915 mAh battery.
Last but not the least is the Microsoft Lumia 950 XL. When it was launched in November, it made people sit up and notice Windows 10. Windows phones have long being maligned for their poor OS and hardware, but the fact of the matter is that Windows 10 offers amazing cross platform ability and is a far better OS in terms of look than Android, simply because Microsoft has spent so much time to develop it. An added advantage is that they make most of the handsets themselves, so they are finely tuned.
The Microsoft Lumia 950 XL has amazing hardware that includes a 5.7 inch quad-HD AMOLED display (1440 x 2560) that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This Windows 10 device is powered by the octa-core 2.0 GHz Snapdragon 810 processor and 3 GB RAM. Its internal memory stands at 32 GB, to which you can add up to 200 GB. The primary camera is a 20 megapixel unit with a host of features, and the front has a 5 megapixel selfie shooter. The Lumia 950 XL has a single SIM slot that offers 4G connectivity. Besides, it has GPS (A-GPS and GLONASS), Bluetooth, WiFi, NFC, and USB type C. Its 3340 mAh battery promises up to 19 hours of talk time or 288 hours of standby.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ deserves to be included in this list. With dual edge display, it is still a unique device. Spec wise it still the best. The phone has a large 5.7-inch Super-AMOLED display with Quad HD resolution, 4 GB RAM, Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system and is powered by Samsung’s 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset that has four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2.1GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz.
The smartphone offer snazzy metal-and-glass construction and has a 16 megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilisation feature and F1.9 aperture. It comes with a 3000 mAh battery and a 5 megapixel front camera with F1.9 aperture. Fast charging and wireless charging facilities are also available in the smartphone. For connectivity, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has 4G, NFC, WiFi (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2 LE, micro USB 2.0 port, and GPS with GLONASS and Beidou. It has a fingerprint sensor too.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ comes in 32 GB and 64 GB variants but neither of them offers expandable storage. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ has dual edge display similar to Galaxy S6 Edge. This handset measures 154.4 x 75.8 x 6.9 mm and weighs 153 grams. It has a new improved S Pen as well. The Galaxy S6 Edge+ measures 153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6 mm and weighs 171 grams.