The best smartphones of 2017 (so far)

The handsets that captured our hearts in the first half of the year

That smartphone sat in your pocket? It's pretty much the ultimate gadget.

It’s just so many things: a pocket-sized device that gives the bearer access to all human knowledge; a portable music and HD video viewer; a handheld games console; a point-and-shoot camera and camcorder; a master of communications; and yes (very important), it’s a calculator.

All of the above is true, and none of it hyperbole, which is why here at Stuff we spend so much time and effort reviewing and reporting on smartphones. They’re the bread and butter of the tech world; a type of gadget that pretty much everybody owns; fast-moving, always developing and in a highly competitive marketplace, every year sees dozens of excellent smartphones released.

2017 has been no different – even though, at the time of writing, it’s only halfway through the year. So without further ado, let us bring you our favourite smartphones of 2017 so far.

Best bezel-buster: Samsung Galaxy S8

We think the Samsung Galaxy S8 is 2017’s best smartphone so far, and a major part of that is its screen.

Dubbed the “Infinity Display” by its makers, it’s a huge 5.8in screen that curves around the left and right edges and extends almost the entire way up and down too, except for narrow bezels and the top and bottom.

Big screens on phones are nothing new, but there’s something about the way the Galaxy S8’s covers so much of the front side – it gives it a real visual impact that no other phone can deliver. We’d be shocked if there’s a sleeker, more desirable phone released this year – unless Apple has something truly spectacular up its sleeves.

Best bad blast from the past: Nokia 3310

You know what they say: nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. And that’s very much the case with Nokia’s 2017 take on the 3310.

While the original is a bonafide late 90s classic in much the same way as Tamagotchis, Oasis and landslide Labour election victories, the modern day remake is distinctly lacking in magic.

Yes, it’s a fine phone to take to a festival (thanks to sturdy build quality and mammoth battery life), but it’s not like there aren’t other, cheaper burner phones already available. By slapping a premium price tag on the 3310 without giving it at least a few premium features, Nokia comes across as making little more than a cynical grab for your wallet.

Yes, it’s got Snake, too. But c’mon, Snake’s not enough. Bin the rose-tinted specs and think hard before shelling out on this, because sometimes it’s better to let bygones be bygones.

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