Home Android FTA Yearender: The Best Smartphones of 2017

FTA Yearender: The Best Smartphones of 2017


Happy New Year fellow techies! 2017 is a wonderful year for the smartphone industry. We’ve seen smartphones evolved with smaller bezels and larger and taller screens. We have also seen the best cameras on many smartphones even on budget price range.

We divide smartphones into three – flagship (P25,000 up), mindrange P10,000 to P24,000), and budget (P10,000 below). The following smartphones you will see are not ranked in order plus the reasons why they are on the list.



No doubt, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is our BEST smartphone overall. The reason is simple. It can do more than most smartphones. The S Pen itself can do so many than just doodle. Excellent camera, great screen with punchy colors and beautiful metal and glass construction. What is not to love on this phone? The location of the fingerprint scanner. But there are other options to unlock your phone like the iris scanner. For P49,000 its pushing the limits our budget but it is worth it.

LG V30+

LG has been very underrated for quite a long time. Some see the company living under Samsung’s shadow when it comes to its smartphones. If only people will see how great their phones are, they will appreciate LG’s great flagships such as the LG V30+.

Now LG wants to do things differently especially with its cameras. The LG V30+ and its sibling the LG G6 are the only phones with secondary camera with wide angle lens. You can capture more scenery with wide angle lens. We only had a few minutes with the LG V30+ on display at LG store and we must say it is a beautiful piece of hardware. The LG V30+ is priced at P46,990.


One of the biggest change we see here came from Huawei. Both the Huawei Mate 10 and its higher end sibling, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro now have glass constuction. Both phones have the best in class dual cameras.

Huawei installed an NPU (neural processing unit) a learning chip that learns how you use your phone. The NPU  also works in the cameras as well It automatically adjusts the lighting and other settings according to the subject you are taking. Now that’s cool!

On our review, we mentioned some weird decision choices of Huawei in terms of features. The Huawei Mate 10 does not have a 18:9 aspect ratio display and no wireless charging while the Mate 10 Pro has 18:9 AMOLED display but only on Full HD and does not have an audio jack. If you can live with these compromises, both phones will serve you well.

Our full review of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro will be out this week. The Huawei Mate 10 is now available for P32,990 and P38,990 for the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.


If you have a tight budget but still eyeing that flagship level smartphone, we suggest you take a look at OnePlus 5T. Features of a true flagship are here – a Snapdragon 835 with 6GB RAM and 128GB or 64GB internal storage, a 6-inch display with tall 18:9 aspect ratio, fast charging, and facial recognition. But the real reason why you will want this phone is the price P26,990 for the 64GB. That’s half the price of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.


We know that there are other deserving on the list but our aim to highlight phones that are equally good and sometimes better than what you prefer for this list. We think the Nokia 8 deserves to be on the list,

This is Nokia’s first Android flagship after HMD Global bought the license to make Nokia-branded smartphones from Microsoft. We actually miss Nokia in the smartphone arena especially its build quality and great camera tech. Good thing both traits are present on the Nokia 8 – great build quality, amazing cameras and the update to Android 8.0 Oreo is now available for Nokia 8 owners. It is also future proof because Nokia guarantee 2 years of major software update. The Nokia has a price tag of P29,990 and it is available in MemoXpress stores




Those tall screen has reached the midrange market as well making it the most intense smartphone market of 2017. OPPO has two offerings this year – the OPPO F5 and the more affordable OPPO F5 Youth, Basically, these are the same smartphones and they only differ in memory configuration

By far, the OPPO F5 is the most beautiful smartphone the company has made. It is elegant and very classy.We are also surprised on how OPPO has carefully paid attention to details on developing its camera hardware and software. Adding an AI-guided selfie

camera takes photos more naturally and not making your photos look like you had a plastic surgery. Both phones are reasonably priced too – P15,990 for the OPPO F5 and P13,990 for the OPPO F5 Youth.


Vivo V7/ V7 PLUS

Just like OPPO, Vivo has two phones that stand out this year – the Vivo V7 and Vivo V7 Plus. These two phones are also alike but there are notable differences. The regular V7 has a smaller 5.7-inch display (with 18:9 aspect ratio) and a smaller memory configuratio. Cameras from both phones are a winner too. Buying both phones wont disappoint We just find the price of the V7 Plus a bit steep at P17,990 but the V7 is nicely priced at P14,990.



It was a great year for Huawei. All its phones for the second half of the year are a hit – the Huawei P10.P10 Plus, Huawei GR5 2017 and the Huawei GR3 2017. We all reviewed them here. But what got our attention is the Huawei Nova 2i.

The phone’s major highlight feature is the quadruple camera set up – a 16 + 2 megapixel dual cam for the rear and 13 + 2 megapixel dual cam for your selfies. By far, we still at awe and currently our favorite midrange smartphone for 2017,


2017 was a tough year for local smartphone brands. But we are so surprised that two locals have managed to be on the top 5 smartphone brands in the Philippines – Cloudfone and Cherry Mobile.

Clooudfone has managed to introduce the Cloudfone Next Infinity Quattro just days before Christmas. Just like the Huawei Nova 2i, it also has a quadruple camera set up and a tall 6-inch display with 18:9 asoect ratio. Cloudfone also promised an update to Android 8.0 Oreo next year! The Cloudfone Next Infinity Quattro is now available for P12,990




One of Cloudfone’s best offerings this year is the Cloudfone Exciite Prime 2 Pro. The phone has a dual camera set up at the rear. No, it is not 18:9 display but the 5.5-inch display is crisp and bright. We managed to play with it for a few minutes and we actually like the build quality. It is priced at P9,990



If you find the Next Infinity Quattro a bit pricey, Maybe the Cloudfone Next Infinity is the better and more affordable pick. It is by far the most affordable smartphone with 18:9 display

Specs are very decent – a Snapdragon 425 is powering the device and paired with 3GB RAM and 16GB internal memory. No dual cameras here but it has a capable 13 megapixel camera and 16 megapixel shooter for selfies. Both cameras are capable for portrait shots. We managed to get a quick hands on and we are very impressed  with it. We cant wait to do a full review. The Cloudfone Next Infinity is now available for P6,990


Love taking selfies but can’t afford those OPPOs and Vivos? No problem1 For P7,990 you can get the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie. Its highlight feature is the 16 megapixel front camera which takes really good selfies. We only had a few minutes with it and we were impressed with the improvements Cherry Mobile has done to this line up. Great build, good cameras and guaranteed update to Android 8.0.


For those who only have a budget of 5k, worry not, there are good phones for your budget. One of which is the Cherry Mobile Flare S6.

It has a decent specs sheet for the price – a Mediatek MT6737 powering the device paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. It has a 13 megapixel rear camera and another 13 megapixels for selfies. Price is at P3,999


The Starmobile UP Prime can be an alternative to the Cherry Mobile Flare S6. Soecs are almost the same though it only has an 8 megapixel camera at the back and a 5 megapixel selfie camera. It has LTE connectivity with support for 700MHz LTE frequency for faster data speeds.

One advantage of Starmobile is their excellent after sales. Actually you might not need after sales service because Starmobile phones are made to last.


The Starmobile UP Selfie can be your alternative to the Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie. We have not reviewed this one yet but based on the specs sheet sent to us, it has a Mediatek MT6737 powering the device paired with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It has a dual selfie camera set up being dual 13 megapixels  with flash and a 13 megapixel rear camera. It has the same price tag as Cherry Mobile’s offering – P6,990.

We hope you like our best smartphone line up for the year! We all wish you A HAPPY NEW YEAR! We are looking forward for an exciting 2018 for tech