b2ap3_thumbnail_new_smartphones_400.jpgToday, more than two billion people use a smartphone. By 2020, experts predict that the smartphone market will reach over 70 percent of the planet’s population. In fact, more people own a smartphone today than have ever owned a PC, and more actual computing is done today using smartphone technology than using any other method! Driving this mobile revolution is the fact that smartphones have become affordable and present consumers with a wide array of computing options.

To help you get a grip on the ever-expanding world of smartphones, we want to lead you on a 3-blog journey and take an in-depth look at the smartphone market. For part one, we’ll introduce you to the top five smartphones on today’s market.

Part I – Today’s Best Smartphones

Apple iPhone 6s
Apple is credited with kicking the smartphone revolution into full swing with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007. Nine years later and Apple is up to the iPhone 6 model, which includes the iPhone 6, 6s, and the larger 6s Plus.

The iPhone 6 models are totally redesigned from the previous versions, and the 6s and 6s Plus models come with the newest “A9” processor–technology that improves processing speed by more than 60 percent over the iPhone 6. Another new iPhone feature is the 3D Touch user interface, which is compatible with all native Apple apps. According to Apple, this new interface allows users to navigate their device faster and with more accuracy than the previous iPhone interface.

The latest iPhone models run the new iOS 9 operating system, designed to boost processing power and take advantage of an enhanced Siri app. The new iOS also contains new upgrades to the Apple Pay platform, built-in news, and improvement to the search and note features. The retail price of the new iPhone 6s varies on storage; $650 for 16GB, up to $850 for 128GB.

Apple iPhone 6s/6s Plus
Materials – Aluminum
Weight – 5.04 oz (6s Plus, 6.77 oz)
Display – 4.7” Retina display (6s Plus, 5.5” Retina display)
Resolution – 750 x 1334 {~336 ppi} (6s Plus, 1080 x 1920 {~401 ppi})
Operating System – iOS 9
Chipset – Apple A9
CPU/GPU – Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister/Power VR GT7600
Onboard storage – 16GB, 64GB, 128GB
Expandable storage – No
Cameras – Rear: 12 MP; Front: 5 MP.
Battery – 2,750 mAh
Features – Fingerprint scanner, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Siri, iCloud integration

Samsung Galaxy s7/s7 Edge
Samsung’s newest devices are the Galaxy s7 and s7 Edge. In the past, the Galaxy s-model phones have been the most popular devices running Android, and with the array of improvements made to the s7 line, Samsung is looking to continue its run of success.

The most notable change made to the s7/s7 Edge is its waterproofing feature. Each s7 model has the ability to be immersed in liquid, up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes, and it’s resistant to dust as well. Additionally, Samsung has re-integrated expandable storage and a larger battery after fielding complaints that its previous s6 models lacked these user-friendly features. The Galaxy s7 retails at $670, and the s7 Edge is priced at $780.

Samsung Galaxy s7/s7 Edge
Materials – Gorilla Glass with Aluminum
Weight – 5.36 oz (s7 Edge, 5.54 oz)
Display – 5.1” Super AMOLED (s7 Edge, 5.5” Super AMOLED)
Resolution – 1440 x 2560 {~511 ppi} (s7 Edge, 1440 x 2560 {~534 ppi}
Operating System – Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Chipset – Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820
CPU/GPU – Dual-core 2.15 GHZ Kryo and dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo and quad-core 2.3 GHz and quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53/Adreno 530 (s7 Edge – Dual-core 2.15 GHZ Kryo and dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo/Adreno 530)
Onboard storage – 32GB, 64GB
Expandable Storage – Yes
Cameras – Rear: 12 MP; Front: 5 MP
Battery – 3,000 mAh
Features – Fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, heart rate, SpO2, fast charging, wireless charging, NFC, Google Now, and Google Drive support

Google Nexus 6P
Previous models of Google’s Nexus phones have been manufactured by different companies like LG, Motorola, and HTC. For the latest Nexus, the 6p, Google is having Huawei build it, which is proving to be a good choice given the 6p’s range of new features and improvements.

One notable improvement is the phone’s new design, which includes flat sides to make it easier to hold, as well as a thinner design than the much larger Nexus 6. Additionally, the 6p model is made of aluminum for a sturdy build, and comes with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) which is compatible with the new “Now on Tap” interface. Google is offering its premium Nexus 6p device at a price that’s below the competition, giving consumers the most bang for their buck at $449 with 32GB of flash storage.

Google Nexus 6P
Materials – Aluminum
Weight – 6.28 oz
Display – 5.7” AMOLED display
Resolution – 1440 x 2560 (~518 ppi)
Operating System – Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Chipset – Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810
CPU/GPU – Quad-core 1.55 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57/Adreno 430
Onboard storage – 32GB, 64GB, 128GB
Expandable Storage – No
Cameras – Rear: 12.3 MP; Front: 8 MP
Battery – 3,450 mAh
Features – Fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, fast charging, Google Now, NFC, Google Drive support.

Microsoft Lumia 950
The advantage of going with the latest Windows Phone, the Lumia 950, is its smooth integration with Windows 10. Despite Nokia having a reputation for building superior hardware, the Lumia 950 feels more like the economy models of previous versions like the 520 and 640. Industry analysts suspect that this is due to the fact that the 950 isn’t designed as Microsoft’s flagship device, but rather, it’s a forerunner to a separate, to-be-released device that will serve as a new computing platform meant to take full advantage of Windows 10.

That said, the Lumia 950 isn’t a bad device for the money, retailing at $499.99 for the unlocked 32GB model. Fans of larger phones will appreciate the XL model.

Microsoft Lumia 950/Lumia 950 XL
Materials – Plastic
Weight – 5.29 oz (XL – 5.82 oz)
Display – 5.2” AMOLED (XL – 5.7” AMOLED)
Resolution – 1440 x 2550 (~564 ppi); 1440 x 2560 (~518 ppi)
Operating System – Microsoft Windows 10
Chipset – Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 (XL Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810)
CPU/GPU – Dual-core 1.82 GHz Cortex-A57 & quad-core 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53 (XL – Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A57)
Onboard storage – 32GB
Expandable storage – Yes, up to 200 GB
Cameras – Rear: 20 MP; Front: 5 MP
Battery – Removable 3,000 mAh (XL – Removable 3,340 mAh)
Features – Iris scanner, NFC, accelerometer, gyro, quick charging, proximity, compass, barometer, sensor core, Microsoft OneDrive integration

Blackberry PRIV
In a move to try and regain its position at the top of the mobile device market, Blackberry has released its newest flagship device, the PRIV. Although, it’s unlikely that the PRIV will restore Blackberry to its pre-2007 glory since its utilizing third-party software and relying on what amounts to a hardware gimmick.

Blackberry’s idea behind the new PRIV is to stand out for its “privilege and privacy.” However, with the PRIV running Android 5.1 Lollipop, it’s a move that may actually make the device less private and secure than when Blackberry’s devices formerly ran its own software.

The aforementioned hardware gimmick is a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, made for smartphone users who are tired of touchscreen. The tactile keyboard also serves as a trackpad to allow users to scroll through apps without having to touch the screen. While this idea may not have mass-appeal, it should resonate with fans of the old Blackberry devices.

However, the PRIV does have some impressive specifications. This may be enough to persuade consumers to give it try. An unlocked Priv retails for $649.99.

Blackberry Priv
Materials – Plastic, soft-touch backing
Weight – 6.77 oz
Display – 5.4 inch AMOLED
Resolution – 1440 x 2560 (~540 ppi)
Operating System – Android 5.1 (Lollipop) w/ Blackberry apps
Chipset – Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808
CPU/GPU – Dual-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A57 & quad-core 1.44 GHz Cortex-A53/Adreno 418
Onboard storage – 32GB
External Storage – Yes, up to 200GB
Cameras – Rear: 18 MP; Front: 2 MP
Battery – 3,410 mAh
Features – Accelerometer, altimeter, gyro, ToF proximity, compass, slide out QWERTY keyboard, Google Drive integration.

This is an overview of the top smartphones on the market today. Be on the lookout for volume two where we will look at the top smartphones to be released in the near future. Subscribe to our blog to make sure that you don’t miss it.

Out of these five phones, which do you prefer? Or is there another model that you have your eye on? Let us know in the comments!

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