Quick overview of the 4 latest S835 flagship phones

2017 has passed almost half and flagships are moving the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (S835) era.

The following is a very quick overview of what we have now in the market regarding the top S835 phones (up till mid-May 2017).

{Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+, Sony XZ Premium, Xiaomi Mi 6, HTC U11}

1. Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+

- jaw-dropping thin bezels 
- edge screens are Samsung's unique weapon
- easily regarded as one of the most beautiful Samsung phones 
- IP68 dust and water proof
- both main and selfie cameras are on the top list
- the new voice assistant Bixby is a glimpse to the future AI era

- various issues and complaints by users
- battery may not be able to sustain the phone for a long time given its 2K large display
- 6 GB RAM version is for China only
- screen is beautiful yet brittle, the Corning Glass 5 does not help much
- NO stereo speakers when ALL other 3 S835 phones and iPhone 7 have
- main camera does not have vigorous improvement over the S7 series
- the fingerprint sensor is very oddly placed

2. Sony XZ Premium

- the Sony UI is heavily based on stock Android (vanilla Android), which is smoother and faster than the Samsung TouchWiz
- design is nice-looking, handsome, very neat, no-nonsense and minimalistic
- IP68 dust and water proof as usual (Sony has the experience long time ago)
- camera is a nice upgrade on the specification part, especially from the heavily-promoted 960 fps slow motion video
- real front-facing stereo speakers

- very typical Sony design style, NO major changes at all in terms of outlook (from the Xperia Z back in 2013)
- the upgrade in camera specs is questionable, slow-motion videos are not that popular, it's more like a gimmick other than an impressive feature
- no OIS for the camera
- camera samples have the same problem which is shared among nearly ALL Sony phones -- photos tend to have the 'oil painting' effects
- does not follow the thin bezel trend, causing the relatively low screen-to-body ratio
- battery may not be able to sustain the phone for a long time given its 4K large display
- 4 GB RAM is only marginally acceptable, NOT the flagship standard for 2017

3. Xiaomi Mi 6

- PRICE, the base model (64 GB ROM + 6 GB RAM) costs RMB $2,499 (around US$363) only, nearly half the other S835 phones
- design is gorgeous, the use of reflective glass makes the phone feel high-class and premium
- the dual camera set-up is unique (all other 3 S835 phones do not have this) (though Apple has this idea of a wide-angle + a tele first)
- very generous 6 GB LDDR4x RAM as the base model
-  battery life should be decent as the 3,350 mAh battery should be okay to support the 5.15'' FHD display
- colour options are great
- have a unique ceramic edition

- only splash resistant is not enough (all other 3 S835 phones have at least IP 67)
- limited availability outside China
- design is criticised as a copycat of Huawei Honor 8
- No 3.5mm headphone jack (HTC neither)
- NO micro SD slot when ALL other 3 S835 phones have

4. HTC U11

- glass back can reflect multiple colours upon rotating the phone, which is very unique and beautiful
- finally a proper IP 67 dust and water proof 
- camera is the on the number one spot (at least that's what DxOMark says)
- selfie camera has the highest resolution among the 4 S835 phones (16 MP)
- the new Edge Sense function is unique and quite interesting, especially useful when taking pictures
- full support with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which is the future trend of AI
- Boomsound speakers deliver promising and stellar performance (HTC can be seen as the pioneer and ‘ancestor' of the dual speakers)
- the fingerprint reader is one of the fastest and most accurate
- 360 degrees sound recording and the U Sonic are some nice add-ons to the already very good audio processing

- the 128 GB ROM + 6 GB RAM version is limited to specific places only
No 3.5mm headphone jack (Xiaomi neither)
- the front panel looks ordinary and mediocre compared to the wowing Samsung S8 thin bezel design
battery may not be able to sustain the phone for a long time given its 2K large display


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