Underrated Smartphones of 2016

Each year 100’s of smartphones launch but only a handful make it to the list of top 5 0r 10. That doesn’t mean that rest of the lot is crappy. Instead, there are a few smartphones every year that have the best of specs and value for money, but they don’t make it to the top. In this list, we share the Top 5 Underrated Smartphones of 2016 –

LG V20

The last flagship smartphone to launch this year was the LG V20 which launched just before the year ended in the month of December. Some say that if LG had launched the V20 around the time when Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle took place, the V20 could have been a hot seller. The LG V20 has everything you would expect from a flagship smartphone, what you get as additional features over other flagships are –

  • Military Grade Backpanel
  • MicroSD Card Slot
  • Removable Battery
  • Second Screen
  • Android N
  • Dual Rear Cameras
  • Rear Wide Angle Lens
  • Front Wide Angle Lens
  • Hi-Fi Quad DAC
  • HD Audio Recorder

LG v20

Now isn’t that a huge a list of features over other flagships of 2016? That’s not all, now let’s have a look at the specs of the device –

  • 5.7-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum display with 513 ppi
  • 2.1-inch IPS Quantum Secondary Display
  • Quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor coupled with Adreno 530 GPU
  • 64GB  UFS 2.0 Flash storage with sd card, support up to 2TB
  • 16MP+8MP rear camera with OIS 2.0, f/1.8 aperture, dual-tone LED Flash, Laser AF, PDAF, 4K recording
  • 5MP front camera with f/1.9 aperture, 120-degree wide-angle lens
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 3200mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0
  • Dual Nano SIM slots
  • Thickness: 7.6mm and Weight: 173g
  • Rear Fingerprint Sensor
  • B&O Audio
  • 4G LTE, dual-band WiFi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, GPS, NFC, USB Type-C

Nextbit Robin

Nextbit Robin is a smartphone that in a way weaved a crucial feature in the best smartphone of the year – Google Pixel/XL. The unlimited photos and videos storage via Google Photos. The cloud-first approach on the Nextbit Robin is definitely the way forward for all smartphone eventually. In my opinion, it’s high time that even Apple gives its users at least 50 gigs of iCloud storage compared to mere 5GB presently.

nextbit robin

Robin is the first smartphone that makes running out of space history. With the cloud integrated into Android OS, the onboard storage is merged with the cloud, so users always have the space they need. Let’s have a look at the specs of the device –

  • Processor: Snapdragon 808
  • Memory: 3GB RAM / 32 GB onboard / 100 GB online cloud storage
  • Screen: 5.2” IPS LCD 1080p, Gorilla Glass 4
  • Rear Camera: 13MP with phase detection autofocus, dual tone flash
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2680 mAh
  • Dual front facing stereo speakers
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • NFC
  • Quick charging
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • WiFi A/B/G/N/AC
  • Dimensions: 149mm x 72mm x 7mm
  • Weight: Approx. 150g
  • GPS enabled

Apart from the cloud-integration and other OS advantages, the Nextbit Robin also looks stunning. At a price of US$ 299 or INR 19,999 it’s a steal deal!

Creo Mark 1

Many wouldn’t have even heard of this smartphone but the Creo Mark 1 smartphone came with a promise that no other smartphone maker was ready to handle. This Indian company promised monthly OS updates that improve phone performance and add exciting new features. With its own proprietary FUEL OS (Android Overlay), Creo promised its users a new phone every month.

creo mark 1

  • 5.5″ QHD(2k) display
  • 1.95Ghz True Octa-core Helio X10Soc
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32 GB Internal storage, MicroSD card slot that supports up to 128GB
  • Rear Camera: 21MP Sony IMX 230 sensor which is capable of recording 4K videos and Slow-Mo videos in 120fps inFHD resolution. 3D photos, PDAF(Phase Detection Auto Focus), Live photo, Time lapse.
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • 3100mAh battery with quick charge feature
  • Dual sim, supporting all 4G bands in India.
  • FuelOS which is built on top of Android Lollipop

HTC 10

HTC 10 is the closest to what Google Pixel looks or feels like! It is for the obvious reason that its made by HTC and has almost the same internals. But still, it’s not loved by critics or masses as much as the Google Pixel is.


Here are the specs of HTC 10, the smartphone that inspired the smartphone of the year 2016.

  • 5.2-inch QHD(2k) display
  • Quad core Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32/64GB of internal storage with MicroSD support up to 2TB
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense skin.
  • 3000mAh battery with Quick charge support
  • 12MP rear camera with laser autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture, Pro mode, Auto-HDR, Zoe Capture, hyper lapse, 12X Slow motion mode, 4K video recording with Hi-Res Audio
  • Front Camera: 5MP autofocus, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), f/1.8 aperture with ultra wide-angle lens, Live Makeup, Auto-HDR
  • USB Type-C port, Fingerprint sensor, Dolby Audio, 3 microphones with noise cancellation
  • NFC, BT 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi Edition

Smartron tPhone

Smartron’s tPhone is one of the best value for money smartphone for the specs it offers but that territory is ruled by OnePlus 3/3T. Hence it always lived in the shadows of the OnePlus 3. I feel Smartron should have priced it under 20K to make the tPhone best buy under 20k as the market dynamics changes every 5k. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best phones we have used and the fact it’s by an Indian company makes us proud. No wonder Sachin Tendulkar backs the company for it vision and great products.

Smartron tPhone

Smartron t.phone specifications

  • 5.5″ FullHD AMOLED display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection
  • Octa-Core Snapdragon 810 processor with Adreno 430 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB of internal memory, plus memory with microSD
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Hybrid Dual SIM (micro+nano/microSD)
  • 3000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
  • 13MP rear camera with dual LED Flash
  • 4MP front-facing camera, f/2.0 aperture
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, USB Type-C

So this was our list of Top 5 Underrated Smartphones of 2016. If you think there should be another smartphone in this list then leave a comment below or tweet to us @theunbiasedblog

Fell in love with Android OS from the day I bought my first Smartphone in 2013. A budding Android Developer. Love to write about Android, Tech, and Smartphones. Technology enthusiast addicted to my smartphone, I love clicking photos with my smartphone, traveling and listening to music. Currently using a OnePlus 6T and Ticwatch S.