TUDIA's Top Phones of the Decade!
It's the end of the 2010s! To celebrate, we thought we would rank some of our favorite smartphones from the past decade. To make it a little more interesting, we chose the following rules:
- It had to be a phone that we made case for. Since we've been around for about half the decade, most of these models will be from 2014 after.
- With the iPhones and Galaxys dominating the smartphone market, we've tried to include some other models you might have forgotten to the sands of time- we've limited the amount of recent, dominant flagships for that reason.
Without further ado, here are some of our favorites from the last decade!
iPhone 7+ (2016)
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus was an interesting phone. Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind with the iPhone 7 series is the lack of a headphone jack- a huge design change that has slowly trickled its way into most modern flagships. The iPhone 7 Plus began this huge culture shift and has had quite the impact on the world of smartphone design. Additionally, the dual-camera setup on the 7 Plus still holds up today as one of the greats- the quality of the portable camera set by this phone became the standard go-to for comparison with any other flagship-tier camera.
OnePlus One (2014)
Pixel 2 XL (2017)
The Google Pixel 2 had everything you could want in a flagship sequel. If the iPhone 7’s camera was genre defining for Apple phones, the camera and software on the Pixel 2 was genre defining for Android. Essentially upgrading the 2016 Google Pixel in every way, the Pixel 2 really made Google a contender in the yearly flagship race. Add the XL for a bigger screen and battery life, and the Pixel 2 is still a viable option for use today. Fast, sleek, a premium feel, and some of the best pictures available on Android, the Pixel 2 XL was one of the greats of the past decade.
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (2017)
Droid TURBO (2014)
Most of the best and influential smartphones are from relatively relevant memory. With how fast the industry and technology advanced, it’s no surprise that a lot of phones before 2016 are easily forgotten in the wake of modern powerhouses. Before the boom of smartphone flagships, however, the Droid TURBO was a monster. Boasting premium specs for its time before the Galaxies and iPhones became dominant players in the smartphone game, the Droid TURBO really provided a flagship experience. The screen boasted a 1440p display, providing crystal-clear images in a year that sub-HD displays were quite common. What’s more, the Droid Turbo also had voice commands on launch with Android KitKat, activating with the simple phrase “Ok, Turbo.” Things like Siri and Google Assistant are pretty standard now, but the functionality provided by the Turbo was definitely ahead of its time. While it may be lost to the ages, the Droid Turbo was truly a powerhouse flagship in 2014.
Not all great phones have to be flagships. Let’s be real: not everyone needs to shell out premium prices for premium devices. For some, a device that can text, call, have decent battery life, easy functionality, and a camera that can just get the job done is more than enough. The budget phone market is just as popular as the flagship market, even if it isn’t as glamorous or promoted. In 2018, the king of budget phones was released: The Moto G6. The Moto G6 had everything you could possibly want in a budget phone, and then some. Stock Oreo on release, dual back cameras with portrait mode, and a glass body finish made this phone feel like a device with a high price point, despite being available for less than $300.
What can we say about the Razer Phone 2 other than we love it? The original Razer phone was an interesting concept on its own, but the design really came to fruition with the sequel in 2018. A phone literally built for gaming is something that very few companies have actually pursued, being something that’s more of a secondary feature than the central selling point for most devices. With the Razer Phone 2, gaming was the centerpiece of design while still striving to give the phone a premium look and feel. Being a gaming phone, the processing output on the RP2 was top notch. Combined with a 120 Hz display, this phone had one of the smoothest, visually-pleasing user experiences to date. Add a full glass back with a customizable chroma on the back, and this phone is an absolutely premium-designed gaming powerhouse, one unmatched by any other this decade.
Moto X Style / Pure (2015)
This one is a trickier one to remember, as it had a few different names depending on where you located. Regardless, this phone had a lot going for it for its time, using one of the biggest screens the market had seen to date at 5.5’. That might sound like child’s play now, but in 2015, this was revolutionary. Before many flagships started releasing a “standard” and a “plus-sized” model, most phones only had a single, moderately sized release. The Moto X Style decided against that, going all-in on a large display. What’s more, the internals on this thing were definitely on par with other flagships at the time, like the Galaxy S6 or LG G4, but had a much, much more affordable price tag. The sound quality and display made this an obvious choice for viewing media, which really set the stage for future phone designs like the Google Nexus line. While the size might have been unruly for some at its time, the Moto X Style design is much closer to something you’d find on the market today- not bad for a phone that was released half a decade earlier!
Note 10+ (2019)
Is this one kind of unfair? Sort of, but that wont stop us from putting it on here anyway! The Galaxy Note 10+ was one of the last flagships to launch in the decade, so naturally, we had to include it. There isn’t much we can say about this phone; rather, the device speaks for itself. Top-of-the-line processors, cameras, updated S pen functionality, top-notch software, night mode, giant and efficient battery, 6.8’ screen… need we say more? This phone is a culmination of smartphone tech developed throughout the decade, a symbol of the best the market has to offer. There is no doubt this will be remembered as one of the greats of the 2010s!
There you have it- 10 of our favorite phones of the 2010s! What were your top phones of the last decade?