Everyone’s got their own pick for Smartphone Brand of the Year. This year we saw smartphone manufacturers bring their best devices to market, but so many were so similar. How can we choose one that did better than the rest?

Each year, we give this award to a brand who we think was most impressive, and moved their smartphone portfolio forward. This year, the same incumbents from last year pushed on to new heights, joined by new-to-market companies such as HMD (under the Nokia Phones banner) and Razer (after their acquisition of Nextbit).

With ten brands making our first selection, our next task was to whittle it down to a shortlist of just three companies. We think three companies are all deserving of being awarded Smartphone Brand of the Year:

Huawei

As the final results of Best of Android 2017 show, the Mate 10 Pro consistently delivers across all categories. For this alone Huawei deserves its nomination. Last year, the company won this award, reflecting the Mate 9’s considerable progression from the Mate 8. The Mate 10 Pro continues this, beating its predecessor in almost every area.

Likewise, the Mate 10 Pro outperforms a lot of the competition in several areas. The switch to a larger display represents a departure from Huawei’s traditional design language. The software may not be to everyone’s taste, but the Mate 10 Pro’s overall performance helped secure Huawei’s nomination this year.

Samsung

The Mate 10 Pro may have beaten out it’s flagship, but it’s still been an incredible year for Samsung. The end of 2016 represented one of the lowest points in the company’s illustrious history, thanks to the global recall of the Note 7, but 2017 was the year where Samsung showed just how powerful its brand really is.

Few companies could bounce back like Samsung did, and this year has been one of the best in the company’s history. Faced with an increasingly challenging smartphone market, the company followed up the outstanding Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus with the equally-outstanding Galaxy Note 8. Its performance in 2017 helped it recover from its previous troubles and secured a place on this list.

Nokia Phones (HMD)

When news broke late last year of HMD picking up the Nokia name, there were concerns that this would be a failure. A few years ago, even the idea of a Nokia Android smartphone would have had the world in a frenzy. But did the Nokia brand still have that pulling power? Could a Nokia Android device really compete?

Turns out, there was nothing to worry about. The Nokia 8 is a smartphone that embodies everything that made Nokia popular—great battery life and a nice design—while including features we’ve come to expect from a flagship device. The Nokia 8’s performance in Best of Android 2017 and its fourth place overall surprised everyone at Android Authority and helped secure Nokia Phones’ nomination for Brand of the Year!

Now we’ve met the nominees, it’s time to reveal the winner!

The Smartphone Brand of the Year is…

To decide the winner, the team here at Android Authority voted for the brand they thought was most deserving. Each person was allowed to vote just once and the results were rather close.

This year’s award goes to Nokia Phones! For a company that’s new to the smartphone game—HMD, that is—to deliver a flagship that consistently beats far more expensive devices is no easy feat. The Nokia 8 proved it was worth the hype.

Samsung did exceptionally well to bounce back from the last year’s disaster, and Huawei has certainly improved its smartphone portfolio the most, but Nokia is the brand that surprised us the most. Although the Nokia 8 only finished fourth overall in Best of Android 2017, it beat out devices from established companies like Google, LG, Sony, and BlackBerry. HMD may have come from nowhere this year, but we hope it’s here to stay!

Which phone do you think is the phone of the year? Let us know by voting in the poll below, as your vote counts towards which phone we’re going to crown the People’s Choice Phone of the Year 2017!

Remember, you could win one of the three smartphones that come placed first, second and third overall! To enter, check out all the details in the widget below!

Best of Android 2017 3 Phone Mega Giveaway!


Credits

Series Contributors: Rob TriggsGary Sims, Edgar Cervantes, Sam Moore, Oliver Cragg, David Imel
Series Editors: Nirave Gondhia, Bogdan Petrovan, Chris Thomas