The Best Mobile Devices of 2015 – The Quill List

CoolPad Note3

It is that time when every blog or website comes out with their list of impressive devices from the previous year. We will try and list out the devices that according to us were the game changers and brand builders of 2015. These devices may or may not have been the best sellers in 2015. But they surely played a vital role in shaping the mobile market and the segments that they are in. Without much ado, let us get into the list

2015 was an amazing year for the mobile buyer. We had devices that consistently pushed the envelope on design, performance and price. The Budget and Mid-Range segments saw the maximum churn and action. Every brand was trying to impress with devices that were thoughtfully designed and had a ton of unique features. There was a flurry of launches that made the year very very eventful. There were anticipated devices that disappointed and there were underdogs that impressed. To us, the year 2015 marked an amazingly consistent series of innovative and well designed device that pushed the levels higher regularly. So here is the list.

CoolPad Note 3

CoolPad Note3

Coolpad Note 3 offers fingerprint sensor which is placed at the back and is made by FPC 1025. The phone supports 360 degrees finger rotation capability, fast response time and industry leading 3D image quality. It has  a 5.5 inch HD screen, 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage.  The smartphone supports 4G LTE, 3G and GSM network frequencies along with a dual-SIM slot.  It features a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and auto focus alongside a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Both the front and rear-facing cameras feature CMOS image sensor for better image quality and powered by a 3,000mAh battery.  All this under 10k. This phone very clearly redefined the budget segment. Until this device came along, this kind of device at this price point was quite literally unheard of! Performance-wise, the device is absolutely brilliant.

Lenovo Vibe S1

Lenovo Vibe S1

Lenovo has got it’s handset game right and the company has got one standout device in every segment. They’ve also mastered the art of online flash sales. To add to all this, they are now ensuring that every device launched has a USP that makes it standout in comparison to the competition. The Vibe S1 is the company’s latest entry into the mid-range segment. And as usual, Lenovo is pushing the limits in this segment. I am not much of a Selfie person, truth be told, I shy away from selfies most of the time. But this phone changed all that! In a Big way! How? Well, there are two front cameras on this one. Yes, I was as dismissive as you are when I heard this. But then I tried it and believe me, this is one full load of fun! The two front cameras basically help the phone to effectively split the foreground and background very well. How does that help? Well, the software has been thoughtfully rigged to help you cut out the foreground and use it against any other background! In simple words, take a selfie and then very easily change the location/background of your selfie. The Vibe S1 impresses on design and does not disappoint on performance or battery. Looks like a dream and works like poetry. In short, the Gabriela Sabatini of mid-range smartphones. At INR 16,000, you will not get a better phone. In my books, it is a winner by a mile!

OnePlus X


OnePlus has a reputation for breaking paradigms in the segments that it brings handsets into. The whole concept of brilliantly designing phones that test the limits of specifications and performance is now customary and something of a regular process for them. The recently launched OnePlus X is a brilliant example of that. The phone is a good example of thoughtful and classy design mixed with very good hardware. So if you are in the hunt for the best mid-range phone that looks good and works like a trained stallion, this one is a contender. (If you can get an invite!)

QiKU Q Terra

Q Terra Image 1

What is a flagship? What are killer specs? What is thoughtful design? What is premium material? Sometimes, there comes along a phone that simply answers all these questions by just being there. Chinese device maker QiKU ( pronounced “Cheeku”), an alliance of a hardware (CoolPad) and Software (Qihoo) company has just made one phone that has effectively pushed the envelope further on a lot of fronts. The rear side of the phone has two 13 MP cameras, yes you heard that right, two cameras. One that clicks black and white images and another that clicks color images. Then the software magic takes care of the mixing of detail from both to give you an image that is profoundly detailed and very clear. At the price of INR 19,999 with an invite and INR 21,999 without it, there isn’t any other phone that I know that has such specs and gives such an excellent experience.  This phone has very clearly redefined the capacity and experience parameters of an android phone. What a way to end the year!

OPPO R7 Plus

OPPO R7 Plus

OPPO is a company that has been coming up with well designed and well configured mobiles for some time now. OPPO R7 Plus has a uni-body design; the Smartphone’s dimensions sit at 158×82.3×7.75mm, whilst weighing just 192 grams. The OPPO R7 Plus aircraft grade magnesium-aluminum alloy uni-body obtains its unblemished finish thanks to 48 polishing processes using the new anodizing technology. Painted with fine particles of zircon sand, the phone’s extremely smooth metallic surface delivers a luxurious feel. With stunning metal composition R7Lite also boasts a superb exterior design. For the first time, OPPO decided to use 2.5D Arc-Edge screen which adds a seamless finish by enabling slightly rounded glass edges and makes sliding your finger much more natural than compared with using a flat plane. This device screamed class when one held it in his hand. The overall experience with Color OS is also brilliant! No lags, no stutters, no issues, Carrying this one in your hands very definitely made heads turn!

OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2 Back

There are ordinary phones, there are flagship phones and then there are the super phones. Very rarely does one see a phone that is as anticipated or as hyped as the OnePlus 2. Part of the anticipation came from the stupendous success of the OnePlus One, the predecessor to this phone. This device just threw open the floodgates in the race to be the best android phone in the market. Specs are amazing and design is very useful and solid. Like it is customary with OnePlus – a segment definer that changed everything!

So that is our list of devices that impressed us in 2015. If you have any that impressed you and is not in here, let us know! Have a brilliant 2016!



About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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