The EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards will be taking place at the end of November for the 14th year, celebrating the best devices over the last 12 months across 18 categories. The categories span phones, tablets and games to cameras, smarthome and cars and as usual, we are giving you a run down of all the nominees in each category through a series of features.
Best game, best interchangeable lens camera and best compact camera were up first so you can read all about the nominees of those categories in their individual features, but here we are concentrating on the best smartphone of 2017, while tomorrow will look at the best mid-range smartphone of 2017.
There have been quite a few changes in the smartphone market this year, especially in terms of design, so without further ado, here are the nominees for the best smartphone 2017.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
As a successor to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 8 Plus is a logical step-up that delivers a faster experience in a new and somewhat improved shell. Wireless charging, improved cameras and the True Tone screen for HDR Netflix content are all positive new features.
Overall, the iPhone 8 Plus is Apple's everyman phone. It's the perfect big phone for the masses; for the people who don't need a future-facing face-reading smartphone; for those who want that large scale familiarity and known strengths that will get the job done. For those people, the iPhone 8 delivers in droves.
If there was ever a device to convince BlackBerry loyalists to jump onboard Android, the KeyOne is it. It's a more complete package than the Priv was, and is a much more compelling device than either of the two most recent BlackBerry all-touch phones. It might even be the device to convince older BB fans to leave their newer iPhone or Galaxy device behind.
At £499 the KeyOne isn't cheap considering its specification, but it's not flagship expensive either. Besides, there's literally nothing else like it on the market - it's a truly standout device, for many of the right reasons. It won't be for everyone, granted, but for the ones the KeyOne is made for, it's quite simply masterful.
Google Pixel / Pixel XL
At the time of their reviews, the Google Pixels were the best Android experience available. For the first time we got to see exactly what Google had in mind for hardware design and features. Google was completely in control, and you could tell. Everything was tight, refined and polished to a degree we'd never seen in a Nexus phone.
Indeed, the Pixels cost as much as an iPhone - and that could potentially come back to bite Google but if you're after a 5-inch or 5.5-inch Android smartphone then there's simply nothing else on the market that compared to the Pixel and Pixel XL. Also, because it's a Pixel, made by Google, prompt software updates, regularly, promptly and for at least a few years are a given.
The HTC U11 brings with it some of the core components you want from a flagship: there's loads of power for a fast and fuss-free operation, a good display, great camera performance, and attention to detail in the audio offering which puts HTC above its flagship rivals. All that comes wrapped in unique design, with the wonderful colours offered by its glass backs.
HTC really does very little wrong in the HTC U11. This is a 2017 flagship that's up there with the best, even if Samsung's aggressive marketing and glamorous looks might win hearts over this "squeezable" phone. The HTC U11 would be a perfect phone for a great many people though.
Despite its up-and-down G-series history, LG knocked it out of the park with the G6. Enough to make us half forget the modular "Friends" approach of last year's G5. Whether that spotty history is enough to get you back on board with the series is another matter, but as flagship phones go the LG G6 is a standout for all the right reasons.
The software is lightweight and easy to customise, the dual camera system offers a lot of versatility, and the build, performance and display are all up there with the best available too. All-in-all the LG G6 is a great phone that's every bit the flagship.
It's impossible to look at the OnePlus 5 and not see the price hike this year. In the space of 12 months, OnePlus has increased the price of its best phone by £140 - which is just over 45 per cent. With that said, when you compare the OnePlus 5 to what it's competing with, it's still very good value for money and a brilliant phone.
The OnePlus 5 is better than any OnePlus before it by quite a margin, too, thanks to great software, ultra-powerful loadout, a refined design and some great features. It's clear OnePlus is no longer the plucky upstart. It's a proper, grown up company. And the OnePlus 5 is a fitting flagship: a sophisticated, grown-up flagship that's still great value for money.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
There's no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is one of the best phones of 2017. It takes everything that the Galaxy S8+ offers and pushes it a little further. This is bigger, a touch more powerful, packs in more camera and adds the S Pen, as well as offering Mobile HDR support for better entertainment.
If you're a die hard S Pen fan, burnt by the Note 7's demise and patiently waiting, then the Note 8 is everything you wanted and more. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a pleasure to use, packed full of innovative features and practical functionality. Regardless of price, it hits the ball out of the court with power, camera performance and its customisation options.
Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8+
Samsung waited a little later in 2017 to unleash its flagship phone - but it was well worth the wait. Exquisite design, a high-quality waterproof build, great camera, plus 3.5mm headphone socket for those decent AKG headphones just to kick off to list of positives. But it's the refined software experience - which offers you choices and functions - and top-class performance where the S8 and S8+ outstrip other flagships.
Then there's those displays. Some might think the near-2:1 aspect ratio to be odd, but once they've been put to use binge watching Netflix or Amazon Video you'll fall in love with the quality and the expansiveness that they offer. In short: the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are a masterpiece. They are expensive, but they are a masterpiece nonetheless.
Voting in the 14th annual EE Pocket-lint Awards is now open so you can let us know which one of these great devices you think should win the Best Smartphone award for this year and give us your verdict on all, or some, of the other tech across the 17 categories.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 14 November in association with EE. Voting closes on 3 November.