We’ve made our list. We’ve checked it twice.
With the Christmas weekend in full swing, and the end of 2017 rapidly approaching, it’s time to reflect on the highs and lows of the year in Android. That means we get to call out some of the heroes and villains of the smartphone world — brands and companies that had a bumper year, and others that blew it spectacularly.
This is the Android Naughty & Nice list for 2017. Enjoy!
Nice: Google’s hardware division
Even with some concerns around Pixel 2 XL’s display (which still isn’t as good as Samsung-made rivals, even after recent software updates), the second year of Google-made hardware was impressive to behold. The new phones built on the previous year’s achievements, with improved computational photography capabilities, a slick UI and flawless performance. And elsewhere, Daydream and Home got even better with updated, refined hardware.
Naughty: Android tablets in general
Even Google doesn’t think it’s worth making an Android tablet anymore. The two-year-old reference slate, the Pixel C, still hasn’t been retired, and with the shift to ChromeOS convertibles like the Pixelbook, who knows if we’ll ever see another flagship Android tablet again.
A delayed retail launch, a bad camera — even months later, poor sales figures, a cancelled European carrier rollout topped off by a few weeks of bad press around the man at the top made for a dismal launch year for Andy Rubin’s Essential. The phone’s only worth buying now because it’s cheap, and even then, persistent software issues make for an occasionally shaky experience.
HTC has its problems, for sure: Too many to list here, between frequent executive departures, and a shaky start to the year with the disappointing U Ultra. But the Taiwanese company redeemed itself later in the year with the excellent U11 and U11 Plus, besides being