Time is money. It is often said. That is exactly what smartphone companies love to go by. The broken world over the past few months, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, had stalled smartphone launches. And even if not stalled, had slowed down things considerably. Now that things are opening up again in India, with online and offline sales regaining some sort of normalcy, at least in some parts of the country, the launches are back. If you had been eyeing a new smartphone for a while now, there are new options galore. Across price points, mind you.
Over the past few weeks, we have seen the new Apple iPhone SE arrive for sale in India. Before that, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra had landed on our shores but was staying put because of the lockdown. And now we have a flurry. The OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro, two much awaited phones, are here. So is the Xiaomi Mi 10, the company’s premium push. And these are just some of the coolest phones that you can buy. We try to make sense of the new launches and which one is a better bet for you.
Apple iPhone SE
The Apple iPhone SE prices start at Rs 42,500 and that is before you take advantage of an HDFC Bank cashback offer which brings the effective price down to Rs 38,900. For an iPhone that runs largely the same specs as an iPhone 11, that is a steal deal. The 4.7-inch display makes this a unique proposition, and also a rare compact phone, at a time when big screen phones are common. Power isn’t in short supply either. And that is putting it diplomatically. The iPhone SE runs the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 series. The 2020 iteration of the Apple iPhone SE gets a 12-megapixel camera at the back. Yes, it is a single-camera system. It does get a new image signal processor, the enhancements of the Neural Engine of the A13 Bionic and new algorithms, and a full array of portrait mode photography. Buy this if you want a compact phone without compromising on the experience or performance.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the first true Android superphone. The headline specs include a 108-megapixel camera with 100x zoom, a large 6.9-inch display that does 120Hz refresh rate and a massive 5,000mAh battery. In some parts of the world, you will get 5G as well. This has a 6.9-inch screen and that makes it the biggest smartphone screen in this space—larger than the Galaxy S20+ (6.7-inch) and the Galaxy Note 10+ (6.8-inches). The 120Hz resolution just makes everything incredibly smooth and gorgeous. What you get are four cameras—a 108-megapixel wide sensor, a 48-megapixel periscope sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor and a ToF depth sensor. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra that you will be able to buy in India will be powered by the Exynos 990 chip takes forward the case for the 7nm architecture and is paired with 12GB of the very fast LPDDR5 RAM. This carries a sticker price of Rs 97,900 but there are deals that you can take advantage of.
You can get the OnePlus 8 in two variants. The entry-spec variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage costs Rs 44,999 and you can have this in Glacial Green and Onyx Black colours. The higher spec option with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage carries a price tag of Rs 49,999 and is available in three colour options—Glacial Green, Onyx Black and the gorgeous Interstellar Glow. It looks like a OnePlus phone from a mile away, and the good thing is, the attention to detail remains as profound as always. The 6.55-inch display is AMOLED, supports HDR10 and has the 90Hz refresh rate. OnePlus 8 brings in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem and the option of 12GB RAM. What also really makes a world of difference is the much faster UFS 3.0 storage, which offers up to 125% faster read and write speeds. Everything is silky smooth in terms of the performance. Buy this, if you are looking for an Android phone. That is how wide its appeal is.
OnePlus 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, a quad-camera setup and gets some gorgeous new colours. The 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED display has a 3168 x 1440-pixel resolution, a 19.8:9 aspect ratio, HDR10+ and most importantly a 120Hz refresh rate. You get a 48-megapixel main camera, a 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto camera and a 5-megapixel colour filter camera. There is 3x hybrid zoom and the main Sony IMX689 sensor, as well as the telephoto camera, have optical image stabilization as well. This is the first OnePlus phone which offers wireless charging featuring Warp Charge 30 Wireless, which charges a fully discharged OnePlus 8 Pro’s battery to 50% charge in 30 minutes. You can get the OnePlus 8 Pro 8GB RAM + 128GB variant for Rs 54,999 and the 12GB RAM + 256GB variant for Rs 59,999.
Motorola Edge Plus
The new Moto Edge Plus is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, paired with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.0 storage. The display is a 6.7-inch, full HD+, OLED display panel that is curved by almost 90 degrees at both the edges. The display also supports HDR10+ along with a 90Hz refresh rate. There are also software optimizations that give the ‘edge’ display some functionality. These include capacitive points that work as shoulder triggers for gaming, notification alerts, app switching and battery charging status. You get a 108-megapixel primary unit with optical stabilization and 6K video recording support. Other modules include a 16-megapixel ultra-wide unit with 117-degree field of view, an 8-megapixel telephoto unit with 3x optical zoom. The front camera is embedded in the display in a punch-hole layout, with a 25-megapixel sensor. There is a 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging, as well as 15W fast wireless charging. The Motorola Edge Plus is priced at Rs 74,999.
Xiaomi Mi 10
This is Xiaomi’s return to the premium smartphone space, with the prices of the Mi 10 starting at Rs 49,999. The new Mi 10 5G is powered by the latest Snapdragon 865 chip, 5G connectivity and the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage as well as 8GB RAM + 256GB storage. It comes with a 6.67-inch 1080p AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz and 180Hz touch response rate. The Mi 10 also gets a 108-megapixel camera with a 1/1.33-inch sensor along with Optical Image Stabilization, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera with 123-degree FOV, a 2-megapixel macro sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The 4,780mAh battery gets 30W fast wired and wireless charging. There is also support for 10W reverse charging that is Qi-compatible. Interestingly enough, a lot of the default apps on the phone are the original Google apps and Xiaomi insists that the MIUI will not have any advertisements.
Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max 6GB + 64GB variant is priced at Rs 16,499, the 6GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 17,999 while 8GB + 128GB variant is priced at Rs 19,999. This is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, a 6.67-inch LCD display and has a big 5,020mAh battery. You get a 64-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera, a 5-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. It supports 33W fast charging (provided in the box) as well. Rest of the features include support for 4G VoLTE, NaVIC GPS, dual-SIM card slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner.