June 13, 2018
May and the first half of June have been pretty busy with a number of phones being launched across various price segments in India. From Xiaomi to Honor to OnePlus, we have seen some pretty interesting new phones that are now available for purchase in India. Some of these phones have also made it to our list of best phones to buy this month where we look at few of the best phones across various price segments.
Last month, we saw OnePlus launching the OnePlus 6 and Honor bringing its own flagship Honor 10, among some of the more notable announcements. Early this month, Motorola launched the affordable Moto G6 while Xiaomi brought yet another budget smartphone, called the Redmi Y2 as it continues to hold its lead in this segment. While these phones make it to our list this month, we also have some of the older ones that continue to shine bright.
CHEAPEST PHONE WORTH BUYING
Redmi 5A: Rs 5,999
Still holding the entry-level fort is Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A. The budget offering from Xiaomi continues to take on other low-cost phones including Android Go phones like the Nokia 1 by offering good hardware and decent performance. The pricing may not be as exciting as the Rs 4,999 introductory price, but even at its current price tag, the phone offers plenty for entry-level consumers.
The Redmi 5A sports a 5-inch HD IPS display and is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with Adreno 308 GPU. The dual-SIM phones runs Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 out-of-the-box and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity. Optics for the Redmi 5A includes a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture, Phase Detection Auto-focus and LED flash. Up front you get a 5-megapixel selfie camera. The handset houses a 3,000mAh battery that the company claims will offer up to 8 days of standby time.
BEST PHONE(S) UNDER RS 10,000
Redmi 5: Rs 7,999
It’s not just the Redmi 5A, Xiaomi has a few more phones within Rs 10,000 that are worth noting and probably worth considering compared to any other budget phone. The Redmi 5 is priced just a notch higher than the Redmi 5A and offers so much more in terms of performance and design. The phone takes everything that made the Redmi 4 so successful in India and adds a more 2018 look and feel to it.
The Redmi 5 sports a 5.7-inch ‘full-screen’ HD+ display with a 720×1440 pixel resolution with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Snapdragon 450 processor clubbed with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 7.1.2 Nougat-based MIUI 9, and supports 4G LTE (and VoLTE) connectivity. As far as optics are concerned, the phone comes with a 12-megapixel rear sensor with f/2.2 aperture, phase detection auto-focus and LED flash, and a 5-megapixel sensor with LED flash.
Redmi Y2: Rs 9,999
It’s a rarity these days but Xiaomi did not see a big success with the Redmi Y1 last year. A number of reasons helped its poor sales such as an underwhelming build and design and disappointing cameras. Xiaomi seems to have learned from its mistakes because the Redmi Y2, which was launched last week, improves upon its successor in every way and offers not only an updated, more premium-looking design, but also comes with some really good cameras and a good battery life.
The Redmi Y2 sports a 5.99-inch HD+ display and comes with a tall 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Snapdragon 625 chip and is offered in two variants, although only the 3GB + 32GB option falls under the Rs 10,000 segment and is the one that makes the most sense. The phone supports expandable storage of up to 128GB via a dedicated micro-SD card slot, and supports 4G LTE and VoLTE connectivity. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo (based MIUI 9) out-of-the-box.
One of its biggest highlights is that it sports a dual camera setup with a primary 12-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture and phase detection autofocus and a secondary 5-megapixel camera, for depth sensing. For its price, the Redmi Y2 captures some good-looking photos in decent light with a good amount of detail and colour reproduction.
BEST PHONE(S) UNDER RS 20,000
Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1: Rs 10,999
It’s safe to say Asus surprised everyone with the ZenFone Max Pro M1. The phone comes at a pretty great price considering all that Asus is offering which includes stock Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box, a bezel-less design with an 18:9 display, dual rear cameras and a whopping 5,000mAh battery, among other things.
The ZenFone Max Pro M1 is powered by a very capable and powerful Snapdragon 636 chipset, which is the same chip that powers the Redmi Note 5 Pro as well. The phone sports a 5.99-inch FHD+ display and comes with up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD. The dual-SIM phone supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) and also USB OTG. The dual rear camera system includes one 13-megapixel camera (f/2.2 aperture) and a secondary 5-megapixel camera for depth sensing. The cameras are assisted by PDAF and LED flash, and are capable of shooting 4K videos as well. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash.
Moto G6: Rs 13,999
Motorola launched the Moto G6 in India earlier this month which succeeds last year’s Moto G5 and Moto G5S. The affordable mid-range smartphone brings a brand new design language to the Moto G lineup by introducing an all-glass design and a full-screen display, among other things. I reviewed the phone and found it to be the best looking phone under Rs 15,000 right now.
The Moto G6 sports a 5.7-inch FHD+ 1080p IPS LCD Max Vision display and is powered by a 1.8GHz Snapdragon 450 chipset. The base variant that’s priced below Rs 15,000 comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The phone runs near stock Android Oreo and houses a 3,000mAh battery with TurboCharge support. It comes with a 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup on the back and a 16MP front-facing camera.
Redmi Note 5 Pro: Rs 14,999
Despite hiking the price of the Redmi Note 5 Pro by Rs 1,000, it still remains one of the best devices you can find under Rs 15,000 right now. While this may give Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 a bit of an advantage, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is still a powerhouse of a phone and manages to nail pretty much all aspects of what you want in a smartphone which includes a premium metal build, 18:9 display, dual rear cameras and a powerful chipset, among other things.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro sports a similar 5.99-inch FHD+ display as the Redmi Note 5. However, under-the-hood the Note 5 Pro is spiritually closer to the Redmi Note 3 in terms of performance. It is the first smartphone to be powered by a Snapdragon 636 processor which brings Qualcomm’s Kryo 260 CPU cores that will deliver around 40 per cent more power than the Snapdragon 630. The chipset is designed to produce power while being energy efficient at the same time. We reviewed the Redmi Note 5 Pro and found that the phone really is a beast in terms of performance.
BEST PHONE(S) UNDER RS 30,000
Nokia 7 Plus: Rs 25,999
Arguably the best value-for-money phone in HMD’s newest lineup, the Nokia 7 Plus ticks most of the right boxes. The phone not only comes with a unique and captivating design that includes copper accents all around the frame, but it also features a tank-like solid metal body, an 18:9 display which is a first for the company, dual rear camera module. Not to mention it runs pure, stock Android thanks to it being part of the Android One program, and is powered by a fantastic chipset and impresses with its battery life as well.
The Nokia 7 Plus sports a 6-inch FHD+ IPS display with Gorilla Glass on top. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 660 SoC, making it the first phone with the chipset in the country. This is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The phone runs Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and can be updated to Android 8.1 Oreo as well.
I reviewed the phone and found it to be a stellar offering at this price segment. The only thing that the phone gets wrong is the Zeiss-branded cameras, which perform poorly in low-light. But if cameras are important, then the Honor View 10 should be your choice in this price range. The only threat to the Nokia 7 Plus is sadly the Nokia 8 from last year, which is available for Rs 28,000 now and can also be recommended as it packs 2017 flagship trimming including a Snapdragon 835 chipset.
BEST PHONE(S) UNDER RS 40,000
Honor 10: Rs 32,999
The under Rs 40,000 segment sees a refreshed set of phones take the stage this month after the Honor 10 and OnePlus 6 were launched in the country last month. Talking about the Honor 10 first, the new flagship from the Huawei sub-brand brings a stunning new design quite influenced from the Huawei P20 Pro, which includes a notched display and a twilight colour glass back.
The Honor 10 brings a 5.84-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by Huawei’s custom Kirin 970 processor paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Unlike the OnePlus 6 which runs near stock Android, the Honor 10 runs a EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo which is more cluttered and bloated. The handset supports dual 4G VoLTE, 3.5mm headphone jack and houses a 3,400mAh battery.
Honor’s new flagship sports a dual rear camera system which includes one 16-megapixel RGB sensor and another 24-megapixel monochrome sensor. Both have an aperture of f/1.8 and also there’s PDAF for fast focusing and LED flash. The cameras support bokeh mode and 2X optical zoom. Up front, you get a 24-megapixel camera that can capture portrait selfies and supports portrait lightening. The cameras also get a lot of AI support thanks to the AI-powered Kirin 970 chipset on board.
OnePlus 6: Rs 34,999
Replacing the OnePlus 5T in this segment is the new OnePlus 6 which starts at Rs 34,999. OnePlus has largely dominated the affordable premium segment by offering flagship-grade hardware and design at a low price. The OnePlus 6 comes with a brand new design sporting a notched display up front to provide for the largest display ever on a OnePlus phone, while the back is covered with a curved Gorilla Glass.
The OnePlus 6 brings mostly all the top-end hardware in 2018 including a Snapdragon 845 chipset with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The phone sports a 6.28-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 on top. It sports a 16MP + 20MP dual camera setup with OIS, EIS and f/1.7 aperture and a 16MP front camera with EIS. It houses a 3,300mAh battery with Dash Charge support and runs Android 8.1 Oreo.
BEST PHONE(S) MONEY CAN BUY
Pixel 2 XL: Rs 50,500
Google’s second-generation Pixel flagship smartphone offers perhaps the best Android experience one can ask for. Not only does the Pixel 2 XL offer the purest Android software, but it also comes with top-of-the-line hardware, a full-screen display and some of the best cameras on a smartphone to date. For those looking at a premium Android smartphone right now, the Pixel 2 XL is perhaps the best option out there.
As far as hardware is concerned, the Pixel 2 XL comes with mostly all of 2017’s flagship trimmings including a Snapdragon 835 processor, 12.2-megapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, an 8-megapixel camera has an aperture of f/2.4, and a 3520mAh battery, among other things. DxOMark has given the Pixel 2 XL’s cameras a score of 98, which until a couple of month ago was the highest overall score for a smartphone. In our review, we found that handset indeed comes with exceptional cameras that are beyond comparable.
Samsung Galaxy S9+: Rs 64,900
Android consumers who want the best designed phone that money can buy need not look any further than the Galaxy S9+. This is a stunning flagship from Samsung that keeps the design language more or less similar to its predecessor. Samsung has loaded the Galaxy S9+ with a host of new features inside such as Intelligent Scan, AR Emoji and Super Slo-mo mode among other things.
Notably, the Galaxy S9+ is the first Galaxy S phone to sport a dual rear camera system. Additionally, it comes with a Dual Aperture feature that switches between two apertures depending on the lighting conditions. This allows for some spectacular low-light photography that is capable to take on the Pixel 2 XL. Other than that and the display size, both the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are pretty much identical. The S9+ comes with sports a 6.1-inch WQHD+ (1440×2960) Super AMOLED display with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by an octa-core Exynos 9810 chip coupled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 256GB of internal storage.
iPhone X: Rs 84,999
No list is complete without and iPhone and the iPhone X is the best iPhone that money can buy. For all reasons, both good and bad, the iPhone X is the biggest and probably the best iPhone from the Cupertino giant to date and one that die-hard Apple. The X brings a whole new design language for the company that includes an edge-to-edge display with a notch cut out on top that is unfortunately catching on among the Android world as well. Thanks to some hike in custom duties over the months, the iPhone X has gotten a little more pricier than before. However, you can find the X on e-commerce platforms like Amazon India for around Rs 84,999.
iPhone X sports a 5.8-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2436X1125 pixels. It is powered by the company’s own A11 Bionic chipset and runs on iOS 11. The X comes with dual rear cameras comprising of one 12-megapixel wide angle and one 12-megapixel telephoto lens. While the front camera includes a 7-megapixel sensor which is coupled with f/2.2 lens. The iPhone X is one of our best reviewed smartphones as it won us over on it’s gorgeous display, terrific performance and stellar cameras.