CHEAPEST PHONE WORTH BUYING
Amazon’s 10.or D has been one of the more surprising smartphones in the entry-level segment. The e-commerce platform launched a few handsets last year under the 10.or (pronounced Tenor) brand, with the most impressive of them being the 10.or D priced at Rs 4,999. The handset is a worthy challenger to the Redmi 5A as it brings stock Android, decent hardware and a fingerprint sensor.
The 10.or D sports a 5.2-inch HD (720×1280) display and is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with Adreno 308 GPU. The phone comes in either 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 16GB and 32GB of internal storage, respectively which is expandable via a hybrid card slot. The handset also boasts of a fingerprint sensor on the back, which is great to see at this price point and something that is missing from the Redmi 5A.
Redmi 5A: Rs 5,999
Xiaomi undoubtedly had a great 2017 where it ruled the budget and mid-range segments in India. Thanks to phones like the Redmi 4A, Redmi Note 4 and others, Xiaomi has firmly secured the number one spot in the Indian market. The Redmi 5A is the natural successor to the popular Redmi 4A which Xiaomi hopes will help the company maintain its dominance. To make things even more interesting, Xiaomi this week also launched a Rose Gold colour variant of the 5A which went on sale on Thursday.
Despite its entry-level pricing, the Redmi 5A doesn’t make any compromises on hardware. It 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 Autofocus 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 Note 4: 9,999
2017 top selling smartphone in India was the Redmi Note 4 and for a good reason as well. The budget handset from Xiaomi is an all-rounder that impresses in design, display, battery and performance at an affordable price point. The smartphone continues to be a favourite two months into 2018 as well. Until Xiaomi launches the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 plus in India, we feel that the Redmi Note 4 is still the best under Rs 10,000 from the company right now.
The Redmi Note 4 sports a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display with a 2.5D glass on top. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 and comes in three storage options with the base 3GB + 32GB option priced at Rs 9,999. The handset features a 13-megapixel camera on the back with an f/2.0 aperture and a 5-megapixel sensor on the front for selfies. It packs a 4100mAh battery which is quite impressive.
BEST PHONE(S) UNDER RS 20,000
Honor 9 Lite: Rs 10,999
Huawei sub-brand Honor has been killing it in India in recent times, offering mid-range phones that have impressed in terms of design, hardware and price. After the Honor View 10 and Honor 9i, the company came out with the Honor 9 Lite at a very attractive price of Rs 10,999. It is compelling because you get four cameras, all glass design, 18:9 display and Android Oreo, among other things.
The Honor 9 Lite sports a 5.65-inch Full-HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by Huawei’s Kirin 659 SoC coupled with 3GB or 4GB of RAM. You get 32GB or 64GB of internal storage depending on the RAM option which is expandable via a microSD card. The phone highlights a quad camera setup with 13MP+2MP dual cameras on the front and on the back. It houses a 3000mAh battery and runs Android 8.0 Oreo-based EMUI 8.0.
Mi A1: Rs 13,999
While Xiaomi may have dominated the budget segment, it also showed its competition how to get the mid-range segment right. The Mi A1 nailed pretty much everything one expects in a mid-range smartphone. The Android One handset was launched with stock Android Nougat, stellar dual rear cameras and an attractive design, among other things that made it a fantastic under Rs 15,000 phone. After getting a Rs 1,000 price cut in December and Android Oreo last month, the phone is now an even more attractive deal than ever before.
The Mi A1 sports a 5.5-inch full-HD display and is powered by a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clubbed with Adreno 506 GPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. It bears dual 12-megapixel sensor, one with a wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture and one with a telephoto lens with an f/2.6 aperture. You also get a 5-megapixel sensor on the front with beautification mode. In our review, we found that the portrait mode offered crisp and detailed bokeh shots with little to no blur around the edges.
BEST PHONE(S) UNDER RS 30,000
Nokia 8: Rs 28,999
HMD Global re-launched the Nokia brand last year with a series of smartphones (and a revamped 3310) that range from budget to high-end. The Nokia 8 falls on the higher end of the spectrum and was the company’s flagship phone for 2017. Despite not sporting a bezel-less design as has been the trend, the Nokia 8 still holds a solid place, especially after receiving a massive Rs 8,000 price cut this week bringing the price down to under Rs 30,000. The Nokia 8 sports an elegant and classy design, stock Android experience and impressive cameras to name a few.
Honor View 10: Rs 29,999
If the Honor 8 Pro was considered the best under Rs 30,000 smartphone last year, the Honor View 10 looks to take that place in 2018. The View 10 is Honor’s flagship smartphone that comes with a whole bunch of AI smarts along with high-end specifications and a great pair of dual rear cameras.
The Honor View 10 sports a 5.99-inch Full-HD+ (2160×1080) display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by the company’s in-house Kirin 970 processor, which features a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for AI features such as advanced scene detection, voice recognition and natural language processing. It features a dual rear camera setup with one 16-megapixel RGB sensor and one 20-megapixel monochrome sensor both with an f/1.8 aperture.
BEST PHONE(S) UNDER RS 40,000
OnePlus 5T: Rs 32,999
It’s been just over two months since the launch of the OnePlus 5T. The successor to the OnePlus 5 comes with an updated while keeping the hardware mostly the same. The edge-to-edge display made sure OnePlus kept with the current trend. While many were disappointed that 5T was released with Android Nougat, the company earlier this week officially pushed out the Oreo update with OxygenOS 5.0.2 on top.
The 5T sports a bright and vivid 6-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixel) display and is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. There is also an 8GB + 128GB variant available for Rs 37,999. The dual-SIM smartphone comes with a Face Unlock facial recognition feature as well.
The cameras on the OnePlus 5T have not received a major bump, although OnePlus says that they are better than the OnePlus. The dual camera system on the back comprises of one 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 sensor with 1.12-micron pixels and an f/1.7 aperture, and one 20-megapixel Sony IMX376K sensor with f/1.7 aperture.