On this edition of Tech Toyz CNBC-TV18’s Megha Vishwanath picks some of her favourite smartphones that were launched during the year.
Xiaomi POCO F1
We started the year with Android phones being powered by the top of the line Snapdragon 845 chip set that was exclusive to premium flagship smartphones. Obviously these flagships came at a price! But in August, Xiaomi challenged both high end and mid-range flagships with their POCO F1. At Rs 20,000 this device was powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor along with a massive 4,000mAh battery. POCO addressed the needs of budget conscious yet hard-core tech enthusiasts and I respect that!
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
If you follow me on Tech Toyz, you would know that I am a fan of plus-size phones. They have a better display, better battery life and more power as compared to compact sized phones. This year we saw many plus size phone launches across different price segments, but my favourite device is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. While the company decided to play it safe in the design department, this premium flagship was – what I would like to call – a complete package.
iPhone XS Max
Speaking of plus size phones, I spent most of the year end on the iPhone XS Max and – apart from the crisp display and a great battery life – the biggest highlight for me was its video camera capabilities. My job in particular requires me to shoot a lot of videos both for web and broadcast, and this iPhone has not let me down! Apple, if you’re listening, a nomenclature next time that isn’t such a mouth full !?
Speaking of cameras – the best camera for photographs on a smartphone, hands down is housed in the Pixel 3 series. Period. One of the only flagship smartphones to still bet on a single lens setup, Google’s Pixel Visual Core chip for image processing does the magic. The Pixel packs in a neat shell on the outside with no-frills attached. For me, the Pixel 3 offered one of the best Android experiences in 2018!
Pixel 3 XL
OPPO Find X
Since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017, the notched display became a mandate for all smartphones. So screens without bezels, AI powered cameras and a notched display -- these three features have pretty much summed up all flagship mobile devices launched in 2018. We saw most smartphones adopt a safe & vanilla design philosophy. Which is why OPPO’s Find X packed in a gimmicky motorized camera deserves a special mention for at least trying something new.
Now I must admit that as a technology reporter, who reviews gadgets for a living, I am often asked which phone I use or which phone to buy? That’s basically why I have put this package together so that you can find out what works best for you and of course fits your budget. However at the end of year, the smartphone that found the right balance and is a total bang for your buck is the OnePlus 6T. The company has figured out what is ‘enough’ for everyday users and executes on the formula optimally, while keeping the price within reach.
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