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Nokia 8.1, Xiaomi Mi A2, Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Best phones to buy in January

first_img2019 is underway, which means we have a full year to see some exciting new smartphones from top brands. Things are unlikely to get busy in January as most companies will be looking towards MWC 2019 in February to kick things off. January is largely about the ongoing Consumer Electronic Show that will see new 4K and 8K TVs and IoT products. So for consumers looking to buy a new smartphone this month, they will either need to check out last year’s models or wait until things really start to pick up heat.If you’re someone who absolutely needs to buy a new smartphone right now, this list is for you. We have selected some of the best smartphones to have wowed is in 2018. The phones in this list range from entry-level to the ultra premium, so there is something for everyone.Best phone(s) under Rs 10,000Realme C1: Rs 6,999Realme had a great 2018 for a new brand that’s trying to make a name for itself. Not only did it launch half a dozen smartphones, it also decided to move away from being an Oppo sub-brand to make a name for itself. We have seen Realme phones ranging from entry-level to under Rs 20,000. The Realme C1 is an example of the former. The Realme C1 is one of the cheapest phones with a notched display and bring a lot of the same specs as the Realme 2, but at a more affordable price point. The Realme C1 sports a 6.2-inch notched display, Snapdragon 450 chipset coupled with 2GB of RAM. It houses a 4,230mAh battery similar to the Realme 2. The entry-level smartphone comes with a 13MP + 2MP dual camera setup on the back with PDAF and f/2.2 aperture, and a 5MP front-facing sensor. It ships with Android 8.1 Oreo with Oppo’s ColorOS 5.1 on topadvertisementRedmi 6: Rs 8,499The Redmi Note 5 was so far one of the best value smartphones under Rs 10,000 for the most part of 2018, but Xiaomi has quietly discontinued the phone last month. In its place we have teh Redmi 6 in the budget segment that offers an 18:9 display, dual cameras and a 12nm-based octa-core chipset.The Redmi 6 comes with a 5.45-inch HD+ Full-Screen display with 1440 x 720 pixels resolution and an aspect ratio of 18:9. It offers AI-powered dual cameras on the rear panel. The smartphone includes a primary sensor of 12MP and secondary sensor of 5MP with 1.25 micron pixel size for depth shots. On the front, the phone carries a 5MP sensor for selfies paired with AI portrait mode. It is powered by Helio P22 processor paired with up to 3GB RAM and 64GB storage.Best phone(s) under Rs 15,000Realme 2 Pro: Rs 13,990By far the most impressive Realme phone of 2018 is the Realme 2 Pro which is one of the most powerful phones you can find right now under Rs 15,000. With a Snapdragon 660 chipset running the show, you can expect nothing short of a beast while performing day-to-day tasks, browsing heavy apps and playing graphic intensive games like PUBG. But the Realme 2 Pro is not just about raw power as it also offers a premium dewdrop design with a bright and immersive waterdrop display and some excellent cameras as well.Powering the Realme 2 Pro is an octa-core Snapdragon 660 AIE chipset with Adreno 512 GPU. This is coupled with up to 8GB of RAM for smooth and swift multitasking experience. The company is also touting a great gaming experience thanks to a powerful mid-range chipset. The phone will be offered with up to 128GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card. The Realme 2 Pro houses a 3,500mAh battery that will deliver a full day of battery life. It also supports dual 4G and dual VoLTE. The phone also offers 16MP primary sensor on the back and up front.Xiaomi Mi A2: Rs 13,999Competing with Realme 2 Pro is the Mi A2 which now starts at Rs 13,999 after Xiaomi permanently dropped the price of the Android One device this week. The base model, which was initially priced at Rs 16,990, is now available at s 13,999, which makes it a terrific phone in this segment. The Mi A2 now becomes one of the cheapest Snapdragon 660 chipset along with the Realme 2 Pro. In addition to that, it is an Android One phone that recently received the Pie update and will be among the first phones to get Android Q next year. The Mi A2 brings a 5.99-inch FHD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The device is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 660 chipset that is paired with 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of internal storage. The Mi A2 sports a dual camera setup on the back with a 12MP primary sensor with f/1.75 aperture and a 20MP secondary sensor with the same aperture. On the front, the Mi A2 gets a 20MP selfie camera. The phone also houses a 3,000mAH battery with Quick Charge 4+ support.advertisementBest phone(s) under Rs 20,000Nokia 6.1 Plus: Rs 15,9992018 was a terrific year for HMD Global and we say this just by the sheer number of smartphones launched and the fact that most of them impressed us. This is because most Nokia phones last year offered a classy and premium design along with good performance and stock Android as part of the Android One program. The Nokia 6.1 Plus is one such device that is also one of the most economically priced Nokia phones in the market right now.The Nokia 6.1 Plus brings a 5.8-inch FHD+ (1080×2280) TFT display with a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on top and an aspect ratio of 19:9. Powering the device is an octa-core Snapdragon 636 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 400GB via microSD card. The Nokia 6.1 Plus bears a dual camera setup which includes a 16MP primary sensor with f/2.0 aperture and a 5MP secondary sensor with similar aperture. The phone houses a 3,060mAh battery with support for fast charging via USB Type-C port. Notably, the Android One phone got updated to Android 9 Pie, making it an even sweeter deal for anyone looking for an affordable smartphone with Pie.Poco F1: Rs 19,999The Poco F1 is widely considered as the most disruptive and value for money phones of 2018. It was initially launched starting at Rs 20,999 which shook the segment thanks to its Snapdragon 845 chipset. If that wasn’t crazy enough, Poco India dropped the price of the device even further and it can now be found at a base price of Rs 19,999.The Poco F1 brings a 6.18-inch FHD+ display with a 18.7:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a 2.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 845 chipset coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The dual camera setup on the back includes a 12MP + 5MP setup while the front gets a 20MP selfie sensor. The phone also houses a large 4,000mAh battery to take you through a good day and a half. The Poco F1 has already been updated to Android Pie and is due to get Android Q in the future as well.Best phone(s) under Rs 30,000Nokia 8.1: Rs 26,999The Nokia 8.1 was the last major smartphone release from HMD in 2018 and it neatly encapsulates everything that worked for the company last year. The phone comes with an attractive glass and metal design, offering premium looks while at the same time a solid phone at the core. It also offers a powerful Snapdragon chipset and ships with Android Pie. Lastly, the phone gets some really good Zeiss-branded cameras and all of this is offered at a very competitive price tag of Rs 26,999.advertisement The Nokia 8.1 sports a 6.18-inch FHD+ (2246×1080) PureDisplay with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a 2.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 710 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM. A 6GB RAM variant is said to launch sometime this month and should fall under Rs 30,000 as well. The Nokia 8.1 houses a 3,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging support. This is an Android One phone and the first Nokia phone to ship with Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box. The dual camera system includes a 12MP primary sensor with 1.4 micron pixel, OIS, EIS and 2PD support, and a 13MP secondary sensor for depth sensing. The device also comes with a 20MP front-facing camera.Asus ZenFone 5Z: Rs 27,999Asus released two extremely impressive phones last year that managed to take on some of the biggest competition head-to-head. If it was the Zenfone Max Pro M1 in the budget segment, it is the Zenfone 5Z in the premium affordable segment. The Zenfone 5Z managed to take OnePlus to task by offering a Snapdragon 845 chipset along with a premium design language and fast charging at under Rs 30,000.The ZenFone 5Z brings a tall 6.2-inch FHD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset and the base variant comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The ZenFone 5Z houses a 3,300mAh battery with fast charging support, supports stereo speakers and High-Res audio, among other things. The phone runs Android Oreo-based ZenUI and Asus says it has cut down on a lot of bloatware, keeping things cleaner and simpler. The dual camera setup includes a primary 12MP sensor with large 1.4um pixels, f/1.8 aperture, dual-pixel phase detection autofocus, four-axis OIS and EIS. The secondary camera comes with an 8MP wide-angle sensor for depth of field shots. Up front, the ZenFone 5Z sports an 8MP sensor and the cameraBest phone(s) under Rs 50,000OnePlus 6T: Rs 37,999The next OnePlus phone should be out in just a few months as OnePlus follows a half-yearly pattern. For now, however, the OnePlus 6T is the default OnePlus phone to get and it is one of the best premium affordable phones out there. It brings an updated design compared to the OnePlus 6 such as a bigger display with a smaller notch and an in-display fingerprint sensor, while keeping most of the internals the same.The OnePlus 6T sports a 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED display and is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset coupled with up to 8GB of RAM. The glass on the front and back is also upgraded to Gorilla Glass 6. The 6T also loses to features – a physical fingerprint sensor and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, the OnePlus 6T gets an in-display fingerprint sensor that will unlock the device in 0.34 seconds. The 6T houses a 3,700mAh battery with Dash Charge support and ships with Android 9 Pie. The 6T sports a 16MP + 20MP camera setup on the back with f/1.7 aperture and OIS + EIS support, and 16MP front-facing sensor. OnePlus is touting a new Nightscape feature that uses HDR algorithm to improve low-light photography.Oppo R17 Pro: Rs 45,990The only reason I wouldn’t suggest the Oppo R17 Pro is because of its price tag. But if you are someone who does not mind spending a little extra, the R17 Pro offers a lot to envy. This is the first time the company is bringing its premium lineup to the country as it looks to grab a bigger share of the market. The R17 Pro is easily one of the best looking phones right now with a unique gradient design and waterdrop display. To top it off it also comes with a Snapdragon 710 chipset and SuperVOOC flash charging, among other things. With the R17 Pro, you get tall 6.4-inch FHD+ Waterdrop display. The phone also gets the latest Gorilla Glass 6 protection on the front and back. The 3D curved rear panel is further made appealing as it gets a gradient design, called Radient Mist that is made up of blue and purple hues. Powering the Oppo R17 Pro is an octa-core Snapdragon 710 chipset. This is coupled with 8GB of RAM for a smooth multitasking experience.The Oppo R17 Pro also offers an in-display fingerprint sensor and a triple rear camera system. The primary camera offers a 12MP sensor with a Smart Aperture feature that can switch between f/1.5 to f/2.4 depending on the lighting condition.The phone supports up to 50W SuperVOOC fast charging, which will easily spoil you as it charges from zero to 100 per cent in just 40 minutes, making it the fastest charger in the market right now.Best phone(s) that money can buySamsung Galaxy Note 9: Rs 67,900The Galaxy Note 9 is one of the best 2018 flagship smartphones. Period. It ticks all the right boxes for high-end phone and that includes a stunning AMOLED Infinity Display, best-in-class cameras, excellent performance and even an all-day battery life. The Galaxy Note 9 brings everything great about the Note 8 and the S9+ and adds something more to it. And the new S Pen with Bluetooth support also gives you more reasons to use the stylus now.The Galaxy Note 9 sports a 6.4-inch screen with QHD+ (2960×1440) Super AMOLED Infinity display. It is powered by an Exynos 9810 chipset with the base variant getting 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Samsung has also fitted a large 4,000mAh battery, which is a major bump from the Galaxy Note 8 as well as the Galaxy S9+. The device runs Android Oreo out-of-the-box with Samsung’s Experience UI on top. It has reportedly started receiving the Android Pie update in some regions as well. You get a 12MP + 12MP dual camera setup with dual OIS and the f/1.5-2.4 variable aperture feature that has won the Galaxy S9 phones a lot of praise. The front camera is also similar at 8MP and F/1.7 aperture.Google Pixel 3: Rs 71,999The Pixel 3 may not be ranked among the 5 best camera phones as per DxOMark, but there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this is a truly terrific camera smartphone. Not only does it capture some of the best daylight shots possible, but the addition of Night Sight has taken low-light photography to a whole new level. This is the phone to go for if you’re looking for a spectacular camera phone.The Pixel 3 sports a 5.5-inch FHD+ (2160×1080) OLED display with a 18:9 aspect ratio, while the Pixel 3 XL offers a taller 6.3-inch FHD+ (2960×1440) display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio and a very deep notch. They are powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset that’s paired with 4GB of RAM. The Pixel phones are offered in two storage options – one with 64GB of internal storage and another with 128GB of internal storage.As for the cameras, Google has included two 8MP front-facing cameras, one of which offers a wide-angle lens for group selfies. On the back, both the Pixel phones come with a 12.2MP dual pixel sensor with 1.4 micron pixels, autofocus, dual PDAF, OIS + EIS and f/1.8 aperture. The regular Pixel 3 houses a 2,915mAh battery while the XL model gets a bigger 3,430mAh battery.iPhone XR: Rs 76,999The iPhone XR is not the most premium iPhone of 2018, but it is Apple’s best iPhone for most people. This is because the iPhone XR brings most of the same features as the top-tier iPhone XS, and some downgraded features as well, at a price that’s more reachable for a lot of people. In our review, we said that the iPhone XR offers is perfect for consumers looking to upgrade from an iPhone 8 or an older iPhone, and it works despite offering an LCD display and single rear camera. In terms of size, the iPhone XR slots between the iPhone XS and XS Max. It gets a 6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina HD display (1792×828). It is powered by the A12 Bionic chipset and brings 3GB of RAM. The iPhone XR also supports Face ID and ships with iOS 12. The single 12MP wide-angle camera on the back comes with OIS and f/1.8 aperture. The front sees a 7MP TrueDepth camera similar to the other two iPhones.Huawei Mate 20 Pro: Rs 69,990The Mate 20 Pro is the first Mate-series phone in India and it is all kinds of premium. It is possibly the most feature-packed flagship phone yet. The phone offers a 6.39-inch 2K+ (1440×3120) OLED display with 538 ppi pixel density and 86.90 screen-to-body ratio. It is powered by the latest Kirin 980 chipset from Huawei which is based on a 7nm process that delivers a marked improvement in performance and power efficiency over its predecessor. This is coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The Mate 20 Pro houses a 4,200mAh battery with 40W SuperCharge support.The other big highlight is the Leica-branded triple camera matrix setup on the back. The system includes a 40MP wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture, a 20MP Ultra wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture and an 8MP telephoto lens with f/2.4 aperture. The cameras also support laser and phase detection auto focus as well as AIS (AI-based stabilisation). On the front, the Mate 20 Pro sports a 24MP 3D depth sensing camera.last_img read more