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Govt’s contract with Chinese company expires

first_imgCJIA expansion…project incompleteDespite Government’s budgetary request of $346.5 million in supplementary funds towards the purchase and installation of two additional air bridges for the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) in April last year, taxpayers are slated to hand out even more funds as the project remains in an incomplete state.An artist’s impression of the expanded airport at TimehriIn a recent interview, Junior Public Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson said that the contract with the Chinese Company, China Harbour Engineering (CHEC), came to an end on December 31, 2018.In 2012, under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration, Guyana secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, for which the Guyana Government has injected some US$12 million. However, when the coalition Government came in to power in 2015, the project was put on hold, but after discussions between Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and CHEC, it was later announced that the project would be continued.Minister Ferguson told the media that additional works are still to be carried out on the multi-billion Guyana dollar facility.“There are additional works to be done and those works are still being conducted,” she said. The Minister, who has responsibility for the Aviation Sector, did not elaborate on what the exact aspects of the works were and neither did she give a deferred end date regarding a stipulated timeframe in which the project would finally see completion.Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Annette Ferguson“I cannot say at this point in time,” Ferguson stressed.In mid-December 2018, Minister Ferguson had revealed that $65 million was approved to be spent on the airport’s upgrade of its technology which was geared to be able to track the weather, among other aspects. She had also explained that the new technology will assist pilots in tracking the weather patterns to make better landing decisions as the airport was making the transition from manual to digital. This $65 million was in addition to the $346 million which had been sought earlier in 2018.Upon completion, the airport is expected to have four air passenger boarding bridges for arrivals and departures; a 450-seat Departure area, escalators and elevators in addition to an extended runway catering for larger categories of aircraft. However, the extension of works into 2019 comes in disparity to an earlier commitment by Government where it committed that the works associated with the expansion would have been completed by the last quarter of 2018.Initially, the project was scheduled to be completed within 32 months of its commencement in 2013. Later on, officials were optimistic of the project being completed by 2017. The A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), which when in Opposition, had cut the funds the then Government – People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – had allocated for the CJIA expansion.last_img read more

World’s best airlines awarded by AirlineRatings

first_imgBest EconomyAustralia’s Qantas Airways picks up Best Economy Class.  “AirlineRatings.com editorial team singled out in particular Qantas’ domestic economy product for special praise. We found that there is absolutely no doubt that it is world’s best – and by a wide margin,” said Mr ThomasThe airline domestic economy class offering is a step beyond and quite simple the world’s best. “Passengers enjoy a full meal service, free in-flight entertainment and a free baggage allowance,” said Mr Thomas.Whereas most domestic airlines have stripped away features and now charge, Qantas has maintained there is only one price – that of the ticket. The airline’s international economy class product is also a standout.Read more on Qantas here Best First ClassEmirates, which has won a number of awards, is a standout winner of Best First Class. “Its First Class product is a new industry benchmark and is offered over almost all of the airline’s long haul fleet,” said Mr Thomas. “For those who want the ultimate experience Emirates’ First Class is just that.” Features include showers on the A380 and of course a now famous bar.Read more about Emirates First Class offerings here Airline of the YearAir New Zealand is being honoured for its in-flight innovations, financial performance, operational safety and motivation of its staff that have stamped the airline an industry trendsetter.The editorial team, one of the world’s most awarded and experienced, lauded Air New Zealand’s commitment to a young fleet and its continual focus on the environment.  The airline also won Best Premium Economy Class.Air New Zealand has been a leader in the airline industry for years and has won countless awards including Air Transport World’s Airline of the Year in 2010 and 2012.AirlineRatings.com’s editorial team took special note of Air New Zealand’s comprehensive long haul offering which had two multi-award winning products in the Skycouch and Spaceseat for economy minded passengers.“Quite simply Air New Zealand is an airline of first choice. And given the airline’s location and the country’s size, its performance is even more remarkable,” said AirlineRatings.com editor Geoffrey Thomas.“This outstanding performance has seen Air New Zealand catapult to the top tier of the industry in a host of areas and in particular market position, product innovation, yield and social media that made the airline a trendsetter.”“The editors of AirlineRatings.com also noted that the airline’s focus on delivering value to passengers has resulted in higher yields and better returns for staff and shareholders. Air New Zealand is unquestionably AirlineRatings.com Airline of the Year for 2014,” said Mr Thomas.Read more about Air New Zealand’s offerings here AirlineRatings.com celebrates and promotes excellence in the airline industry and the pinnacle of these efforts is its Airline Excellence Awards. Winners also include; Emirates; Cathay Pacific Airways, Qantas, Silk Air, JetBlue, flydubai, Jetstar, Norwegian, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada and Swiss. Best Business ClassCathay Pacific Airways has won Best Business Class and the award adds to a string of accolades the airline has won for its business class offering. According to Mr Thomas, Cathay Pacific’s new business class is exceptional. “It’s a magnificent blend of comfort, functionality and privacy,” said Mr Thomas. “The airline has listened to its customers and it shows. Cathay Pacific is a standout winner of AirlineRatings.com Best Business Class award.”Read more about Cathay Pacific Business Class offerings here Best LoungesAnother win for Qantas. ‘Qantas’ lounges have become an Australian air travel institution and the airline’s overseas offerings are also an industry benchmark,” said Mr Thomas.Qantas Lounges not only provide complementary food and beverages the airline was a leader in installing showers. Importantly the airline’s lounges have robust broadband internet access that can handle demand – something lacking in many other airline’s lounges. “The Qantas Lounge is the place to be for the savvy traveller,” said Mr Thomas. Best Low Cost AirlineThere is no question that the Low Cost Airline market is the most competitive and also the most rapidly growing. Thus competition to be the best is a challenge of balancing product with low prices.AirlineRatings.com winners are: jetBlue (The Americas), Jetstar Group (Asia/Pacific), flydubai (Middle-East/Africa) and Norwegian (Europe).The four airlines are clear leaders in their respective markets with clever innovations and they consistently delivery an excellent value proposition. “These airlines may not always offer the lowest fare but what they almost always do is deliver by far the best value,” said Mr Thomas. And these airlines open new routes and bring travel to millions who could previously not afford to fly.center_img AirlineRatings.com the world’s foremost safety and product rating website has announced the selection of Air New Zealand as its Airline of the Year for 2014. Best Long Haul AirlineAirlineRatings.com Best Long Haul Airline awards have been won by: Emirates (Middle East/Africa), Singapore Airlines (Asia/Pacific), Swiss (Europe) and Air Canada (The Americas).According to Mr Thomas, these four long haul airlines are leaders in their region and in fact well beyond. “Each in their own way defines long haul travel and can be counted on to deliver the best product. Emirates and Singapore in particular are standouts in long haul travel and pioneer new aircraft designs to enhance global travel,” said Mr Thomas. “Swiss and Air Canada also have rich histories in pioneering long haul travel and are deserving winners.” Best Premium EconomyAir New Zealand has won Best Premium Economy for its innovation in designing its own premium economy seat. The airline is continually innovating in all cabins and this has resulted in higher yields as passengers upgrade their travel experience with value propositions. “Air New Zealand has proven conclusively that passengers will pay more if the product is right and priced accordingly. Its efforts in this space are a lesson to all airlines that passengers want better and are prepared to pay.Read more about Air New Zealand’s offerings here Regional Airline of the YearSingapore based Silk Air has taken out this award for delivering a first class experience on regional routes.Airlineratings.com editorial team praised Silk Air on its innovation that has resulted in exceptional performance in customer service, product and financial performance. This performance has seen Silk Air dominate its regional market segment for decades and makes it an industry trendsetter. “Silk Air’s regional offering is better than many full service airlines,” said Mr Thomas. “Silk Air richly deserves AirlineRatings.com Best Regional Airline award.”Read more about Silk Air’s offerings here Best In-Flight EntertainmentEmirates, which was one of the pioneers of IFE, wins AirlineRatings.com Best IFE award. The airline has an IFE product that few airlines equal. Airlineratings.com editors noted that Emirates was one of the first adopters, particularly for economy class. By 1993 all the airline’s seats were fitted with IFE.Emirates ICE has a host of features. It allows you to follow the progress of your flight, or take in the view from the aircraft’s external cameras. You can keep in touch with live business, news and sport headlines. As a communication tool it provides phone, SMS or email capability. For entertainment there are 600 channels of premium entertainment.last_img read more

App to understand South African visa rules

first_imgChild Visa Checklist App has been designed to help travellers to and from South Africa to understand the new child visa requirements.One of the reasons Drive South Africa created the Child Visa Checklist App is that many travellers don’t know which documents to carry into our borders, as per the new child Visa laws in South Africa. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterThe South African government’s new child visa laws came into play on 1 June 2015 and they “are here for the foreseeable future”, according to Mayihlome Tshwete, the Department of Home Affairs spokesperson.The department published standard operating procedures that airlines and the tourism industry must follow; information was also published its website, to explain the new regulations to would-be travellers.But there is some confusion around the changes. In an email sent to all members of the Southern African Tourism Services Association (Satsa), David Frost, the chief executive, said that he found the documents “complicated”.“The regulations are complex, daunting and not easily accessible for local and international travellers,” said Russell Jarvis, the head of communication at Travelstart South Africa. “Travellers need to know exactly what documents they require for a seamless and stress-free entry into our beautiful country’s borders.”To help would-be travellers understand these new requirements better, Drive South Africa created the Child Visa Checklist app. The app provides an easy-to-understand checklist of documents required by anyone travelling to or from South Africa with children – for their particular child-travel scenario.The web-based app, which works on mobile and desktop, helps users see precisely what travel documents they need, in three quick clicks or taps.According to Andre van Kets, the creator of the Child Visa Checklist App, “there are 15 different possible documents and 37 unique scenarios for children travelling in and out of South Africa”.“We initially create the app so that our travel consultants could fully understand the new child visa requirements, and better serve our clients. The app was so well received, that we’ve decided to go ‘open source’ with it and let anyone in the tourism industry – and travellers themselves – access the information,” says Van Kets.To use the app, a user selects an option under each step and it displays a checklist of documents unique to that particular scenario.It was launched on 30 May, and since then has been accessed more than 8 000 times by users from South Africa and 102 other countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Australia, United States, United Arab Emirates, Swaziland, Mozambique and Malawi.The app has also been shared more than 1 300 times on Facebook and other social media platforms. Travel agencies around the world are using it to advise clients travelling to South Africa with children under 18 years.“Thanks for creating this app. It will be a fabulous tool to help get our clients organised,” said Amy Green, the client services director of the American travel agency, Hills of Africa.The Child Visa Checklist app was built in consultation with a panel of experts including: Megan Harrington-Johnson, the senior associate attorney, practising family law at Schindlers Attorneys in Johannesburg; and Van Kets, the co-founder and director of online travel company Discover Africa Group in Cape Town.Various members of the South Africa travel and tourism industry have also been consulted during the building of the app, including Frost and Otto de Vries, the chief executive of the Association of South African Travel Agents (Asata).Source: News24Wire.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

TPP prospects grim

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Potential for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the “lame duck” session of Congress all but came to a halt last week when Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in an upset over Hillary Clinton. Throughout his campaign, Trump has been an outspoken opponent of the 12-country deal, which includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.“I think the TPP is dead, and there will be blood all over the floor if somebody tries to move that through the Congress anytime soon,” Trump confidant Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., told reporters.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., echoed Sessions’ statement.“It’s certainly not going to get brought up this year,” he said.Still, there is hope for TPP in other parts of the world. Japan’s lower house of Parliament this week passed the TPP. Japan’s upper house has to give final approval, which could happen later this month. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to meet with Trump this week. President Obama will be meeting with leaders from the 11 other TPP countries at the annual summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Peru this week.last_img read more

A Cheat Sheet for Social Media Video Aspect Ratios

first_imgCreating videos to publish on social media? Keep up with the latest aspect ratio settings with this handy reference guide.There’s no doubt that social media is changing the online video game. Once arbitrary, the aspect ratios for these platforms are now transforming the media we create. Since viewers now encounter the the majority of the content we create on smart phones, it’s essential to keep up with social media trends and settings.If you work in the commercial world at all, you’ve probably already come across this shifting landscape. Many filmmakers and videographers are shooting advertisements in a way that they can utilize for multiple viewing platforms.In the past, platforms like Instagram used to be for amateur work; however, it is now a leading platform where a majority of visual artists promote themselves and their work. Breaking out of the 16:9 cinematic box (quite literally!) might seem wrong at first, but it can actually be quite freeing for your work.Get out of your comfort zone, and give a vertical crop a go on your next shoot!Aspect RatiosFacebookFacebook supports a variety of formats, including 16:9, 1:1 (carousel), 4:5, 2:3, and 9:16.4:5, 2:3, and 9:16 can be the most engaging since people tend to hold their phones upright (vertically) when using this app.Recommended Resolutions: 1080 x 1920 or 1920 x 1080.InstagramSupported ratios: 1:1 (square), 4:5 (vertical), 1.9:1 (1080 x 566), or 16:9 (landscape).Instagram Story requires 9:16.Recommended resolutions: 1920 x 1080 or 1080 x 1350 (for vertical).SnapchatSupported ratios: 9:16.Recommended Resolution: 1080 x 1920.TwitterSupported ratios: anything from 1:2:39 to 39:2:1.Recommended resolutions: landscape = 1280 x 720; Portrait = 640 x 640.And, just for fun, here is some more helpful information for uploading content to these outlets: Looking for more social media video tips and tricks? Check out these articles.How Social Media Has Redefined the Aspect RatioCreate a Social Media Bumper and Lower Third for Your VideosIs Downscaling 4K to 1080p Worth It After Online Compression?Get the Most out of Your Online Advertising BudgetGet More Views: 10 Basic Tips for Posting Online Videolast_img read more

Sports organisation brings joy into lives of ‘special’ children in Delhi

first_imgCan and able: Mentally challenged children in Delhi prepare for the GamesTushar Bhatia’s eyes, twinkling from behind thick glasses, and the unruly black hair covering his forehead make him look like a chubby Harry Potter, straight out of a J.K. Rowling book.Like any other 11-year-old, life centres on school. The,Can and able: Mentally challenged children in Delhi prepare for the GamesTushar Bhatia’s eyes, twinkling from behind thick glasses, and the unruly black hair covering his forehead make him look like a chubby Harry Potter, straight out of a J.K. Rowling book.Like any other 11-year-old, life centres on school. The class he enjoys most is computers; he has recently learnt a lot about making files. He is fond of music and dance and admires Shah Rukh Khan’s brand of footloose eurhythmics.Some day when he is “grown up” and has “a big black moustache” he might marry Rani Mukherjee, his Bollywood dream girl. Among other things he loves, mention sports and Tushar’s face lights up-he enjoys being on the field with the wind in his hair. But he is not just another child treading the usual path of school, college and a white-collar job. Tushar is “special”.The endearing things he says have to be heard carefully, or you might miss their meaning completely. And you might have to repeat yourself a few times before he is able to respond.Tushar is one of the thousands of children born every year with various types of brain damage. He attends classes at Tamana, one of Delhi’s dozen or so “Special Schools”. Life for these children and their parents is hard. It is a continuous battle against odds that are as intimidating as they are disheartening.Just about a year ago, however, preparations began for an event that is today bringing ringing laughter (not unaccompanied by tears of joy and pride for parents) into their lives-the National Games 2002 organised by the Special Olympics Bharat (SOB), the Indian chapter of the organisation that holds an international sports meet called the Special Olympics for “special” children.Twelve sport disciplines ranging from the standard track-and-field and basketball to specially formulated ones like “floor hockey” (similar to ice hockey but played on a smooth, non-ice surface) and the 100 m “walk” are all part of the schedule. Athletes selected in this meet will represent India at the Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland, next year.advertisementThere is great enthusiasm for the event after SOB took some radical decisions last year. While the SOB is no newcomer to India (it has been around for almost 20 years), the participation level had been deeply disappointing, leaving organisers wondering what they had to do to make it an event that would make a difference in the lives of these children.First, SOB shifted its headquarters from Bangalore to Delhi. State committees to organise sports were set up in 26 states. The professional approach paid rich dividends. From a few thousands over the years, the SOB movement managed an explosion of registrations, with 20,000 special participants registering by the beginning of 2002.Special camps focusing on training parents and volunteers as coaches for special children were organised with experts coming from Washington. A huge public-relations drive was undertaken.SOB approached state governments for their cooperation in holding the National Games 2002, which were held in seven cities-Chennai, Pondicherry, Kochi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Delhi- through September and October.The focus is not “faster, higher, stronger”. It’s about giving every special child a chance to be cheered by onlookers, to be a part of a movement and feel as if he or she belongs.There is an instant sparkle in Tushar’s eyes as he describes how he took part in the inaugural torch run in Delhi on September 7 and actually got to hold the torch. Sonia Singh, 25, who has participated in the track-and-field events in the past few years, is looking forward to her events this year as well.”I’m definitely going to win a medal,” she says, busy training with obvious enjoyment at Delhi’s National Stadium despite sneakers that are torn and a wish for “a new T-shirt”. Piyush Jain, another Delhi participant, is competing in the 100 m walk. He grins indulgently at Sonia’s wish, almost as if to say, “Girls! Always wanting new clothes,” and continues with his warm-up exercises.SOB coach Harpreet Singh says that participating alone can make a world of difference to the child. He recalls how many of those who took part in the games earlier came out of the experience with a new confidence and began responding with surprising success to their school curriculum.Some participants of previous years have since left their special schools to go out and take up employment in the outside world. Says SOB Chairman Air Marshal (Retd) Denzil Keelor: “These children are beautiful and talented too. They just need to be given a chance and they will amaze you with what they can do.” Such is the magic of the Special Olympics. Young Tushar, for one, would agree.advertisementlast_img read more

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