A look at which 2018 flagship device may be suitable for you.
Almost within days of each other, last month, two Chinese smartphone makers with a global footprint launched their flagship devices for 2018 and both are now available in India. They offer the latest Android Oreo and 4G VoLTE connectivity. Each brand has its fan base here in India and we have tried to point out what's new and worth your consideration.
One thing they have in common is the ability to shoot ultra high definition (4K) video to a level that may soon render stand-alone movie handycams obsolete.
The first off is the Huawei Honor 10. Huawei has been perfecting an interesting marketing strategy for 3 years now where it launches the latest technology with it Honor lineup of phones. Then six to eight months down the line, it offers a condensed version of the same features in a cheaper, "lite" avatar.
Even as the Honor lite 9 is finding buyers this year, it has launched its 2018 flagship, the Honor 10. This handset is a heavyweight AI platform. Its rear camera is a combo of 16 MP and 24 MP lenses and it recognises 22 image categories namely - cloudy, lake, sky, architecture, portrait, etc. AI software then matches the scene with the appropriate camera setting so one does not need to fumble with apertures and speeds. It shoots full 4K video at 30 frames per second. The front camera is no slouch either, with a 24MP lens and here, AI's box of tricks does facial modelling and selects the best studio light setting for the self-portrait.
All this needs a lot of RAM and Honor 10 has enough at 6GB. The 128GB onboard storage has no expansion slot, which I think is a pity. The screen is 5.84-inches with better-than-HD resolution at 2280 x 1080 pixels and at 153g, you can easily hold and shoot with one hand. In addition to face unlock, the phone has embedded an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner under the screen, which is more convenient than a rear scanner. The 3400 mAh battery comes with a super charger that can get you 50% charged in about 20 minutes. Indians who love two accounts can rest easy as the phone takes twin nano-SIMs. The asking price is Rs 32,999 and for dummies like most of us, the superior cameras alone would clinch a purchase decision.
OnePlus understands the need for things to be done quickly in India. Its latest handset OnePlus6 sports a tagline: "The speed you need, comes to India". OnePlus has tweaked its algorithms to make every app open and close faster; every transition from a gaming environment to a working on swifter by a few milliseconds. There was a palpable difference when I tried the same app on my 3-year old phone, side-by-side with the new OnePlus.
Size-wise, this is one of the largest handsets I have handled this year. The 6.28 AMOLED display almost qualifies as a phablet. Yet it feels light at 176 grams. The main camera is 16MP plus 20MP with nice optical stabilization, something my shaky hands appreciated. In addition to shooting full 4K video at 60 fps, you can slow down in the 720 p video mode, by shooting at 480fps or at 240fps in the 1080p mode. These faster shooting speeds mean you can replay at 60 fps to achieve very slow motion. But this will only work if you update the software in setup to the latest version of Oxygen OS 5.1.5. If you play with slow-mo and full HD, you give yourself some editing headaches, but rest easy, the phone has a full-featured video editor built in. You don't see this degree of editing support in too many phones. The selfie camera is a decent 16 MP.
The OnePlus 6 comes in two configurations, 6 GB memory plus 64 GB storage for Rs 34,999 and 8 GB memory plus 128 GB storage for Rs 39,999. Dual nano-SIMs and a 3300 mAh battery are fairly standard for this class of device but it comes with the very fast Dash Charge technology which accounts for the oversized adapter. There is also a 256GB special edition themed on the Marvel Avengers movie for Rs 44,999. OnePlus users and even others may not need much convincing to upgrade to this zippy new addition to the lineup.