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The top smartphones you can't afford to miss this year

7 minsMay 16, 2019

smartphones

Judging by the tech marvels showcased at this year’s Mobile World Congress, it appears 2019 is going to be a very interesting year for smartphones. Whether you’re looking at devices that take the current design language to a new level, or those that redefine it altogether, smartphone manufacturers have already begun giving us glimpses of what lies ahead. And the best is yet to come…

Getting a recently launched smartphone is not always financially viable because of the prohibitive price tags that flagship models carry, even if the performance and longevity benefits of getting the latest and greatest model are undeniable. Thankfully, there are many ways Axis Bank makes it easier for you to get your dream smartphone. For instance, with an Axis Bank credit card you can go for the EMI options on various e-commerce platforms. Just pick the EMI option during checkout, select your preferred tenure among the options available and you're all set! Now all you need to do is make the actual choice.

Here are a few top picks for smartphones in 2019 that will be worth it:

  • Nokia 9 Pureview
    Just how many cameras are too many cameras on a smartphone? Don’t ask the Nokia 9 Pureview that question, since it is the first mainstream smartphone to deploy a 5+1 camera setup on the rear. It features five cameras with 12MP f/1.8 Zeiss lenses (two RGB, three monochrome), whereas the sixth is an additional Time of Flight sensor for depth information. The multiple lenses on the Nokia 9 Pureview are used to populate detail into a single picture, or separately, depending on the scenario – such as native monochrome using only the B/W monochrome lenses. While the snapper promises to be stellar, the phone still comes with the Snapdragon 845, so those looking for top of the line processor performance might need to look elsewhere. The device has already launched in the US for an inaugural price of $599, but HMD has teased India availability. There are no confirmed launch dates, but considering it’s built around the 845 a quick launch should be prudent.

  • Mi 9
    The Mi 9 has been touted as Xiaomi’s best camera effort yet, with a DxOMark score that beats Apple’s iPhone XS Max. The smartphone is also the first to pack a Snapdragon 855, the latest chipset from Qualcomm that will be seen in most flagship models of the year. The phone comes in multiple editions including a Transparent edition that features additional storage and RAM. If initial reviews are to be believed, the Mi 9 delivers what it promises – great performance and the ability to take stunning photos. Going by the pricing in China, the Mi 9 can be expected to start at ₹35,000 in India if it is brought here.

  • LG V50 ThinQ
    While both the V50 ThinQ as well as the G8 ThinQ sport nearly identical specifications, the V50 ThinQ made it on this list due to its support for 5G as well as a cool accessory that you can use with it. This accessory is the Dual Screen – a smartphone cover for the V50 ThinQ that doubles up as a secondary display. This isn’t exactly new - devices like the ZTE Axon M have done it long ago. However, the V50 one does seem to function well in its intended use cases, which include things like multitasking as well as using the secondary display as a gamepad for mobile gaming. It was initially slated to launch on April 19th in South Korea but has now been delayed due to ‘performance improvements’ between the SoC and 5G networks. The pricing was also originally announced as 1,199,000 Won (approx ₹73,000) and hasn’t been updated since.

  • Sony Xperia 1
    The 6.5-inch 21:9 4K HDR OLED panel on the Sony Xperia 1 is a first in the smartphone world. The tall aspect ratio is geared towards a better video and gaming experience. Under the hood, HDR remastering technologies and upscaling technology from the Bravia range of TVs are included. Sporting Alpha-style cameras, this is the first instance where Sony has allowed its smartphone and camera teams to collaborate. The camera comes with BIONZ X image processing chip for mobile, Eye AF algorithm to bring sharp focus at eye level as well as impressive video capture capabilities targeted towards creators. This one's a phone for Sony fans and tech geeks alike, looking to upset the likes of Samsung and Google at their own game. However, more details about the pricing will be evident after its upcoming launch.

  • Galaxy Note 10
    With the recently launched S10 range raking in quite a few accolades for the smartphone giant, one might wonder what would make Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 worth the wait. Taking one look at the spec sheet makes the answer clear. For starters, the Note 10 will ship with UFS 3.0 compared to the S10's 2.1 storage, so you'll get faster data transfer with less power consumption, and there are benchmarks out there that prove this is indeed the case. Also, according to certain patents discovered recently, Samsung might be trying to fit the selfie camera into the S-Pen, providing a truly bezel-free experience, on a massive 6.6-inch display! The Note 10 will release around August or September with multiple variants, definitely breaching the $1000 (₹70,000) price point.

  • Pixel 4
    Google's next flagship lineup of Pixel devices is distant at the moment, but that hasn't stopped the leaks and speculations about the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL to spread all over the internet. A design patent indicates no bezels, yet shows the presence of dual front firing speakers. It also indicates Google finally giving in and using dual cameras. Judging by what the previous Pixel devices have done with just one camera, it would be worth the wait to see what this setup can do. Codenames ‘Coral’, ‘Flame’ and ‘Needlefish’ indicate three variants. The lineup will also be one of the last flagships of the year, judging by Google's release timelines, and hence can be expected to bring optimized top end features. But for enthusiasts who just cannot wait till the end of the year to get their hands on some Pixel goodness, perhaps the new launches at Google I/O can quench your immediate thirst. The recently concluded, Google I/O 2019, saw the launch of Pixel 3a and 3a XL. These devices are targeted at the more budget conscious consumer. As compared to the Pixel 3, the 3a variants lose out on some premium features like waterproofing and wireless charging, but include a headphone jack that the flagship missed last year. They are powered by last year’s Snapdragon 670 SoC and promise the same camera performance. Starting at Rs. 39,999, they offer a good value proposition.

  • iPhone XI
    Does an iPhone display that works underwater sound interesting to you? That's one of the many rumours doing the rounds about the next set of phones from the Cupertino tech giant. Another rumour suggests that Apple will double down on the taptic engine to provide even finer force touch feedback, making the iPhone XI a display focused iPhone upgrade. That's not all, recent patents also indicate Apple's take on the foldable phone, where the display automatically warms up along the fold line to increase longevity. Going by previous trends, this new iPhone will launch around the second week of September 2019, costing no less than $999 for the main models. What will it be called? Hopefully just iPhone, sans numbers.

  • OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro
    It’s official – OnePlus has finally announced its devices for 2019! What’s worth noting is that even after numerous leaks and rumours raised expectations worldwide, the final devices didn’t disappoint. The OnePlus 7 Pro comes with a 6.67 inch ‘Fluid AMOLED’ display that boasts a 90Hz refresh rate and QHD+ resolution. The camera specs are also impressive with three lenses at the back forming a 48MP main shooter and an ultra-wide angle shooter, along with 3x optical zoom powered by the telephoto lens. The front camera is a pop-up lens that comes with smart drop protection. Both editions come with the Snapdragon 855 and UFS 3.0 storage, ensuring what could be termed as the fastest performance in the market. The non-pro model gets only the primary 48MP lens at the back, along with a 5MP depth sensor – missing out on the telephoto and wide angle lens. It also gets a pared down 60Hz FHD display and slower 20W charging instead of the 30W Warp charge. While the Pro is already out, the non-Pro model will hit the markets in June. The OnePlus 7 Pro starts at ₹ 48,990 for the base model (6GB+128GB), whereas the standard variant is priced at ₹ 32,999 for the same 6GB+128GB config.The company has also announced a 5G edition of the phone for an unknown price and release date.

  • Pocophone F2
    Last year, Flipkart's buyback offer on the Poco F1 all but confirmed the launch of Poco F2 by Q2 2019. The rest of what is known about it, unfortunately, is purely based on rumours. Like last year's budget flagship Poco F1 was built around what was that time’s hottest SoC, the Poco F2 should launch with the Snapdragon 855. It's even possible that the device might launch with two CPU configurations, offering a 'lite’ alternative to the heavy hitting 855. Along with that, you can expect about 6GB of RAM and maybe even an under display fingerprint sensor, but their first priority will be to keep the price same as last year's Poco F1.
    If you can’t wait to get your hands on these beauties but don’t have the cash saved up, you should definitely look at the EMI option mentioned earlier. Has getting your dream smartphone ever been easier?

Disclaimer: This article has been authored by Siddharth Parwatay, a Mumbai based independent tech-journalist, editor, and content-creator. Axis Bank doesn't influence any views of the author in any way. Axis Bank and/or the author shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.

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