Best phones you can buy right now
The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and S8, OnePlus 5, Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and GooglePixel are among the best smartphones out there
Step into a store to buy a smartphone, or browse on the web, and you will be perplexed by the sheer variety that you can choose from. This makes it a real challenge to buy a phone that best suits your needs. Since a smartphone is perhaps the most critical gadget in your life, compromising on one isn’t a good idea. Here’s a guide that can help:
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: $929 (around Rs59,500; shipping extra)
There is no confirmation yet on if and when the Galaxy Note 8 will arrive in India, which means you will have to get this from abroad if you wish to own one now. The phablet will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in many countries, but when the Galaxy Note 8 does eventually get to India, it will be powered by the Exynos 8895 Octa processor. It has 6GB RAM and a 3,300mAh battery. The highlight, however, is the 6.3-inch, 2960x1440 resolution screen, which is the latest addition to Samsung’s line-up of ultra-tall and almost bezel-free Infinity Displays. There are two 12-megapixel cameras at the back, and both have optical image stabilization—the first phone to do so. The S Pen should add to its appeal
Samsung Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+: Rs57,900 onwards
The S8 has a 5.8-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio Infinity Display, while the larger S8+ has a gorgeous 6.2-inch (2,960x1,440 resolution) Infinity Display which is taller than the display in most existing phones. This allowed Samsung to reduce the footprint of these phones, putting some 5.5-inch phones to shame. The Exynos 8895 processor is fast, and you get good battery life too on both devices. The 12-megapixel camera can click great photographs, but sometimes suffers from soft edges around the frame. Pick either of these, depending on your screen size preference, for the amazing display and unique design.
OnePlus 5: Rs32,999 onwards
This is when the flagship killer grew up to become the flagship. The OnePlus 5 packs the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. One variant of the phone has 8 GB RAM, while the other variant has 6 GB. The former should come into its own once more apps and games start supporting so much RAM in an Android phone. The 5’s design is slimmer and lighter than the 3T, and retains the 5.5-inch full HD display. OnePlus adopted the dual camera set-up, and can pull off some stunning photographs.
HTC U11: Rs51,990
The U11 has a unique Edge Sense feature with pressure sensors on the side spines which let you squeeze the phone to open apps or click a photograph. It runs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, with 6 GB RAM. The real highlight is the 12-megapixel camera, which is definitely one of the best in the Android smartphone ecosystem at present. The 5.5-inch display (2,560x1,440 resolution) is perhaps not the brightest, but does well in terms of contrast and colours. If the camera, fast performance, and interesting looks are important for you, this phone checks all those boxes.
Apple iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus: Rs49,349 onwards
The iPhone 7 Plus has dual cameras—one a 12-megapixel standard wide-angle and one a telephoto with 2x optical zoom—making it one of the best smartphone cameras that money can buy. Apart from the gorgeous jet black, black, silver, gold and rose gold colour options, Apple surprised us all with the red variant of the iPhone 7 earlier this year. This still remains the benchmark in terms of build quality, and the upcoming iOS 11 will add an extra spark to the usability aspect as well.
Google Pixel/Pixel X: Rs44,000 onwards
This “phone by Google” is still setting benchmarks for other Android phones with the unaltered Android user experience and slick performance. And this will continue to do so, at least till the Pixel 2 arrives later this year. With Android 8.0 (Oreo) now rolling out, the Pixel and the Pixel XL get a new lease of life in terms of newer features, even better performance and battery life. The fantastic camera is an added bonus too, particularly when it comes to HDR shots. It’s the definitive Android phone, unless the latest specs are all that matter to you.
*Prices may vary
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