Buy a tall phone without breaking the bank
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Phones with tall designs and 18:9 aspect ratio displays are a rage. If you don’t want to shell out an exorbitant amount for a flagship phone such as the iPhone X, the LG V30+, or the HTC U11+, look for phones with the new-age designs where the bezel has been shaved off.
The Vivo V7 has a 5.7-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio (and a rather modest 1,440x720 resolution, surprisingly), but the real attraction, small bezels apart, would be the selfie camera. The V7 boasts of a 24-megapixel, front-facing camera with a number of modes for those who like to play around with the self-image (literally). There is also a 16-megapixel rear camera, and powering all this is a capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor with 4 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. The V7 still runs Android 7.1 at a time when Android 8.0 (Oreo) has been around for a while, but it is topped off with the very feature-rich and customized FunOS from Vivo.
The LG Q6 cannot be missed, considering how good it looks. LG has done well with the design, and the phone looks more expensive than it actually is. The Q6 is incredibly compact and has a very good 5.5-inch display with 2,160x1,080 resolution. Powered by a Snapdragon 435 processor with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, it comes with a good 13-megapixel rear camera and a somewhat more modest 5-megapixel, front-facing camera. Yes, the Android running on it is still Nougat, which is now showing its age, but, on the flip side, it does come with face recognition (although it is the only one in this list which does not have a fingerprint scanner). It is also quite tough, with US military standard 810G certification.
Micromax Canvas Infinity Pro
The original Micromax Canvas Infinity has a 5.7-inch display with 18:9 aspect ratio, albeit with a relatively low 1,440x720 resolution. Hardware-wise, however, it is a step up from its predecessor, with a newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chip with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. The biggest change is in the camera department, with a 20-megapixel and 8-megapixel camera duo in front and a 16-megapixel camera at the rear, making it one of the best selfie camera combinations in this list. It runs on Android 7.1 and might not appear as snazzy as some of the others mentioned here, but it’s a solid performer nevertheless.
Honor 9 Lite
The Honor 9 Lite does make for a compelling proposition on a budget. It has a 5.65-inch, 2,160x1,080 resolution display. But with a mirror-like glass back, this phone is undoubtedly the most premium-looking in this segment. It comes with 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel dual cameras at the back, as well as at the front, for clicking selfies. It is powered by Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor, which is also a feature in Honor’s other high-end devices. Round that off with a decent 3,000 mAh battery and you have one of the best deals in the market.
Gionee M7 Power
Literally a heavyweight, the Gionee M7 Power boasts of a 6-inch display and a large battery (5,000 mAh). It also has an eye-catching metal back, which makes it stand out from the crowd. The specification sheet is a mix of the good and partly underwhelming—the display is large, but only 1,440x720 resolution. At this price, it feels a tad underpowered because it is running a Qualcomm 435 processor, which isn’t the most adept at multitasking. It has 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. There is no dual camera, but that said, the 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front cameras come with a number of tricks and modes. That battery will easily keep you going for more than two days, and that is quite rare in modern phones.