Smartphones: Old flagships at affordable prices
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They might appear a little long in the tooth at first glance but some smartphones, like wine, seem to get better with age. Making this happen is a blend of software updates (which iron out rough spots in performance over time) as well as price cuts by various online and offline stores. So if you are in the market for a good phone and are not the type to be tempted by only the latest and greatest, here are some smartphones worth considering. The now more affordable price tag doesn’t take away from the excellent performance that you will get while using these devices.We looked at phones launched last year, and picked out ones that are still worth considering for your next smartphone purchase.
Apple iPhone SE
Rs 22,999 (32GB); Launched at: Rs39,000
The iPhone SE is available for as little as Rs22,500 (32 GB) and you can even get a 128 GB version for Rs35,000, if you find a deal. It is a compact yet powerful device, with a 4-inch 1,136x640 display. The 12-megapixel camera is a very good one, and the 64-bit A9 processor remains a speedy operator. Also, the iPhone SE can be updated to the latest iOS 11, and handles it well too. This also means it gets access to Apple’s massive app treasury, which remains the envy of Android.
Rs21,990; Launched at: Rs29,990
The phone’s Sapphire Blue avatar is gorgeous. The Honor 8 has a glass front and back, with a metal frame in between, and comes with a 5.2-inch full HD display. Powering it is a Kirin 950 processor with 4 GB RAM and 32 GB storage (expandable), which allows it to handle most routine tasks with ease. It also has a dual 12-megapixel cameras, one of which is a monochrome sensor, letting you take real black and white pictures (no filters needed). Yes, the glass back does mean more stains and smudges, but then this phone is worth polishing regularly and it remains a head-turner. And a good performer too, on a tight budget.
Rs24,600; Launched at: Rs62,990
The BlackBerry Priv was supposed to be the device that cemented the BlackBerry-Android marriage, but the steep initial price tag of Rs62,990 ensured that the device went up against the likes of the iPhone and the Galaxy S series. At its vastly reduced price, however, the Priv is a formidable proposition, combining a 5.4-inch quad HD display with a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard. Powering the phone is a still decent Snapdragon 808 processor with 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB storage (expandable to 2 TB), and a good 18-megapixel camera. Connectivity options include 4G, GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. What you also get is a steady 3,410 mAh batte
Asus Zenfone 3
Rs14,999; Launched at: Rs22,999
The blend of metal and glass looks fantastic. Asus has regularly updated its software too. The 5.2-inch full HD display is good, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage (expandable), does a good job of handling routine tasks, and also makes the 2,600 mAh battery last comfortably for more than a day. The 16-megapixel rear camera is easily one of the best in the sub-Rs20,000 price category. Top that off with a very good sound quality and what you have is a great device for anyone looking for a compact phone.
Rs37,990; Launched at: Rs51,990
The G6 has seen its price tag dip by almost a third. Performance has nothing to do with it. This flagship phone has an excellent 18:9 aspect ratio display, making it perhaps the most compact high-end device with a 5.7-inch display size. It runs the very capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage (expandable using a micro SD card slot). The dual 13-megapixel cameras deliver good images and sound quality is staggeringly good thanks to the high-resolution audio hardware. Round that off with water- and dust-resistance, and the G6 emerges as a value-for-money device with future-proof specs. The 18:9 aspect ratio displays are going to call the shots in the coming days, and the G6 will always remain one of the first.
Lenovo Z2 Plus
Rs11,999; Launched at: Rs19,999
In terms of sheer value for money, the Lenovo Z2 Plus is perhaps the best phone you can get out there. This after a rather dramatic price cut. The performance accolades are no exaggeration. For less than the price of a mid-segment Moto G5s or a Redmi Note 4, one gets a sleek glass device (even the frame is fibre glass) with a compact 5-inch full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (similar to the one on the OnePlus 3), 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage and a decent 13-megapixel rear camera. The prevalence of glass might make some people feel that the device is too fragile but there is no denying that it is a very good bargain at its current price.
Moto X Force
Rs24,990; Launched at: Rs 49,999
The Moto X Force’s initial price tag had seemed prohibitively high, even though the device came with ShatterShield technology that made the display supposedly impervious to not just accidental drops but even heavy ones (it is easily the toughest display out there). At its reduced price, however, it is an absolute bargain, as the specs remain respectable. You get a 5.4-inch quad HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 810 processor with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB of expandable storage, as well as a 21-megapixel camera and a 3760 mAh battery, which can last two days of hefty use. It runs the smooth uncluttered stock Android software as well.
*Prices may vary.