Samsung recently launched the top of their “mid-tier" phones, the Samsung Galaxy A9 in India. The phone, known for its four rear cameras, is priced among the mighty “flagship killers" of 2018—the POCO F1, Asus Zenfone 5Z and the OnePlus 6. But how does it stand up against the lot? Let’s find out.
Out of the four phones, Poco F1 is the only one without a glass back body, although OnePlus 6’s Silk White variant comes with a soft-touch back. The Poco F1 features a soft-touch polycarbonate back with a metal frame sandwiched between the screen, while the Asus Zenfone 5Z, Samsung Galaxy A9 and OnePlus 6 feature glass backs with metal frames.
The easiest phone to hold among the lot is the Zenfone 5Z, weighing in at 155g and standing 153mm tall. The Poco F1 and OnePlus 6 have roughly the same weight and height (180g and 155mm). The Galaxy A9 is the heaviest, weighing 183g and the biggest with 162.5mm height and 77mm width.
All four phones come with Corning Gorilla Glass protection on the front.
The POCO F1 and Zenfone 5Z come with LCD screens while the OnePlus 6 comes with an optic AMOLED display and the Galaxy A9 comes with a Super AMOLED display. The OnePlus 6 and Galaxy A9 have the tallest screens, measuring 6.28 inches and 6.3 inches, respectively. The Zenfone 5Z and POCO F1 screens measure 6.2 inches and 6.18 inches, respectively.
The viewing experience is better on the OnePlus 6 and Galaxy A9 as AMOLED screens have better contrast ratios, viewing angles and colour saturation.
All smartphones, except the Galaxy A9, feature the same octa-core Snapdragon 845 processor paired with Adreno 630 GPUs. The Galaxy A9 comes with a lower spec Snapdragon 660. The POCO F1, however, comes with LiquidCooling technology, which helps keep CPU temperatures low while performing heavy tasks.
All the smartphones come in two RAM options of 6GB and 8GB and internal storage options of 256GB, 128GB and 64GB in different permutations and combinations. The OnePlus 6 lacks the MicroSD card slot.
All phones, except the Galaxy A9, come with dual cameras at the back and a lonesome selfie camera at the front.
The POCO F1 features 12MP+5MP rear camera setup with dual pixel technology and pixel size of 1.4 microns.
The Zenfone 5Z and OnePlus 6 come with 12MP+8MP and 16MP+20MP rear sensors along with Optical Image Stabilisation and pixel size of 1.4 microns and 1.22 microns, respectively.
The Galaxy A9 has not two, not three but four cameras, vertically stacked, at the back. Think of them as 10MP telephoto and 8MP ultra-wide cameras sitting on top of the primary 24MP+10MP dual camera module.
Coming to the front-facing cameras, the Galaxy A9 comes with the highest megapixel count of the three cameras at 24MP. The POCO F1 has a 20MP front-facing shooter while the Zenfone 5Z and OnePlus 6 come with 8MP and 16MP front-facing cameras. The Zenfone 5Z is the only smartphone among the four to skip the HDR feature in the front-facing camera.
All phones come with the Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. The OnePlus is the only device that has received the Pie update, however. Asus recently announced the Pie update for Zenfone, which will start rolling out in January. Xiaomi promised that the POCO F1 will receive the Pie update next year but hasn’t put a date to it and Samsung hasn’t said anything about it.
The custom UIs differ on each phone.
The POCO F1 comes with POCO Launcher, basically a tweaked version of Xiaomi’s MIUI, while the OnePlus 6 and the Zenfone 5Z come with OxygenOS and ZenUI 5, respectively. The Galaxy A9 runs the “Samsung Experience" UI atop the Android version.
The OnePlus 6’s Oxygen OS provides the interface closest to stock Android, if you’re into that.
The POCO F1 has the highest battery capacity among the lot, with 4,000mAh. The Galaxy A9 comes closest to this with a 3,800mAh battery. The Zenfone 5Z and OnePlus 6 come with the same 3,300mAh battery capacity.
The base variant of the POCO F1 is the cheapest of the lot, priced at ₹ 20,999, while the top variant of the POCO F1 comes for ₹ 29,999.
The Asus Zenfone 5Z starts at ₹ 29,990 and goes all the way up to ₹ 36,999.
The OnePlus 6 is priced at ₹ 34,999 for the base variant and while its top-of-the-line variant costs ₹ 39,999.
The Galaxy A9 has the highest starting price of all the phones in the lot, at ₹ 36,999, while the top variant costs the same as the OnePlus 6, at ₹ 39,999.