I keep lamenting the fact that there aren’t enough waterproof phones around. Sure, there are quite a few that are splashproof, but that isn’t the same thing is it? As a feature, waterproofing seems mainly limited to premium flagships currently, with high-end smartphones from Samsung and Apple offering it. There are very few waterproof phones available in lower price segments. The Moto G 3rd-gen (review) comes to mind, a phone that was launched back in 2015 and carried IPX7 rating. In recent times, the iPhone SE 2020 (review) stands out as a relatively affordable waterproof smartphone. This is why I’m glad Samsung is bringing this feature to the masses with the Galaxy A52, its new mid-ranger priced at Rs 27k.
The other big piece of news this week comes from Xiaomi, which has just launched the first Redmi-branded range of smart TVs in the country. This is an interesting move that shows how Xiaomi is trying to build Redmi as a strong sub-brand, with offerings that span various product segments. Of course, Redmi phones are extremely popular in India, but over the past few months, we’ve seen other Redmi-branded devices like audio accessories and fitness bands. The foray into the smart TV segment marks a big leap for the sub-brand, and it’d be interesting to see how it evolves in the long run.
As you can probably make out, we’re right in the middle of the March madness, and each day brings news of more devices coming in. This week was packed too, and just in case you haven’t had time to catch up, here are the highlights.
Exclusives: the big reveals
This week saw our sleuths digging up some exclusive dope on the Mi 11 Lite, revealing a render that shows the upcoming phone’s design and colour options. What makes the news even more interesting is that based on expected specs, the Mi 11 Lite does look like a compelling mid-ranger, and hopefully, will reach our shores sooner than later.
Through the review grind: OPPO F19 Pro siblings, Galaxy M12 and the venerable Redmi Note 10
Our reviewers have been at it too, churning out one review after another. Sanket took the OPPO F19 Pro and the F119 Pro+ siblings through their paces, concluding that while the devices look attractive, they might not be true game-changers in their respective segments. Meanwhile, Kshitij got to review the Galaxy M12, which is a phone that stands out as a reasonably compelling budget option, all thanks to its 90Hz display. The Redmi Note 10, which also went through the review grind this week, looks like a solid VFM buy, offering a well-rounded set of capabilities.
Launches: the ones that went official
The iQOO New 5 5G went official this week in China. The phone looks pretty special too, what with its Snapdragon 870 SoC and 120Hz AMOLED display. And don’t just dismiss it outright just because it got launched in China, because there is some news of it coming our way too, right along with the iQOO 7.
As for those smartphones that were launched in India, there is the budget Micromax In 1. Samsung also announced the official prices for its Galaxy A52 and Galaxy A72, both of which come across as capable all-rounders, going by the specs. Their more notable feature, of course, has to be the IP67 rating that basically makes the A52 one of the most affordable phones in India to offer the waterproofing feature.
Coming soon: a whole lotta phones
Looming up on the horizon is a smorgasbord of smartphones, spanning various price segments. As of now, just based on the buzzing grapevine, the listings, leaks, and rumours, here are the ones you can expect. Click on the device names to read more about them.
- Realme C11 2020, C25, GT Neo, Narzo 30 4G and 5G, X7 Pro Extreme Edition
- Google Pixel 5a
- Moto G100, G20
- OPPO Reno 6 series, A54 5G
- Xiaomi Mi 10S 5G
- Redmi K40, K40 Pro+
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy A82
- ASUS ZenFone 8 Mini
The list of smartphones that are definitely making their way to us is by no means a short one. Expect news around Realme 8 series, OnePlus 9 and Vivo X60 series in the coming week itself, followed soon by the POCO X3 Pro. The OnePlus 9 series of course, will probably grab quite a few headlines, with the launch event bring details of not just the 9 and the 9 Pro, but also the OnePlus 9R 5G and the brand’s very first smartwatch. I do wish they had thought of a better name than OnePlus Watch though… it’s much too generic for my liking. More on these exciting gadgets next week, along with a whole bunch of smartphone reviews, I promise.