“A look at the key smartphones that launched in September and a synopsis of their reviews”
The festive season is on, and as is always the case, electronics brands are falling over each other to cash in on the buying frenzy that’s usually associated with this time of the year. Deals and discounts are on offer, and there are quite a few new options for those out in the market for a new smartphone. Needless to say, this is probably the best time of the year to buy yourself a new daily driver, but not before reading our in-depth review first. The month of September saw us review two loaded contenders from Vivo, another one from Lenovo, no less than three from Korean giant Samsung (including the flagship Note 10+), Realme’s 64MP camera monster and the latest flagship from OnePlus. It has sure been an action-packed month, and just in case you missed the goodies, here’s a recap.
The Z1X comes as an incremental upgrade to the Z1 Pro, which was launched not too long ago. You can expect some new goodies, that come in the form of a Type-C port, an in-display fingerprint scanner and a 48MP primary camera, among others. In his review, Prateek notes that the Z1X is definitely a better shooter than its sibling, capturing great photos in daylight, and thanks to the dedicated night mode, good lowlight images as well. In fact, when it comes to the front camera, the Z1X might just be one of the best options under Rs 20K, courtesy a powerful 32MP sensor. The phone scores high in terms of performance and battery life too, and is well worth a second look.
Read the full Vivo Z1X review here
Lenovo K10 Note
Lenovo is back after a brief hiatus, and has just launched not one, not two, but three new phones in the Indian market. Positioned in the affordable segment, the K10 Note lands in the middle of some strong competition, and seems to carry enough ammunition for the fight. While the handset’s said design and polycarbonate build doesn’t work too well in its favour, the sleek frame does help offer a good in-hand feel. The triple cam setup with a 16MP main shooter works well too, which means the K10 Note is one of the better options in the affordable category when it comes to photography prowess. We had not major gripes when it came to essentials like performance and battery life either, but the K10 Note just seems to be overshadowed by some of its rivals.
Go ahead and get the full lowdown in our Lenovo K10 Note review
Samsung Galaxy A50s
Competition, as it turned out, proved to be the bane of the Galaxy A50s. The device is certainly a looker, thanks to a premium, prism-cut pattern on its back, and a slim chassis that surprisingly packs a 4,000mAh battery. The phone however, fell a tad short when it came to camera capabilities, despite its 48MP main shooter. The key issue seemed to be with lowlight imaging, and selfie shots. Moreover, while the overall performance is good, the phone doesn’t seem to be great for gaming. The large-capacity battery does live up to its promise though. At the end however, the phone’s pricing and the fact that it’s a mixed bag of sorts, means it doesn’t get a wholehearted seal of approval from us.
Need more? Here’s the Samsung Galaxy A50s review
Vivo V17 Pro
The Vivo V17 Pro‘s claim to fame is the fact that it brings a total of six cameras – four at the back and as a world first, two front-facing ones on the pop-up mechanism that retracts when not in use. The pop-up selfie shooters and the beefy battery make the phone quite chunky in terms of design, but the AMOLED screen with its punchy colour more than makes up for it. When it come to photography, the V17 Pro is a very capable and versatile option which will rarely ever disappoint. From daylight to lowlight, portrait to wide-angle, the cameras can swerve the user’s photography needs very well. The phone scores high on performance and battery life as well, but takes a hit because of its high pricing.
More details in our Vivo V17 Pro review
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Samsung’s Note range is pretty iconic, and the S Pen is still pretty much a big highlight. Samsung’s stylus has received a big upgrade this time with the new Galaxy Note 10+, and introduces quite a few new features. If we were to put it in a nutshell, the Note 10+ is a powerhouse of a device intended for power users, and it delivers almost on all respects – design, performance, battery life and camera quality. Its premium positioning (and pricing) puts it out of reach for many, but as Nitansh points out in his review, “it’s everything you’d want in a smartphone, along with things that you may not even know you need.” Suffice it to say, it’s a loaded device, and if you want the full lowdown, you’d just need to read our full review.
Go check out the full Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review
The XT from Realme isn’t significantly different from the Realme 5 Pro. That said, the XT’s mainstay is the fact that it’s the first smartphone in the world to sport a 64-megapixel primary camera. Nitansh took it out for a spin and came back impressed with how that camera performs in real life. That sensor is part of a quad camera setup, and helps take great pictures regardless of shooting conditions. The Super AMOLED display is also a new addition and brings a fast in-display fingerprint scanner to the mix too. Overall, the phone is a good all rounder and is priced well, making it a worthy option for anyone looking to buy a capable daily driver without selling a kidney.
Interested? Here’s the in-depth Realme XT review
OnePlus 7T review
OnePlus is back with its second (technically the third if you count the OnePlus 7 Pro) flagship of the year, and the new offering comes in the form of the 7T. Not only is the new phone among the very few that utilise the latest Snapdragon 855+ SoC, it also offers a high refresh rate of 90Hz on its display. The OnePlus 7T is also the first phone that runs Android 10 straight out of the box. It’s not surprising then that the device is great in terms of overall performance. The triple camera setup, that includes a 48MP Sony sensor, works well too, and offers great shots. Great battery life, combined with OnePlus’ superfast charging, is also in the offing. On the flip side, the software seems a bit raw at the moment and the phone needs an update to fix a few things before it can get a big thumbs up from us.
More details in the detailed OnePlus 7T review
Samsung Galaxy M30s
Samsung’s M series is the brand’s answer to the strong competition it is facing in the affordable segment, and judging by the largely positive response devices in this series have received, the company’s aggressive stance this year seems to be paying off. The latest in the range comes in the form of the Galaxy M30s, and while it’s a small upgrade to the M30 that came earlier, the new phone’s 6,000mAh battery draws attention immediately. Then there’s the Super AMOLED display, capable triple cameras, and reasonable performance, all of which combine to make the M30s a compelling proposition in the sub-Rs 15k price bracket.
There’s more though. So here’s the Samsung Galaxy M30s review
Expect more fireworks in October. It’s the Diwali month after all and we’re bound to have tons of exciting smartphones for review. And yes, you can expect the reviews of the Apple iPhone 11 lineup as well.