Techilicious with Rajiv Makhni: 3 phones that spread awesomeness
When the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was cancelled, brands shifted their big bang releases to India
There's been a flood of awesomeness in the Indian phone market. Every single day has brought with it an announcement, a release or a brand new game changer. This is not a random happening - there is a reason and story behind it. It all started with the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This Mecca for all things mobile was cancelled for the first time ever. As most of the exhibitors withdrew due to fears over the Corona virus, it made no sense for it to be staged. The corollary, though, was that all the launches and big bang headline releases had to be shifted to other places. And India seems to be where most brands converged. Thus in a sea of incredible devices launched on our shores, here's a guide to what may well be your next super phone.
Samsung S20 Ultra
Samsung seems to have gone a bit off the rails in terms of launches. It launched three new S20 phones, the Samsung Z Flip right in the middle, a new A series (the A71) and a new M phone (the M 31). And that was all in four days. But the true standout phone is by far the S20 Ultra. Breaking from convention, Samsung's next version of the Galaxy S10 wasn't the S11 but a 10 generation leap into the S20. But with the Ultra they've done things that almost no one was expecting. This is an out-and-out optical and camera master stroke that makes anything else feel toy-like and under-powered. It can do 8K videos (yes, 8K in a phone!), it has a 108MP main large sensor that can do some amazing low light stuff too, it has a 40MP front camera and a 100X zoom. The phone is beautifully built, has a massive 6.90-inch screen (that's almost 7 inches of screen in your hand, but it doesn't feel that big as it's almost bezel less) and comes with hardware and specs that are eye-popping (you can even get an insane 16GB RAM version). Priced just above 90K, the Ultra really seems to have thrown down the gauntlet to every other brand that plays in the super flagship category.
Samsung Z Flip
There are two kinds of folding phones. Those that are normal size and open up to double in screen size (tablet style) and those that are normal size and fold from the centre to become half (clamshell style). Moto with its Razr went with the latter and now Samsung with the Flip has done it too. Makes a lot of sense if you get it right. When you see this phone folded, it's a neat little package - very minimalistic in design and looks. The hinge feels super solid, the opening and closing is brilliantly engineered and the feeling of snapping a phone open and shutting it close is perfectly executed. Once folded, a full-size bright 6.7-inch AMOLED screen giving you an immersive experience becomes a small, slim phone that can be put away easily in a pocket or handbag. The phone looks luxurious, comes in three colours (the gold is surprisingly attractive), is built super solid, comes with two cameras, a Snapdragon 855 processor and a 3300 mAh battery. Priced just above a lakh, this is a phone purely for those who love super luxury, hate bulky phones or just want the wow factor of a phone that folds in half.
I Quest On and On. Yes, you haven't heard of the brand, but that's what the name actually stands for. And IQOO seems to have come in on quite a quest. They've brought in a phone so heavy duty in terms of specs and features that it makes almost anything in the mid-priced flagship market pale in insignificance. One of the first phones in the world to have a Snapdragon 865 processor plus 5G, the phone goes even further with the a 55-watt charger in the box and a battery rated at 4400 mAh. Then they throw in four cameras at the back and build some specific features for gamers. Build quality is great, they've got a special orange version that stands out well and the overall hand feel and materials used are top notch. This is an out-and-out super performance phone that tick marks all the boxes. If you want a gaming phone that can do it all or a phone that has every spec and feature of high-end phones but doesn't break the bank, the IQOO is the way to go.
These then are three phones that have spread a very generous level of awesomeness around them. But it's early days yet. There were supposed to have been around 50 big launches at the Mobile World Congress. Which means 47 more awesome new launches right here in India. Wait for it....
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3
Techilicious appears every fortnight
From HT Brunch, March 1, 2020
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