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Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2017 – Smartphones – Budget

December 13, 2017 — by Digit0

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This year, we saw the smartphone market shift focus from the sub-10K category to the better equipped mid-range smartphones. That being said, the budget smartphone segment was not neglected completely and companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Micromax, Lava, and more, made sure that consumers had a hard time choosing the right phone. We saw features like fingerprint scanners, dual-cameras trickle down to the budget category this year. Micromax even brought the much hyped unvisium display with a 18:9 aspect ratio display to the sub-10K smartphone category with the Canvas Infinity. When it comes down to performance, some of these budget smartphones can give mid-tier smartphones (10K – 20K) a run for their money. Hence, these devices still offer the most value for your money. However, we at Digit were looking for more than just specifications and headline features. Out of the dozens of phones we reviewed this year, here are the ones which are our top picks.

2017 Zero1 Awards Winner: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (3GB + 32GB)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

The Redmi Note 3 had won this category last year and this year, the Redmi Note 4 take away the Zero1 in the sub-10K category. Because of its unmatched performance with the Snapdragon 625 SoC, it can run most applications, and although gaming is not completely stutter free, it is better than other devices in the same price bracket.
Xiaomi also improved on the design with this phone. The metal exterior looks and feels more premium than its predecessors and can be considered as a benchmark for this category. The same can be said about the battery life, by the large 4,100mAh battery on the device. During our testing, it gave us eight hours of screen-on time on medium-to-heavy usage and can easily run for more than two days for light users.
The 13MP rear camera on the phone is decent at best and could have been better, but as they say, you can’t have everything.

Best Buy: Lenovo K8 Plus (3GB + 32GB)

The most well-rounded device for your money is the Lenovo K8 Plus. With the latest K-series, the company now has a new approach to software and UI. Some of the elements have been borrowed from Motorola, which is a good thing. Thanks to the new approach, the phone feels faster as it combines a good set of hardware with a stock like Android interface.
Inside you get a MediaTek Helio P25 SoC paired with 3GB RAM. The 2.5GHz Octa-core SoC from MediaTek is almost as fast as the Snapdragon 625 SoC used by the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, but only loses by a margin. The phone is quite snappy in day-to-day performance and apart from the occasional frame drops during gaming, the phone is quite a reliable performer. The 4,000mAh battery doesn’t disappoint either and can keep up with even the heaviest users for a day easily. The best feature of the K8 Plus is the rear dual-cameras, which is currently the best in the category.

Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2017 – Smartphones – Mid-range

December 13, 2017 — by Digit0

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As we move down the price ladder, the competition in the smartphone market becomes intense. We’ve dealt with flagships and with premium phones, but most smartphones in 2017 were sold in the `10,000 to `20,000 range. To be fair, we didn’t get anything that wasn’t already expected, but 2017’s mid-ranged devices certainly had better cameras than before. You can get dual-pixel sensors and even dual-cameras on mid-ranged phones today.
Now here’s the thing, you could simply choose the fastest processor and run with it here. However, that wouldn’t do justice to any of these phones. In fact, many of the phones we tested this year are good examples of why you can’t just use a fast chipset and expect high performance. Here’s how things fared.

2017 zero1 award winner: Xiaomi Mi A1

Xiaomi Mi A1

It’s first stock Android smartphone, Xiaomi made a killing with the Mi A1 this year. It’s part of Google’s Android One program and the fastest Android one phone you can find in India today. It has 4 GB of RAM and runs on the fast yet efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset.
It was a close one between this and the Moto G5 Plus. The Mi A1 and Moto G5 Plus match in almost everything, including their cameras. So, the Mi A1 takes the award because of its second sensor. The Mi A1’s primary camera gives you pretty much the same performance as the Moto G5 Plus. But it’s telephoto camera allows optical zoom and bokeh photos, neither of which can be done on the Moto G5 Plus. That of course gives the Mi A1 an edge over Motorola’s phone and takes it past the finish line.
To sum up, you will get an excellent budget phone in the Xiaomi Mi A1. It’s already received the November security patch from Google, and the company has also promised both Android Oreo and P OS updates for this phone as and when they release.

Runner Up: Honor 9i

The Honor 9i from Huawei runs on the company’s own Kirin 659 chipset. While it scores competitively on benchmark tests, regular usage is a tad inconsistent on this one. And that’s what makes it the runner up here. Yet, the Honor 9i is a pretty good phone to buy. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, covering the requirements of any budget buyer out there.
It sports 16MP and 2MP sensors, using the second sensor to collect depth information. While that allows bokeh shots from the camera, the primary camera is no slouch either.
Overall, the Honor 9i is a pretty good budget device, but it’s not the best budget device out there. So, runner up seems to be the correct way to go with this device.

Best Buy: Moto G5 Plus

As mentioned above, the Moto G5 Plus is basically the same phone as the Xiaomi Mi A1. But thanks to the launch of the Moto G5S Plus, it is now cheaper and offers much better value. So, at Rs.13,999, you get a camera that equals the Mi A1 in everything except bokeh photos and optical zoom. In fact, in comparing the regular camera performance of these two phones, the Moto G5 Plus even surpassed the Xiaomi Mi A1 at times and making it the best value for money phone.

Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Smartphone Camera

December 16, 2016 — by Digit0

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2016 may not have been a fascinating year for phones, but smartphone cameras have seen a definite paradigm shift. Dual-camera setups are steadily becoming commonplace, better mobile imaging sensors are steadily entering the arena, and phone makers are increasingly focusing on optimising algorithms to add quality, speed and manual controls to smartphones.
2016 has also been the year for veterans to enter the world of mobile imaging. In a major throwback to Nokia’s partnership with Carl Zeiss for Vario-Tessar lenses in flagships of its heyday, Huawei unveiled its partnership with imaging veteran, Leica. Not to be left out, Moto unveiled its the modular Moto Z lineup, and with it, a partnership with the legendary Hasselblad for a camera enhancement mod.
With all this in mind, we look at the best smartphone cameras of 2016. They’ve all run each other close, but in the end, the following came out on top.

Zero1 Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

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Apple’s flagship smartphone is right now the most expensive smartphone commonly available. Incidentally, it is also one of the best. The camera setup includes a 28mm (35mm-equivalent) wide angle lens with f/1.8 aperture and paired to a 12-megapixel, 1/3-inch type sensor, and a 56mm telephoto lens with f/2.8 aperture and paired to a 12-megapixel, 1/3.6-inch type sensor. All of this is paired with Apple’s trustworthy algorithms, which also add a ‘Portrait’ mode for bokeh photographs.
With this setup, photograph clarity, level of details and sharpness is the best in class, and actually the best that smartphones have achieved, till date.
The iPhone 7 Plus can also record 4K videos at 30fps without any glitches, and the camera app itself is very fast. The front camera is also upgraded to a 7-megapixel sensor, and renders the sharpest self portraits with good levels of detail and colour accuracy. All of these factors see the Apple iPhone 7 Plus walk away with the best smartphone camera award for 2016.

Runner-up: Google Pixel XL

Google chose more control over its own Android smartphone this year, and has presented a stellar camera in the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Advertised with an incredibly high DxOMark imaging performance rating, the Pixel XL brings its fluid performance to the camera as well. It uses Sony’s flagship IMX378 12.3-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 lens to produce incredibly sharp photographs with very high levels of detail that closely challenge the iPhone 7 Plus. It also shoots really fast in HDR+ mode, rendering crisp, vibrant colours that really pop on the frame. It misses out on optical stabilisation, and is often erratic in low light performance, which make it rank second here.
Otherwise, the really fast camera offers simplicity and ease of usage, along with brilliant photographs and even UHD videos at 30fps.

Best Buy: Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

The Sony IMX260 sensor-powered smartphone camera with on-sensor Dual Pixel AF shoots ridiculously bright photographs in low light, and even in bright daylight, the level of details and sharpness are as good as the winners.
The Galaxy S7 edge ranks behind on account of oversaturated colours and very high contrast levels. Despite that, it is the most affordable of the three cameras that we’ve tested, and makes for the best buy among the peak of smartphone cameras of 2016.

Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Smartphone – Android

December 16, 2016 — by Digit

The iPhone won the best premium smartphone category this year, but over 80% of the market still belongs to Android smartphones.
Android is indeed the dominant platform and it can’t be ignored. It’s the OS that caters to all kinds of buyers, hits all price segments, and is the most talked about.
Even as the performance difference between phones in different price ranges blurs, in the Android market, the consumer is spoilt for choice. On the one hand, that’s a very good thing, but it also confuses the hell out of you.
Apart from the Snapdragon 820, our favourite SoCs this year were the Snapdragon 650 and 652. While the 820 is obviously fast and incredibly powerful, we loved the enormous performance boost that the 650 and 652 gave to more budget devices. For Android, 2016 has been a year of reducing fragmentation. Software got more refined, while hardware became faster, and more specialised.
So, without further ado, here are the best in the Android smartphone segment.

Zero1 Winner: Google Pixel/Pixel XL

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The Pixel phones are fast, fluid and have perhaps the best camera amongst Android smartphones today. In fact, some would find the camera better than an iPhone 7 Plus. And that’s saying something.
They run on the Snapdragon 821 SoC from Qualcomm, but are tied to the same clock speeds as the Snapdragon 820. In fact, our tests show that the peak clock speeds are never achieved on a Pixel phone. Yet, the performance is smoother than any Android smartphone we’ve tested.
Their AnTuTu numbers are in the high hundred thousands, while the single core and multi-core speeds are also incredibly high. A Geekbench 4 Multi-Core score of 4128 is amongst the highest ever on our tests. Needless to say, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are the benchmarks for Android performance right now.
In real world terms, one needs only to look at the Google Assistant to realise how fast the Pixel phones are. Remember the short lag when you clicked the Google Now icon? Yeah, that’s gone.
There’s a lot happening under the hood that’s aimed at reducing hardware/software fragmentation, and Google has come closer to perfection than any Android OEM. Watch out Samsung!

Runner Up: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The Galaxy Note 7 blew things out of proportion a little (we did it again!), but up until the Pixel phones were launched, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge was the best Android phone you could buy. The Edge display doesn’t offer much functionality, but it makes for one unique looking smartphone. In addition, even with the Exynos 8890 (which is the one India got), the phone is incredibly powerful.
The Galaxy S7 Edge is VR-ready, and offers only about 10% slower performance than the Google Pixel XL, and that’s still more power than most of us need right now. All this is aided by the fact that Samsung offers what many would consider the best low-light camera amongst smartphones today.

Best Buy: OnePlus 3

Have you always been a Nexus fan? Then the OnePlus 3 is the android smartphone for you. For more, go read the mid-ranged flagships section. The OnePlus 3 is the most value for money smartphone today. Period.

Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Budget Smartphone

December 16, 2016 — by Digit

The sub-10K budget smartphone category has seen a seismic shift in terms of performance, battery life and overall build quality in the last year. Over the last year, we have seen phones in this category not only outperform the previous winners but also go toe to toe against some mid-tier smartphones. Last year, there was cut-throat competition in this price category and it was quite justified since this segment comprises of the biggest mobile consumer base India has to offer. However this year, the focus shifted to the sub-15K smartphone category with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and the LeEco Le 2, giving many flagships a run for their money for the better half of this year.
This year, even though there has been several phone launches in the sub-10K smartphone category, only a few stood out. These few phones were brilliant and at the end of the day took the awards for the best phone in the budget smartphone category.

Zero1 Winner: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

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While choosing the best smartphone in the sub-10K budget category, we considered more than a dozen phones, but nothing came even close to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Since its launch earlier this year, this particular phone has dominated the sub-10 category
This is primarily because of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 SoC. Back in March, when this phone was launched, this octa-core SoC set new benchmark scores, setting a new standard for what performance a consumer should get in the budget category. Xiaomi made it available in two storage options and even the lower variant had a fingerprint scanner at the back.
The other key requirements of a budget buyer is good battery life and its 4050mAh battery was able to last two days on a single charge.
The rest of the phone is nothing special but it does a lot of things better than its peers. The 5.5-inch display offers good viewing angles, is bright and still considered one of the better displays in the budget category.
Further, the 16MP rear camera is still one of the best cameras in the sub-10 smartphone category. And the images showcase better colour reproduction and dynamic range than most of its competitors.

Best buy: Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime

The only budget smartphone which comes close to the Redmi Note 3 is its smaller cousin, the Redmi 3S Prime. Available for `8,999, the Prime is for people who are looking for form over functionality. That being said, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 powered device is still faster than most phones available in the sub-10k category.
Like the Redmi Note 3, the Redmi 3S is a really good performer. The phone does not get bogged down doing day to day tasks and can even run demanding games almost flawlessly. It is quite efficient as well as it does not get hot while gaming.
Battery life is also quite good and the small 5-inch device holds a large 4100mAh battery, which provides two days of battery life even under heavy use. In the GeekBench battery test, the phone lasted for 16 hours, which is even better than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3.
Besides that, the phone offers a good build quality, a fingerprint scanner and a 13MP rear camera which takes good images in daylight.
Overall, we think Xiaomi did a fantastic job this year. The company has dominated the budget smartphone category for the better part of the year and if other phone makers are unable to counter the performance of the two devices, it will continue to do so.

Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Mid-Range Smartphone

December 16, 2016 — by Digit

The sub-20k mid-range smartphone segment was the busiest in the smartphone market today. About 25% of the phones were reviewed this year belong in this mid-range smartphone segment, and surprisingly, they weren’t all the same either. Now that’s a welcome surprise in the current state of things.
Xiaomi kicked things off in this category, with the Redmi Note 3, but LeEco soon took over. By the end of the year, though, neither of them won the award. With so many smartphones vying for your attention, it was a difficult choice indeed.
We were looking for the best overall performer, and it was tough to choose on indeed. You wouldn’t believe how often phones were scoring the same, and the top phones differ by only a few points each. That’s another unusual occurrence in this price range.
Nevertheless, it’s the end of the year, and a winner has indeed been identified. The Zero1 Award for the best smartphone in this mid-range smartphone segment goes to the one that changed our expectations altogether.

Zero1 Winner: Lenovo Z2 Plus

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The Lenovo Z2 Plus beat all of the best scores that we had in our database. The phone runs on a Snapdragon 820 SoC, but is priced at a mere `17,999. That indeed is a first. So it’s no surprise that the Z2 Plus could edge past its competitors in our performance test.
In fact, it’s also a very compact device, which is something we really love as well. Its benchmark numbers are over 30% more than the Redmi Note 3 or LeEco Le 2, and those two aren’t the slowest devices out there either.
Lenovo’s Zuk team has further optimised the performance with its ZUI. The UI has some nifty features and is also incredibly smooth and fast. There were no stutters while using this smartphone and 3GB of RAM would be enough for most users. If you can spend `19,999, you’ll get an extra gigabyte of RAM as well.
The Z2 Plus’ only weakness is its camera, which is passable, but not the best. It lasts for about a full day, which is good enough, but the camera needs more work.
Overall, though, the Lenovo Z2 Plus is the best performer for those who just can’t spend over 20k on their smartphone. Lenovo showed good intentions last year, with the Zuk Z1, but its successor is in a whole new league. The Zuk branding is lost, but that changes nothing for this smartphone.

Best Buy: LeEco Le 2

Until the Lenovo Z2 Plus came along, the LeEco Le 2 was our best performer for the year. It runs on the Snapdragon 652 SoC, clocked at 2.3GHz, has 3GB of RAM and a 16MP rear camera. It is also the first phone to have brought a true unibody metal design to the budget segment.
The Le 2 feels premium, and it has the performance to match that. It may not be as powerful as the Snapdragon 820, but it does much more than what you’d expect for `11,999. AnTuTu scores break the 80k barrier, and thanks to eight cores, it can reach the 4000 limit on Geekbench 4’s multi core scores as well.
Interestingly, the Le 2’s performance took it slightly past the Redmi Note 3, making it not only the runner up in the Zero1 Awards, but also the best buy in this range. Why’s that? Because the Le 2’s camera is slightly better than the Redmi Note 3, and it offers about 10% faster speeds than that device. As with all LeEco phones, you get a subscription to the company’s content package as well.

Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2016 – High-End Smartphone

December 16, 2016 — by Digit0

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This is the segment that’s making flagships obsolete, and as Indians spend more on their smartphones, it’s becoming more and more relevant. You pay about half of what premium smartphones cost you, but get about the same performance and features. And that’s the definition of the worth droolworthy, isn’t it?
Here’s the thing, though. The High-end smartphone segment is a tough one to judge. The offerings here are incredibly varied, and OEMs are hitting various user types. For example, you have phones that provide long battery lives, while lowering performance. You also have phones with incredible cameras, but at the expense of other elements. It’s a good thing we take everything into consideration when determining the best performing smartphone.
We have seen phones like the Asus Zenfone 3 and Moto Z Play this year, which lacked speed, but almost made up for it with their cameras and battery lives. There was also the Xiaomi Mi 5, which initiated the battle in this segment.
It doesn’t take long to pin-point the best overall performer in this segment, but choosing a best buy is another story. In fact, we don’t have a best buy for you here, because the winner is the most value for money smartphone to buy today.

Zero1 Winner: OnePlus 3

high-end smartphone

We used the OnePlus 3 for a good two weeks before the device was launched anywhere, and in that time, we were dazzled. In fact, we were dazzled enough to put our neck out there and call this the best value for money smartphone of 2016.
The OnePlus 3 has it all, a Snapdragon 820 SoC, a good camera, more RAM than any of us need right now, and an AMOLED display. It performs almost as well as any Android flagship in the market right now, and costs about half of that. Its performance is only about 10% lower than the iPhone 7 Plus, and that’s saying something.
If that wasn’t enough, the OnePlus 3 has 6GB of RAM, which makes it harder to slow this phone down. Also, it allows OnePlus to add more features via software updates in future.
Our luminance meter recorded readings of 800 Lux at maximum brightness. Moreover, the camera on the OnePlus 3 is great, too.
In the 20-30k price range, the OnePlus 3 is without a doubt the best smartphone you can buy, and it’s also the flagship to get when you can’t afford something in the premium segment.

Runner Up: LeEco Le Max 2

Surprisingly, the only phones with 6GB RAM are in the 20-30k segment right now. Sure, you don’t need this much RAM, but as we said above, it makes your phone future ready. The LeEco Le Max 2 has all the specs of the OnePlus 3, but falls short because of its UI.
It scores high on benchmarks, but doesn’t perform as well as the OnePlus 3. That’s because of the huge 5.7-inch QHD display. It’s a good display, but we found it a tad dim, and it takes away from the phone’s pure graphical performance. LeEco’s eUI is also heavier than OxygenOS and takes a toll on the SoC and its performance.
The Le Max 2 also loses a few points on camera performance. It’s an improvement from the Le Max (from last year), but not as good as the OnePlus 3, Asus Zenfone 3 or the Moto Z Play.
It is about 15% slower than the OnePlus 3 in real world performance, and costs about the same. Even if you don’t use LeEco’s content package, this phone is ahead of any other in the 20-30k price bracket.

Best Buy: OnePlus 3

Didn’t we already say that the OnePlus 3 is the most value for money in the market today? That obviously makes it the best phone to buy in this price segment as well. That automatically makes the OnePlus 3 the best mid-ranged flagship that you can buy today.

Smartphone

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Premium Smartphone

December 16, 2016 — by Digit

Many say that the premium smartphone segment is becoming irrelevant. With companies like OnePlus, Asus and Xiaomi ruling the roost, Samsung and all are fast losing the market. Why then, does the iPhone keep selling so much?
Granted, the Indian market doesn’t buy as many premium phones as some others, but it’s a high margin market, and you literally want every penny’s worth when spending what could be a whole month’s salary, on a phone.
After searching far and wide, from Asia to the US, we finally found our winner, and it was just in time for this issue. Most of the changes in the premium segment happened around the end of the year when all the leaks and rumours finally came true.
Over the past month, we tested every premium smartphone there is, to figure out what made the cut, and what fell short. The results weren’t surprising, but they sure are definitive. The winner for the best premium smartphone of the year is…

Zero1 Winner: Apple iPhone 7 Plus

premium smartphone

 

Yes, yes, we’re just as excited about next year’s iPhone 8 as you are. But while Apple works on its iPhone decennial, this year’s iPhone 7 Plus swooped in as the winner of the premium segment. It has Apple’s first quad-core SoC for iPhones, the A10 Fusion. That, with 3GB of RAM and a 32GB memory on the basic model, makes the iPhone 7 Plus the best performer. The iPhone 7 Plus is fast, fluid and powerful. Its AnTuTu scores are about 27% ahead of the Google Pixel XL, which is the best Android phone this year.
All this is complemented by the dual-camera, which is the hero of the device. The 12MP dual-cameras combine telephoto and wide-angle lenses to produce images that are amongst the best that smartphone today can do.
The iPhone’s true power, though, is in its vertically integrated ecosystem. That’s what has won Apple awards like this one before, and it does so this year too. The Google Pixel XL can match the iPhone’s number in many respects, but it cannot produce the real-world smoothness that Apple’s top product does. It is expensive, and most of us can’t afford it, but if you have the money, this is the one to buy.

Runner Up :Apple iPhone 7

You expected the Google Pixel here, didn’t you? The truth is that barring its camera, the iPhone 7 is basically the same phone as the iPhone 7 Plus. It performs the same as its bigger brethren, and the smaller screen produces a few frames more than the 7 Plus when rendering graphics. Overall, the performance numbers are the same, and both phones score 80 on Digit’s ratings.
While the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera isn’t as great as the iPhone 7 Plus, it’s still mighty close. Oh, and another thing. The 32GB variant indeed has slower storage, but seriously, it’s not slow enough to affect anyone.

Best Buy :Moto Z

Innovative, powerful and a shot at the future of smartphones, that’s what comes to mind when discussing the Moto Z. The best modular smartphone of the year brings buttery smooth performance and a really impressive camera. All that at almost 20k less than the Google Pixel devices, or an iPhone. That makes it the best buy amongst premium smartphones.
The mods are indeed expensive, but we expect more options with time. Meanwhile, the Moto Z is still a really powerful device. The Snapdragon 820 on this one goes toe-to-toe with the best smartphones out there today.

Smartphone

Smartphone – Android

December 18, 2015 — by Digit0

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If you want to know about the best performing Android smartphones of 2015, you’re on the right page...

Despite all of Apple’s profits, Android still owns more than 80 percent of the market share worldwide. So, if you’re a smartphone buyer, chances are that you’re buying an Android smartphone. But how do you choose? Which is the best Android phone today? There are simply too many in the market and it could take a pretty good amount of time to choose. The trick is to focus on exactly what you need from your smartphone.
Over the past year, Android phones have come dangerously close to delivering the performance that iPhones do and OEMs have upped the tempo with their efforts to sell. The Indian market is amongst the most important in the world now, which also means phones launch faster and it’s easy to get your hands on the best out there.

Zero1 Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 5

If you’re looking for the best Android phone that money can buy, then Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 is all you need. How did this phone make it above the Nexus devices of the world? Simple, Exynos and camera.
While the 16 MP camera on the Galaxy Note 5 can easily give the iPhone 6S Plus a run for its money, the Exynos 7 Octa processor is better than all the Snapdragons and Helios running in the market right now. The Galaxy Note 5 combines its 65k plus AnTuTu score with amazing scores on all other benchmarks as well.
The Galaxy Note 5 is the best Android phone in the market. Period.
Price: Rs.53,900

Second: Huawei Nexus 6P

Do you know what Nexus phones have always lacked? It’s a good camera. Well, the Nexus 6P deals with that and keeps all the goodness of past Nexus phones alive as well. It is the first Nexus phone to sport a full metal design and the 12.3MP camera on the back is amongst the best in the market. In fact, the Nexus 6P’s camera is better than the iPhone 6S, which is saying something for a Nexus phone.
As far as performance is concerned, the Snapdragon 810 has been tamed, meaning there are no heating issues and amongst Android phones, its performance is as close to the Galaxy Note 5 as possible. If it’s stock Android goodness that you want, then the Nexus 6P is as good as it gets.
While we can’t call it the best Android phone out there, the difference between the Nexus 6P and Galaxy Note 5 will be apparent only after a side-by-side comparison in many cases. It looks good, feels good and performs like a boss!
Price: Rs.39,999

Best Buy: OnePlus 2 or Honor 7


The OnePlus 2 and Honor 7 are your quintessential mid-ranged flagship devices. While the former is the perfect fit for big screen lovers, the latter would suit those who want a more compact form factor.
Both the phones are very good performers. The OnePlus 2 was amongst the first phones to deal with the Snapdragon 810’s heating issues, while the Honor 7 comes with Huawei’s own Kirin 935 SoC. They are pretty much the same in terms of single and muti-core performance, but the OnePlus 2 is slightly better when it comes to the GPU performance. Still, the difference would be seen only by the most hardcore gamer, while those playing Temple Run can enjoy any, based on their preference of screen size.
The cameras on both these phones are top class, with little to separate them from each other. While the Honor 7 has 3GB of RAM, the OnePlus 2 has 4GB, which again is something that’ll matter to the power users only.
OnePlus 2 Price: Rs.24,999  | Honor 7 Price: Rs.23,000

Smartphone

Smartphone – Mid-ranged

December 18, 2015 — by Digit

So what if you don’t have the money to buy a premium or high-end smartphone? Rs. 20,000 is enough money these days, with these stars!

If you are buying a smartphone today in India, chances are you are buying something from the mid range category. This category which spans from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 offers some of the best well rounded smartphones you can buy today, sporting of flagship specs, 1080p displays and improved camera performance. Here are our pick for the two top performing phones in the category.

Zero1 Winner: Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML

No matter how many jokes people may crack on the number of Zenfones available in the market, fact is, they are bloody good phones. Asus, which made its way last year with the Zenfone 5 in the smartphone category got a great reception and the company reciprocated that, this year, with the Zenfone 2. This phone range, and this phone in particular gave the company a firm grip over the mid-range category making it our choice for the best phone in the Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 category.
The Asus Zenfone 2 can be seen as “THE” phone which started the trend of bringing flagship class hardware to the mass consumed mid-range. Offering 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and powered by a quad-core Intel processor, this phone is not just good on paper but a real performance monger. Touching almost 46,500 points in Antutu synthetic benchmarks, the Zenfone 2 falls just short from offering a flagship class performance. That said, it is quite an achievement in itself. Adding to it, the tried and tested design, gives the phone a very sturdy build which can be relied upon to soak up those accidental bumps.
Price: Rs.19,999

Second Place: Meizu MX5

Meizu came to India this year with three new phones and all three were simply superb in their respective categories. The MX5 which is the current flagship smartphone in India for the company can easily be endorsed as the most affordable flagship phone you can buy. Meizu MX5 comes with quite a resume featuring Mediatek’s best SoC – Helio X10, a full metal unibody construction and a 20MP camera to say the least. In the performance department, it is slightly slower than our winner but it comes with a better display. However, since this is Meizu, which is a Chinese smartphone company, a custom UI is somewhat, a mandatory affair on top of Android. And,while the UI is quite user friendly, it does come with a small learning curve. So, once you get accustomed to the ‘home’ cum ‘back’ cum ‘fingerprint sensor’ button and figure out the gesture to call the multitask window, you will be able to appreciate Meizu’s MX5.
Price: Rs.19,999

Best Buy: Motorola Moto X Play

Moto X Play is the obvious choice if you want a no nonsense smartphone in the mid-range category. From the past two generations Moto X range of phones have been about the best phone Motorola has to offer, which meant leaving a considerable gap between the Moto G and the X. Now though, Motorola has dealt with the problem by offering the Moto X Play. The Play is not the fastest mid-range phone out there, nonetheless, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 is still a very capable SoC for most usage scenarios.
Starting from the new and much improved 21MP rear camera, which is one of the best cameras we have seen on a mid-ranged smartphone. Adding to it, the large 3630 mAh battery will be able to last you a day, any day, without asking for a quick recharge. However, the cherry on the cake is the UI experience.
Price: Rs.18,499