World’s first Blockchain phone is here. And you can buy it in Bangladesh

The time when Blockchain becomes a thing is upon us. Other than being used in cryptocurrencies, there will now be general use of this technology. Sirin Labs, A Swiss-based company has developed a Blockchain smartphone. They call it the Finney! Sirin Labs will launch Finney in Bangladesh. 

BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) has cleared the import, which will begin from August 27. Index Group will be the one to import this.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is mainly a bunch of blocks that contain records. For example; name, address, time, transactions, and the list goes on. Now several blocks like these are open to the public and are decentralized. And these blocks will update themselves with new information; and will link up to one another via cryptography. So, despite being out in public this technology is very secure.

Now, the Bangladesh government has planned to send graduates to learn and train for blockchain technology to Japan and India.

Features of the phone

The phone will be priced at $999. After being approved in August, it is said to be available in the market from October 2019. The Finney will run on Android OS 8.1x and Sirin OS 3.01. It will also have Cold storage crypto wallet, major cryptocurrency support, crypto wallet application, Token conversion system, and an Embedded D-apps store. Internal memory on this is 128gb which is expandable up to 2tb. The phone comes with a second screen on top of it and it has a water resistance of IP15.

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 25,000

It is not always possible to buy expensive high-end smartphones. Especially, for those living in a budget. Here are a small recommendation of budget smartphones, all under Tk. 25,000. These smartphones pack a hefty amount of features that will satisfy your phone needs.

Samsung Galaxy A50

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The Samsung Galaxy A50 was released in March of 2019. The smartphone comes with 6.4 inches of Super AMOLED glass notched touchscreen. It has a pixel density of 403 ppi and a 4000 mAh battery. It comes packed with fast charging to keep it going through the day. It’s also rocking an Exynos 9610 chipset that houses eight cores; either 4 or 6 gigabytes worth of ram and either 64 or 128 gigs of internal storage. In case that was not enough, it also offers expandable microSD storage up to a whopping one terabyte.

On the camera side, it boasts triple cameras on the back and one selfie camera.

The triple cameras on the back consist of 25 megapixels, 8 megapixels ultra-wide unit. The last one has 5 megapixels with a depth sensor. These also allow for video recordings at up to 1080p resolution and thirty frames per second and HDR functionality. The selfie camera is 25 megapixels. This allows for video recording at 1080p resolution and thirty frames per second and HDR functionality.

Besides these, A50 has a headphone jack, USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, a fingerprint sensor under the screen, NFC, accelerometer, 4G, dual sim capabilities and other great small features. The screen to body ratio is an incredible 84.90%. Running everything under the hood is Android Pie (9.0) which is the latest version of Android. All this comes in only at a weight of 169 grams.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy M10, the phone designed to win Bangladesh back

Samsung Galaxy M20

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The first thing to mention for this smartphone is the teardrop notch on the screen. The screen itself is a 6.3 inches capacitive touchscreen. Packing a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a pixel density of 409 ppi. The battery is 5000 mAh with fast charging.

Samsung Galaxy M20 comes with the Exynos 7904 chip and two variants for storage options. One option is to get 4 gigabytes of ram and 64 gigabytes of internal storage. Another option is to get 3 gigabytes of ram and 3 gigabytes of internal storage. Both allow expandable storage in the form of MicroSD slot up to one terabyte.

The M20 boasts dual cameras on the back and one selfie camera. The selfie camera is 8 megapixels and HDR-enabled which also records videos at 1080p resolution at 30fps. These also have HDR functionality and record videos at 1080p and 30 fps.

One of the dual cameras is 13 megapixels and the other is a 5-megapixel ultra-wide.

All the usual necessities also make appearances as expected. From USB Type-C to a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 5.0 and 4g capabilities, dual sim and of course, a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Running everything is Android Oreo (8.0) which is upgradable to Android Pie (9.0). The whole smartphone weighs a respectable 186 grams.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy M40, midrange beast

Honor 10 Lite

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The Honor 10 Lite comes in a total of five different variants. There is a 6 gigs ram version that can either have 64 gigs of internal storage or 128 gigs of internal storage. There are 64 gigs of internal storage option that either has 3 or 4 gigs of ram. Finally, there is a 32 gigs internal storage option with 3 gigabytes of ram. No matter which version you choose, you will also be getting expandable storage via micro SD card up to 1 terabyte. Although, the SD card will take up one sim slot.

Best smartphones you can get under BDT 20,000

The smartphone sports a 6.21 inches LCD capacitive notched display at a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a 3400 mAh battery. On the back, it’s a dual-camera setup. One of the cameras is 13 megapixels and the other is 2 megapixels. They can record videos at 1080p resolution at 60 fps. The selfie camera is 24 megapixels which also records videos at 1080p at 30 fps. Both the front and back cameras have HDR functionality.

This device is geared towards taking selfies.

Under the hood, on the hardware side, running everything is the Hisilicon Kirin 710 octa-core CPU. On the software side, it comes with the latest Android operating system, Android Pie (9.0), with EMUI 9.1 on top of it. The Honor Lite 10 also comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, fast charging capability, and other miscellaneous features. It does not have a USB Type-C port though. Altogether, the device weighs only 162 grams.

Avail an exclusive discount of BDT 200 on any purchase above BDT 1000 in PriyoShop.com! Use the code HIFIPUBLIC to get the discount. Offer valid till 30th September.

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The Best flagship phones you can buy in Bangladesh

Choosing a phone is one of the most important purchasing decisions. It is also a very expensive decision if you are buying an expensive top-of-the-line flagship phone. The smartphone market feels saturated and it may feel overwhelming to choose from so many. You need to deliberate which phone offers the best combination of the features suited to your needs or lifestyle. For most of us in Bangladesh, value for money is one of the most important factors. so, this list prioritizes that consideration. No iPhone here. Sorry (not sorry).

About the list

Only one phone per company has been included. In-depth specifications have not been included for all phones, check out our reviews on some of the phones and you know, Google.

1.    Samsung Galaxy Note 9

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

The Note 9 is a good follow up and a significant upgrade over the Note 8. It retains the premium build quality of the Note series, as a more productivity oriented model than the average smartphone. The design and the features on this are aimed at people who value portability and productivity.
The phone has an octa core Exynos 9810 processor along with 6GB of ram. It has excellent battery life with fast charging capability.

The glass back and the Corning Gorilla Glass covering the glass makes this phone good to look and firm in build. The Galaxy Note 9 adopts a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels. It has good brightness levels and sunlight legibility. The device panel has a wide selection of color. These colors show up on the vivid display, making it a worthy contender as the best display on a smartphone today.

It has a dual rear camera setup with 12mp sensors; both cameras have Optical image stabilization and one camera is a telephoto with 2x optical zoom capability. In simple English, this means that you can capture detailed photos with excellent color saturation and minimal noise. The 8mp front camera has live autofocus. The general consensus in Bangladesh is that more megapixels mean that it is a better camera. However, that is not the case and quite evident when comparing this phone to other ones.

2.    Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

The Mate 20 Pro might very well be the surprise contender for phone of the year. The phone is packed with the best hardware that you can get right now.

The phone looks and feels great. This is due to the gradient color scheme that Huawei has adopted for their premium models. The Mate 20 Pro features 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels. It has a high pixel dense screen of 538 ppi which supports seamless HDR10.

The Kirin Hisilicon 980 octa core processor and 6GB of RAM ensures high performance and low battery consumption. It runs on Android 9.0 Pie with EMUI 9.0 skin. The device supports wireless charging and can be doubled up as a charging plate for other wireless charging capable smartphones. It has a long battery life of 4200mAh.

There are three Leica cameras in the rear, a 40mp primary wide angle lens, a 20mp super wide angle sensor and an 8mp telephoto sensor along with a dual tone LED flash. The camera app has a great selection of features and can support 4k videos at 60 fps. The single 20mp front camera can capture HDR photos.

3.    LG V40 ThinQ

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

First off, this has been hailed as the audiophile’s phone, a title the V Series has become known for. The Quad DAC makes its audio output equivalent to that of hi-res dedicated DAP (digital audio player) and an accurate playback even at very high volumes. You’re getting serious high definition audio output almost exclusive to audio players on a smartphone.

The V40 ThinQ is the first phone to feature five cameras on it, with three sensors in the back and two out front. The telephoto lens in the back is the most interesting out of the cameras in this list; it is 12mp with 2x optical zoom and a 47 degree field of view, making it particularly handy for portrait mode. One of the coolest new features is Triple Shot. When Triple Shot is enabled you can snap a picture using all three of the rear cameras, one after the other. Once the photos have been captured, the phone can process them into a six-second video with music added automatically. Record 4K videos at 60fps with the device. I personally think this is the best camera on a phone this year as opposed to the mostly disappointing Google Pixel 3XL.

 The CPU is powerful with 6 GB RAM and a display with 537ppi. The phone only falls short in the software and battery life departments. Otherwise, this is personally the phone of the year for me.

4.    OnePlus 6T

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

The OnePlus 6 may have made a bigger splash on the market; OnePlus 6T is more than an incremental update. Most new models tend to be, but not this one. The reason the phone is on this list include the teardrop shaped notch on the 6.41 inch Optic-AMOLED display. This is a pleasant change to large unsightly one on the OnePlus 6. Another welcome change is the on screen fingerprint scanner replaces the OnePlus 6’s one on the back.

True to the company’s reputation of being able to hold its own against the market leaders’ premiere options, the OnePlus 6T provides above average performance at processor performance, audio, gaming etc. However, the OnePlus 6T does not excel at any one particular feature. The Snapdragon 845 processor is decent with an Adreno 630 GPU. The minimalistic Oxygen OS on top of the Android 9 Pie can make an interface feel bloated. There are three cameras, 16+20MP dual on the back and a 16MP front selfie camera. A brilliant value for money.

5.    Pocophone/ POCO F1

The Best Flagship phones you can buy

This phone arguably redefines what a flagship phone means. The Pocophone is the first product of Xiaomi’s Poco sub-brand. This phone has a Snapdragon 845 processor with up to 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. The best part? It is available at the starting price of 24,000 taka locally. That too, at a time when processors of that quality are priced at over 30,000 taka.

The fast smartphone is equipped with a massive battery life. As it resonates with the rational consumers’ demand of more features at lower prices, this phone will hopefully set the tone for the future of the smartphone market. There have been complaints about minor software issues and average camera performance along with Xiaomi’s behavior as a company after the popularity it has enjoyed at release. We didn’t expect such features at such prices, but now we have it. So go get it.

Would your list of top 5 flagship phones look different? Let us know!

Do you really need a flagship smartphone?

Smartphones are very much a necessary part of the modern citizen’s life now. There’s just no way around it. Almost every service nowadays, from education to transport to even food, is based around the usage of smartphones. This has facilitated the opportunity for companies to capitalize on the growing demand for smartphones, and offer their “unique” packages to the market. Thus, flagship phones; luxurious, expensive, peerless and with a price to match the hype. But are they really necessary?

Do you really need a phone more expensive than an actual high-end camera to take photos? Is a screen bigger than your hand can hold making all that difference in your life? Are you in dire need of a bezel-less screen, animated emojis and other novel (read pointless) features?

A very personal opinion on the negative will be explored in the following paragraphs.

Market saturation and basic features

It would be relevant to mention now that the smartphone market had reached a plateau quite a while ago and continues to fall even today. This is attributed to many reasons, primary of which is oversaturation in the market. There are too many companies making smartphones now. And that is actually a good thing for consumers. Since the competition is so high, the producers are compelled to add more features to phones at any given price range to maintain their market share. This means more features for less money.

One can now get features on a mid-range phone we could only dream of just a few years ago.

The performance of basic features like the camera or CPU isn’t anything to sneer at. You don’t want to throw your phone at the wall anymore because the Facebook app is taking too long to load on a no-name CPU. You don’t need to point a torch at something to take a picture because the phone’s camera resolution and lens are worse than a built-in laptop webcam. That’s not to say there isn’t any noticeable difference in performance, quality of pictures taken and other basic attributes when it comes to flagships.

Do you really need a flagship phone?

But as mentioned before, it doesn’t add much value compared to the price hike. People in need can get a great camera and lens for 40 thousand and 8 thousand takas respectively. They don’t need to get a 60-thousand-taka camera phone. The mid-range options are perfectly viable for the rational consumer, especially in our country. This effect is evident, as local producers Symphony, famous for their low-mid budget phones are the market leaders in Bangladesh.

The durability myth

Do you really need a flagship phone? 4

A common argument flagship defenders make is that these phones are built to last longer. That is almost entirely false. Samsung phones are well known for their performance fluctuations beyond 1.5-2 years of use; they tend to get slower and consume more power. Apple is infamous for its lack of customer care. This is magnified after the launch of their new yearly device, as the previous generation becomes effectively obsolete. Moreover, to add to their aesthetic value, flagship phones tend to have glass bodies as opposed to plastic or metal. This means they tend to get damaged worse, and servicing costs for them is significantly higher. Of course, you can carry some of them into the shower, waterproof/resistant and all. But why would you carry a phone into the shower?

That’s a rhetorical question. Please don’t answer that.

Price vs Innovation: Where actually is progress being made?

Compare an iPhone X to an iPhone 7. You’ll see that they have almost the same specifications. Of course, the newer iPhone X is faster, wielding a 6 core CPU against the 7’s four cores. It has a 1gb RAM advantage, fewer bezels and a bigger screen, and it has face identification and wireless charging capability. It’s twice as good in the price department though, sporting a whopping $1000-dollar price tag against the iPhone 7’s mere $550 dollar one. Does that deal sound especially enticing? What justifies the 90% price hike?

Do you really need a flagship phone? 1
Does “innovative” features take the focus away from primary functions a phone should serve?

And that’s just one company. Try taking any company’s current flagship and compare it to the previous edition. There will be some difference, a performance increase, a slightly enhanced image processing system, better stabilization. The common point of these “innovative” new features is they are all marginal. And while performance development is minimal, the price hike is anything but. Try going back just two years in time and telling someone that a consumer smartphone is going to set them back 1000 dollars. What seemed borderline impossible so little time ago is reality today, and I am not talking about facial recognition. That is a very diminutive and honestly pretentious feature that was around a long time before it was implemented into a smartphone. Companies take these minute and showy features, put them on a device and charge you a kidney. Sounds like a good deal for half a year of showing off.

Software: Something that actually matters

It has been more apparent than ever this year. You can run the same things on a budget phone as you can on a flagship option. So much so that the development on premium options of 2018 seemed almost exclusively cosmetic. There were still companies that implemented useful features to make their product a more bang-for-you-buck option. But what actually matter on a phone, the operating system and software platform were almost the same. You will encounter some problems running newer Android and iOS versions that come with flagships on budget phones, but to me at least they seem minimal; while the price difference is almost a deal breaker for many.

So, unless you’re a very busy person who needs to be productive most of the day, or part of a very niche class of consumer, the marginal enhancement offered in flagships isn’t something you require. The budget options offer everything a normal consumer might need. Thus, a completely personal opinion (with the added benefit of having a platform to share it on), don’t buy a flagship phone unless you absolutely need to.

Camera overkill—Samsung Galaxy A9 review

Let’s mention the elephant in the room before we start. The Samsung Galaxy A9 has 5 cameras in total. It’s still the only phone in the world with 4 cameras on the back. That raises the question: can you have too many cameras on a phone? We all want to know whether having so many cameras is simply a marketing gimmick or not.

Specs:

The A9 has a dual nano sim slot. It comes with Snapdragon 660, which is eons better than the chipsets that Samsung has traditionally used for mid-range cellphones. The Adreno 512 GPU is also better than the GPUs most mid-range Samsung phones are equipped with. Samsung still uses Android 8.0 Oreo, which has been outdated for a while now. As a result, the phone does not have gesture controls. This is somewhat a deal-breaker for a phone that costs almost 50 thousand Taka. I’m still using my Lenovo Z5 from last year, and it has gesture controls. A saving grace, thankfully, comes in the great memory capabilities of the phone. The internal storage capacity is 128 GB. The RAM, depending on the model you get, is either 6 or 8 GB. It even has a dedicated micro-SD slot capable of up to 512 GB extra storage. That doesn’t make up for the fact that the A9 still uses outdated three button controls instead of gestures.

Screen:

Can a phone have too many cameras? Samsung A9 review 4

One of the biggest selling points for most Samsung phones is the display. Most come with AMOLED displays, and the Samsung Galaxy A9 is no exception. The 6.3 inch display looks gorgeous, even with rather pronounced bezels on all sides. Thankfully, the phone does not have a notch, which is definitely just a marketing gimmick.

Camera(s):

Now for the main event. The A9 has 5 cameras in total. 4 of them are situated on the back. The solitary selfie camera is 24 megapixels and has excellent focus and even HDR. It’s certainly one of the better cameras in recent times.

The back is a whole different ballgame. With 4 cameras, the phone is the only quad-back camera phone in the world right now. The cameras are of 24, 10, 8 and 5 megapixels respectively. Each camera comes with a different function, such as the 5 megapixel one having a depth sensor, the 10 megapixel one having 2x optical zoom and so on. This works very well, as all the cameras combine to create truly good looking shots. In portrait mode, the rear cameras take photos that are way ahead of the Gaussian Blur filled shots that Chinese rivals take. Take a look and judge for yourself at your nearest Samsung dealer.

Verdict:

The Samsung Galaxy A9 is a cool looking phone, and is something a casual photographer would love to have.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that you can find phones with better specs at a lower price. You can find phones with gesture controls, at the very least. Samsung needs to step up their game, as Chinese companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi are starting to become a real threat to their business. We are going to give it a 7 out of 10 due to its great camera performance, but it could have scored much lower due to a lack of gesture controls and pricing.

The Samsung Galaxy A9 is available through Samsung stores for a price of TK 49,900/-.