Anticipated Samsung Galaxy M10 hits the Bangladesh market

The Galaxy M10 smartphone, designed specifically for the millennial lifestyle, has been made available in the Bangladesh market by Samsung Bangladesh. This highly anticipated affordable smartphone comes with the best-in-class infinity-V display and powerful features such as a dual camera with ultra-wide lens, long-lasting battery, high-performance processors and a new Samsung Experience UX.

Priced at BDT 11,999, the Galaxy M10 (2GB+16GB) will be available at a special price of BDT 10,999 from pickaboo.com starting 12th February. In addition, customers can get up to 500 taka cash back on bKash payment alongside Pickaboo club points. This special deal also comes with 02 years extended warranty, worth BDT. 1500. Matching the online lifestyle of the millennials, the smartphone will be available with multiple payment options, cash-backs, exchange facilities and countrywide home delivery. Data bundles with all major mobile operators will also be available.

Focusing on the millennial lifestyle, Md. Muyeedur Rahman, Head of Mobile of Samsung Bangladesh stated, “We believe that Galaxy M10 will be an iconic breakthrough catering to the aspirations of today’s tech savvy millennials. These users of the modern age want a smartphone that is lightning fast, runs longer and comes loaded with latest innovations. Samsung, as a trusted brand, hopes to continue delivering all the demands of the users.”

Galaxy M10 comes with 6.2” HD+ infinity-V display ensuring truly immersive viewing experience. It comes with Widevine L1 certification for seamless streaming of HD content through popular apps.

Powerful dual camera is another major highlight of Galaxy M series, as today’s millennials love to click photos and make videos on the go. The Galaxy M10 sports dual rear camera, with an ultra-wide feature. Its 13MP primary rear camera has F1.9 aperture. The secondary rear camera has a 5MP ultra-wide feature. The ultra-wide mode lets users capture more expansive photos with complete ease. It is perfectly suited for capturing landscapes, cityscapes, group photos, etc. when users want to fit a lot into one single frame.

To ensure non-stop streaming of music and video, Samsung has packed a powerful 3400 mAh battery in Galaxy M10.

To support the flawless entertainment, Galaxy M10 is powered by Exynos 7870 octa-core processor. Additionally, Galaxy M series comes with a new Samsung Experience version 9.5 UX which is optimized for a fast and smooth user experience.

Samsung has also prioritized the security for the users as the Galaxy M10 comes with face recognition unlock feature.

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/-.