Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ arrives in Bangladesh

Pre-order for the much-coveted device begins from August 08, 2019

Samsung Mobile Bangladesh has announced that the pre-order of its latest flagship device Galaxy Note 10+ has started from August 8 2019, in the Bangladesh market. 

Specifications

The Galaxy Note 10+ comes with the most powerful 7 nm Exynos 9825 processor, 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 256GB of ROM, 4300 mAh battery which gets fully charged within an hour, Quad rear cameras and much other industry-leading specifications, the Galaxy Note 10+ truly offers the new next level of power with an improved S pen.

All this power & creativity will be showcased on the glorious 6.8” WQHD+ Dynamic Amoled near bezel-less display. The rear quad cameras offer unparallel video stabilization, live focus on video, professional-grade video editing in the phone among other unique features.  

Available in new, bold colours, Aura Black and Aura Glow, Galaxy Note 10+ will help its owner stand out from the crowd.

Exclusive offers

During the limited-time pre-order period Note 10+ will be available at the price of BDT 1,34,500, after a discount of BDT 10,000 from the regular price. The City Bank’s AMEX credit card users can avail another additional cashback of BDT. 5,000 when a purchase is made through EMI (0% interest, up to 18 months).

Also, for an exchange offer, up to BDT 20,000 additional cash back is offered on top of the determined exchange value (applicable for selected models of smartphones only from particular brands). Offer also includes up to BDT 100,000 discount voucher for selected Samsung Real 4K UHD Smart TV. Upon purchase of 2nd year warranty, one-time screen replacement (Never mind offer) is free.

Grameenphone subscribers can avail free 20 GB Internet upon tagging and get upgraded to Platinum Plus Star in GP Star program. The pre-order period is till August 31st.     

To pre-order visit: www.preordernote10.com

Samsung Galaxy M40: Midrange beast

Recently, Samsung has been focusing on producing budget-friendly phones. This market strategy is no doubt implemented to capture the Indian market; which has in recent times been enamored with Xiaomi phones. For a subcontinental behavior which demands more for less, Samsung has provided phones like the M20/30 and the A30. This phone is more of the same strategy, but for a slightly higher price point. The Galaxy M40 might be the best option to go for on a roughly 30K budget. 

First impression and specs

Out of the Galaxy M line of phones, this has the most processing beef; due to the Snapdragon 675 processor along with 6 GB RAM. The immediate impression upon getting this device in your hand is that Samsung is trying to make this feel like one of the premium phones. That’s the only reason I can think of for getting rid of the headphone jack. It has an Infinity-O display with 91.8% screen to body ratio. It is also a pinhole screen (selfie camera on the screen), no doubt a compensation for the lack of an AMOLED panel. However, watching videos and playing games on this phone is still a treat. The body is polycarbonate material. 

The M40 is USB-C fast charging enabled. It has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and also offers facial scanning. The device is very light and wieldy, proving significant attention to feel on the hand. Overall, it looks, feels and is modelled after the premium Samsung Galaxy phones. 

Performance and software

While the specs offered are impressive, the utilization of the software on this phone feels a bit underwhelming. As opposed to the similarly priced M30 and A50, the M40 is a more basic experience. The UI is less intuitive and offers fewer options. It is missing some relatively small but important features; like a blue light filter, which Samsung has promised in an update. However, the M40 shows remarkable fortitude while multitasking. It is also very impressive at hardware intensive processes like editing and gaming. The positives are somewhat undercut by the measly 3500 mAh battery, even though it offers fast charging. Overall, a very fast and responsive phone; but leaves you wanting for more. 

Camera

The M40 implements a vertically placed triple camera; with a 32mp primary lens, 5 mp depth sensor and 8mp 123 degree wide lens. There’s a 16mp front camera for selfies. There are a couple of neat features and filters in the camera software that might appeal to you. The picture output of the cameras can be summed up as “good”. It’s not the best out there, but it’s good enough given the specs and the price. Pictures look natural and vibrant with rich colors. And the only weakness of the camera seems to be blurry edges and a slight lack of detail. The real magic happens while capturing videos, as this seems to be the best stabilization on a camera at this price range. 

Verdict

While the lack of a headphone jack makes me want to remove this phone immediately out of consideration, the truth is that the M40 is a very reasonable choice at the price point. The similarly priced A50 might be a bit better for efficiency-oriented individuals. But the premium looks and feel the M40 offers places it into an entirely different bracket. Go for this if you want a good looking, ultraslim and wieldy, decent smartphone.

Galaxy A80: World’s First rotating triple camera phone

Samsung has revitalized Galaxy A series for the generation that prefers to stay ‘Live’ all the time. Samsung Mobile Bangladesh has launched its first rotating triple camera, Galaxy A80 on July 25, 2019.

The Galaxy A80 uses a rotating camera setup, powered by a motorized mechanism which allows people to take selfies with the rear camera. The phone features a triple camera with 48MP as the primary lens, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor for a wider view than what the human eye can see, and a 3D depth sensor for accurate bokeh effect as well as AR-based measurement applications.

Specifications

This powerhouse performer packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 Processor along with 8 GM of RAM and 128 GB of ROM.

The Galaxy A80 also features Samsung’s first new Infinity Display, an expansive, edge-to-edge, 6.7-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED screen. This new display allows people to immerse themselves in a cinematic multimedia experience. The phone also packs in a 3,700mAh battery, backed by an ‘intelligent’ algorithm that will identify the user’s usage patterns to reduce any wastage of power and will offer the most engaging performance.

The Galaxy A80 is available in three colours – Ghost White, Phantom Black, and Angel Gold.

Special offers and promotions

To heighten the excitement of the customers, Samsung will be running a launch promotional campaign from 25th July to August 31, 2019, when customers will be able to purchase the phone at a discounted price – BDT 74,490, instead of BDT 77,490.

During the campaign, customers will also receive a discount voucher of up to BDT 60,000, which can be used when buying selected Samsung refrigerators.

Moreover, if the customers purchase Galaxy A80 with a credit card of either BRAC Bank or LankaBangla Finance, they will enjoy 0% interest EMI up to 12 months. BRAC Bank account holders will get an option of choosing the EMI option or receiving a cashback of BDT 1,000. Additionally, there is also 0% interest in EMI for 6 months for other selected leading banks. Furthermore, customers will enjoy 50% off on the ‘Never Mind’ offer upon purchasing the 2nd year extended warranty. And finally, in this limited time offer, customers will also get a premium back cover in the box.

OPPO unveils world’s first Under Screen Camera

OPPO unveils its groundbreaking technology Under-Screen Camera (USC) at MWC Shanghai 2019, which offers “real full screen” user experience. OPPO also debuted its innovation in 5G, IoT and Smart Home Zone technologies.

Mobile World Congress is an event where all the mobile technology manufacturers showcase their latest innovations. This year MWC 2019 is happening in Shanghai and global smartphone brand OPPO has seized the opportunity to stun the world with their latest innovation in under-screen camera technology, long-range device-to-device connectivity, 5G and IoT. 

The Under-Screen Camera

USC is OPPO’s latest innovation in new-generation smartphone form factor. By integrating the front camera and the screen, USC provides users with a complete view, an immersive screen and an integrated body. It also enables users to see and capture the entire screen, take photos, use face unlock and make video calls.

OPPO unveils world's first Under Screen Camera

As OPPO’s latest under-screen display solution, USC features a customized camera module that captures more light; zoning control is employed on the screen, together with “highly-transparent” material that enhances transmittance of light through the screen.

OPPO unveils world's first Under Screen Camera

Besides, through OPPO’s customized algorithm, haze removal algorithm and white balance algorithm, USC can enable complete photography experience and support features like smart beauty mode and photo filers in the future. Combined with the new algorithm, pictures taken are more colourful and vivid.

Innovation in 5G and IOT

In addition to debuting its under screen camera innovative technologies, OPPO also exhibited its latest achievements in 5G and IoT – OPPO Reno 5G can load large-scale mobile games in the cloud via a 5G network, enabling users to enjoy 5G cloud gaming. In the IoT Smart Home Zone, OPPO featured its IoT open platform, which is compatible with products across more than 20 categories, including more than 260 devices from a variety of brands.

OPPO unveils world's first Under Screen Camera

“As smartphone offers more functionalities nowadays, users have a higher demand for immersive and broad screen view. From the water-drop screen to pivot structure, to USC technology announced today, OPPO has been exploring the best balance between ‘thin and light’ and ‘full screen’. OPPO hopes to provide users with the ultimate ‘true full screen’ through the USC technology.”

said Qiao Jiadong, Product manager at OPPO

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!

10 Years of Galaxy: A look back at Samsung’s iconic ‘S Series’

Only two months of 2019 have passed, and world has already seen the biggest innovations in the smartphones industry. With the pompous display of foldable smartphones and other cool innovations by smartphone manufacturers at the MWC, we can guess smartphones will not be the same anymore.

The biggest tech release of the last month was the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series.

With the launch of the series, the South Korean tech giant celebrated 10th anniversary of its iconic ‘Galaxy S Series’, which, over the last decade, has brought many firsts into the smartphone industry.

Marking the 10th anniversary, Samsung launched three new devices—Galaxy S10e Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+. With their industry-leading tech innovations and redefined designs, the Galaxy S10 series also marks the arrival of the ‘next generation smartphones’.

A legacy of the S series

During the decade, Samsung’s Galaxy S series led the evolution of smartphones which began with the release of Samsung Galaxy S in 2010. With a modest 4-inch Super AMOLED display and groundbreaking features, the Galaxy S has endeared consumers for over the years and made Samsung the most popular smartphone brand in the world. After the first introduction of Galaxy S, the sizes of the display changed along with the evolution of the Galaxy S series.

The following year, Samsung refreshed the S series with the new Galaxy SII. With a superior processor, 8-megapixel and 2-megapixel rear and front camera respectively and just 8.49mm thickness, Galaxy SII strengthened the foothold of Samsung as a smartphone manufacturer.  

In 2012, sticking with the Roman numerals, Samsung launched the
Galaxy SIII. It was the first Galaxy device to have an HD screen and that too 4.8-inch. The device also introduced Multi Window (Android 4.1), Ambient Light, Smart Stay, S Voice, and S Beam (NFC) and eye-tracking ability.

Start of a new era

The next year, Samsung ditched the roman numerals and opted for Arabic numerals while naming its new device Samsung Galaxy S4. The device came with sophisticated software having features like Smart Program, Smart Rotation, Smart Scroll, and Story Album. The rear camera got a healthy bump up to 13-megapixels and the phone could double as a universal remote.

Galaxy S4

In 2014, Samsung Galaxy S5 hit the market with fingerprint scanner on the home button and a heart rate sensor. The device was IP67 Dust and Water Resistant and had a full HD display alongside an impressive 16-megapixel rear camera.

The year 2015 was all about curves. Two variants of Galaxy S6 were launched—one with a conventional display and another with curves on the edges. Samsung also incorporated unique wireless charging and glass backs made its way into Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Both the variants were capable enough to shoot Ultra HD footage, while the latter had a Quad HD Display panel.  

S6 and S6 Edge

The following year, Samsung also launched two variants, Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Both the versions had a dual-pixel 12-megapixel rear camera for better low light photography and faster octa-core processors. Samsung pay was introduced in 2016 with these devices.

The revolutionary Galaxy S8

In 2017, Samsung broke the monotony and raised the bar of smartphone design by introducing the stunning Infinity Display in both Galaxy S8 and S8+.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 was the first to have an edge-to-edge display with virtually no bezels. The front-mounted home button was moved to the back too. It is still considered one of the best smartphones of the decade.

Samsung launched Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9+ in 2018 further improving the internals and incorporating industry first features such as Dolby Atmos Surround Sound, Dual Aperture, and AR Emoji etc. changing the smartphone experience. Look wise the both S9 and S9+ were twins of their predecessors from 2017, but the new phones came with best-in-class camera system.

What lies ahead

Now, in 2019 Samsung has set another benchmark in the smartphone industry with its all new Galaxy S10 series. Banking on a decade-long legacy of Galaxy innovations, S10 begins a new vision of future smartphones, with revolutionary innovations in display, camera, security and performance. With a legacy of a decade of groundbreaking smartphones, Samsung has become synonymous with innovation and ingenuity. Hopefully, this tech giant will be able to translate its previous successes into further spectacles.  

Samsung Galaxy M10: The phone designed to win Bangladesh back

When getting a phone, the price is the most important aspect to almost everyone residing in and around Bangladesh. This is evident from the sales of local brand Symphony, and more recently that of Xiaomi. They simply offer more for less, and for us, that’s usually more enticing than brand value. And thus, the Galaxy M10. Samsung’s response to losing a foothold in the Indian subcontinent’s market. I’ve used the phone for about a week, and this review will be based on my somewhat extended experience with it.

The look and feel

Designed to win back the market lost to Xiaomi, the M10 had to offer more for less. And it does.

The phone has a 6.22-inch Infinity V display with a waterdrop notch, offering almost 82% screen-to-body ratio.

It’s also a very slim and wieldy device, having 7.7 mm in thickness and just 163 gm in weight (check out the full specs). Personally, I have an issue with glossy finishes or glass bodies because of the smudge your fingers are prone to leave. But the finish on this phone works really well and doesn’t smudge much. The overall design is very lush, especially when you take the price into consideration.

The performance

It’s got a headphone jack, so you know it’s already 40% better than other phones. The M10 has an Exynos & Octa 7870 CPU and 2/3 GB of RAM. That’s not substantial in terms of Samsung. But take into consideration the price of the phone, and you will see that the power it packs is something you expect from local brands or Xiaomi. Not out of worldwide market leaders like Samsung. The phone performs smoothly and seamlessly. Someone at the office tried playing PUBG on it after I refused. I played Injustice 2 instead. Both games ran very well. It has got very decent battery life. The phone has a loud and clear speaker, if you’re into using phones like that. Basically, the phone runs everything just as well as it should. There isn’t anything to complain about.

The Camera

The camera is sort of a mixed bag.  It doesn’t have autofocus options. It does however have HDR and continuous shooting modes. The 13MP back camera allows for smooth, sharp and natural looking images to be captured in a few different modes like Pro, beauty and live focus. The selfie camera is average. It doesn’t have optical image stabilization, which doesn’t play into taking photos as much as it does with capturing videos. The captures tend to stutter a bit, but retain the right amount of exposure and lighting you would expect on a Samsung phone. Again, good value for the money.

Distinguishing Features

Does the headphone jack count?

The M10 has a very responsive face scanner unlock in place of a fingerprint sensor. Then again, a fingerprint sensor wouldn’t be feasible at this price point. The most impressive feature is the Widevine L1 support on this phone. This feature allows HD streaming from Netflix and other services. This is a feature unique to a phone at this price and wasn’t even on the Pocophone F1 at release.

In conclusion, the Galaxy M10 is a great get for the price.

It offers fine specifications with the added value of the Samsung brand. If you’re trying to get a phone on the budget, consider the M10. You probably won’t be disappointed.

Samsung GalaxyS10: The Galaxy S series returns with a bang!

Yes, that is right folks. The 10th instalment to Galaxy S series is finally out and looking spectacular. Now right off the bat, the S10 comes in three versions. The S10, The S10 Plus, and The S10 E. Is it just me or is Samsung trying to tell something? Maybe that they can release new phones having different versions and they will not be the same as the previous model with “minor” updates. All three versions will be available to the public globally from March 8 while pre-order is going on right now.

Spectacular specs

Now, The S10 and The S10 plus have a screen size of 6.1″ and 6.4″ with Quad HD and Dynamic Amoled Display. S10 E, however, is a bit smaller, having 5.8″ Full HD and Dynamic Amoled display. All the three models have the Infinity-0 display; which is a near bezel-less flat screen. S10 and S10 Plus will have three cameras in the back and the only the S10 plus has two up front for selfies. Talk about exaggeration.

One of the things that I personally liked is how Samsung got rid of the fingerprint scanner and still managed to keep the headphone jack. As for unlocking the phone, Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus have an on-screen Ultrasonic Fingerprint sensor. But this is only for the two models. All the models will run on Android 9 (pie)

And a hefty price tag

As for pricing Samsung Galaxy S10 the 128GB/8GB(ram) is priced at $899.99, 512GB/8GB(ram) at $1149.99 (512GB). On the other hand, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 128GB/8GB(ram) priced at $999.99 and 512GB/8GB (ram) at $1249.99 (512GB). That is not all The S10 Plus will come in a 1TB model having 12GB of ram. Basically, this phone will have more Ram than an average home computer. Including, mine. This very model has a whopping price tag of $1599.99. Yikes!

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.