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!

Gaming smartphone vs flagship smartphone: the differences

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re someone who keeps up with the smartphone industry. When was the last time a smartphone got you interested? Probably when Razer released the first gaming smartphone, Razer Phone. We discuss this phenomenon, and what separates them from a flagship smartphone.

The last few years of smartphone development has mostly been focused on pushing VR and AR, improving user experience and providing innovative features aiming to integrate into daily usage. This desperately begs the question, what do we want from a flagship in 2018?

I mean, look at Xiaomi fulfilling almost all needs of consumer through their affordable Redmi lineup. For anyone looking for an extra oomph with a top of the line SoC, they have the Mi lineup of flagship smartphones featuring stellar build quality and top-tier performance. And as usual, we also have flagships from other android smartphone giants such as LG, HTC, Samsung and Huawei. And all of the other mid-tier smartphones either needed extensive modding after rooting a smartphone [which is quite the tricky process, needing enough attention from both the manufacturer and developers].

All we ever wanted was a phone that just worked with no frills.

The Demand

Hardcore gaming on smartphones was unheard of in any market; at least before Asians started making massively multiplayer online role-playing games… for Android. And like the madmen hardcore gamers are, smartphone sales started spiking in Asian regions. Affordable flagships like Xiaomi Mi series and OnePlus started gaining traction, just because of that sweet Snapdragon flagship chip, and a battery to last several gaming sessions.

This newly sprung market’s demand at this point was only this; a smartphone with top of the line specs and cooling system that helps with the throttling smartphones usually face. That’s something we haven’t seen since the gaming focused Xperia Play, and going way back, the Nokia N-Gage.

The Messiah: Razer Phone

Razer was already a well known gaming brand thanks to its brilliant Deathadder gaming mice and Blackwidow gaming keyboards. Led by an eccentric CEO, Min-Liang Tan, Razer also gained popularity for its skits based on seemingly impossible April Fools jokes featuring hilariously impossible technologies. But last year, Razer broke through from its conventional lineup of gaming gears and released a phone.

Enter, the Razer Phone. Featuring a massive 4,000 mAh battery, dual front firing speakers and Dolby Atmos audio, it seemed an easy entrance into the realm of flagships for this gaming company. Add a 120Hz IPS screen to the mix, and it becomes a compelling buy over any smartphone in the industry, at least for the gamers who know the difference between refresh rates of a display. The smartphone was instantly praised by enthusiasts and reviewers, and grabbed a market that none else dared to touch before; android gamers. From there, it was a slippery slope, and like a wrecking ball we saw gaming focused smartphones coming out in torrents. Huawei Honor Play, Nubia Red Magic and Xiaomi’s Blackshark are to name a few.

Return of the Flagships

Gaming smartphones surely brought a brand new dimension to the smartphone market, but that meant that the manufacturers had to sell their flagships too. Except Razer, who were, and still are enjoying a steady stream of income from their only smartphone, the Razer phone; thanks to its amazing display and front firing speakers.Smartphone giants instead focused their efforts towards improving camera modules, smoother user interface, removing ports and adding weird new features; all depending on who you’re asking about.But still, the question stands. Would you pick a flagship smartphone over a gaming phone?

The bitter truth

Earlier this year, Xiaomi, one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers of the decade, released the gaming-oriented Blackshark. Sporting a bold (and to some, downright weird) design, Blackshark generated quite the hype for the performance and the specs it promised to delivered. Xiaomi seemed to underestimate its market, with the Blackshark facing supply shortages within China. Nubia took the chance and released the Red Magic with a lesser processor (Snapdragon 835 against Blackshark’s 845). But the question still stands; what value does a flagship smartphone offer over a gaming smartphone?

The answer is heat dissipation and in result, lesser thermal throttling. Some reviewers dared to run Xiaomi’s Blackshark in a stress test against Xiaomi’s flagship Mi Mix 2S, both featuring the same SoC. The Mi Mix 2S ran cooler and had more consistent performance across the board in almost all applications including gaming. But for the price one would pay for a flagship, the gaming phones surely proved to be an amazing example of bang-for-buck.

The equalizer: ASUS ROG Phone

From the previous results, flagships would still be the weapon of choice for ultimate android gaming device. But still, the biggest trade-offs would be the peripherals and the battery life that gaming smartphones offer. Maybe that’s a deal-breaker to some. The answer to this came from ASUS’s gaming brand, ROG.

ROG revealed its first effort towards a gaming smartphone, called the ROG Phone, around June 2018. The flagship SoC from Qualcomm, Snapdragon 845, has been overclocked to 2.96GHz, compared to the standard 2.8GHz from flagships of well known company such as the Galaxy S9. It also comes packed with 8 gigs of RAM compared to the standard 4GB that most flagships feature.

Up front, the phone features a 6 inch AMOLED Panel with a 90Hz refresh rate, competing against Razer Phone’s 120Hz LCD Display. The corners of the phone are touch sensitive to provide a functionality called the air trigger, mappable buttons in video games for quick access to keys. Flip it over and the phone looks stylish, with an unconventionally designed fingerprint scanner and a cooling system called the “3D vapor chamber cooling”, providing upto 16 times more heat dissipation area and extending CPU endurance upto five folds. Oh, and also an RGB Republic of Gamers logo, something the Blackshark promised… Kinda.

If the vents aren’t enough, ROG released something called the AeroActive cooler, providing a 3.5mm jack and an active cooling fan. This cooler is just the one of many bizarre accessories made for the ROG phone. The most intriguing one is the TwinView Dock, a hand-held grip that comes with extra battery juice and a second screen. Want to play on a massive screen like a king? ASUS is also bringing a mobile desktop dock which you can hook up to a monitor or a TV. ASUS recommends it’s ROG Big Format Gaming Display; massive monitors featuring Nvidia tech and astonishing refresh rates.

Synopsis of value and some words

We come back to our original demand, a phone that doesn’t screw up every two seconds. And as enthusiasts, we want innovation and cool gadgets in this field of tiny computers in our pockets. We finally seem to have gotten it, but at what cost?

For the ultimate multi-tasker and power user, the smartphone industry finally has a market. These smartphones might look tacky and unprofessional; but they’re sure to get your work done efficiently than most smartphones out there.

All we can say is, gaming phones have certainly made smartphones exciting again.