The decision to get a phone now is like a scale with specifications and price at each end. The scale varies with each price point, and the best options find a place right around the middle. On a budget of 12-14 thousand taka, the Redmi 7 might be the phone to go for right now.
While the Redmi Note and Note Pro stand out the most among the Redmi series, the Redmi 7 is a good deal for a lower budget as well. While it is cheaper, it doesn’t feel like a cheap phone in your hands. The phone has a glossy plastic finish on its body that makes it appear fancy. The body itself comes with rounded edges, making the phone more wieldy. It has a very distinguishable feature in the P2i nano hydrophobic coating, which keeps water on the phone running. Although this effect is visible on the display and the back, some water does stick to the corners. And of course, we like that the phone has a 3.5 mm audio jack. We just, like that.
While the issues with glossy finishes such as smudge and scratches persist with this phone, all you need to get rid of those is a good casing. Xiaomi’s reputation for implementing high-end offerings at a budget is retained in the form of a Gorilla Glass 5 display, very unusual for a phone of this price. It has a fingerprint scanner conveniently placed at the back along with a water drop notched 6.26 inch LCD display. The screen does have a rather large bezel, but it is utilized in the form of an LED notification light.
The basic features like fingerprint sensor and scrolling are very responsive. As they should be as the phone is powered by a snapdragon 632 processor. We recommend getting the 3/32 GB variant, as those specifications complement the processor better. And it is quite the leap in marginal utility compared to the price hike. The phone also has a large 4000 mAh battery.
The camera has a 13mp primary sensor with a 2mp additional depth sensor. For the price, it is a good camera as the pictures appear smooth, but not quite that natural. Fair warning, the color tone is a bit colder than usual, and the pictures aren’t quite rich in sharpness. But the color saturation on this camera is very natural compared to other budget options. Nighttime images and pictures with visible light sources are average to good. Selfies can be taken via an 8mp front facing camera, which actually produces decent pictures. The phone surprisingly supports full HD 60fps video capturing, with limited stabilization. What we’re saying is it’s just better than the price point would suggest.
Although it is likely to remain in the Note series’ shadow, the Redmi 7 makes for a good option for people opting for a lower budget.
So if you’re unwilling to cross that 15k threshold, this might just be the phone you can settle for.
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.
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 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
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 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
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!