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New kids on the block

  • Top recently-launched smartphones to look out for in Nepal
- Anuj Bhandari

Jun 12, 2018-The smartphone market is booming like never before and Nepal too is currently flooded with new phone launches wanting to cash in on the action. Ranging from budget phones for those looking for smart features at a smart price to flagship devices at the cutting edge of technology, Nepali consumers can be a bit spoilt for choice when out mobile shopping. So today, let’s explore some of the most eye-catching smartphones available in the local market.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI

One of the most awaited smartphones of 2018, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI, landed in Nepal a few weeks ago. The device offers quite a lot for its price, much like the previous Redmi lineup of Xiaomi. 

The AI in the device’s name comes from the cameras featuring artificial intelligence capabilities. Xiaomi has claimed that the Redmi Note 5 AI’s cameras can now sense depth better, and in turn exponentially increase the selfies and images you take. Talking about the cameras, this phone has dual 12MP and 5MP cameras on the back with the former featuring f/1.9 aperture, and the latter coming with f/2.0 aperture. The camera improvement is the major difference between this variant against the Pro variant which is available in India. However, the megapixel count on the selfie shooter has decreased to 13MP against the Pro’s 20MP.

In terms of performance, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor with 3/4 GB of LPDDR4X RAM. With the chipset and RAM in place, you can expect the smartphone to handle all your needs!

The Redmi Note 5 AI’s 5.99-inch display is quite bright and the minimal bezels on the top and bottom are certainly a plus. It runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with MIUI on top and has 32 or 64 GB of storage. This device has a huge 4,000 mAh battery which should last you a couple of days with normal usage. The battery is Quick Charge 2.0 enabled so you can expect it to charge up fast. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI is priced at Rs 28,499.

OnePlus 6

Since its first smartphone, OnePlus has always managed to build mobile phones with flagship grade specifications for cheap compared to companies like Samsung or Apple. However, over the years, those devices came with a steady increase in price, and now, with the new 6, this price has risen up to $529 in the international market. The main talking point of this smartphone in Nepal has certainly been its price as the device comes with a Rs 71,000 price tag. But even with all of this, the OnePlus 6 is still a great phone with great features, and top performance.

The OnePlus 6, with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and 6 GB of RAM, is arguably the fastest smartphone out right now. Even with tons of applications open, the phone will not lag! Likewise, this device has also had a design overhaul like the P20 Pro, as it now comes with a notched display and a glass back. Well, the notch on top of the display is what smartphone companies are going with this year, and OnePlus has followed that bandwagon as well. To protect the 6 from scratches and drops, OnePlus has covered the display and the back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. And a new form of protection debuting in the OnePlus phone is splash resistance.

The optics on the OnePlus 6 has also improved quite a bit as the dual rear cameras now come with a bigger pixel size and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to make the pictures look better. And unlike last year, OnePlus has dedicated the second camera just for depth sensing for bokeh pictures. The 6 is also capable of recording slow-motion videos at 480fps for around one minute, and the fact that it can shoot 4K videos at 60fps is a welcome addition.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Duo

At a time when the competition in the mid-range segment is fiercer than ever before, Samsung has launched its first mid-range smartphone, equipped with dual cameras on the back. Now, specs wise, some of the features on this smartphone might turn off some enthusiasts, but as it turns out the device works out quite well in real life usage. The Galaxy J7 Duo, with its HD panel, looks well saturated and bright due to its Super AMOLED panel. Yes, the device might lack sharpness, but you certainly won’t face any “lower resolution issues” with it. 

The next issue with this smartphone is its comparatively bland design. Lots of phone companies are bringing out smartphones with new designs, but Samsung has stuck to a more traditional aesthetic. Also, the storage variant available in Nepal is only 32 GB, which for the price has been set at Rs 28,990.

Other than that, this device will serve anyone well. It has the octa-core Exynos 7884 processor in place with 4 GB of RAM which makes the device one of the best performing phones of the price range. You can also expect great pictures with the 13MP and 5MP cameras that make up the rear camera setup. In the battery front, the Galaxy J7 Duo has a 3,000 mAh battery which, with the HD display, will last for a day.

Huawei P20 Pro

The last smartphone in this list is the Huawei P20 Pro. This device is making headlines for its camera quality and fresh design. The camera setup on the P20 pro received a DxoMark rating of 109, making it the best camera 

smartphone to date. The triple rear camera on the phone is a combination of three cameras measuring 40MP, 20MP, and 8MP. 

These cameras, which provide 3x optical zoom, are Leica optics branded, and have OIS. With AI embedded, they understand their subjects and apply accurate setting for producing crisp images. There is also a night mode dedicated to taking better pictures in low-light settings.

The Huawei P20 Pro is another smartphone that has a notch on its display. This display is 6.1-inch tall and has full HD+ resolution. The phone does come with a hefty price tag of Rs 110,000 though. 

The Huawei P20 Pro has the company’s own Kirin 970 chipset with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. With the internals the phone has, you can expect nothing but top performance. And with a 4,000 mAh battery backing it up, the charge should last for a day and a half.

This device has, however, given up on the headphone jack which might be an issue for some buyers. This battery juices up with the Huawei’s Supercharge which is among the fastest fast charging technology available right now.

Published: 12-06-2018 09:07

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