The smartphone market has been one of the most consistent performers for tech companies across the globe, for quite some time now. Unlike previous generations though, the industry these days is filled with brands aimed solely at disrupting different price segments, like OnePlus, Realme, Redmi, Poco and more. These entities cannibalise the sales of established brands by offering competing specifications at less than half the prices in some cases. As a result, even the biggest names in the industry have had to either take losses on their more expensive bets or admit defeat and launch their own line-up of budget- friendly flagship devices. The latest brand to enter the Indian market with this very goal is IQOO, who just launched their first offering; a disruptive budget-gaming flagship that also happens to be one of the cheapest 5G smartphones in the world. We are talking about the IQOO 3 5G, which follows the same weird nomenclature as One Plus, and offers an equally dizzying array of features, including but not limited to; the latest Snapdragon 865 processor, up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, Bluetooth 5.1, and a proprietary 55W Super FlashCharge system that powers the 4,440mAh battery. Since three camera setups are the new norm, the phone packs an extra punch (48MP main + 13MP telephoto + 13MP wide-angle + 2MP portrait), while still maintaining the plainer front cut-out setup (16MP). On the surface though, you get a standard 6.44- inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED display that is locked at 60Hz, even though the touch sampling rate is a healthy 180Hz. But what really showcases the focus on gaming is the fact that the phone comes with programmable shoulder buttons with vibration feedback and the screen brightness which can be pushed to a whopping 1200 nits while high-end gaming sessions. The fun part is that you can get all of this for barely ₹45,000, a price that is almost half of the nearest 5G flagship.
SAME IN RANGE
At a starting price of ₹65,000, one would hardly consider this a budget smartphone from any other brand. But when the company in question is Apple, it automatically becomes the cheapest budget phone you can get from them, even with a basic LCD display, and one camera less than the top model. Yet, what makes this a tough competitor is the exceptional build quality, amazing camera setup, and one of the fastest smartphone processors on the planet. For people who love the iOS interface, and the app ecosystem around it, this phone is easily the best gateway drug into the wonderful, if expensive world of Apple.
One Plus 7 Pro
With a 90Hz AMOLED display, the superfast Snapdragon 855+ processor, and well-liked three-camera setup (48MP + 16MP + 8MP), the 7T Pro makes for a tough competitor for the 3 5G. Sadly though, at a starting price of around ₹54,000, the smartphone is quite a bit more expensive for a model that doesn’t even have the latest processor anymore. At the same time, the near-stock experience and regular updates provided by the company are enough to make this a fan favourite despite its shortcomings. We’ll just have to see how long it takes before the company is convinced to launch the elusive 5G version in India as well.