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Triple whammy

Hindustan Times | ByRajiv Makhni
May 26, 2018 09:56 PM IST

Three phones launched simultaneously constitute the strongest assault on the mobile phone market in ages

The joke about London is that if you stand long enough outside Harrods, you will meet every Indian you know. That’s almost true, except that I met more of them inside the global launch events of the Honor 10 and the OnePlus 6 phone. The City of London, famous for Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and double decker red buses converted to ground zero for a triple decker war of phones. So, think of me as a war correspondent reporting from right between the cross fire of tech.

Two phones were launched in London almost simultaneously, both vying for the exact same category, price point and customer. Another phone was launched on the same day back in India that generated extreme excitement with the global press. Together, these phones now constitute the strongest weapon grade assault on the mobile phone market in a very long time.

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The RealMe 1

RealMe is Oppo’s online brand and seems to have been brought in with a single purpose: to equal, better and defeat each and every Xiaomi phone out there. The RealMe 1 is a stunning phone with a glass back (nothing else exists with a glass back at this price point, most are plastic or metal). It has full-blown artificial intelligence for taking pictures and can literally recognise the object, scene or person you’re shooting and auto change the settings on the camera. It also uses AI for battery management and that makes a dramatic difference. RealMe also comes with 6GB RAM & 128GB memory storage! Prices start at 8,990.

RealMe 1 is a stunning phone with a glass back, built in AI and amazing price too

RealMe 1 vs Xiaomi RedMi Note 5 Pro

The RealMe 1 absolutely rules over the Redmi Note 5 Pro in design, screen, looks, materials, build quality, processor, AI, RAM and storage. Redmi pulls slightly back with the camera but the RealMe kills it with a more aggressive price. Currently, the RealMe 1 is king of the hill in its category.

Honor 10 not just offers great optics but also has a notch screen and a proper bezel-less display

Honor 10

The super flagship from Honor was launched in London in a mega event. The Honor 10 lived up to and surpassed most rumours and expectations. It’s an all-glass phone with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, with a unique feature built into the glass back. The back changes colour according to the light that it reflects. It has 24MP and 16MP back cameras and a 24MP front camera. Great AI in optics and some of the best pictures I’ve taken from a phone. Honor also went all out on the hardware with a great processor, 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, and rounds it off with a world first: it has a notch screen and thus a proper bezel-less display. But they were able to add a fingerprint scanner in the front under glass. Note, I said glass, not screen! There is a glass button right at the bottom with the scanner built in. The Honor 10 is priced at 32,999 in India.

OnePlus 6

Within 24 hours of the Honor 10, there was another dramatic launch in London for the OnePlus 6. A stunning phone, all-glass, four variants (the white is truly beautiful) with a big notch screen. Dual (20Mp and 16MP) centre cameras at the back and a 16Mp front camera. It also has my favourite feature. You can shoot any video and then choose parts of that video as super slow motion at 480 frames per second. In India we have a special Avengers Edition of the 6 that comes with 8GB Ram and 256GB storage. Yes, a phone now comes with better hardware specs than most top-end laptops! Prices are 34,999 for the 6/64, 39,999 for the 8/128 and 44,999 for the Avengers 8/256.

OnePlus 6 is an all-glass phone and has better hardware specs than most top-end laptops

Honor10 vs OnePlus 6

Honor10 leads with its camera and AI; its front fingerprint scanner is slightly better-looking and has a better feel. The OnePlus 6 is insanely high specced and powered. Due to a more aggressive price and features, the Honor 10 is ahead of the OnePlus 6.

That’s the triple whammy that played out in London. It’s just the start of the war. There’s lots more to come.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, May 27, 2018

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