We’ve seen the likes of the iPhone 11 Pro, the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and even the cursed but powerful Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
Meanwhile, there are still some flagship killers out there with incredible performances costing less than half of the price of the so-called premium smartphones.
Today we’ll examine a number of those top “Flagship Killers” that makes smartlife more comfortable and easier for anyone.
But first what’s so special about these devices is the fact that they offer nearly the same quality if not more in some cases a better feature that makes them really outstanding and more competitive in the market. Majority of these devices offers a multi-camera setup and has a modern design aesthetics.
Aside powerful chipsets that makes multi-tasking as fast as convenient, these devices also offer a large amount of storage. Sometimes we wonder the difference between what a premium smartphone is and an affordable smartphone. Is it the price tag slapped on them from the makers or just some little tweaks that makes them to go as high as $600 and even more to the extent of being priced at $1,500.
The name Flagship killer makes sense because most of the times, consumers are rational enough to just opt for the best mid-ranger that offers nearly close features to the top-tiers which are super expensive. But without further ado, we’ve combined a list of the top flagship killers and affordable smartphones under US$500 price point.
Samsung Galaxy A80
When Samsung announced the GALAXY A Series and their aims to bridge the gaps between expensive devices and low-end devices, we expected the best and of course Samsung never disappoints.
The Galaxy A80 is an awesome smartphone which I personally like its design. Its 6.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touch display has no notch whatsoever and has a little chin at the bottom of it.
The device has some improved engineering design which is the pop-up camera which took an entirely different direction. The device offers the same back camera as the front camera as it switches location whenever it pops up…. How amazing. This means if you’re a Vlogger, you can expect the same quality because you’re using the main camera either way.
With a dimension of just 165.2 X 76.5 X 9.3 mm, you might wonder where the motorised pop-up camera lives. It’s not so heavy with its 220 g of weight.
In terms of build quality, its front display has the Gorilla Glass 6 and Gorilla Glass 3 at the back as well as an aluminium frame at the middle.
It feature support for a nano dual SIM slots. Running on Android 9 pie as well as the Samsung One UI, it also feature the Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730 (8nm) chipset. Its CPU is an octa-core 2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver while it’s GPU is an Adreno 618.
There is no support for memory card slot but it’s internal memory storage is about 128 GB coupled with its 8GB of RAM.
While the hype might seem too much for this awesome smartphone, its worth noting that it features a triple camera setup which includes a main 48MP camera which has f/2.0, 26mm (wide) 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF and then 8 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.12µm
TOF 3D camera, f/1.2, 30mm
Features LED flash, panorama, HDR
Video 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps (gyro-EIS), 720p@480fps
Asus Zenfone 6
The next on the list is an Asus, The Zenfone 6 to be precise. Much like the Galaxy A80 in terms of engineering and design, the Zenfone 6 offers a motorised dual camera setup.
Its massive 6.4-Inch display is great enough for watching videos thanks to the FHD+ IPS LCD panel which is really interesting. The device is powered by the Qualcomm highend Snapdragon 855 chipset coupled with a triple storage option ranging from 64GB, 128GB and 256GB despite being expandable by a memory card. The Zenfone 6 also has the option of 6GB RAM or 8GB option.
And speaking of the camera, the device offers a 48-MP primary sensor coupled with a 13MP 125-degree field of view wide angle camera.
And last but not the least, it offers a massive 5,000 mAh battery that can last you a whole day despite a heavy usage. As for designs and ports, it offers a dual speaker and it retains the headphone jack.
Redmi K20 Pro
It’s Redmi K20 Pro which had been rumored to be the successor of the Poco F1 but there are rumors about the Poco F2 surfacing somewhere online.
But the Redmi K20 Pro is really beautiful smartphone that stands in the ways of a premium flagship device and a low-end smartphone.
When the Redmi K20 Pro was announced in May 2019, it had a mixed reaction until people were able to see what the device really offers. Its dimension is 156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm (6.17 x 2.93 x 0.35 in) and weighs just 191 g (6.74 oz)
It features a 6.39-Inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density).
Because of its design which excludes notches or hole-punch, the device also has a very small chin making its screen-to-body ratio to be 86.1%.
Protecting its massive and crystal clear display is a Gorilla Glass 5 both at the front and at the back of the device with an aluminium frame.
It supports a dual nano-SIM card while it runs on Android 9.0 Pie with the MIUI 10 built on top of it. As far as it’s capacity is concerned, the Redmi K20 features a Qualcomm SDM8TT Snapdragon 855 (7nm) SoC with an Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485) CPU. And as for the GPU, it uses the Adreno 640.
With no supports for external storage card, its internal storage ranges from 64GB to 128GB and 256GB while it’s RAM is between 6GB and 8GB
In terms of camera, the Redmi K20 features a triple camera setup with its primary lens being 48MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF and also another 8 MP, f/2.4, 53mm (telephoto), 1/4″, 1.12µm, PDAF, Laser AF, 2x optical zoom and lastly a 13 MP, f/2.4, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/3″, 1.12µm.
The device also has a dual-LED flash that makes night shooting as smooth as possible. It features HDR, panorama modes as well. Video recording ranges between 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/120/240fps, 1080p@960fps.
And as for the front facing camera, the Redmi K20 Pro offers a motorised pop-up 20MP, f/2.2, 0.8µm camera that supports HDR and can record a 1080l@30FPS videos.
And as for the power, the REDMI k20 Pro has a 4000mAh Li-Po non removable battery along with a fast charging of about 27W (Quick Charge 4+)
Google Pixel 3A
Designed in the old ways, the Google Pixel 3A is an interesting smartphone with really cool features. It’s sort of the bridge that gave Google more guts in the smartphone industry and don’t mind the ugly looking Pixel 3XL with its giant notch, its a fact that Google might not be so great at designing smartphones but better in making softwares.
But that’s not a conclusion anyway. The Pixel 3a is a small and compact smartphone with just 151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm (5.96 x 2.76 x 0.32 in) dimension and weighs just 147 g (5.19 oz). It has a plastic body but made of glass at the front of it. The display is a small 5.6-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors. It’s screen dimension mesures 79.6 cm2 (~75.0% screen-to-body ratio) while it’s display resolution is 1080 x 2220 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio (~441 ppi density)
This one isn’t a Gorilla Glass protection but the Asahi Dragontrail Glass with an Always-On display. It runs the Android 9. Pie out of thr box but can be upgraded to the latest Android 10.
Since its a mid-range smartphone, it offers a mid-range Qualcomm SDM670 Snapdragon 670 (10nm) chipset with an Octa-Core (2×2.0 GHz 360 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver) CPU. Its GPU is an Adreno 615.
The mini device has no memory card slot but thanks to its quite big 64GB of storage as well as its 4GB of RAM for fast performances.
It sports à single 12 MP f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS camera and features a DUAL-LED flash, HDR and Panorama. It can shoot video resolution of 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps. And as for the front facing camera, it’s a single 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1.12µm and features HDR Video 1080p@30fps
Honor 20 Pro
The first Honor smartphone on the list is the Honor 20 Pro which is an upgrade to the famous Honor View 20. It was fortunate enough to not be misfortunate like the Huawei Mate 30 series.
FYI, Honor is a Huawei sub-brand and whatever happens to Huawei will affect them as well. And since the company had lost its partnership with the US, it affected many aspects of the ecosystem Huawei is trying to build around its smart technologies. But that’s a story for another time.
But talking about a true flagship killer, the Honor 20 Pro is truly a big deal in this realm. Measuring about 154.6 x 74 x 8.4 mm (6.09 x 2.91 x 0.33 in) in dimension, it also weighs about 182 g (6.42 oz).
Both front and back of the device is made of glass with an aluminum frame. It supports a dual Nano SIM slot.
It has an IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen as well as a 16M colors.
Its display only measures 6.26-inches it measures 96.2 cm2 (~84.1% screen-to-body ratio)resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~412 ppi density).
It runs the Android 9 Pie out of the box with the Magic UI 2.1 built on top of it. It’s also powered by Huawei’s owned HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7nm) chips et with an Octa-core (2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76 & 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) CPU. Its GPU is a Mali-G76 MP10.
It doesn’t supports external storage through MicroSD because its 128GB or 256GB internal storage compensates for that not to mention the 6GB RAM or 8GB RAM option.
The next is the camera setup which is made up of a quad sensors with the primary sensor being a 48MP, f/1.4, 28mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS. The second camera is an 8 MP, f/2.4, 80mm (telephoto), 1/4.4″, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS, 3x optical zoom. Then the third is a 16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″ and lastly there is a 2 MP, f/2.4, 27mm (wide) dedicated macro camera.
It features an LED flash, HDR and Panorama. It can also record videos in the resolution of 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps; gyro-EISSELFIE CAMERASingle32 MP, f/2.0, 0.8µmFeaturesHDRVideo1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS
At the front is a hole-punch 32 MP, f/2.0, 0.8µm camera which features HDR and can record video s up to 1080p@30fps, as well as gyro-EIS.
Motorola Moto Z4
Motorola might have lost its prestige in the smartphone market with only Samsung, Huawei and Apple running the show nowadays, but that doesn’t mean the early flip phone adopters aren’t making great devices one of which is the Moto Z4 which is truly premium I every sense.
Let’s talk about the specs. Its overall dimension is about 158 x 75 x 7.4 mm (6.22 x 2.95 x 0.29 in) and it weighs about 165 g (5.82 oz). It has a glass protection on both front and back of the device with an aluminium frame.
The Moto Z4 only support a single Nano-SIM card or a Hybrid Dual SIM support. It has a splash and dust resistance.
As for the display, it has an 6.4-inches OLED capacitive touchscreen display with 16M colors with a dimension measuring 100.5 cm2 (~84.8% screen-to-body ratio) with a resolution of about 1080 x 2340 pixels and 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density). Protecting it is a Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The Moto Z4 runs on Android Pie 9.0 and is powered by Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675 (11nm) chipset with an Octa-Core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver)CPU. Its GPU is an Adreno 612.
As for memory, it has a 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage with support for microSD slot that is up to 1TB but shares the SIM card slot.
Its has a single 48 MP, f/1.7, (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS as well as a Dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, HDR. Video recording peaks 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps. It also feature a smooth 25 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm and features HDR with a video resolution of about 1080p@30fps.
Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro
On the list is another big contender, Xiaomi. The Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro got announced late 2019 and its definitely a flagship killer offering awesome features and overall premium features and high quality build qualities.
Aside hyping the device, its specification speaks louder. Measuring just 157.8 x 74.2 x 9.7 mm (6.21 x 2.92 x 0.38 in) the Mi CC9 PRO also weigh 208 g (7.34 oz).
As far as quality is concerned, this mid-ranger is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 both at the front and back of the device with an aluminium frame around it.
It has supports for a dual Nano-SIM and offers a 6.47-inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display with 16M colors. It measures 102.8 cm2 (~87.8% screen-to-body ratio) with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~398 ppi density). And offers a 600 nits of maximum brightness as well as an always-on display.
It runs on the previous Android 9.0 Pie with the MIUI 11 built on top of it. It features Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730G (8 nm) chipset with an Octa-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver) CPU as well as an Adreno 618 GPU.
It offers no support for an external memory card slot because of the massive 128GB and 256GB of storage as well as the two options for either the 6GB RAM or the 8GB RAM depending on the storage size.
Its made up of five camera setup with the primary sensor being a massive 108MP (8P lens – 256GB GB model), f/1.7, 25mm (wide), 1/1.33″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS. While the second camera is a 12 MP, f/2.0, 50mm (telephoto), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, Laser AF, 2x optical zoom. Then the third camera is a 5 MP (upscaled to 8MP), f/2.0, (telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS, 5x optical zoom. As well as a massive 20 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/2.8″, 1.0µm, Laser AF. And lastly a mini 2 MP, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm (dedicated macro camera).
The Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro features a Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR and can record videos of about 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, and also 720p@960fps. The front facing Selfie Camera is a single 32 MP, f/2.0, 0.8µm
That features HDR Video 1080p@30fps.
As for its power, it has a massive 5260 mAh Li-Po battery that will last you all day long as well as a super fast charging capacity.
Xiaomi Mi 9
Xiaomi is sort of an all round company that makes all things not only smart appliances, they even make shaving blades and drones as well as smartphone gimbal. The Company is known for trying to penetrate every market out there .
Despite succeeding in some it failed woefully in others. But its obvious that Xiaomi is really successful with smartphones and the fact that they make really awesome mid-range smartphones is what puts them on the row of top smartphones in the world.
The Xiaomi Mi 9 was announced February 2019 and features a nice 6.39-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touch display with 16M colors with a 100.2 cm2 (~85.2% screen-to-body ratio). Its resolution is 1080 x 2340 pixels, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio (~403 ppi density) while being protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 DCI-P3 both at the front and back of the device.
Its entire dimension is 157.5 x 74.7 x 7.6 mm (6.20 x 2.94 x 0.30 in) and its weight is about 173 g (6.10 oz).
The Xiaomi Mi 9 runs the Android 9 Poe with the MIUI 10 out of the box. Its powered by the Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7nm) chipset.
It’s CPU capacity is an Octa-Core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485) and its Graphic interface is an Adreno 640.
With mo support for external memory slot, it has a 64GB of storage coupled with a 6GB RAM or the 64GB and 8GB RAM combo, and the other high ends with either 128GB of storage and 6GB RAM or 128GB of storage and 8GB RAM.
Its powered by a non-removable 3300 mAh Li-Po battery. It features a triple rear camera setup with the primary sensor being a massive 48MP, f/1.8, 27mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF. The second camera is a 12 MP, f/2.2, 54mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF, 2x optical zoom. While the third lens is a 16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.0″, 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF.
It also has a dual-LED flash, HDR and Panorama with a video support of about 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/120/240fps, 1080p@960fps. Its front facing selfie camera is a single 20 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm lens that features HDR and can record a 1080p@30fps video.
Eventhough Xiaomi flooded the smartphone market with tons of smartphones and other devices last year they still made some really cool smartphone among which is the Xiaomi Mi 9.
Oppo Reno 2
Oppo isn’t new and the company had been kicking it off way back. Back when the Oppo Find X was released, it captured everyone’s attention with the full display and a motorised pop-up camera.
The new OPPO reno 2 is another powerful product from the brand which had established itself as a top brand in the Indian smartphone market. The Oppo Reno 2 offers a big 6.5-inches display with Super AMOMED capacitive touchscreen and its dimension is about 104.1 cm2 (~87.5% screen-to-body ratio). Resolution is 1080 x 2400 pixels, as well as a 20:9 aspect ratio (~401 ppi density).
Its entire body is just 160 x 74.3 x 9.5 mm (6.30 x 2.93 x 0.37 in) and it weighs 189 g (6.67 oz). Built with the latest Corning Gorilla Glass 6 to keep both the front and back of the device safe from scratches and water or dust while it’s aluminium frame is well polished. Offers support for Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by).
It runs the Android Pie 9.0 with ColorOS version 6.1 built on top of it. Powering it up is a mid-range Qualcomm SDM730 Snapdragon 730G (8nm) with its CPU being an Oga-core (2×2.2 GHz Kryo 470 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 470 Silver) as well as an Adreno 618 GPU.
It offers supports for a memory card slot and it’s internal storage is about 128VN coupled with 8GB RAM or the high-ẹmend version 2ith 256GB with the same 8GB Ram.
It has a quad camera setup with the primary sensor being a massive 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS lens. The second camera lens is just a 13MP, f/2.4, (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF while the third lens is about 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.2″, 1.4µm and the last is a 2 MP B/W, f/2.4, 1/5″, 1.75µm.
It has a Dual-LED flash, HDR, panoramaVideo2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps (gyro-EIS); video rec. only with the main camera while the front facing selfie camera is a Single Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm that features LED flash, HDR and records Vides à about 1080p@30fps
LG G8 ThinQ
The next device we’ll be talking about is the LG G8 ThinQ which was announced last year February. LG might not be selling as huge as Samsung or Apple but the company never stopped making awesome flagship devices and the LG G8 ThinQ is one of those.
Made completely with high quality materials such as Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for protection on the front and back of the device, it also has aluminium frames around it. It’s entire size is about 151.9 x 71.8 x 8.4 mm (5.98 x 2.83 x 0.33 in) and its overall weight is just 167 g (5.89 oz).
It is rated IP68 dust/water resistant for up to 1.5 m for 30 minutes. The aspect where the LG G8 ThinQ is incredible is the with the display. It features a nice 6.1-Inches P-OLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors. The dimension of the screen measures 91.0 cm2 (~83.5% screen-to-body ratio) with a resolution of about 1440 x 3120 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~564 ppi density). It also feature HDR10 as well as the Dolby Vision and Always-on display
Runs the Android 9 Pie out of the box with thr LG UX 8.0 built on top. Powering the system is the highend Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 Chipset (7nm) with an Oct-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485) CPU. While it’s Graphic Processor or GPU is an Adreno 640.
Despite offering support for MicroSD to extend its internal storage to about 1TB, it still has a massive internal storage of 128GB with a 6GB RAM.
Let’s talk about another thing, the camera. It has a dual to triple camera setup which includes a primary 12 MP sensor, with f/1.5, 27mm (standard), 1/2.6″, 1.4µm, Dual pixel PDAF, OIS
16 MP, f/1.9, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm, no AF.
The other option which is also a 12 MP sensor, f/1.5, 27mm (standard), 1/2.6″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
16 MP, f/1.9, 16mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm, but no AF.
Then a second 12 MP sensor, with 52mm (telephoto), f/2.4, 1.0µm, 2x optical zoom, dual pixel PDAF, OIS. It features LED flash, HDR and panorama. It’s video recording resolution is around 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@240fps, HDR10, 24-bit/192kHz and it supports stereo sound recording.
As for the front facing camera, it has a dual 8MP sensor with f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/3.6″, 1.22µm, AF
TOF 3D camera, f/1.4. Te camera has supports for HDR while video quality is about 1080p@60fps.
Its has a Loudspeaker and supports the good old 3.5mm headphone jack producing a 32-bit/192kHz audio quality as well as X Surround Sound
Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic.
Samsung Galaxy A70
Another one from the South Korean brand, the Samsung Galaxy A70 is a massive device with a big 6.7-inches display. It measures about 164.3 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm (6.47 x 3.02 x 0.31 in) and weighs around 183 g (6.46 oz).
Its made of glass and plastic body with its display protection being the Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Has support for dual Nano-SIM which is a Big plus.
Speaking of the display, it has a 6.7-inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors and measures 108.4 cm2 (~86.0% screen-to-body ratio) with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~393 ppi density).
As for the Chipset, the Galaxy A70 uses the Qualcomm SDM675 Snapdragon 675 (11 nm) with an Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver) CPU as well as an Adreno 612 GPU.
It runs the Android 9 Pie with OneUI out of the box and support external storage of up to 1TB with a dedicated slot.
Its internal storage is about 128GB coupled with a 6G RAM and also there is another optional 128GB Storage version with 8GB RAM.
Comes with a triple rear camera setup with the main lens being a 32 MP, with f/1.7, PDAF. While the second camera sensor is an 8 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide) and then the last sensor is a 5 MP, f/2.2, depth sensor. It also has an LED flash, panorama and HDR. As for video, it can record a maximum of 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/240fps. As for the front facing selfie camera, it’s a single 32 MP, f/2.0, 0.8µm that features HDR. With highest video recording of 1080p@30fps.
Oppo Reno 10X Zoom
The second Oppo device to make it on the list is another bmdevice branded Reno 10x Zoom. While it might seem as if Oppo isn’t really good with naming their smartphones by jst slapping whatever comes to mind first on the devices, that doesn’t mean the actual défaire of the device will be whacky like the name might sound. No disrespect Oppo, but you might just want to give a simple to remember name to your smartphones.
Anyway what makes this a flagship killer? The answer can be simply answered in its specifications. So let’s dive into it.
The new Oppo Reno 10X Zoom measures 162 x 77.2 x 9.3 mm (6.38 x 3.04 x 0.37 in) and weighs about 210 g (7.41 oz). Its built with high quality materials such as the Gorilla Glass 6 at the front while a Gorilla Glass 5 protects the back. It also has aluminium frame around it. There is a standby support for a dual Nano-SIM
Moving on to its display is a 6.6-inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with a 1080 x 2340 pixels of resolution at a 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
Its powered by the Android 9 Pie out of the box with Oppos native Coloris 6 built on top of it. And as for the chipset, it’s powered by the high end Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (mm) chipset with an Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485) while it’s GPU is an Adreno 640.
The next amazing feature is the storage which peaks 256GB from 128GB option while it’s RAM varies between 6GB and 8GB. It also offer support for external memory card to add ablnother 256GB to it.
As for the camera there is a triple rear camera setup with the main being a 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser A with OIS.
The second camera is a 13 MP, f/3.0, 130mm (telephoto), 5x optical zoom, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS.
And the third sensor is another 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide).
It has supports for a Dual-LED flash, HDR and panorama. While the video resolution is 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, gyro-EIS; video rec. only with main camera.
And as for the front facing selfie camera,
It’s a Single Motorized pop-up 16 MP sensor, with f/2.0 aperture, and 26mm (wide). It also Features LED flash, HDR
As for power it has a 4065 mAh Li-Po battery that can last hours upon hours while taking less than 2 hours for full charging. Its indeed a flagship killer.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
If there is one company that’s good at making flagship devices look bad and overpriced, its definitely Xiaomi.
Despite pumping smartphones out every single year they never overflood the market with some whacky devices… No. They never did that and the Redmi Note 7 proves that.
At just $150, you’re getting a high quality device that is nearly as close as those $499 devices we mentioned on this list. But what makes the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 special. Let’s examine that below.
It has a nice and crysp 6.3-Inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display which is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 both at the front and back even though it has a plastic frame, it feels super sturdy when held.
The overall dimensions of the device is just 159.2 x 75.2 x 8.1 mm (6.27 x 2.96 x 0.32 in) and it weighs about 186 g (6.56 oz). It has support for Nano-SIM and offers support for memory card despite habing a simple 32GB of storage as 2ell as 3GB of RAM with other options being 64GB with 4GB RAM or 64GB with 6GB RAM and then 128GB with 4GB RAM.
It also runs the Android 9 Pie out of the box with the MIUI built ontop of it. It’s powered by the Qualcomm SSM660 Snapdragon 660 (14nm) chipset as well as an Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260)CPU with an Adreno 512 GPU.
Speaking of the camera, it has a dual rear camera setup of 48MP being the primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, 0.8µm, PDAF and so a 5 MP, f/2.2, depth sensor
12 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/2.9″, 1.25µm, PDAF with a 2 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor. It features a Dual-LED flash, HDR and panorama.
Video quality is about 1080p@30/60/120fps, (gyro-EIS). While the front facing selfie camera is a Single 13 MP, f/2.0, 1.12µm sensor that features HDR which can record a video of about 1080p@30fps.
Might not sound very great but this device manages to pack some great features within the little price point and that’s interesting enough for those that wants a really affordable smartphone without breaking the bank at all.
Honor 9X Pro
This device nearly got doomed during its launch but even though it had a narrow escape, that doesn’t mean it really made it out of China where Honor is headquartered.
Honor is a subbrand if Huawei and the company had been doing great until politics came along which affected its trade. That aside, the previous Honor 8X was the most selling Honor devices of all times and I got one of those back then.
Meanwhile one will expect more from the successor of such a successful device right. Yeah. If somehow Huawei products aren’t banned in your country, then you can buy the Honor 9X Pro as its a great smartphone with tons of features that makes it a true flagship killer.
Les examine what makes this a great smartphone.
In size, the Honor 9x Pro measures around 163.1 x 77.2 x 8.8 mm (6.42 x 3.04 x 0.35 in) and it weighs just 206 g (7.27 oz). It has a glass front and back with aluminium frame around it.
It offers support for Hybrid Dual Nano-SIM with its display being a 6.59-inches LTPS IPS LCD Capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors with its dimension being 106.6 cm2 (~84.7% screen-to-body ratio) as well as a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~391 ppi density).
It runs on the Android 9 Pie out of the box with the EMUI 9.1 skin built on top of it. It’s powered by Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 810 (7nm) chipset while it’s CPU is an Octa-core (2×2.27 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×1.88 GHz Cortex-A55) as well as a Mali-G52 GPU.
Has support for external micros, and can take up to 512 GB (uses shared SIM slot) while it’s internal storage ranges between 128GB and 8GB RAM to 256GB and 8GB RAM.
As for the camera, it’s a Triple rear setup with the main sensor being a 48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF and then coupled with an 8 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide). While the last is a simple 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth sensor). It also feature an LED flash, HDR and panorama. Video resolution can peak 1080p@30fps. As for its selfie camera, its a single motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.2 and can record a 1080p@60fps video.
Battery wise, it has a 4000mAh Li-Po battery capacity which is meant to last you a whole long day. Aside these, it’s a really good and quality device that won’t make it to the US market.
There are also premium smartphones that were launched as far back as 2017 which are still 100% relevant despite how old they are. Below is a list of premium flagship smartphones that now cost lesser than $500 just in case you still want to consider going after a really premium device with a premium bud quality.
It’s 2020 and you might wonder how iPhone 8 made the list but don’t forget that this device that was launched back in 2017 is still one of the best smartphones even 3 years later.
It could make the list because it was a premium flagship during its time and has all the features that would keep it relevant for a long time at least for now. Compared to the 2018 iPhone XR which most consumers attributed to being a disaster, the iPhone 8 was a better option for those that needed a better qualitative smartphone.
Now as low as $329 this might be your chance to own one of the top old iPhones. And speaking of quality, the device is very small as we know it. It’s dimension is just 138.4 X 67.3 X 7.3 mm (5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in) and it weighs just 148 g (5.22 oz).
The iPhone 8 has a glass build on both front and back of the device with aluminium frame. It supports a single Nano SIM slot. It’d also rated IP67 duat/water resistant up to 1M for 30 minutes.
The next interesting thing about the iPhone 8 is the Apple Pay which works seemlessly with Visa, Mastercard and its also AMEX certified.
The little drawback about the 2017 iPhone 8 is the display which is a so-called Retina IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colors. The screen dimension is just 4.7-inches in case you don’t mind mini smartphones.
Because it’s made in 2017, it has a giant bezel both at the top and bottom of the device as well as the good old Home button. It has a ~65.4% screen-to-body ratio with a screen resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels as well as a 16:9 aspect ratio ~326 ppi density
Protecting the glass is an Ion-strengthened glass oleophobic coating which compensates for the absence of the corning gorilla glass which was built on top of the iPhone X. Remember Apple was trying to turn attention to its Notched smartphone back then so most of the premium features were built on top of the iPhone X.
Running iOS 11 out of the box, you can upgrade it to the latest iOS 13.2. Powering the system is the Apple’s own A11 Bionic (10nm) chipset with a Hexa-core CPU. Its GPU is also the Apple GPU with 3-core graphics.
As we all know, Apple never included a memory card slot in any of its devices and this one even went as far as excluding the headphone jack because of the introduction of the AirPods.
It has a single camera but it gets the job done believe me.
The single 12 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide) camera has optical image stabilization which is good for video recording.
The iPhone 8 also features a Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR Video recording of about 2160p@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps. As for the single selfie camera, it’s a 7MP, f/2.2 and features Face detection, HDR, panorama
Honor the sub brand of Huawei is very popular for making awesome midrange smartphones that can compete. Meanwhile the Honor 10 when launched back in 2018 was a big deal.
The device is built to enhance AI experience as Huawei was moving far and beyond the rest at that time. Even despite the current situation of things with Huawei which is definitely affecting all the companies associated with them including Honor, the fact that this device was built back in 2018 gives it the full liberty of running the Android OS as well as Google Play Services which is unfortunately unavailable on the current super expensive Huawei Mate 30 Pro despite all the beauty and features.
But if you still won’t mind the Chinese brand, you can opt for the Honor 10 as your daily driver as it features immersive display and nice features that keeps you on the go every now and then.
OnePlus since its first smartphone had become truly relevant while creating flagship killers. The new OnePlus 7 Pro is so great that it made the list of the best premium flagship Smartphones in 2020 meanwhile its predecessor, the OnePlus 6 hasn't gone to rest so soon.
Now costing around $429, the device sports a Nice dual camera setup as well as an 6.2-inch OLED display with a 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution.
It has a massive 8GB RAM as well as a 128GB internal storage but doesn't offer support for an external storage card. It's 16MP camera is great enough for good photography and thanks to its dual LED, it can be used in low light and still produce high end quality photographs.
LG G7 ThinQ
The next big smartphone on the list is the LG G7 ThinQ which was announced back in 2018. Now costing about $480, we all knew how great the LG G7 ThinQ was in terms of its features and performance.
Dubbed "The most underrated smartphone of 2018" the LG G7 ThinQ never failed to impress in any instance.
The device sports a moderately large 6.1-inch display with 1440 x 3120 pixels of resolution.
The LG G7 ThinQ isn't your omni storage device but it still offer a nice 4GB RAM as well as a 64GB of storage which can be expanded using a MicroSD card.
Its powered by an oct-core processor made by Qualcomm, Snapdragon 845 SoC. Its also one of the first LG ThinQ product line which includes a line of AI powered ecosystem that can be managed centrally.
Samsung Galaxy S9
2018 was like the time of change for Samsung when it revolutionalise its devices especially the Galaxy S series. The Galaxy S9 back in 2018 was an amazing piece of wonder in technology.
Now costing around $443, this is definitely one of the device's money can buy in 2020 despite being 2 years old. But never mind the fact that the device offers a curved 5.8-inch OLED display but that's not all.
Don't forget about the not so mature Bixby which has its own dedicated button. But the Galaxy S9 also has a single camera with the fingerprint scanner mounted right underneath it.
It has wireless charging and water resistance. It comes both in purple and blue colors . Also don't mind the fact that it was made in 2018, the Galaxy S9 now runs on the Android 9 Pie with the Samsung One UI on top of it.
How to buy an affordable smartphone in 2020
There is an ocean of smartphones out there today all which claims to be better than the other. Smartphone makers are to be blamed for such unprecedented releases of so many smartphones we can think of yearly.
OnePlus seems to be the only company after Apple to only a strict area of smartphones while others usually flood the market every year. Xiaomi is my first culprit while Huawei and Samsung takes the second and third position. These companies keeps chunking out smartphones at will.
But that's not a problem. The thing is picking a smartphone that is right for you might be a little bit tricky in this overflooded market of smartphones. But knowing the right direction to follow is key.
Assuming you're the type that prefers power and large displays over anything else, Samsung might be your go to. With the Galaxy A80, this is a really perfect smartphone for anyone who wants a nice smartphone that's not just cool but has this flipping camera that adds some nice effects to the device.
Meanwhile Xiaomi is also great with cameras nowadays. The Mi9 and Mi CC9 Pro (Mi Note 10) has a crazy Penta camera setup which is really immersive and crazy for its price point. While having midrange specifications like the Snapdragon 760 chipset which might not totally interest everyone especially gamers.
Battery longevity is another important factor to consider when planning on which device to buy next. With smartphones now having great batteries these days, some are far better at the job than others. But then the most important thing is of course budget. If you're out there for the budget friendly device that is still very premium looking and performs well enough, then you might just stick with Samsung.
But all these are my opinions and may vary from yours which means you need to chose what you want and what will suite you far better depending on factors such as pricing, battery life, camera, performances, and design. All these factors matters when picking your next affordable smartphone in 2020.