The premium smartphone market in India has transformed in the past three to four years. According to Counterpoint Research, price cuts, upgrade plans, EMI offers, among others, are the growth drivers for the smartphone segment, and these factors will drive more Indian consumers to upgrade to premium devices this year.
As per the research, the Indian smartphone market grew four percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020 to over 31 million units sold. The overall shipments in the country grew annually in January and February from a combination of new launches and aggressive promotions.
However, a 19 percent decline was observed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, analysts in India say that the second and third quarter will pick up shipments of smartphones as the lockdown eases.
YourStory brings you the latest premium devices to explore if you are looking to upgrade, or buy a new smartphone.
The new Xiaomi expensive Mi 10
Placing itself in a Rs 50,000 category, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Friday launched Mi 10, equipped with 5G and a 108-megapixel quad-camera. Mi 10 offers 30W wired, as well as the world’s fastest 30W wireless charging. It also supports a 10W reverse wireless charging facility, allowing users to charge other devices on-the-go. Riding on 5G, the smartphone comes with a large 4,780 mAh battery and a 30W fast charger in-box.
In terms of design, Mi 10 sports a 3D Curved AMOLED display, a 6.67-inch screen, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back. The smartphone is priced at Rs 49,000 for 8GB+128GB, and Rs 54,999 for 8GB+256GB variant. The phone can be pre-ordered starting Friday on Xiaomi’s website, Amazon, and Mi Homes, and will go on sale across platforms on May 18, 2020.
Wireless charging, smaller screen – Apple’s cheapest iPhone SE
While many markets have shifted focus to the 5G smartphone race, Apple delivers one last shot at a mid-range 4G LTE before finally shifting towards a 5G-heavy portfolio with iPhone SE.
Launched in April, iPhone SE sports a smaller screen of 4.7-inch, Touch ID, and wireless charging. Recently, in its Q2 earnings calls, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone SE is Apple’s most affordable phone so far, and has been well-received primarily for its smaller form factor with the latest technology.
The phone is priced $399 in the US – same price point for the original iPhone SE – that was launched four years ago. In India, the iPhone SE will be sold for Rs 42,500. Apple features the iPhone SE on its India website, but it is not known when it will be available.
The dependable OnePlus 8
As a premium smartphone leader in India, OnePlus showcased its 5G-enabled OnePlus 8 series of smartphones earlier this month. The lineup includes the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro — which have now been made available for pre-booking in India via Amazon. While the company’s official website still shows both the devices as ‘coming soon’, Amazon shows the sale to be scheduled between May 11 and June 30, 2020.
The OnePlus 8 starts at Rs 41,999 for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage variant, the 8GB RAM/128GB storage variant is priced at Rs 44,999. Whereas, the 12GB RAM/256GB storage variant is priced at Rs 49,999. The OnePlus 8 Pro is a bit more expensive, starting at Rs 54,999 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage variant, and at Rs 59,999 for the 12GB RAM/256GB storage variant.
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – the new behemoth of the flagship smartphone from Samsung, launched its flagship series Galaxy S20, which starts at Rs 70,500. The two variants – Galaxy S20 Plus costs Rs 77,900, and the behemoth Galaxy S20 Ultra is priced at Rs 97,900 in India.
Galaxy S20 Ultra features a 6.9-inch QHD+ Infinity O display that comes with 3,200 x 1,444 pixels resolution. On the camera front, it houses a quad-camera setup at the back that includes a 108MP primary camera, 48MP telephoto camera, 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a ToF camera. The smartphone also supports 10X hybrid optical zoom, and a whopping 100X digital zoom called Space Zoom. For selfies, one will get a 40MP punch hole camera on the front.
Galaxy S20 Ultra is equipped with a 5,000 mAh battery. In terms of storage, both 5G and LTE variants will offer 16GB and 12GB RAM options and 128GB and 512GB storage options. The storage space is expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card. The Ultra implements a proper 5G mode that provides full support for mmWave radios that can hit speeds of several gigabytes per second when in the right regions.
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