The best premium phones you can buy in India are categorised as ones that start over Rs. 50,000. But which ones are the best? From iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra on one end to Redmi 9 and Realme C2 at the other, the smartphone market is full of options. You'll get a smartphone for as low as Rs. 4,000 and even as high as Rs. 1,60,000. At the higher end you get flagship phones from the major manufacturers that are positioned as their top-end models, with high-end specifications and premium prices. These phones are claimed to offer the best of the best at the prices they are available. But how good are these phones in reality? And more importantly, which one should be your choice?
On this week's episode of Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital, host Akhil Arora talks with reviewers Roydon Cerejo and Aditya Shenoy to discuss what should be the best premium flagship smartphone to buy in India today.
Phones starting above Rs. 50,000 in the current market are available as the premium options, with top-notch build made of rich materials such as glass and metal and specifications like high-quality AMOLED displays and superior cameras that are brilliant even in low-light conditions. A customer going for such an option expects to get a compelling experience.
Given those prerequisites, you can easily the flagship offerings on your fingertips. For Android fans, there is nothing better than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra that offers not just the best of the Galaxy S-series experience through its excellent display and cameras, but also offers an essence of the Galaxy Note series, thanks to its S Pen support. The Galaxy S21 Ultra starts at Rs. 1,05,999 for the base 12GB RAM + 128GB storage variant and goes up to Rs. 1,16,999 for the 16GB RAM + 512GB storage option.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G Review
For those squarely in the Apple camp, the iPhone 12 is potentially Apple's best pick against the Android army. It offers a large OLED display and significantly better cameras over the iPhone 11 — alongside the top-of-the-line SoC that is also powering the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 also has video camera capabilities including Dolby Vision recording that delivers unlike most of its Android counterparts.
The iPhone 12 starts at Rs. 79,900 for the base 64GB variant and goes up to Rs. 94,900 for the 256GB option. But If money isn't a matter of concern, you can get an even better experience and a bigger display by getting the iPhone 12 Pro Max. This comes with a starting price of Rs. 1,29,900 for the 128GB storage variant and goes up to Rs. 1,59,900 for the top-end 512GB model.
iPhone 12 Review
That said, there are flagships out there that offer all these features but at nearly half the price. Xiaomi has the Mi 11 Ultra, which seems modelled on the Galaxy S21 Ultra — and goes beyond with a secondary display and up to 67W wired and wireless charging (using a separate charger). The Mi 11 Ultra starts at a price of Rs. 69,999.
Mi 11 Ultra Review: A Leap of Faith
OnePlus also has its OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro models in the premium segment to take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12. One of the biggest advantages of the new OnePlus flagships over the competition is the new 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 camera sensor that has an ultra-wide angle Freeform lens on top. It helps enhance photos and videos.
While the OnePlus 9 starts at Rs. 49,999, the OnePlus 9 Pro carries an initial price of Rs. 64,999.
OnePlus 9 Pro Review: Aiming for the Moon
Apart from the key players, the premium smartphone market has the likes of Asus ROG Phone 5 to meet specific requirements, in this case, mobile gaming.
In the second half of 2021, we will be treated to new Google Pixel flagships — the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro — though it's unclear if they will come to India. As well as the iPhone 13 series, like clockwork in late 2021. We talk about all this and much more around premium flagship phones.
You can listen to the full Orbital episode on flagship phones by hitting the play button on the Spotify player above. You can also follow the Gadgets 360 podcast on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate us and leave a review.
New Orbital episodes release every Friday, so make sure to tune in regularly.