Diwali is upon us and in the lead up to the festival of light, many people clean, renovate, bring new things to their home and even gift their loved ones some thoughtful gifts.
So, what's better than a mobile phone, which makes the family and friends even closer? There are lots and lots of them in the market and given the current Diwali festival promotional campaign running online and on brick-and-mortar stores, it's an arduous task to find the perfect model.
We have sifted through multiple platforms and even tested several phones, to help you make an informed decision. We have listed a top five entry-level phones, which not only come with a good set for features and also not put a hole in your pocket. Here it goes:
Xiaomi Redmi 6 series: Prices start at—Rs 5,999
Xiaomi Redmi 6 series comes in three variants— a low-end Redmi 6A, a generic Redmi 6 (review) and the top-end Redmi 6 Pro (review). All the models are top-notch phones in their respective price range. I have spent considerable time with all the Redmi 6 series phones and it is worth every penny.
The Redmi 6 and the 6A sports sturdy shell with a metallic finish on the back and on the front, it flaunts 5.45-inch HD+ (1440x720p) screen with 18:9 display aspect ratio, offering cinematic viewing experience.
Inside, the Redmi 6 houses a MediaTek Helio P22 octa-core processor, Android Oreo-based MIUI 9.5, 3GB/4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage, a 12MP+5MP dual camera with Bokeh blur feature, a 5MP front camera with face unlock, fingerprint sensor and a 3,000mAh battery.
The Redmi 6A comes with a MediaTek Helio A22 quad-core processor, Android Oreo-based MIUI 9.5 OS, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, a 13MP single camera on the back and a 5MP sensor with face unlock and a 3,000mAh. It can be noted that Xiaomi is betting big on face recognition technology in the Redmi 6A, as it left out the finger scanner.
Both Redmi 6 series models come with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered smart camera applications to offer Bokeh blur effect, face mask, age detection, editing tools including Beautify for front snapper. It offers options to adjust skin tone, erase scar and is worthy to be posted on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram among others.
On the other hand, the Redmi 6 Pro sports a 5.84-inch full HD+ screen with a notch on top, which houses 5MP front camera with face unlock capability. On the rear side, it features vertically aligned dual-cameras and a fingerprint sensor in the centre.
Under the hood, it comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core, 3GB/4GB storage, 32GB/64GB storage and a 4,000mAh battery, which is more than enough to last a whole day under mixed usage.
The USP of the Redmi 6 Pro is its camera hardware. It comes with a 12MP+5MP dual camera with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Portrait and AI scene detection feature. With this, the phone will be capable of detecting different possible scenarios such as pets, flowers, human face, landscape, snowy conditions, night, food and more.
For instance, if you are pointing the Redmi 6 Pro camera to a garden, it will intuitively know you are taking a picture of a flower and adjusts the camera's focus and other settings to get the best possible image. Or if you are taking the photo outdoors, it will automatically set the camera mode to landscape and cover a wider area in the single frame.
On the front, Redmi 6 Pro also features an equally impressive 5MP front camera with AI Portrait, wherein despite having just one lens, it can take selfies with Bokeh blur effect. It allows users to adjust the focus on the background and foreground, which suits best to make it look appealing.
Honor 9N: Prices start at—Rs 9,999
Honor 9N (review) sports a 5.84-inch full HD+ screen with iPhone X-like notch design having a 19:9 aspect ratio. Inside, it features Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin 659 octa-core CPU, 3GB/4GB RAM, a 13MP+2MP dual primary camera with Bokeh blur effect capability, a 16MP front camera and a 3,00mAh battery, which is more than enough for the phone to work for a full day.
It also boasts Face unlock in addition to the Fingerprint sensor on the back. It comes with visually appealing colour options--Lavender Purple, Robin Egg Blue, Sapphire Blue and Midnight Black.
Asus Zenfone Max M1: Price starts at Rs 7,499 (for a limited period; MRP- 8,999)
The Zenfone Max M1 sports a 5.45-inch HD+ FullView screen and a sturdy polycarbonate body with a metallic finish on the back.
Inside, it houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor, impressive 3GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable) and a 4,000mAh battery, which is more than enough to keep the phone running for a more than a day.
As far as the photography hardware is concerned, it comes with a 13MP primary camera with LED flash and a 5MP front snapper with dedicated light support for low-light selfies.
I have used the Zenfone Max M1 (review) for more than a week and have to say, I am mighty impressed with the battery life and also the gorgeous design language.
Tecno Camon iAir 2+: Price- Rs 8,999
It comes with a visually appealing body arc curvature design and fluidic design at corners and a premium glass finish at back. It sports a 6.2-inch HD+ 19:9 super Full View Notch Display, which has 88% screen to body ratio thus guaranteeing cinematic viewing experience, be it watching movies, TV series or playing games with immersive effect.
The highlight of the CAMON iAir2+ is the photography hardware. It boasts a dual rear camera-- 13MP main shooter+ 2MP secondary snapper. It is backed by an advanced AI-based Auto Scene Detection (ASD)-based on a software algorithm that can automatically detect the light conditions such as low light, sunlight etc and accordingly adjust the brightness and contrast ratio to ensure that the user gets the best image output in any outdoor environment, the company claims.
On the front, it houses an 8MP AI selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture, front flash and 4-in-1 big pixels. Its 4-in-1-pixel technology merges 4 pixels into one pixel, which helps in capturing more light for better quality selfies, no matter what kind of scenes and light conditions you are in.
Furthermore, the device comes with AI beauty algorithm that scans up to 255 facial points to create a more detailed and beautiful selfie. It also comes with AI Bokeh mode that blurs the background to make the subject stand out.
Other stipulated features include 2.0GHz Mediatek Helio A22 quad-core CPU, 660MHz IMG GE8300 GPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable via microSD) and a massive 3,750mAh battery, more than enough to keep the phone running for a whole day.
Xiaomi Redmi Y2: Price starts at- Rs 10,490
The USP of the Redmi Y2 is its camera hardware. It boasts feature-rich 16MP front camera with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered Beautify 4.0. Also, when Auto HDR is enabled, the 16MP front camera can automatically detect a back-light environment and applies HDR effect.
Another notable aspect of the device is the Selfie-light. It mimics natural light, allowing catchlights in the eyes (Red-eye) to be captured, which makes for great portrait photos, the company claims.
The camera also supports AI Bokeh that effectively distinguishes the subject from the background, even correctly identifying elements such as hair accessories and popular hand gestures as being part of the subject.
In low-light conditions, the sensor in the 16MP camera uses pixel binning technique to combine information from four pixels and create one large 2.0µm pixel. This greatly improves the resulting picture quality, producing clearer and brighter photos in low light with less noise. Another addition to its low-light repertoire is the Selfie-light, which produces a 4500K colour temperature making it easier to take selfies in low-light conditions, the company said.
On the back, the Redmi Y2 (review) comes with a 12MP + 5MP AI dual camera. The 12MP primary sensor has 1.25µm large pixels, which guarantees brighter images in low light conditions. The 5MP secondary sensor is dedicated to acquiring depth information, producing photos with great bokeh effects.
In Portrait Mode, both the front and back cameras support AI Beautify. AI Beautify 4.0 is designed keeping in mind specific needs of users in India, and can detect elements such as makeup, beards, nose rings, etc. and keep them intact (besides popular selfie facial expressions).
Other stipulated specifications include 5.99-inch HD+ screen with 2.5D curved glass, Android Oreo 8.1-based MIUI 9.5, Face Unlock feature, fingerprint sensor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, 3GB RAM/4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB storage and a 3,080mAh battery, which is enough to keep the phone running for a whole day under mixed usage.
It can be noted that all the aforementioned devices are available with lucrative discount offers and exchange deals on brick-and-mortar and e-commerce sites. So readers are advised to check them while finalising the phone you want to buy.
Infinix Note 5 Android One:
It is one of the most visually appealing phones in the budget segment. It flaunts glossy glass cover on the back and sports a 5.99-inch full HD+ (2160x1080p) FullView screen on the front.
Its interface is clean with no extra layer of confusing interface like we see in the rival brand. It is easier to find any feature be it in the settings or to locate apps, as Infinix Note 5 Android One doesn't come with any pre-loaded unnecessary third-party apps. It currently runs Android 8.1 Oreo and will soon get the Google's latest Android Pie update in coming months.
It also boasts it comes with a 12MP sensor with 1.25µm pixel size, LED flash on the back and a 16MP selfie camera with a dedicated LED flash of its own.
Infinix Note 5 comes packed with MediaTek Helio P23 octa-core CPU with a 3GB RAM, 32GB storage and a massive 4,500mAh battery, which is more than enough to keep the phone running for close to two days under mixed usage.