The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE made its debut in the US last year in both, 4G and 5G capable options. The phone was launched in India after a few months and played a critical role in grabbing the premium market, albeit with a slightly pocket-friendly price.
The 5G option of the phone sports a Snapdragon 865 processor, while the 4G one has an Exynos processor. All other specifications of the phone remain the same. While this is true on-paper, many have been disappointed with the Exynos option and the new phone helps bridge the gap.
Its got a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass protection. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 865 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage.
On the rear is a triple-camera setup consisting of a 12-megapixel primary sensor, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. The Galaxy S20 FE 5G is capable of zooming up to 30x and multi-frame night mode. The front has a 32-megapixel selfie camera for selfies.
Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with 25W fast charging. It’s worth noting that the 4G variant comes with 15W fast charging, instead. It runs on OneUI 2.0 out-of-the-box and features an in-display fingerprint scanner for authentication.
The phone is priced at INR 55,999, but you can grab it for just INR 47,999 as an introductory price. It’ll go on sale via Amazon.in, Samsung.com, and other partner stores. Color options include Cloud Navy, Cloud Mint, and Cloud Lavender.
The LG Wing gets a huge price cut, now available for $400
Offer available till stocks last
Last week, LG announced it’ll entirely shut down its mobile division due to rising losses. It’ll stop making new phones, but existing inventory is up for grabs. It seems like the company is earnest about leaving the past behind and has announced a massive discount on the recently launched LG Wing.
The LG Wing has received a massive price cut of almost INR 40,000 (US$ 532). It was launched for INR 69,990 (US$ 931) in October 2020 but will now sell for INR 29,999 (US$ 400) via Flipkart. Only the 8GB+128GB option was launched in India.
While this may be surprising for readers from other markets, LG has previously introduced such radical discounts in India. Even the LG G8X, which launched for INR 70,000 (US$ 931), was soon available for INR 25,990 (US$ 345). It’s still in stock and available for a discounted price. In fact, you can exchange your old phone in return for further discounts of up to INR 16,500 (US$ 220).
LG Mobile intends to close down by July 31 completely. So, the time span available to grab existing inventory is short. Thankfully, a one-year warranty and five-year service for the LG Wing are mentioned, meaning LG intends to keep the spare and service supply chain active for a long time.
It has also confirmed that these recent phones shall receive active software updates for up to three years. So, if you’re thinking of grabbing a niche phone that looks unique, this is your chance.
If it helps, this writer purchased the LG G8X three months ago for a discounted price and it has turned out to be an extremely solid phone. The Dual Screen setup comes in very handy for Zoom calls, reading, and researching. We’re unlikely to see such radical or experimental ideas anytime soon since most companies are now focused on scaling, in turn, moving away from a niche market.
Redmi Note 10 Pro Max review: When great becomes greater
A balanced phone that’s made for everyone
Xiaomi launched the most-awaited Redmi Note 10 Pro Max a few weeks ago in India and it’s now available in many other markets across the world.
The Redmi Note series has been a best-seller for the last couple of years. It has played a pivotal role in getting Xiaomi to the number one position in a competitive market like India. It has also cultivated a solid reputation as a brand, and despite numerous anti-China waves, Xiaomi has remained unaffected.
India is a very price-sensitive market that genuinely testes a company’s supply chain. In fact, phone makers started including a case and screen guard with their phones because the buyer saw immense value in a pre-boxed accessories. This practice was largely unheard of in the West and has only recently gained prominence thanks to Chinese phone makers.
My point is, even a hundred rupee difference, which translates to US$ 1.38, is enough to change the buyers’ minds. The Redmi Note 9 Pro series was a near-perfect phone that quenched our thirst for new phones amid the pandemic. Now, Xiaomi is expected to out-do itself. A cycle it has been through many times, always coming out more powerful than ever.
Does the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max continue the legacy? The phone is INR 2,500 (US$ 35) pricier than the predecessor, slightly venturing out in the midrange segment. Is the base price hike worth it? And Xiaomi’s Mi 10i isn’t far away either. Can the new gadget match its expectations? Let’s find out.
It has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate
The camera bump is massive due to the bigger sensor
But the phone is thinner and has a very premium aesthetic
The attention to detail is closer than usual. And, you can feel the difference in your hands.
The Note series has never looked so beautiful
The new design language is called Evol, and the first thing you’ll notice about the phone is its weight. Despite a massive battery, Xiaomi has managed to cut down the phone’s weight by a whopping 17 grams. And, the phone is also thinner, coming in at 8.1mm instead of 8.8mm. We don’t usually consider numbers in our reviews because they can’t convey the real experience. I’ll make an exception here because the compactness really does change the experience.
When the Note series made its debut, the phones were larger than the usual norm. Now, we’re going slightly in the opposite direction, but in a good way. I got the Vintage Bronze variant, and it has a matte finish on the rear. The Dark Night option is the only one to get a glossy back. I personally prefer the black variant, but there’s no doubt that the golden phone looks very enticing.
The camera bump tries to be the main focal point of the phone, and Xiaomi wants you to fall in love with it. And we don’t blame them. The cameras are one of the phone’s prime features and easily attract attention.
One of my favorite phone elements is the subtle cavity that the back offers to the volume rockers and the fingerprint scanner. It looks very pleasing and adds a touch that’s rarely found in this price segment.
The front and back of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 but the phone isn’t made of metal. The chassis is plastic, and it does an excellent job of trying to be aluminum. Considering the price, I’m not going to crib about a polycarbonate construction. It’s one of the best ways to cut costs, and the end experience remains unhindered.
Streaming, gaming, or reading on an AMOLED display
No matter how good an LCD panel is, you’ll always want an AMOLED. The blacks created by the latter are far more superior and feel natural. The color production is on point, and looking into the screen is always a feast. The best part is, it has a 120Hz refresh rate.
The phone is kept on 60Hz by default, and you can change this from the settings menu. Most importantly, the peak brightness is excellent, and you can see the tiniest of details under direct sunlight. This is a crucial requirement in a hot and sunny country like India, where summers can cross 40 degrees. The phone also gets an IP52 rating for water and dust resistance. So, you’re sorted for the monsoon season as well.
Along with support for HDR10, the display’s color can also be customized as per your liking, ranging from very natural tones to richer, more saturated hues. The punch-hole cut-out is tiny and never distracts you. My key takeaway is, there’s nothing to complain about in the display department, and it’ll be perfect for all types of use.
But… can it game?
Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 732G processor, a top mid-range 4G processor from Qualcomm. Made on the 8nm process, it also powers the POCO X3. It’s more than enough to handle day-to-day tasks, multiple apps, and intensive work.
However, it starts lagging when you throw heavy games like Call of Duty: Mobile. You can feel the phone is struggling to keep up. Genshin Impact was an underwhelming experience, and frame drops are often too common. Considering the on-paper specifications of the phone, I’m confident there’s a lot of space for software-based optimization.
My unit had 8GB RAM, which is supposed to be sufficient. But I did notice something weird — RAM management is unpredictable.
Some heavy apps are loaded without any effort, but basic apps like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter would often require a fresh start. This can get annoying when you’re in the middle of a workday, and the phone struggles to keep up with basic tasks.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a fairly isolated phenomenon, but it does happen at least a handful of times during the day. Again, I’m sure future OTA updates can fix this, and I hope Xiaomi’s working on it at full throttle.
In a nutshell, I wouldn’t recommend this phone to a hardcore gamer. It can game, but you shouldn’t push it to its limits. Smaller games like Pokemon Go, Zombie Gunship, Alto’s Adventure, and Subway Surfers are extremely smooth and never-ending.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max runs on MIUI 12 based on Android 11 out-of-the-box and is filled to the brim with customizations. A lot has been said about the skin and whether you like it or not is a very subjective choice. Although, I did notice lesser notifications from adware like GetApps. The overall experience is far cleaner than before but not as clean as stock Android.
I know this is a flawed comparison, but my point is, Xiaomi is consistently trying to improve the overall experience, and they’re succeeding at it in a way. Bloatware is extremely common now, and instead of marking it as a con, I’d just wish it’s in a controlled manner that doesn’t entirely damage the end-experience.
Is the 108-megapixel camera a gimmick?
Phone makers are in a race to achieve the highest number. Whether it’s the processor benchmarks, camera megapixels, screen-to-body ratio, or even the number of cameras a phone has. In this ongoing race, it’s natural to feel cheated or manipulated. So, how does the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max perform?
Before we proceed, it’s worth pointing out that this phone has a Samsung ISOCELL HM2 sensor, which isn’t the same as the ones found on flagship phones. However, this barely stops the camera from taking stunning images that feel as if they’re indeed from a flagship phone. Thanks to 9-to-1 pixel binning, each pixel is significantly large at 2.1µm.
Pictures during the day are detailed, well saturated, and the auto-exposure is accurate. You may lose some details in varied lighting situations, but this is rarely visible. It tends to struggle slightly in a low-light environment, but that’s expected and isn’t too severe. You can easily zoom up to 2x without any considerable loss, and anything further isn’t recommended. Though, you can just shift to the 108MP mode and collect a lot more information. Honestly, I wouldn’t say the massive megapixels are a gimmick here because it does offer something that nobody else does at this price point.
The wide-angle lens is pretty standard and gets the job done, but it could’ve been better.
Primarily, the pictures often look faded and lack saturation.
And, there’s no dedicated night mode option. So, you’ll be able to use it only during the day.
Surprisingly, the 5-megapixel macro lens gets the most attention on this phone. Xiaomi has finally added a decent sensor that genuinely clicks good pictures and isn’t just sitting there to be a brochure feature. It even offers 2x zoom, and the results are gratifying.
Xiaomi has packed a lot of soft-features like AI Sky Replacement, Clone, and Pro Video modes for casual users. And for the pro-user, there’s the ultimate pro mode. Overall, I can say this phone is Pro Max about photography.
Lastly, can it last a full day on a single charge?
Yes, it can. The AMOLED display really helps push battery life, and you can get even more if you switch to 60Hz. At 120Hz, I’d regularly get a screen-on-time of at least six hours with moderate or usual usage. Go hard on it, and it’ll still last five and a half hours. It managed to get me through the weekdays without having to worry about an electric socket.
The 5020mAh battery takes a little more than an hour to charge fully. 33W fast charging is supported, and the phone ships along with the charging brick. There are better options available, but practically, this is sufficient for pretty much most users.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The answer is simple. Yes. If you’re looking for a phone that can click excellent pictures, work non-stop during the weekdays, entertain you on-the-go, and have a sleek and elegant design, the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max is for you. The Note series was always about making balanced phones that can do anything, and this phone continues that legacy.
It’s actually a crazy phone because who else is providing a 120Hz AMOLED display, a 108-megapixel camera, and top-notch design for a starting price of INR 19,999 (US$ 275)? Nobody. I don’t suggest this phone to gamers because it has a slightly inferior processor, which may constrain you in the future. But that shouldn’t be an issue for most because if you’re looking for gaming specifically, the market is filled with options. The Redmi Note 10 Pro Max was designed for a wider audience.
realme 8 series launches with quad rear camera setup
Powered by Snapdragon 720G
realme launched the realme 8 and realme 8 Pro in India and the duo shall compete against Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 series. After a sabbatical of three months, brands are actively launching new phones to kick-start 2021.
The pair of smartphones has a super slim body and an infinite bold design with the AG-Crystal process. Essentially, the back is made of plastic. The rear of the phone has realme’s slogan “dare to leap” engraved and it’s massive. realme branding takes a back seat, but the brand is targeting the youth with these gaudy designs.
Both the phones have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and an in-display fingerprint scanner. The refresh rate is still 60Hz, but there’s support for always-on display. They run on realme UI 2.o based on Android 11 out-of-the-box.
The realme 8 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 720G processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a 108-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel portrait lens.
Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with 50W fast charging. realme claims it can charge the full battery in 47 minutes.
On the other hand, the realme 8 sports a MediaTek Helio G95 processor with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The rear gets a 64-megapixel primary camera, while the other three sensors are the same as the realme 8 Pro. Both the phones have a 16-megapixel front camera for selfies. Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging.
realme 8 Pro
Colors: Infinite Blue, Infinite Black, Illuminating Yellow
- 6GB+128GB – INR 17,999 (US$ 247)
- 8GB+128GB – INR 19,999(US$ 275)
Colors: Cyber Silver and Cyber Black
- 4GB+128GB – INR 14,999 (US$ 206)
- 6GB+128GB – INR 15,999 (US$ 220)
- 8GB+128GB – INR 16,999 (US$ 234)
The sale starts on March 25 via realme.com, Flipkart, and offline partner stores.
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