Realme U1: Say hello to the new Helio
Realme is a brand that follows the 'design first' philosophy. The think tank of the company believes that it is design of a smartphone that makes consumers explore new brands, and once they see performance matching up to design at a compelling price point, they get hooked on to the brand. After launching the Realme 2 Pro recently, the company ends the year with a new range of devices, in a mix of golden yellow and gray. The first offering in the U series is the Realme U1, the world's first device powered by the MediaTek Helio P70 AI processor. The U series is targeted at the photography expert and hence comes with a range of innovations for better image and video performance. The P70 processor is inherently designed for better camera quality, thermal performance and AI enhancements.
The U1 has 25MP front camera featuring the Sony IMX 576 sensor. Realme has incorporated a variety of India-specific image enhancements including a group selfie mode, and an algorithm specifically understand and interpret Indian skin tones, eye and hair detailing, without artificial whitening, slimming and unnecessary tampering. The U1 also comes with a 13MP + 2MP rear camera setup with depth-of-field enhancements and slo-mo videos. The dewdrop notch cutely compliments the 6.3-inch screen and the device is available in blue, black and gold. Priced at Rs 11,999 (3GB + 32GB) and Rs 14,499 (4GB + 64GB), the Realme U1 offers a combo of cool design and powerful processor at a compelling price point.
Redmi Note 6 Pro: 'Light' hearted
Adjustable bokeh, studio lighting and light trails. These are the three biggest imaging innovations in the newly launched Redmi Note 6 Pro. Of these, the first lets you adjust the magnitude of background blurring after you have taken the shot, while studio lighting allows you to apply 6 unique lighting effects to your portrait shots. Another interesting feature in the Note 6 Pro is Wi-Fi Passthrough; this essentially means your device acts as a repeater for your hotel or home Wi-Fi. Multiple devices can now latch on to the network thanks to your phone. Xiaomi, usually comes up with small, yet useful India-centric applications. This time, it is rust protection in the headphone jack and the charging port. In humid Indian conditions, users complained of exposed metallic components rusting. The Note 6 Pro uses a special paint coating to solve this problem. Another innovation for India is the customized power adapter that that can withstand power surges of up to 380 volts. With a 20MP + 2MP dual selfie camera with portrait selfie capabilities, the Note 6 Pro also features a 12MP + 5MP dual back camera with large pixels. The 6.26-inch device runs on the Snapdragon 636 processor, powered by a 4000mAh battery. Priced at Rs 13,999 (4GB + 64GB) and Rs 15,999 (6GB + 64GB), the Redmi Note 6 Pro is a notable upgrade to previous versions and gives other budget-range contenders a run for their money.
Honor 8C: AI love You!
Honor smartphones from the house of Huawei are tailored to Indian interests and usage conditions. Their latest release — the Honor 8C, is the world's first device powered by the Snapdragon 632 processor, and comes in a 13MP + 2MP AI rear dual camera combination and a relatively small notch that is able to house the camera lens, the earpiece and multiple sensors The 8MP front camera offers soft selfie toning light, which is a refreshing change from loud and bright flash blasts. Here, it is a gentle white floodlight that brings out your true colours.
With its 4000mAh AI-optimized battery, the phone promises 2 full days of charge at moderate usage. The real power of AI in this device can be seen on its camera that can recreate original skin tones, even in low light conditions, while the f1.8 aperture makes for clear and sharp pictures.
The Honor 8C is one of the few phones that comes with the TUV certification for display, and is easy on the eye, even if you continuously stare at it while gaming for extended periods of time. The 8C features a Simple Mode, which can be used if you are tired of screen clutter and the never-ending trail of mini icons and application logos. This mode drastically simplifies the UI and makes the font sizes larger, making for easier viewing, especially for senior citizens. To round off the AI muscle, the 8C has an AI Shopping mode that lets you point at say a handbag or a pair of shoes, and it automatically pulls up online stores from where you can buy it. If AI applications like these interest you, with impressive camera features, the 8C is a good bargain at Rs 11,999 (4GB + 32GB) and Rs 12,999 (4GB + 64GB).