10K is the new 20K! Till a few months back, mid-range phones were priced anything between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000 depending on specs. Entry level devices were just functional. 2019 has toppled this philosophy. This summer, at least 6 devices have been launched at the new sweet spot around Rs. 10,000, and each boasts of specs and performance akin to mid-range phones. The two latest to woo this sweet spot are the Oppo A1K and the Nokia 4.2. We check them out:
Oppo A1K: Jewel in the crown
When we say jewel in the crown, we mean it literally. At the back panel of the Oppo A1K, the camera and flash module are accentuated by a golden ring (in the black variant) or a silver ring (in the red variant), making it look like a bejewelled crown at the top left of the device. The same golden or silver hues are used for the brand logo as well, making the device look classy. The 6.1 inches device comes with a so-called "waterdrop" screen tastefully flowing as part of the overall front design. The A1K is light and cosy to hold, in spite of a hefty 4000 mAh battery. The device comes with 8 MP rear and 5 MP front cameras. The rear camera has anti-vibration technology while the selfie camera churns out smooth bokeh.
Powered by the MediaTek 6762 CPU, the Oppo UI -- Color OS -- gives you an option to access the Oppo Cloud service, as well as the smart assistant that lets you toggle between modes such as riding and driving. Overall, the A1K is a good package with minimalist but sophisticated design as well as an impressive mix of specs. At Rs. 8490 (2 GB + 32 GB), Oppo has hit a sixer this time around.
Nokia 4.2: Vanilla with nuts on top
Vanilla because it is one of the finest Android One devices this year, and nuts because of the Nordic engineering, design and spec mix. The Nokia 4.2 is the first device to premiere a separate button to access Google Assistant: A single click to access the assistant, double click to receive a virtual snapshot of your day with AI-driven suggestions, and long press to activates a 'walkie-talkie mode' that lets you provide long sentence voice commands.
Design-wise, like most Nokia devices, the 4.2 comes with glass on the front and back. This time, Nokia has chosen to go with a sculpted design, where the rear panel is tastefully aligned with all the buttons and the brand logo. The camera lenses are placed one below the other, followed by the AI-enabled biometric fingerprint sensor, followed by the logo. Being just 8.4mm thick makes it easy to operate with one hand. Powered by a 3000 mAh battery, the Nokia 4.2 comes in a 13 MP + 2 MP dual rear camera and an 8 MP selfie camera. Both leverage machine learning and AI algorithms for sharpness, depth sensing, integration with Google Lens, and superior Bokeh performance. Powered by the Snapdragon 439 mobile platform, the device borrows from Qualcomm as well as Google to create one of the finest AI smart phones in its range. Being part of the Android One program, users are guaranteed a pure Android experience as well as updates to the next two Android versions. All of this at Rs. 10,990 makes the Nokia 4.2 (3 GB + 32 GB) a device that should redefine the 10K market in India.