Tribune Take: 7 smartphones that made their mark in 2018

Published: December 29, 2018


As the year comes to a close, the yearly scramble for smartphone devices continues. This year we came up with the top devices that made its rank this year.

Some of them carried on maintaining their existing market position while others were seen as breakthrough devices.

Qualcomm unveils new chip to power 5G smartphones


Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Amid tough competition between high-end smartphone makers, every single detail seems to make a difference. Chinese giant Huawei managed to understand this dynamic and started to focus on getting the subtle differences correct.

The Mate 20 Pro is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 980 Octa-core processor with 6GB RAM, a 4,200 mAh battery, 128 GB Internal storage and a 6.39-inch 1440 x 3120 OLED display.

In terms of cameras, the device is equipped with three rear cameras arranged in a square formation along with a 24 MP front camera. It has a wireless charging option, a USB-C port along with a pre-programmed Android 9 Pie operating system.

Priced between Rs 140,000 to 150,000, the device charged more than 50% in half an hour making the 4,200 mAh battery pretty reliable.

Google Pixel 3

The Google Pixel 3 third generation smartphones are seen on display after a news conference in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Google in October unveiled the third edition of its Pixel smartphone.

The Pixel 3, priced at $799, and a larger Pixel 3 XL, priced at $899, mark Google’s latest entries for a phone lineup it hopes will someday be as popular as Apple’s iPhone. The device features 5.5″ display with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels and runs on Android v9.0 (Pie) operating system. It is powered by an Octa-core Kryo 385 processor along with 4 GB of RAM

Expanding geographic distribution should provide a small boost to the Pixel line-up. The Pixel 3 launched in 10 countries, up from six for the Pixel 2 a year ago. New additions include France, Ireland, Japan, and Taiwan.

Oppo F9

Oppo F9

Although not as high-end as the other devices in the list, the OPPO F9 certainly made a mark in Pakistan’s diverse smartphone market.

The smartphone comes with a rapid flash charging technology ‘VOOC Flash Charge’ that gives a 2-hour talk time with only 5 minutes of charging. The phone has a 6.30-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2340 pixels powered by 2 GHz octa-core processor. It also comes with 4GB of RAM.

Razer Phone 2

Razer Phone 2

Priced at $799, Gaming company launched the Razer Phone which has the Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU, HDR content support, Chroma lighting and a new Razer vapor chamber cooling system that renders a 30 per cent performance increase from its predecessor.

The device attracts a certain niche gaming market as its core base.

OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T smartphone launched priced at $549 with a Snapdragon 845 processor, Adreno 630 GPU and 6GB RAM.

OnePlus is unusual among Chinese tech companies, which typically focus on mass-market products for domestic customers. OnePlus, by contrast, only sells premium phones that cost $400 or more and almost exclusively online except in India. It derives two-thirds of its revenue from outside China and is the top seller of premium smartphones in India.


Apple iPhone XS Max

Apple released a trio of new phones in September, including an update on last year’s iPhone X, called the iPhone XS, that starts at $999, and the budget-minded iPhone XR that starts at $749. But it was the iPhone XS Max – with a 6.5-inch OLED display – that pushed new pricing boundaries, starting at $1,099.

Avi Greengart from research firm GlobalData predicted the iPhone XS Max would “sell very, very well,” adding: “Even at $1099, the size/user experience differentiation is clear.”

Samsung Note 9

The new Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is seen during a product launch event in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., August 9, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Packed with a 1.7 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, the Note 9 Phabletd has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, 6GB/ 8GB RAM, 128/ 512 GB internal storage along with external storage up to 2 TB.

In terms of screen resolution, the device has 1440 by 2960 pixels display with 516 PPI pixel density, 4000 mah battery, 12MP rear cameras along with an 8MP front camera, headphone jack, USB-C charging system and of course the S-Pen.

Powerful specs are a new constant for all flagship devices. For Note 9, it’s the intricate details of how the specs work – the Snapdragon chip, AR usage, S-pen enhancements, gaming experiences – that make it an attractive phone to buy.

Till Samsung come up with radical changes next year, Note 9 brings together everything available out there quite effectively.

Microsoft’s stock market value pulls ahead of Apple’s

As 2019 is fast approaching, the new year is expected to be dominated by the launch of 5G devices.

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