Your weekly tech guide to the coolest gadgets and accessories

As we approach the end of the year, this week’s column looks back at the coolest smartphones we checked out through 2019. From low-light photography to immersive displays these smartphones didn’t just stand out from the pack but are also 2020 proof with specs that won’t let you down in the new year.  

iPhone 11 Pro: Apple’s premium duo (the 11 Pro and the Pro Max) brought huge improvements to the iPhone camera that we already love. Both these devices are kitted with Apple’s new triple cam and shoot terrific low-light images. The new Night mode  snaps multiple images even as OIS (Optical image stabilisation) steadies the lens. The OLED display gets a brightness boost and packs 458 Pixels per inch. Battery life gets a huge boost with both devices (Rs 99,900 onwards) 

OnePlus 7T: one of the fastest Android flagships out there and is powered by the all-new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor. It’s also the best OnePlus device you can buy. It all starts with the form factor. The 7T is a tad lighter than its predecessor and feels much better in your hand. The 6.55-inch display (1080 x 2400 pixels) on the 7T retains the same 90Hz refresh rate of the 7 Pro. Battery life is solid and thanks to OnePlus’ all-new Warp Charging 30T solution, you can power up your 7T in just under an hour. (Rs 37,999 onwards

Real Me X2 Pro is the newest device that wears the flagship killer badge and makes a serious pitch as one of the most formidable smartphones under Rs 30,000. It certainly has the display to back this claim – a 6.5-inch (2400 x 1080 pixels) Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a first for this price segment. It’s also a hardware powerhouse, propelled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of Internal Memory. And then there’s the robust battery (4000 mAh) with Super VOOC charging that powers your battery from 0 to 100 % in 35 minutes flat. (Rs 29,999)


The OPPO Reno 10X Zoom, opts for a swivel front cam (16MP) – OPPO calls it the shark fin rising selfie cam, that takes the screen: body ratio of its immersive 6.6-inch display to 93%. It’s a good looking device with an iridescent glow that adapts to different lighting conditions. The 4065 mAh battery adds to the device’s heft but keeps it chugging along. True to its name, this device offers 10X zoom capabilities – the rear cam blends three lenses including a 48MP primary lens, a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. (From Rs 39,990 onwards) 

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+: This year Samsung has unleashed a duo of Note devices – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and the Note 10+, the latest chapter in its Note saga. While the Note 10 represents a new approach for the Note series with a slightly smaller footprint, the Note 10+ is the showstopper with its large, 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED screen that packs close to 500 pixels per inch (PPI). The cut-out for the front camera is tinier, while the triple rear cam is augmented by a TOF 3D lens. Note die-hards will dig the latest version of the Note’s trademark S-Pen with its whole new bag of tricks. (Rs 79,999 onwards) 

Google Pixel 3a XL: If photography is your key driver then this is still one of the best smartphone cameras under Rs 40,000. There’s wireless charging neither is this device water resistant and the processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 670, may not be the fastest out there. But if you’re looking for a pure-play version of Android with all the latest updates and a camera that totally aces lowlight with a  battery (3700 mAh) that won’t let you down, then this device deserves your consideration. (Rs 34,999)

Read all about Ashwin’s gadget recommendations from last week here now!