From Apple to Samsung and OnePlus to Xiaomi, all major smartphone vendors have introduced new flagship offerings in India in 2021 to appeal to customers looking for an upgrade. Some of the more prominent options include the iPhone 13 series, the Samsung Galaxy S21 family, and the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, among others. A list of new budget options has also entered the market this year to attract the masses. One of the common features that emerged this year – especially in India – was 5G connectivity. Smartphone vendors have also gone for higher refresh rate displays and a few privacy-focused software tweaks.
In this week’s episode of Gadgets 360 Orbital podcast, host Akhil Arora speaks with a team of experts that includes Critics Editor Jamshed Avari, Associate Critics Editor Roydon Cerejo and Reviewer lead Sheldon Pinto to talk about the best phones of 2021 in India. The team is also joined by Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst of the market research and consulting firm techARC.
The year 2021 has seen incremental updates to the smartphone market, with companies like Apple updating their flagships with slight changes. At the same time, some players, including Samsung, have made upgrades to emerging form factors such as foldables to make them more common and useful to consumers.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to see supply chain constraints that have prevented smartphone companies like Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi from adding significant changes to their lines this year. This resulted in downgrades on some fronts and ended up resulting in tradeoffs for customers, especially in budget segments.
Due to the supply crunch to some extent, large companies also have no interest in upgrading their affordable smartphone models, especially those between the price range of Rs. 10,000 to 20,000. This has made last year’s options including the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Redmi Note 10 Pro Max still valid choices for many customers.
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Some brands, including Redmi, Poco, and Realme, have offered 5G phones to budget segments to persuade customers amid supply issues. However, most of these models support the next generation cellular network at the cost of some features or hardware components. It’s also important to note that 5G has yet to be rolled out in India on the telecoms side – the Indian government has yet to set a date for the 5G spectrum to be auctioned.
Companies like Google and Microsoft have also offered models like the Pixel 6 Pro and Surface Duo 2 to take on iPhones and Galaxies around the world. But these new offers did not enter the Indian market.
Promising 2021 smartphones that haven’t been launched in India
Citing internal research, Kawoosa points out that people are spending up to 25% more than they used to buy to upgrade their phones in 2021. He also mentions that better specs and a better experience drive consumers to buy. new phones these days.
Some of the best phones of 2021 include the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, given the value they offer for the prices we’re paying. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is also a promising option if the budget is not limited. Additionally, Samsung’s foldables – the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 – are some of the standout options this year.
We also discuss what to expect next year and what technologies may become mainstream in the months to come.
Main upcoming smartphones to be expected in 2022
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