Moving on from Q1 and Q2, it’s time to look at the phones that shaped the months of July, August and September.
This is the time of the Pocophone F1 – the most read review not just in Q3 but in the entire year. Xiaomi made a seismic stir in the mobile landscape with this one – a Snapdragon 845-equipped phone with infrared face scanning, stereo speakers and a price that puts the OnePlus 6T to shame.
We expected the Pocophone F1 to be riddled with compromises to achieve its cutthroat price but it wasn’t and we can only fidget with anticipation for its successor in 2019.
Xiaomi’s high-note Q2 continues with the Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite – two Android One phones which are still among the more popular in our database. Android One phones bring the promise of fast, secure and up-to-date software directly from Google and the Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite brought Xiaomi’s knack for making great value-for-money hardware to that formula, needless to say both have enjoyed great popularity.
Oppo’s sub-brand Realme delivered its third phone in a year in the Realme 2 Pro, which was an amalgamation of the Realme 1’s performance-for-buck ratio and the Realme 2’s good screen with the inclusion of a sexier body.
Then there was the Nokia 6.1 Plus (Nokia X6 in China) which brought sensible specs and a lovely compact form factor to a reasonable price point. And the Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018) which looked great in person but did little on the specs front to warrant its price over competitors with superior specs, like the Huawei P20 Lite, Moto G6 Plus and Oppo F7.
And finally, we get to the most popular flagship reviews of Q3, behind the Poco F1, the Sony Xperia XZ3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note9.
The Xperia XZ3 was seen by many as an incremental update over the XZ2 due to their shared Snapdragon 845 chipset and camera, but the OLED-wearing XZ3 had an in-person charm the XZ2 couldn’t touch. And that 13MP selfie camera was reason alone for the upgrade, in our minds.
Then there’s the all-you-can-eat jack-of-all-trades beast that was the Samsung Galaxy Note9. It sounds as exciting of an upgrade over the Note8, on paper, as the XZ3 did over the XZ2 but just think about it. This is a phone in 2018 that lacks a notch, has a 3.5mm headphone jack, expandable storage and also a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED, stereo speakers, 4,000mAh battery, a dual camera with the ability to shoot at f/1.5 in lower light and the S Pen. It took 2 months for anyone to come close to that package and some are still unconvinced of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s worthiness over the Galaxy Note9.
Xiaomi’s announcements have been relatively predictable so far, but the introduction of a new Poco
sub-brand was a surprising move. It sounds like a marketing experiment – deliver flagship specs at
cutthroat prices. Sound familiar? Well, it does remind of how OnePlus came to be, but we’re not
sure the new Pocophone F1 is headed in the same direction. Poco is still just a brand, and not a
separate company and they stand on the shoulders of Xiaomi’s logistics and after sales support
The Xiaomi Mi 6X has finally gone global and we have a play date with the international Mi A2. Some
big shoes it has to fill – the Mi A1 was such a well-rounded yet affordable smartphone that it
would regularly feature in our review conclusions as the main alternative for a wide range of
competitors. Can the Mi A2 top that?
Xiaomi wanted to expand its reach beyond its few official markets and it had to do just one thing -
give up on MIUI. It all started with the Mi A1 – Xiaomi’s first Android One smartphone, and now not
one but two sequels are coming to replace it – Mi A2 and Mi A2 Lite. Our Mi A2 review is done, so
today we will be taking the Mi A2 Lite for a spin.
Nokias return to the smartphone market with Android hasnt exactly set the sales charts on fire,
but the company has steadily been making progress, with a constant stream of new and relevant
devices. The latest one we have today is the Nokia 6.1 Plus, an entrant in the ever-popular
Few phones can claim they caused quite as big of a stir as the Xperia XZ3. After Sony dropped its
first curved OLED Xperia, seemingly out of the blue at IFA 2018, reactions have ranged from
overwhelming excitement, through confusion and all the way to denial and anger. That’s a level of
drama typically reserved for soap operas or celebrity gossip and it all spells out one thing – a
massive wave of exposure for Sony.
How time has passed – we’re at nine now. Seven years after the original, the Samsung Galaxy Note9
stands before us. The numbers don’t add up, no, because Samsung chose to skip the 6, and it didn’t
really quite work out splendidly with the Note7. But that’s all in the past and we’re looking
The Realme 1 had performance on the cheap. The Realme 2 had a cool notched screen on the cheap. And
today the Realme 2 Pro combines both – all wrapped in a stunning looking body.
The alluring but always elusive gaming smartphone – many have tried to build it, even Razer, but no
one did it perfectly. Now, Honor is also joining the gaming race but with a new concept. Instead of
greatness, the new Honor Play is pursuing affordability. And that’s a very welcome turn of events.
The OnePlus 6: still a top notch deal? If so, is that despite or maybe even thanks to its top notch?
On the surface, it definitely seems like this is a worthy contender in the flagship realm even
today, with its glass back, minimal bezels, and top of the line internals for 2018.
The Samsung Galaxy A-series are going through a bit of an identity crisis with J-style metal
replacing the glass in the lower end of the lineup. But we already knew that – we had the A6 (2018)
in for review just last month. Now it’s the plus’s turn – the Galaxy A6+ (2018) brings more than
just a bigger display.