Smartphones have revolutionised our life over the years and the latest versions are trying to keep us hooked, making the single device in our hand do an incredible number of tasks. Alvin Thomas gets smart with the price tags, killer looks and fabulous features.
Cheap and Cheerful
It’s hard to ignore OnePlus when talking about success stories in the tech world. It’s an undeniably brilliant tale of rags to riches. But why is it such a hit with the audience? Well, for starters the OnePlus 5 is one of the most affordable devices you can currently lay your hands on. Even better, the specs are tight: you get a 1080p 5.5-inch AMOLED display upfront, and inside is the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. You also have the choice of either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. Buy it for RO200 from souq.com.
Some may say that Finnish giant, Nokia, is coming back to the market all guns blazing with their all-new smartphone. In reality, however, they’re on the back foot. Only a few months ago, Nokia existed only as a Wikipedia page, showing the world of their past achievements. It was a classic story of ‘had it’ and ‘lost it’. Not anymore, though. This time around, the boffins are vying for top spot. The Nokia 8 is crafted in an aluminium chassis, complete with a large 5.3-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen and 13-megapixel ‘Carl-Zeiss’ dual cameras. It’s packing tough internals, too: there’s a powerful Snapdragon 835 chipset and 4 gigs of RAM that will take care of all the thirsty processing. Other features include fast charging, Nokia OZO audio and USB 3.1 connectivity. The phone will be released in Oman later next month, and will cost RO177.
The Right Notes
It may look like a seventh-generation Samsung Galaxy smartphone, but the HTC U11 is definitely beyond its Korean competitor; probably because it’s new. It’s touted as a phone for music enthusiasts due to its excellent speakers (positioned on the top and bottom). They’re loud and clear, and strong enough to cover an entire room. Audiophiles will also love the branded headphones that are bundled with the package. Apart from that, the shell of the U11 is glossy, giving it a very chic touch. The display is 5.5-inches wide, and all the processing power comes from a Snapdragon 835 chipset. I’m still not sure if it is good enough to resurrect the struggling brand, though. Get it for RO330 from amazon.com.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Six-and-a-quarter inches AMOLED touchscreen supporting 4K resolution, a dual 12-megapixel camera that can shoot at 2160p, six gigs of RAM, a waterproof body, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 –these are all features that the best phone in the world currently packs. Yes, folks! Samsung have exploded (figuratively, this time around) back into the tech scene with its all-new Galaxy Note 8. If that wasn’t all, the Koreans also throw in a formidable octa-core Exynos processor, a 3300mAh battery, and that stylus Note phones are well-known for. Needless to say, it’s also quite a looker with that beautifully sculpted curved display. Homina homina; I want. Get it from Lulu Electronics for RO375.
App of the Week
How cool would it be if your phone was also your personal assistant? Those who said Siri (Apple) and Bixby (Samsung), please take a step back, because there’s no beating Alexa when it comes to functionality. It’s great at managing all your devices; even the lighting in your home, the volume on your home theatre, or simply cooling your room with the air conditioner. Of course, you would require the Amazon Echo to do all of that, but it’s really not much of a price to pay. The app will also take your requests for music, set reminders and create shopping lists. Get it for free from Google Play.