The classic definitions of entry level, mid-range and high-end smartphones are passe. These days, better specs do not come with fatter price tags and inexpensive devices do not mean weaker design. Here are two devices that are truly disrupting the market with their mix of performance, style and value — Xiaomi Mi A2 and Honor Play.

Mi A2 sticks with stock Android


The Mi A2 kills two birds with a solid device. One- low-light photography, and two- its commitment to stock Android. Xiaomi got on-board the Android One bandwagon, in association with Google, and wooed worldwide. While most smartphone brands play around with Android to create their own UI with mostly useful, sometimes useless enhancements, a few of them (like Xiaomi) also take stock Android fans seriously. The Mi A2 is a valuable gift to them.

Dual-lens cameras are pretty commonplace these days, but photographs under low-light conditions remains a challenge: Xiaomi’s Mi A2 seems to have cracked the formula. The device comes with three Sony image sensors. An IMX486 + IMX376 configuration for the 12MP + 20MP rear camera and the IMX376 for the 20MP front camera. Both the AI-driven dual cameras and the front camera offer ƒ/1.75 aperture, along with ‘pixel binning’ technology that results in clearer low-light images. The front camera also combines information from four pixels to create one larger, sharper pixel With HDR and a 4500K front selfie light, the Mi A2 has got its camera combo right.

Powered by the Snapdragon 660 flagship processor, with a separate AI engine and quick charge capabilities, the 5.99-inch device comes with a rear fingerprint sensor and a 3010mAh battery. The Mi A2 is available in Black, Gold, Rose Gold and Lake Blue at Rs 16,999 (4GB + 64GB) at, Mi Home stores and at Amazon.

Play bold with Honor


Regular (or not-so-regular) gamers can understand the frustration of frame drops and lags in the middle of their favourite game. While the concept of gaming smartphones is still alien to Indian buyers, there are enough millennials who indulge in occasional gaming on their mobile devices, and most of the times, the CPU performance just doesn’t measure up, especially since the device is doing a whole lot of other things in parallel.

Huawei was one of the first companies that dedicated an entire R&D team to look into effective utilization of compute power and in real-time allocate processor bandwidth depending on a matrix that prioritizes the critical applications. To woo the mobile gaming community, the Honor Play comes with a cool new technology that turbo-charges your device, especially while gaming. Honor claims that, thanks to its GPU Turbo tech, it increases processing by 60%, and the single frame System-on-Chip energy consumption is reduced by 30%. The GPU Turbo tech also minimises jitters and maintains a comfortable frame rate all through. In essence, this is an additional software layer, which records your game frames and stores it so you do not need to render the same frames every time you play them. You simply invoke the older ones and the processor intelligently pastes the new graphic elements on top of the GPU Turbo layer.

Honor Play comes with a separate neural processing unit in addition to Huawei’s trademark Kirin 970 chipset, which accelerates AI capabilities. Its 16 MP+2 MP Dual rear camera backed with AI technology auto-identifies scene types and adjust the camera settings accordingly. The AI-driven algorithms identify 22 objects real time and 500+ scenarios in real time, besides aiding in motion detection.

The phone also leverages AI to create intelligent image galleries by collating your pics and videos, tagging and categorizing them intelligently. With a 6.3-inch screen and powered by a 3750mAh battery, Honor Play is priced at Rs 19,999 (4GB + 64GB) and Rs 23,999 (6GB + 64GB).The devices are currently available exclusively on Amazon.