Flagships, flagships everywhere, which one to buy?
With the release of its S8 family of smartphones, Samsung has now once again joined the flagship race. The Chinese company Xiaomi, too, was quick to join those in the running with the release of the Mi 6 at its home ground.
It becomes a very interesting trio when you add last year’s ‘flagship killer’ and arguably one of the best mid-range ones out in the market currently – the OnePlus 3T.
But. As you would have noticed, each of the three ‘Flagship’ phones cater to different price segments. Let’s compare the best flagship experience you can buy across different budgets.
On the outside this is what they appear to be:
|Model||Samsung Galaxy S8+||Xiaomi Mi 6||OnePlus 3T|
|Display||6.2-inch Quad HD+ (2960 × 1440 pixels), AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 5, HDR 10||5.15 Inch, Full HD, four-sided 3D glass||5.5-Inch, Full HD, AMOLED Display|
|Processor||Octa-Core Samsung Exynos 9 Series 8895 processor||2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor, Adreno 540||2.35GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 821 SoC, Adreno 530 GPU|
|RAM||4GB LPDDR4||6GB LPDDR4||6GB LPDDR4|
|Internal Storage||64GB||128GB||64GB UFS 2.0, 128GB UFS 2.0|
|Base Software||Android Nougat||Android Nougat-based MIUI 8||Android Marshmallow based oxygen OS|
|Primary Camera||12MP Dual Pixel rear camera with LED Flash, f/1.7 aperture||12MP wide-angle lens (4-axis OIS) + 12MP telephoto lens||16MP 1/2.8″ Sony IMX 298 Sensor sensor, OIS, LED Flash, PDAF, 4K video recording|
|Secondary Camera||8MP, F/1.7 aperture||8MP front camera||16 Megapixel Samsung 3P8SP with f/2.0 Aperture, 1.0 microns Pixels|
|Dimensions and Weight||159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm and 173 grams||145.2 x 70.5 x 7.5 mm and 162grams||152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm and 158grams|
|Battery||3,500 mAh, fast charging||3,350 mAh, fast charging||3400 mAh, Dash fast charging, USB type C|
|Others||4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack, Iris scanner, NFC, Fingerprint sensor, OTG||Dual SIM, 4G VoLTE and VoLTE, Fingerprint sensor, NFC, USB OTG, Bluetooth||Dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, Fingerprint Sensor, NFC, OTG, Bluetooth|
|Starting Price||Rs. 64,900||CNY 2,899 (roughly Rs. 27,000)/CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 28,000) – Ceramic variant||29,999 INR/ 34,999 INR|
We set course to find out who would emerge as the numero uno out of the three and these are the things we noticed.
Going by size and size alone, the Samsung S8+ takes the cake here. But, life is not so easy, is it?
The three indeed have powerful displays to boast of, with the S8+ standing the tallest at 6.2-inch (qHD+ AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 5, HDR 10) and Mi 6 with the smallest 5.15-inch (Full HD, four-sided 3D glass).
OnePlus’ 3T (5.5-inch Full HD, AMOLED) treads the middle path here, although there have been a few credibility concerns in the past.
Safe to say, in this department at least, all three of them are up to the test and are best left to you choices, preferences and of course, monetary situation.
If you’re presenting a device as your flagship, you have got to ensure that is a top-notch performer and the three companies do not comprise one bit on that front.
All of the handsets exude power and are surely deserving of their position at the top of the smartphone stratum.
Being the senior most here (launched a good 6 months before the other two), the OnePlus 3T’s Snapdragon 821 chipset ranks second (earlier number one) in the list of powerful processors, but that is more an effect of time and advancement over anything else.
Having been brought out into the market later than the former, the other two sport a still more powerful processor each, offering a performance on par with each other, and thus sharing the top spot here.
We won’t be kidding when we say that the triplet totally justifies the price range each of them caters to.
By now it is a known fact that OnePlus 3T has one of the best cameras in its price range, providing crisp and well-detailed images, even in low light. The camera app, which has features like dynamic de-noise and Auto HDR return, takes help from the phone’s mammoth 6GB RAM to increase its responsiveness (at least that is what the company says).
For the Mi 6, Xiaomi has chosen a dual camera setup at the back which has (amongst other features), a 2x lossless zoom. The company has chosen to incorporate a combination of a telephoto lens and a wide-angle lens rather than going the conventional way (RGB + monochrome) following the iPhone 7 Plus’ lead.
Similar to the other two, the S8+’s optical report also reads excellently. Samsung, trying to eclipse the brilliant camera benchmarks that the S7 set, has chosen for two dual-pixel sensors on the camera unit, which has a rapid focus as well as increased low light performance.
Another very important and useful update is for the front camera, which comes loaded with an autofocus feature. More or less, the S8+ has pretty much the same camera as its predecessor, only with improved features (we ain’t complaining, though).
For some, visual appeal is everything, irrespective of what lies inside. The companies do seem to have kept that in mind for all the three phones. However, the S8+, in particular, took to our liking.
The so-called infinity display just looks too good and so does the ‘not so there, but still there’ home button. Add in an edge to edge display and subtle curves on the side and you have a near-perfect design in your hands. So that’s that.
In the design face-off the OnePlus 3T too stands its ground and does so, pretty firmly. The design is sturdy enough and still does not feel the need to compromise on the looks factor. In addition to its several achievements, it is also one of the most good-looking smartphones currently out in the market.
From our side, the Mi 6 receives thumbs up for its design. It has a different design than the rest of its colleagues at Xiaomi that features a four-sided curved glass, which also hides its fingerprint sensor underneath. That the phone would be available in as many as 11 colors is an added bonus.
When it first came out, the 3T’s dash charging very quickly became the talk of the town and deservedly so, for it is really effective and feeds your phone in a very quick time.
The S8+, on the other hand, comes in with a wireless charging facility which, apart from being super fast, would also save you from the hassle of tugging along a cord everywhere.
The Mi 6 shuns all of this but retains the fast-charging persona, known to be pretty fast and effective at that. It will be really interesting to see how well it bodes.
What works for Samsung Galaxy S8+
- Infinity display makes it look stunning
- Best camera out of the three
- Samsung Pay support
What works for OnePlus 3T
- Light software, speedy updates
- Fast fingerprint sensor on the front
- It’s metal body is relatively more durable
What works for Xiaomi Mi 6
- Invisible fingerprint sensor on the front
- This one comes with stereo speakers
- Least expensive