If you’re looking to upgrade to a new smartphone this Diwali and cost is not an issue, the list of choices will either lie on the Apple iOS side or with top range of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. Sadly Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL can’t join this Diwali list yet, because these will go on sale from November 1 and November 15 respectively. Apple iPhone X buyers will also have to wait till November 3.
So what are the premium options to consider this Diwali season? Users will notice that both Amazon and Flipkart are offering discounts on various phones, across the board with similar pricing strategies. Amazon’s Great Indian Festival Sale is on and Flipkart is competing with Diwali Dhamaka Days. So yes, right now makes more sense to pick up a premium smartphone, because post Diwali many of these discounts could disappear. Here’s a look at the top picks.
Yes, admittedly there is not much of a difference in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus series. Remove the glass back and the phones look exactly like their previous version. Also Apple has limited these to just three colours now: Silver, Space Grey and Gold. There’s no jet black this time, though Space Grey comes close. Also the storage options are limited to just two: 64GB and 128GB.
For users on Apple iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 series or iPhone 5s, the upgrade to the Apple iPhone 8 is not a bad idea, unless of course one wants to wait around for the Apple iPhone X (Ten), which is offering something drastically different.
Amazon currently has Apple iPhone 8 with 64GB listed at Rs 59,999, which is nearly Rs 4000 discount on the launch price of Rs 64,000. Apple iPhone 8 Plus with the dual rear camera has a price of Rs 69,985, down from the original price of Rs 73,000. Flipkart has a similar pricing for the iPhone 8 with 64GB storage along with further discounts if you’re exchanging this for another iPhone.
Apple iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus might not seem like a generational leap, but if you don’t care for the iPhone X (Ten)’s pricing, these are very capable phones. Also the A11 Bionic chip means a considerable improvement in performance. Plus iPhone 8 Plus has a dual rear camera with Portrait Lighting mode (beta) supported as well. The iPhone 7 Plus does not have this feature. These phones support wireless charging also, but Apple is not adding this charger for free.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
If you love the stylus and don’t mind a bulky 6.3-inch display, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is a gorgeous smartphone to get. The 6GB RAM and 64GB variant is priced at Rs 67,900 on Amazon India and the Samsung store. There’s Rs 4000 cashback on HDFC debit, credit card usage. Samsung will also give buyers a free wireless charger to users, though they have to claim this separately after purchasing the smartphone.
The Note 8 has a stylus, which no other premium phone in the market offers along with a Infinity Display 18:9 aspect ratio display. The phone also has dual rear cameras with 12MP and 12MP with dual OIS as well.
HTC U11 might not have the 18:9 display like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 series or the iPhone X, but it offer an excellent camera on board, probably one of the best in the list. The premium smartphone is also cheaper compared to the other options in the list at Rs 51,990 and comes with a 5.5-inch QHD+ display, 6GB RAM and 128GB on board storage, which is more than the base iPhone 8 and the Note 8.
Another unique feature is the ‘Edge Sense’ which will let users interact with their phones by squeezing this. The highlight of HTC U11 is definitely the camera, and the overall performance is keeping in line with flagship devices.
Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+
Don’t want the giant Note 8 and think dual cameras are over-rated? Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ are still very good options to consider in the market with their Infinity Display, 12MP rear camera and the Exynos 8895 processor. The official Samsung store has listed some discounts on the pricing of the S8 series.
The smaller 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 has priced of Rs 53,900 now and the bigger 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+ is priced at Rs 60,900. These devices are listed officially on the Samsung estore with the discounted pricing. This pricing is for the 64GB and 4GB RAM version. These particular Android phones might be a bit dated, but discount means they are still good options to consider for Diwali.
Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus
These iPhones might be one year old now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t perform well or won’t get regular support from Apple. Apple iPhone 7 with 32GB is retailing at Rs 39,999 on Flipkart and Amazon India, which is an excellent deal if one considers the overall value. The 12MP rear camera is still one of the best in the business and performance is not a problem.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus with the dual rear cameras is a pricier proposition and retailing at Rs 60,999 on Amazon India for 128GB storage. Again considering the storage on board along with the camera features the iPhone 7 Plus offers, this is a good discounted price. Flipkart has phone on a discounted price of Rs 61,999 with another Rs 15,300 off on exchange.
What about Apple iPhone X and Google Pixel 2?
Both these phones come to India after Diwali and it is unlikely that either Apple iPhone X or Google Pixel 2 will launch with some discounts. The companies could offer cashback, buyback offers but none of that has been confirmed for now.
The iPhone X is for those Apple fans who want something new, are bored of the old design and have Rs 89,000 plus to spare. Apple iPhone X launches in India on November 3 and pre-bookings will open from October 27. The highest variant of this phone is costing Rs 102,000 in India. iPhone X offers features like Face ID, a bigger, OLED display, improved AR features and more.
Now coming to the Google Pixel 2, this phone will come to India on November 1. The bigger Pixel 2 XL, which has the full vision display, will launch after the iPhone X and only be made available from November 15. The highlight is once again the camera and if one really want this, the prepare to wait. Google Pixel 2 starts at Rs 61,000 for 64GB and Rs 70,000 for the 128GB version. Pixel 2 XL starts at an even higher Rs 73,000 for 64GB and Rs 82,000 for 128GB. So yes, the Pixel phones continue with their ”premium’ price tag.