Anyone would agree that buying a new flagship has become a bit confusing in 2019. There are too many flagships to choose from and there are more brands offering high-end phones. Add to that the exuberant prices of flagship phones in the name of incremental changes that only matter to a few people, leaving other people paying more for the phone’s features that they will never use.
The good news for users is that there are old flagships available in the market that offer respectable cameras that do a fine job and reasonable performance at half the cost of a new high-end phone released this year. These are not mid-range smartphones, rather flagship phones that were released two or three years ago. For example, the iPhone 7 is as good as any smartphone except it lacks multiple cameras and FaceID. Alternatively, try picking up the Galaxy S9 which has a curved glass design and snappy performance.
In short, the companies that are charging $1000 for the iPhone 11 Pro and Galaxy Note 10+ do offer affordable options. Here’s a guide to some of the best old generation flagships under Rs 30,000.
Apple iPhone 7
Despite being launched in 2016, Apple’s iPhone 7 continues to be a great choice for cost-conscious consumers. Yes, it has a smaller 4.7-inch screen and the design looks a bit traditional but the iPhone 7 is still a very capable smartphone which starts at Rs 29,900. With the A10 chipset, the phone has the guts to run any graphics-intensive games; plus, Apple continues to support the iPhone 7, so you get the latest version of iOS. It still supports the App store, has the old fashioned home button and Touch ID, and a single camera that takes great photos. If you are ready to settle with a phone that has 32GB storage, I don’t think the iPhone 7 will trouble you. Read our review of the iPhone 7 here.
Samsung Galaxy S9
Pay attention to the Galaxy S9: a flagship of the past that is still a great buy – especially at Rs 29,999. And it looks every bit like a modern smartphone, obviously. You get a vivid 5.8-inch Super AMOLED curved screen, wireless charging, water and dust resistance, and, yes, the goodness of a standard headphone jack. Of course, the phone also includes stereo speakers and support for Dolby Atmos surround effects. The Galaxy S9 also boasts a single 12MP camera capable of switching between f/1.5 and f/2.4 aperture. To be honest, you probably won’t notice the difference between the Galaxy S9 and the latest Galaxy S10. That said, the Galaxy S9 still offers some of the advantages of a modern Android flagship smartphone and for a much lower price.
LG G7 ThinQ
Does the LG G7+ ThinQ deserve your attention in 2019? The answer is probably yes. At Rs 22,990, the G7 ThinQ is an extremely capable Android smartphone that closes the gap between a mid-range phone and a flagship in 2019. The phone has an ultra-wide-angle lens, a bright and vivid 6.1-inch display, the fast Snapdragon 845 processor and the extra-loud Boomsound speaker. The design may be less attractive, but the phone feels slick and fast over the competition. Read our review of LG G7 ThinQ here.
The Poco F1 is genuinely a brilliant smartphone that gives the very best Android smartphone a run of money. If you are desperate to buy a new smartphone, do yourself a favour and get the Poco F1 instead. You might not be getting an OLED display or an ultra-wide-angle camera, but you have a phone with a solid, feature-packed, and reasonably priced smartphone. At a starting price of Rs 15,999, the Poco F1 is fast (thanks to a Snapdragon 845 processor), has a good battery life, and the two cameras on the back are fast and capture decent photos in good lighting conditions. Read our review of Poco F1 here.
The Nex is a great flagship smartphone, with an all-screen front and the front camera that pops up on a motorized mechanism from within the body of the phone. With the Nex, you are getting a 6.59-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display, oodles of storage and RAM, not so old Snapdragon 845 processor, a great pair of cameras and a beefy 4,000mAh battery. As a daily driver, the Nex should tick almost all boxes. But the usual caveats also apply. The phone is not only a huge phone, but it is also on a heavier side. If you think the criticism is not fair, then go ahead and get the Vivo Nex for Rs 27,999. The phone feels sturdy, solid, and expensive. Read our review of Vivo Nex here.