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Best flagship phones to buy in India: Super shooter Vivo X60 Pro, dazzling OnePlus 9 Pro join the party

There are number of options in the premium category that don't draw 'kidney jokes' or require you to break a bank, but still offer flagship features.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | April 1, 2021 | Updated 15:13 IST
Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro is the most pocket-friendly premium smartphone in India.

Highlights

  • The premium smartphone market has new options.
  • Vivo X60 Pro stands out with design and cameras.
  • Vivo X60 Pro clicks images with great details.

Gone are the days when smartphones were a necessity. Now, they are a luxury. All of us are literally carrying a phone, a calculator, a camera, a music player and a streaming device all packed inside a 6.5-inch frame that comfortably fits in our pockets. Any gadget that serves so many purposes has to be special. And, while the Indian smartphone market is more versatile than before, you do need a premium phone to get the best possible experience.

What's the good news? There are number of options in the premium category that don't draw 'kidney jokes' or require you to break a bank, but still offer flagship features. The segment has been further enriched with the recent launches of Vivo X60 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro. The Vivo smartphone, in particular, stands out with its sleek form factor, exceptional design language and amazing camera capabilities. And amazing camera capabilities. Yes, that needed to be said twice.

The others in the list are the evergreen iPhone 12 and beastly Asus ROG Phone 5. Let's have a detailed look at all these smartphones.

Vivo X60 Pro

The most recently launched in the list is also the most pocket-friendly premium smartphone in India right now. Vivo has launched the X60 Pro in a single 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant that costs Rs 49,990. Both are generous. Usually, in this price range, the trend is to offer 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. So, consumers are surely getting extra with the latest Vivo. And more RAM and storage are not the only things it has to offer.

The Vivo X60 Pro boasts of probably one of the most stunning designs on any smartphone in recent times. It is ultra-slim at 7.59mm for the Midnight Black colour variant and 7.69mm for the Shimmer Blue variant. To give context, the OnePlus 9, another recently launched phone, is a lot thicker at 8.7mm.

The nicely crafted and positioned design elements make Vivo X60 Pro very pleasing to the eyes. For example, the camera module has a satin finish and looks far better than some of the gigantic bumps on other premium smartphones like the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

On the front, it has a gorgeous 6.5-inch full-HD+ (1080 x 2376 pixels) AMOLED display with a 19.8:9 aspect ratio, a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch response rate.

But, what's the first thing most of us consider while buying smartphones these days? The camera. This is where Vivo has improved on its already impressive portfolio. The X60 Pro series marks the beginning of smartphone maker's collaboration with Zeiss. Result? You get a camera system that is capable of clicking sharper and more colour accurate images.

In terms of numbers, there is a triple rear camera module housing a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.48 lens, a 13-megapixel secondary sensor, and a 13-megapixel tertiary sensor. The camera has excellent auto-focus and Bokeh mode, which result in great images. As you can see in the image samples below, the pictures are sharp, vibrant and have good detailing. The wide shots have good dynamic range. You can zoom in to see that even the background manages to retain most details. The macro lens also captures well-focused images.

And did I mention Gimbal Stabilisation 2.0? Well, that is what Vivo has equipped the X60 Pro with, enabling steadier shots. It does make a lot of difference while recording videos and should come handy for content creators. The X60 also has Night Vision 2.0, which is one of the best night modes on any recently launched Android smartphones. You can see in the image samples that pictures clicked in lowlight have great details and contrast ratio.

On the front, Vivo X60 Pro comes with a 32-megapixel primary sensor with an f/2.45 lens. The selfie are also sharp and retain skin tones. The camera also records 4K videos.

The Vivo X60 Pro is equally fine when it comes to performance. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC which is a brand-new processor for premium smartphones. Vivo has also added Virtual RAM to the X60 Pro a concept popularly used on gaming PCs. This allows the phone to borrow space from storage and allot additional 3GB of RAM to ensure seamless experience. So, you actually get a 15GB RAM experience on the X60 Pro!

OnePlus 9 Pro

Launched only few days ago, OnePlus 9 Pro is the best of what OnePlus has to offer, even if the best comes at a premium. The OnePlus 9 Pro price in India goes up to Rs 69,999, which is almost Rs 20,000 more than the Vivo X60 Pro for the same RAM and storage variant. The OnePlus 9 Pro, however, offers a QHD+ LTPO display and packs the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC.

The smartphone maker has also entered into a three year partnership with Hasselblad, resulting in improved cameras on the OnePlus 9 Pro. The images on OnePlus 9 Pro are better, but still not as colour accurate as on iPhones. In particular, its ultra-wide angle lens camera is stellar compared to what others offer.

However, one thing to note is that the OnePlus 9 Pro is not a value smartphone. It's genuinely a flagship device which asks you to spend more for better experience. For example, the phone comes with 50W wireless charging support which is faster than wire charging on most devices. It's fair to say that OnePlus 9 Pro offers the best Android experience in 2021 and is probably only second to iPhone 12 series, in terms of overall ratings.

Apple iPhone 12

The most expensive in this lot, the iPhone 12 is also a good choice, particularly for Apple loyalists who want to stick to the iOS ecosystem. The iPhone 12 offers the best value among Apple iPhones of 2020 while borrowing most of the premium features from the Pro models. It is powered by the same A14 bionic chipset and has the same display as well.

The iPhone 12 is priced at Rs 79,990 for the 64GB internal storage variant, Rs 84,990 for the 128GB storage variant and Rs 94,990 for the 256GB storage variant. This is less than what you need to pay for iPhone 12 Pro or Pro Max, but a lot more than what you may pay for premium Android smartphones.

One of the main reasons for anyone to spend on iPhone 12 should be the fan-favourite iOS. It is the most neat, secure and convenient operating system made by humankind. The other should be the camera, especially the video recording ability.

Honorable mention Asus ROG Phone 5

The only reason why we don't consider ROG Phone 5 as a competitor to any of the devices mentioned before and have placed it in the honorable mention band is that this beastly smartphone targets a niche category of gaming enthusiasts. The Asus ROG Phone 5 offers the best in terms of hardware. It is powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, ultrasonic AirTrigger 5, and motion control gesture inputs.

The Asus ROG Phone 5 8GB, 128GB costs Rs 49,999 while the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage version costs Rs 54,999. The only things that go against ROG Phone 5 are its over-the-top design language and few features that are of no use to a common smartphone user. But if you are a hardcore gamer at heart, it is worth looking at it.

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