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Smartphones to keep an eye on in first half of 2021: OnePlus 9, Samsung Galaxy S21, others

The technology enthusiasts can expect smartphone makers to focus on value instead of gimmicks and we are already hearing about several smartphones that can arrive early next year. Here are few you need to keep a close eye on.

twitter-logoManas Tiwari | January 1, 2021 | Updated 12:44 IST
Upcoming smartphones 2021
Smartphone makers likely to focus on value for money.

Highlights

  • Several smartphones will be launched in first half of 2020.
  • Focus will once again be on value for money.
  • Samsung Galaxy S21, OnePlus 9 to watch out for.

2021 is here. All of us deserve a pat on the back for making it through 2020. In a year that made us more dependent on technology, smartphone makers continued to launch new smartphones and introduce new features that catered to changing demands. The pandemic is still here and the approach is unlikely to change at least in the first half of 2021. The technology enthusiasts can expect smartphone makers to focus on value instead of gimmicks and we are already hearing about several smartphones that can arrive early next year. Here are few you need to keep a close eye on:

Samsung Galaxy S21

Every year smartphone lovers eagerly wait for Samsung's Galaxy S series for it is the first glimpse of where the industry is heading in the next 12 months. This year, it will be more about Samsung's future than anything else. The smartphone maker has faced a lot of flak for its under-performing processors and is likely to use an all new Exynos 2100 chip which is expected to deliver an improved performance.

At the same time, the unveiling of Galaxy S21 series will also give us an idea about the future of the Note line up. There are rumours that Samsung is planning to merge the two by bringing the stylus to the S series. It will also be interesting to see how many smartphones are launched as part of the S21 series.

Realme Race

No other smartphone makers have moved up the ladder as fast as Realme. And, in 2021, it plans to remain in the race to introduce one of the first smartphones with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 SoC. Realme Race is likely to be that smartphone which officially marks company's entry into the flagship segment. Earlier, Realme has flirted with the affordable premium segment with the Realme X50.

Since the brand has built itself on the aggressive pricing, it will be interesting to see where exactly is the Realme Race positioned in the Indian market.

OnePlus 9

OnePlus had a mixed 2020. The brand somehow failed to decide whether it should further push and challenge Samsung and Apple in the premium segment or compete with the likes of Xiaomi in the mid-range. Result? We had the OnePlus Nord which emerged as the go to option in the sub-Rs 30,000 segment but no OnePlus 8T Pro, reducing OnePlus' presence in the premium category.

The company has now channelised its energy towards the OnePlus line up which is expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2021. It will also be the most significant smartphones for OnePlus in the long time, deciding its future in India. The leaks suggest that we can get a 120Hz display, 30W fast charging and Snapdragon 888 SoC. Will that be enough? Let's wait and watch.

Mi 11

This is one of the smartphones you should wait for because of the sheer value it can offer. Xiaomi had very aggressively priced the Mi 10T Pro last year and a similar approach can be expected for the Mi 11. Already launched in China, the smartphone comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, features a 6.81-inch OLED screen with support for QHD+ resolution (3,200 x 1,440) and 120Hz refresh rate

The Mi 11 has been launched in China at a price of CNY3,999 for the 8/128GB base model. This roughly translates to around Rs 45,000. If Xiaomi manages to keep the India pricing under Rs 50,000, this can one can turn few heads.

Realme X7

The recent tweets from Realme CEO Madhav Sheth hint that Realme X7 could be the first smartphone to come from the company in the new year. Apart from Realme, this could also be an important launch for MediaTek which is trying to gain the lost ground. The Realme X7 could be the first smartphone to bring the new Dimensity chipsets to India. The Pro model in the series is tipped to come with Dimensity 1000+ chipset. Only time will tell how these smartphones are received by the customers.

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