Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

Xiaomi Mi A2 price in India is Rs. 16,999 but is it worth buying? Read on and decide

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Mi A2 has a 5.9-inch full-HD+ display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • It is powered by the Snapdragon 660 processor and has 4GB of RAM
  • The Mi A2 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+

Xiaomi has launched the Mi A2 as its second Android One phone in India. Google originally started the Android One programme to deliver the stock Android experience on entry-level handsets in developing markets. However, there were no new products in India after the initial launches from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice. Google later revived Android One in 2017 to offer users smartphones running stock Android without any manufacturer customisations. The first of these in India was the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) which launched last year.

More manufacturers have enrolled into the program since then, but very few devices have made it to India. Nokia, an HMD Global brand, was the first to announce that its entire Android lineup would adopt Android One and all the smartphones that it announced at MWC 2018 have now launched in India. The new Mi A2 promises better hardware while still running bone-stock Android. So should the Xiaomi Mi A2 be the first choice for an Android purist on a budget? We put it to the test.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 design

The Mi A2 is a well-designed smartphone. It has a metal unibody that gives it a premium feel in the hand. The first change you will notice compared to the Mi A1 is that it has a big 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone tall and narrow. The sides are curved which makes it comfortable in the hand. Our Black review unit had a matte finish which resisted fingerprints to some extent. This phone is quite slippery and we would recommend that you put the case supplied in the box to use.

The power and volume buttons are on the right and offer good feedback when pressed. We found that the power button is well placed, but the volume buttons are a little too high for our liking. Xiaomi has positioned the selfie camera, earpiece, selfie light and a notification light above the display while the space below it is blank. For those curious, this smartphone has a single-colour notification LED.

The USB Type-C port at the bottom has speaker grilles on either side but only the right one houses a loudspeaker. An IR emitter that can be used to control IR-based appliance is at the top along with the secondary microphone. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack so you get a USB Type-C dongle in the box. Xiaomi claims that it has used a high-quality amplifier to improve audio output from the speaker and headphones.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Back Panel Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has opted for a dual camera setup at the back, which is now positioned vertically compared to the horizontal setup on the Mi A1. There’s a 12-megapixel primary camera, a 20-megapixel secondary sensor, and an LED flash. This camera module protrudes quite a bit causing the Mi A2 to rock when placed on a flat surface. The fingerprint scanner is next to the camera module, at the natural resting position of either index finger. Xiaomi has opted for a 3000mAh battery to power the Mi A2.

Xiaomi Mi A2 specifications, software, and features

The Chinese smartphone maker has chosen the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor to power the Mi A2. It has eight Kryo 260 CPU cores and an Adreno 512 GPU. The A2 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Sadly storage isn’t expandable unlike the Mi A1, and you will need to make do with the storage you get. This is a dual-SIM smartphone and has two Nano-SIM slots. There is support for 4Gand VoLTE on both SIMs.

The 5.99-inch display sports a full-HD+ resolution, has a pixel density of 403ppi, and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Viewing angles are decent but the display does not get very bright. You don’t get the option to tweak the output. The Ambient Display feature wakes the phone when you get a notification.

At 3000mAh, the battery capacity is lower than what most other smartphones in this segment offer. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review) for example packs in a bigger 4000mAh battery. The Mi A2 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ but you only get a standard 10W charger in the box. Connectivity options on the Mi A2 include Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Xiaomi Mi A2 SIM Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has focused on the cameras of the Mi A2. The 12-megapixel primary rear camera has 1.25-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. The secondary 20-megapixel camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning with bigger 2-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. Unlike the Mi A1 which had zoom lens for 2X optical zoom with the secondary camera, the one on the Mi A2 should help in low light instead.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and Xiaomi has added its Feedback, File Manager, and Mi Drop apps on top. While the Feedback app cannot be disabled or uninstalled, you can go ahead and uninstall the other two. The camera app has also been customised by Xiaomi and is different from the default Android app – more on that in a bit. Of course, this phone also has gets Google apps preinstalled. When we started reviewing the phone it was running the June security patch but we got a software update during the course of the review bringing us up to date with the August security patch.

If you are an Android purist, you will like the software experience on the Mi A2. It has an app drawer, and you need to swipe up to see all your installed apps. You also get Google Feed by swiping right from the homescreen and summon the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button. We found that the phone lacks an app to let you use the IR emitter, which means that you cannot start controlling appliances right out of the box. You can download the Mi Remote app from the Play Store, but Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it will be rolling out an update after which the app will be preinstalled. The only gesture the Mi A2 supports is that double-clicking the power button will immediately launch the camera app.

Xiaomi Mi A2 performance and battery life

We have used the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), which has the same processor as the Xiaomi Mi A2, and was also running stock Android. The Xiaomi Mi A2 offers similar performance and we found no lag or stutter when flipping through the phone’s UI and multitasking. With 4GB of RAM, you should be able to multitask easily without the phone automatically killing apps in the background. The fingerprint scanner is quite fast and was quick to unlock the phone.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 scored 1,33,467 in AnTuTu, and 1,645 and 4,840 in Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. These scores are slightly lower on average than those of the Nokia 7 Plus, which managed 1,37,573, 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. The Mi A2 also got 24,850 in 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited and 14fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

We played games such as PUBG, Clash Royale, and Asphalt 9. PUBG ran at medium settings by default and we did not have any issues with performance. We played the game for 25 minutes, surviving an entire round, and found that the phone did get warm to the touch without getting uncomfortably hot. Asphalt 9 ran at the default settings without any hiccups either.

In our HD video loop test, the smartphone ran for 8 hours and 13 minutes, which is below average. We have seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and the Redmi Note 5 last for close to 16 hours thanks to their bigger batteries. With our usage comprising of active WhatsApp and Gmail accounts, an hour worth of games, some time with Instagram, and making a few calls, the battery saver mode kicked in after 7 and 30 minutes. If your usage is similar, you will need to keep the charger handy. The supplied charger takes close to 2 hours to charge the Mi A2 completely but so should invest in a Qualcomm Quick Charge certified charger to speed that up.

Xiaomi Mi A2 cameras

Xiaomi has worked on its camera app and it is different from the stock Android camera. You get Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and a Manual mode, apart from the usual Photo and Video modes. The Manual mode lets you set white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO, and also lets you choose between the ‘regular’ and ‘low light’ lenses. Xiaomi claims that it has tweaked the Portrait mode such that it uses the 12-megapixel camera in favourable light conditions but switches to the 20-megapixel camera in low light, but we found that this did not actually happen. While one lens is in use, the other acts as a depth sensor.

The Mi A2 is fairly quick to meter light and lock focus. Photos taken with the Mi A2 outdoors have a good amount of detail and colours are quite accurate. Zoom into an image and you can still see details without much loss. We noticed that the camera app also switched HDR on automatically when the scene required it, bringing out more details from the shadows and delivering slightly sharper results. Autofocusing is quick when taking macros and we found that the Mi A2 could focus on relatively small objects. Macros were sharp and the phone managed good separation between the subject and the background.

In low light, the Mi A2 bumps the ISO up and lowers the shutter speed to help the primary camera capture more light, instead of switching to the secondary one. Xiaomi should have taken advantage of the better sensor for low-light shots by switching automatically, but you can do this yourself in Manual mode. These photos also have decent amounts of detail but we noticed aggressive noise reduction being applied in darker areas, leading to a watercolour effect when zooming in.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Mi A2 camera samples

 

Selfies are detailed and we got sharp results when shooting indoors. The selfie fill light comes in handy when shooting in low-lit conditions. HDR is available for the selfie camera and kicks in automatically when required. You can also select the level of beautification you need, and an Advanced mode which lets you tweak different beautification parameters.

Video recording on the Xiaomi Mi A2 maxes out at 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie camera. You also get the option to shoot in 1080p at 60fps rather than 30fps with the rear camera, but we found that it had difficulty locking focus at the higher frame rate. Video stabilisation is available for the rear camera, and helps you capture steady footage.


Xiaomi Mi A2 in pictures

 

Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) was an obvious choice for anyone looking for stock Android on a budget. Things however have changed, with HMD Global bringing in Nokia handsets that run pure stock Android as well. Xiaomi will have to compete on pricing, and that’s exactly what it has done with this launch.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 gets the cameras right and is amongst the best camera phones at this price point. Also, the powerful Snapdragon 660 processor has so far been restricted to more expensive phones, making this phone a tempting option for someone looking for a performer on a budget.

Xiaomi has priced the Mi A2 at Rs. 16,999 which is quite aggressive for the hardware it offers. However, there are a few chinks in the Mi A2’s armour. Its battery capacity is below average, resulting in relatively poor battery life. Xiaomi has also ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack and there’s no microSD card slot, which are both things that buyers look for. If you can’t do without stock Android and want good cameras without paying too much, then the Mi A2 should check all your boxes. If you’re okay with MIUI, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) is still a good alternative at a slightly lower price. You might also want to keep an eye on the upcoming Honor Play.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

2COMMENTS

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Xiaomi Mi A2

Xiaomi Mi A2

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Excellent value-for-money
  • Good camera performance
  • Bad
  • Below-average battery life
  • Non-expandable storage
Also See
  • Oppo F3 Plus (Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) –
    Rs.16,449
  • Sony Xperia XA1 (Pink, 32GB)
    *Includes Rs. 1,799 cashback
    Rs.16,191*

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 First Impressions

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was officially unveiled in New York on Thursday. The newest member of the Galaxy Note series packs a massive 4,000mAh battery and the series’ biggest display yet. The Galaxy Note 9 launch comes at a time when Samsung desperately needs a hit. By the company’s own admissions, sales of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have been less than flattering, and all eyes will now be on how the Galaxy Note 9 is received by fans.

While the “reasonable price” promise that was made by the company just days before the launch event wasn’t fulfilled when the US price of the smartphone was revealed on Thursday, the Galaxy Note 9 price in India is good news. The smartphone will launch in India at a starting price of Rs. 67,900, which is the same as its predecessor at launch, as Samsung looks to reclaim some of the market share it has lost in the country’s premium smartphone segment.

The big differentiator of the Galaxy Note series has always been its support for the S Pen stylus. Over the years, Samsung has added more capabilities to the S Pen, and with the Galaxy Note 9 the biggest changes are the direct result of adding Bluetooth support. Yes, the S Pen now comes with an embedded Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module, which makes it more than just a stylus; it has been turned into a remote that can be used to control your smartphone.

So, for example, you can use the S Pen to control video playback in the YouTube app, or move between images in the Gallery app. You can even use it to control a presentation, moving back and forth between slides. But the feature that will perhaps find the widest appeal is the ability to use the S Pen as a trigger to click pictures, or switch between the front and rear cameras. We tested this feature on the Galaxy Note 9 during some hands-on time ahead of the launch, and it worked as advertised.

Apart from the S Pen, the other big draw of the Galaxy Note series has been the big screen. At 6.4 inches, the Galaxy Note 9 packs the biggest display we’ve seen on a member of this family. As has been the case with recent Samsung flagships, the ‘Infinity Display’ on the Galaxy Note 9 is gorgeous, and is definitely one of the highlights of the smartphone.

With that said, as the average display size of all smartphones has increased in recent years, the Galaxy Note devices no longer hold the same exclusive appeal. Not many smartphone manufacturers used to venture into Galaxy Note territory as far as size is concerned, but that hasn’t been true for a long time.

This is one of the reasons for which many have questioned the future of the Galaxy Note series, but by giving the S Pen additional features, Samsung seems to be doubling down on its commitment to the device, at least for now. To further enhance its appeal, Samsung has packed a host of other features and improvements into the Galaxy Note 9, most notably a 4,000mAh battery, which is 21 percent bigger than one of its predecessor.

As far as other specifications are concerned, the Galaxy Note 9 will be powered by the Snapdragon 845 SoC (2.8GHz + 1.7GHz) in markets like the US, while countries like India will receive the Exynos 9810 (2.7GHz + 1.7GHz) version. Samsung has announced two variants of the smartphone – one with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB of storage, and the other with 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 512GB of storage. The built-in storage can be supplemented with a microSD card of up to 512GB capacity.

At the back, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a dual-camera setup with OIS on both sensors similar to what we saw on the Galaxy Note 8. The wide-angle super-speed dual-pixel 12-megapixel (f/1.5-f/2.4) autofocus primary rear camera is paired with a telephoto 12-megapixel (f/2.4) autofocus secondary camera that gives you 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom. On the front, you get an 8-megapixel (f/1.7) autofocus sensor.

Samsung has packed in a host of new software features. The Camera app’s new scene optimiser can automatically detect 20 different types of scenes and apply settings that are optimal to the conditions. Samsung is also claiming improved HDR and live focus in low light conditions.

samsung galaxy note 9 flaw detection gadgets 360 full Galaxy Note 9
Perhaps most interestingly, the Galaxy Note 9 now has enhanced “flaw detection” that is capable of detecting typical conditions that ‘ruin’ an image, such as someone blinking at the wrong time, image blurs, lens smudges, and even strong light behind the subject. We saw Samsung demo a scenario where the Camera app highlighted that “someone may have blinked” after an image was clicked, letting you carry on regardless or take a fresh image.

Samsung is also touting a bunch of Bixby improvements with the Galaxy Note 9, but it will be interesting to see how many of these will actually be available in India.

In terms of design, the Galaxy Note 9 looks a lot like its predecessor, though it’s marginally wider, thicker, and heavier than the Galaxy Note 8. We look forward to seeing how that impacts us in day-to-day usage, especially considering we highlighted the weight of the Galaxy Note 8 as a problem in our review.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

 

 

LG G7+ ThinQ Review

LG G7+ ThinQ Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The phone features a 6.1-inch QHD+ display with HDR 10 support
  • Gaming and app performance is good but the phone gets warm when stressed
  • The LG G7+ ThinQ is priced at Rs. 39,990

LG’s smartphone endeavours haven’t quite hit the same stride as its Korean rival Samsung in recent times. Globally, LG still has a big portfolio of smartphones, but of late, India seems to be getting fewer launches. Take for instance its flagship for 2018, the G7 ThinkQ. LG launched this model just before Google I/O this year, where it partnered with the search giant to launch the first Android phone with a dedicated hardware button for Google Assistant.

Three months in, and LG has quietly snuck the G7+ ThinQ into India without any fanfare, which is really odd considering its aggressive price of Rs. 39,990. This puts it smack against the 8GB version of the OnePlus 6 (Review), and on paper, it appears to offers even better specifications. The OnePlus 6 has been our solid recommendation so far at around this price, although we’ve always felt that features like wireless charging and proper waterproofing would have complemented the package nicely. The LG G7+ ThinQ addresses these shortcomings, and now it’s time to see if it truly is what the OnePlus 6 should have been all along.

 

LG G7+ ThinQ design

The ‘ThinQ’ suffix signifies the use of artificial intelligence (AI), which was introduced by LG at this year’s CES. The G7+ ThinQ is the successor to last year’s flagship LG G6 (Review) smartphone. It features an aluminium frame that’s wide enough on the sides to be easy to grip, and you get Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for the front and back. The glass blends quite seamlessly with the metal so you barely feel the edges. The side effect of this is fingerprints and smudges, which we know are hard to avoid, but the G7+ ThinQ attracts far more than usual.

The buttons are easy to reach and have good feedback. The dedicated Google Assistant button can be disabled through the Settings app if you don’t want to use it, but LG doesn’t let you re-map it. When your phone is unlocked, a single press opens Google Assistant, while a double press opens Google Lens. In order to avoid accidental activation when your phone is locked, you need to either press it twice or hold it for a few seconds to summon Assistant.

LG G7 Plus ThinQ camera ndtv lg

 

The 6.1-inch IPS screen boasts of an impressive 1000nits of brightness, which translates to excellent legibility under direct sunlight. You also get a QHD+ resolution of 1440×3120 so images and text look sharp. The G7+ ThinQ has a notch, or as LG calls it, a ‘New Second Screen’. You have the option to mask it and use different background images, but we found that the default black looks best. You can enable the always-on-display feature too, which gives you interactive toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. and playback buttons for the music player. Unfortunately, since this isn’t an OLED panel, the backlight for the entire display needs to stay on instead of just the required pixels. In a pitch dark room, you can faintly see the backlighting.

The notched area has enough room for the earpiece, notification LED, sensors, and a front camera. The borders around the display aren’t very slim and there’s a noticeable chin at the bottom too. The hybrid dual-SIM tray is placed on the top and this phone supports two 4G VoLTE connections at the same time. The second slot can be used for storage expansion at the cost of a second SIM. At the bottom, we have a 3.5mm headphone socket, a USB Type-C port, and a single speaker grille. Despite not having stereo speakers, the G7+ ThinQ uses the body as an acoustic chamber, which helps amplify the volume. During audio playback, you can feel the back of the phone vibrate.

LG G7 Plus ThinQ notch ndtv lgThe screen space beside the notch can be customised with different backgrounds

 

The two vertically stacked cameras at the back sit nearly flush with the body and feature Gorilla Glass 4 protection, which is nice. Beside them, we have a single-LED flash and the laser autofocus sensors. The fingerprint sensor is centred a little below the cameras. The sensor is quick at authentication but you also have the option for face recognition. Face unlock kicks in when you raise the phone upwards towards you, but isn’t too secure at the default setting. It’s quick but we found that a simple 2D picture of the registered face is enough to fool it. You can enable ‘Advanced face recognition’ which makes things a bit more secure, but authentication takes longer and it doesn’t work well in low light.

In the box, the LG G7+ ThinQ ships with a charger, data cable, headset, SIM eject tool, and microfibre cleaning cloth. In terms of usability, the G7+ ThinQ has comfortable proportions and doesn’t weigh too much. The tall display is a bit of challenge for one-handed use, but you can there’s a gesture to shrink the contents down for easier access. Other accessibility options like Floating Bar, which offers shortcuts for music player, contacts, screen capture, etc, also help in getting around quickly.

LG G7+ ThinQ specifications and features

Being a flagship smartphone, LG has gone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC. The ‘+’ model that’s been launched in India has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The phone is IP68 certified or dust and water resistance, and is also shock resistant to some degree, with a military standard (MLT-STD-810G) certification. LG claims to have used a heat pipe to cool the SoC, so we expect good thermals when gaming. Other connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, NFC, USB-OTG, wireless charging, and a healthy suite of sensors.

At the time of this review, our retail unit was running on Android 8 Oreo with the June 1 security patch. Android is heavily customised and we can’t help but draw comparisons to Samsung’s Experience skin. From the customisable folder colours to the little suggestion boxes at the end of every sub-menu in the Settings app, it all feels very familiar. There are loads of additions made to the software, letting you really fine-tune your user experience. However, gestures for navigation are noticeably missing.

LG G7 thinQ apps ndtv LGThe LG G7+ ThinQ offers plenty of customisation and added software features

 

The UI layout can be changed from single-layered to the traditional app drawer layout; the positions of the navigation buttons can be swapped around and additional ones can be added for SIM switching, etc.; Smart Doctor helps clean up temporary files and free up RAM; and Game Tools lets you set the display resolution for each game and offers an in-game overlay for disabling alerts, taking a screenshot, etc.

LG has a feature called AirDrive, which is supposed to let you manage the files on your phone, through your Mac or PC. You’ll need the LG Bridge app on your computer and you’ll need to be signed into the same account on your phone and the desktop app. However, unlike Apple’s AirDrop, you can’t share files like photos directly from the phone’s gallery to your PC. Instead, you have to do it through the file manager app. We were unable to view the files on our phone through the desktop app but we could see all our folders through the File Manager app. In the end, we rarely found much use for this, and it was quicker to just use a cable to transfer files.

You get some pre-installed apps too. QuickMemo+ is a note-taking app that also syncs to your Google account; Mobile Switch lets you migrate data from your old phone over to the G7+ ThinQ; SmartWorld offers curated content like news, themes, wallpapers, etc; and LG Service lets you book an appointment at your nearest service centre.

LG G7+ ThinQ performance, cameras, and battery life

The heavy customisations to Android can be a bit overwhelming at first, even for experienced users, but after a while, you sort of get used to it. Overall , the LG G7+ ThinQ runs pretty much flawlessly with day-to-day usage. The interface feels snappy and doesn’t get bogged down even with a lots of apps running in the background. Call quality is good, and the phone doesn’t heat up with general usage. The Snapdragon 845 SoC is a proven performer, but most of the benchmark scores that this phone achieved were a bit lower than those of other phones based on this same SoC. Games run fine, including newer titles like PUBG and Asphalt 9: Legends.

The phone does get quite warm while gaming or even with heavy camera use, but not to a point where it’s uncomfortable to hold, and this isn’t consistent behaviour. With most phones, it’s only a small portion of the back that heats up, but pretty much the entire back of the G7+ ThinQ gets warm, including parts of the metal frame. At times, we noticed it happen even when there was only background data activity, like while downloading an app from the Play Store.

LG G7 Plus ThinQ ports ndtv Lg

 

LG’s flagship offerings have often been lauded for having good audio, and the G7+ ThinQ is no different. The Quad-DAC feature is present, along with other audio enhancements such as DTS:X 3D surround for wired headphones. The bundled headphones are not bad, offering decent ambient noise isolation and good audio quality. The default music player also has some gimmicky effects called Flash Light and Boombox Show, which use the rear LED flash for strobe-light effect, and display 3D visualisations on the screen, respectively. The mono speaker is impressively loud, which is nice. The display also supports the HDR 10 standard which adds more dynamism to colours when watching HDRvideos.

LG’s ThinQ AI can be seen in action in the camera app. With ‘AI Cam’ turned on, the camera app scans the frame and automatically adjusts the exposure and colour temperature, and even applies filters if necessary. LG has implemented some cool visualisations where words fade in and out, Sherlock Holmes style, in the viewfinder as the AI tries to figure out the subject in focus. We wish we had the option to disable the AI effects after shots are taken but thankfully, it’s not too intrusive like we’ve seen on other phones like the Huawei P20 Pro (Review). Due to LG’s close partnership with Google, the G7+ ThinQ also gets AR stickers from the Pixel line of smartphones.

Shot using the wide-angle, 16-megapixel sensor on the LG G7+ ThinQ. Tap to see full-sized images.

 

The main 16-megapixel camera has a f/1.6 aperture while the second wide-angle 16-megapixel camera gets a f/1.9 aperture. The main sensor captures good detail in closeups and landscapes along with punchy colours, but the edges around subjects could be more distinct. The HDR feature kicks in automatically but we often found that portions of bright areas appeared overexposed. The wide-angle camera is useful when shooting landscapes or a group of people, and barrel distortion isn’t much of an issue here.

Details are fairly good in low light too. The camera app has a mode called Super Bright Camera, which combines the data of four pixels into one, thus giving you better detail but at the cost of resolution. There’s OIS for the primary sensor, which helps keep shots steady in unfavourable light. The phone does a good job with edge detection in Portrait mode, and the amount of background blur can be adjusted before and after you take the shot.

Video recording maxes out at 4K 30fps but you don’t get electronic stabilisation at this resolution. Videos shot at 4K have slightly boosted colours which is most evident when shooting with the wide-angle sensor. There have been reports of LG releasing an update enabling 4K 60fps recording on this phone, but our unit didn’t seem to have received it. Stabilisation is decent at 1080p 30fps and focusing is quick too, but there is a noticeable shimmer in the footage, which isn’t present when using the wide-angle lens.

Tap to see full-sized LG G7+ ThinQ camera samples

 

There’s a comprehensive manual mode that lets you tweak audio parameters such as gain, and filter out wind noise. You also get slow-motion video mode, which lets you shoot at 240fps, but the quality is quite average. The Cine Video mode gives you pretty cool filters and cinematic zoom effects.

The front 8-megapixel sensor captures good selfies, and the AI features work here too. There’s no Auto HDR though and it doesn’t work well all the time. Stabilisation works decently, which is good if you’re into vlogging. In low light, you have the option to use the screen flash to improve image quality.

The 3000mAh battery easily lasts an entire workday, but getting a full 24 hours’ worth of use is a bit challenging, especially if you game a lot. With a bit of Bluetooth audio streaming, a few calls, use of Chrome and messaging apps, and few rounds of Asphalt 9: Legends, we typically clocked about 17 hours of runtime on average before we had to plug in the charger. This isn’t bad but certainly could have been better. Our internal battery loop test ran for 11 hours and 48 minutes, which is slightly above average. There’s Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support, which got us a 42 percent charge in roughly 30 minutes. Charging the phone completely takes a little under two hours.

Verdict
The G7+ ThinQ is a solid offering from LG, and more importantly, it’s available at a very aggressive price. For all those who were on the fence about the OnePlus 6 due to its lack of some features such as weather resistance and wireless charging, the G7+ ThinQ is a very good alternative. LG’s offering also features a more useful secondary rear camera, expandable storage, an excellent mono speaker, and a vivid and crisp display.

There are some aspects of the phone that might not be to everyone’s liking. For instance, the custom interface has an overwhelming number of features which might be intimidating, Face recognition is a bit slow, and the cameras, while good, have some missing features such as stabilisation at 4K resolution and super-slow-motion shooting modes.

Barring these little niggles, LG seems to have thrown everything but the kitchen sink into the G7+ ThinQ, and from a pure value point of view, it’s really hard to beat.

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For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

LG G7+ ThinQ

LG G7+ ThinQ

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Shock, water, and dust resistant
  • Bright and vivid display
  • Good all-round performance
  • Above-average cameras
  • Wireless charging
  • Bad
  • HDR could be better
  • Body picks up fingerprints easily
  • Sluggish face recognition
  • Heats up when stressed
Also See
  • LG Google Nexus 5X (Carbon, 32GB)
    Rs.39,999
  • LG G5 (Titan, 32GB)
    *Includes Rs. 2,000 cashback
    Rs.17,999*

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Oppo Find X First Impressions

Oppo Find X First Impressions

Oppo Find X price in India is Rs. 59,990

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Oppo Find X’s cameras are tucked into a hidden slider
  • It will be available in the country starting August 3
  • The smartphone comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage

The Oppo Find X is the Chinese company’s latest flagship in the Find series, and it was launched in India on Thursday. Oppo Find X’s most unique and interesting feature is a camera slider that allows its front face to be completely dominated by the screen. This marks the comeback of Oppo’s Find series, which has not been refreshed since the launch of the Oppo Find 7 and Find 7aback in 2014. The Oppo Find X is the most expensive model in Oppo’s India lineup. The Oppo Find X price in India is Rs. 59,990 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and there are no other configurations. A limited Automobili Lamborghini Edition was also announced at the event but is not coming to the Indian market as of now.

Key specifications of the Oppo Find X include a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and the unique camera slider that houses the selfie camera as well as the dual rear cameras. This smartphone, much like other offerings in Oppo’s lineup, runs ColorOS 5.1 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. The phone will be available exclusively on Flipkart online, but also across Oppo’s offline stores. It is one of the most unique smartphones available right now, but can it compete with flagships such as the iPhone X (Review), Samsung Galaxy S9 (Review), Huawei P20 Pro (Review), and OnePlus 6 (Review)? We spent some time with the Oppo Find X and here are our first impressions.

 

We got access to a Chinese unit of the handset, as the Indian units are not yet available for testing. With a large 6.42-inch edge-to-edge AMOLED display, the Oppo Find X looks sleek. The 19.5:9 aspect ratio means that the resolution is 1080×2340 pixels, making this phone taller than usual. There is no notch, which gives the phone a seamless design. The Find X comes with iPhone X-like gestures. These include swiping up from the bottom (in the middle) to go to the home screen, swiping up and pausing to open the app switcher, and swiping up from a corner to go back.

At first glance, there is nothing of interest on the back of the Oppo Find X. There is no fingerprint sensor, which means you are stuck without any other biometric unlocking solution. You will have to use a passcode or pattern to unlock the phone quickly. The rear cameras are also hidden thanks to the camera slider. There is, however, an Oppo logo and “Find X – Designed by Oppo” branding. On the left of the smartphone are the volume control buttons, and the lock/ power key is on the right. The USB Type-C port and SIM card tray, which supports two Nano SIM cards, are on the bottom.

The design is one of the highlights of the Oppo Find X. It comes in Red and Blue colour options, both of which are extremely glossy and great to look at. It feels slippery in the hand, but the width is just right. This might not be the most power- and feature-packed phone on the planet, but it’s definitely one you’d love to show off.

oppo find x fi inline Oppo Find X

 

The camera slider is triggered when trying to unlock the phone using facial recognition, and also slides out when using the stock camera app or any third-party one. It does not snap out, and vibrates while it is sliding into place. It goes back in slowly and you might have to wait a couple of seconds before putting the phone back into your pocket. The front of the slider houses the 25-megapixel selfie camera and sensors for the O-Face 3D face recognition technology, which Oppo claims is similar to how Face ID works on the iPhone X. The rear of the slider sports the 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel rear camera combo. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our full review in which we will extensively test the performance of all the cameras on Oppo’s 2018 flagship.

At its core, the Oppo Find X is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, which is now the primary choice for premium flagships globally. The Oppo Find X has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, so performance shouldn’t be much of an issue. Initial impressions suggest that this phone is quite snappy, and we didn’t experience any lag in the few minutes that we got to spend with a sample unit at the launch event. We will soon be able to test the Indian version of this phone in real-world conditions to see how well it performs.

The Oppo Find X runs the heavily customised ColorOS 5.1 UI on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. As stated earlier, the unit we tested was the Chinese variant, and it did not have common Google apps including the Play Store. Instead, we found dozens of preloaded Chinese apps, including WeChat, Ctrip, Taobao, Alipay, 58Life, Weibo, Amap, and Baidu. We will have to wait till we receive the Indian unit for testing to comment on the preloaded apps and the amount of bloat in the software.

Let’s talk about some of the software features that this phone brings to the table. The first one is 3D Omoji, which makes use of the 3D facial recognition sensors on the handset. There are 5-6 animal characters but users can create their custom avatars as well. Initial impressions suggest that the AR-based emoji characters read face movement well but perform poorly when detecting lip movement. Interestingly, Oppo India’s website does not mention this feature, so it might not be supported on the Indian units.

Face recognition with the Oppo Find X is pleasant enough. Setting it up is extremely easy; it takes a few seconds to register your face and the phone gives you a choice of activating face recognition when you press the lock button or after you swipe up. Either way, it accurately reads the saved facial pattern. While the camera slider opens up pretty quickly, we would have liked it to be instantaneous. Additionally, there seems to be no way to manually push out the slider. Also, it’s worth noting that Oppo is not advertising any sort of waterproofing on the Find X, which sets it apart from other phones at this price level.

The Oppo Find X also features a large 3730mAh battery that should be enough to last through an entire day. If not, the Find X comes with Oppo’s VOOC charging technology, and the company claims that you can get two hours of battery life with just 5 minutes of charging. We will also test the phone’s battery performance in our full review, coming up soon.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for an extensive review of the Oppo Find X’s performance, battery, software, and cameras, and to find out whether or not this phone is worth the Rs. 59,990 price tag.


Are Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X revolutionary phones or overpriced prototypes? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Oppo Find X

Oppo Find X

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
Display6.42-inch
Processor2.5GHz octa-core
Front Camera25-megapixel
Resolution1080x2340 pixels
RAM8GB
OSAndroid 8.1
Storage256GB
Rear Camera16-megapixel
Battery Capacity3730mAh
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