Keen tech enthusiasts will know that the year-end is a time of excitement, when smartphone companies finally reveal what they’ve been working on, showcasing their latest products. For the rest of us, of course, this is exciting for a different reason — it’s smartphone shopping season. As the tech scene has changed drastically from when the first iPhone came out, with an array of new contenders to watch out for, it can be harder to make the “right” choices when it comes to what you’ll be using to stay connected. Which is why we’ve rounded up a basic list of the top smartphones on our wishlist, along with a quick run-through of what they offer, so you be informed for your next tech-splurge.
Samsung Galaxy Fold
Probably the most highly-anticipated and discussed smartphone release of the year, the Samsung Galaxy Fold introduced us to the “foldable phone” trend — one that we think is here to stay. Taking smartphones to new heights of performance and modern luxury, Samsung’s latest brainchild is quite unlike anything else. First, you have the two screens — one you get when the phone is folded up, and another when you unfurl it to face the world.
Nearly the size of a Kindle, the 7.3-inch screen is hands-down the star of the show. Made from bonded polymer material layers instead of glass, the flexible, smooth surface you get once you open the phone up is enough to make even the most dubious of us ooh and aah. Keep in mind, too, that this flexibility gimmick does not take anything away from performance — the screen is beautiful, colourful, and sharp with clarity.
Then you have the software. Like it’s preceding siblings, the Galaxy Fold runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor — which tech gurus will recognise as one of the key chip choices of the year. Here we also see a staggering amount of RAM — 12GB, to be precise, along with 512GB of storage space.
While it seems like a lot, the big numbers make sense, as this is a phone you’ll want to multitask on, with the large screen-space ideal for using a split-screen view. With the Multi-Active Window function, you can have up to three tabs open at a time — whether you’re working remotely, or looking to immerse in a film, this is a function that comes with definite perks. The phone also comes with 6 cameras, and a pretty impressive battery life — which can, of course, be recharged wirelessly, both folded and unfolded, and the Wireless Powershare feature also makes a comeback. While definitely a wild card among the sea of existing models in the smartphone scene, the Samsung Galaxy Fold marks the start of exciting new beginnings, and is hands-down the most interesting option out there.
THB69,900. To find out more, visit samsung.com/th/galaxy-fold.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro (and Pro Max)
Apple’s big launch event has come and gone, and we’re unsurprisingly left with quite a lot to get excited about in the gadget scene — for one, the new iPhone 11 is out. As to be expected, a series of ‘pro’ models are included in the line of releases, and those are where we’ve set our sights.
Design-wise, the iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t stray too far from its preceding iPhone XS and XS Max, save for new colours and, get this, a triple-lens camera hump on the back. Whether or not this three-eyed aesthetic was a hit or miss doesn’t matter — what does are the 12-megapixel sensors and automatic Night Mode that come with it, introducing smartphone photographers to a whole new world of wide-angle, super-wide-angle, and telephoto shots. As selfies have proven they’re here to stay, the front camera also got an upgrade, allowing for wider group selfies and even slow-mo video options for the first time.
Even better is the A13 Bionic chip — Apple’s latest baby and also the fastest CPU ever found in a smartphone. What we’re looking at is essentially a 20% increase in performance speed from the previous models, faster charging, and four more hours of battery life.
Prices start from THB35,900. To find out more, visit apple.com.
OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren
What happens when you take supercar speed, and put it in a smartphone? The OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren. The second special edition by OnePlus and McLaren, this new model comes with a pretty daring design that pays ode to the McLaren Speedtail. Flip the phone over and you’ll find beneath the glass an intricate, almost tattoo-like design. Whether you like it or not, it definitely makes for a good conversation starter piece, and you still get the same sleek, gloriously notch-less display we got from the OnePlus 7T, along with a cleverly in-built selfie-cam.
Visuals aside, what we’re here for are the specs — namely, the Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, paired nicely with a whopping 12GB of RAM, which already gives you one of the most powerful phones in the world. After all, what is the point in joining hands with McLaren if you aren’t going to make your phone super sleek, and super fast? Together with the UFS3.0 file system — which allows for faster app launches and content accessibility — this is a phone that waits for no one, and comes with enough speed and stamina to last you years. The smartphone even comes with a McLaren-branded charger, which is able to get your OnePlus up to 70% battery capacity — in just 30 minutes.
A phone that refuses to make compromises, the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren also comes with some pretty neat photographic chops — with options ranging from ultra-wide to telephoto with 3x optical zoom.
Approx. THB30,000. To find out more, visit oneplus.com.