Here Are The Top Smartphone Launches Of January 2018

by Michele Ingelido 0

January 2018 has been an interesting month for smartphone enthusiasts. While we’ll see a lot more flagships being announced in the next couple of months, January 2018 wasn’t a month without action. It has been the month of Consumer Electronics Show, a trade show in which many important tech products have been showcased. Even though no important flagships were launched, quite a few midrange handsets have been announced and are hitting the shelves. So, let’s discover which are the top smartphone launches in January 2018.

 

Sony Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra, and Xperia L2

  • Display: 5.2 in Full HD IPS LCD / 6 in Full HD IPS LCD / 5.5 in HD IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM / Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 4 GB RAM, 32 or 64 GB ROM / MediaTek MT6737T, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Oreo / Android Oreo / Android Nougat
  • Camera: 23 MP f/2.0 / 23 MP f/2.0 / 13 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 3300 mAh / 3580 mAh / 3300 mAh

The Sony Xperia trio unveiled at CES 2018 and composed of Xperia XA2, XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2 is surely the most important smartphone launch of January 2018 by a big brand. The first two handsets represent an incredible improvement over the previous generation. Sony has switched from MediaTek SoCs to Qualcomm SoCs for its most important midrangers: both XA2 and XA2 Ultra are powered by the powerful and power-efficient octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset which has a max frequency of 2.2 GHz. The two handsets also have much narrower bezels compared to the previous generation, 23 MP rear cameras, and the Ultra variant (the one with a monster 6-inch display) has a dual selfie camera with 16 and 8 MP resolution featuring optical stabilization. Sony Xperia L2 still has a MediaTek SoC, but even though it is an entry-level phone it has 3 GB of RAM and a big battery (3300 mAh) paired with very efficient components (the MT6737T chipset and an HD display). The only weak point of these models is that they are pricey.

PRO: Great hardware (XA2 and XA2 Ultra), wide displays (XA2 Ultra and L2), big batteries, good design

CONS: High price

 

 

Nokia 6 (2018)

Nokia 6 2nd Gen

  • Display: 5.5 in Full HD IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 4 GB RAM, 32/64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat
  • Camera: 16 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 3000 mAh

Nokia 6 (2018) has turned out to be a very stylish device. The phone has been released in very attractive color schemes (black/gold and white/red) and it features a solid aluminum 6000 series unibody design. Bezels are very narrow, even though the Full HD display has a classic 16:9 aspect ratio. HMD Global has made great choices in terms of hardware by putting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC paired with 4 GB of RAM in this phone. For its price (about €220 / $272), this hardware side is very good, especially if we think that Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra with the same SoC are sold at a much higher price. Check out our hands on with the new Nokia 6 here!

PRO: Stunning design, great hardware, affordable price, interesting camera

CONS: Nothing special (Availability?)

 

 

Vivo X20 Plus UD

Vivo X20 Plus UD

  • Display: 6.43 in Full HD+ Super AMOLED
  • Hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, EMUI 5.1
  • Camera: 13 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 5000 mAh

At the end of 2017, Synaptics has announced the first fingerprint reader which can be embedded inside a display, and it announced that the first handset with this chip would arrive in Q1 2018. It is Vivo X20 Plus UD: the first smartphone with an under-display fingerprint reader. To unlock the phone, the user just needs to touch the display at the location of the fingerprint icon: the OLED panel will illuminate the finger and the reader will recognize the fingerprint. It is a slightly slower authentication method compared with the traditional fingerprint readers, but it allows the presence of a fingerprint reader on the front side even though the display is bezel-less. The rest of the specs (with the exception of the internal storage of 128 GB) remains exactly the same as the Vivo X20 Plus already in the market, but the aesthetics are a bit more attractive thanks to gold borders. Besides the in-display fingerprint reader, the other key features of the device include a huge AMOLED display, a big battery, and a powerful SoC: the Snapdragon 660.

PRO: Big display, good hardware side, big battery, nice cameras

CONS: Not a compact device

 

Meizu M6s

meizu-m6s-official

  • Display: 5.7 in HD+ IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Samsung Exynos 7872, 3 GB RAM, 32/64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat, Flyme OS 6.2
  • Camera: 16 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 3000 mAh

With Meizu M6s, the Chinese company has decided to innovate more even with an affordable device. The borderless display and the side-mounted fingerprint reader with a revamped mBack technology that provides more comfortable gestures make this phone much more interesting than its predecessor. It has an Exynos SoC that according to benchmark is much better than Snapdragon 625, so it should provide above-average performance. If the company will continue in this way and release a Meizu M7 Note with similar features, we might soon see one of the best value for money mid-range phones ever.

PRO: Good hardware, bezel-less display, comfortable gestures and fingerprint reader

CONS: Still features an HD display

 

 

Elephone U and U Pro

  • Display: 5.99 in Full HD+ IPS LCD
  • Hardware: MediaTek Helio P23, 4-6 GB RAM, 64-128 GB ROM / Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, 4-6 GB RAM, 64-128 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Oreo
  • Camera: Dual 13 + 13 MP
  • Battery: 3620 mAh

Elephone may not be as established as other brands like Xiaomi to come out of China but its phones are still quite popular among a niche crowd. However, it is managing to release very interesting midranges which have a lower price tag than the midrangers from the best brands. Elephone U and U Pro are two borderless phones with powerful SoCs and a big amount of RAM sold at an affordable price. It is actually possible to order them at less than €300 thanks to online street prices. They also have a stunning design with a curved display and a big battery. And the Pro version is among the most affordable phones with the powerful Snapdragon 660 SoC.

PRO: Big display, nice hardware, big battery, affordable price

CONS: Nothing Specific

 

Infocus M7s

InFocus M7s Obsidian Black

  • Display: 5.7 in HD+ IPS LCD
  • Hardware: MediaTek MT6737H, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat
  • Camera: 13 + 5 MP f/2.0
  • Battery: 4000 mAh

Unfortunately, Infocus M7s is a phone limited to the Asian market, but it is definitely one of the most attractive midrangers to buy right now. It has been launched in the market with a price tag of just $147 (more or less), but it features 3 GB of RAM and a huge 4000 mAh battery. A big battery paired with very efficient components like the HD display and the low-end MediaTek SoC will provide outstanding battery life. The dual camera is surely another interesting thing as the secondary snapper is a wide-angle sensor. This phone also offers a cool 18:9 display with narrow bezels, so even though the size is 5.7 inches, the handset remains quite compact.

PRO: Very affordable, big battery, nice dual camera for the price

CONS: Limited availability

 

HTC U11 EYEs

  • Display: 6 in Full HD+ IPS LCD
  • Hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 652, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Oreo
  • Camera: 12 MP f/1.7
  • Battery: 3930 mAh

With the U11 EYEs, HTC has decided to follow the example of Chinese companies like Oppo and Vivo which are launching midrange phones focused on the camera and the quality-price ratio. With its f/1.7 aperture, the rear camera of this phone not only should be one of the best in its price range, but it should also be able to shoot flagship-level photos. Agreed, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 is an outdated SoC but it still performs fine when compared with the current cheap SoCs in the midrange sector, and the large 3930 mAh battery is the biggest lithium unit ever seen on a last-generation HTC phone.

PRO: Big battery, Great camera, big display

CONS: Price, SoC

 

Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro (2018)

Samsung-Galaxy-J2-Pro-2018

  • Display: 5 in 540 x 960 Super AMOLED
  • Hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, 1.5 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM
  • Software: Android Nougat
  • Camera: 8 MP f/2.2
  • Battery: 2600 mAh

Price is the main focus of Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro (2018), the latest entry-level device from the Korean giant. If you have a very low budget but you still want a smartphone from a reputable brand, this is the perfect handset for you. You cannot expect much from this device: its display has low resolution and the amount of RAM is also not great. In fact, we wonder why Samsung is still releasing phones with 1.5 GB of RAM. But on the other hand, it will be possible to purchase this phone at a very affordable price, which should be less than $120 dollars thanks to online street prices. Further, it seems that Asian customers will receive 15 GB of Samsung Cloud storage for free after purchasing the Galaxy J2 Pro (2018).

PRO: Very affordable price, Super AMOLED display, expandable until 256 GB

CONS: Entry-level hardware and cameras

 

Nokia 3310 4G

Nokia 3310 4G

  • Display: 2.4 in 320 x 240 TFT LCD
  • Hardware: 16 MB RAM, 256 or 512 MB ROM
  • Software: Yun OS
  • Camera: 2 MP
  • Battery: 1200 mAh

HMD Global has just unveiled a revamped Nokia 3310 which appears as a perfect compromise between a feature phone and a smartphone. Unlike the previous 3310 unveiled the last year, this one features 4G LTE and WiFi. This means that you can insert a SIM Card and navigate the internet at high speeds, you can connect to a router and can also use the phone as Wi-Fi hotspot to connect other devices. Inside Nokia 3310 4G there is YunOS, an Android fork operating system created by the Alibaba Group. The new handset has the same design as the previous model, it is just a  bit taller and thicker. Its battery is able to last up to 12 days on standby. The phone has no touchscreen and it can be used with a physical 3×4 keyboard. Unfortunately, this phone is a China Mobile exclusive, but HMD Global may decide to unveil an international version at MWC 2018.

 

So which one is your favorite launch of Jan 2018?

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