Two of a kind: MiA2 and Honor Play

20th August 2018
Two of a kind:  MiA2 and Honor Play

Impeccable camera performance vs. superior processing power -- take your pick, at below Rs. 20,000
August 20 2018 The classic definitions of entry level, mid-range and high-end smartphones are passe. These days, better specs do not come with fatter price tags and inexpensive devices do not come with weaker design. Here are two devices that are truly disrupting the market with their mix of performance, style and value -- The Xiaomi Mi A2 and the Honor Play.

Mi A2 sticks with stock Android
The Mi A2 kills two birds with a solid device. One, low-light photography, and two, its commitment to stock Android. Xiaomi got on-board the Android One bandwagon, in association with Google, and wooed worldwide. While most smartphone brands play around with Android to create their own UI with mostly useful, sometimes useless enhancements, a few of them (like Xiaomi) also take stock Android fans seriously. The Mi A2 is a valuable gift to them.
Dual-lens cameras are pretty commonplace these days. But the need for good photographs under low-light conditions has been a constant challenge, and the Mi A2 seems to have cracked the magic formula. The device comes with three Sony image sensors. An IMX486 + IMX376 configuration for the 12MP + 20 MP rear camera and the IMX376 for the 20MP front camera. Both the AI-driven dual cameras and the front camera come with  ƒ/1.75 aperture, along with 'pixel binning' technology that results in clearer low-light images. The front camera also combines information from four pixels to create one large pixel, which is much sharper and clearer. With HDR and a 4500K front selfie light, the Mi A2 has got its camera game right.
Powered by the Snapdragon 660 flagship processor, with a separate AI engine and quick charge capabilities, the 5.99-inch device comes with a rear fingerprint sensor and a 3010 mAh battery. The Mi A2 is available in Black, Gold, Rose Gold and Lake Blue at Rs. 16,999 (4GB + 64 GB) at, Mi Home stores and at Amazon.

Play Bold with Honor
Regular (or  not-so-regular) gamers can understand the frustration of frame drops and lags in the middle of their favourite game. While the concept of gaming smartphones is still alien to Indian buyers, there are  enough millennials who indulge in occasional gaming on their mobile devices, and most of the times, the CPU performance just doesn't measure up, especially since the device is doing a whole lot of other things in parallel. Huawei was one of the first companies that dedicated an entire R&D team to look into effective utilization of compute power and in real-time allocate processor bandwidth depending on a matrix that prioritizes the criticality of applications. In order to woo the mobile gaming community, the Honor Play comes with a cool new technology under the hood that turbo charges your device, especially while gaming.  Honor claims that thanks to its GPU Turbo tech, it increases processing by 60%, and the single frame SoC energy consumption is reduced by 30%. The GPU Turbo tech also minimises jitters and maintains a comfortable frame rate all through. In simple words, GPU Turbo is an additional software layer below the processor which records your game frames and stores it so you do not need to render the same frames every time you play them. You simply invoke the older ones and the processor intelligently pastes the new graphic elements on top of the GPU Turbo layer. Of course, GPU Turbo as a tech has many more use-cases beyond just gaming and Honor promises to leverage them in times to come.
Honor Play comes with a separate neural processing unit in addition to Huawei's trademark Kirin 970 chipset, which accelerates AI capabilities. Its 16MP+2MP Dual rear camera backed with AI technology auto-identifies scene types and adjust the camera settings accordingly. The AI driven algorithms identify 22 objects real time and 500+ scenarios in real time, besides aiding in motion detection.
Honor Play also leverages AI to create intelligent image galleries by collating your pics and videos by tagging and categorizing them intelligently. With a 16 cm screen and powered by a 3750 mAh battery, the Honor Play is prices at Rs. 19,999 (4GB + 64GB) and Rs. 23,999 (6GB+64GB) and is available in Midnight Black and Navy Blue. The devices are currently available exclusively on Amazon.     VISHNU ANAND