Smartphone Market Watch in Q1 2021
After a 10.5% decline in smartphone purchases in 2020 due to COVID-19, Gartner expects worldwide smartphone purchases to increase 11% in 2021. The most significant increases in sales are expected in the Latin American markets and Asian-Pacific markets. Gartner also expects 5G phone sales to constitute 35% of all worldwide smartphone sales and a number of major companies have released their next generation of smartphones, with LG notably exiting the cell phone market. Some of the newly released smartphones are the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Oppo Find X3 Pro, the Oneplus 9 Pro, and the Xiaomi Mi 11.
What’s Unique about the Four Flagship Phones?
Oneplus has partnered with Hasselblad for the 9 Pro’s camera. This is seemingly to answer some of the criticisms of previous cameras. Xiaomi partnered with Harman Kardon to produce their speakers to give them a much higher sound quality. The back of the Oppo Find X3 Pro is created from a single sheet of glass that was carefully tempered to curve around the camera module, which Oppo says takes 40 hours. Additionally, the Find X3 Pro also has what they refer to as a “microscope” camera function. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a dual-telephoto camera which provides a more consistent handheld telephoto experience.
The Mi 11 has a refresh rate of 120Hz and a touch sample rate of 480Hz. This all culminates in a seamless user experience and a slightly more responsive interaction when compared to its flagship competitors. The S21 Ultra’s display features an adaptive refresh rate that operates at 120Hz for applications that are more demanding and 60Hz for less demanding applications. Most reviewers don’t notice a difference and this function allows the phone to conserve battery. Additionally, the Mi 11 and the S21 Ultra’s screens have 1,500nit at peak performance means that the Mi 11 and the S21 Ultra are able to present a more brilliant display than the majority of their competitors.
On the other hand, the Oneplus 9 Pro and the Oppo Find X3 Pro both have a refresh rate of 120Hz and a touch sample rate of 240Hz. Both phones also offer a similar max brightness of 1,300nit. The Mi 11 and S21 Ultra displays make good cases for being the best on the market, but the Find X3 Pro and the 9 Pro also have respectable displays.
The Mi 11 has three rear-facing cameras. The main camera is a 108-megapixel wide-angle lens. The Mi 11 also has a 13 MP ultrawide and a 5 MP macro lens. The Mi 11 doesn’t have a dedicated telephoto lens. However, using the main camera’s high megapixel count, the phone is able to crop in on an image without losing much detail. Overall, the camera is respectable but not groundbreaking.
The Find X3 Pro, on the other hand, has a very unique camera function it calls a “microscope” which utilizes microlens to allow the user to take unique shots. The ring light around the lens makes sure that there is plenty of light getting to the 3-megapixel sensor. The Find X3 Pro also has a 50MP main camera, a 50MP ultrawide camera, and a 13 MP telephoto. So, even if the “microscope” is seen as a gimmick that won’t get much use, the other cameras are still high-quality as well.
OnePlus has been criticized for producing subpar cameras for their phones in the past, and the 9 Pro is their answer to their critics. OnePlus partnered with Hasselblad to improve their color calibration. The 9 Pro features a 48MP and a 50MP Sony sensor for the main lens and ultrawide lens respectively. The phone also has an 8MP telephoto and a 2MP monochrome lens that shoots in black and white. Most critics believe that these changes have solved OnePlus’s issue of having poor cameras but it is not quite enough to make the 9 Pro’s cameras top-of-the-line.
The S21 Ultra’s primary camera has a 108MP sensor, its ultrawide angle lens has a 12MP sensor, and there are two 10MP telephoto lenses. The point of these telephoto lenses is to have one lens for medium-range shots and a different lens for long-range shots. Additionally, there is a noticeable absence of a macro lens, which is because the ultrawide lens functions at close range and can take macro shots with its 12MP sensor.
The Mi 11 has a 20MP selfie camera, compared to the 48MP selfie camera of the 9 Pro and the 32MP of the Find X3 Pro. The 48MP selfie camera is the same camera that was on the OnePlus 8 Pro but it is aided but the Hasselblad color calibration. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 40MP selfie camera and also allows the user to choose whether or not to have the selfie camera brighten the image by default.
The Find X3 Pro and the 9 Pro both have a 4,500mAh battery and support 65MW charging, which is quite impressive. In fact, both can charge from 0% to 100% battery in under 30 minutes. These two phones are currently able to recharge quicker than any other phones on the market.
The Mi 11 has an impressive 4,600mAh battery. However, the Mi 11 needs almost 50 minutes to recharge completely from 0%. The Mi 11 supports 55MW charging. While this is not disappointing, it is a bit lacking when compared to the other two phones. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has a 5,000mAh battery, which is the largest of the four and the S21 Ultra takes more than an hour and ten minutes from 0% to 100%.
Additionally, the Mi 11 and the S21 Ultra don’t automatically come with a charger included in the packaging. It’s true that most people have a charging brick at home, but it is important to note that it is unlikely that a person has a charger that would be able to maximize charging for either phone. So, the slow lab charge result may even be slower in practice at home without asking for a charging brick as well. For more information about optimal charging, check this post.
The new Ugreen 20w 10000mAh PowerDot is a great accessory for any new phone. It is small and very portable but has a powerful 20MW charge and a 10,000mAh battery. If you need to charge on the go, a 10,000mAh portable charger will provide more than two complete charges for any flagship phone.
The Mi 11 also makes a good case for being one of the best, if not the best gaming phones on the market. One reason for this is its 480Hz touch sampling rate and 120Hz refresh rate. While a 120Hz refresh rate has become standard for modern phones, the 480Hz response rate makes the Mi 11 amongst the most sensitive phones on the market. The Find X3 Pro and the 9 Pro both have a touch sample rate of 240Hz, which means that these phones will be slightly less responsive when tapped repeatedly in short succession.
All four phones feature a Snapdragon 888, which has a propensity for overheating. However, some S21 Ultra models come with Exynos 2100, which can throttle performance. The S21 Ultra’s processor depends on the customer’s location. In order to counteract this, the Find X3 Pro has added a 0.35mm vapor chamber. OnePlus on the other hand tried to counteract overheating with a “Cool Play” mode, which prioritizes the CPU’s processes to produce less heat while gaming. It should be noted that some early Exynos 2100 models have been reported to overheat. Additionally, all four phones have a gaming-specific mode that will block notifications and goes perfectly with the HiTune T2 Low Latency TWS Earbuds.
The HiTune T2 Wireless Earbuds are true wireless earphones that feature 60ms audio latency. This latency is so minimal that it provides a seamless gameplay experience with effectively no audio lag. The environmental noise control feature makes sure that even if you are in a noisy crowd, your in-game opponents won’t be able to sneak up behind you. With a massive 14.2mm dynamic driver, the headphones are able to produce more powerful soundwaves and deeper bass than comparable earbuds. To learn more about dynamic drivers, we have offered you the guide.
Size and Weight
The Mi 11 and the Galaxy S21 Ultra have 6.8-inch displays. Both the 9 Pro and the Find X3 Pro boast a 6.7-inch screen. Oppo’s Find X3 Pro is the lightest and weighs 193 grams. The Mi 11 weighs 196 grams and the 9 Pro weighs 197 grams. The Galaxy S21 Ultra weighs 220 grams. The differences in size between these phones are negligible, but the Galaxy S21 Ultra is quite weighty.
Xiaomi customers can expect to pay around $880 for the 128GB model and roughly $940 for the 256GB model. The Find X3 Pro currently has a limited release and is only going to be available with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Due to its high amount of memory, it is selling for almost $1,350. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is $1,299 with only 128GB of storage, which makes it quite expensive despite its price tag being lower than that of the Find X3 Pro. The OnePlus 9 Pro costs $1,055 for 128GB of storage. This makes it the midpoint between the four phones.
The Mi 11’s international price is slightly more expensive than the Chinese price that got many online reviewers excited. The still has “Pro” caliber specifications without a luxury price. It is ideal for a person who wants to get the most out of their screen time and can accept a camera that is just serviceable. The OnePlus 9 Pro is an affordable flagship phone that does everything well but nothing spectacularly. However, the improvements through the partnership with Hasselblad and its software make it worthwhile for consideration. The OPPO’s Find X3 Pro is an impressive phone, but currently also has an impressive price. It has heat dissipation hardware, a unique design, and a unique “microscope” camera. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has the best camera and one of the most impressive displays. However, it is also quite expensive and the performance could depend on which processing chip it has.
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