WHILE most of us are content to upgrade to whatever the next iPhone or Samsung Galaxy when our contract is up, there are plenty of great options outside of the big two.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei announced today that its latest flagship device, the P8, would go on sale tomorrow for $699. It features a 5.2-inch full HD screen, slick aluminium body and a 13-megapixel camera, which Huawei claims will put the iPhone 6’s to shame. Also worth noting for Aussies is that the device comes with 12 months’ free cracked screen replacement. Huawei’s previous flagship, the Ascend Mate 7, was a cracking device, with a great camera and screen, long battery life and neat software. We hope the P8 continues this trend.
The other big Chinese manufacturer on Aussie shores is Oppo. The company’s latest devices, the R7 and R7 Plus, went on sale earlier this month, starting at $449. For half the price of the latest iPhone or Galaxy S6, they pack in some quality features. This includes a 5-inch full HD screen, gorgeous metal design and a fast charger that will give you two hours of talk time in just five minutes of charging. Oppo has also updated its software for 2015, promising to make the phone 30 per cent faster.
If you’re after a killer camera, LG’s G4 starts at $869 and will blow you away with the photos it can produce. It takes incredibly accurate shots in automatic mode, including in lowlight scenarios, thanks to the new f/1.8 lens, which allows more light in. It also has a new optical image stabiliser that works twice as well as before to eliminate blurriness from shaky hands.
The manual mode is what really sets it apart, allowing the device to be a genuine DSLR replacement in many scenarios. Taking images in RAW format allows you to edit them on the go in software such as Lightroom. You can even adjust the shutter speed to take those cool light trail shots. The image stabilisation is good enough without a tripod.
But perhaps the king of unknown smartphones is the just-announced OnePlus 2, the follow-up to the Chinese company’s OnePlus One. It promises to be a high-end device at a fraction of the price. The company is really talking its latest device up, calling it a “2016 flagship killer”. It features a 5.5-inch full HD display, 13-megapixel camera, which was played up as a big deal, fingerprint sensor and a reversible USB Type C port for charging and file transfers. Pricing starts at $US329 ($A451) and is available to order online from August 11.