March 2022 saw a number of smartphones get launched, many of them capable enough of making it to the Phone of the Month list. The only problem with so many good phone launches is that it really dials up the competition quotient and the devices that otherwise would have easily made it to our list of top phones for the month got pushed to the back. But that is hardly a bad thing. While there was an array of impressive smartphones released in March’22, there is one smartphone that pretty much wiped the floor with the competition.
Phone of the month: Poco X4 Pro
The Poco X4 Pro is perhaps the best phone one can buy under the price tag of Rs. 20,000, in terms of both design and spec sheet. The phone throws both big numbers and specs right from the first face-to-face (the display) – it comes with a tall, 6.67 inch full HD+ AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120 HZ. The display is not only number-laden but is also extremely pleasing to look at. Poco has paired this display with loud stereo speakers which makes watching content on the X4 Pro an absolute treat.
Backing the device is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor paired with 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 256 GB RAM/ storage options. The processor can not only handle all your everyday chores and casual games with ease but can even go through high-end games with slightly tweaked settings.
The triple camera setup on the back of the Poco X4 Pro is led by a 64-megapixel main sensor. This is accompanied by an 8 megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel macro lens. On the front, the Poco X4 Pro brings a 16-megapixel sensor. There is a 5,000 mAh battery with support for 67 W fast charging which can charge the phone completely in less than 50 minutes. There is 5G on board and the phone brings a physical fingerprint scanner on the side as well.
That said, it comes with Android 11 out of the box which is a little dated but it is topped with MIUI 13. The UI is pretty feature-rich yet not overwhelming although we would have liked to see Android 12 on the phone.
One of the biggest USPs of the phone is the design. The Poco X4 Pro not only adheres to the contemporary design language and brings a flat back and flat side combination but the glass back of the phone is both standout and stunning. It comes with light rays reflecting in such a way that it seems there’s an always-on laser show on the back of the X4 Pro. Pair this with the ‘almost’ as big as the width of the back camera enclosure and you have yourselves a head-turning device that will definitely drop jaws. It is slightly on the heavier and bigger side but we do not think many will mind that considering the kind of design deal this phone otherwise strikes.
Stunning, standout design
First runner up: Samsung Galaxy A53
Samsung started the year with the launch of its flagship smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S22 series but the brand has been focusing on its budget and mid and upper mid-segment smartphones as well. It has launched a number of devices in different price segments and the most remarkable one amongst the lot launched in March has to be the Samsung Galaxy A53.
With a starting price of Rs. 35,999, the phone is packed with specs goodness. It is powered by Samsung’s in-house Exynos 1280 chipset which is paired with plenty of RAM and storage options and also comes with the option to expand storage.
In the best Samsung tradition, the A53 brings a beautiful, vibrant display to the table. It is a 6.5-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120 HZ refresh rate. The phone has a quad-camera setup comprising a 64-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor and two 5 megapixel sensors; one each for macro and depth.
We like that Samsung has not added nominal, ‘only for show’ 2-megapixel macro and depth sensors to the phone to make up camera numbers and has given two 5 megapixel sensors on the phone. The dot-notch on the front houses a 32-megapixel selfie camera. The display is also home to an in-display fingerprint scanner.
No fast charging
No charger in the box
Second runner up: iPhone SE
Many might be surprised to see the iPhone SE on the list but the phone actually has some serious processor and software muscle up the sleeve that has pushed it to the second runner up position in the list. The iPhone SE comes with some seriously dated looks and specs with those thick bezels and the round fingerprint scanner under the display, a single camera on the back and a not-so-spec forward display on the front. But what the phone lacks in cosmetic upgrades, it makes up for in processor terms.
It is powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic chip which is hands down the most powerful processor on smartphones. It is the processor that powers the iPhone 13 series as well. Couple this with regular software updates that keep coming in for at least five years and you have yourself a very formidable device.
With the starting price of Rs. 43,900, the iPhone SE is a great entry point for those who want to get into the iOS zone without burning too deep a hole in their pockets. Top this with the usually good resale value that iPhones inherently come along with, and the iPhone SE 2022 starts looking like a solid option.
Regular software updates
High resale value