Top Phones Launched and Reviewed in India in January-February 2022 : Tech Daily
Only two months of 2022 have passed but there have been multiple high-profile smartphone launches already, and we at Gadgets 360 get to cover nearly all of them. Major brands including Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, and Asus have refreshed multiple models catering to a variety of price points. Of the dozens of smartphones launched in 2022 so far, we have reviewed several interesting models, covering a wide array of price points. Some of these have introduced new design elements, camera features, and processors. The fight for your wallet continues. To help you make the best buying decisions, here are the top smartphones launched in India in January and February 2022 which have earned Gadgets 360 review ratings.
Phones launched and reviewed in January – February 2022 in India
|Phone name||Gadgets 360 rating (out of 10)||Price in India (as recommended)|
|Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate||9||Rs. 79,999|
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G||9||Rs. 54,999|
|Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G||8||Rs. 26,999|
|OnePlus 9 RT||9||Rs. 42,999|
|Realme 9i||7||Rs. 13,999|
|Vivo V23 Pro||8||Rs. 38,999|
|Moto G71 5G||8||Rs. 18,999|
|Oppo Reno 7 Pro||8||Rs. 39,999|
|Oppo Reno 7||8||Rs. 28,999|
|Xiaomi 11T Pro||9||Rs. 39,999|
|Realme 9 Pro+||9||Rs. 24,999|
|OnePlus Nord CE2||9||Rs. 23,999|
|Vivo T1||8||Rs. 15,990|
|Motorola Edge 30 Pro||9||Rs. 49,999|
Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate
The Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate (Review) is a big smartphone with a big 6.78-inch display. You get ultrasonic triggers at the back and an additional USB Type-C port on the side to charge the phone while gaming. It has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus at the front and Gorilla Glass 3 at the back. The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate feels bulky given its size, and it weighs 238g You get a clip-on AeroActive cooler and a 30W charger in the box.
Asus has picked the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC and paired it with 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It packs a 6,000mAh battery and comes with a 30W charger. The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate runs Android 11 with Asus’s own ROG UI on top.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G (Review) has a vibrant 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz peak refresh rate and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for protection. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G gets the same Exynos 2100 SoC as seen in the flagship Galaxy S21 series. It also features Dolby Atmos, an IP68 certification for dust and water resistance, and wireless charging.
It’s a no-nonsense value flagship that does everything you ask of it, and does it well. The low weight makes it comfortable to carry. The overall camera experience is similar to that of the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, which is to say, very dependable. However, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G will make more sense once its price drops, as it is very similar to the Galaxy S20 FE 5G.
Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge 5G
Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G as India’s fastest charging smartphone. Capable of 120W fast charging, this phone’s battery is supposed to be able to fill up completely in just 15 minutes. This is a large phone with a new design. It has flattened sides and glass on the rear. It’s available with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and both variants have 128GB of internal storage. It sports a 6.67-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz maximum refresh rate, peak brightness of 1200nits, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Xiaomi has picked the MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC to power the 11i HyperCharge 5G.
Daylight photos taken with the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G were good but it tended to boost sharpness and contrast. Low-light photos taken with bright light sources nearby turned out well, but colours were off. The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge 5G commands a premium for its 120W fast charging technology, and other phones offer better performance at this price.
The OnePlus 9RT (Review) has a good in-hand feel despite its hefty 198.5g weight. The rounded edges of the aluminium frame make it comfortable to hold. It has a relatively large 6.62-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a full-HD+ resolution. The OnePlus 9RT uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC making it equal to the OnePlus 9.
The in-display fingerprint sensor is lightning quick. Switching between apps was seamless. The 4,500mAh battery lasted for 20 hours and 16 minutes in our internal test, which runs an HD video clip on loop till a phone shuts off. The camera app on the 9RT has been lifted straight from sister company Oppo’s ColorOS. Image quality is good but low-light performance could have been better.
Realme has been pushing 5G phones for over a year now, but the Realme 9i (Review) is a 4G-only model. It’s an entry-level offering in the brand new Realme 9 series and is available with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at Rs. 13,999, or with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage priced at Rs. 15,999 in India. The Realme 9i has a 6.6-inch full-HD+ display with a 90Hz peak refresh rate and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 SoC. It offered good performance and did not show any signs of slowing down during the review period. Stereo speakers and 33W charging are nice to have. However, camera quality is sub-par.
Vivo V23 Pro
The Vivo V23 Pro (Review) is a slim and light smartphone with a tricked-out back panel, which should appeal to fashionistas. It offers a capable set of cameras but falls a bit short when it comes to the basics. Its colour-changing design is unique and the build quality feels premium. However, it lacks stereo speakers and has a medium-sized notch on the display, which looks a bit dated.
Still camera performance is quite good and the phone takes good selfies. Low-light camera performance is not bad either, but the competition offers better. Battery life for a slim and light smartphone is quite good but don’t expect multi-day battery life with it so power users can steer clear of this one.
Moto G71 5G
The Moto G71 5G (Review) is available in a single configuration, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s smaller than most other smartphones in this segment. Apart from its compactness, Motorola has paid attention to ergonomics. The Moto G71 5G sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a full-HD+ resolution, scratch-resistant glass, and 60Hz refresh rate. It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695. It packs in a 5,000mAh battery and you get a 33W TurboPower charger in the box.
The Moto G71 5G has a capable processor, good battery life with fast charging, and decent cameras.It will especially appeal to those who prefer a no-frills design and stock software experience. Low-light camera performance is one area in which the Moto G71 5G falls short of being the perfect all-rounder.
Oppo Reno 7 Pro
Design has always been a big talking point for the Reno series and it’s no different with the Oppo Reno 7 Pro (Review). Oppo says it has used a new laser process to create hundreds of diagonal micro-etches on the new back panel, which are visible at certain angles. The 6.5-inch full-HD+ 90Hz AMOLED screen delivers very good colours and contrast, and there’s Corning Gorilla 5 for scratch protection.
The new MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Max SoC has special optimisations made for the Reno 7 Pro. You get ColorOS 12 but this is still based on Android 11. Gameplay was smooth even with all graphical settings cranked up. The flat display, stereo speakers, and improved camera sensors are all welcome features. Battery life is solid, and it doesn’t hurt to have super-fast charging. If fashionable looks and quirky camera features trump sheer performance for you, you should be happy with the Reno 7 Pro.
Oppo Reno 7
The new Oppo Reno 7 (Review) has a rounded frame and curved edges, giving it a sleek aesthetic. The Reno 7 has the same laser-etched pattern on the back as the Reno 7 Pro, which looks good and does’t attract fingerprints. The 6.4-inch AMOLED display has a full-HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection.
The Reno 7 has the same MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC as its predecessor, along with has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Day-to-day performance was solid. The SoC is powerful enough to handle the usual productivity and social apps. The battery capacity is 4,500mAh. This is a good phone overall but some competitors offer more bang for your buck.
Xiaomi 11T Pro
The Xiaomi 11T Pro (Review) is a solid offering that’s hard to ignore at the lower end of the premium smartphone segment. While it’s not high on design, it makes up for this with raw performance and is almost a good all-rounder. It has a polycarbonate mid-frame, sandwiched between two sheets of glass. Its AMOLED display showcases accurate colours and is also Dolby Vision certified. You get stereo sound with Dolby Atmos support, which makes for an immersive video streaming experience.
Performance is not a problem thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, and the same goes for gaming. Battery life is also top notch and this phone lasts for up to two days of casual use on a single charge. What’s more impressive is the charging speed when using the 120W fast charger that comes in the box. Camera performance and video recording quality are quite good, and you get HDR recording options. However, selfies in low light were well below the mark.
Realme 9 Pro+
The Realme 9 Pro+ (Review) is priced higher than the 9 Pro and offers some added features such as optical image stabilisation (OIS) in the camera. It is available in a colour-changing Sunrise Blue finish. The back panel transitions from blue to red upon exposure to UV light if you choose this. It has a slim profile overall and is also quite light, which makes it comfortable for one-handed use. The phone offers enough grunt with its MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC and it can easily handle demanding 3D games as well as take care of day-to-day tasks. Battery life is also quite good and it charges quickly using its bundled 60W charger.
Still camera performance is quite impressive. The primary camera with its OIS system captures clear and crisp photos in daylight and performs well in low-light conditions too. Android 12 also makes it here with Realme UI 3.0 and it brings most of its highlight features with it.
OnePlus Nord CE 2
OnePlus has now launched the successor to the Nord CE, simply called the Nord CE 2 (Review). While it has a relatively low entry price, it also has a bunch of little improvements that add up to a better user experience. It still has a plastic frame but the back panel is now made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and feels premium. This phone shares most of its design and specifications with the Oppo Reno 7. It features the MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC which supports eight 5G bands in India.
Performance is certainly not a pain point with the Nord CE 2. You get OxygenOS 11.3 out of the box. Photos taken during the day had good detail and colours. Landscape shots had decent dynamic range and exposure was handled well. However, the cameras struggled to capture finer details in landscape shots in low light unless I used Night mode.
Vivo T1 5G
The Vivo T1 (Review) is aimed at Gen Z buyers who look for good specifications at attractive prices. It sports a 6.58-inch full-HD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Panda glass. However, it has a dewdrop notch that looks dated. Powering the Vivo T1 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, and the phone is offered in 4GB RAM, 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM options. All variants have 128GB of storage. The phone runs Android 12 with Vivo’s Funtouch OS skin on top. It also has a few bloatware apps preinstalled. The Vivo T1 5G has a 5,000mAh battery which offered good battery life. It has support for 18W fast charging which is slower than the competition.
Motorola Edge 30 Pro
The Motorola Edge 30 Pro (Review) is a huge upgrade over the Edge 20 Pro (Review) but competes in a much higher price segment. The highlight of the Edge 30 Pro has to be the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC which is currently the best you can get in an Android smartphone. It is only available with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It sports a 6.7-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with HDR10+ certification and a 144Hz maximum refresh rate. This panel has good viewing angles and does get bright enough when used outdoors.
Camera performance is good, except in low-light conditions. Motorola has managed to undercut a lot of the competition by pricing this smartphone at Rs. 49,999, which makes it quite tempting. However, it heats up easily under load. Casual usage was trouble-free, but playing demanding 3D games did cause the phone to get warm.