In just over a month we have seen the launch of four incredible new phones all featuring the increasingly popular pop-up selfie camera, allowing the phones to have an unencumbered screen with no notches, teardrops or punch holes.
The Asus Zenfone 6 is a bit of a left-field entry. Asus has been making affordable flagships for years, but they never appear to gain much traction and receive middling reviews. This year, however, the Zenfone 6 seems to be garnering a lot of favourable reviews in the tech scene and it could end up being the enthusiast’s choice with an impressive spec to price ratio.
Then there is the OnePlus 7 Pro, who over the years have gained a loyal fanbase and the company has quickly risen to become one of the top premium phones manufactures available. While the Pro increases the cost considerably, it is still around £200 cheaper than other premium flagships including the just-launched Sony Xperia 1.
Finally, the Oppo Reno 10x zoom, with Oppo being the latest Chinese company bringing their wares over to the EU. Oppo was the first company to announce 10x zoom, though Huawei pipped them to the post for first launched. Oppo has also just demoed under-screen cameras and was one of the first companies to adopts the pop-out camera, albeit in the form of a slider. So they are an innovative company willing to take risks, and the Reno 10x zoom follows suit with its shark fin pop up and one of the two phones on market with such a high zoom.
The Redmi K20 Pro is the latest device to launch with a pop-up, it is a little too new to have received many reviews yet, but interest and demand for it are significant mainly because it could be one of, if not the cheapest flagship phones on the market.
So, if you want a new flagship device but loathe notches and holes then these three are probably your best bet. Luckily for you, they are also quite affordable, as far as flagship devices go.
The Zenfone 6 and Redmi K20 Pro are not available in the UK market properly yet. I am not sure if or when the Zenfone will launch here, so you may have to resort to grey imports, and eGlobal Central have it for £525. The 6GB/64GB version should cost £499 and it was supposed to be available for pre-order but I can’t find it. You’ll pay an extra £50 for 128GB storage, or £599 for the top-end one with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.
The Redmi will almost certainly launch in the UK, but it could be branded as the Xiaomi Mi 9T, and it may launch on the 12 of this month. What its official pricing is, who knows. While Xiaomi is cheap compared to other brands in the UK, they are not cheap compared to importing their products from elsewhere. The Mi 9 can be imported from Amazon Spain for around £100 less than the UK price. At the moment GeekBuying have it available for order with 18% off for £415.59
The Oppo Reno 10x zoom hasn’t launched in the UK yet but the official pricing is £699, to provide a fairer comparison there are grey imports that can be had for £589.
The OP7 Pro is the only one readily available in the UK and you can pick that up from £649 and again, you can save a few quid via grey imports with eGlobal being just £565.
For those of you not clued up about importing phones from outside of the UK, while they are cheaper you won’t get a manufactures warranty, and supplier warranty is often not worth the paper it is written on.
All the phones have a primary 48MP camera, and they all have an ultra-wide lens, OP7Pro has a 16MP f/2.2 lens, Redmi and Asus use 13MP f/2.4 then the Reno has 8MP f/2.2.
The Zenfone lacks a third camera, but it makes up for this by flipping the camera up and using those lenses as its selfie camera.
Both OnePlus and Redmi use an 8MP telephoto lens but the OnePlus can do 3x optical zoom while the Redmi uses 2x.
The Reno has a 13MP periscope lends that is capable of 5x optical zoom then 10 hybrid.
Both the Reno and Oppo have a 16MP f/2.0 selfie camera while the Redmi has a 20MP f/2.2
Based on specs alone, there is no clear winner. If selfies are important then maybe the Zenfone, similarly if you use zoom a lot, perhaps for travel photography then the Reno is an obvious choice.
The OnePlus is the clear winner here and arguably the best screen on the market. Its 6.67-inch display runs at 1440 x 3120 with a refresh rate of 90Hz.
The other phones all use the same resolution, the Reno is also has a massive 6.6-inch screen while the Zenfone and Redmi use slightly smaller 6.4-inch displays.
The Zenfone is the only phone to not have an under-display fingerprint reader, it is located on the rear.
All the phones are superb for battery, and we have finally moved away from tiny batteries in phones. The Asus Zenfone 6 is the winner here with a massive 5000mAh battery, followed by Oppo with 4065 mAh and the other two with 4000mAh
The Zenfone is the only one to feature wireless charging, but it is the slowest to charge at 18W. The OnePlus is the quickest with 30W charging, then the Redmi with 27W and finally the Oppo with 20W.
Chipset, RAM and Storage
They all use the same Snapdragon 855 chipset, hence me classing them as flagships, but storage options vary. Most people buy the base model, so for comparison, I will either use that or whichever model is currently available at the cheapest price.
- Asus Zenfone 6 – 6GB/128GB
- Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro – 6GB/128GB
- Oppo Reno 10x zoom – 6GB/128GB
- OnePlus 7 Pro – 6GB/128GB – though a lot of places only sell the 8GB model for £699
It is worth noting, that while they all use the same memory and storage options, the OnePlus is the only phone to use UFS3.0 which in theory should provide significant performance gains for most aspects on the phone such as load times etc.
All the phones have NFC, so no worries there. Both the Redmi and Zenfone have 3.5mm while the other two do not. Then the Zenfone and Oppo both have microSD.
All the phones have similar specs, with each one having its own particular strong points. I am a fan of the zoom on the Oppo Reno, and due to the tumultuous time Huawei is having, they find themselves in a favourable position with their 10x zoom phone at the moment.
Even when the prices jump up with the official UK launch, the Redmi could be the cheapest option, which will always make it a great choice.
OnePlus offer the best software with regular updates, and that screen is going to make it a popular gaming phone. The high-speed storage should also make this the best performing phone in general.
Then the Asus Zenfone 6 is easily the best for selfies and the battery. This apparently was up for pre-order but not at the moment. With a claimed £499 base price or £549 for the 6GB/128GB model, it is £100 less than the Oppo and OnePlus.
|Asus Zenfone 6||OnePlus 7 Pro||Oppo Reno 10x zoom||Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro|
|Announced||2019, May||2019, May||2019, April||2019, May|
|Status||Available. Released 2019, May||Available. Released 2019, May||Coming soon. Exp. release 2019, June||Available. Released 2019, June|
|Dimensions||159.1 x 75.4 x 9.2 mm (6.26 x 2.97 x 0.36 in)||162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm (6.40 x 2.99 x 0.35 in)||162 x 77.2 x 9.3 mm (6.38 x 3.04 x 0.37 in)||156.7 x 74.3 x 8.8 mm (6.17 x 2.93 x 0.35 in)|
|Weight||190 g (6.70 oz)||206 g (7.27 oz)||210 g (7.41 oz)||191 g (6.74 oz)|
|Build||Front glass (Gorilla Glass 6), back glass (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame||Front/back glass, aluminum frame|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||Fluid AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.4 inches, 100.5 cm2 (~83.8% screen-to-body ratio)||6.67 inches, 108.8 cm2 (~88.1% screen-to-body ratio)||6.6 inches, 108.6 cm2 (~86.8% screen-to-body ratio)||6.39 inches, 100.2 cm2 (~86.1% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)||1440 x 3120 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~516 ppi density)||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~387 ppi density)||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 6||Corning Gorilla Glass||Corning Gorilla Glass 6||Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
|OS||Android 9.0 (Pie), ZenUI 6||Android 9.0 (Pie); OxygenOS 9||Android 9.0 (Pie); ColorOS 6||Android 9.0 (Pie); MIUI 10|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.41 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.78 GHz Kryo 485)||Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 485)||Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485)||Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485)|
|GPU||Adreno 640||Adreno 640||Adreno 640||Adreno 640|
|Card slot||microSD, up to 1 TB (dedicated slot)||No||microSD, up to 256 GB (uses shared SIM slot)||No|
|Internal||256 GB, 8 GB RAM or 64/128 GB, 6 GB RAM||256 GB, 8/12 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6 GB RAM||256 GB, 6/8 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6 GB RAM||256 GB, 8 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6/8 GB RAM or 64 GB, 6 GB RAM|
|Modules||48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, Laser/PDAF||48 MP, f/1.6, (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, Laser/PDAF, OIS||48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0", 0.8µm, Laser/PDAF, OIS||48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, Laser/PDAF|
|13 MP, f/2.4, 11mm (ultrawide)||8 MP, f/2.4, 78mm (telephoto), 3x zoom, Laser/PDAF, OIS||Periscope 13 MP, f/3.0, 130mm (telephoto), 5x optical zoom, Laser/PDAF, OIS||8 MP, f/2.4, 53mm (telephoto), 1/4", 1.12µm, Laser/PDAF, 2x optical zoom|
|16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)||8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide)||13 MP, f/2.4, 12mm (ultrawide), 1/3", 1.12µm|
|Features||Dual-LED flash, HDR, auto panorama (motorized rotation)||Dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, HDR||Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama||Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS (except @240/480fps)||2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@480fps, Auto HDR, gyro-EIS, no video rec. with ultrawide camera||2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, gyro-EIS; video rec. only with main camera||2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/120/240fps, 1080p@960fps|
|Modules||Motorized flip-up main camera module||Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.0", 1.0µm||Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide)||Motorized pop-up 20 MP, f/2.2, 0.8µm|
|Features||Dual-LED flash, HDR, auto panorama (motorized rotation)||Auto-HDR||LED flash, HDR||HDR|
|Video||2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 1080p@30fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS (except @240/480fps)||1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS||1080p@30fps||1080p@30fps|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers||Yes, with stereo speakers||Yes, with stereo speakers||Yes|
|24-bit/192kHz audio||Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic||Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic||24-bit/192kHz audio|
|Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic||Dolby Atmos sound||24-bit/192kHz audio||Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|DTS Headphone X||Dolby Audio|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, DLNA, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD||5.0, A2DP, EDR, LE, aptX HD||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS||Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, SBAS||Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS||Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO|
|USB||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go||Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 4065 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery|
|Charging||Fast battery charging 18W (Quick Charge 4.0)||Fast battery charging 30W (Warp Charge)||Fast battery charging 20W (VOOC Flash Charge)||Fast battery charging 27W (Quick Charge 4+)|
|Power bank/Reverse charging 10W|
|Colors||Midnight Black, Twilight Silver||Mirror Grey, Almond, Nebula Blue||Ocean Green, Jet Black||Carbon black, Flame red, Glacier blue|
|Price||£549 (£525 import)||£699 (£565 grey import)||£699 (£589 ebay grey import)||£420 import |
I would bet £500 for UK launch