Smartphones…smartphones! These days, we live in a sea of them, don’t we? There are just so many phones in the market right now, and it’s pretty easy to confuse one with another. And if you’re looking to buy a new phone, or upgrade, then, the confusion becomes even greater. Also, the salespeople try their best to convince you to get a particular device. But here are some smartphones, that are not worth your money and this is the smartphone no-buy list.
The phones listed are judged on their specs to price ratio and their date of release. Some are due to outdatedness, others are priced unfairly for their specs. So, here’s a list of phones from various brands you should skip.
List of Overrated phones you should not buy in 2020
OPPO A9 2020
Though it has “2020” in its name, the OPPO A9 2020 was released a year ago. And boy is this a disappointing phone! Unless discounted heavily, the devices should just be wiped out of the market, and not by customers buying it. I was implying that it be discontinued altogether. The look is the only thing in favor of the A9 2020 but what OPPO seems to have failed to grasp is that a phone should be more than just a fashion statement, an eye candy.
It’s all downhill from here. The display is a discouraging HD+ LCD panel, and more importantly, the 48MP quad-camera setup the phone flaunts shares a similar story. In terms of performance, the phone is powered by the Snapdragon 665 and I wouldn’t like to beat the dead horse and repeat its unjustifiability on a mid-range phone of this price. The phone has a big 5000mAh battery which sounds great, but get ready to be disappointed because the phone still has a Micro USB data/charging port.
The company had scrapped its ‘F’ series last year, and it was a little shocking to see OPPO release a new phone under the lineup. Hopefully, it’s OPPO’s last hurrah at the once-popular ‘F’ series of smartphones considering how the F15 turned out to be. The phone’s design is not that bad. I mean, I like the colors on the back panel and the quad-camera placement looks fine as well. Except, the teardrop notch seems a little outdated for a 2020 device.
Performance is equally underwhelming on a phone of this price. The MediaTek Helio P70 has been coupled with 8 gigs of RAM with 128 gigs storage. You can play popular titles like PUBG in medium settings, which shouldn’t have been the case. Photos from the OPPO F15 are quite decent, so not everything’s bad. By the way, we are working on its full review as well, so stick around when that goes live. The bottom line is, you can get many better-performing phones in the market instead of this.
Although some of the budget Y-series are decent for its price in the offline market, the Vivo Y19 isn’t. Priced at INR. 15,000 in India and some Rs. 28,990 in Nepal, it’s one of the overpriced phones on our list. Although you get a big 5000mAh battery, other specifications are pretty average. The triple camera quality is subpar as you can get a better camera on cheaper devices.
Vivo S1 Pro
The fourth phone on our list is the Vivo S1 Pro. Right off the bat, this is not a terrible phone – not at all. It’s just that the company is so bad… so, so, bad at chipset selection in its phone; be it a budget or a mid-range device. That’s vividly reflected on the S1 Pro. Design-wise, the phone looks quite pretty and sturdy on the hands. An excellent Super AMOLED display, a fast in-display fingerprint display, and a great battery endurance are some areas the phone’s got going for itself. However, that’s about it.
Cameras, the one area we’re supposed to have high expectations from a Vivo phone, doesn’t match your expectations. Vivo S1 Pro’s quad-cameras failed to produce accurate colors, lacked significantly in terms of dynamic range in our time with the phone. But I must say, the front camera is pretty solid. Moving on, the performance is where you’ll get disappointed the most. Snapdragon 665 on a phone of this price simply isn’t justifiable. It is ok at best and Vivo’s inclusion of a whopping 8GB RAM is unnecessarily gimmicky. The FunTouch OS isn’t that fun either and the UI is fairly confusing to navigate. With all this, the Vivo S1 Pro shouldn’t be your next phone.
Our next pick for the phone to ignore right now is the recently launched Vivo V19. Two Vivo phones in the row – who’s surprised? The phone just launched a couple of days ago in India for a ridiculous price; just like the S1 Pro, which is terrible considering how price-sensitive the market there is. It’s a little different than the Indonesian version, which had a single front-facing camera and a little less powerful chipset. This one, on the other hand, has a dual selfie camera inside a pill-shaped cutout and is equipped with the Snapdragon 712.
Other specs of the phone include a 48MP quad-camera setup, a Super AMOLED screen, a big 4500mAh battery with 33W quick charging, etc. Based on the preliminary reviews that have come out so far, the cameras are pretty good though you’re greeted with Vivo’s signature image post-processing. I know all this doesn’t sound that bad, but our primary complaint is the price. A phone with impractical value-for-money for a market primarily prioritizing that isn’t a good combo.
Samsung lower end A-series
The Samsung A-series under Rs. 25,000 in Nepal are particularly overpriced for the specs it offers. At this price, there are better alternatives like its own M-series or Xiaomi Redmi Note series. Hence, buying the A20s or the A30s right now is not a good option.
Samsung Galaxy A20s
The Samsung Galaxy A20s is supposedly an upgrade over its predecessor – A20. But by the looks of it, the A20s is for from an “upgrade” of any sort. It features a downgraded HD+ IPS LCD panel while the standard A20 had a Super AMOLED display. Besides this, the phone comes with a gimmicky triple camera setup while Samsung has gone in favor of a Qualcomm chip instead of its homemade Exynos SoC. Galaxy A20s launched at outrageous pricing and no way is the phone worth it even after multiple price cuts it’s received.
Samsung Galaxy A30s
This one’s similar to the one above as well. Though Samsung really took the budget and mid-range smartphone market by storm in 2019, its successors have been nothing sort of disappointments. Galaxy A30s follows the disappointing trend of minimal efforts as it bears practically insignificant upgrades over its predecessor. There’s an additional depth sensor and you get an in-display fingerprint sensor; that’s about it. Performance-wise, there’s the Exynos 7904 which doesn’t belong in a phone of this price. And we know Samsung is known for their stellar display in its phones, but the A30s downgrades it to a disappointing HD+ resolution on such a big, bright, & vivid AMOLED panel.
Honor 9X (Global)
Following the OPPO A9 2020, is the global variant of the Honor 9X. Now, I must admit – compared to this, the Chinese variant is absolutely fine. Yeah, what’s up with China getting all the good stuff? Anyway, the Honor 9X in here is powered by the Kirin 710F while a much powerful Kirin 810 powers the Chinese variant. That’s most probably the primary issue with the phone. It does come with an additional ultrawide camera, but that in no way is something to write home about.
Let’s complain a little more about that chipset, why don’t we. The Helio G90T in other similarly priced phones like Redmi Note 8 Pro, Realme 6 crushes the 710F by almost three-fold. Now that’s humiliating. Honor 9X struggles with its build quality as well, which we accidentally found out after the back panel shattered with a drop from a very nominal height. Moving on, the notch-less display is pleasing to look at. But the camera performance was just about average only making the Honor 9X a phone unworthy of your purchase.
I’m gonna keep this one brief because it’s almost the exact same phone like the Honor 9X (Global). Same design, same camera arrangement, ergo the same level of performance. Lucky for them, the Huawei Y9s and Honor 9X still resume the support for Google’s suite of applications which is not found in recent smartphones from the company. Here, the Huawei Y9s is even more expensive than the one above. Huawei should realize by now that a clean-cut design isn’t enough to sell smartphones.
Realme 6i / Narzo 10
Next on the list is the Realme 6i. It launched in Myanmar a couple of weeks ago as the cheapest entry in the company’s ‘6’ series of smartphones. Emphasizing its “Master Design”, Realme 6i also holds the title for the world’s first phone with MediaTek’s new gaming-focused Helio G80 chipset. And just a couple of days ago, the company rebranded it into Narzo 10 for the Indian market. This is a little tricky one because the Realme 6i is not a bad phone at all. The thing is, you can get a much, much better device simply by adding literally a couple thousand or more. That too from the standard Realme 6.
The first notable upgrade comes in the form of the display as the Realme 6 has an FHD+ panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and a trendier punch-hole cutout. On the contrary, the 6i has an inferior HD+ display with a regular 60Hz refresh rate and a dated teardrop notch. Another improvement, and the most crucial one, is the performance. While the Helio G80 is great and all, the G90T on the Realme 6 is nearly 40% better. A slight camera improvement can also be found on the Realme 6 with its 64MP quad-camera setup whereas the primary sensor on the Realme 6i is a 48MP lens.
Finally, though the Realme 6 has a smaller 4300mAh battery to 6i’s 5000mAh cell, it does come with a faster 30W charging. Because of all this, the Realme 6i becomes an unwise purchase and we strongly believe you should add just a little more and go for the Realme 6 instead.
iPhone SE 2020
Hereon forward, we’re moving to the upper mid-range and flagship-grade smartphones. And we’ll be starting with an iPhone instead of an Android device. You may already know what iPhone I’m talking about and you’re right – it’s the second-gen iPhone SE. For just $399, it seems like such a great deal and it most likely is; especially if you’re into iOS & the Apple ecosystem of products, and live in the US. You see, iPhone SE 2 costs so much more in other regions of the world and therefore just isn’t worth buying considering its close alternatives, in terms of cost.
The primary upper hand iPhone SE 2 has is its flagship A13 Bionic chipset and Apple’s history of regular system updates for a prolonged period. Discount that, and you’ve got a pretty terrible looking phone that compromises in almost every other aspect of a smartphone. It’s got big bezels on the top and bottom. The display is below-mediocre with its 4.7-inches HD Retina panel and the camera arrangement isn’t any versatile either. Also, though the phone does support wireless charging, the battery itself is a pretty small 1821mAh cell. As a result, you run a risk of running out of juice and having to charge the phone every now and then. That is not something a smartphone owner should be worrying about in this day and age.
Also Read: Best iPhone SE 2 alternatives
Xiaomi Mi 10
Xiaomi’s Mi 10 is also getting quite the buzz with its Indian launch, but not for the right reasons. It was launched a couple of days ago and many tech enthusiasts were very upset with its pricing; rightfully so. Xiaomi is a value-oriented company with its aggressively priced phones. Maybe it’s only capable of doing that in its budget and mid-range devices like Xiaomi’s new venture of selling flagship phones in India is off to a rough start. And for our Nepalese audience, there have been talks that the device will make its way to the domestic market as well.
In Xiaomi’s defense, the phone is absolutely great. The camera system is a little gimmicky but the rest of the stuff is solid. You get a curved Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 865, 108MP quad-camera, 30W wired/wireless charging, and more. But the one area the company has failed is pricing; which should’ve been way too competitive than what it is. Compared to China, the phone costs even more in India and that may be the case in Nepal too. As popular YouTuber Geeky Ranjit pointed it out, Xiaomi should’ve copied the pricing strategy of OnePlus in India. It’s not too late; Xiaomi could still introduce a price-drop and give a stronger base to its raw foothold in the country’s flagship smartphone market.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The end of our list features Samsung’s ultra-expensive flagship phone, the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It grabbed all the headlines for its insane 100x Space Zoom, 108MP camera, 8K video recording, and more importantly – the price. S20 Ultra went somewhere Samsung had never gone before with its starting asking price of a whopping $1400! Yeah, that’s too much as the sales figures have made it evident. Additionally, the global COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help the company’s cause either. Though it’s supposed to be the absolute best Samsung has to offer, the phone is riddled with some serious issues.
One of the major issues S20 Ultra is facing is autofocus on its big 108MP sensor. The highlight functionality of the should’ve been taken care of before the phone hit the market, but Samsung has clearly failed to do that. And it doesn’t look like something that could be solved with a software update either. Oh yeah, Samsung’s custom Exynos chip is once again taking the heat as more and more Samsung fans demand Qualcomm chipset on the company’s flagship smartphones. Adding insult to the injury, some S20 Ultra owners have even complained about the phone’s glass panel on the rear-cameras just… breaking for no reason. Moreover, Samsung says that’s not something the warranty covers, and you’re required to pay $400 for repairing it. That’s insane!
So, despite all its flagship-grade features like 120Hz AMOLED display, a big 5000mAh battery with 45W wired and 15W wireless charging, etc. the phone’s atrocious pricing is nowhere near warranted.
So, what do you think of the Smartphone No-Buy list? Did we miss out on any other phone which is similar? Let us know in the comments.
Summary List of Overrated Phones you should not buy
|S. No.||Phones not to buy in 2020 / Overrated smartphones|
|01||OPPO A9 2020|
|04||Vivo S1 Pro|
|06||Samsung Galaxy A20s|
|07||Samsung Galaxy A30s|
|08||Honor 9X (Global)|
|10||Realme 6i / Narzo 10|
|11||iPhone SE (2020)|
|12||Xiaomi Mi 10|
|13||Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra|