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Thoughts on Buying a New Phone in India

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iPhone vs Android

When I had decided initially to buy a high end smartphone this time, I considered buying an iPhone at length. Here are the key reasons why I stuck to Android:

Android: Flagship vs Budget

After deciding to stick to Android, I realized I will ultimately settle for a high end flagship phone or swallow a budget phone in the end. I zeroed in on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Google Pixel 2.

Google Pixel 2: Unreliable after sales service

My friends who have used the Google Pixel 2 swear by its impressive camera. According to the WireCutter, Google Pixel 2 is the best Android phone in the market today. While reading more about the phone on the web, I realized that Google doesn’t have a good service presence in India. The internet is rife with horror stories about poor after sales service from Google. In India, the Google phones are presently serviced by a German firm called B2X, who collects the phone from your doorstep and delivers it after repair, but the service is both slow and expensive. The parts are seldom available and have to be imported. Bottomline: Google phones are best bought if you live in the US or Europe, where the after sales service is reliable.

Samsung Galaxy S9: Slow Android Updates

Among Android phone makers, Samsung usually has a reliable service network in India. Earlier I was weary about the bloatware that came with Samsung phones but Galaxy S8 onwards, you can uninstall the bloatware. The latest flagship Galaxy s9 is a stellar phone. However, Samsung is painfully slow when it comes to pushing out Android updates on time. The Oreo update came to Samsung flagship phones seven months after it started rolling out to Pixel and Nexus devices. Now that is a compromise I am not willing to make after spending a large chunk of money on a phone.

Best Budget Android phone: Moto G6

Finally, I decided to stick to a budget Android phone. Among the budget phones. I chose the Moto G6 because the Moto G line of phones consistently features on WireCutter, in their reviews covering the best budget android phones. In their recent review, the WireCutter lists the Nokia 6.1 as the best budget Android phone and Moto G6 as the runner-up. However, the Nokia 6.1 looks boxy and outdated, sporting a 16:9 aspect ratio, and the restructured Nokia is yet to sort out their service network in India. I stuck to Motorola particularly because I am impressed by the Motorola service centre in Kolkata (Salt Lake). I have reviewed the all new Moto G6 in a separate article.

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