As the year draws to a close we decided to step back and take a look at the entire tech landscape in India. In 2019, we have seen smartphone manufacturers go aggressive at different price levels. Xiaomi managed to have a stronghold in the sub Rs. 20,000 segment while Realme did manage to put a dent in its plans. The "notch" craze died down and manufacturers offered alternatives such as the hole-punch, pop-up camera module as well as rotating and swivelling mechanisms. But which smartphones managed to make a mark? Which were the most popular mobile phones of 2019?
Here is a list of the top 10 most popular smartphones on Gadgets 360. These smartphones were searched for quite often on our website hinting at the kind of popularity they've created.
We weren't surprised to see the Vivo V15 Pro (Review) in this popular smartphone list. This smartphone was well designed and offered a pop-up camera, an in-display fingerprint scanner as well as a triple camera setup; things that people were looking out for in their next smartphone. The AMOLED display was beautiful to look at and the device had very thin bezels all around upping its desirability quotient.
The Vivo V15 Pro packed in a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC which was paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Vivo also offered good cameras with the triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, it also had a 32-megapixel pop-up shooter.
Samsung launched the Galaxy M-series to counter competition from the Chinese smartphone makers. The Galaxy M-series was and still is an online exclusive lineup. The Galaxy M10 (Review) was Samsung's most affordable offering starting at just Rs. 7,990 in India. It had a plastic build and a 6.22-inch HD+ LCD display. The Galaxy M10 ran Samsung's Experience 9.5 UI on top of Android Oreo at launch.
Samsung picked its Exynos 7870 SoC to power this smartphone and offered it in two variants, 2GB RAM with 16GB of storage and 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage. These variants were priced at Rs. 7,990 and Rs. 8,990 respectively. While it was not the most powerful smartphone at the price, it definitely was popular.
The Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review) was launched in the last quarter for 2019 yet its popularity has managed to get it to this spot on the list. While most other smartphones were launched in the first half of the year, the Redmi Note 8 Pro had very little time to make it to this list. Xiaomi strategy of packing powerful hardware paired with an affordable price helped the Redmi Note 8 Pro slingshot it's way up our popularity chart.
Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8 Pro was the first smartphone to launch with the MediaTek Helio G90T which was made for gaming. The smartphone offered a premium build quality with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and the back. Xiaomi had launched three variants of the Redmi Note 8 Pro the base variant had 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, mid-variant offered 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and the top variant had 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Xiaomi priced these variants at Rs. 14,999, Rs. 15,999 and Rs. 17,999 respectively creating a solid demand from users.
OnePlus launched the OnePlus 6T in October 2018 as the successor to the OnePlus 6. Just like other OnePlus devices, this too offered good build quality and powerful hardware bundled with OxygenOS. With the OnePlus 6T (Review), the company reduced the size of the notch further by shifting to the dewdrop notch design.
The smartphone was powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC and was launched in three variants. The base variant offered 128GB of storage with 6GB of RAM, the mid variant got 8GB of RAM with no increase in storage, and the top-end had 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. We like the battery performance and the fact that OxygenOS was up to date with the most recent version of Android running on the device. The OnePlus 6T started at Rs. 37,999 and went all the way up to Rs. 45,999.
The Redmi 6 Pro (Review) was launched alongside the Redmi 6A (Review) and the Redmi 6 (Review) and was the first smartphone from Xiaomi to sport a notch. It was also the first time that Xiaomi used the Pro moniker outside the Redmi Note series.
The Redmi 6 Pro has a full-HD+ display with a notch at the top and a 19:9 aspect ratio. It was powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC and was launched in two variants. The base variant had 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage and was priced at Rs. 10.999 while the top variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage was priced at Rs. 12,999. We were impressed with the good build quality and the battery life of this smartphone when we reviewed it. However, it lacked dual 4G ability and its cameras were weak in low-light.
The first smartphone to launch as a part of the repositioned Galaxy A series was quite popular as well. With the main focus on design, the Galaxy A50 (Review) also offered an AMOLED display, an in-display fingerprint scanner and a triple camera setup at the back. Samsung also offered this smartphone in flashy colour options which could be one of the reasons of its popularity.
Powered by an Exynos 9610 SoC the Galaxy A50 came in 4GB and 6GB RAM variants while storage remained unchanged at 64GB. The Galaxy A50 also ran Samsung's One UI on top of Android 9 Pie. The triple camera setup consisted of a 25-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle-camera and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. We were impressed with the battery life of the Galaxy A50 as well but it did come with its fair share of bloatware and spammy notifications.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) is the oldest smartphone in the list here and was launched way back in February 2018. The most popular smartphone of 2018, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is still popular enough to make it to the list yet again. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 5 Pro was a proper all-rounder when it was launched but it feels terribly dated at this point.
When we reviewed this smartphone we liked its build quality, vivid display but were worried about the lack of a USB Type-C port and the bundled bloatware. If you were indeed searching for this smartphone, take a look of the Redmi Note 8 Pro instead and let the Redmi Note 5 Pro retire.
The Vivo Z1 Pro (Review) was a part of Vivo's online exclusive Z series and the first smartphone to sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC in India. What probably made the Vivo Z1 Pro popular was the fact that it packed in a big 5,000mAh battery and ditched the notch in favour of a hole-punch display.
Vivo launched three variants of the Z1 Pro ranging from Rs. 14,990 to Rs. 17,990. We liked the kind of performance the Z1 Pro offered coupled with very good battery life and decent cameras. And while the Z1 Pro was heavy on the pocket, it was a bulky device to deal with.
The Redmi Note 7 (Review) series have been super popular and it's no surprise that the top two smartphones belong to this very series. Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 7 in India in March this year at a very aggressive price of Rs. 9,999 for the starting variant while the top variant was priced at Rs. 11,999.
The Redmi Note 7 was powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC and had a 4,000mAh battery. It was launched with a 48-megapixel primary camera in China but Xiaomi launched it with a 12-megapixel camera in India only to replace this smartphone with the Redmi Note 7S (Review). The Redmi Note 7 offered a premium design and delivered good photos in daylight, however, it did pack a fair amount of bloatware and had a hybrid SIM tray slot.
The Redmi Note 7 Pro was the most popular smartphone on our website in 2019. Launched in March 2019, it was the most powerful smartphone in the Redmi Note 7 series. Xiaomi was also the first to offer the Snapdragon 675 SoC in the sub Rs. 15,000 price range. The company also switched to a premium glass-sandwich design which made it look a lot more premium.
Xiaomi also opted for a smaller Dot Notch which gave the Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) a better screen-to-body ratio. The smartphone was launched with MIUI 10 running on top of Android Pie and was capable of running most games on the Google Play store without any hiccups. Apart for the heating nature of the Snapdragon 675 SoC, the Redmi Note 7 Pro did everything well helping it grab full marks in our Value for Money as well. No wonder, its the most popular smartphone of 2019!
Is Realme X2 better than Redmi Note 8 Pro, Redmi K20? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.