If you ask anyone with a little technical know-how about phones and when and when not to buy them, he/she will tell you August-September is definitely not the best time to buy a high-end flagship phone. Even if you’re looking to splurge and money is not a constraint, it’s best to wait now and save yourself the regret that a certain next-generation Google Pixel, or the next iPhone, or the next Samsung Galaxy Note would bring to your party should you have already invested in a first-generation Pixel, or an iPhone 7, or a Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+.Things are, however, a little different in the budget and mid-level segments. There are some good options that still continue to hold ground despite the fact that plenty of other options – good and bad – would be coming to the market in the days to come.All said and done, if you’re still looking to buy a new phone this August, here are all the options that money can buy.Cheapest phone(s) we recommendXiaomi Redmi 4The Redmi 4 was launched in India in mid-May at a starting price of Rs 6,999 for the 2GB RAM and 16GB storage version going all the way to Rs 10,999 for the top end 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version. The Redmi 4 is also available in 3GB RAM and 32GB memory version for Rs 8,999. Although, the Redmi 4 has been around for a while – and is still a very hard to get phone like other Xiaomi phones – the fact that it brings in some hard-to-get hardware specs at some really rock-bottom prices make it worth all the time and effort: even in August. No other phone still comes close to it as far as value proposition is concerned.advertisementIt looks really premium, feels really premium, has a pretty neat display, metes out dependable performance, comes with good-enough cameras and most importantly killer battery life.Boasting of a full-metal body — with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner — the Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with a 5-inch 720p display and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor under the hood. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. On the software side, the Redmi 4 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI. Furthermore, the phone is backed by a 4,100mAh battery.Xiaomi Redmi 4AAlternatively, if you’re someone who is on an even more tighter budget, Xiaomi’s ultra-affordable Redmi 4A , that sells for Rs 5,999, is the phone to buy. Think of it as an even more affordable Redmi 4: an ideal feature phone replacement if you’re someone who is also looking to make a switch to a ‘smart’ phone for the first time. It’s as basic as basic gets, and yet, it is feature packed to the brim once you get a hang of it. Most importantly, it costs next to nothing.If you’re someone who is looking for a basic smartphone at dirt-cheap prices, but, also someone who loves to flaunt it, the Redmi 4A should get the job done. The phone, although plastic, feels premium from every nook and corner and is also quite high on specs for its price as long as you know its limitations.In terms of hardware specs, the phone comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display with a 720p resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with Adreno 308 GPU, 2GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage which is further expandable via micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 out-of-the-box and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) connectivity.On the camera front the Redmi 4A comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture along with autofocus and an LED flash. On the front you get a 5-megapixel snapper. The phone is backed by a 3,120mAh battery which is non-removable.Best phone under Rs 10,000Xiaomi Redmi Note 4It’s no secret that Xiaomi has hit bull’s eye with the Redmi Note 4. The Redmi Note 4 is easily among the best selling phones that Xiaomi has ever come out with, and the phone still manages to hold its ground in the under Rs 10,000 price segment even though it was launched in January. Backed by a premium design, top-notch performance and fantastic battery life, the Redmi Note 4 still remains to be the smartphone to beat at its price point. Follow up to Xiaomi’s much successful Redmi Note 3; the Redmi NotE 4 exists primarily to correct the camera shortcomings of its predecessor, according to the company. The phone comes with a 13-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus and dual-LED (dual-tone) flash. On the front, the Redmi Note 4 comes with a 5-megapixel camera.advertisementThe Redmi Note 4 boasts of a full-metal body and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. The phone comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clubbed with Adreno 506GPU. The base 2GB RAM and 32GB storage version of the Redmi Note 4 sells for Rs 9,999 and supports expandable storage of up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot as well. The dual-SIM phone runs Android Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 and supports 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready). The Redmi Note 4 is further backed by a 4,100mAh battery.Best phone(s) under Rs 20,000Moto G5 PlusLenovo’s Moto G5 Plus is a healthy concoction of a premium all-metal body, a spectacular camera, clean and unadulterated software, and great battery life. At under Rs 20,000 the Moto G5 Plus is definitely your best bet if you’re looking for an all-rounder phone that’s also priced well. The Moto G5 Plus starts at Rs 14,999 for the base 3GB RAM and 16GB storage version and goes all the way to Rs 16,999 for the top-end 4GB RAM and 32GB storage version.It’s an all-metal phone with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and splash-resistance coating. It comes with a 5.2-inch 1080p screen and is powered by Qualcomm’s heat efficient Snapdragon 625 processor. The Moto G5 Plus, like other Moto phones, runs an almost unmodified version of Android Nougat with Moto enhancements like Moto Display and Moto Actions alongside the Google’s AI assistant.The Moto G5 Plus sports a 12-megapixel camera on the rear with dual pixel autofocus, f/1.7 aperture and dual-LED flash. Additionally, the Moto G5 Plus’ rear camera is also capable of recording 4K video. On the front, it comes with a 5-megapixel camera.The Moto G5 Plus is further backed by a 3,000mAh battery and supports fast charging.Note: FYI, Lenovo will launch a slightly tweaked version of the Moto G5 Plus, called the Moto G5S Plus, in India in the days to come. Although the Moto G5S Plus will carry the same exact core hardware, it will come with dual cameras on the rear that would be something to look out for in the near future.Huawei Honor 8The Honor 8 was launched in India in October last year at a price of Rs 29,999. If you’re wondering why the Honor 8 even deserves a mention here, 8 months after hitting the shelves, well, the phone from Huawei is now selling for as low as Rs 18,490. It is actually quite a steal at its current price if you’re someone who likes to flaunt their phone and also someone who likes to take a lot of (good) pictures using it.The Honor 8 has two cameras on the rear — dual 12-megapixel with dual-LED (dual tone) flash — wherein one takes monochrome shots the other takes photos in colour (RGB). The phone’s software algorithm then merges both the images into one and creates the final photo. Basically, the phone can ideally take better low-light photos than rival top-tier phones thanks to its dual-lens system. The Honor 8, in addition, also has an 8-megapixel camera on the front.advertisementThe Honor 8 further boasts of an all glass and metal body with rear mounted fingerprint scanner. It comes with a 5.2-inch 1080p display and an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 950 processor clubbed with 4GB RAM under the hood and 32GB of on-board storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via micro-SD card. The phone is backed by a 3,000 mAh battery.Xiaomi Mi Max 2The Mi Max 2, like the Mi Max before it, is a super-sized phablet that towers over every other phablet in the market right now with its sheer size and ambition. The reason why it makes the cut here is because the Mi Max 2 is quite an interesting option for someone who’s into a lot of multimedia consumption. Launched in India at a price of Rs 16,999 the 6.44-inch Mi Max 2 monster of a phablet comes with a 5,300mAh monster of a battery inside. This 5,300mAh battery inside the Mi Max 2 is rated to deliver up to 2 days of battery life on regular usage. A lot of these great battery life claims also come from the assurance that the Mi Max 2 – just like the Redmi Note 4 – has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 at its heart.The Mi Max 2, just like last year’s Mi Max, comes with a 6.44-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels which roughly translates to 342 pixels per inch) IPS display which invariably means that it is a phone designed first and foremost for multimedia consumption, the same reason why Xiaomi has decided to put dual stereo speakers on this one.The Mi Max 2 has outstanding camera credentials as well. In fact, it sports the same IMX 386 image sensor as the company’s flagship Mi 6 which isn’t coming to India by the way.Best phone(s) under Rs 30,000Moto Z2 PlayLast year’s Moto Z Play was a spectacular phone in all its right. This year’s Moto Z2 Play is even better and an ideal replacement if you’re someone who hasn’t already crossed paths with the original Moto Z Play. Just like the Moto Z Play, the Moto Z2 Play brings the Moto Z family’s modularity to the affordable mid-range segment. But being an affordable mid-range modular phone — and a modular phone done right — isn’t the only USP of the Moto Z2 Play, for its loyalties lie elsewhere. The Moto Z2 Play, just like the Moto Z Play before it, has a battery life to die for.The Moto Z2 Play, priced at Rs 27,999, uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor and comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The phone comes with a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a Full-HD (1080P) resolution. One particular interesting bit about the Moto Z2 Play — as opposed to its predecessor — is its main camera. This camera uses a 12-megapixel image sensor that has a pixel size of 1.4um. Just like its predecessor the Moto Z Play, the Moto Z2 Play also comes with a decently-sized 3,000mAh battery and when paired with Qualcomm’s efficient Snapdragon 626, metes out excellent battery life.The Z2 Play further comes with a full-metal body and has a fingerprint sensor on the front and on the back the phone has pogo pins through which Moto Mods can be attached to it. It also comes with Type C connector. Also the support for micro-SD card has been provided.Like other Motorola phones, the Z2 Play also uses an almost unmodified version of Android. It is powered by Android Nougat 7.1, which is the latest version of Android.OnePlus 3TThe OnePlus 3T — even though OnePlus has discontinued the phone now (it will be available for buying in India by the end of this year though) — is one of those rare case studies where it’s hard to find a catch, simply because there isn’t any. I would personally pick up the OnePlus 3T over the newly launched OnePlus 5, but then, that’s just a personal choice.The 6GB RAM and 64GB storage version of the OnePlus 3T is available for buying for Rs 29,999 and is still among the best phones that money can buy around its price point chiefly because of its blazing fast performance.It boasts of a full-metal body and a front-mounted fingerprint scanner. The phone has a 5.5-inch full-HD AMOLED display with a 1920×1080 pixels resolution and is powered by a 2.35GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor coupled with Adreno 530 GPU. It is further backed by a 3,400mAh battery.The phone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based OxygenOS out-of-the-box and is up-gradable to Android N. The OnePlus 3T also supports the company’s in-house fast charging solution called Dash Charging and the accompanying Dash Charger is capable of charging the phone to up to 60 per cent in just 30 minutes.The OnePlus 3T further sports a 16-megapixel camera (Sony IMX 298) with PDAF, f/2.0 aperture and Optical Image Stabilisation. The camera on-board is assisted with EIS for enhanced stabilisation while shooting videos. On the front, the OnePlus 3T comes with a 16-megapixel camera.Best phone(s) under Rs 45,000OnePlus 5So, what if the OnePlus 5 looks a lot like a certain phone from a certain company that shares its name with a fruit that apparently keeps doctors away? At least, it looks good, while at it. It is, without a doubt, OnePlus’ best-looking phone ever. It’s still pretty jam-packed to the core with high-end specs, like the company’s previous offerings, and also it comes at a relatively mainstream price which come to think of it is again trademark OnePlus.It comes with the latest in hardware – and up to 8 gigs of RAM that quite frankly speaking is ridiculous in 2017 – and dual cameras.The dual camera system in the OnePlus 5 features “a tailor-made 16-megapixel camera, supported by a 20-megapixel telephoto camera. While the 16-megapixel camera — Sony IMX 398 — features a large f/1.7 aperture, the secondary 20-megapixel camera — Sony IMX 350 – features an f/2.6 aperture. The dual camera system on-board the OnePlus 5 is capable of shooting photos with shallow depth of field, or bokeh effect through a specialized portrait mode. There’s also a dedicated Pro Mode for pro users. The system is also capable of recording 4K videos and shooting in RAW file format. Sadly, the OnePlus 5’s rear camera system isn’t assisted with Optical Image Stabilisation. On the front, the OnePlus 5 comes with a 16-megapixel camera.The OnePlus 5’s dual camera system may be a hit or a miss — it is in fact not as good as hyped by the company in question — but it doesn’t take away the fact that the OnePlus 5 is the most powerful phone that you can buy at its price point right now. It runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based OxygenOS out-of-the-box and is as blazing fast as blazing fast can be right now.The OnePlus 5 starts at Rs 32,999 for the base 6GB RAM and 64GB storage version and goes all the way to Rs 37,999 for the top-end 8GB RAM and 128GB storage version.Best phone(s) money can buyHTC U11HTC’s new U11, has enough gimmicks and fire-power under the hood to stand toe-to-toe with the best in the industry now. And give them quite a run for their money while at it. The U11 is in fact, the best flagship phone that you can buy in the market right now. And also it is very practical, save the Edge Sense gimmickry that’s easy to ignore than be nit-picky about.The U11 looks great, has a great screen, metes out great performance, comes with great camera credentials and a camera that performs quite well while at it, and outstanding audio credentials that put Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus’ stereo setup to shame. It is water-resistant and crams in three virtual assistants. But, more importantly, the U11 is the first HTC phone in years to carry a sensible price tag. The phone, for 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, costs Rs 51,990.The HTC U11 comes with a 5.5-inch 2K Super LCD 5 screen. It is powered by a 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor clubbed with up to 6GB RAM and up to 128GB of internal memory which is further expandable via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat-based Sense UI. It further comes with a 16-megapixel front-facing camera and is backed by a 3,000mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 3.0.The U11 ships with a 12-megapixel rear camera with what HTC calls UltraPixel 3 technology and UltraSpeed Autofocus. It uses a very bright lens at f/1.7 aperture, and the sensor is also a little bigger than the usual, 1/2.55-inch that apparently boosts low-light performance. HTC’s UltraPixel sensor is notorious for allowing more light into the lens, technically resulting in brighter photos. The rear camera is further assisted with phase detection autofocus, OIS and dual-LED (dual tone) flash. On the front, it comes with a 16-megapixel camera.Also Read: Best phones to buy this July: OnePlus 5 joins the party, so does HTC U11
Senior New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor is happy that centurion Tom Latham paid heed to his advice to play the sweep and reverse sweep which disturbed the length of Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.Taylor scored 95 and added 200 runs with Latham, who struck an unbeaten 103 in New Zealand’s successful chase of 281 in the first ODI against India in Mumbai.Kuldeep and Chahal bowled 20 overs giving away 125 runs with only a wicket in return.”With the sweep shot, We are able to put pressure on the spinners and forced them to adjust their lengths. I thought he (Latham) did that outstandingly well. I told him to reverse sweep and he did it, and he kept doing it,” Taylor said at the post-match press conference.Taylor said that after fielding for three and half hours in searing heat and unbearable humidity, they needed a good start which Martin Guptill and Colin Munro provided them.”Having to field out there for over three and a half hours, we knew we had to get off to a good start and try and negate their spinners. Traditionally, New Zealand come here and struggle up-front in our innings.”Being able to rotate the strike in the right-left combination with Tom, I think you have got to give credit to Gup (Guptill) and Munners (Munro). They set the platform for us and we were able to rotate the strike and take it deep and then we knew we were in a good position in the game,” Taylor gave an insight to their run-chase.advertisementNumerous tours to India for national team and stints with IPL franchise certainly came in handy for the 33-year-old.”I have come here many a times before whether it’s international cricket or IPL. I am not getting any younger and just wanted a bit of a push and just had a bit more intent I think.”Through those middle stages in the past, you take up a far too many dot balls so made a conscious effort of being a bit more busier at the crease, work on a few shots and open up the off side. Tom and I got some runs in the warm-up game and it was nice to bring that form into Wankhede,” Taylor said referring to their respective hundreds in the second warm-up against Board President’s XI.Taylor is expecting India to come hard at them in the second game at Pune, which is expected to be a batting belter.”As long as you win, it doesn’t matter who steps up. Today it was Tom and myself. You have got to give credit to the bowlers as well, it was pretty warm out there.”Boulty (Trent Boult) bowled outstandingly well but still a long way to go,” Taylor quipped.”We know India are going to come at us hard and now it’s one more victory to take the series for us. But we know Pune is going to be a tough wicket to play on and we have to start again and not dwell on this too much,” he added.
Real Madrid Benzema should never start another big game for Real Madrid Ben Hayward 02:00 2/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(12) JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images Real Madrid Primera División Real Betis v Real Madrid PSG v Real Madrid Real Betis PSG UEFA Champions League Karim Benzema Opinion The 30-year-old was jeered again by supporters at the Santiago Bernabeu during another apathetic performance in midweek and is losing credit fast Karim Benzema is running out of lives at Real Madrid. The French forward was whistled again by his own fans during Los Blancos’ 3-1 win at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night and it was no surprise that the team won the game when he had left the pitch.The 30-year-old has long been considered the ideal striker for Real because of his ability to drop deep and provide for fellow forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. That unselfishness has made him extremely popular with the Portuguese, in particular.AdChoices广告President Florentino Perez is another staunch supporter of the player he signed in his very first transfer window – along with Ronaldo – on returning as Madrid chief in the summer of 2009. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player And so too, of course, is Zinedine Zidane. However, the Madrid coach’s insistence on sticking by his compatriot could end up costing him his job. Real are already out of the race to win La Liga and have been eliminated from the Copa del Rey, with only the Champions League left.Benzema has scored just six times all season, yet Zidane kept faith with his centre-forward for the meeting with PSG on Wednesday and what followed was another disappointing display from the former Lyon striker.As the game wore on, fans at the Bernabeu were desperate to see Benzema taken off. Ultimately, they got their wish, although Zidane stubbornly waited for as long as he could before replacing the Frenchman with Gareth Bale after 68 minutes.But it was clear long before then that this was not to be Benzema’s night. In his 68 minutes on the pitch, the striker attempted only one shot, with no dribbles or aerial duels and just two tackles. And apart from chasing down one ball, it was a largely apathetic performance once again from the Frenchman.That is something the fans will not tolerate and nor should they. Form can come and go, while strikers go through their ups and downs in front of goal. That is understandable. But failure to give everything on the pitch is unforgivable.And Real Madrid have a problem here. After selling Alvaro Morata to Chelsea and Mariano to Lyon in the summer, Benzema was left as the club’s only senior striker for this season. Perhaps that has made him overly comfortable.”Personally, I would have signed a number nine,” France legend Jean-Pierre Papin said before Real’s game against PSG. “I think Madrid needed to strengthen what they’ve got there.”The perfect example is Benzema – he scored a lot of goals and now nothing’s coming off for him. He doesn’t even look dangerous, which is very strange.”Zidane has continued to back his player and said recently: “I am going to defend Benzema until the death. I don’t look only at goals. He is a different player.”At his best, he is indeed much more than a goalscorer, a striker with tremendous technique and associative attributes. However, it is some time since Benzema has performed at that level and unless he can prove himself all over again, he should never start another big game for Los Blancos.