2018 has seen a lot of new innovations in the smartphone industry specifically in the flagship smartphones. These include Notches, sliders, hole in display, dual screen smartphones and a lot more. But the mid-range smartphone segments have also got a major bump. Day by day the gap between flagships and mid-range devices is getting shorter and shorter. This year we have seen quite a few smartphone manufacturers provide a great mid-range device at a super aggressive price. Today we are going to see some of these smartphones which feature Snapdragon 660SoC at a competitive price i.e., around the 15K mark. So let’s start our list of the best Snapdragon 660 smartphones of 2018.
Snapdragon 660 is a 600 tier Snapdragon chipset which is highly power efficient as well equally powerful when it comes to intensive games, multitasking, etc. It contains 8 powerful Qualcomm Kryo 260 cores with a peak clock speed of 2.2Ghz. It is built on 14nm fabrication which makes it highly efficient. The GPU used is the powerful Adreno 512. It also support many AI features along with Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.
Xiaomi Mi A2-The best Snapdragon 660 smartphone
Be it good shooters, be it pure stock experience or be it fast charging, the Mi A2 ticks all the boxes. The device comes with a 5.99 inch full HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio protected by Corning Gorilla glass 5. The Mi A2 comes with 2 variants which is the 4GB/64GB and the 6GB/128GB with a hybrid sim slot. It also sports a 3000mAh battery which might seem small but can be charged quickly with the latest Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 via the USB Type-C port. The UI of the device is crisp and smoot due to the pure stock experience based on Android Oreo (8.1) provided by Android One which also guarantees further Android updates frequently. All basic sensors along with an IR blaster are present on this device.
However, the main highlight of the Mi A2 is the camera. It sports dual (20+12)MP shooters on the rear along with a 20MP front camera. The 20MP rear shooter is a Sony IMX376 f/1.8, 1.0 micron sensor and the 12MP one is a Sony IMX486 RS f/1.8, 1.25 micron sensor. This combo supports pixel-binning technology and thus provides excellent dynamic range, accurate colours and good low-light shots. Also due to the stock experience on the Mi A2, google camera is also available which enhances the post image processing of the pictures. The front selfie 20 MP shooter is a Sony IMX376 sensor which shoots some awesome selfies with bokeh and portrait (with the help of AI) effects with a good colour accuracy.
One aspect that the Mi A2 misses out on is the headphone jack. It not a major issue for some while for some others it might be. Initially the 4GB/64GB variant of this device was launched at ₹16,999 but now Xiaomi has permanently reduced the price to ₹13,999 which makes it the best Snapdragon 660 smartphone at this price. The 6GB/128GB variant was launched at ₹21,000 but now its price has been slashed down to ₹15,999.
Realme 2 Pro-The first Snapdragon 660 smartphone to sport 8 Gigs of Ram
Next on the list is the Oppo Realme 2 Pro. Realme has been providing some awesome smartphones at an aggressive price in the past. Such is the case with the Realme 2 Pro. The Realme 2 Pro sports a massive 6.30 inch full HD+ panel with a water-drop notch which helps the device to attain an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The device sports a massive 90.8 % screen to body ratio and the screen is protected by Corning Gorilla glass 3. However, some reports have said that the screen scratches quite easily. There are 3 variants of this device, 4GB/64GB, 6GB/64GB and 8GB/128GB. Realme 2 Pro is the first Snapdragon 660 smartphone to come with 8GB Ram and that too in the mid-range segment. The 8GB variant even comes with UFS 2.1 storage. It supports a dedicated slot for micro-SD card for expansion upto 256GB.The device houses a 3500mAh battery but no fast charging is available and the port used is micro-USB. Also an underclocked version of Snapdragon 660 is used. The UI used is ColorOS 5.2 based on top of Android 8.1. ColorOS is not as efficient as Stock but it should get the job done. All basic sensors are present on this device as well.
The build of the Realme 2 Pro is completely polycarbonate and feels cheap as compared to the metallic build of Mi A2. Also the device gets quite easily scratched. But above all it does not miss out on the headphone jack. So cheers Realme.
Coming to the shooters, the Realme 2 Pro has dual (16+2)MP setup on the rear along with a 16 MP selfie shooter placed in the notch. The rear 16MP is a Sony IMX398 sensor is an f/1.7 shooter and the 2MP with f/2.4 aperture is for depth effect. The combo performs well under daylight condition but slightly loses track under low-light conditions. Many AI features are also available which help with the post image processing. The 16MP selfie camera also takes some decent shots as well as portrait effects with AI is also available. Also Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is available on this device.
The 4GB/64GB variant is priced at ₹13,990, the 6GB/64GB at ₹15,990 and the 8GB/128GB at ₹17,990. Realme has been quite aggressive with the pricing and this device is a good deal at this price.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2-The cheapest Snapdragon 660 smartphone
The Zenfone Max Pro M2 was launched in December 2018. It comes with a 6.26 inch full HD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and is protected by the latest Corning Gorilla glass 6. It also features a small notch on the display in which the front camera’s are housed. 3 variants of this device have been launched which are the 3GB/32GB, the 4GB/64GB and the 6GB/64GB. The pricing of the 3GB/32GB variant makes it the cheapest Snapdragon 660 smartphone. All the 3 variants of the Max Pro M2 come with a dedicated micro-SD slot for memory expansion upto 200GB. Here too, no fast charging is available and the port used is micro-USB. The 660SoC used in this device is underclocked to 1.92Ghz and the UI is pure stock based on Android 8.1. The Zenfone Max Pro M2 too comes with all basic sensors included.
Another area where Asus has focussed is the battery. The Max Pro M2 sports a massive 5000mAh battery which charges in only 2 hours despite of missing out on fast charging. However, to make the device light, Asus has followed the footsteps of Realme and hence the device is completely built out of polycarbonate material and hence is prone to scratches. Also the Gorilla Glass 6 has also been reported to scratch quite easily. But if you want a headphone jack, then you should overlook these features, as this device has one.
The Max Pro M2 features dual (12+5)MP setup on the rear with a 13MP shooter on the front. The Max Pro M1 did not have good shooters and Asus claims that the Max Pro M2 is definitely an upgrade. The 12MP rear shooter is a Sony IMX486 sensor with an f/1.8, 1.25 micron aperture size and the 5MP one is for depth sensing. The setup is definitely an upgrade from the Max Pro M1 an the results obtained are quite comparable to the Realme 2 Pro i.e., sharp and accurate colours, great details and a good dynamic range. But under low-light conditions results obtained are not upto the mark. So, overall I would say that the camera’s are not a strength of this device. The 13MP Sony IMX486 selfie shooter also clicks some good selfies under lighted conditions. Electronic Image Stabilization is also present on this device.
Coming to the price, Asus has priced the Max Pro M2 quite aggressively. The 3GB/32GB variant is priced at ₹12,999, the 4GB/64GB at ₹14,999 and the 6GB/64GB at ₹16,999 which makes it the cheapest Snapdragon 660 smartphone. If camera is not your first priority then I would definitely recommend you to but this device as it has the best price to performance ratio.
These are my picks for the Snapdragon 660 smartphones under the 15K mark. The list will get updated as soon some other devices are launched and are priced in this range. Till then stay tuned. Also don’t forget to comment down below that out of these 3 which one is your favourite Snapdragon 660 smartphone.