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‘Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI’ – The Best Budget Smartphone in Nepal [Readers Choice Award 2018]

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The time has finally come. We know this article should have been published a while ago but we got bogged down by other tasks. But, January is still rolling and the year is as fresh as it could be. So, without further delay, we are here to present to you, the results of the best budget smartphone poll.

The Results

All of these phones were commendable products from the manufacturers. We tested most of them ourselves. But your votes pronounced a clear winner in this category. The throne for the Readers Choice Award Best Budget SmartPhone of 2018 goes to Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI.

The Redmi Note 5 AI amassed 30.1% (313) of the total 1041 votes cast. This is slightly less than twice the votes collected by the Huawei Y9 2018. Huawei Y9 2018 claimed the 1st runner up spot for the Readers Choice Award Best Budget Smartphone 2018. 173 people (16.6%) out of 1041 chose Huawei Y9 2018 as their best budget smartphone.

Vote results

Coming in at third was another Xiaomi phone – the Mi A2 Lite. It got 135 votes (13.0%) from you people. The rest of the stats can be seen from the graph below. We are glad that none of the smartphones got 0 votes from you guys. The competition was fierce between the phones for spots other than the top one.

About the Poll

If you didn’t take part in this poll or didn’t know about it, I’ll tell you a little bit about it. We talk about smartphones all over the year here at TechLekh. And, with the end of 2018 in sight, we felt it was the right time to show some appreciation for the good ones.

We divided the phones available in Nepal into 3 categories – budget, midrange, and premium – based on their prices. We listed approximately 8 smartphones in each category and asked you people to vote for their favorite. And you guys responded enthusiastically. We met our goal of over 1000 votes for the budget poll and we now have the results in our hands.

The List

An eligible ‘budget smartphone’ was below NRs. 30K. The phones that we included in the list were:

  1. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI
  2. Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
  3. Xiaomi Redmi 6
  4. Huawei Y9 2018
  5. Oppo A3s
  6. Nokia 3.1
  7. Vivo Y85
  8. Samsung Galaxy J6 2018

My Opinion

I guess the Redmi Note 5 AI claimed the top spot because it came out a little early in the year. So, people got to use this phone and get to know it better over the course of the year. Also, it was a great value then and it is a great value now.

The metal construction meant that the phone felt rugged than its glass counterparts but more premium than plastic. The screen is large and it gets ample bright in sunlight. As usual with Xiaomi phones, its speakers were loud and the battery was huge. In general, it was the most complete budget phone that launched in 2018. That’s why it took the crown.

The other contenders were good too. I think the Huawei Y9 2018 was underappreciated. I don’t think the Redmi Note 5 AI was twice as good as the Y9 2018. The Note 5 AI did have advantages like the availability of QuickCharge 3.0 technology and slightly better performance from the Snapdragon chipset but Huawei Y9 2018 also had better design and similarly impressive price and specifications. I expected to see a close race for the title but it was not so.

This tells us that Xiaomi still rules the budget market in Nepal. Two of their phones are on the top 3. The data also shows that Oppo is catching up to the competition possibly because of its grand marketing schemes. I was surprised to see Vivo at the bottom. I thought the design of the phone would win the hearts of people but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Vivo needs to up their marketing and push more phones through retailers if they want to remain in Nepal.


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