Mr. Phone Awards 2.0 (2019): introducing the categories, nominees, and the jury

In 2018, smartphone brands were only clamoring to find a way to cut down the notch. In comparison, 2019 was the year of refinement. To add to that, 2019 saw the emergence of foldable phones and 5G. Thereby, clearly signaling that we are the cusp of smartphone technology innovation becoming mainstream. Well, to commemorate all such great achievements in 2019, Mr. Phone Awards is back for its second edition. 

Welcome, to Mr. Phone Awards 2.0. It is bigger, better, and definitely more exciting this year. 

Introducing the Jury

Mr. Phone Awards 2.0 has been officiated by an esteemed panel of jury members from tech publications we all know and love. They had to go through a tough grind to finalize the winners. 

Ali Pardiwala

Ali Pardiwala is a Senior Reviewer at India’s most popular gadgets website – Gadgets 360. His TV reviews are so detailed that sometimes you won’t have to go to any other destination to know more. This is all thanks to the years of experience he’s had in doing this day and day out. His expertise came in handy for adjudging the winners in the TV categories. 

Akshay Bhalla

As the Technology Editor of one of India’s most popular lifestyle websites – MensXP – Akshay has his job cut out. His stories are always spicy and hot, yet deep with insight. Akshay is a fearless Editor who doesn’t hold back on his opinions and that makes him unique in today’s tech journalism space. 

Dhruv Bhutani

Dhruv is possibly one of India’s most prolific smartphone critics. His hot takes are always backed by solid data and concrete proof that you will not be able to win any argument against him. Dhruv is currently the Editor for Android Authority and covers the Indian market extensively for the blog. 

Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda single-handedly covers the Indian handset market for one of the biggest tech blogs in the world – Android Central. In his role as the Asia Editor for the blog, Harish writes long, incisive and extremely well-received reviews on the most prominent smartphones that are launched in our country. 

Shlok Shrivastava

Shlok aka Tech Burner is a YouTube sensation whose meteoric rise to success can be attributed partly to his quirky yet affable persona. But, don’t let his persona fool you, Shlok knows his tech and takes a look at certain nuances that quite a few of us might miss out on. 

Tushar Kanwar

When it comes to smartphone reviews in India, Tushar Kanwar’s perspectives are second to none. Tushar is a Technology Columnist for The Telegraph and The Huffington Post.  He is one of the very few reviewers in the country who can pack an abundance of information about a phone in just under 500 words; a talent that he has honed meticulously over the years.

User Choice: Pick Your Favourite Phone and Brand to Win Amazon Gift Vouchers

Before we move on to the critic categories, we want to introduce the User Choice categories. We have a couple of categories this year. One for the Best User Choice Smartphone of the Year and another for the Best User Choice Brand of the Year. And, to adjudge the winners in this category, we need your help. 

All you need to do is head to this link and vote for your favorite phone and brand. But, to make it even more appealing, we will pick 5 lucky winners who will get an Amazon Gift Voucher of Rs 500 each. 

Critic Categories

This year, we have 11 critic category awards. Each and every single category is a tightly contested one. Let’s start by introducing the new TV categories first. 

Important note: Only phones and TVs launched in India till November 21, 2018, were eligible to be nominated for the awards. 

Best Budget TV

The budget TV category of TVs priced under Rs 50,000 exploded exponentially this year. We had more than a couple of new brands and brand partnerships too. Let’s take a look at the nominees. 

Nominees

Mi TV 4X
Vu Ultra Android TV
MarQ 43SAFHD
TCL 40S62FS
Shinco S55QHDR10

Best TV

This category decides the best TV out there. One that has no compromises. From excellent display quality to good sound, the winner of this category has it all. 

Nominees

Sony A9G OLED
OnePlus TV Q1 Pro
LG C9
Philips 55PUT6103S
Samsung Q90R

Most Improved Smartphone Series

This is a unique category that takes a look at the efforts of smartphone brands to bring massive changes to a very popular series of smartphones. For example, the ROG Phone II was a massive jump from the ROG Phone with a 120Hz AMOLED panel, a more streamlined design, better software, and more. With that context, we’ve selected the appropriate phones to fill in the nominations. 

Nominees

OnePlus 7T
iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max
ROG Phone II
Redmi 8A
Samsung Galaxy S10+ 

Best Operating System

Yes, the hardware is important but no phone is complete without the operating system. The Best Operating System award will honor the mobile operating system with the cleanest, most intuitive user interface of all. 

Nominees

One UI
iOS 13
Android 10 (Stock)
Oxygen OS 10
MIUI 11

Most Innovative Smartphone

These phones are the trendsetters. From folding displays to a 5-camera array, we saw manufacturers change the face of smartphone design this year. Essentially, these are the phones that dared to innovate and are ideal nominations for the Most Innovative Smartphone category.

Nominees

Mi Mix Alpha
Samsung Galaxy Fold
Huawei Mate X
vivo Nex 3
Nokia 9 PureView

Best Gaming Phone

There has been a massive explosion of gaming phones this year. All the nominees in this category are the ultimate phones when it comes to landing headshots in PUBG. 

Nominees

nubia Red Magic 3s
Black Shark 2
ROG Phone II
iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max
OnePlus 7 Pro/7T Pro

Best Camera Phone

This category needs no explanation. The winning phone has to have the best set of cameras. Period. 

Nominees

iPhone 11 Pro/ 11 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Samsung Galaxy S10+
Huawei P30 Pro 
Pixel 3a/3a XL

Best Budget Smartphone

The Best Budget Smartphone category includes phones under Rs 10,000. This category has exploded with great options this year and the fight is absolutely intense. 

Nominees

Redmi Note 8
Realme 5/5s
vivo U10
Redmi 8
Realme 3i

Best Mid-Range Smartphone

Mid-range phones are essentially the middle-ground between budget and flagship phones. A mid-range phone offers users a no-nonsense smartphone experience with some stand-out feature worth talking about. It could be the camera, the design, or even the RAM. This is the category of phones that a lot of folks are buying this year.

Nominees

Redmi K20
Redmi Note 8 Pro
Realme XT
vivo Z1X
Samsung Galaxy A50/A50s

Best Budget Flagship Smartphone

The Budget Flagship Smartphone is a new category that has taken the Indian market by storm. It includes phones priced under Rs 40,000 with high-end specs. Essentially, these phones have a few compromises but make up for it by offering a flagship-grade performance at a price that doesn’t break the bank.

Nominees

OnePlus 7T
Redmi K20 Pro
ASUS 6Z
OPPO Reno 10x Zoom
Realme X2 Pro

Best Flagship Smartphone

The crème de la crème of smartphones – the flagship smartphone. It is the showcase phone for any brand. This phone includes the best technologies — cameras, display, design, and more — crammed into a single shell of aluminum and glass. 

Nominees

iPhone 11 Pro/11 Pro Max
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
OnePlus 7 Pro/7T Pro
Samsung Galaxy S10/S10+
Huawei P30 Pro

May the Best Phone/TV Win

So, that concludes our categories and nominations for the year 2019. We have three new categories. And, we are super excited to find out the winners across all the 13 categories. So what are you waiting for? Go voting and keep waiting for the results. 

We declare the Mr. Phone Awards 2.0 open!

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Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?