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MWC day 3: new affordable smartphones in 2019



6 minute read

For MWC day 3, I thought it would be a good idea to look at the new affordable smartphones that were announced to launch in 2019. We have a variety of new devices that are quite exciting from the likes of Samsung, Nokia, and Sony, so let’s jump straight in.

Samsung Galaxy smartphones in 2019

Samsung M30

With top dogs like the Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy S10 being shown off this month, the lower end devices haven’t gotten much attention. But if you are in the market for something more affordable, you’d be happy to hear that Samsung already has a number of new smartphones to show off.

First up, we have the brand new M range. The M30 and M20 are cheaper handsets aimed towards the Indian market. I’d really hope to see these make their way to the UK, though, because they’re quite stunning. They are two of the few Samsung devices to feature the teardrop notch. They both have high resolution 1080p displays. The M20 is 6.3 inches and the M30 is 6.4 inches. Both have the same selfie camera, and the M20 has two back facing camera sensors. The M30 has an additional depth sensor on the back. There’s a fingerprint sensor on the back of both, and the M20 has 4GB RAM, whilst the M30 has 6GB. The M20 costs the equivalent to £136 (Rs 12,990) and the M30 costs £158 (Rs 14,990). Imagine if Samsung pushed this to the UK. At this price, the industry would go crazy.

Whilst the M range is unlikely to make its way to us officially, Samsung does have two lower-end options for us UK lot. We have the Samsung Galaxy A50, and the Galaxy S10e. The S10e is still arguably a high-end device, but it’s a cheaper variant of the S10 with fewer cameras, a smaller display, and a lower resolution. You can learn more about the S10e, alongside the other Galaxy S10 handsets here. The S10e will launch for £669.

Galaxy A50

We don’t know the exact price of the A50, but it should fall somewhere between £250 and £350, making it far more affordable than the S10e. The A50 comes with a 6.4 inch high-resolution 1080x2340 display that’s almost comparable to the S10 range. No HDR10 though. The display features a teardrop notch like the M range, too. On the inside, the Exynos 9610 Octa resides. This is a lower end option compared to the S10 range, but it’s still a jump up from last year’s performance.

On the A50, you get a triple camera sensor setup lead by a 25 megapixel primary snapper. The other two sensors are for ultrawide mode and for a depth sensor. The selfie camera is also a powerful 25 megapixel sensor, but no extra sensors on the front. And, low and behold, the A150 has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Incredibly, the A50 also has a fingerprint sensor under the display. I’m actually very impressed with the A50. It’s very affordable and has a lot of features that are usually exclusive to flagships.

Nokia smartphones in 2019

Nokia 4.2

I mentioned on my MWC day 1 blog about the Nokia 9 PureView with 5 sensors, but Nokia also launched a duet of more affordable Android smartphones during MWC. The way Nokia has arranged these devices is a little strange, so bear with me.

The cheaper option is the Nokia 3.2, which features a 6.26 inch display. The price in the US is $139. Then, the Nokia 4.2 has a 5.71 inch display and that will cost $169. UK prices have yet to be announced. It’s rare to see cheaper devices featuring the larger display. But, for paying more, you do get a slightly better chipset - it’s the Snapdragon 439 versus the Snapdragon 429. The 4.2 also has a dual camera setup on the back, as opposed to the single camera on the 3.2.

What’s important to note is that both displays share the same 720x1520 resolution. This means that the pixel density is better on the smaller 4.2 device, so it will look slightly better, so that’s a plus to counter against the smaller display size. Nokia is also launching a new feature phone. The Nokia 3310 obviously saw some success, so this year we’ll be blessed with the radical red Nokia 210 with a beautiful 0.3 megapixel camera and a 2.4 inch display. No touch screen included.

New Sony Xperia phones in 2019

Xperia 10

Sony unveiled an impressive range of new phones during MWC that took innovation in a new direction. Huawei and Samsung may have foldable phones out on the table, but Sony is opting for longer phones. The new Xperia range features three ultrawide smartphones with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

All three of these devices are far taller than any other device with the same display size, and the width is less as a result, too. Sony is claiming they offer the best cinematic experience on a smartphone. First is the Xperia 1, Sony’s new flagship. Then, we have the Sony Xperia 10 and Xperia 10 Plus. These are Sony’s more affordable options this year and they will set you back £299 and £349, respectively.

The Xperia 1 is a huge jump up at £849. We’ll start there. The Xperia 1 has a 6.5 inch 21:9 display with a mind boggling 4K resolution. On the inside, you get the latest Snapdragon 855 and 6GB RAM, but no 5G unfortunately. They had a 5G prototype at MWC so a 5G re-release could possibly be around the corner. The Xperia 1 also has a 12 megapixel primary sensor on the back, sat alongside a 12 megapixel telephoto and 12 megapixel ultrawide.

I have a feeling this will struggle to compete with other top choices this year, but the Xperia 1 still offers an excellent multimedia viewing experience. The Xperia 10 and 10 Plus are devices I’m paying more attention to. These devices have dual camera setups, 3-4GB RAM, and either a Snapdragon 630 or 636. The 10 has a 6.0 inch 1080p display and the 10 Plus has a 6.5 inch 1080p display. Less going on here than the Xperia 1, but they still have ultrawide 21:9 displays and they are far more affordable.


That wraps up my look at the top new affordable smartphones to be announced at MWC so far. Make sure to read yesterday’s highlights here.

Written by zerodudex333

Ollie is a big mobile/tech fan. Follow his Twitter and his Instagram travel account