Not all gadgets get the attention they deserve at first glance.
Every year there are a lot of devices that create buzz and also become popular among customers. This year we had the Apple iPhone 11, the Samsung Galaxy Fold and the Moto Razr which got all the attention. But there are always some devices that go under the radar, though they are innovative and even pivotal in their segments.
Here is a list of the most underrated devices of 2019, maybe because they were released at the wrong time or overlooked because of other factors. We think they deserve a lot more attention.
Huawei Mate 30 Pro
It could have been the best Android smartphone of 2019, had it supported Google apps. But as fate would have it, the Mate 30 Pro was the most forgettable smartphone of this year. Instead of blaming Huawei, rather blame the timing of the launch. It was Huawei’s first major flagship since the company was put on a trade blacklist by the US back in May, cutting off its new devices from access to Google apps and services.
The phone had every feature that one would expect from a high-end device; better cameras, faster hardware, longer battery life, and even 5G. Although Huawei made the Mate 30 Pro available in China, the phone had a limited rollout in major international markets, considering it was a challenge for Huawei to sell a top-end smartphone without key apps and services.
Samsung pitted the Galaxy S10e against the Apple iPhone XR. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Samsung Galaxy S10e
It was seen as Samsung’s answer to the Apple iPhone XR, a compact smartphone with the best possible specs and features. Despite delivering flagship-level performance, Samsung Galaxy S10e did not receive the acknowledgment it deserves. The phone was completely overshadowed by the iPhone XR, which went on to become Apple’s best selling iPhone this year. Even though the Galaxy S10e was pitched as the flagship phone for everyday consumers, Samsung did not do much to promote the device in markets like India. Apple, in contrast, heavily promoted the iPhone XR.
Samsung clearly missed the opportunity to make the Galaxy S10e a key growth driver. But more than the iPhone XR wave, we think the Galaxy S10e was lost in between Samsung’s own flagships. Perhaps launching the Galaxy S10e alongside the Galaxy S10 was wrong. Read our review of Samsung Galaxy S10e here.
The updated iPad Mini has a faster processor and Apple Pencil support. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Apple iPad Mini 5
If there was one Apple device this year that went largely unnoticed, it was the iPad Mini 5. And it wasn’t a disappointment by any measure; in fact, it was the most unique tablet to be launched in 2019. Sure, Apple didn’t make many changes to the exterior, leaving the updated iPad Mini largely identical to the iPad Mini 4. But what drew consumer interest in the smaller tablet was the Apple Pencil support.
It completely changed the user experience, as it turned the iPad Mini into a tablet that’s perfect for writing and drawing. Those who used the iPad Mini 5 say the 8-inch tablet replaced their Moleskine notebook. It’s a validation that proves that Apple had a clear thought of how it wanted to project the iPad Mini. But people clearly misunderstood the device and it’s unfortunate. Read our review of Apple iPad Mini 5 here.
Samsung's Galaxy Buds truly wireless earbuds cost less than Apple AirPods. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)
Samsung Galaxy Buds
Samsung included every possible feature (except for active noise cancellation) to make the Galaxy Buds the best truly wireless earbuds. They were comfortable, fit securely into the ear canal, offered longer battery life than most truly wireless earbuds and delivered a natural sound profile. Even the launch price was right: Rs 9,900. Still, the Galaxy Buds
weren’t that popular.
We think the popularity of Apple AirPods has played a major role in making the Galaxy Buds a “less” desirable wireless earbuds. But we definitely think there’s a place for Samsung in the truly wireless earbuds market, if it plays its cards well. Read our review of Samsung Galaxy Buds here.
Asus' 6z was the most underrated smartphone of 2019. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
The Asus 6z (also known as the Zenfone 6 in other markets) was launched with an innovative flip camera and accessible price of Rs 31,999, yet it was completely neglected by the critics and consumers. It boasted an all-screen design, the powerful Snapdragon 855 processor, and a 5000mAh battery. But its claim to fame was the rotating flip camera that could be used as both selfie and rear camera. In our opinion, the Asus 6Z was certainly an underrated device, and you can clearly see signs in Asus’ lack of presence in the high-end of the smartphone market. Read our review of Asus 6Z here.