Some major players are going to follow the long-lost legacy of Oneplus in 2023

The term “flagship killer” caught fire with the first OnePlus phone in 2014. It was a $250 phone with the flagship Snapdragon chip of that era, a unique design, and premium build quality. That was when we saw big performance jumps in each iteration, and phones were unlocking new features every year. So, having a flagship chipset had its advantages.

Why OnePlus lost its Legacy?

Over time, the company has grown and gained more mainstream success; it has also started to raise its prices, moving closer to the prices of other flagship devices. Additionally, as the smartphone market becomes increasingly competitive, it may be harder for OnePlus to differentiate itself as a “flagship killer.” It’s also possible that the company’s focus on more affordable prices may have become less of a priority as they continue to grow; they may be more focused on making a profit rather than being a “flagship killer”.

You either die a Flagship Killer or you Live Long enough to become the Flagship

Why are Flagship Killers Important in 2023?

The mantle of the “flagship killer” has been carried forward by other notable companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, Realme, Honor and Vivo. These companies are expected to do wonders with this category in 2023, when the flagship killers are more crucial than ever, both for the consumers and the manufacturers.

First, the smartphone market is becoming increasingly competitive. As more and more companies enter the market, there is a greater need to stand out and offer something unique. For many companies, this means offering high-end features at more affordable prices than traditional flagship devices.

Second, technological advancements make it possible for companies to offer flagship-level specs at lower prices. For example, the cost of components such as processors and cameras is decreasing, making it more feasible for companies to include these high-end features in their devices without raising prices.

Third, there is a growing demand for more affordable smartphones. As the global economy continues to recover from the pandemic, many consumers are looking for ways to save money, and flagship killers offer a great way to get the latest features without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, we can expect more companies to enter the smartphone market and offer devices with high-end specs at more affordable prices. This trend will continue in 2023, making it a great year for consumers looking for a flagship-level device without the high price tag.

Let’s talk about some Flagship Killers that may steal the show this year.

Realme GT Neo 5: Gaming on Budget

The Realme GT Neo 3 took the gaming phone industry by storm last year. It provided a gaming-class high-performance chipset for $349. At this price, you will get the MediaTek Dimensity 8100, a 6.7″ 120Hz AMOLED display, and a 5000mAh battery with 80W wired charging.

Now, Realme is gearing up to launch its successor in the first quarter of 2023. The Realme GT 5 Neo is expected to come with a Dimensity 8200 chipset with up to 12 gigs of RAM. It is also expected to come with a 50-megapixel camera and record-breaking 150W wired charging. A special edition may also be launched with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and 240W charging. (My Razer Blade 15 with RTX 2070 charges with a 230W adapter).

It will be a dream come true for budget gamers, and it will kill a lot of flagships.

Pixel 7a: Flagship Camera Killer

Pixel 6a has astonishingly topped the camera blind test carried out by MKBHD last year. That sets the Google Pixel A series phones as the camera champs even in the flagship category. At the $449 launching price, you cannot get a better photography experience than Pixel 6a. You can get it for $239.99, which is an incredible value.

Pixel 7a is expected to follow the suite and provide the best-in-class camera experience. Apart from a great camera, Pixel 7a will arrive with the Google Tensor G2 chipset (Same as Pixel 7 and 7 Pro) and a 90Hz 1080p+ display. It may not break any ground in raw performance, but you will get all the Pixel 7 Machine Learning advancements with the chipset.

Xiaomi Poco F5 GT: Budget Gaming Redefined

At $449 starting price, the Poco F4 GT delivered Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone and it became the one of the cheapest phones to do this. Its successor will most likely be the cheapest phone to house Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset which is expected in Q2 2023. It will arrive with 6.7″ 120Hz 1080p AMOLED display and a set of stereo speakers. With 64-megapixel camera, this gaming phone will not compromise on camera performance either. The expected price is $449

There is a slightest chance that Xiaomi shelves all the gaming phones for this year as they are claiming Xiaomi 13 series to have replaced the gaming phones.

OnePlus 11R

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Flagship Killers without mentioning OnePlus. Though the company had a bad year and OnePlus 10 Pro was a dud! But, company is determined to overdo themselves to get things back on track. Oneplus 11R will be their flagship killer this year and it will likely house Dimensity 8200 chipset. It will feature 100W wired charging with a 5000mAh battery and a 50-megapixel camera. It will likely be announced with OnePlus 11 in Q2 2023 at a price point of $660.

Moto Edge 40 Pro

Moto Moniker is getting revived again and they stole the show with impressive Moto Edge 30 Pro last year. With a stunning design and impressive camera hardware, it managed to leave an impression in our minds. This year we are excited for an even more impressive Moto Edge 40 Pro. It is the most expensive phone in our list.

To begin with, the Motorola Edge 40 Pro will have a huge 6.75-inch FHD+ curved AMOLED display. The refresh rate is set at an amazing 165Hz, and there is also DC dimming, HDR, and 10-bit colour support. For the back cameras, Motorola will incorporate a 50MP main sensor, a 50MP ultra-wide angle sensor, and a 12MP telephoto camera. The selfie camera has a 60MP sensor. It is expected to arrive in Q1 with a price tag $699.

Honorable Mentions

These are not the only flagship killers we are waiting for. Here are some honorable mentions

  • Asus Zenfone 1
  • Pixel 8
  • Xiaomi Poco M5 Pro 5g
  • Nubia Red Magic 9 Pro (Red Magic 8 pro was launched last month)
  • ZTE Axon 50 Pro
  • Vivo IQOO Neo 8
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