Negative growth: which smartphones in the new generation have become worse than the old ones

In recent years, there have been enough cases when new smartphones have degraded relative to their own

predecessors.We got tired of reminding you of this every time when people asked “but a new smartphone has come out - probably already take it, and not the one you previously advised?”, And decided to collect examples of smartphones degraded in the new generation of recent years into one » list. Discuss

Table of contents

  • Why the hell is that?!
  • What Xiaomi saves on
  • And Realme there too?
  • Not China alone (well, almost)
  • It's convenient to come back in a year - no one remembers what used to be better

It seems to be just in smartphones technicalprogress is rushing like nowhere else - while in computers for many years Intel played the fool, and AMD was catching up, and almost nothing happened. While the era of 1080p on TVs for god knows how many years has been replaced by 4K (and still has not completely changed), mobile phones have quickly stepped from chubby carcasses with small batteries and a camera “will come down in an emergency” into monstrous contraptions with super-fast Internet, super-fast charging, good sound via Bluetooth and even optical zoom in cameras. But go ahead - progress often not only stopped, but also went back in very popular smartphones in 2021-2022.

True, on flagships, unlike budgetdevices, it is not customary for smartphone manufacturers to save. This is the “face” of the company, a sample of technologies available to the consumer and not the worst way to try to capitalize on the reputation of an innovator when playing “for the long haul”. There is no question of making money on such smartphones (the exception here is Apple), because semiconductors are expensive today, modern sensors in mobile cameras are also not cheap, and the price for them, it seems, is not going to fall yet.

Last year, only 27% of global salessmartphones accounted for devices over $400. Everything else is a market of those devices about which it is sometimes so boring to read reviews. “Well, yes, a slightly better camera appeared in the new cheap %smartphone_name% — figs with him.” And herein lies the problem. A new camera has not appeared, progress has remained somewhere on the sidelines of the production line, and the desire to earn money from companies is here and now.

This is what smartphones in 2021-2022 look like. compared to 2020 models

As a predominantly reviewer, I was offended byover the past few years, watch how the same under-screen fingerprint scanners gradually disappeared from mid-budget devices. They have not completely disappeared, of course, but more and more often they can be found in a completely different price segment.

Today we have almost every firstsmartphone with a sensor in the side frame. And it would be nice if the devices became cheaper, or the “negative development” ended only on these scanners, but no. Even without reference to today's exchange rates and general instability, the situation is not pleasant. Stagnation? She is the most.

Why the hell is that?!

The reasons are different:

  • The marketing concept has changed. For example, when ASUS rushed to make smartphoneson Android, the ZenFone 5 was a 5-inch phone, the ZenFone 4 was a 4-inch phone, and the ZenFone 6 was, well, you get the idea. And then the Taiwanese scored on these names, after which ZenFone 2, ZenFone 3, Zenfone 4, etc. have simply become the number one generation of smartphones.
  • It is necessary to do more expensive, but veiled. Once upon a time there was an iPhone - one, for everything about everything,Apple's only expensive and best smartphone. Generations just changed - iPhone 4, iPhone 4S (that is, improved fourth, a year later), iPhone 5, iPhone 5S ... And then they were divided and made iPhone 6 at the same price, and iPhone 6 Plus - more expensive. Well, now in general the model line is iPhone 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 13 mini, and the budget iPhone SE 2022 hangs somewhere on the side ... And this is not only Apple’s fault, the Chinese and Koreans are similar, but more on that below.

Here you find it funny, because everything is clear and understandable. Not so with smartphones. And smartphones are, to put it mildly, more expensive.

  • Semiconductor shortage. Well, if you want, consider it a conspiracy of Masons.And many in Russia really thought so, because while in China, the USA and Europe, where mobile phones are rowing more actively, new imported lots were getting more expensive, in the Russian Federation there were mountains of smartphones purchased earlier at old prices. But at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, it began ... no, not a rise in price, but simply a deterioration of the new generation models in comparison with the old models. None of the marketers of smartphone manufacturers admits this in public, but behind the scenes, it is precisely the more expensive components that are blamed. It’s impossible to make smartphones more expensive “on the forehead” - competitors will bait them with the fact that “it’s cheaper here!”, And the workers will not understand. But to start "kroilovo" characteristics a little bit here and there - this is for a sweet soul. Because well, who goes into all this, except for reviewers (which not all mobile buyers read) and nerds from and XDA forums? That's the same.

And now from lyrics we pass to real examples.

What Xiaomi saves on

The Redmi line offered its entire existenceinexpensive devices with acceptable stuffing. A kind of almost state employees, for which it is not a shame. And the sales speak for themselves. Six years ago, with one Redmi Note 3, the company took 1.1% of the global smartphone market.

During this time, the division of generations of Redmi devices intothe regular version and the Note series have not disappeared, but today the concept itself has changed. If earlier Note always received iron at a higher level, then today's Redmi Note 11 with a camera from Redmi 10 (an old smartphone! And a level lower than even Redmi Note 10 was!) Can no longer boast of such. Why is the camera installed in the new product worse?


Xiaomi Redmi Note 11

Xiaomi Redmi Note 11Xiaomi Redmi Note 10CameraMain: 50 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.76", 0.64µm, PDAF Wide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚, 1/4.0" Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4 Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4 Rear: 48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1 /2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF Wide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚, 1/4.0" Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4 Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4 Video recording1080p, 30 fps/c4K, 30 fps + 1080p, 30/60 fps

Instead of the main sensor Sony IMX582, XiaomiI decided to opt for Samsung by installing the S5KJN1, which, although it has a slightly higher resolution (50 megapixels instead of 48 megapixels), but loses a lot in light sensitivity due to the smaller pixel size (0.80 microns versus 0.64 microns). As a result, the smartphone has rolled back in terms of camera quality from “an entrance ticket to the middle class” to an analogue of models that are bought for younger schoolchildren or grandparents with a camera “well, they will do.” During the day, nothing else, but indoors and at night it shoots badly. Moreover, the rest of the cameras (selfies, etc.) did not become better, their parameters are identical, only the sensor manufacturers have changed.

A similar situation is with a pair of Poco X4 Pro and Poco X3 Pro. And here the point is not only that in the updated model the camera has become a little worse. Here, literally the entire smartphone was worsened, except for the display.


Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro

Xiaomi Poco X4 ProXiaomi Poco X3 ProProcessor Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, 6nm, 2 cores 2.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold + 6 cores 1.7 GHz Kryo 660 SilverQualcomm Snapdragon 860, 7 nm, 1 core 2.96 GHz Kryo 485 Gold + 3 cores 2.42 GHz Kryo 485 Gold + 4 cores 1.78 GHz Kryo 485 Silver 1.9, 26 mm, 1/1.52", 0.7 µm, PDAF Wide-angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 118˚, 1/4.0" Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4 Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.5, 1/ 3.06" 1µm Rear: 48 MP, f/1.8, 26 mm, 1/2.0", PDAF Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4 Depth sensor: 2 MP, f/2.4 Front camera: 20 MP, f/2.2 Video capture 1080p, 30fps4K, 30fps + 1080p, 30/60/120/240fps + 1080p, 960fps, gyro-EIS

In some unknown way, the useThe AMOLED screen instead of IPS was canceled by the presence of a powerful near-flagship processor. And the camera… well, on the one hand, it’s now the same as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro, a lot of megapixels and all that. But I didn’t get better at shooting - either at the time of release everything was calibrated lousy and then brought to mind, or the Chinese who set up the shooting quality in Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro (he has the same camera as Poco X4 Pro) died from covid and took knowledge with him to the grave ... in general, somehow it didn’t get better.

But it has become more expensive (well, how?) - Poco X3 Pro at the time of release cost 24 thousand rubles for 128 GB and 27 thousand for 256 GB. And Poco X4 Pro 5G, also at the time of release - 34 thousand rubles for 128 GB and 37 thousand for 256 GB! Then the Chinese, however, came to their senses and at the rate of "dollar at 67 rubles" dropped prices to 31 and 35 thousand, respectively. But Poco X4 Pro 5G, even at this price, does not excite, while for 21-24 thousand on Aliexpress there is a more powerful, no less good camera and no less hardy Poco X3 Pro. So it goes.

And Realme there too?

It's strange to expect different tactics from a brand thatI mimicked with all my might at the start under Redmi. Even their names are visually similar to each other. Recursive copying of Chinese smartphones by the Chinese did not lead to good. All marketing tactics, even not the most pleasant for the buyer, were adopted.


Realme 9 Pro

Realme 8 ProRealme 9 ProScreenSuper AMOLED, 6.4", 1080 x 2400 pixels, 20:9, 411 ppiIPS, 120 Hz, 6.6", 1080 x 2412 pixel, 20:9, 400 ppiCamera Main: 108 MP, f/1.9, 26 mm, 1/1.52", PDAF Wide: 8 MP, f/ 2.3, 119˚, 16mm, 1/4.0" Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4 Depth sensor: 2 MP, f/2.4 Rear: 64 MP, f/1.8, 26 mm, PDAF Wide: 8 MP, f/2.2 , 119˚, 16mm, 1/4.0" Macro: 2 MP, f/2.44K video recording, 30fps + 1080p, 30/60/120/480fps + 720p, 960fps, gyro-EIS1080p , 30 fps

It would seem that, by all logic, Realme 9 Pro shouldbe in many ways better than the previous Realme 8 Pro. Even the name hints at it. However, we have the following. The Snapdragon 695, beloved by manufacturers, which ended up in the Realme 9 Pro, deprives the smartphone’s camera of a hardware backlog and turns the 9 Pro into a device that is not very capable of video recording. Full HD at 30 frames per second is the maximum, although the Realme 8 Pro could easily shoot in 4K at the same frame rate. The AMOLED screen has been replaced with a cheaper IPS one, the memory card slot is now combined, and fast charging is slower than it was in the old model.

And where is now the analogue of the Pro-version not of a smoker, but of a healthy person? Realme marketers, without thinking twice, released Realme 9 Pro +, which is more suitable for the status of an updated line.


Realme C11 (2021)

Realme C11 (2021)Realme C11Processor Unisoc SC9863A, 28 nm, 4 cores 1.6GHz Cortex-A55 + Quad-Core 1.2GHz Cortex-A55MediaTek MT6765G Helio G35 12nm Quad-Core 2.3GHz Cortex-A53 + Quad-Core 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 GPU IMG8322PowerVR GE8320

Realme C11 (2021) also turned out to be strange, whichreplaced Realme C11. The names and appearance of smartphones are identical, so it may seem that the manufacturer has finalized the device and released a minor update, but no.

As for the hardware, the user will be disappointed,because Realme found in some warehouses processors from Unisoc on 28 nm technical process. For 2021, this is the most worthless processor of all that are being produced today, worse simply does not exist in nature. And the downgrade after Helio G35 with its 12 nm, with all the problems with semiconductors, turned out to be somehow too noticeable. Well, that is, you understand that Unisoc SC is a parody of Snapdragon 625 (mid-range processor ... 2015), with the only difference being that Snapdragon 625 was already released 7 years ago on a 14 nm process technology, and Unisoc SC in 2021-2022 gg. released at 28 nm? Therefore, the processor heats up like an oven in flagship 7-inch smartphones, but works at the speed of a grandmother's phone.

Not China alone (well, almost)

Degradation, it turns out, is typical not only for Chinese manufacturers. Samsung also allows itself to release devices with decent performance losses.


Samsung Galaxy M32 (2021)

Samsung Galaxy M32Samsung Galaxy M31Processor Mediatek MT6769V/CU Helio G80, 12nm, 2cores 2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 + 6 cores 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55Exynos 9611, 10nm, 4 cores 2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 + 4 cores 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 GPU Mali-G52 MC2 Mali-G72 MP3 Battery 5000 mAh 6000 mAh

Last year's Galaxy M32 you won't believereplaced the Galaxy M31, the processor seems to be more modern, but ... in terms of application speed, the difference is about 1-2%. At the same time, the new MediaTek at 12 nm instead of 10 nm for Exynos (read, heats up and eats more), fast UFS 2.1 memory has degraded to eMMC 5.1 (it is because of this that applications are installed and removed for a long time, and the smartphone slows down when taking a photo, because the picture is written to memory slowly). And instead of a 32 megapixel camera with better sighted f/2.0 optics, the Galaxy M31 has a 20 megapixel camera (it's not about megapixels, but...) with a lower quality f/2.2 optics. Such a progress!

And the most egregious case is when in 2020Samsung has released the Galaxy M51. Epic cool smartphone turned out! Just imagine: inside is not fucking MediaTek or Exynos, but a cool Snapdragon 730G today, 128 GB of memory with a full-size slot (two SIM cards and a memory card fit all together, and not to the detriment of one thing), a large bright AMOLED display and the main thing is 7000 mAh in the battery! And all this cost only 30-35 thousand rubles, although you will not find the same 7000 mAh even in flagships! Yes, and other smartphones of decent brands in general.

But then Samsung realized that these same 7000 mAhfor serfs should not be too cheap - you can make extra money on them. Therefore, both the Galaxy M52 and the Galaxy M53 came out with a battery capacity of ... 5000 mAh!

And, what do you think, for the sake of what it was all done?Realme will tell us why, because the method is the same - then Samsung released the Galaxy M63, with exactly 7000 mAh, the same ones! But, of course, it is more expensive - for 40 thousand rubles at the current exchange rate, and official sales in the Russian Federation have not even begun, although the smartphone is of the 2021 model year. The answer is simple - Samsung released it in those markets where it is especially painful for the Chinese (India, etc.). And in Russia, they still buy what they have, so smartphones with outstanding characteristics can not be released yet.

It's convenient to come back in a year - no one remembers what used to be better

Like Samsung, Honor also took a slippery slopeperformance deterioration. If a couple of years ago, the same Honor 30 Pro could easily be forgiven for the lack of Google services (and without them enjoy the awesome price-performance ratio of the device), today the presence of these same services in the new smartphone does not make it better. Even in comparison with the predecessor of two years ago, uh-huh.


Honor 50 Pro

Honor 50 ProHonor 30 ProProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G, 6 nm, 42.4 GHz Kryo 670 + 4 1.8 GHz Kryo 670 Kirin 990 5G, 7nm+, 2.86 GHz Cortex-A76 + 2.36 GHz Cortex-A76 + 1.95 GHz Cortex-A55 GPU Adreno 642LMali-G76 MP16 Camera Main: 108 MP, f/1.9, (wide), 1/1.52", 0.7µm, PDAF Wide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 17mm Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4 Depth Sensor: 2 MP, f/2.4 Rear: 40 MP, f/1.8, 27 mm, 1/1.7", PDAF, Laser AF, OIS Zoom: 8 MP, f/3.4, 125 mm, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom Wide-angle: 16 MP, f/2.2, 18 mm Depth sensor: 2 MP, f/2.4 Video recording4K, 30 fps + 1080p, 30/60 fps/c4K, 30/60 fps + 1080p, 30/60 fps 1080p, 1920 fps, gyro -EIS

Actual today Honor 50 Pro lost in many"disciplines". The most significant changes have affected the camera. Instead of a cool set of a 40 MP main sensor with optical stabilization (!) And a periscope zoom module with five times optical zoom (!!), we got a strange combination of a common Chinese 108 MP mid-range sensor (in Realme 8 Pro and Poco X4 Pro 5G /Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro costs the same) without optical stabilization and a cheap wide-angle camera. In the new generation, the light sensitivity also became worse due to smaller aperture values, but the “pancakes” of the cameras themselves on the back of the smartphone became much larger. And the Honor 50 Pro often photographs, oddly enough, worse than the same Realme 8 Pro, although the camera, it would seem, is the same.

Well, you do understand that the Kirin 990 in 2020was the really cool Snapdragon 860-level flagship processor in any Xiaomi or the Exynos 9820 in the Samsung Galaxy S10? But the Snapdragon 778G in 2021-2022 is already an average processor, which is even slower than the old Kirin and ... in general, not bad, but they put it in smartphones worth 20 thousand rubles (Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, for example), then how the Honor 50 Pro claims to be supposedly the flagship of Honor.

Yes, Honor 50 series and costs less than they costHonor 30, and the number of hertz in the AMOLED display (don't care, to be honest) has grown, and fast charging has become even faster (but this is already well done). Just… can you imagine the iPhone 13 Pro Max being worse than the iPhone 12 Pro Max? And with Honor after returning to the Google service, this is exactly what happened.

Therefore, never trust the cooler numbers in the names of smartphones, ladies and gentlemen. Read reviews in advance (well, at least ours) and be vigilant!