Smart­phones for ` 15,000

A BUD­GET OF ` 15,000 IS GOOD ENOUGH TO OWN A SMART­PHONE THAT REALLY WORKS

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - CONTENTS - BY NIDHI SINGAL

A lower price tag no longer means that your smart­phone is bound to un­der­per­form or have just ba­sic features. Smart­phones now sell­ing for un­der ` 15,000 are very com­pe­tent de­vices.

In this age of mo­bile phones, ev­ery­one—from cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive to col­lege stu­dent and housewife— han­kers af­ter a smart­phone. Till now, there weren’t many on of­fer in the mid-price seg­ment that came with the best features though. Those avail­able for un­der ` 15,000 usu­ally sported a re­sis­tive touch­screen with a small dis­play, medi­ocre cam­era, cramped key­boards, out­dated op­er­at­ing sys­tems and be­low par pro­ces­sors. But with phones at the higher end push­ing specs and pric­ing, the mid-seg­ment has started pack­ing in some power as well as de­cent specs.

DIS­PLAY

The painful, sty­lus-re­quir­ing 2.8-inch re­sis­tive dis­plays, with their min­i­mal real es­tate, have been re­placed by ca­pac­i­tive touch dis­plays of 3.5 inches and above. While th­ese dis­plays re­spond to fin­ger touch and of­fer more space, the im­proved dis­play has en­hanced the over­all user ex­pe­ri­ence.

PRO­CES­SORS

Un­til now, most An­droid smart­phones had pro­ces­sors clock­ing 600MHz or 800MHz, which found it dif­fi­cult to han­dle mul­ti­task­ing or heavy graph­ics apps. Now, 1GHz pro­ces­sors are be­com­ing the norm, with some man­u­fac­tur­ers even adding dual-core pro­ces­sors. For in­stance, the Mi­cro­max A90 has a dual-core pro­ces­sor though it costs just ` 9,999. But this is an An­droid phe­nom­e­non and de­vices on other op­er­at­ing sys­tems have not been so mag­nan­i­mous. The Nokia Lu­mia de­vices run­ning Win­dows Phone 7.5 have 800 MHz pro­ces­sors, good enough to han­dle most tasks with­out lag.

OP­ER­AT­ING SYS­TEM

An­droid smart­phones in In­dia usu­ally don’t run the lat­est ver­sion of the soft­ware. While the high-end ones do get up­grades, it is a whole dif­fer­ent story with mid­seg­ment phones. When the high-end de­vices were run­ning on An­droid 2.3, th­ese mid-level phones were op­er­at­ing on the ear­lier ver­sions. Now with con­sumers be­com­ing more aware, man­u­fac­tur­ers have started load­ing th­ese de­vices with rel­a­tively new OS ver­sions.

OTH­ERS

Smart­phones have also evolved with man­u­fac­tur­ers look­ing to use bet­ter ma­te­rial and im­prove build qual­ity. Even a 5MP cam­era is now be­com­ing a de­fault fea­ture. Oth­ers are pack­ing in bet­ter bat­ter­ies to keep the phones pow­ered up for at least 24 hours.

Nokia Lu­mia 610 3.7-inch ca­pac­i­tive dis­play; Win­dows Phone 7.5; 800MHz pro­ces­sor; 256B RAM; 8GB in­ter­nal stor­age; 5MP cam­era; Wi-Fi; 3G;GPS; 131.5 gm; 1300 mAh bat­tery.

Price: ` 12,380 Sony Xpe­ria U 3.5-inch ca­pac­i­tive touch dis­play; An­droid v2.3, upgrad­able to v4.0; 8GB in­ter­nal me­mory; no card slot; 1GHz dual-core pro­ces­sor; 512MB RAM; 5MP cam­era; 3G, Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth, GPS; 110 gm; 1320 mAh bat­tery.

Price: ` 14,990 LG Op­ti­mus L7 4.3-inch dis­play; An­droid v4.0; 1GHz pro­ces­sor; 512MB RAM; 4GB in­ter­nal stor­age, ex­pand­able to 32 GB; 5MP cam­era; Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth, 3G, GPS; 122 gm; 1700 mAh bat­tery.

Price: ` 15,000

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