Smartphone launches this week
It was a busy week for phone launches and we saw the debut of one much-awaited smartphone as well as a first-time name for the Indian market. And from low-end phones to flagship superphones, we saw a wide range of devices. Here’s a quick recap.
Nexus 4 made a much-delayed appearance in India
The Nexus 4 made its long-awaited appearance as LG launched the smartphone in India. The phone will not be available through the Google Play Store yet, which is why it’s priced at Rs 25,990, much higher than its international price of $349 for the 16GB version. Nevertheless, considering the 720p display, superfast Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC and stock Android experience, it’s a small price to pay.
Xolo launched yet another quad-core smartphone but the Q700 is intended to be a mid-ranger. Priced at Rs 9,999, the XOLO Q700 smartphone is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, comes with 1GB of RAM and runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It has a 4.5-inch display and a capacious 2400 mAh battery. Interestingly Xolo has packed in a Switch feature to allow multiple users to create profiles and keep their apps and accounts separate on the same phone.
Lumia 925 is a slight design refresh over the Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 925
Nokia decided to update the design of the Lumia 920 and unveiled an aluminium-clad, slimmer and lighter version, the Lumia 925 earlier this week. Not much separates the 920 and 925 in terms of specs, but the design makes a great impression and instantly puts the 925 leagues ahead. Nokia has also decided to include a bunch of new software features like a Smart Camera Mode as well as getting an exclusive deal with Hisptamatic to bring its Oggl app to the phone.
Micromax Canvas Doodle A111
Micromax launched a mid-range Galaxy Note rival which boasts a stylus just like the Samsung smartphone. The Canvas Doodle comes with a quad-core processor, a 5.3-inch display and it runs 4.1 Jelly Bean. The camera on the back is, we suspect, the same 8-megapixel unit as the one on the Canvas HD.
Micromax A88 Canvas Music comes with JBL Tempo headset
Micromax Canvas Music A88
Targeting music lovers, Micromax Canvas Music A88 comes with a JBL Tempo headset and MLive app to download unlimited songs. In terms of specs, there’s nothing to set our hearts racing. The 4.5-inch display seems large enough, but the 1GHz dual-core processor and the 5-megapixel camera are in line with the low price of this phone.
Samsung Galaxy S4 – Google Edition
Google unveiled a new variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android at Google I/O. There’s no TouchWiz in this S4 and so Android updates will be hitting this phone at the same time as they do the Nexus phones. The handset will be available for a hefty $649 (around Rs 36,000) and will be sold directly through Google Play from June 26. What’s more, the ROM development community is sure to lap up this new variant thanks to the unlocked bootloader from the get-go. Will the Google-Samsung experiment work and pave the way for other phones to get similar treatment?
Panasonic’s first ever smartphone for India, the P51 seems very impressive in terms of build quality and specs, but its price of Rs 26,990 is somewhat surprising. Considering how many phones we are seeing these days with MediaTek’s quad-core chipset rbc2, a 720p display and 8-megapixel camera, the P51 could have a hard time convincing buyers to pick it. A swift drop in price after it hits the stores next week is a very likely possibility. Do check out our hands-on with the Panasonic P51.
Sony’s latest waterproof smartphone, the Xperia ZR
Sony Xperia ZR
Sony’s Xperia ZR takes the Xperia Z’s waterproof and dustproof features to the next level and can be used deeper in water for longer. And it’s not too shabby in terms of other specs either. It sports a 4.6-inch 720p display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, has 4G LTE capabilities and a 13 megapixel camera with Sony’s Exmos RS for mobile sensor. Overall, it looks like a great package.
Spice Stellar Horizon Pro Mi-505
Spice added to its Stellar line of smartphones and the Stellar Horizon Pro Mi-505 is unique in that both SIM slots can connect to a 3G network. Disappointingly, it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but the large 5-inch display and 1GHz dual-core processor should be great for multimedia consumption. It has a 5 megapixel camera on the back along with a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera.