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Smart Choices: Growing takers for high-end handsets
According to industry analysts, this growth has been driven by the need for real-time, on-demand access to information and applications such as email, voice and videoconferencing.
Also, according to a report by IMS Research, smartphones are becoming increasingly affordable, and, as the price of the minimum hardware components supporting smartphone features continues to fall, the prices of these devices will drop further. This has driven the uptake of these devices both globally and in the Indian market.
In the coming years, the demand for smartphones is likely to increase, with analysts estimating the Indian smartphone segment to register a compound annual growth rate of 63.4 per cent and shipments of 77.5 million by 2015.
Over the past year, handset vendors including Acer, HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have flooded the market with pocket-friendly, feature-rich smartphones. For example, ViewSonic’s ViewPhone 3 3G Android smartphone supports dual SIM cards and dual standby modes, besides offering access to applications on the Google Play Store. The ViewPhone 3 is available at all Reliance Digital Outlets for Rs 9,990.
tele.net takes a look at the various smartphone devices available in the market…
Idea Cellular has introduced the ID 91 smartphone in the Indian market. The device is priced at Rs 5,994 and functions on the Android 2.3 operating system. It packs in a 3.2 inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display, a 3.2 megapixel rear camera, 150 MB of internal memory and 512 MB RAM, and supports dual SIM cards. Idea is also offering voice and data applications worth Rs 2,340 with the device.
Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited has introduced the MTag 351, MTag 352 and MTag 281 smartphones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processor. These devices function on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. The MTag 351 and the MTag 352 have a 3.5 inch capacitive touchscreen display and the MTag 281 has a 2.8 inch touchscreen. These smartphones come bundled with a 2 GB memory card and support up to 32 GB of memory. These devices are embedded with the MTS TV application, enabling access to more than 100 live TV and video-on-demand channels. The MTag 351 features dual cameras (a 3 megapixel back camera and a VGA front camera) and is priced at Rs 7,499. The MTag 352 and MTag 281 have a 3 megapixel back camera. These are priced at Rs 6,499 and Rs 5,499 respectively.
Nokia has launched the Nokia PureView 808 in India, priced at Rs 29,999. The device has a 41 megapixel camera and an AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colours; supports MP3 and WAV ringtones; and offers 16 GB of memory. Other features include 1 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM, 14.4 Mbps HSDPA connectivity, support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the Nokia Belle operating system, an HTML browser and an ARM 11 1.3 GHz processor.
RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 93320 features BlackBerry’s messaging and social networking-centric features and supports 3G. The device has a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger key, an FM radio, and preloaded applications for Facebook and Twitter. It also offers the Social Feeds 2.0 application, which allows customers to post updates on multiple social networks simultaneously and obtain updates from news sources; and access social and instant messaging applications. The integrated camera includes a flash and supports video recording. Other features include the BlackBerry 7.1 operating system and support for the Mobile Hotspot platform.
RIM has also introduced the BlackBerry Curve 9220 smartphone in India. The device has a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger key and offers applications such as Facebook and Twitter. Other features include the BlackBerry 7.1 operating system, built in Wi-Fi connectivity and an FM radio. The device is priced at Rs 10,990.
HTC India has introduced the HTC Desire VC smartphone. The device operates on the Android 4.0 platform, and supports the HTC Sense 4.0 user interface and dual SIM cards. It offers 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of internal memory (expandable to 32 GB), a 5 megapixel camera and Wi-Fi connectivity. The handset is priced at Rs 21,999.
HTC has also expanded its One series of handsets with the launch of the HTC One X device. The HTC One X operates on the NVIDIA Tegra 3 Mobile Processor and the 1.5 GHz Super 4-PLUS-1 quad-core processor. Other features include 32 GB of internal memory, 1 GB RAM, support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, dual camera (an 8 megapixel primary camera and a 1.3 megapixel secondary camera) and the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. The device is priced at Rs 37,899.
Spice, in association with NQ Mobile, has introduced secure Android smartphones in the Indian market. The handsets have been launched under the Spice Stellar brand and comprise three devices, the Stellar, the Horizon and the Craze. The Stellar packs in the Android 2.3 operating system, a 4 inch capacitive touchscreen, a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor and the NetQin antivirus platform. Other features include a dual camera (5 megapixel and a VGA camera), Wi-Fi tethering facility and support for dual SIM cards. It is priced at Rs 9,999. The Horizon has a 5 inch touchscreen, bundled with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich operating system. It packs in a 1 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Craze has a 3.5 inch touchscreen and works on an 800 MHz processor and the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform, which is upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The Stellar Horizon and Spice Stellar Craze are priced at Rs 11,999 and Rs 6,499 respectively.
Motorola has launched two smartphones, the DEFY XT and DEFY MINI. These devices are water and scratch resistant, and dustproof. They feature the MotoSwitch user interfaces which collects all user preferences and stores them. The DEFY XT has a 5 megapixel camera and the DEFY MINI has a 3 megapixel camera. Motorola DEFY XT is priced at Rs 16,190, while the dual-SIM Motorola DEFY MINI is priced at Rs 11,490.
Samsung has launched the Galaxy Ace Duos handset in India. The device is priced at Rs 15,090 and supports dual SIM cards, packs in an 832 MHz processor, and offers 7.2 Mbps of HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity. Other features include a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, an 8.9 cm HVGA touchscreen display, the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and 3 GB of internal memory.
Also, the Galaxy S III has been introduced in the Indian market. Priced at Rs 43,180, the device packs in an AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16 million colours, the TouchWiz user interface version 4 and Class 12 GPRS. The Galaxy S III operates on the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and has a 1.4 GHz quad-core Cortex A 9 processor. It has dual cameras (an 8 megapixel primary camera and a 1.9 megapixel secondary camera), 1 GB of RAM, 64 GB of memory, Bluetooth connectivity, support for video recording, etc. Other features include S-Voice natural language commands and dictation, the Smart Stay eye tracking platform, an inbuilt dropbox with 50 GB of storage, active noise cancellation with a dedicated microphone and the TV-out facility.
Huawei has launched two smartphones, Ascend G300 and Y200. Ascend G300 is the first smartphone under Huawei’s Ascend G series. Ascend G300 has a 1 GHz CPU and runs on the Android 2.3 operating system. It has a 4 inch WVGA IPS hard screen with an anti-fingerprint design. It supports auto-rotation to optimise media viewing and internet browsing. The smartphone has an ambient light sensor to help users view the screen in low light conditions. Ascend G300 has a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with a ligh emitting diode flash. Ascend G300 is priced at Rs 13,490. The Ascend Y200 has a 3.5 inch in-plane switching touchscreen. The device is powered by a Qualcomm 800 MHz CPU and a 1,250 mAh battery, and is priced at Rs 8,190.
LG Electronics has introduced four smartphones in India under the LG L handset series. Three of these devices operate on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform, while one works on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. The LG Optimus 4x HD has an 8 megapixel camera, 16 GB of internal memory and a 1.5 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor. It is priced at Rs 34,990. The LG Optimus L7 is priced at Rs 19,900. The device offers 4 GB of memory and 512 MB of RAM, and supports Bluetooth and near-field communication technologies.
The LG Optimus L5 packs in a 5 megapixel camera and an 800 MHz processor and has a 4 inch screen. It is available for Rs 13,199. The LG Optimus L3 has a 3 megapixel camera, 1 GB storage memory, 384 MB of RAM and support for GPRS and EDGE. It is priced at Rs 8,895.
Intel Corporation has partnered with Lava International Limited to launch the XOLO X 900 smartphone in India. The device is priced at Rs 22,000. The XOLO X900 functions on the Intel Atom processor, and supports HSPA+ and 3G connectivity. Other features include a 400 MHz graphics card, a 1,080 pixel high definition video encoding facility, an 8 megapixel camera, a high resolution LCD touchscreen, the Android Gingerbread operating system, five hours of 3G browsing, 45 hours of audio and eight hours of talktime.The Indian smartphone market is gaining momentum. Analysts believe that 4G and data service uptake would provide a fillip to this segment going forward.
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