In India Diwali is the time where people go out and buy stuff and in this shopping spree gold and electronics are the highlights of the show. If you have been saving to buy a new Smartphone but confused among all the new iPhones, the android and nokians and can’t decide what will give you the best value for money and will fulfill all your expectations, you come to the right place.
People usually confuse smartphones with feature phones, there is a difference. A feature phone is a phone that is designed to one thing, for e.g. A camera phone has a good camera and many camera related options but lacks other features like multimedia or business features. When Smartphones were introduced they started with a little bit of everything but a lot of things have changed since then, there is no limit to what features they will have, even features you didn’t know you need.
1. iPhone 4 – A phone that needs no introduction
Apple iPhone is one of the most popular phones in the Smartphone market. Apple has revolutionized the Smartphone industry with it phone. Airtel has announced that this phone will be available in India by Diwali, there also some pics floating around on the internet of an “Airtel Micro Sim” which definitely indicates of iPhone 4 launch soon. This phone has the Best Screen in the market called the retina display, one of the best cameras (5MP) on a Smartphone which even shoot 720P HD video. The phone also has front facing video camera video calling (face time), earlier this feature could only be used on wifi and only between iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4 but now apps like fring can be used for video calling to other phones as well.
For Business users, this phone has Push email, Multiple Exchange accounts, VPN support and a unified inbox so you don’t you can club all your emails together. The phone supports all social media apps so you can always be connected with your friends with push support so you always know when you get a notification. iPhone 4 has one of the best multimedia experience a Smartphone can offer, on the retina display the movies look awesome as it can shoot edit and play 720P HD videos with iMovie, and with multitasking you can don’t have to close what you are doing to do that urgent tweet or send that I am busy message while you are in the middle of achieving your highest score, and you also have Game Center which means you can challenge your friends online for a game or you can watch live TV, news and All this and much more on your iPhone 4…
- Hardware design is prone to reception issues sometimes when you are in a very weak signal area
- MicroSIM card support only
- No Adobe Flash support for the mobile
- No file transfer over Bluetooth or USB Mass Storage mode
Expected Price – INR 30,000 16GB, 36,000 32GB
Value for money 8/10
2. Samsung Galaxy S – An Android from another Galaxy.
This is the most powerful android phone in the world, it packs an ARM Cortex A8 1GHz humming bird processor, 512 MB RAM, 2GB ROM, Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen 480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches. Also this phone gives Divx and Xvid support put of the box i.e. you don’t have to convert your movies into Mp4 to watch it on the phone, just drag and drop and that’s it. Galaxy S like the iPhone has a 5MP autofocus camera with face, smile and blink detection, 720p HD video recording and a Secondary video-call camera. Like all other android phone Samsung galaxy S has a great email management functionality including push, Unified inbox and multiple exchange accounts not forgetting the business community. One thing we like about android and miss in the iPhone is live widgets, you can place icons folder and live widgets on your home screen, you can have facebook, twitter, RSS feed for your website all this and much more on your multiple homscreens, For e.g. you have a facebook or a twitter widget on your home screen, now this widget will automatically show what your friend are doing, their status updates, who messaged you, who poked you and everything else. The Best thing about android is it offers you unrestricted n number of customization options and the Galaxy S is no different, in this phone you can adjust your screens the way you like and also decide the Number of home screens you would like.
Samsung Galaxy S is currently on Android 2.1(Éclair) but it’s expected to get android 2.2 (Froyo) by the end of Oct and don’t worry it will get it, it’s not Sony Ericsson its Samsung.
- No flash for the camera
- The all-plastic body is a real fingerprint magnet
- No Flash support for the web browser (It will get it with android 2.2)
Price – INR 28,000+
Value for money 9/10
3. HTC Desire Family (Desire , Desire HD, Desire Z) – More than what you can Desire.
The new line of HTC android phones are all about user experience. All the three phones in the HTC Desire Family run android 2.2 and have HTC sense UI (user interface) on them. HTC sense UI is a holistic experience that is based on putting the users at its center by making features that function the way they should to give the user simplified experience. It integrates all your phone contacts, and your social networking client, so when you see a contact in your phone book you can see messages, emails from him and his facebook and twitter updates. When HTC phone rings if it’s in the pocket it will ring louder, if you hold it in your hand the ring will be softer, when you just flip the phone it will go on silent. With HTC sense takes even less than 10 seconds to turn on. The best feature about the new htc phones is htcsense.com, so if you can’t find the phone at home and it’s at silent go to that website click on the ring button and it rings loudly. But what if you left it in a restaurant, go to that website lock the phone and leave a message on the screen and call my owner button so that the one who finds it can return it to you, you can also track the phone on the map to know where it is. These features are just icing on a big giant cake with many layers and as simple as eating it. The HTC desire is available in the Indian Market, HTC Desire HD and Desire Z will be available in India by November (via HTC press Release)
- No dedicated camera Button
- NO HDMI out
HTC Desire – INR 25,000+
Expected Price –
HTC Desire HD – INR 30,000+
HTC Desire Z – INR 30,000+
Value for money 9/10
4. Motorola Milestone Family (Milestone and Milestone 2) – Truly a Milestone
Motorola milestone also known as the Motorola Droid, a phone that changed Motorola’s future, this phone brought motorla from huge losses back into profits, a phone that put android on the map and paved the way for the nexus one. Motorola Milestone runs stock android 2.1 (android 2.2 update by January’11) and the milestone 2 has android 2.2. These 2 phones are the best QWERTY phones in the GSM market today. The original milestone runs the stock android UI while the Milestone 2 runs the new Motoblur UI which is better than the previous over but unlike The HTC sense it just offers some additional customization options over the stock android UI, best suited for those who prefer the stock android UI over custom UIs. This phone is a perfect match for people who need a physical keyboard especially for Business class users who want to switch from their old Blackberries and really need a QWERTY keyboard.
- Milestone1 has a cramped up keyboard
- NO HDMI out
Motorola Miestone – INR 23,000+
Expected Price –
Motorola Milestone 2 – INR 27,000+
Value for money 7/10
5. BlackBerry Touch – Lighting the the road ahead for RIM
Like the apple Fans there are some Loyal Blackberry fans that want a new phone and that to blackberry. Well then this is your lucky day because Blackberry torch RIM’s new phone that in addition to all traditional blackberry features now also has some multimedia experience also in store for you too. The torch has a 3.2” capacitive touchscreen display and the new OS6. Rim is trying to aim for the new market of multimedia smartphones. We recently reviewed this phone and you can find all the details here.
- Over Priced
- Sometimes laggy UI
RIM Blackberry Torch – INR 33,000+
Value for money 5/10
6. Samsung Wave – A wave of awesomeness
Now this phone maybe in the mid range phones market segment but this is a very powerful phone. When you look at the phone you will notice it way better than many highend phones like the N8 and the x10 series… It has a ARM Cortex A8 1GHz, 5 MP autofocus camera with touch focus, geo-tagging, face, smile and blink detection and LED flash with 720P video Recording, 3.3″ 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, WVGA (480 x 800 pixels), multi-touch input support, scratch-resistant glass surface, Webkit-based Samsung Dolphin Browser 2.0 with full Flash support and a Standard microUSB port and Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP. This phone has a awesome Super Amoled screen screen with which may just fall in love with.
- Runs Bada OS so not many apps to support available (as compared to iPhone and android)
Samsung Wave – INR 17,000+
Value for money 9/10
7. HTC Legend – I am Legend
The best thing about this phone is its looks. This phone is crafted from a single piece of aluminum, its pure metal body makes it a pleasant to watch eye candy. Its looks can be compared to that of a sports car or a fighter jet and there is a possibility that you may fall in love with it at first sight. This phone runs android 2.1 and HTC sense UI on top of it, the same thing that runs on the HTC desire, This phone is a successor to the HTC hero. It has a Qualcomm MSM 7227 600 MHz processor, 384 MB RAM, 3.2″ capacitive AMOLED touchscreen of HVGA resolution and a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and VGA@30fps video recording. This is a Great phone and you will love it.
HTC Legend – INR 23,000+
Value for money 8/10
8. HTC Wildfire – A mini Desire with a Mini Price
Don’t let the name fool you it does everything and anything a HTC desire can do. It has a Qualcomm MSM 7225 528 MHz CPU, 384 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM, 3.2″ capacitive touchscreen of QVGA resolution and a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash and touch focus and runs android 2.1. The small screen justifies the slower Cpu than the HTC Desire.
- The Video Camera provides 15FPS video recording (352 x 288 pixels)
- No TV-out port
HTC Wildfire – INR 15,000+
Value for money 7/10
9. Sony Ericsson X10 – Just didn’t quite make it
When you look at the phone it looks like a very pretty girl but looks can be deceiving. It Packs a 4″ capacitive touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 854 pixel) resolution and scratch-resistant surface, 16M-color ready (65K colors under Android OS v1.6), a Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon 1 GHz CPU, OpenGL ES 2.0 support; 384 MB of RAM, and a 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, touch focus, image stabilization, geotagging, face and smile detection. This a good looking phone with a nice specs sheet, so what’s wrong? To start with the phone has android 1.6 and its October 2010 and according to official press release from Sony Ericsson this phone will get android 2.1 by October end (while all other phones and even low spec phone are on android 2.1 getting 2.2) and now the big issue with the update is first it was promised august end then September end and October and then maybe November and then December and then….. You get it. Sony Ericsson says X10 doesn’t need android 2.1 or any other update but the truth is it’s missing out on many features which it would have had if it was android 2.2 or at least android 2.1. Over all it could have been a great phone but it’s a year behind it’s time.
- Still in android 1.6
- Limited storage available to the user on the system partition (you are left with only 512 MB for installing apps)
- No live wallpapers
- Non compatibility of new apps which require newer version of android
- Deprived of many better features if updated regularly
- No flash Support
- 65K color screen instead of 16Million color screen
- Slower performance as compared what it could have had on android 2.1 also android 2.2 increases the performance and battery life of the phone by around 70%
- Not so good after sale service
- Camera lacks HD 720P video recording
- Sluggish UI overlay
- Feeble loudspeaker
Sony Ericsson X10 – INR 27000+
Value for money 4/10
10. Nokia N8 – A brand New Ferrari with a 20Yr old Engine
This was the phone everybody had their hopes up with, this was the phone that would have freed the people who were sick of the sluggish so called smartphones which nokia had been coming out with three years, but it was not to be. But first let us tell you what’s good… It has a 12 megapixel autofocus camera with xenon flash and Carl Zeiss optics, geo-tagging, face and smile detection and built-in ND filter, 720p video recording@25fps (not 30FPS), TV-out (720p video) via HDMI and composite and Dolby Digital Plus via HDMI. Now after seeing the good anyone who has used only nokia phone as of yet or not seen the latest iPhone or the androids this phone looks good. But all is not well, it has the same old UI seen in the N97 and n97mini with few features directly from android, Click here for a full detailed review on N8
- A Screen resolution of 360 x 640 pixels
- A slow processor
- Irreplaceable battery
- Sluggish and outdated S^3 ui which also lags
- Will not be upgraded to Symbian^4
Nokia N8 – INR 26,500+
Value for money 5/10
Spend wisely and Happy Diwali