They may have great products but when it comes to the Indian pricing Apple has always dropped the ball. But never have they dropped it harder than with the iPhone 4S, which ended up breaking many a heart of Apple fans in India. With prices starting from Rs. 44,500 for the 16GB and going as high as the Rs. 57,500 for the 64GB model, the iPhone 4S will make most of its buyers end up filing for bankruptcy after the purchase.
So, what is a smartphone enthusiast in India whose last name does not start with an ‘A’ and end with ‘mbani’ going to do? The iPhone 4S is a terrific smartphone with an aged design, impressive display, decent camera and a plethora of apps but, as it happens, it isn’t the smartest one. While there are quite a few smartphones in the wild that can easily contend against the iPhone 4S, today we shall speak of just 5 of them. Some of these are available right now whereas others will be out before the year ends. So sit back and relax as we take you through this little adventure filled with new discoveries.
1. Samsung Galaxy S II
This one’s for all the mobile photographers. The Galaxy S II has one of the best cameras on the market. Whether you are shooting 8 megapixel still images or 1080p video, you can always expect great quality from its camera. For mobile photography enthusiasts, the Galaxy S II is the next best option after the overpriced iPhone 4S. Not only will you be able to get great results from the built-in camera app but you can also download additional applications from the Android Market to tweak your images and make them look even better.
Even if you leave the camera aside, you still end up with what is one of the most complete smartphones ever manufactured, with a price tag that does not require you to rob a bank to pay for. It has everything one could ask for; a thin body, a large display, powerful hardware and a great range of pre-loaded and third party software. Add to it the awesome camera and, even at Rs. 29,900, the Galaxy S II seems like a very good value for money product.
2. Samsung Galaxy Nexus
This one’s for all the Android enthusiasts. The Galaxy Nexus comes with the latest and greatest version of Android - Ice Cream Sandwich - pre-installed. Also, being a Nexus, you can always expect the latest update as soon as Google makes them available. It is also highly customizable and a dream for those who like to tinker with their phone’s software and try and add additional functionality to it, milking it for all the money’s worth.
As a bonus, you also get that amazing new 1280 x 720 resolution display and a powerful hardware that will get the best out of all your apps and games. The Galaxy Nexus is currently not on sale in India but will be arriving shortly. Expect a price of around Rs. 35,000.
3. HTC Sensation XE
This one’s for all the music enthusiasts. The new HTC Sensation XE is an upgraded version of the older Sensation and comes with a faster processor. It is also the first phone to be born out of the recent collaboration between HTC and Beats by Dr.Dre. It comes with the high quality iBeats earphones and has special software that detects when the iBeats earphones are connected and enables a special audio preset tuned to deliver the best possible audio quality with those earphones.
Now this is something that people call colored sound, with enhanced bass that is tweaked to sound better and not really close to the original sound. And while audio purists will scoff at this, for most people, this is what they mean when they say they want good quality sound. Chances are, you will be among those people and for you, the Sensation XE with Beats audio will sound great compared to any other phone.
The HTC Sensation XE is available now for Rs. 32,400.
4. Motorola RAZR
This one’s for those who value design over everything else. The new Motorola RAZR is an exquisite combination of a solid metal, glass and Kevlar, all in a stunningly thin 7.1mm body. It is currently the thinnest phone in the world and if there ever was a phone that deserved the name RAZR, this is it!
On the hardware side, it is more or less identical to the Galaxy Nexus and will also be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update soon. Unlike the Galaxy Nexus, however, the RAZR is currently available in the market right now and can be purchased for Rs. 33,990.
5. Nokia Lumia 800
This is for those who want something different. iPhone and Android devices have become common these days. Everyone and his dog have one. If you’re someone who wants to try something different and stand out from the crowd then Windows Phone 7 is the way to go and there is no better phone right now to do this with than the Nokia Lumia 800.
The Lumia 800 combines a beautiful unibody design with the fresh Metro user interface of Windows Phone 7, which should come as a welcome relief to those used to other phones. Underneath this gorgeous surface is a capable hardware that is powerful enough to handle all your smartphone duties with aplomb. Although not on sale yet, the Lumia 800 is expected to come out next month and would be priced around Rs. 29,000.