It's pouring new flagship smartphones and if you wish to buy one, you're spoilt for choice. You're also setting yourself up for a headache in filtering the one you bring home as nothing hurts more than buying the wrong smartphone and realising that after a month of struggling with it. Thus the Festive Shopping Guide - to help you decide the best you can buy - continues its perilous journey and hurtles towards a conclusion.
Apple Brand Phuljari 1 - iPhone 5C
It's the colourful, vibrant younger sibling to the 5S and its specs bear an uncanny resemblance to its outgoing big brother, the iPhone 5. It has a single-piece polycarbonate body with a reinforced steel frame, is slightly thicker, uses the same A6 processor, has the same 1GB of RAM, the same 4" retina display and comes with the all-new iOS7 as its main calling card. It should arrive on Indian shores on November 1 at a price of about `38,500 to `42,000.
Made for: If you love brightly-coloured things, if you are in college and have made your first million, if you are a serious Apple groupie but are secretly jaded with old-school 'elegance', if you loved the Lumia series but couldn't wrap your head around Windows on a phone - then this is heaven sent for you. Anybody else and especially those 'not in love' with a Fisher-Price-toy-like look and feel inside and outside your phone - this is not your future phone!
Apple Brand Phuljari 2 - iPhone 5S
The phone has sold millions already. It's the next-generation Apple smartphone and while it may look like an iPhone from two years ago - there are huge improvements. The unibody aluminium construction with glass accents still looks good and is now adorned with a paint job. The internals feature a new A7 SOC with 1GB of RAM, the first ever 64-bit architecture inside a phone and even a new M7 chip that can track all your movements without waking up the other processor. The camera gets an upgrade despite being labelled as an 8 megapixel as the sensor and pixels are larger. The big feature though, is the fingerprint scanner underneath the home button. Should come into India at a price of about `49,000.
Made for: If you're an Apple fan and have upgraded every time a new iPhone comes out - why are you even reading this? If you want a fingerprint scanner that unlocks your phone in the coolest way possible, if you want a screaming fast phone, a camera that does its job even in low light, if you want to shoot videos in super 'slo-mo' and if you've been on the Apple bandwagon but haven't upgraded for two generations - this is a no brainer. But if you think that 4-inch phones are seriously outdated, if you live and die by the term Phablet, if iOS7 has left you cold and if you think 50K is too much to spend to carry on the Apple legacy - wait for the iP6.
Dragon Rocket - Gionee E6
This one is a shocker. It's a flagship phone from a company that till today hasn't had the guts to release any expensive phones. Yet the E6 makes it to the list purely on design and specs. This phone's good looks can even take on the Sony Xperia Z1. A unibody seamless design, One Glass Solution display, super thin at 6.18mm, a 5-inch full HD 1080P screen with 441 pixels per inch (ppi), a 1.5 GHz quad core processor, a 13 MP camera and 2GB of RAM. This phone packs it all in - and is priced at about `20,000.
Made for: If you believe that Chinese phones are crap, if you're conscious of the brand of your phone, if you'd rather wait to see if a new player offers service and support, and if you believe that only price can equal quality and don't believe that a 20K phone can be equal or better than a 40K phone - the E6 is not your cup of tea. But if good looks, serious value for money and the sense that these are the companies that actually make phones for almost all brands is already part of your thinking - this phone should be part of your life.
Never-Ending Anar - Lenovo P780
The only non-flagship on this list and it's here for only one reason: battery life! The biggest frustration for every user AFTER they've bought a brand new phone. Till now the solution was to buy a phone with a big battery and accept that you were going to have to live with a clunky, thick and very ugly phone. No more. The P780 has great looks, a 5-inch 1280x720p display and a 294ppi, a faux brushed-metal casing, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and a 8MP camera - all powered by a 4000 mAh battery which should last 2-3 days. Add to that another killer feature: you can charge almost any other phone straight from this phone. All this goodness comes in at about `16,500.
Made for: If you're fidgety at 4pm every day as you know your phone is about to die, if you constantly switch off 3G on your phone to save some battery life, if you want to be known as PowerMan among your friends as you're always there to charge their phones with your portable generator - this phone's for you. If three days of battery life seems like a gimmick, maybe this isn't for you.
That then is your roster of serious contenders to win the title. Eight phones, each with some super seductive features. May your festive money be spent on a truly worthy contender and thus defeat all those evil companies that make you buy mediocre phones at big prices. After all, isn't that the true spirit of Diwali?
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3.
From HT Brunch, October 20
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