India is one of the biggest mobile phone markets in the world. A majority of this market is comprised of budget phones. Now almost all major mobile phone manufacturers hold a strong portfolio in this segment. After all it's a major segment of the market in a country where people are more cost conscious. The market is still exploding with a lot more budget phones being announced every year. Here we take a look at some of the best new budget phones set to hit the Indian market this year.Nokia Lumia 610
Nokia announced its entry-level smartphone device Lumia 610 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year. The Lumia 610 runs Windows Phone 7 operating system and is targeted at the younger audience. The smartphone also won the 'Best Budget Smartphone' award at MWC. The Lumia 610 can be quite a candy for those who were previously shying away from a Lumia device or are still thinking about entering the Windows Phone 7 arena.
The Lumia 610 features a 3.2-inch display and is powered by an 800MHz processor. With a RAM of just 256MB, you know where all Nokia has cut down the cost. The Lumia 610 will run on Windows Phone 7 Tango. The device is expected to launch in India soon and could be priced in the range of Rs.11,000-13,000.
Samsung Galaxy Pocket
Samsung has quite a few decent budget smartphones in the market already. They're going to launch Galaxy Pocket in India very soon. The device is powered by an 832MHz processor and it runs on Android 2.3. There's no word on whether it will be able to upgrade to higher versions of Android anytime in the near future. Considering it's a budget device, Samsung may not bother with it at all.
Other than that the phone has almost all the standard features you would expect from a decent smartphone. Wi-Fi and HSDPA 3.6 connectivity is included for high-speed data transfers. The phone goes tiny on the screen size with a 2.3-inch capacitive multi-touch screen. The smartphone is expected to be priced between Rs. 8000-10,000 when it launches. The Galaxy Pocket might just hit it well with those who're looking for a cheap and still usable smartphone.
LG showed off its T375 and T385 smartphones at MWC this year. The LG T375 is a dual-SIM, dual standby phone with a 3.2-inch QVGA touchscreen. The phone runs on LG's widget-enabled touchscreen interface. LG claims that the T375 device offers a smooth multi-touch experience for its category of phones.
The phone includes almost all standard featured including Wi-Fi and GPRS/EDGE connectivity. It's weird for LG to miss out on providing 3G connectivity here. That's a bummer right there. But then it's a dual-sim phone, considering LG wanted to keep the battery running, it may have tried to skim on the list of connectivity options for the better. The phone is expected to launch with a price tag of somewhere around Rs.7,000-8000.
HTC One V
The HTC One V is quite an impressive smartphone for a low-end device. Announced at MWC this year, the One V could help increase HTC's market share in a country where more people still buy budget phones before taking the big leap to more expensive phones.
The HTC One V features a 3.7-inch screen on a 480x800 resolution. The most amazing specification worth mentioning here is that it includes Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) right out of the box. That's a first for any low-end device. On the hardware front, the HTC One V runs on a single core 1GHz chip with 512MB RAM. It includes a 5MP camera which supports 720p HD video recording. There's still no word from HTC on the pricing but given that they're marketing the device as a low-cost product, it may come with an attractive price tag.
Beetel Teletech has launched it's affordable touchscreen mobile phone in the Indian market with a sugary price tag of Rs. 5,499. The phone includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen and a 5MP camera at the back. The phone is more of a feature phone as it would mainly depend on Java based apps for functionality. It includes an internal memory of 16GB, the only major selling point after pricing.
Mypad and YUP Tablets
The Indian market is flooded with cheap tablets. Mangal Electronics has launched Mypad and YUP branded tablets in India. The low-cost tablets would be powered by Android (Honeycomb and Gingerbread). Mypad would be available in multiple sizes ranging from 7 to 10.2 inches.
Both the tablets would include a 1GHz processor while offering standard connectivity options including 3G and WiFi. The tablets would also include GPS for location tracking functionality. Mypad and YUP tablets shall be available for a price tag of Rs.5,000 to Rs.18,000.
Samsung Galaxy Mini 2
Samsung, it seems, is running faster to compete in the low-cost race. The Galaxy Mini 2 smartphone is aimed at further enhancing its market share in the affordable smartphone category. Galaxy Mini 2 includes a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 320x480 pixels resolution.
The Galaxy Mini 2 runs on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and is powered by a Qualcomm 800MHz processor. Connectivity options shall include Wi-Fi, HSDPA and a micro-USB port. Surprisingly, the phone also packs in DLNA support which could be quite useful if you already have a DLNA based setup with your home theater system. The smartphone is already available in Europe for pre-orders and is expected to launch in India soon. The estimated price for Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 is under Rs.10,000.
Nokia Asha 202
Nokia is all set to add yet another series of affordable phones to its Asha series. The Asha 202 is a dual-SIM phone that sports a dual input system comprising of a touchscreen as well as a keypad. The phone features a 2.4-inch QVGA touchscreen display. Nokia is all set to crush the low-cost competition from fairly new players such as Micromax and Lava.
Asha 202 will run on Symbian Series 40 Asha. The phone will provide a decent upgrade for those who use budget phones in their daily lives. Asha 202 includes pretty basic specifications for a low-cost phone - internal memory of 10MB, support for external storage, 2MP camera, The phone will be priced in the range of Rs. 4500-6000 in India.
Nokia Asha 302
The new Nokia Asha 302, announced at Mobile World Congress this year, is expected to cater to the budget phone lovers' audience with a host of features. The QWERTY keypad phone includes everything you would buy a phone for. It includes social networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter to target the young customers.
Surprisingly, it also includes support for Microsoft Exchange e-mail. This is the first time ever that a Nokia feature phone would include this. The phone is powered by a 1GHz processor which would give major low-cost Android phones a run for their money. The Asha 302 is expected to be priced between Rs.5000-7000 in India.
2012 will be an year of low-cost affordable mobile phones that would open a whole new window of opportunities for major mobile phone manufactures as well as buyers. As the competition heats up and more phones pour in, buyers will have a large array of options to choose from. Be it an entry-level device or a budget smartphone or a highly affordable tablet, the typical value-for-money loving Indian customer wants more options.