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Micromax looks to challenge Samsung and Apple in India smartphone market

The Indian handset maker's latest flagship phone offers a host of top-level specs and features aimed squarely at its home audience.

business Updated: Jul 10, 2013 14:24 IST
Canvas 4,megapixel,Android

The Indian handset maker's latest flagship phone offers a host of top-level specs and features aimed squarely at its home audience.

The Canvas 4 boasts a 5-inch HD display and, in a first for an indigenous phone, a serious 13-megapixel rear camera, complete with images sensor technology direct from Sony. It also comes out of the box with the version 4.1 of Android JellyBean and with dual SIM support for splitting voice and data plans -- a killer feature for any company serious about tailoring their products for the Indian market.

Other neat features include ‘blow to unlock' and movement-tracking technology which will automatically pause a video when the user looks away. These same sensors also enable the user to automatically make a voice call simply by bringing the phone up to the ear.

It also features Micromax's own multi-tasking software so a video can be played in a small pop-up window on top of an already open app and, because the screen is a generous size, there's sufficient room for both apps to run side by side. At Rs. 17,999 ($295) it's not cheap, but it is priced to compete with the best offerings from Samsung (the Galaxy S IV retails for Rs. 39,500 in India) and Apple (Rs 40,990 for an iPhone 5) and its features and build quality are such that despite only being available in India for less than 24 hours, the company claims it has already received 4000 orders.

Its internal components aren't quite up to those of either of the world's smartphone giants, but this is only Micromax's second foray into the premium handset division. The company built its reputation and market share by developing affordable phones for the Indian market.

The country is poised to become one of the biggest and most important consumer technology markets. Apple is currently extending its retail operations in India through its franchise partners; Nokia is working with Nimbuzz -- a chat app used by 25 million Indian mobile phone owners -- to publicize smartphones and offer them as competition prizes; while in June, it was reported that Google has plans to open as many as 50 Android Nation bricks-and-mortar stores across the country to educate consumers as to the benefits of Android and to showcase smartphones and tablets that use the operating system. June also saw Amazon's range of Kindle eReaders and tablets officially launch in India.

First Published: Jul 10, 2013 14:22 IST