Smartphones are the rage these days. With increasing sales, increasing number of manufactures and increasing number of platforms the smart-phone has become the buzz word among tech enthusiasts as well as layman. Smartphones are now available on multiple OS platforms such as Google’s mobile OS Android coming from various houses including Samsung, Motorola and HTC, Microsoft’s Windows 7.5 which is being heavily promoted by Nokia through its Lumia range and BlackBerry’s OS 7 which RIM’s own creation. Other than the Symbian line of phones are having their last hurrah in the market as well. While countless models from all manufacturers are available in the Indian market, only a few have managed to excite the consumers.
Given below are a list of 10 most talked about, most reviewed and most highly rated smartphones. Simply put, I call them the Blockbuster Smartphones in India.
iPhone 4S: Continuing the magic
Hands down, the most talked about phone of the year had to be Apple’s iPhone 4S. iPhone 4S hasn’t got much upgrades on its predecessor and this is probably the only part where those wishing to upgrade might feel let down. The phone however has made a few changes including an 8 megapixel camera, with LED flash and a second VGA camera for video calling complete the picture and the Dual core A5 processor which is used in the iPad 2. The move probably is aimed at matching upto the Samsung Galaxy S2 which we shall discuss after this.
For connectivity, it gave users varied options including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI and GPS. The phone laid all criticism it received for the iPhone 4 for antenna to rest. The device promised seven hours of 3G talk time, six hours of 3G browsing, ten hours of Wi-Fi browsing, and ten hours of video with a forty hours music playback capacity. The biggest selling point of the iPhone 4S is the new Siri personal assistant. Now feel free to make your plans , find your nearest coffee place or schedule your meetings with just an audio command. Siri is extremely handy while driving or when you just are too lazy to go through a couple of menus and is pretty accurate at deciphering most accents, unless its just a little bit out there. www.itgeeg.com
Priced in India at Rs 49 ,373 for the 32GB model, iPhone4S was meant for the true blooded Apple fans and those seeking the ultimate smartphone or maybe just to get their hands on a hot digital personal assistant.
Blockbuster factor: It is simply the most seeked, most aspired for tablet in India. It is the ultimate technology offering from Apple and Indians agree.
Samsung Galaxy S II: The Android Flagbearer
This phone marked the challenge posed by Samsung to Nokia in the smartphones sector, enticing users to itself like a pied piper. This Android-powered smartphone went easy on the weight and sported a super AMOLED display. Running on a Dual Core 1.2 GHz processor, this phone packed an excellent 8.0 megapixel AF camera with the option for brilliant 720p HD video recording and a front facing VGA camera for video calling. The camera friendly people had loads to be amazed with.
A super slim body, stunning display quality, a powerful dual core processor, great audio quality with booming loudspeakers made this an object of envy. Completing the party were features like 3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS and HD video playback. Coming with memory options of 8GB and 16GB and a world of backup battery life, the Samsung Galaxy S II became a a serious alternative to the iPhone. A sure buy for someone with a crush on smartphones.
Add to it a future-proof collection of connectivity options; and you have a phone you just cannot say no to, even with a price tag of Rs 31000.
BlockBuster factor: It is the best Android offering in the market. Mindblowing specs and great looks. It is seeked by those wanting a high end smartphone but can’t afford the whopping price tag of an iPhone.
Nokia Lumia 800: the comeback phone
After patiently watching a flood of smartphones by the biggest rivals, Nokia pitched in its comeback phone before the year ended. Nokia made a major splash in the smartphone market with its first Windows phone that was not only a design marvel but also a Windows OS success story.
Flaunting a curved 3.7” AMOLED Clear Black display the phone packed a punch with an 8MP f/2.2 Carl Zeiss camera. Nokia has always relied on good cameras to sell its phones and this one is another beauty.
Lumia is powered by a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 512MB RAM, making it fast and ideal for multitasking. If you are a gaming afficianado, the Adreno 250 GPU will not disappoint you. The phone promises 9-12 hrs of talk time with its 1450mAh Lithium battery. Priced at Rs 29000, the phone is a bit hard on the wallet, but the best deal among Windows phones.
BlockBuster factor: It is the most marketed Windows phone in India. Nokia has succeeded in creating a great buzz in the market with innovative campaigns. Nokia Lumia 800 is arguably the best Windows phone currently available in India.
Samsung Galaxy Y.
2011 saw Samsung come out with the ultimate entry level smartphone with its Galaxy Y series. While the Samsung Galaxy S II is a sure winner in its own class, this one comes as a wow phone as well.
The 3” TFT capacitative Touch screen with 240*320 pixels provides quiet the viewing pleasure for all Smartphone starters. The phone comes with an Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS which is a much better option than most of the entry level smartphones in the market.
Loaded with Wifi, GPS, 3G, Bluetooth 3.0, a 2 MP camera that allows face tagging, geotagging and the 832 MHz processor with an expandable storage of 32GB, the Samsung galaxy Y is by far the most power-packed among all entry level smartphones.
For a price range of Rs 7500 online, the Samsung Galaxy Y is a little hard to buy for youngsters but is the best bargain if you want the best experience in an entry level smartphone.
BlockBuster factor: This is the most seeked phone for a feature phone user who wants to upgrade to a smarphone. Most seeked among youngsters.
This one boasts about the highest camera configuration in this lot. Powered by the now ageing Symbian3 platform, N8’s biggest feature is its 12 megapixel camera with Carl Zeis optics and Xenon flash. The phone has a secondary VGA camera for video calling and can record HD videos at 25 frames per second
N8 runs on ARM 11, 680 MHz processor and weighs 135 grams. Featuring a 3.5-inch multi-touch AMOLED touchscreen display, the phone came with 16GB internal memory. The phone’s battery promises upto 5.5 hours of talk time.
The phone stands out for its ruggedly different looks and the variety of options it gave its users for everything. This included free global Ovi Maps walk and drive navigation and could play back MPEG4, H.264, Real and Flash Video. All of it for Rs.17980.
Block Buster factor: One word- Camera. It is perfect for the budding photographers who are obsessed with a camera. This isn’t a smartphone with a camera but a camera with a smartphone around it.
BlackBerry Bold 9900
BlackBerry remains one of the best enterprise smartphones of all time. Off late however, with increasing competition from the touchscreen smartphone makers, BlackBerry have found themselves being questioned on relevance. BlackBerry Bold 9900 answers all those questions and goes beyond. BlackBerry Bold is both bold and beautiful. A sleek black bar shaped phone with brilliant qwerty keypad , would we love BlackBerry any other way?
The great new addition to this is the optical trackpad. Its perfect for navigation and we dare say one of the best upgrades an already perfect BlackBerry could get. The phone comes with a beautiful 2.8” touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz Processor and inbuilt memory of 8Gb and 5 MP camera. RIM is attempting to woo the enterprise customer with all the good things any smartphone can offer: Great useful Apps, Great communication capability and a fabulous new OS. The BlackBerry 7 OS is a massive upgrade for the BlackBerry Bold. The greatest selling point for BlackBerry Bold 9900 remains its communication capability. Armed with the usual 3G, Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities, the phone also comes with its own Near Field Communication Chip. This technology, although not yet popular in India is going to be big in the coming few months. The phone is ideal for the businessman and with a price tag of Rs 31,629, we don’t think anyone else would give it a try.
BlockBuster factor: The ultimate smartphone for the enterprise customer. If you want a good qwerty keypad , great messaging and social networking experience for your smartphone, look no further.
Samsung Omnia W
Samsung has lead the charge for android based smartphones in India with its Galaxy range of smartphones. With the Omnia, Samsung aims to revitalize the Windows phone market as well. Samsung Omnia W is the most popular Windows phone in India. It has one of the best touch-screen inputs among windows smartphones. The phone is highly responsive and has 1.4 GHz processor and 3.7” Super AMOLED screen which gives a more vivid display than the Nokia Lumia range. The phone weighs only 115 gm making it one of the lightest windows phones in the market. The biggest selling point of the Samsung Omnia W is its battery. The 1500 mAh battery gives 7 hours of talk time. Packed with a 5 MP camera, with LED flash and Auto focus, the phone does aid in taking quality pictures. There is an additional front camera for video conferencing, which is not available in most Windows phones.
The phone has all the goodies a good smartphone must have, with geotagging, GPS capabilities along with Bing Maps and accessibility to Microsoft Office products. Priced at Rs 15999, this phone is a mid-range phone with flawless performance. If you want a windows smartphone with the best performance in a single core, go for the Omnia W.
BlockBuster factor: The most popular Windowsphone before Nokia Lumia came waltzing into the party. It still holds great promise with good design and a better display.
Nokia Lumia 710
Nokia Lumia 710 is aimed at the mid-range price segment among mobiles. If you want the goodness of Lumia 800 at an affordable price, you needn’t look further than the Lumia 710. Packed with the same power horse 1.4GHz processor and 512 MB RAM as the Lumia 800, Nokia has made a conscious effort not to make a cheaper phone any less attractive. If Omnia excites you, the Lumia 710 will bowl you over. Aimed at the lower price segment, the phone does everything Omnia does and does it better. With a 3.7” TFT touch-screen the phone comes in a beautiful plastic body ( minus the unibody design of Lumia 800) that weighs just 125gms. The phone comes with a 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss with auto focus and LED flash giving some pretty decent pictures. The biggest bonus for Nokia Lumia is of course the inbuilt Nokia Drive and Nokia Music apps which give this phone a leg up over the Samsung Omnia, there is definitely no better turn by turn navigation than Nokia Drive. Priced at Rs 14,373, Nokia Lumia 710 is a great bargain for a windows phone.
BlockBuster factor: The most economical windowsphone in the market. Expect heads to turn with a good design. The Nokia name adds reliability to the phone.
Black Berry Curve 8520
Black Berry has reached out to the mid-range smartphone users with its Black Berry Curve 8520. The phone has the perfect makings of a common man’s smartphone with a good feel, good looks and the optical trackpad found on the Black Berry Bold. The optical trackpad will delight all users and is a major upgrade from the iconic Black Berry Pearl trackball. The phone does have its short comings with the absence of 3G and GPS but is definitely big on the standard Black Berry features such as Push Email and Black Berry Messenger.
Priced at Rs 9590, the phone is a great bargain for starters into the smartphone segment. We would call it the perfect entry-level Black Berry , especially in India where lack of 3G facility might not just matter that much.
BlockBuster factor: The most seeked entry-level BlackBerry. Now get the best messaging experience at an even more affordable rate.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
The ultimate smartphone offering from Sony is in and this one doesn’t disappoint one bit. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a beautiful machine with an incredibly thin chassis(8.7mm-10mm) and a sleek body with an arc profile making it easy to hold. The 4.2” capacitive touchscreen is amazing for watching movies and videos, add to it the Bravia engine and you get the home theater experience in the palm of your hand. Sony has always made brilliant multimedia devices and its smartphones are always the best when it comes to game performance, music performance or even for watching movies. The Arc S runs on a 1.4Ghz processor and Android 2.3.4 OS. The Sony Timescape UI makes this an even more attractive device with interesting features such as the messages being arranged like a series of cards. The 8MP camera takes pictures with stunning quality . It comes with face and smile detection and Geo-tagging and lets you take 3D panoramic pictures as well. Priced at Rs 26,290, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is the meanest single core processor smartphone there is, if you aren’t swayed to buy this, you should probably wait for the dual core version.
BlockBuster factor: Mindblowing multimedia experience. The best Android smartphone there is for viewing videos, playing games or listening to music.
To sum it up..
While the dual core fans can run after the new Samsung S2 the Windows phone has managed to redeem itself with the help of the Lumia range and the Samsung Omnia. Samsung as a company has been pretty busy churning out 4 out of the 10 top models. The immortal iPhone 4S on the other hand reigns supreme among smartphones despite being asked tough questions by the likes of Samsung and Sony. Black Berry has made some truly remarkable enterprise smartphones for both the high end as well as at entry-level. While HTC is missing out of this list, it may just bounce back soon with the entry of the HTC Titan in Indian market.