On the basis of Operating System (OS), smartphones these days are divided into three types.
iOS is developed by Apple Inc. only for Apple’s devices like the iPhone and the iPad.The iPhone typically starts at ₹37,500 for an 8GB iPhone 5c which does not fit into this budget of ours so don’t expect to see an iPhone in the list below.
Next is the ubiquitous Android which can be seen in pretty much every smartphone in the world. It’s latest version 4.4 is made to run on low-specced phones with just 512MB RAM and a 1 GHz Processor. And since Android is free, there are many budget phones which can be seen running on the Android OS. Android as you may know is developed by Google Inc..
Third, is Windows Phone which is , of course, developed by Microsoft. The latest version in the market is Windows Phone 8.1. Nokia is the only smartphone company in the world who is currently primarily focussed on the WP platform and expect more to come from their stable as Microsoft just bought it out. Currently, there aren’t a lot of Windows Phones out there due to Microsoft’s high OEM charge, as a result of which most of the smartphone companies have shifted base to Google’s free Android.Now, all of this might change in a few months as Microsoft just bought Nokia’s Devices Division but that’s in the future and you need a good smartphone like, NOW!
So, here goes…
First up, there’s the Nokia Lumia 525 which can be bought online for as low as ₹8800 (on Amazon India). The phone features a 4-inch super sensitive capacitive touch display, a 1GHz dual core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal memory expandable up to 64GB, a 1430mAh battery which can last you almost a day with decent usage ask t runs on the Windows Phone OS which pretty much everyone knows is superb at multitasking.The phone also offers various connectivity options like GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth. It also packs in a 5MP primary camera, an ambient light sensor,an accelerometer and a proximity sensor.
The 525 is a great budget phone and keeping a phone in budget has its own expenses. The phone lacks an LED flaw and a front facing camera. The phone also has a glossy back which means its a fingerprint magnet.
If you are on an even tighter budget, you can look into the Nokia Lumia 520 which can be snapped up at the low price of ₹ 7300 from Flipkart. This one is pretty much the same as its successor the 525 other than the fact that it has just 512MB of RAM. Now, this phone also has matte back which, in our opinion, give it a more premium look, in comparison to the 525.
Just like the 525, this one also lacks a front-facing secondary camera and an LED Flash.
Another drawback of the Windows Phone platform its lack of apps when compared to Android and iOS. though many of the essential apps can be found in the Windows Marketplace, many are still missing.
And that’s about it for Windows Phones because….. yes, there are just two Windows Phones available in this budget.
BUY A WP if you are a student or an office-goer who needs to handle documents on-the-go like editing word documents or Excel spreadsheets as the phone has Microsoft Office in-built. The phone also provides great stock music and video players. You also get 3 months of unlimited free legal downloads of any song you want, courtesy of the Nokia MixRadio Service.
When it comes to Android, as I have said above, you can find quite a few budget smartphones with lots of capabilities. here are which, according to us, are the Top 3.
First off, the Motorola Moto E, the company’s latest ultra-budget offering is available exclusively online at Flipkart for the low price of ₹ 6,999. Even at this low price the phone still packs a 1.2GHz dual-core Processor, 1GB Ram, an Adreno 302 400MHz GPU, a 1980 mAh battery and a qHD 4.3-inch display which can play 720p HD videos. The display of the phone is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and Anti-Splash Guard. The phone is also the only one in this line-up which currently comes with Android 4.4 Kitkat in-the-box. It also supports Dual SIM. The phone looks just like its siblings the Motorola Moto G and X which are also available exclusively on Flipkart.
This phone is the only one in our Android lineup which lacks a front-facing secondary camera as well as an LED flash for the primary one.
You can buy the Moto E from Flipkart as soon as it becomes available from the links below
BUY IT if you want a sturdy phone which has great hardware and you are not too much into the Selfie culture. The phone is good enough for your mom or dad who are just moving up from a feature phone and just want the basic utilities like phone, calculator, etc.
To compete with the Moto E, Micromax has released its own Micromax Unite 2 smartphone which is also priced at ₹6,999. The phone sports a 4.7-inch IPS WVGA display and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 1GB RAM. It also features a 5MP primary camera with flash and a 2MP front-facing camera. It has just 4GB onboard storage which can be expanded to 32GB, via microSD card, and a 2000 mAh battery. The phone’s connectivity options include GPS, Bluetooth v4.0 and Wi-Fi. All of this is fuelled by a 2000 mAh battery. The phone almost copies the Moto E in design as can be seen below.
The phone is currently out of stock at Flipkart and is available for a much higher price of ₹8000 on Amazon.
BUY IT if the Moto E is unavailable , which it is right now due to stock shortage.
Another Moto E competitor, yet to release, is the Amazon exclusive Lava Iris X1, coming in at ₹7,999. This one will also run the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box. It sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA IPS (854 x 480 pixels) display and is powered, under the hood, by a 1.2GHz quad-core Broadcom BCM23550 processor coupled with 1GB RAM. It also features an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 1.4 µm pixel BSI+ sensor. A 2-megapixel front-facing camera is also put in the mix. The 4GB onboard storage can be expanded up to 32GB via micro-SD card. The connectivity options include 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0 BLE (Bluetooth low energy), micro-USB and EDGE. Design -wise, it seems like Lava is blatantly copying the now-defunct Apple iPhone 4/4S.
The phone is currently available for Pre-Order on Amazon.in and will go on sale on 5th June.
BUY IT if you want a premium-looking inexpensive Android smartphone with amazing specs.
A common drawback of both the Micromax and the Lava Iris is the questionable quality of the material used in their higher specced phones. Their customer service quality has also been termed “not good” by many users on the internet.
While this is not a definitive list of all the budget smartphones, these five are in our opinion the best there are at the present.
Buy a Windows Phone if you want a simple phone to work on Office documents, watch videos, play music surf the web in a budget.
Buy one of the above Androids if you want more customisability than Windows Phone and access to more apps and games in the Play Store.
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