Hardly any new smartphones with Google Android operating system were launched in the last four months. However, due to fluctuation in the Rupee-Dollar exchange rate, the price change did affect smartphones to a certain extent. Also, this year we expect to see some new smartphones in the mid-range segment with Google Android OS.
Here’s our selection of top handsets that we believe are best choices for someone with a budget of about Rs 20,000.
Sony Ericsson Xperia pro (Rs 20,030)
Sony Ericsson’s Xperia pro used to hang around in the above Rs 20,000 category and was sort of odd there. This smartphone has a 3.7 inch touchscreen display and features a full Qwerty slide-out keyboard. This Xperia pro’s 3.7 inch touchscreen supports 480 x 854 pixel resolution and therefore the text as well as high quality images appear real crisp on it. It houses a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255 mobile processor with an Adreno 205 graphics chip. Along with 512 MB RAM, the hardware is good enough to pull off most new games effortlessly.
For shutterbugs, the Xperia pro offers an 8 megapixel camera that is capable of recording 720p HD video. Also, the phone has a fancy 3D Panorama feature that can be explored with the camera. Xperia pro comes with an 8 GB microSD card, which is good enough to store a fairly large volume of music and photos, but you can always add up to 32 GB via micro SD cards to it. This smartphone has a front facing camera so you can use VoIP and video chat apps like Skype or OoVoo. Priced at just about Rs 20,030 online, this smartphone is our best bet for a budget of Rs 20,000.
LG Optimus Black P970 (Rs 18,100)
For those interested in reading ebooks and documents on the move, Optimus Black comes with the brightest 4 inch (480 x 800 pixel) 700 nits IPS LCD display. Under its 9.2 mm slim body the device packs a single core 1 GHz TI OMAP 3630 processor with a PowerVR SGX 530 graphics chip coupled with 512 MB RAM. The hardware is powerful enough to run Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread smoothly, but you will have to wait till later this year for the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update.
The Optimus Black supports up to 7.2 Mbps HSDPA data speed on 3G networks. The 5 megapixel camera at the back has autofocus and LED flash to capture great quality images. Capable of recording 720p HD videos at 30 frames per second this smartphone has only 1 GB of onboard storage. Following the Gingerbread update, we hope there is significant improvement in power management. Of course, it has WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, an accelerometer, and a 2 megapixel front facing camera. For multimedia lovers, the smartphone also supports a variety of video formats including WMV, MP4, DivX and XviD.
Motorola Defy Plus (Rs 14,999)
An updated version of Defy MB525, the new Defy Plus MB526, features a 1 GHz processor and offers more battery power compared to Defy. Motorola Defy Plus features a 3.7 inch touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass technology. Its chassis is IP67 standard certified, which means this handset can survive if submerged in water, and the screen is sturdy enough to avoid minor scratches.
The 3.7 inch touchscreen display of the Defy Plus supports 480 x 854 pixel resolution and makes the text crisp. Inside the body rests a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 3620 processor with 512 MB RAM and 1 GB on-board memory. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread by default, the Defy Plus has a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. Unfortunately, there is no secondary camera even in the updated model, which is a bit disappointing.
Supporting up to 7.2 Mbps download speeds on 3G networks, the smartphone also supports WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Other sensors include Bluetooth, GPS, an accelerometer, compass, stereo FM with RDS and proximity sensor.
HTC WildFire S (Rs 13,200)
The HTC Wildfire’s successor, Wildfire S, comes with improvements in screen resolution and a faster processor. Featuring a full 3.2 inch touchscreen display, this smartphone supports 480 x 320 pixel resolution natively. By default this smartphone comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread update and features the HTC Sense user interface. This user interface integrates quite a lot of social networking functions and keeps the user updated. The Qualcomm Scorpion core processor clocked at 600 MHz might be a tad too slow but is good enough for someone who uses the phone mostly for telephony.
HTC has bumped the basic memory to 512 MB, which is good enough to run the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. The 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash is good enough to click high quality photos. Other standard features are 3G support, WiFi and Bluetooth.
Samsung Galaxy Ace (Rs 12,990)
Samsung’s Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 has been ruling the mid-range segment for quite a while with its comfortable and good looks. It features a 3.5 inch touchscreen with 480 x 320 pixel resolution and is made of Gorilla Glass. Samsung India has released the latest Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread update for this smartphone. The update runs smoothly despite its 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7227 mobile processor coupled with 278 MB of memory. Samsung has added its own TouchWiz 3.0 user interface to bring more features and add value to the Android OS.
Due to a less than 1 GHz mobile processor and less than 512 MB, at times the phone becomes somewhat slow. But other than that everything works fine. At the back is a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash that takes decent quality images.
This phone has a standard set of features – WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, and GPS support.
Choose the phone which suites your needs and budget perfectly. We recommend holding and feeling these phones with your hands before actually buying one. That would give a fair idea whether it is actually comfortable for you or not.