Many people are now willing to upgrade to smartphones that offer great performance and are not priced as high as laptops. These smartphones come with great display quality, a slim form, powerful dual core mobile processor and compelling hardware. One thing needs to be considered seriously here-whether the phones are upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Well, most are.
Some of the recently announced smartphones are even capable of running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update but that will take a few months. Here is a list of the top 5 smartphones that one can buy with a budget between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000.
Sony Xperia S (Rs 28,999)
Sony introduced its new Xperia NXT series smartphone recently. The all new Sony Xperia S is powered by a Mobile Bravia Engine 2.0 for the 720p HD display. The new Xperia S has a 4.3 inch touchscreen display and by default it runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Sony is working quickly to make Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich available for Xperia S.
Sony Xperia S has a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution Reality Display that is powered by a Mobie Bravia Engine. Under the hood it houses a dual core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8260 processor coupled with 1 GB of RAM. At the back it has a 12 megapixel camera with LED flash that is capable of recoding full HD video. This camera has Sony’s Exmor R sensor technology that helps it capture quality images even in low light conditions. The burst mode allows it to take multiple images in continuation for fast paced action such as sports, fireworks and dance. On the connectivity front Sony Xperia S features 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC capability. The Xperia S is an officially certified PlayStation device that will let you download and play compatible games from the Sony PlayStation store. Xperia S packs a 1750 mAh battery that promises about 8.5 hours of continuous talktime. With a great new slim design, the Xperia S is a powerful device meant for flaunting and enjoying a great mobile experience on the move.
Sony Xperia P (Rs 24,500)
Sony’s new Xperia NXT series smartphone Xperia P has a 4 inch display that offers qHD resolution by default. Bearing new sleek looking NXT styling the Xperia P smartphone has a changeable chin panel and there is a transparent strip-like component which connects the chin to the rest of the body. The Xperia P runs on a dual core ST Ericsson NovaThor U8500 mobile processor with Mali-400MP mobile graphics chip. This is the same graphics chip used to power the Galaxy S II and it is capable of full HD playback as well as recording.
At the back, the Xperia P has an 8 megapixel camera capable of recording full 1080p HD video with its Exmor R imaging sensor. Sony has added a number of features in its camera software and made it spiffy to use. On the front rests a VGA quality camera for video calling and chat. Sony has packed its proprietary set of audio technologies and enhancements with the new Walkman app and offers harmonious wireless connectivity options. This smartphone packs 1 GB RAM which is technically good enough to drive the lightly skinned TimeScape user interface as well as rich apps and games. By default, Xperia P offers 16 GB on-board storage of which only 13 GB is available to users. Unfortunately, this smartphone does not offer a microSD card slot to expand its storage and supports only a micro SIM card. This smartphone has an HDMI port to connect it to an HD display for viewing multimedia content. Packing a mere 1305 mAh battery, this might be another pitfall since it offers only 5 hours of talk time over 3G.
HTC One S (Rs 28,999)
HTC had introduced the new One series Android OS based smartphones and several new features with it. The One S features a 4.3 inch Super Amoled display with quarter HD (960 x 540 pixel) resolution. This smartphone is only 7.8 mm slim and weighs just about 119.5 grams. HTC has added the new Sense 4.0 UI along with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The slim chassis of the One S packs a dual core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 mobile processor for India and 1 GB RAM to power the mobile operating system. It packs an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash and is capable of recording 1080p HD videos at 30 frames per second. Also, the camera app is quite fast and will let you click photos while you are recording a video. There is a front facing camera for video chat too. There are two major negatives about this smartphone-16 GB onboard storage with no option for expansion and a non-removable 1650 mAh battery. For greater music experience, this smartphone offers Beats Audio technology integration with the music player. Apart from a regular set of features such as WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and others, this smartphone supports micro SIM. With a great looking display, slim form and powerful hardware, the HTC One S is a beautiful smartphone and it performs well.
Samsung Galaxy S II (Rs 27,500)
Samsung’s flagship smartphone last year – Galaxy S II GT-I9100 still remains one of the best devices from the company after the Galaxy Note smartphone-tablet hybrid. Featuring a 4.27 inch Super Amoled Plus touchscreen display, Galaxy S II offers 480 x 800 pixel support with vibrant colour reproduction. The display uses Corning Gorilla Glass and is scratch resistant. This smartphone was released with Android 2.3 Gingerbread but it has now received Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update. Samsung has added its TouchWiz 4.0 user interface which brings a couple of additional features and under the hood enhancements.
Under the slim 8.5 mm chassis, Galaxy S II houses a dual core 1.2 GHz Samsung Exynos mobile processor with 1 GB RAM to power the user interface. The hardware has a Mali-400MP mobile graphics chip that is capable of handling the major Android 3D games. Not only that, the device is capable of smooth 1080p HD video playback (even if it is an .mkv container file). This smartphone can play several popular video formats out of the box thanks to TouchWiz. At the rear, this smartphone packs a great 8 megapixel image sensor that offers high quality images and allows video capture in full 1080p HD video quality. For connectivity, it offers WiFi, WiFi Direct, DLNA support, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, and support for USB-on-the-go. Samsung has packed a 1650 mAh battery which is decent enough to promise about 9 hours of continuous talk time after Android 4.0 ICS update. Though it appears slightly big it is one of the best performing smartphones in this segment.
Motorola Razr XT910 (Rs 27,900)
Motorola had re-introduced its famous Razr styling for smartphones with the new Razr XT910 for India. The Motorola Razr XT910 has a slim form factor with 7.1 mm thickness. The back panel is built using strong Kevlar fibre material. By default the Razr XT910 has a 4.3 inch Super Amoled touchscreen with quarter HD (qHD) pixel resolution. This Super Amoled display has been built using Corning Gorilla Glass technology for resistance from normal scratches. Motorola Razr packs a dual core 1.2 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 mobile processor with 1 GB RAM to power Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. Motorola has released the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for this smartphone.
Its hardware is good enough to drive graphics intensive apps easily and offers a fluid user experience. Razr by default comes with 16 GB on-board storage of which some space is reserved for system updates. Motorola has installed an 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash that is capable of recording full 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. On the front rests a 1.3 megapixel HD quality camera for video calls. Motorola has added a massive non-removable 1780 mAh battery that promises 10 hours of use to power the large screen and hardware. Of all the devices in this segment, Motorola Razr is still the best looking slim Android smartphone out there. If you plan to buy this smartphone, do note that it supports micro SIM only.