The premium smartphones running Google Android mobile operating system now cost as much as a decent entry level laptop. Many look for nearly similar experience with slightly lesser hardware muscle but equal software level experience.
Many Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher based smartphones have been announced in the high-end segment. Prices of many such handsets has dwindled to hit just about Rs 30,000 or little lower than that. Most interesting is the fresh introduction of the Google Nexus experience offering LG Google Nexus 4 smartphone. But it lacks in certain department where other smartphones make up for it. Each phone in this price band offers something distinct – water resistance, display, larger battery and so on.
We take a closer look at the Android smartphones for who are willing to spend up to Rs 30,000.
LG Google Nexus 4
LG launched the Google Nexus 4 (16 GB model) in India at a fantastic price of Rs 25,990. The Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch IPS display, constructed using Corning Gorilla Glass 2 technology, has 1280×720 pixel resolution natively. The 9.1 mm thick Nexus 4 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro mobile processor and 2 GB RAM to run the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean smoothly. LG has packed variety of sensors Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, Ambient Light sensor and digital Compass.
At the rear, the phone has an 8 megapixel camera with LED Flash and 1.3 megapixel camera in the front. LG has packed a 2100 mAh battery that promises about 15 hours of talk time over the 3G network. The camera of the Nexus 4 is not that great compared to other devices and the lack of micro SD card slot might irk many. You can read our thoughts as part of our review of the LG Google Nexus 4.
Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung’s third generation Galaxy series smartphone features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and packs a quad core mobile processor inside. Its display touts 1280 x 720 pixel resolution natively which is great to view high quality photos and watch videos. Samsung has packed a quad core 1.4 GHz Samsung Exynos 4 Quad 4412 mobile processor with 1 GB RAM. The Galaxy S III runs new version of TouchWiz user interface dubbed Nature UX, and the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update has been delayed.
At the rear, it has an 8 megapixel camera with an LED flash next to it. This 8 megapixel camera has f/2.6 aperture to provide a slightly wider field of view compared to the Apple iPhone 5. One can use it to record 720p HD and 1080p HD videos. The front facing camera can be used for smart features incorporated by Samsung and also video calling. There are other standard sets of features such as WiFi, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth, GPS with A-GPS support, different sensors and a 2100 mAh battery, which make the Galaxy SIII last much longer.
HTC One X+
To succeed the HTC One X, the company quickly had introduced the new HTC One X+ with slight hardware bump. The One X+ is touted to be 27 per cent faster and has 37 per cent better battery life than the One X. The HTC One X+ features Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system with HTC Sense 4+ user interface. It is powered by a quad-core 1.7 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 AP37 processor and 1 GB of RAM.
The One X+ comes with a 4.7 inch Super LCD 2 display with 720p resolution and is constructed using Corning Gorilla Glass 2 technology. The One X+ has an 8 megapixel camera with an f/2.0 wide aperture at the rear while a 1.6 megapixel camera is in the front for video calling. It also incorporates the Beats Audio technology for the best in class audio experience and also HDMI connectivity through USB port for big screen video experience. The HTC One X+ has 2100 mAh battery and 64 GB internal storage as default but additionally it offers 25 GB of Dropbox cloud storage free for two years.
LG Optimus G
With a close similarity to the Google Nexus 4, the Optimus G has charm of its own. It has software enhancements such as the QSlide that allows a split-screen experience by letting the user engage in two concurrent tasks. While watching a video, users can zoom in up to five times while the video is being played or streamed. The LG Optimus G features a 4.7 inch True HD IPS PLUS display with Zerogap Touch technology touchscreen that supports 1280 x 768 pixel resolution natively.
The Optimus G also offers a dual screen, dual play feature that enables you to watch two different videos wirelessly on each screen: TV and phone. Of course, there is the quick note-taking feature Quick Memo as well. The phone is powered a quad core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 mobile processor with 2G/3G/LTE radio chip built-in. LG has used 2 GB RAM and Adreno 320 graphics chip for smooth performance with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. The phone has a 13 megapixel camera with good low light imaging and voice activated commands to release the shutter. The front facing 1.3 megapixel camera is usable for 720p HD video chat.
Other specifications include Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, A-GPS, MHL and DLNA support, Near Field Communication and USB 2.0 high speed. For longer run time, LG has packed a 2100 mAh battery in the handset that promises about 15 hours of talktime.
Sony Xperia ZR
Sony Mobile has recently announced the new Xperia ZR with IP58 certification – means water and dust proof. The Xperia ZR features 4.55-inch LCD touchscreen display with 1280×720 pixel resolution natively. The display is also powered by the Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2. This smartphone is powered by a quad-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with Adreno 320 graphics.
Sony Mobile has packed 2 GB RAM but offers only 8 GB on-board storage. Thankfully there is a memory card slot to add up to 32 GB micro SD card. At the rear, it has a 13 megapixel camera with LED Flash to click high quality images and record 1080p HD videos. It features advanced camera features such as HDR for better image quality and experiment with the camera. The front facing camera is of a VGA quality which is bit surprising.
Other features include Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, and Stereo FM with RDS. Sony Mobile has loaded Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update on this smartphone and we presume it should get Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update in coming few months. The Xperia ZR packs a 2300 mAh battery to make it run longer.