Selecting a handset in the above Rs 20,000 category is arguably more difficult than even the entry level smartphone segment as there are too many choices and all are compelling. But here is our selection of phones that we think offers best value for money in terms of performance.
Nokia Lumia 800
There not many Windows Phone operating system based phones in the market. Apart from the two Nokia Lumia phones, HTC Radar is the only handset which is based on the Windows Phone operating system.
But we choose Lumia 800 over HTC Radar as the former offers better build quality and thanks to the Nokia-Microsoft partnership, it offer better integration of services of both the company. Nokia also has a better network in India.
Nokia Lumia 800 comes with an 8 megapixel camera at its back with Carl Zeiss Optics and dual LED flash. Besides, it has a 3.7-inch Amoled capacitive touchscreen, 1.4 GHz Scorpion processor, HD recording facility, GPS, 3G, and WiFi. However, it only supports micro SIM cards, which is in fact a problem since Indian telecom operators, except Airtel and Aircel, do not provide such SIMs.
At Rs 28,499, the phone seems slightly over priced as similar spec is available at much lower price in Android ecosystem. But then if you like Windows Operating system then this is the best choice.
You can read the detailed review of Nokia Lumia 800 here.
BlackBerry Bold 9790
In terms of features, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is a great bargain over the Bold 9900, which does have a few extra features. As compared to the earlier Bold devices, BlackBerry Bold 9790 has a better keypad and track pad. Besides, 9790’s touchscreen is definitely an asset.
Bold 9790 runs on the proprietary BlackBerry 7 OS and is powered by a 1 GHz Marvel Tavor MG1 processor with 768 MB of RAM.
This smartphone sports a 2.45-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels. It is fitted with a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash.
The BlackBerry Bold 9790 ships with 8 GB of internal memory that can store all your music, videos and images. The storage space can be further expanded to up to 32 GB using microSD cards. A Lithium Ion battery is included under the hood of the Bold 9790 that serves a talk time of 5 hours in both 2G and 3G networks.
At Rs 26,500, Bold 9790 is a great buy for users who want a speedier bold device; while not going overboard. You can read the detailed review of BlackBerry Bold 9790 here.
Samsung Galaxy S Plus I9001
Samsung Galaxy Series has many compelling phones in the above Rs 20,000 price bracket and that includes the Galaxy SII and Note. While SII offers one of the performance benchmark for the industry, the Note has the biggest screen. But both are expensive and Galaxy Note in fact falls in a different category all together.
Our choice of Galaxy S Plus stems from the fact that it comes with a 1.4 GHz processor and at the same time is priced at Rs 20,900, almost Rs 9,000 less than the price of the SII and Note. The Android 2.3 based Galaxy S Plus has a single core 1.4 Ghz processor lends it performance that is close to the best. Over and above that you get features like a 4-inch display screen with 480 x 800 pixels resolution.
The Galaxy Plus features a 5 megapixel autofocus camera (with HD video capablity) and a VGA front camera for video calling. Apart from that you get regular Android features like GPS, 3G, WiFi, and Bluetooth and the wide assortment of sensors like gravity sensor, accelerometer, proximity sensor etc. The handset is powered by Li-Ion 1650 mAh battery provides a talk time up to 17 hours on 2G and 7 hours on 3G.
On top of the handset has a premium feel to it thanks to sleek profile and with a Hypermesh skin and a metallic finish.
Sony Xperia Arc S
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is now available in some online stores for Rs 26,900. This phone is basically an upgraded version of the Xperia Arc with a more powerful processor.
It runs on Android 2.3 operating system and comes with 4.2 inch capacitive touch screen with LED backlight, along with scratch-resistant surface and utilises Sony Mobile bravia Engine which is Sony’s display technology.
The phone comes with Timescape user interface which is Sony’s proprietary user interface with deeper Social network integration. The phone is based on Android v2.3.4 (Gingerbread) OS and 1.4 GHz Scorpion processor.
It has an 8 megapixel camera with LED Flash and auto focus. It uses Exmore imaging technology from Sony and comes with features like video calling, Touch focus, Geo-tagging, Face and Smile Detection, 3D Sweep Panorama and Image stabilisation.
Other features include stereo FM Radio with RDS, digital compass, HDMI port, Adobe Flash 10.3 support, Document viewer, v2.1 Bluetooth, 3G and micro USB V2.0 to connect wirelessly to the desired devices for transferring music, videos and images whenever you want.
Experia Arc S has 1 GB Internal memory and micro SD support for expandable memory up to 32 GB. The phone has received a lot of praise for its design and the Sony technologies like Bravia Engine and Exmore sensor technology means that you get very good display and camera.
HTC Sensation XE
HTC recently acquired beats audio, a specialised company in the audio space, and this is the first product to benefit from that, which means that this phone is one of the best for music lovers.
On top of that the phone is really attractive to look at. The phone runs on Android v2.3.4 (Gingerbread) operating system and has a 1.5 GHz dual core processor integrated in to it. This HTC smartphone has a preloaded RAM size of 768 MB.
The Sensation XE from HTC has a 4.3-inch qHD screen with a resolution of 540 X 960 pixels. HTC Sense, which is the user interface, has also been upgraded for this handset to include better music related features.
The phone comes with an 8 megapixel camera with auto-focus and a dual LED flash. A secondary camera on the phone can be used to make video calls. You can record Full HD 1080p videos at 30 fps with stereo sound recording feature.
A 1730 mAh Li-Ion battery powers this HTC mobile phone. It has internal memory of 1 GB and is expandable up to 32 GB with the help of microSD cards. HTC Sensation XE also has GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and all the other regular features that you expect in an Android phone.
While the phone is most expensive in the list priced at Rs 32,500, but top class audio experience combined with one of the best specification in the market this phone makes it a good value for money preposition.