The low cost smartphone market is full of Android phones, but if you look beyond Android and Indian brands you will find that there is very little in terms of options. We have tried to tell you the best phones that you can buy for less than Rs 10,000 from all the possible smartphone platforms.
However, in this story for the first time we have not taken MNC brands like Samsung, LG and Sony, as Indian brands are coming of age and bringing products that are not just feature rich (in fact they are so feature rich that MNC brand products look outdated,) but also offer good quality in terms of both build and performance.
Micromax Canvas 2 A110 (Price Rs 9,990)
Micromax Canvas 2 is the most popular phone from Micromax and has sold more than 3 lakh units ever since its launch around three months ago. And there are plenty of reasons why it’s so popular. Micromax Canvas 2 comes with a 5 inch display featuring 854 x 480 pixel resolution and built using the In Plane Switching fabrication process that offers better viewing angles and a much higher contrast ratio as compared to older LCD displays. The Canvas A110 comes with a faster dual core processor running at 1 GHz, coupled with 512 MB of RAM for high operation speed.
The Superfone A110 flaunts an 8 megapixel rear camera with dual flash, along with a front facing camera for video conferencing. The rest of the specifications of the phone include a 2000 mAh battery, 3G, dual SIM connectivity, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, Android 4.0.4, gravity and proximity sensors, and 32 GB expandable memory.
So strong is the demand that some retailers have managed to sell the phone at its MRP, which is close to Rs 12,000. However, some people have put off their purchase in anticipation of Micromax Canvas HD A116, which will come with a quad core processor and HD display, but will be costlier. You can read a comparison of the two phones here.
Nokia Lumia 510 (Rs 9,500)
If you are a Nokia fan, and want a smartphone, then there are not many options, and the ones that there are are based on the dying Symbian operating system. However, Nokia Lumia 510, which is the cheapest Windows Phone smartphone, does provide a reliable and fast option. The phone is also expected to get updated to Windows Phone 7.8 operating system. It is currently selling for Rs 9,500 which is great value considering it’s a product from Nokia. The new Nokia Lumia 510 smartphone comes with an 800 MHz mobile processor and runs Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh. This smartphone is intended to be Nokia’s most affordable Windows Phone device for the masses.
The budget friendly Nokia Lumia 510 smartphone comes with a 4 inch touchscreen display with 480 x 800 pixel native resolution. Nokia has packed a low power 800 MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7227A mobile processor with 256 MB RAM to make the phone run smoothly. At its rear, the phone has a 5 megapixel camera with f/2.4 aperture, LED flash, and it can be expected to deliver modest imaging quality. There is no secondary camera in the front but this phone has a dedicated camera key on the right side. The surprising fact of this smartphone is that there is no micro SD card slot and the phone arrives with just 4 GB on board storage.
Although Microsoft does offer SkyDrive cloud storage, not many Indians will be interested in using it. Other features of the Lumia 510 include FM radio, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, micro USB port, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and 3.5 mm audio port. One surprise for Indian consumers is the micro SIM card. Nokia has packed a 1300 mAh battery offering 8.4 hours on 2G and 6.2 hours on 3G, which is great for a smartphone.
BlackBerry Curve 9220 (Rs 9,990)
The BlackBerry Curve 9220 is the last phone that was launched in India, and it is a good product for budget conscious business users. You get all the BlackBerry goodies like secure email, BBM etc. The only drawback is that it does not have 3G connectivity. The handset comes with the BlackBerry OS 7 and is priced at Rs 9,990, making it the cheapest BlackBerry Curve smartphone to have the latest operating system (BB10 was just announced so it’s not going to be latest for long).
Like other BlackBerry smartphones, the Curve 9220 also comes with a Qwerty keypad that aids easier typing. Besides, the 2.4 inch QVGA display bearing handset has a 2 megapixel camera, FM radio (first time in a BlackBerry), WiFi connectivity, and expandable memory up to 32 GB through a micro SD card. You can read the review of the phone here.
Lava Iris 501 (Rs 9,000)
If you are not getting Micromax Canvas 2 or the asking price is high, you can safely go for Lava Iris 501. We have recently used the phone and it matches the performance and build quality of the Canvas 2 very well, even though in terms of specification it looks less appealing. The phone is Rs 1,000 cheaper than Micromax Canvas 2 and offers the same display size with very good viewing angle, a processor that’s fast and a camera that does justice to its mentioned specification, and it also has a bigger 2300 mAh battery.
The handset comes with a 5 inch WVGA (800 x 480 pixel) screen, a 1 GHz dual core processor, a 5 megapixel rear camera and a VGA camera in the front. Lava Iris 501 is based on Android 4.0 (ICS) operating system and comes with a free 4 GB micro SD card. The phone gets all the normal features like GPS, 3G, Bluetooth, WiFi etc. You can read our review of the phone here.
Xolo X500 (Rs 9,000)
We have used the Xolo X900, first Intel based smartphone, and we loved the robust build quality and super smooth performance. Now Intel and Xolo have launched their second phone in the market-it is the Xolo X500, a dual SIM Android ICS (upgradable to Jelly Bean) touchscreen handset. It looks promising with a very well thought out specification sheet for an entry level handset. Xolo X500 comes with a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom processor, and 512 MB RAM. The 3.5 inch IPS screen of the handset is quite capable of playing 720p HD videos.
In the camera section there is a 5 megapixel camera on the rear, though the front camera is missing, which is sad. For internet there is GPRS, Edge, 3G, and WiFi. For data transfer the handset has USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The 1500 mAh battery of the device should provide very good battery back up. Other features include 4 GB internal and 32 GB expandable memory and 400 MHz GPU. Xolo X500 is priced at Rs 9,000, but if you want similar specifications at a cheaper price then you can go for A500, which has almost the same specs, but with a Qualcomm processor.