September was easily the busiest month for smartphone companies in India with a slew of high-end handsets making it to India just before the advent of the holiday season. But the budget-conscious also have a bunch of new options to pick from. Here’s a roundup of the phones launched and announced last month.
Micromax A74 Canvas Fun
Micromax’s Canvas Fun family got a new addition at the beginning of September with the A74. A mid-range phone, the A74 is priced at Rs 7749 and has a dual-core processor.
Sony Xperia Z1
Sony was quick in bringing its latest flagship the Xperia Z1 to India. The 20.7-megapixel camera is the headline act, but there’s a lot going for the Z1 besides that too. Here is a preview of the Z1 along with some hands on time.
Sony's Xperia Z1 has a great camera
Acer Liquid S2
Acer’s Liquid S2 became the first phone to boast of 4K video recording and is powered by the top-end Snapdragon 800 SoC. There are a bunch of intriguing software features too, along with a 6-inch full HD display. India availability has still not been announced.
HTC Desire 601
The Desire 601 is based on the design of the HTC One X and One X+ from last year. It has mid-range specs such as a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 SoC, 1GB RAM, and 4.5-inch qHD display. With many Indian companies launching competing devices at much more affordable prices, the 601 might have a tough time in the market.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Galaxy Note 3 improves on almost all aspects of the Note 2 and comes with a better display, stylus and a unique design unlike any other Samsung phone. Is it worth the nearly Rs 50,000 price tag? It very well could be. Here’s our preview of the phone.
The Note 3 arrived in September
HTC Desire 300
The Desire 300 is HTC’s entry-level handset for this season and has decent specs in that regard. There’s a 4.3-inch WVGA display, a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 SoC and 512MB RAM. There’s also a helping of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean along with Sense 5.
Micromax Canvas Ego A113
Micromax pumped out yet another mid-range handset last month, though not all specs of this phone have been revealed. The Ego A113 is up for pre-order and has a 4.7-inch display with a likely 720p resolution, a quad-core processor and will likely be priced at Rs 12,999.
HTC Butterfly S
HTC launched the most expensive phone in India, the Butterfly S in September. With an unbelievable official price tag of Rs 60,300, the Butterfly S isn’t likely to cause waves in the market. But if you are looking to buy one, best check out online retailers (in the link above) for a lower price.
Butterfly S, the most expensive phone in India
Intex Aqua i7
Intex broke the Rs 20,000 barrier with the Aqua i7, priced at Rs 21,900. The dual-SIM smartphone packs a 5-inch full HD display. The Aqua i7 will come with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor as well as 2GB of RAM. Additionally, the smartphone will support 32GB of internal memory. In terms of photography, the smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel primary camera as well as a 5-megapixel front shooter.
HTC One Dual Sim+
HTC tied up with Tata Docomo to launch a CDMA version of the One with dual SIM slots. In terms of specs, there’s not much else different in this One from the single SIM version, so you get the same exquisite design and high-end internals.
Xiaomi launched the exciting new Mi-3 in China and this is the first smartphone that we know of that offers users a choice of SoCs as well as storage options. There’s also a 5-inch display and a 13-megapixel camera to woo buyers. Unfortunately you will have to travel to China or order one from there, as this one is not likely to come to India officially.
Xiaomi's Mi-3 lets users pick one of two SoCs before buying the phone
Lenovo Vibe X
Lenovo made a big entry into the Indian market earlier this year and the company has said that it will be launching more phones in the near future. The Vibe X could very well be part of this launch wave and with a 5-inch full HD IPS display and a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, it does have the right specs for 2013.
Apple iPhone 5s
Apple’s iPhone refresh involved two smartphones. The 5s is the higher end of the two and has a brand new 64-bit A7 processor, a fingerprint sensor and an enhanced camera. It sure does sound exciting and could be the best iPhone yet. The 5s is available online and in the Indian grey market.
Apple iPhone 5c
The second of Apple’s new smartphones, the 5s is a more colourful personality, but has nearly the same internals as the now-discontinued iPhone 5. The battery pack is bigger and the internal frame doubles as an antenna, which Apple claims makes the phone sturdier than other plastic wonders. The 5c is being shipped by some retailers to India and is also available at grey market retailers, like the 5s.
The plastic and colourful iPhone 5c
BlackBerry launched the odd 9720 in India in September. It’s odd, because it runs BlackBerry’s vintage BB 7 OS and not the newfangled BB10. But it has all the other hallmarks of a typical BlackBerry smartphone, including a familiar QWERTY pad.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia’s Lumia 1020 was launched in India in September, but we won’t know the price till October 10, the day before it hits stores. It’s an odd way to release a phone, but we reckon the 41-megapixel camera will keep potential buyers hooked on till that date.
Despite having some of the best specs on the market, the G2 will forever be known for those weird buttons on the back that supposedly improve user experience. But the camera sounds exciting and the display looks like the one to beat this year. We spent some time with the phone during its launch and here’s a hands-on video.
LG G2 has a great display
Micromax Canvas Fun A63
Micromax added the A63 to its Fun lineup and while this is an entry-level phone, it’s still running Android 4.2. That’s thanks to the dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. The Rs 6,799 price starts to look good when you consider the 1500 mAh battery and 4-inch display.
Lava Iris 506q
Lava expanded its portfolio with the Iris 506q. It has a powerful quad-core 1.2GHz processor, along with a 5-inch qHD display. The 506q runs Android 4.2 and is a dual 3G phone. There’s a 5 megapixel rear camera with auto focus and LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera. Seems slightly overpriced at Rs 11,700.
Asus Padfone Infinity
After showing off a new Padfone at Mobile World Congress, Asus decided to upgrade it last month. The Infinity will come with two components – a smartphone and a tablet. The phone can docked into the tablet and both have a full HD display. Processing is handled by the Snapdragon 800 SoC.
The many faces of the Padfone
HTC Desire 600c
This CDMA variant of the Desire 600 has a quad-core processor and a decently large 4.5-inch display along with 1GB of RAM. It looks very much identical to the Desire 600 in terms of specs and will run Android 4.2.2 along with Sense 5. The Desire 600c comes with front-facing stereo speakers too.
BlackBerry’s largest-ever smartphone has a 5-inch Super AMOLED display as well as a new dual-core 1.7GHz processor with quad-core graphics. The Z30 also comes with a 2,880mAh battery, once again the largest seen in a BlackBerry so far and is the first handset to run BB 10.2, the latest version of the OS.
Oppo’s exciting new phablet comes with a 13-megapixel rotating camera that acts as the front and back shooter. This one will also get official CyanogenMod support in the coming months. The large 5.9-inch full HD display is sure to get your attention, and there’s a Snapdragon 600 SoC on board too.
Oppo's rotating camera for the N1
The P11 has a 5-inch HD IPS display with a pixel resolution of 1280 x 720, just like the Panasonic P51. This one boasts Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 200 SoC, with the CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, as well as 1GB of RAM. The smartphone comes with 4GB of internal memory which can be expanded up to 32GB via a microSD slot. The P11 is priced at Rs 16,490
The most expensive among the four new Lenovo smartphones in India, the A850 is priced at Rs 15,999. It’s a phablet with a large 5.5-inch HD IPS display. Under the hood, one will find that it's powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor. This dual-SIM phablet runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It has a 5 megapixel rear snapper with LED flash and a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera.
LG Vu 3
LG’s answer to the Galaxy Note 3 is a 5.2-inch phablet with a HD+ IPS display. It has an odd (for a smartphone) resolution of 1280×960 pixels, in keeping with the 4:3 aspect ratio of the Vu series. This one is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC with four Krait 400 CPU cores and Adreno 330 GPU as well as 2GB of RAM. There’s a 13-megapixel rear camera and 2.1-megapixel front shooter on board.
Vu 3, LG's answer to the Note 3 (Image: LG)
SmartNaMo Saffron 2
The Narendra Modi-branded phablet has some mouthwatering specs, but is priced way too high (Rs 24,000) when considering the competition. The 6.5-inch full HD display and the quad-core processors are highlights of this phone.
There were other phones launched this month too. Here are the rest.