The price of a smartphone is definitely one of the (if not THE most) most crucial aspects that will eventually define a phone’s success in the market. We saw some great handsets come out this year – great in terms of specs as well as performance, but the one crucial aspect they fell short on (or, erm, high on?), was pricing. Let’s have a look at which ones managed to make this list.
The Xperia Ray was quite a brilliant phone. It had an 8 megapixel camera and a 1GHz processor. The screen was vibrant and powered by Sony’s Bravia Mobile Engine, but at a size of 3.3 inches, the price tag definitely didn’t suit our liking. Plus, the lack of an HDMI port ensured that you would be stuck with only that display size, once you’d buy the phone.
The Xperia Ray
The market price for the Ray has fallen right now, and it’s at least a little more affordable than the 19k price tag it had earlier. If it would have been priced at Rs. 15,000 or so, then the Ray would have been one of the top handsets in the sub 15k category.
The XL came with an extra large 4.7-inch screen that ensured a rich multimedia and browsing experience. Coupled with the HTC Sense 3.5 UI and the Beats headphones, this one looked like one of the top handsets this year. The biggest problem was that, at a price around Rs. 39k, you were getting a single core phone, which was definitely poor in comparison with the other Androids in the market. Even the inclusion of the Beats Audio didn’t justify the price tag. Seeing the market trend, we wouldn’t pay more than Rs.25k for a single core phone, even with the Beats Audio.
The Bold 9900 was BlackBerry’s flagship handset this year. BlackBerry phones before this one had always been more on the chunkier side, but the Bold 9900 was a completely fresh design, with its tapering looks and metal body. It also was the initial handsets to sport OS7, so it was quite loaded with features. But at a ridiculously high price of 30k, you were getting a 5 megapixel fixed focus camera and a single core processor. Oh, did we mention that it’s barely any different in the form factor (No way to flaunt your 30k phone, huh?) as compared to the other BlackBerry smartphones, out there.
We’ll make it clear, we’re not dissing this phone’s (or the other ones in the article) specs. All we’re saying is that these specs at THIS price isn’t a fair deal. The Bold 9900 might be RIM’s best phone, yet in terms of performance, but it would definitely have been a better choice, if it came at a price of around Rs. 21k.
The HTC Rhyme
With the looks, colours and the accessories that came along with this device, the Rhyme definitely looked like it would appeal more to women. Also, the performance of the phone was quite satisfactory, but the main problem was its price tag. It had more powerful phones priced both below and above it. In fact, HTC’s very own Incredible S was priced at around 25k and it had a bigger screen and an 8 megapixel camera, as opposed to the 5 megapixel on the Rhyme.
The Rhyme is priced ridiculously high and could have been a much better deal, if it were priced around 20k.
The Lumia 800
Nokia came out all guns blazing with their flagship phone, the Lumia 800. It was a brilliant looking device and was extremely slick and fast, but it did have a few shortcomings, considering the price. The Lumia 800 didn’t come with a front-facing camera (a minor problem) and underneath that polycarbonate shell; it wasn’t too different from the other WP7.5 devices, which was definitely one of the bigger drawbacks. The Lumia could have sold much better at a price of Rs. 24k, which is around 5k less than its current price.
The iPhone 4S
And last, but definitely not the least of the lot, (pardon the pun) the iPhone 4S. Apple’s latest muse wants you to spend close to half a lakh to acquire its services. Yes, it’s one hell of a device and it might just be the greatest (i)Phone yet, but it’s still too expensive for the Indian market. The reason why it’s so popular overseas is due to the contract option that network providers give their users. You just need to approximately spend around one third of the price initially, and the cost of the phone can be covered over a period of two years.
Even though Airtel and Aircel have got the iPhone 4S to India, you’ll have to shell out a lot more than what you would have had to, if you’d have purchased it on contract in the U.S. This also begs the question as to why would someone buy an unlocked iPhone 4S from here, if they could get the same unlocked version for a lot cheaper, anywhere else. Performance-wise, it may be brilliant, but price-wise it’s still not up to the mark (at least, in India).
So, those were the phones that we think were overpriced this year. Do you feel any other phones could have been added to this list? Feel free to voice your opinion.
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