With people staying indoors due to the pandemic, smartphone usage has drastically increased. Whether for online education, financial transactions, work or to stay connected with friends and family, people have been relying on their phones more than ever before.
A study by CyberMedia Research (CMR) recently revealed that Indians’ dependence on smartphones for productivity rose by 120 percent during April-May 2020, as compared to before the coronavirus outbreak. Content creation, sharing, and collaboration accounted for a majority of the work-related activities on smartphones. The report also noted that productivity will play an important role in the consumer’s decision to buy smartphones as they will want better devices with bigger batteries and high performance.
The smartphone market in India is diverse, with phones available across budgets. As more people show the will to switch from feature phones to smartphones, we bring you a few recently launched devices in the affordable sub-7K price segment from non-Chinese companies:
itel Vision 1 (3GB) at Rs 6,999
Priced at Rs 6,999, itel Vision 1 has strived to sport premium features and a bigger battery with the latest 3GB variant.
The device comes loaded with superior features like 6.08-inch HD+ IPS Waterdrop display with Incell technology, 2.5D curved laminated display, a multifunctional fingerprint sensor, and face unlock option. The phone has 1.6 GHz octa-core processor, Dual Active 4G VoLTE and VoWiFi support, and 32GB ROM with an expandable memory slot of up to 128GB. The smartphone runs on Android Pie 9 and comes with a 4,000 mAh battery.
In terms of camera, itel Vision 1 sports a humble 8MP + 0.08MP AI dual rear camera with flashlight. It is equipped with various camera modes such as AI beauty mode, portrait mode, HDR, short video formats, AR filters and stickers, and automatic adjustments of the camera effects.
The smartphone will be available on Flipkart from August 18, and the price includes a phone adapter and a USB cable.
Nokia 5310 at Rs 3,399
Nokia 5310, which is now available at mobile retail stores across India as well as on ecommerce platforms, features music as its core strength. Nokia 5310 brings MP3 player and FM radio (which can be played either wired or wireless), combined with dual front-facing speakers.
Mixing nostalgia with modern requirements, Nokia 5310 remixes a classic design with a slick new feel, and claims that the battery can last 22 days in standby mode.
This device is a combination of a feature phone and a smartphone. The phone comes with 3.5mm jack and a Micro USB port for charging and data transfer. It also has a camera, however, with just 0.4MP VGA.
The dual SIM device is powered by MediaTek MT6260A coupled with 8MB RAM along with 16MB internal storage. Its storage can be expanded to 32GB using a microSD card.
Also, the phone runs on the old Symbian Series 30+ operating system. It has a removable battery of 1,200 mAh. The design has a curved display glass, a keypad, and comes in a size that can fit in your hands well.
Lava Z61 Pro at Rs 5,777
Homegrown Lava recently launched a series of budget devices, one of them is Lava Z61 Pro which comes in champagne gold colour and features 5.45-inch HD+ full view display.
The phone is powered by 1.6 GHz Octa-core processor and is embedded with a powerful 3,100 mAh battery. Priced at Rs 5,777, the smartphone comes with a 2GB RAM and a storage capacity of 16 GB (expandable up to 128GB).
Lava Z61 Pro offers 8MP rear camera with LED flash and 5MP front camera. The smartphone camera is packed with premium features like Portrait mode (Bokeh), Burst mode, Panorama, Filters, Beauty mode, HDR, and Night mode for clicking pictures in low light. The device is also equipped with a superfast face-unlock feature.
The phone runs on stock Android (Android 9) and does not have any pre-installed bloatware. On the connectivity front, the smartphone features Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, GPS, dual-SIM, OTG support, and a micro USB port.
Lava Z66 at Rs 7,777
Another latest ‘Made in India’ smartphone is Lava Z66, which is equipped with a 13MP selfie camera and a dual rear camera setup of 13MP + 5MP with LED flash. It comes with dual sim support (4G+4G), Micro USB charging/data transfer, and a 3.5mm audio jack. It boasts of a 3,950 mAh battery which can provide a talk time of up to 16 hours.
The smartphone runs on Stock Android OS (Android 10) and is free from preloaded bloatware which ensures smooth performance. Lava Z66 also has a fingerprint scanner and a face-unlock feature.
Priced at Rs 7,777, Lava Z66 comes with a 1.6 GHz octa-core processor, 6.08-inch HD+ notch display and 3GB RAM. The smartphone can be currently purchased from offline stores and will soon be available online on Amazon and Flipkart.
Galaxy M01 Core at Rs 6,499
Galaxy M01 Core, Samsung’s latest phone marketed for Bharat users, is part of its popular Galaxy M series line of smartphones in the country and checks a lot of boxes for an affordable phone.
Galaxy M01 Core comes with 5.3 HD+ display, and packs in a 3,000 mAh battery that claims to stand the charge up to 11 hours. The smartphone has an 8MP rear camera and 5MP selfie camera. It is powered by a quad-core MediaTek 6739 processor and comes in two memory variants, 1+16GB and 2+32GB priced at Rs 5,499 and Rs 6,499, respectively.
Galaxy M01 Core has been developed on the latest Android Go platform – which is an OS built for low-end devices. The smartphone features an intelligent screen, with dynamic screen timeout for power optimisation.
It is targetted towards people transitioning from feature phones and aims to make life easier for new smartphone users. Galaxy M01 Core comes with ‘Intelligent Inputs – Smart Paste and Suggest Notification’ feature. ‘Suggest Notification’ warns users about low battery and allows them to open their running app or add other critical apps in maximum power saving mode for extended run time. ‘Smart Paste’ allows users to paste the relevant text such as a website URL on a web browser, mobile number on phone dialer, and email id in mail application – all extracted from the same message automatically.
Another interesting feature is ‘Intelligent Photos’; it detects similar or duplicate photos and gives users suggestions to keep the best photo while discarding others to free up space.