Today we look at five phones which we think, are in desperate need of a price cut. Phones that have made it to this list are priced unreasonably higher, when compared to other phones in its price range. We’re not saying they’re bad products; just that they could do with a few thousand rupees shaved off their MOP.
HTC Desire 700 (Launch Price: Rs. 33,050)
HTC Desire 700 Dual SIM, as the name suggests, is a dual SIM smartphone. It supports 2G and 3G data network. The Desire 700 has a 5-inch qHD (960 x 540 pixels) display, it’s powered by an unspecified Quad-core 1.2 GHz and 1GB RAM. One good thing about this phone is the dual frontal stereo speakers with a built-in amplifier, much like the HTC One mini.
1) BlinkFeed — Enjoy personalized content from handpicked sources and never miss a thing. HTC BlinkFeed collects every information and displays it on the homescreen. The user can get updated at a glance. This application ensures that the user never misses any feed.
2) HTC Zoe — It automatically captures up to 20 photos and a 3-second video to create a picture that’s alive. Video Highlights selects event footage to craft a 30-second mini movie automatically. Choose the music theme you want, and then release your life movie for everyone to enjoy.
3) BoomSound — The phone features a built-in amp to boost decibel levels for audio that’s crisper and fuller than traditional smartphone loudspeakers. But the phone lacks Beats Audio enhancement.
Areas where the device lacks
1) Poor pixel density — The Desire 700 has a 5-inch qHD (960 x 540 pixels) display, which is quite low when you get 1080p Full HD displays on phones costing thousands of rupees lesser. Infact, HTC One Mini has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels display, which is available at a similar price range.
2) Run-of-the-mill processor — The company has not specified the type of the quad-core processor (there is speculation that it could be a Snapdragon 200 chip), which isn’t reassuring considering you can get the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 800 chip on the Nexus 5 for the same price. Also, the phone comes with 1GB RAM, which is barely acceptable considering phones in this price range come with double of that.
Nokia 515 (Launch Price: Rs. 10,500)
Nokia has launched a premium candy bar phone for orthodox users. Nokia 515 is meant for a niche segment of market wherein is catering to those people who would not mind paying exorbitant prices for stylish phones but with a traditional numeric keypad.The phone has a premium aluminium body with stylish matt finish and a screen that is said to offer great sunlight readability. But that’s about it.
1) Elegant design — The Nokia 515 has an aluminium body with a classic bar design and an alphanumeric keypad. The phone has premium looks with matt finish and great sunlight readability.
2) User friendly — The device runs on Symbian S40 operating system. It has the same familiarity of Nokia phones that we’ve seen for ages. The phone has many apps like Mail, Facebook, Twitter. It also has Nokia Music app which allows you to download lakhs of songs for free.
3) Dual SIM — This smartphone is dual SIM enabled which enables using two phone numbers at the same time.
A few missing features at this price range are
1) No WiFi — The device lacks WiFi which even other cheaper phones of Nokia have.
2) No secondary camera — The phone supports 3.5G and still lacks a front facing camera. The phone has voice guidance for self portraits yet due to the lack of a secondary camera, you can’t do video calls.
3) It is not a smartphone — The phone lacks many smartphone applications. The OS is primitive, even lacks the fast lane feature which other cheaper Nokia Asha devices have. It is a vintage phone. It also lacks PC connectivity.
HTC One Max (Launch Price: Rs. 54,000)
HTC One Max is the larger variant of the 2013 HTC’s flagship model — the HTC One. HTC One Max has an almost identical looks as HTC One. It offers the same premium feel as the other two One models, as it has the aluminum unibody design. HTC One Max falls in the Phablet category, owing to its big 5.9-inch display. It has the same 1920×1080 pixel resolution of the HTC One, which results in a lower pixel density of 373ppi; but it’s still pretty crisp. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Internally, it is powered by the Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset which again was used in HTC One too and has 2GB RAM.
Unique features of this phablet are
1) HTC Zoe — The user can Group up to 20 photos and automatically create a 3-second HD video for a full-motion photo gallery. Plus, Video Highlights feature combines photo and video footage for mini films complete with the themes and music.
2) HTC BlinkFeed — It is the unique all-in-one app. It updates the the user with the current happenings on the homescreen. Moreover, it can be turned off to save battery. The app also gives news recommendation based on usage.
3) BoomSound — The humongous phablet has dual frontal speakers which amplify sound and provide better music experience. The device lacks Beatsaudio.
4) Expandable storage — This is a welcome feature as a MicroSD card slot was not included on the original One; or the One Mini for that matter. With only 16GB of internal storage many of you will be looking to expand at some point.
The phablet has been priced as per its size and not as per features it is providing
1) Lacking camera features — The 4 Ultrapixel camera is sort of a step down from the HTC One due to the lack of Optical Image Stabilisation.
2) Not the best hardware — The phablet is powered by the Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset which again was used in HTC One too. Not to say the Snapdragon 600 is a slouch, but the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor was available when the phone was launched. On paper this is a negative when compared to its rivals like Note III, Z Ultra and the Lumia 1520, since you’d expect the best when the phone is priced such.
3) Fingerprint scanner — This phablet has a fingerprint scanner to unlock the phone. It thus saves the user from the hassles of remembering passcodes. But its functionality is questionable as the fingerprint scanner which is oddly placed on the back of the device below the camera, does not reportedly have a great detection rate.
LG G Flex (Launch Price: Between Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 65,000)
The Korean smartphone company has launched a next generation smartphone with a unique form factor. The LG G Flex features a 6-inch curved OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen with 720p resolution with a pixel density of 245PPI (which is less for a phone of this price range, considering most Android flagships now have 1080p displays). The curved form-factor provides a never-seen-before viewing experience. The slightly curved screen can be momentarily flattened to 180 degrees. The phone has unique durability thanks to its self healing scratch resistant back. Meaning, minor scratches will disappear after some time, thanks to the special material used to make the backplate. The phablet is powered by a quad-core 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) processor with an Adreno 330 GPU, and 2GB of RAM.
The phablet is unique in a number of ways
1) Form factor — The humongous device has a curved screen which provides a panoramic viewing experience. LG has used a curved OLED panel, which is also built on plastic substrates instead of glass, supposedly giving the phone better durability. The display features Real RGB technology to provide all three sub-pixels in one pixel, thereby making it brighter and more precise. The device has an aluminium body to provide a premium feel to the user. The device can flattened vertically.
2) Unique backpanel — The phablet has a Gorilla Glass coating on the rear side. LG has also included a new ‘self-healing’ coating on the back cover, an elastic coating that supposedly has the ability to recover from the daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks that un-cased smartphones are likely to receive. The device has a rear key for managing application shortcuts. Also the volume keys are placed behind due to which the phone has a beautiful side view.
3) Interface Features — The mammoth has many cool features such as QTheater for quick access to photos, videos and YouTube from the lock screen and also a Dual Window feature for multitasking with two windows (similar to the one seen in certain Samsung Galaxy phones). The phone enables the user to switch applications with a swipe, which delivers a wonderful overall user experience.
The Korean company has priced this phablet as per its innovation, which does not seem to provide real utility to the user — making the users to pay through their nose for what seems to be a cool party trick.
1) Average display — The device sports a 6-inch display with 720p resolution and with a pixel density of 245PPI (which is less for a phone of this price range, considering most Android flagships now have 1080p displays with 350+ PPI).
2) Curved gimmick — The phone looks weird at first instance. The smartphone is difficult to fit in pockets due to its curved body. Moreover there is hardly any practical use of the curved screen. It is a great innovation indeed but it has hardly any use to the consumer apart from providing an interesting viewing experience.
We won’t deep-dive and explain about the overpricing of an iPhone (since it’s always been the case), but it still deserves a mention. While there may be some justification that the iPhone 5s price shot up by a couple of thousand rupees because of the rise in the dollar-to-rupee. But what’s more absurd is the additional cost one has to bear to get a higher capacity model. For instance, there’s a whopping Rs. 9,000 difference between the 16GB and 32GB, another Rs. 9000 if you want the 64GB variant. In the US, the price difference between two capacities is $100 (~ Rs. 6,200). That just feels preposterous when the only thing you’re getting extra for that is internal memory. You can basically get an entry-level Android smartphone for Rs. 9,000.
If you thought the iPhone 5s variant pricing was absurd, wait until you look at the iPhone 5c. While the base 16GB model now retails a shade under Rs. 40,000, the 32GB model costs as much as a 16GB iPhone 5s. Who in their right minds would buy a 32GB iPhone 5c is beyond our understanding.