Yesterday, Apple finally unveiled the two new iPhone handsets — the flagship iPhone 5s and the cheaper iPhone 5c. Well, ‘cheaper’ is a relative term as the iPhone 5c is pitted to sell for $549 + taxes in the US, unsubsidised. Going by today’s dollar rate, that’s about Rs. 35,000. So, there’s no chance in hell that thing is going to be sold anything less than 37k when it arrives in India later this year. So much for all the rumors that built castles in your mind about a new affordable iPhone. Well, there’s always the iPhone 4S 8GB version if you’re looking for a ‘cheaper’ iPhone. But if you’re not convinced buying a two-year old handset, may we suggest a few alternatives to the iPhone 5c that you could check out:
The Galaxy S4 mini is a comfortably-sized handset that’s dimensionally similar to the iPhone 5c. The combination of a fast 1.7GHz dual-core chip and 1.5GB of RAM is fairly sufficient to keep Android 4.2 and apps running smoothly. The 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display may not strike high notes with the pixel-density enthusiasts, but is pretty decent. The 8MP snapper at the back actually takes good quality snaps and the front-facing camera is sufficiently clear for video calling. Although 8GB of internal memory sounds low, you can add more using the microSD card slot. There’s nifty features like an IR port in the S4 mini too.
If you don’t mind using a slightly larger handset, then the XPERIA ZR has firepower to boot — i.e. a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm chip that also houses an Adreno 320 GPU. That, coupled with an ample 2GB of RAM should make it capable of handling heavy-duty stuff. There’s also a 13.1 megapixel camera at the back. Although smaller than a phablet, the XPERIA ZR is bigger than your biggest iPhone with a screen size measuring 4.55-inches diagonally. It is fairly pixel dense with a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. Last but not the least, the ZR is also water and dust resistant — a great feature to have in a phone!
Although yet to be unveiled in India, the HTC One mini has been applauded by critics abroad. It probably is, the best competitor to the iPhone 5c. Unlike other plastic-bodied handsets in this range, the One mini carries over the same aluminium construction from the bigger HTC One. Its 4.3-inch Super LCD2 panel is packed with 1280 x 720 pixels; which accounts for a more-than-sufficient 342 PPI pixel density. The One mini has a modestly powerful 1.4GHz dual-core chip and the same 4 ‘UltraPixel’ camera and front-facing stereo speakers carried over from its elder brother. Maybe the only worrisome part for heavy multi-taskers will be the 1GB of RAM.
The Lumia 925 improves upon the all the drawbacks of the Lumia 920, while still carrying most of the good things about its predecessor. It is a fairly thin-and-light handset wrapped in an aluminium frame. The 4.5-inch 720p AMOLED display portrays the colourful Windows Phone UI well. The main highlight of this phone is its camera — an 8.7 megapixel sensor with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), which helps in shooting shake-free video and lets you capture incredibly detailed photos in low light. It has an advanced camera app that gives you easy-to-use controls for fine-grain tweaking. The only major roadblock for the Lumia 925 is the lacking variety of apps as compared to iOS and Android; including some popular ones. That, and the lack of any concrete information about the next Windows Phone update. But if you’re just an average bloke wanting a great camera phone, then the Lumia 925 should suffice.