Smartphones for Your Mom and Dad

On: June 26, 2013

As we young ones enjoy the benefits of consumer technology, it is probably our duty to handhold our creators into this digital age. And the first step begins with upgrading to a smartphone (if they don’t have one already, that is). Here are a few choices depending upon price bands to help you out.

The Entry-level (Under Rs. 10,000)

Maybe they are using feature phones at the moment and look at amazement as their peers use WhatsApp to communicate with their loved ones. Or how we click a photo and share it on Facebook instantly.

Samsung Galaxy Star S5280 (Buy)

This is the most recent entry-level Android phone from Samsung. It has a 3-inch touchscreen with a QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) resolution, which is pretty low in today’s day and age, but given the Rs. 5k price point, certain compromises have been made. If you don’t mind spending Rs. 3,000 more, you could get the Samsung Galaxy Young Duos S6312. You’ll get a better HVGA (480 x 320 pixel) display, a little more RAM (768MB vs. 512MB on the Star) and 3G connectivity. The camera is also a little better at 3.2 megapixels, as compared to 2MP. But we don’t really expect great quality from either.

Both phones run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and are powered by a 1GHz single-core processor and 4GB of internal memory.

Micromax Canvas Music A88 (Buy)

Given the price range, the Canvas Music A88 has a ton of things going for it. Micromax is always known to dazzle the value-for-money folk, and this one comes with a 4.5-inch 854 x 480 pixel IPS panel and a dual-core 1GHz processor. The only pain point is the low 512MB RAM, which might prove insufficient when running heavy-duty apps and games on this phone. Moving on, there’s a 5 megapixel camera that records 720p HD video and even a front-facing VGA camera for your folks to Skype with their loved ones. Considering the price and the specs, its a cherry on the cake that Micromax is also throwing in a JBL-branded headphone with the package and also have 3 lakh songs free for download via their MLive app.

Nokia Lumia 520 (Buy)

If you want to be a little experimental and look beyond Android, then the Windows Phone 8 laden Lumia 520 is a pretty decent option. Microsoft’s mobile OS has a swift, attractive interface and their app store is steadily catching up with hosting popular apps people want. The thing one might really miss is the lack of Google Maps. But if your parents are going to be OK with that, here’s what you get — a 4-inch display, a 5 megapixel camera and a dual-core 1GHz processor. The only downers are the lack of an LED flash for the rear camera and a front-facing one for video calls.

The Lower-Mid Range (Between Rs. 10k to Rs. 20k)

They don’t just want a replacement for their feature phone, but actually are interested in exploring the benefits that a smartphone has to offer.

Lenovo P770 (Buy)

Now, this newcomer might surprise you for being in this list, but there’s a good reason. For all those parents who’ve been used to using a non-smartphone will instantly feel angry at the dismal battery life that today’s smart ones have. The Lenovo P770 has a mammoth 3500 mAh battery that is said to run for a full two days with moderate usage. The phone also comes with USB On-the-Go support, so basically using a USB adapter you can provide charge to other phones!

The rest of the spec are decent — a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM, a big-enough 4.5 inch qHD resolution display and a front-facing camera along with a 5MP primary.

Micromax Canvas HD (Buy)

Our all-time favourite in this price bracket — the Canvas HD A116 is still a very relevant handset, despite the imminent launch of its successor; the Canvas 4. The 5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel display, the MediaTek Quad-core 1.2GHz chip, the 1GB RAM, the 8 megapixel camera and even the 2MP front-facing camera are marvellous things to have in a phone under the Rs. 15k mark.

The Mid-Range (Between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000)

This range is for the parents who want balance — they want high-end features like HD displays and fast chips in their smartphone, especially from well-known brands, without having to shell out “too much” for it.

Sony XPERIA SP (Buy)

The XPERIA SP is a pretty interesting mid-range phone. It’s got a good 1.7 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, 1GB RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU — thereby ensuring that it is ready for heavy lifting. The internal 8GB memory leaves a reasonable 5.8GB free for the user, other than the microSD slot for storing media of course.

The 4.6-inch 720p HD display is complemented with an transparent edge below it. When viewing photos, this edge emits colours that are in tune with the image on the screen; somewhat similar to the Ambilight technology Philips used in TVs. The 8MP camera at the back records 1080p Full HD videos at a smooth 30 fps. The 2370 mAh battery claims to deliver decent battery life given the power-hungry internals.

Lastly, the phone is built quite well; holding it gives you that awesome feeling of solidity, which unfortunately, is not common these days.

If not this, then there’s always the usual suspects in this price range worth going for, namely — the LG Nexus 4, the HTC One X or the Galaxy SIII — all of them for around Rs. 25k.

High-End (Above Rs. 30,000)

This is for the tech-savvy parents who absolutely want to exploit the latest in technology by arming themselves with the best of the best.

Lenovo K900 (Buy)

This is Lenovo’s Flagship and has a lot of things going for it, considering the pricing. If your parents are into big-screened phones like the Galaxy Note, they will love the 5.5-inch display. It is quite stunning with a 1920 x 1080 pixel Full HD resolution. The phone itself is amazingly thin and built out of materials that make it feel premium. It is powered by a 2GHz Intel Atom dual-core chip that goes toe-to-toe with the most recent ARM chips in terms of performance. There’s an ample 2GB RAM and 16GB of onboard storage too. A 13MP camera at the back records video at 1080p resolution.

HTC One (Buy)

If you want nothing but the best in Android for your dad or mum, the HTC One will not fail to impress. Dressed in an all-aluminium frame, the handset feels exquisite and tough at the same time. The 4.7-inch 1080p IPS panel is impressive, the Snapdragon 600 chipset has got the muscle. 4 ‘UltraPixels’ may sound like a low-ish resolution, but don’t worry; the One can click very nice quality photos — ideal to share on social networks. Then there are the front-facing stereo speakers that are loud and clear, probably the best speakers available on a phone.

iPhone 5 (Buy)

If your parents are enthralled by Apple devices, the iPhone 5 is a good buy. It may not be as big as other devices mentioned here, but that can also be a good thing; some of us just want a phone that we can use without stretching the fingers much. The iPhone 5 is built extremely well, almost comparable to a piece of jewellery maybe. The display and camera are top-notch, the interface is blazingly fast, despite just the “dual-core” processor. The plethora of rich apps in the App Store also make this phone a desirable purchase. It also syncs quite well with other Apple products.

So, there we go. Let us know which phones did you end up buying/recommending to your parents!

Image Credit: via Flickr

Rohan Naravane

Rohan Naravane is in charge of content & product experience on PriceBaba. When he’s not writing about technology, he likes to talk about it and will ramble on if he finds you remotely technological. His on-going endeavours include creating a perfect routine that allows him to get back in shape, followed by marathoning of TV shows/movies after work.


    • Achint
    • July 2, 2013

    How does the Nokia Asha 501 stack up in this list? Thinking of buying a non-complicated phone for my Mom who is notorious for losing her phone. Rs. 5k is a good price for that one. Comments?

    • Rohan Naravane
    • July 2, 2013

    I got to try out the Asha 501 recently and it is a pretty decent phone. The interface is well thought-out and far better than prior ones on Series 40 touchscreen phones. The phone is sturdy — a Nokia representative kept dropping it to show it off. Battery life is also supposedly very good. But if she’s going to be using apps a lot, then have a look at the Samsung Galaxy Star also. It sells for 5k too.

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