Ultra-portable Devices Eat Into The Legacy PC Market (Part 2)

5/18/2013 9:16:55 AM

The top-of-the-line smartphones

Here’s a list of some of the best available in every price bracket.

$552 and above

Often advertised with PC-like characteristics, huge screens and other premium features, such phones find many takers in the market.

Our pick – Samsung Galaxy S3: This comes with the home-brewed Exynos Quad-Core processors based on Cortex A9 cores and is one of the most feature-rich and powerful phones to own. To top it all, there're a plethora of accessories that you can get from the market.

Samsung Galaxy S3

Samsung Galaxy S3

The alternative – LG Nexus 4: Although yet to hit the Indian market, it's one of the best-looking devices on paper. It sports the most powerful mobile SoC (Qualcomm Quad-Core Krait). Hopping on the Nexus bandwagon, LG has pulled a bunny out of the hat with its state-of-the-art design and commitment to bleeding-edge updates directly from Google. The only downside is the glass back cover, which is at risk if you drop the phone, though for safety you can attach a back guard to protect it.

A worthy recommendation – Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Not actually a tablet, this 12.7 cm (5”) monster packs a lot of punch. With a gorgeous display and a pumped-up processor (a higher-clocked variant of SGS3), the Note 2 brings you the best of two worlds, allowing you to use the Spen for drawing and doing precise work with ease. With its split screen and host of other features, the Note 2 is a great device if you are fine with carrying around a huge screen. Accessories and performance are also top-notch.

In the $370- 552 range

Our pick – HTC One X: With recent price cuts, the now more-affordable One X boasts of a power-hungry Tegra3 processor and stupendous styling, with exceptional build quality. With more than enough onboard storage and good performance, this is a great device. Its only downside is that the processor heats up during heavy workloads, such as gaming.

An alternative – Samsung Galaxy Nexus: Even though the device is quite old, it still holds its own in almost every aspect. Powered by a dual-core TI chip, the Nexus can run the latest games and provide smooth browsing even with image-intensive pages. The generous 11.81 cm display with 720p stands up well to the competition. It’s obvious advantage lies in the lease I developer support on custom ROM, and relentless updates from Google for the latest OSs.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

In the $184 - 368 range

Our pick – LG Optimus L9: Stellar build quality and a huge display backed by the same dual-core chip that powers the Galaxy Nexus, the LG L9 is a mainstream phone that offers a huge display at a mainstream price point with respectable pixel density. The 1 GB inbuilt RAM and the ability to expand storage via MicroSD is a bonus. Except for the mediocre camera, everything in the phone is quite ‘happening’. A less skinned UI and developer support makes the phone a perfect ft for its $330 price tag.

An alternative – Micromax Canvas 2 A110: Micromax has come out of the shadows and is now grabbing market share with both hands.  The firm not only shook up the whole market but now has released products that outclass many of its competitors. The Canvas 2 is a gem of a device; in fact, it's on par with the best in the market, yet provides a compelling solution for $184.

With sound developer support, except for the restricted and sketchy update path, Micromax has nothing going against it. Specs-wise, it beats even phones priced above $275.

Under $184

Micromax Ninja 4 A87: This device has a 1 GHz Scorpion processor, expandable memory (4 GB card bundled) and a 10.16 cm (4”) screen (233 ppi). The only downside is the Android version, stuck at Gingerbread and the Ninja probably won't receive any updates. However, if you don't care much about updates, it's hard to beat the A87. At $110, it probably bests every other high-profile manufacturer in terms of specs and offerings. The Ninja 4 is one great value for money phone.

An alternative – Sony Xperia Tipo: Loaded with ICS and a respectable 800 MHz processor, the Tipo is aimed at the lower end of the market. There isn't much on offer except for the basics of Android ICS. The only positive is the screen and acceptable performance for day-to-day tasks. Do not expect phones under $184 to break world records.

Sony Xperia Tipo

Sony Xperia Tipo

With Sony you can at least expect ‘some’ incremental updates for performance and bug fixes.

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