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Buy the best mobile this Diwali 2014

Buying a mobile handset is not rocket science. But there are too many options to choose from. A little adjustment of your budget and your preferences will help you get the best deal, not just this Diwali, but at every shopping opportunity

 

So, you have finally decided to gift yourself or your loved one a brand new mobile this Diwali. However, with so many offers and thousands of handsets to choose from, you may find it difficult to zero in on something within your budget that still gives you all the latest features possible. Well, you are at the right place to make your decision for buying the best mobile this Diwali.

 

Buying mobile, especially a smart phone, requires you to focus on two important things: your budget and the features you consider a 'must-have' in your new mobile. I have used and tested numerous mobiles from all major handset makers, as well as the Chinese manufacturers and I can say with some confidence that if you are willing to make small compromise on the price or features, you can often get great deals. For example, if you do not use the camera feature of your mobile very often, then what is the point in wanting a buying a phone with a 20-megapixel camera with full HD recording features? Moreover, pictures taken with a 5MP or 8MP camera are also pretty good, especially for causal photography and keepsakes. 

 

Over the past few months, several mobile makers have come out with an equated monthly instalment (EMI) scheme so that you can buy their costly handsets. While this would help you to buy your desired mobile by paying less amount upfront, please bear in mind that you will have to buy the handset on MRP. This means, without any discount or any offer, other than the EMI.

 

The same goes for exchange offers as well. And most of the exchange offers are limited to smart phones only. So, unless you are sure that nobody in your family wants to use your ‘old’ smart phone, it would be better if you can buy new handset by paying upfront money on other scheme.

 

Also, don't get lured by the flip cover offer. Two things to remember: the price shown in advertisements is always on the higher side and the same flip cover can be bought 60%-70% cheaper from a small shop or even from roadside stalls. One of my friends was delighted to have bought flip cover for his brand new Mi3 at Rs450 against the standard quoted price of Rs800-Rs1,200. The same cover is available for as low as Rs200-Rs300 in smaller shops on the roadside. So, instead of being lured with the ‘free cover’ offer, ask the shopkeeper to give you discount of the same amount (most will refuse, though, but someone might be ready).

 

Here are some guidelines that would help you to make a decision on the right phones as per price ranges.

Price range: Rs1,000 to Rs5,000

Features available (depending on brand): Single/double SIM, FM, Camera, Torch

 

Tip: Buy a budget phone not for its 'touch screen' feature but for its simplicity and ease of use. Don’t fall prey for 'budget' smart phone in this price range, as these handsets are mostly very slow and often comes with old operating system without any hope for future updates.

 

Basic phone

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Samsung Guru 1200

Rs1,250

8-hrs talk time, Torch

Nokia 105

Rs1,135

12-hrs talk time, Torch, 3.5mm audio jack

Karbonn K451+ Sound Wave

Rs1,450

Dual SIM, Mobile Tracker, Torch

Micromax Bolt X088

Rs971

Dual SIM, Email, Music, Video, FM (recording)

Micromax X097

Rs950

Dual SIM, Music, FM, Loud voice, Best for Senior citizens


Feature phone

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Samsung Metro Duos C3322

Rs3,749

Dual SIM, Email, Music, Video, FM

Nokia 114

Rs2,599

Dual SIM, Email, Music, Video, FM (recording)

Karbonn K75

Rs2,640

Dual SIM, 3.5” touch screen, Music, Video, FM

Nokia 220

Rs2,475

Dual SIM, Email, Music, Video, FM, No 3G


Smartphone

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Samsung Galaxy Star

Rs3,999

Dual SIM, Android, Touch screen, Multimedia

Nokia Asha 502

Rs4,805

Dual SIM, 5MP, Touch screen, Multimedia

Nokia Asha 210

Rs4,515

Dual SIM, QWERTY keypad, Multimedia, Email

Karbonn Smart A12 Star

Rs3,399

Dual SIM, Android, 4” Touch screen, Wi-Fi, 5MP

 

Price Range: Rs5,001 to Rs10,000

Features available: Touch screen, Single/Dual SIM (dual standby), email, better camera, wide screens

 

Tip: There are some very good and feature-rich phones available in this range. However, buy only if you are a first time user. Don't be under the illusion that bigger screen is better. Check the colours, resolution and readability in daylight of all these big screen handsets. Also, keep an eye on RAM for Android mobiles. Here bigger is better. Some of the best price-to-value phones are offered in this range by Motorola and Asus. You would also get phones based on Google’s Android One platform in this range.

 

Smartphone

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Moto E*

Rs6,299

Dual SIM, KitKat, 4.3” screen, 1.2Ghz DC, 1GB RAM, 4GB ROM

Moto G (1st Gen)*

Rs9,999

Dual SIM, KitKat, 4.5” screen, 1.2Ghz DC, 1GB RAM, 16GB

Asus Zenfone 4

Rs5,399

Dual SIM, 4” screen, 1.2Ghz DC, 1GB RAM, 8GB, microSD

Asus Zenfone 5

Rs9,999

Dual SIM, 5” screen, 1.2Ghz DC, 2GB RAM, 8GB, microSD

Spice Android One

Rs6,299

4.5” screen, 5MP, KitKat, Dual SIM, microSD, Wi-Fi

Micromax Canvas A1

Rs6,499

4.5” screen, 5MP, KitKat, Dual SIM, microSD, Wi-Fi, 1GB

Sony Xperia M

Rs9,999

4” screen, 5MP, 1GHz DC, Wi-Fi, Memory Card

Xiaomi Redmi 1S

Rs5,999

4.7” IPS screen, Dual SIM, 1.6Ghz QC, 1GB, 8GB, 8MP

Samsung Galaxy Core 2 SM-G355H

Rs9,499

4.5” screen, 5MP, 1.2 DC, KitKat, 768MB, 4GB, Dual SIM

 *Moto, Asus, Redmi 1S & Spice Android One phones are available only on Flipkart

Price Range: Rs10,001 to Rs15,000

Features available: Touch screen, Single/Dual SIM (dual standby), email, better camera, good quality screens, 1GB or more RAM

 

Tip: This range is also suitable for first time users and those who want to go in for a second device. Some of the biggies like Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, Asus, Sony and Micromax offer good choice of handsets in this range. Again, look for processor power and RAM. A Quad-core processor is better than dual or single core. Also, do check internal memory. Although many handsets in this range offer 4GB of internal memory, less than or equal to 2GB out of it is available for user. Three of the best handsets, in terms of value for money and full of features in this range, are Moto G (2nd Gen) Asus Zenfone 5 (with 16GB memory) and Mi3. Unfortunately, Xiaomi has stopped selling Mi3.

 

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Moto G (2nd Gen)

Rs12,999

5” HD, 8MP, 1.2Ghz QC, 1GB RAM, 16GB, KitKat, Gorilla Glass3

Asus Zenfone 5 A501CG

Rs12,199

5” HD, 8MP, 2GB RAM, 16GB, 1.6Ghz Intel DC,

Mi3

Rs13,999

5” FHD, 13MP, 2GB, 16GB, 2.3Ghz, HD video R

Nokia Lumia 625

Rs12,499

4.7”, 5MP, Win Phone 8 OS, 1.2Ghz DC, 512MB RAM, 8GB

Samsung Grand Quattro

Rs13,600

4.7”, 5MP, 1.2 GHz QC, 1GB, 8GB, Dual SIM, microSD

Sony Xperia L

Rs14,470

4.3”, 8MP, 1GHz DC, 1GB RAM, 8GB, Android 4.1 JB

Micromax Canvas Nirto A310

Rs12,299

5” HD, Dual SIM, 13MP, 1.7GHz, 2GB, 8GB, microSD

Blackberry Z3

Rs14,333

5”, 5MP, BB 10.2.1 OS, 1.2Ghz DC, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB

Price Range: Rs15,001 to Rs20,000

Features available: Touch screen, Single/Dual SIM (dual standby), email, better camera, good quality screens, Decent RAM, Dual and Quad core processor

 

Tip: Mobile in this range are advised for experienced users, as there are many features that first time users would not be comfortable with. Some of the biggies like Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, HTC and Micromax offer good choice of handsets in this range. Again, look for processor power and RAM. A Quad-core processor is better than dual or single core. Also do check internal memory. Although many handset in this range offer 4GB of internal memory, the user gets only less than or equal to 2GB memory for use. Do check out some of the offering from Motorola and LG in this range.

 

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Moto X (1st Gen)

Rs17,999

10MP, 4.7” AMOLED, 1.7Ghz DC, 2GB, 16GB, Water repellent

Nokia Lumia 1320

Rs16,666

6” HD, 5MP, 1.7GHz DC, Win8 OS, 1GB, 8GB, Gorilla Glass3

Samsung Grand Duos I9082

Rs17,199

5”, 8MP, 1.2Ghz DC, 1GB RAM, Dual SIM, microSD

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Rs17,499

4.27”, 8MP, FHD R, 1.7GHz DC, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB, microSD

Samsung Glxy Grand Duos

Rs18,130

8MP, 5”, Dual SIM, 1.2Ghz DC, 1GB RAM, 8GB

HTC Desire 816G

Rs17,499

5.5”, 13MP, 1.3GHz QC, 1GB, 8GB, Dual SIM

LG G3 Beat D722K

Rs19,999

5” HD, 1GB RAM, 8MP, 8GB, 1.2 GHz QC, microSD

MM Canvas 4 Plus A315

Rs17,200

5” HD, 13MP, 1.7Ghz QC, 1GB RAM, 16GB, microSD

Price Range: Rs20,001 to Rs30,000

Features available: Touch screen, Super AMOLED or HD display, Single/Dual SIM (dual standby), email, very good camera, both main and front, 1GB plus RAM, Quad core processor

 

Tip: This range offers plenty of choices for buyers. There are some of the best, display as well as main cameras available in this range. Also the overall quality of build (aluminium case body for some) is good. All the big names have a few bestselling devices in this range. However, before buying, look for display quality. Anything below HD and without gorilla glass display, is not worth the price. Also, do check the RAM and processor power and internal memory available for user. While many handsets in this price range offer 8GB or more internal memory, some like Blackberry offers only 4GB. Also you can lay hands on Google Nexus and Apple iPhone4 S (8GB) in this price range. Give it a try. Many youngsters have shown interest in Google Nexus5 but are awaiting release of its next version. There is a new entrant in this range. A mobile handset from Russia is called Yota Phone, which offers dual screen, one a regular one and other paper display type, which never goes to sleep. While Samsung S5 mini is available at around Rs26,500, do check if you can get your hands on S4 of Apple at about the same price. Apple’s 5C fits in this budget range, but depending upon the colour choices, its price may exceed by few hundred rupees. Same is true, at least for colour choice for Sony.

 

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Samsung S5 mini

Rs26,500

4.5” S-AMOLED, 8MP, 1.4Ghz QC, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB, microSD

Yota Phone C9660

Rs23,499

Dual Screen (HD+e-paper), 1.7GHz DC, 13MP, 2GB, 32GB

Apple iPhone 5C (8GB-Blue)

Rs28,200

8MP, 4”, iOS7, 8GB, MS Office, FHD R

Sony Xperia T3

Rs24,499

5.3” HD, 1.4Ghz QC, 8MP, 1GB RAM, 8GB, microSD

OPPO N1 Mini

Rs26,990

5” HD, 1.6Ghz QC, 13MP (rotating), 2GB RAM, 16GB,

Gionee Elife S5.5

Rs20,180

5” AMOLED FHD, 2GB, 16GB, 13-5MP,

Samsung Galaxy Note3 Neo

Rs25,500

5.5” S-AMOLED, Hexa Core, 2GB, 16GB, 8MP-2MP, microSD

Google Nexus5 (white 16GB)

Rs27,790

4.95” FHD, 8MP, Full HD, 2.6Ghz QC, 2GB, 16GB, KitKat

Apple iPhone 4S (8GB)

Rs21,500

3.5”, 8MP, 8GB, MS Office, FHD R

Sony Xperia Z ultra (purple)

Rs29,500

6.4” FHD, 2.2Ghz QC, 2GB, 16GB, microSD, Dust proof

Nokia Lumia 1020

Rs23,999

4.5” AMOLED, 41MP, 1.5Ghz DC, 2GB, 32GB, Full HD R, Win 8.1

Price Range: Above Rs30,001

Features available: Touch screen, Super AMOLED or Full HD display, Single/Dual SIM (dual standby), email, very good camera, both main and front, 1GB plus RAM, Quad core processor

 

Tip: This range offers the best mobile handsets money can buy. Actually, you would feel pampered in this range. All the big handset makers offer their best devices above Rs30,000. There are the best displays as well as main cameras available in this range. Overall build quality (aluminium case body for some) is best in this class. But before buying, look for display quality. Anything below Full HD (all Apple handsets come with Retina display, so no worries) and without gorilla glass display is not worth the price. Some devices offer Full HD recording as well. Also, do check the RAM and processor power. As far as camera is concerned, 8MP is more than enough for mobile handsets, but then it’s your choice.

 

Model

Price*

Unique Selling Point (USP)

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Rs31,500

1.6Ghz QC, 2GB, 16GB, 8MP, 5.55”, S-Pen

Apple iPhone 6 (gold 128GB)

Rs71,500

iOS8, 4.7”, 8MP, FHD R, MS Office, 128GB, A8 chip

Apple iPhone 6 plus (gold 16GB)

Rs62,500

iOS8, 5.5”, 8MP, FHD R, MS Office, 16GB, A8 chip

Sony Xperia Z3

Rs49,990

5.2” FHD, 2.5Ghz QC, 3GB RAM, 20.7MP, 4K R, microSD  

LG G3 D855 (Titan)

Rs44,450

5.5” qHD, 2.5Ghz QC, Full HD, 2GB, 16GB, 13MP, microSD

Samsung Galaxy Note3 N9000

Rs41,900

5.7”, 13MP, 1.9Ghz QC+1.3Ghz QC, 3GB, 32GB, FHD R,

HTC One M8

Rs41,999

5”, 2.5Ghz QC, Ultrapixel Cam, 2GB, 16GB, microSD

Samsung Galaxy S5

Rs36,999

5.1” FHD, 16Mp, 2GB, 16GB, microSD, 1.9 Adnois Prime2

Moto X (2nd Gen)

Rs33,999

5.2” FHD, 2.5GHz QC, 13-2MP, 2GB, 16GB,

BlackBerry Passport

Rs49,990

4.5”, 13MP, BB 10.3, 2.2GHz QC, 3GB RAM, 32GB, microSD

 

 

Note: Most smart phones come with touch screens, hence not specifically mentioned it in features, only screen size is written.

 

DC- Dual Core/ QC-Quad core processor

“2.2Ghz QC, 2GB, 16GB, microSD”= 2.2Ghz quad core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, expandable memory through micro SD slot

MP- megapixel or one million pixels. The resolution of camera phones is often measured in megapixels or MP

Full HD R= Full HD Recording

Gorilla glass- high scratch resistance glass made by Corning Inc.

 

Disclaimer:

*All amounts mentioned above are estimated street prices and subject to change as per market conditions and location.

 

So happy shopping!

User

COMMENTS

Mandar Kulkarni

2 years ago

Good guidance. Bought Moto G2 in this Diwali. So far so good.

k m rao

2 years ago

Good informative article. Pl keep publishing this kind of articles to help us in deciding.

chan

2 years ago

Very very useful article. Keep writing such articles for the confused customer such as buying mobile phones from the array of available phones in the market. Once again thank you, moneylife.

prakash nandedkar

2 years ago

good guide- prakash nandedkar

REPLY

Emraan Hundekar

In Reply to prakash nandedkar 2 years ago

yes true..

Emraan Hundekar

In Reply to prakash nandedkar 2 years ago

yes true..

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Very well researched & summarized, at an appropriate time too. Tks Yogesh.

BCCI to take legal action against West Indies for cancelling cricket tour

The decision to suspend all cricket tours with the West Indies and initiate legal action was taken “unanimously” by the Working Committee members of BCCI

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday while suspending all bilateral cricket tours with the West Indies said it has decided to initiate legal proceedings against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for abruptly cancelling its tour last week.

 

The tough stand by the BCCI, which has incurred heavy losses for the abandonment of the series, was taken by the all-powerful Working Committee, which met in Hyderabad to decide the future course of action.

 

The decision to suspend all cricket tours with the West Indies and initiate legal action was taken “unanimously” by the Working Committee members.

 

“BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against the West Indies Cricket Board due to the abrupt cancellation of this tour. All bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended,” BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a brief statement after the meeting.

 

The BCCI also appreciated the gesture of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board for accepting the offer of playing a five-match one-day international (ODI) series at such short notice.

 

“The members appreciated the gesture of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board for having accepted our request to play five ODIs starting from 2nd November at such short notice.

 

“This tour is in lieu of their scheduled tour to India next year, which will be reciprocated by India touring Sri Lanka in the months of July-August 2015,” the statement said.

 

The venues for the five ODIs will be Cuttack, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad and the detailed itinerary will be announced shortly.

 

The BCCI statement, however, did not specify the exact period of suspension of cricketing tours between the BCCI and the WICB.

 

It is learnt that the majority of the members were in favour of taking a hard stand against the WICB for aborting the tour after playing four ODIs.

 

The West Indians were scheduled to play five ODIs, one T20 and three Tests matches during the tour between 8th October 8 and 19 November 2014.

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