As I mentioned in the previous article, Reliance Jio has not only forced other operators to reduce tariffs, but also paved the way for new 4G mobile handsets. There, literally, is a flood of 4G handsets in the market. Visit any mobile shop and you would find the sales force trying hard to convince the customer how that particular handset works like a breeze on 4G, especially of Jio. (Although, they will keep mum on giving free Jio SIM!) With the upcoming festive season, you may see more discounts and offers, including exchange of your old handset for 4G mobiles. This brings us to the question: Which is the best value-for-money 4G handset?
Before looking at 4G handsets, there are certain factors one needs to understand. For example, while the handset may support 4G in both SIM slots, you need to use the first slot for achieving real 4G speed and other services. There are some handsets, like LeEco’s Le2 and Max2, which have in-built ‘Voice over Long Term Evolution’ (VoLTE) feature that provides high-definition (HD) quality audio (on supported devices at both ends) and you need to enable it for using this service. Jio subscribers, who have old handsets, can use its Jio4GVoice app to make or receive HD quality voice and video calls.
Most prominent mobile handset-makers have either already launched their 4G devices or are in the process of entering the market. While Jio allows subscribers to use mobiles from other manufacturers, it also sells its own LYF brand. However, I found LYF devices lagging behind in hardware specs. Mobiles from Samsung’s Galaxy series (latest), mostly, support 4G. However, make sure you are buying the updated edition. For example, if you are buying J5 or J7, make sure it is from the 2016 edition.
Here is a list of some mobile handsets that support 4G: Zenfone 3 series from Asus, Coolpad (MAX & Mega 2.5D), Gionee (F103, S Plus & Elife S6), LeEco (Le2 & Max2), Lenovo Vibe (Shot, K5, K5 Note), LG Google Nexus 5x, LG G4 Stylus 4G, Yu Yunique and Yunique Plus, Moto G 3rd Gen, Moto G4, OnePlus3, Sony Xperia Z5 series, Xiaomi (Redmi2, Note3, MI5, Redmi 3S). And listed below are some of the best value-for-money 4G handsets available in Indian market. While some of them are sold exclusively online, a few may be available in the mobile shops in your neighbourhood.
1. Coolpad Mega 2.5D: This is one of the best and cheapest handsets. With a price tag of Rs6,999, this handset comes with 3GB RAM, and 5.5 inches HD screen. This is available exclusively on Amazon.
2. LeEco Le2: This premium looking mobile costs Rs11,999. It has 3GB RAM, fingerprint scanner and 4G dual SIM supported by VoLTE which you need to enable. Three features make this handset a worthy contender, namely, good voice clarity and sound level, its proprietary Type-C continual digital lossless audio (CDLA) and supercharge, which allows you to fullly charge the device in 90 minutes. In short, this is one of the best value-for-money handsets. It can be bought from LeMall.com, the company site, or from Flipkart.
3. Samsung J7 -6 (2016): The J series from Samsung offers to save data by up to 50% through compression and restricting background data. The J7 comes with Octacore processor, SuperAMOLED 5.5-inch screen and 2GB RAM, 16GB in-built memory, microSD up to 128GB. This is available at Rs15,990. An upgraded version of J7, called Prime, which has 3GB RAM, is priced at Rs18,790. Both the handsets can be bought online as well as offline.
4. OnePlus3: This is one of the best devices that can give a tough fight to other pricey mobiles. It comes with a huge 6GB RAM, 820 Snapdragon processor and OpticAMOLED, 5.5-inch display and 64GB in-built memory. It runs on OxygenOS which is based on Android Marshmallow. With its Dash charging feature, the battery gets charged up to 60%, in just half an hour. It costs Rs27,999 and is available exclusively on Amazon.