A better processor, RAM and battery power will make your latest tech device last longer
Most people spend on tech products on impulse and regret later. For example, a friend bought a device with 1GB (gigabyte) RAM (random access memory) and 8GB in-built memory, when another handset with 2GB RAM and 16GB in-built memory and similar features was available at almost the same price. Anyone would tell you that a device with lower RAM will lag behind compared to one with higher RAM; yet, my friend ended up with this device due to impulse buying. This holds true for in-built memory as well. Out of the 8GB RAM, the OS, in-built apps, contacts and message storage eats up around 4GB, leaving mere 4GB space for the user. So, the user ends up cleaning or un-installing apps all the time.
How does one overcome these technical issues while buying a mobile handset or gadget? The simple rule is always look, or buy, into the future. This means checking if another mobile costing a few rupees more offers you a better processor or higher RAM or good-quality screen and ample in-built memory. Also, understand that the lifespan of the current generation of smartphones is very short. Therefore, you may be tempted to replace your current device next year instead of after two-three years. You can avoid this, if your current device or the next device is future-ready and will not lag behind in performance over the next year or so. But, remember, the statutory warning (like for financial products): “Past performance is no guarantee of future…”
Now let us review what happened in 2015: A few noteworthy happenings include the launch of Android Marshmallow (Android 6). Samsung is trying to regain the market in the under-Rs15,000 segment. In 2015, it launched its ‘J’ and ‘On’ series of mobiles. Mobiles in both these series are priced over Rs6,000. However, stay away from some of the low-RAM and low-memory devices. Also, several smart watches were launched in 2015; but, so far, they have received a lukewarm response from price-conscious Indian buyers. People here prefer to buy a smartphone instead of a smart watch that is priced at the same level.
While Google is rolling out Marshmallow updates on Nexus devices, other manufacturers are working (modifying) on the OS (operating system). By mid-2016, most Android-run devices will feature this updated OS. After gaining some foothold in low- and mid-range devices, Microsoft is now targeting the higher price market with its Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. But only time will tell if it can compete with the likes of Samsung Note 4 and S6 Edge, Apple iPhone6 or 6 plus and Sony Xperia Z3. Frankly, instead of paying Rs43,699 for Lumia 950, an Indian buyer will get a new Windows 10-based laptop. Nevertheless, it is a good attempt by Microsoft to widen its range of offerings.
Three noteworthy devices launched in 2015 include Coolpad Note 3, Xiaomi Mi 4i and Gionee Marathon M5. Coolpad Note3 is the first device in India to feature 3GB RAM and fingerprint scanner in the under-Rs10,000 category. Xiaomi’s Mi 4i received a good response, especially from online buyers, due to the massive discount and exchange offers. Gionee is, again, setting new standards in battery capacity with its M5 handset from Marathon series. As the name suggests, the M5 boasts a 6,020mAh battery that can last for more than a day. In addition, M5 can be used as a power-bank to recharge other devices. Gionee Marathon M5 is priced at Rs17,999.
So, what is in store for mobile devices in 2016? Expect 4G becoming the keyword, though you may not get connectivity at that speed. In terms of prowess, Octa-Core processors, 3GB RAM and 13 MP cameras will become basic requirements, while full high definition (HD, 1920x1080 pixel) will gain more ground. While higher capacity batteries may not gain entry into the mass market, solar-powered chargers would become more visible across the country.