"A roundup of the top smartphones and tablets launched in July 2014."
As far as smartphone launches go, July has been one of the busiest months of the year. Not only did we have ASUS’ Zenfone range and the Xiaomi Mi 3 sending the market into a tizzy, but we also saw several premium launches in the form of the LG G3, HTC One (E8) and the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom. Even the steady stream of KitKat-running budget devices turned into a flash flood, inundating the market with several compelling choices. Without further ado, here’s our shortlist of the top smartphone and tablet launches in the month of July.
After being unveiled at an event in Singapore in June, the Samsung Galaxy K Zoom went on sale in India last month in exclusive partnership with Amazon India. The camera-centric smartphone features a 20.7MP primary shooter with a 10x zoom lens, Xenon flash and optical image stabilisation. Complementing the rear shooter is a 2MP camera in the front. The smartphone is loaded with other premium specs too, featuring a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED 720p display, a hexa-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage and a 2,430mAh battery. The operating system on offer is Android 4.2.2 KitKat with TouchWiz on top.
The successor to Samsung’s popular Galaxy Core, went on sale via the brand’s e-store a few weeks ago. The handset features a 4.5-inch 800 x 480 pixel display, and runs Android 4.4 layered with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Powering the show is a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, paired with 768MB of RAM. It offers just 4GB of internal storage, with a microSD card for expansion up to 64GB. The camera features include a 5MP rear shooter with LED flash, and a VGA front camera for video calls. The dual-SIM device is backed by a 2,000mAh battery.
ASUS’ Zenfone series of smartphones caused quite the stir when they launched last month. The Zenfone 5, which is grabbing all the eyeballs, is flanked by the smaller Zenfone 4 (review) and the phablet-sized Zenfone 6. The dual-SIM smartphone features a 5-inch HD display and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with the custom ZenUI on top. It’s powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor, aided by 2GB of RAM. It is available in 8GB and 16GB storage variants, both with microSD card slots for expansion. The device features an 8MP primary camera with flash, and a 2MP front shooter.
After being announced as part of Samsung’s new budget lineup, the Galaxy Ace NXT was released in India last month. The 3G device features a 4-inch WVGA display, a 1.2GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, a 3MP shooter and a 1,500mAh battery. Two other smartphones were launched alongside it – Star 2 and Star Advance. The Star 2 features a 3.5-inch display, 512MB of RAM, a 2MP camera and a 1,300mAh battery. The Star Advance sports a 4.3-inch WVGA display and offers a 1.2GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, a 3MP primary camera and an 1,800mAh battery. All the devices offer dual-SIM, 4GB of expandable storage and support for 12 Indian languages.
After going official in China, HTC’s first octa-core smartphone, the Desire 616, went on sale in India. Powered by a 1.4GHz MediaTek MT6592 SoC, the smartphone offers 1GB of RAM and a paltry 4GB of expandable storage. It features a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels, and runs Android 4.2.2 with HTC’s Sense UI on top. The shooting shenanigans are taken care of by an 8MP shooter with LED flash at the rear, and a 2MP camera in the front. The dual-SIM device is fuelled by a 2,000mAh battery.
Related read: HTC Desire 616 first impressions
Obi Mobiles, the new brand backed by ex-Apple CEO John Sculley, made its debut in the Indian market with the Octopus S520. The dual-SIM smartphone offers flagship features at an affordable price, and Obi has partnered with Snapdeal as an official retailer. The device is powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek processor, aided by 1GB of RAM. It features a 5-inch 720p display, and 8GB of internal memory that’s expandable up to 32GB via microSD. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat, and sips juice from a 1,800mAh battery unit. An 8MP autofocus rear camera with flash and a 2MP front shooter take care of photography.
LG’s latest flagship was unveiled in India by none other than Big B himself. The highlight of the smartphone is its stunning 5.5-inch display with 2K (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) resolution. It is endowed with a curvy rear that boasts a metallic finish, and a quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU clocked at 2.5GHz handles performance. The smartphone is available in 16GB and 32GB variants, with the former getting 2GB of RAM and the latter getting a meatier 3GB. A 13MP primary camera with LED flash handles photography duties at the rear, while a 2.1MP front camera is in charge of selfies. The handset runs Android 4.4 KitKat with LG’s custom skin on top, and is fuelled by a 3,000mAh battery. In addition to the two storage variants, a limited Big B edition of the smartphone is also up for grabs.
The plastic-clad variant of the HTC One (M8) (review) went on sale in India last month. Tagged as the One (E8), the device is priced more affordably than its flagship sibling, but offers almost identical specs. It sports a 5-inch full HD display and is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, mated to 2GB of RAM. The 16GB of internal storage can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD. The device runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat with HTC’s Sense 6 UI on top. The smartphone gives the M8’s UltraPixel snapper a miss in favour of a 13MP primary camera. There’s also a 5MP front shooter to handle selfie duties. The dual-SIM device features a pair of front-facing BoomSound speakers, and is backed by a 2,600mAh battery.
In line with our exclusive report, the Sony Xperia T3 was launched in India on July 28th. The premium handset sports a skinny 7mm frame, crafted from stainless steel. Taking pride of place is the 5.3-inch TRILUMINOS display with 720p resolution. At its heart ticks a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, paired with 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of expandable storage and a 2,500mAh battery for fuel. Imaging duties are handled by an 8MP camera with LED flash at the rear, and a 1.1MP shooter in the front. The phone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sony’s custom skin on top.
Taiwanese manufacturer Oplus launched its first smartphone, the XonPhone 5 in India in exclusive partnership with Snapdeal. It features a 5-inch HD display, a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM, and a generous 16GB of expandable storage. The cameras on board include an 8MP rear shooter and a 2MP front camera. The battery under the hood is a 2,000mAh unit. The dual-SIM smartphone runs Android 4.4 KitKat and Oplus has promised that it will receive future updates over the air.
XOLO’s gaming-centric smartphone, the Play 6X-1000, was launched in India last month. It features a 5-inch display with HD resolution, and is powered by a 1.5GHz hexa-core MediaTek processor, paired with 2GB of RAM and Mali-450 graphics. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat, and offers 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras. The dual-SIM device offers 8GB of expandable storage. The smartphone comes pre-loaded with the XOLO Play Zone, which provides access to several free games, and even lets you buy select paid games at a 75 percent discount.
Micromax’s first hexa-core smartphone, the Canvas HD which was leaked online, went on sale online recently. With a 1.5GHz MediaTek SoC handling performance, the smartphone packs in 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal expandable storage. The dual-SIM device is fuelled by a 2,000mAh battery. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat and is available in white gold and black gold variants. The device features an 8MP primary camera with LED flash, and a 2MP front camera for video calls and selfies.
The Karbonn Titanium S19 went on sale online recently. It features a 5-inch 720p display and runs Android 4.4 KitKat. Under the hood ticks a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, augmented by 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of expandable storage, and a 2,000mAh battery to keep the show running. The dual-SIM smartphone sports a 13MP primary camera with flash, and a 5MP snapper in the front.
Ever since Xiaomi made its Indian debut with the Mi 3, the company has been the center of attention not only for its killer pricing, but also its ability to go out of stock in mere seconds. Coming to the specs, the Mi 3 features a 5-inch display with 1080p resolution. The innards boast of a Snapdragon 800 SoC clubbed with 2GB of RAM. It offers 16GB of fixed storage, and a beefy 3,050mAh battery to keep the show running. The smartphone runs Xiaomi’s custom MIUI ROM, on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. It features a 13MP primary camera with dual-LED flash, and a 2MP shooter in the front. Built around a magnesium alloy frame, the device is quite slim at 8.1mm.
Samsung’s premium range of tablets, the Galaxy Tab S, was launched in Wi-Fi and LTE variants. However, the LTE versions were the first to go on sale via the company’s official e-store. The Tab S LTE is available in 8.4 and 10.5-inch sizes, with both variants sporting the same dimpled back panel seen on the Galaxy S5 (review). The ultra-thin tablets measure just 6.6mm in thickness, and incorporate a fingerprint sensor in the home button. They feature Super AMOLED displays with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, an Exynos 5 Octa chip, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras. The tablets run Android 4.4 KitKat, with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top.
Related read: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 review