"A roundup of the top smartphones launched in May 2014."
May has been a big month for smartphone launches, but this time it was the budget category that made waves. Beginning with the Moto E and continuing with the Micromax Unite 2, Lava Iris X1 and Nokia Lumia 630, the affordable handset space has never looked so good. We also have some bigger names in the mix, like the scrumptious Sony Xperia Z2, HTC One (M8) and the iPhone 5c 8GB. Here’s the full list of all the key launches last month.
First unveiled in February, the LG G Pro 2 went on sale in India early last month. Flaunting a large 5.9-inch display, the phablet runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. It’s powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, paired with a generous 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU. It is available in 16GB and 32GB variants, with a microSD card slot for memory expansion. The G Pro 2 features a 13MP rear shooter with LED flash, and is capable of shooting 4K videos. In the front, there’s a 2.1MP camera for video calls and selfies. For connectivity, it offers 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and a SlimPort. The phone is backed by a 3,200mAh battery.
Related read: LG G Pro 2 first impressions
The Gionee Elife S5.5, which is reportedly the world’s slimmest smartphone, went on sale in the country last month. Measuring an anorexic 5.5mm in thickness, its magnesium alloy body and glass back add to its cosmetic value. Looks aren’t the only aspect where the device excels though, with top-notch specs like a 5-inch 1080p display, 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 chipset and 2GB of RAM. Internal storage is a fixed 16GB, but there’s USB OTG support to attach a flash drive. For imagery, it offers 13MP rear and 5MP front shooters. It runs an outdated Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, with Gionee’s Amigo UI on top. The Elife S5.5 is fueled by a 2,300mAh battery. Connectivity options are standard – 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
The Sony Xperia Z2 was launched in India in May, just six months after the previous flagship, the Xperia Z1 was announced. Encased in a glass and metal frame and flaunting Sony’s signature OmniBalance design, the Xperia Z2 offers an array of mouthwatering specs. It boasts a 5.2-inch 1080p display, and is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and Adreno 330 graphics. There’s 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, expandable up to 128GB. In true Sony style, there’s a 20.7-meg primary snapper capable of shooting 4K videos. A 2MP camera handles video calls and selfies in the front. The Xperia Z2 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, overlaid with Sony’s Xperia UI. Like most other Sony flagships, the Xperia Z2 is also waterproof. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, USB OTG Bluetooth, NFC and DLNA. A 3,200mAh battery fuels the device. Sony is also offering its SmartBand activity tracker worth Rs 5,999 free with the phone.
The Karbonn Titanium Hexa was originally announced in March, and went on sale last month in an exclusive partnership with Amazon India. As the name suggests, the Titanium Hexa is the first six-core smartphone from the Indian brand, and is powered by the new hexa-core MediaTek CPU clocked at 1.5GHz. It features a 5-inch 1080p display with a scratch-resistant oleophobic coating, and runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. It offers 2GB of RAM and 16GB of fixed internal storage. At the back, it features a 13MP snapper with LED flash, and in the front, there’s a 5MP camera. Connectivity options include dual-SIM, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. It’s backed by a 2,050mAh battery. Karbonn is also bundling a free Plantronics Bluetooth headset in the box.
The Nokia Lumia 630 is the first handset to run Windows Phone 8.1. It is also the first dual-SIM Windows Phone device. It features a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. Inside ticks a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. There’s 512MB of RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. The Lumia 630 features a 5MP autofocus primary camera, but misses out on an LED flash and front camera. It supports 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. It draws power from a 1,830mAh battery. In usual Lumia style, it is available in a riot of colours like green, orange, yellow, black and white.
The Huawei G750 was launched last month, alongside the Ascend G6 and Honor 3C. The smartphone features a 5.5-inch 720p display and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, smothered by Huawei’s Emotion 2.0 UI. It's powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek processor, paired with 2GB of RAM. Internal storage maxes out at 8GB, and is expandable with a microSD card. At the back, it features a 13MP primary camera, and in front, it sports a 5MP snapper with a ‘groupie’ feature. The dual-SIM smartphone offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi Direct for connectivity. The battery under the hood has a capacity of 3,000mAh.
Following the launch of the Moto G and Moto X, Motorola forayed into the sub-Rs 10,000 category with the Moto E. Another Flipkart exclusive, the Moto E brings compelling specs and the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system at an affordable price. It features a 4.3-inch display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels, sheathed with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display even packs in a splash guard for water resistance, and an anti-smudge coating to keep away fingerprints. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processer, paired with a gigabyte of RAM and Adreno 302 graphics. It features 4GB of internal storage, expandable with a microSD card. There’s a 5MP fixed-focus snapper at the rear, but no front camera. The dual-SIM smartphone offers 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS for connectivity. It’s backed by a 1,980mAh battery. Like the Moto G, it also features a range of multi-hued swappable back panels.
The HTC One (M8), which was launched way back in April, went on sale in India last month. Flaunting a brushed aluminium design that’s 90 percent metal, the One (M8) features a zero-gap frame that encases a 5-inch 1080p display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The smartphone gets its horsepower from a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 SoC, paired with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330 graphics. It runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, layered with HTC Sense 6.0. The device features a 4MP UltraPixel primary camera with a dual-tone LED flash and a depth sensor, and a 5MP front camera for video calls and selfies. There’s 16GB of internal memory, expandable up to 128GB. Connectivity features include LTE, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, Infrared and USB OTG. The One (M8) draws power from a 2,600mAh battery.
Panasonic’s launched its flagship smartphone, the P81, in India last month. The phablet features a 5.5-inch display with 720p resolution and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, with Panasonic’s upgraded Play Life UI on top. It’s powered by an octa-core 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6592 processor, paired with 1GB of RAM and a Mali 450-MP4 GPU. Imaging features include a 13MP camera with LED flash at the rear, and a 2MP shooter in the front. It packs in 8GB of internal storage that’s expandable up to 32GB. The connectivity options cover dual-SIM, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The handset is fuelled by a 2,500mAh battery. The P81 is available in black and features a leatherette back panel.
Following the Nokia X, two additional devices in Nokia’s X series of Android-based smartphones, the Nokia X+ and Nokia XL, went on sale last month. While the X+ is almost identical to the X, barring a slightly higher RAM count of 768MB, the XL offers an improved spec sheet. It includes a 5-inch display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 768MB of RAM. The camera setup includes a 5MP rear and 2MP front snapper. The dual-SIM phone is fuelled by a 1,500mAh battery and offers 3G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for connectivity.
Related read: Nokia XL first impressions
Apple recently launched a more affordable variant of the iPhone 5c in India offering 8GB of storage, and just today, introduced a buyback offer for the phone. Apart from the storage, the iPhone 5c 8GB is identical to the 16GB and 32GB variants. It features a 4-inch Retina display with a resolution of 1,136 x 640 pixels. It's powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core Apple A6 processor, paired with a gigabyte of RAM. It features an 8MP camera with flash at the back, and a 1.2MP FaceTime camera in the front. The iPhone 5c is the first colourful Apple smartphone, and is made of a hard-coated polycarbonate casing, available in hues like green, white, blue, pink and yellow. It’s also one of the few smartphones to support Indian 4G bands. The remaining connectivity features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB. A 1,507 mAh battery lies under the hood.
Pegged as a Moto E killer, the Micromax Unite 2 was launched in May with a special trick up its sleeve – support for 20 Indian languages, apart from the default English. The Unite 2 is also the first KitKat running smartphone from the company. It features a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It sports a 5MP autofocus camera at the rear, and a 2MP snapper in the front. Internal storage is a paltry 4GB, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card. The connectivity features of the dual-SIM phone include 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. A 2,000mAh battery powers the show. The Unite 2 is offered in an array of colours like white, grey, green and red.
Not one to be left out of the action, Lava announced its answer to the Moto E in the form of the better-endowed Iris X1. Flaunting a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, the Iris X1 runs a near-stock version of Android 4.4.2. Under the hood ticks a quad-core Broadcom processor clocked at 1.2GHz, paired with a gig of RAM. In the storage department, the Iris X1 gets 4GB of memory, expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card. It’s equipped with an 8MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, and a 2MP front camera for video calls and selfies. The dual-SIM smartphone supports the usual suite of connectivity options, like 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. It also packs in USB OTG to attach a flash drive. The phone is fuelled by an 1,800mAh battery.
Related read: Lava Iris X1 unboxing
HTC’s mid-range phablet, the Desire 816, went on sale in India last month. Featuring a 5.5-inch display bearing 720p resolution, the Desire 816 runs Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC’s Sense 6.0 UI on top. It’s powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, paired with 1.5GB of RAM. For storage, it has 8GB of internal memory that’s expandable with a microSD card. In the photography department, it features a 13MP primary camera with LED flash, and a 5MP front camera. Powering the show is a 2,600mAh battery. Connectivity features on board are dual-SIM, 3G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and USB OTG. It even features HTC’s trademark BoomSound speakers in the front.
Alcatel recently launched its flagship smartphone, the OneTouch Idol X+ in India. Boasting top-notch specs at an attractive price, the smartphone will be available exclusively on Flipkart. It features a 5-inch IPS display with 1080p resolution, with a protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass on top. Inside purrs an octa-core MediaTek SoC clocked at 2GHz, aided by 2GB of RAM. Storage is restricted to the 16GB you get with the phone, since there’s no microSD card slot for expansion. It features a 13MP rear camera with LED flash, and a 2MP front camera for video calls and selfies. The dual-SIM smartphone offers 3G, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth and GPS for connectivity. The Idol X+ is fueled by a 2,500mAh battery. Alcatel is also bundling its BOOMband activity tracker with the phone, along with a pair of JBL headphones.
Related read: Alcatel OneTouch Idol X+ first impressions