"A roundup of the top smartphones and tablets launched in September 2014"
September marked the start of the festive season, and it was no surprise that we were inundated by a deluge of new smartphones. Pretty much every major brand was involved, including HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG, BlackBerry and even Apple. Not all the announced devices went on sale last month though, and our roundup comprises of only those that are available in the market. Here’s our top list.
"Selfie smartphones" are all the rage now, so it’s no wonder that Indian brand Lava decided to launch one of its own. The Iris X5 features a 5-megapixel autofocus front camera, and packs in an Omni BSI+ sensor, wide-angle lens and even a front-facing LED flash. It also sports an 8MP rear snapper with dual-LED flash. The remaining tech specs include a 5-inch HD display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage and a 2,100mAh battery. The dual-SIM device runs Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box.
XOLO’s first Windows Phone smartphone, the Win Q900s, was announced back in June, but only went on sale in September. Apart from its Windows Phone 8.1 operating system, the USP of the device is its skinny 7mm frame and negligible weight of 100g. It features a 4.7-inch display with 720p resolution, protected by a layer of Dragontrail glass. Powering the show is a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, mated to 1GB of RAM and 8GB of expandable internal memory. The photography department is covered by an 8MP camera with LED flash at the rear, and a 2MP snapper in the front. The dual-SIM smartphone is fuelled by an 1,800mAh battery.
After being unveiled in June, the Nokia X2 was finally launched in India last month. The company’s second-gen Android smartphone runs an updated Nokia X Platform 2.0, based on AOSP Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The handset features a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, and is protected by a scratch-resistant coating. It’s powered by a dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, paired with a gigabyte of RAM. Internal storage maxes out at 4GB, and is expandable via microSD. The smartphone features a 5MP primary camera with flash, and a VGA front shooter for video calls. The dual-SIM handset is backed by an 1,800mAh battery.
Micromax’s latest flagship, the Canvas Nitro, was released in India last month. The smartphone features a 5-inch display with 720p resolution, and is powered by MediaTek’s MT6592 octa-core chip, clocked at 1.7GHz. The processor is aided by 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal expandable storage. A 13-megapixel primary camera with LED flash, along with a 5MP front shooter handle photography duties, while a 2,500mAh battery fuels the device. The dual-SIM smartphone runs an almost stock version of Android 4.4 KitKat.
Sony launched the Xperia E3 in both single and dual-SIM variants last month. The smartphone features a 4.5-inch scratch resistant display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, accompanied by 1GB of RAM. The camera features include a 5MP primary snapper and a VGA front shooter. The device packs in a mere 4GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), and a 2,330mAh battery. In terms of software, it runs Android 4.4 KitKat with Sony’s custom UI on top.
Arya, a new brand in India backed by Salora International, introduced its first smartphone in the country, the Arya Z2. The smartphone features a 5-inch display with HD resolution, and runs Android 4.4 KitKat. Under the hood ticks a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582A processor, complemented by 1GB of RAM. It features 4GB of onboard memory, which is expandable with a microSD card. The smartphone sports an 8MP camera with flash at the rear, and a 2MP snapper in the front. The Z2 is a dual-SIM device and is fuelled by an 1,800mAh battery.
Related read: Arya Z2 unboxing and first impressions
Google’s Android One program made its worldwide debut in India with three devices – the Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and Spice Dream UNO Mi-498. Despite being products from different brands, the smartphones are all identical, barring some design differentials. The handsets all feature 4.5-inch displays with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processors, 1GB of RAM, 4GB internal storage (with microSD), 5MP primary/2MP secondary cameras and 1,700mAh batteries. All the handsets are dual-SIM, and run an undiluted Android 4.4.4 KitKat, with guaranteed timely updates from Google for the next two years.
Shortly after being unveiled at IFA, Sony launched its next generation flagship, the Xperia Z3 and its mini counterpart, the Z3 Compact in India. Both devices offer similar specs, with the main difference being display size. While the Xperia Z3 features a 5.2-inch full HD display, the Z3 Compact features a smaller 4.6-inch screen with HD resolution. Both smartphones are powered by quad-core Snapdragon 801 chips clocked at 2.5GHz, but while the Xperia Z3 gets 3GB of RAM to work with, the Z3 Compact gets 2GB. The devices both sport 20.7MP primary cameras with flash, and 2.2MP front shooters for selfies and video calls. They offer 16GB of expandable storage, and are IP65/68 certified for dust and water resistance. The Xperia Z3 is equipped with a 3,100mAh battery, while the Z3 Compact gets a 2,600mAh unit.
XOLO recently launched the Q2100, its first smartphone with a fingerprint scanner. The dual-SIM device features a large 5.5-inch HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, and runs Android 4.4 KitKat. It features an 8MP rear camera with LED flash, and a 2MP front snapper for selfies. The smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor, paired with 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of onboard storage with a microSD card slot for expansion. A 2,800mAh battery fuels the handset.
The second-generation Moto X went on sale via Flipkart last month. The phone features a 5.2-inch full HD display, and is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz. It offers 2GB of RAM and 16GB of non-expandable internal storage. In the camera department, the device gets a 13MP snapper with flash and 4K video recording capabilities, along with a 2MP shooter in the front. It draws power from a 2,300mAh battery, and runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The new Moto X will is also available in special bamboo and leather back variants.
Motorola’s successful Moto G smartphone got a refresh in the form of the (new) Moto G last month. The smartphone features a larger 5-inch display, with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. It’s powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz, paired with 1GB of RAM. The device offers 16GB of onboard storage, and unlike its predecessor, adds a microSD card slot for expansion. It features an 8MP primary camera with flash, as well as a 2MP shooter in the front. The dual-SIM compatible device runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and is backed by a 2,070mAh battery.
Finnish company Jolla made its Indian debut last month with its first (and only) smartphone. Called simply the Jolla, the device runs Sailfish, which is a gesture-based operating system that allows users to side-load Android apps. The device features a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels, and is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor, along with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone is equipped with 16GB of internal expandable storage and a 2,100mAh battery. It features an 8MP primary camera with flash, as well as a 2MP front camera.
The Xiaomi Redmi 1s first went on sale in early September, and since then has been flying off the virtual shelves in seconds at every flash sale. The reason for the smartphone’s success is a combination of killer pricing and excellent specs. It features a 4.7-inch HD display, a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal expandable storage, 8MP rear/2MP front cameras and a 2,050mAh battery. The dual-SIM device runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, layered with Xiaomi’s custom MIUI ROM. Like the Mi 3, the Redmi 1s ships with a range of official accessories, and is available exclusively on Flipkart.
Following Indian brands Micromax and XOLO, Karbonn didn’t wait long to hop on to the Windows Phone brigade with its debut offering, the Wind W4. Running WP 8.1, the device features a 4-inch display bearing a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor, coupled with 512MB of RAM. Internal storage maxes out at 4GB, and can be expanded via microSD. A 5MP camera at the rear handles the main photography duties, while a VGA camera in the front takes care of video calls. The smartphone is dual-SIM compatible and draws power from a 1,950mAh battery.
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