"Here are the top devices which users searched for in March"
Online shopping is reaching a stage of maturity in India, and people are now less cynical of buying something without even physically touching it or being paranoid about sharing credit card details. A highly positive response to the Moto G, which is exclusively selling on leading e-commerce website Flipkart, is a testament to this fact. The model proved to be so popular in India that Motorola followed it up with launch of the Moto X. Even if people aren’t buying devices online, zeroing in on their next gadget purchase definitely involves searching online.
That’s why we try to capture consumer interest levels on top devices with this monthly feature. However, it must be noted that these top 20 mobile phones reflect buyer interest for them, but may not be the true indicator of their sales.
The top 5
Compared to the month of February, March saw a reversal in positions of top two devices. Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S5 was knocked out of its top spot by Nokia’s largest Android phablet, the XL. The subsequent devices come across as a total surprise as they have jumped more than 20 positions to land third and fourth places. Sony is strengthening its position in the market, which is evident from the fact that the fifth spot is also held by one of its devices along with the 3rd slot.
The complete list
This time, the top 20 mobile phones list is full of ups and downs with many new devices securing a place. Here’s the complete list of the top phones along with changes in their rankings with regards to their positions in February, their platforms, price ranges and launch dates. In cases where the devices are yet to be launched, the corresponding price band has been mentioned by approximating the US pricing or considering the pricing of their predecessors.
Hits and misses
Here’s a look at the fresh entrants in the top mobile phones list.
Sony’s flagship smartphone for 2014, the Xperia Z2 carries forward the legacy of the Japanese brand’s high-end Xperia Z series. The device gets a better display, processor and RAM than its predecessor, while the camera module is same as the Xperia Z1. The company has ensured that the device sports best-in-class specs, which is apparent as the device holds well against other current flagships, evident from our comparison of HTC One (M8), Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2.
What do you do when your premium product can no longer fare against onslaught of other top-end devices? You reduce its price, of course! Within a year of launch, the Waterloo-based handset maker has slashed the price of the Z10 twice. Now available at Rs 17,999, the smartphone is a steal for BlackBerry enthusiasts which is clear from the fact that it has gone OOS in most of the stores after the price reduction.
HTC may not have been able to turn around its fortunes, but its One was one of the best devices launched in the year 2013. For this year’s flagship, company has upped the ante with a full metal unibody construction establishing a new benchmark in smartphone design. The device is no slouch in performance either as it packs top-notch internals and there are a ton of innovative features as well, most notably its duo camera setup.
One of the primary reasons why the Taiwanese manufacturer failed to gain market share last year was the fact that it focused all its energies towards premium devices and didn’t give much attention to the entry-level and mid-range segments. Thankfully, HTC seems to have learnt from its mistakes and the Desire 816 is a step in the right direction. Though the device is yet to launch in India, its specs make it a worthy device to consider in the mid-range segment.
What makes a smartphone unique in the crowded market? Even if you include top-of-the-line specs, another new device can boast the same if not better configuration. That’s why Motorola deserves an applause for following a different approach with its flagship smartphone, the Moto X. The device makes good use of its AMOLED screen with Active Display and Google Now with Touchless Controlfeature.
Samsung’s Galaxy S Duos was one of the most popular devices last year and it seems that its successor is also on the same path. The Galaxy S Duos 2 is catering the same segment as the previous iteration and brings with it decent specs at that price point.
The exits in the previous month also are quite surprising considering that some of these devices held tightly to their spots in the top 20 list since the past few months.
Nokia X Plus
Micromax Canvas 4
Micromax Canvas Turbo
Sony Xperia M
Sony Xperia L
Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro
Samsung Galaxy Grand
Indian brands, led by Micromax losing their sheen
Since long, we have praised Indian brands for posing a formidable threat to international brands. However, it seems in the wake of competition, multinationals have also understood that the market is value-conscious and accordingly, are not only prepping to launch a host of mid-range devices, but also pricing them competitively. While there were two Micromax smartphones in the list in the month of February, there’s not even a single device from any Indian manufacturer this time. However, it remains to be seen if this is just a one-time affair or becomes a trend.
The affordable and mid-range arena is abuzz with new and old devices alike
Even though there’s a lot of interest for devices in the premium segment, the action is mainly happening in the price bracket of Rs 5,000 to 15,000 followed by Rs 15,000 to 25,000. All the brands ranging from the numero uno manufacturer Samsung to HTC, Nokia and others have devices in this range.
Old is gold, especially if the price is right
We have already highlighted the presence of BlackBerry Z10 smartphone in the top 5 devices because of its huge price drop making it an attractive buy. But, it’s not the only device enjoying new-found attention because of a price cut. The pricing of Samsung’s last year flagship, the Galaxy S4 has been revised to around Rs 28,000, which is almost 25 percent less than its original pricing.
On the flip side, some of the old devices like the Apple iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 seem to be slipping in popularity as they’re still charging a premium and prospective buyers are now waiting for newer iterations.