“These are the top smartphones that arrived in the country last month”
Despite the month of October being the festive season, it seemed to have a dry spell in terms of smartphone launches. That’s not to say that the previous month didn’t see any noteworthy phones, as there were quite a few launches from Indian brands as well as flagships such as the Apple iPhone 8 duo and the bezel-less Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. We list all smartphones launched in the month of October here to make it easy for you to pick one. Hence, if you are in a market looking for your next smartphone purchase, read ahead.
This year happens to be the 10-year anniversary of the release of the first iPhone and to commemorate the event, the Cupertino Giant announced the much-awaited iPhone X at its newly-built headquarters. Alongside, Apple also launched the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which are incremental updates to last year’s devices. This year, the brand has introduced glass back panels to accommodate wireless charging, a much-demanded feature. On the performance front, both devices are backed by A11 Bionic SoC. Moving on to the other specs, the iPhone 8 offers a 4.7-inch True Tone display and a 12-megapixel rear snapper with OIS. The iPhone 8 Plus on the other hand, is fitted with a 5.5-inch True Tone display, dual 12-megapixel cameras at the back with OIS on only the wide-angle lens. For selfies, the duo sport a 7-megapixel unit on the front. As for the pricing, the iPhone 8 comes with a starting price of Rs 64,000 for the 64GB variant and Rs 77,000 for the 256GB option. The iPhone 8 Plus will set you back by Rs 73,000 and Rs 86,000 for the 64GB and 256GB versions respectively.
While Xiaomi didn’t release the original Mi Mix in India, the Chinese brand didn’t disappoint this year as the phone’s successor, the Mi Mix 2, has gone on sale carrying a price tag of Rs 35,999. The ceramic-metal-glass sandwiched device comes with a 5.99-inch display with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9, with next to no bezels on the top and two sides, and a slim bezel at the bottom. For performance, there’s Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 835 processor, mated to 6GB of RAM backing the device. On the storage front, the device has been launched in India in its 128GB iteration. Moving on to the primary camera, the smartphone flaunts a 12-megapixel sensor with 4-axis optical image stabilisation and a 5-megapixel sensor on the chin at the fascia. Other salient features of the device include a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, MIUI 8 based on Android Nougat, and a 3,400mAh battery.
Related read: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 review
There’s no denying the fact that after stealing the thunder from leading telecom operators, Reliance went on to revolutionise the market with its JioPhone (first impressions). In a bid to fend off the competition from the JioPhone, Airtel partnered with Karbonn to offer A40 Indian, which happens to be a 4G VoLTE smartphone with an effective price tag of Rs 1,399 (the upfront price of the phone is Rs 2,899). The device bears a 4-inch display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. Out of the box, it runs Android Nougat in its stock avatar. The handset is backed by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor paired with a gigabyte of RAM. The onboard storage is 8GB, which can be extended further up to 32GB with the use of a microSD card. For imagery, it has a 2MP unit on the rear panel and VGA front camera. Powering the handset is a 1,400mAh battery.
After Karbonn, Airtel shook hands with Celkon to launch its second contender against the JioPhone – the Celkon Smart 4G. The handset has been priced at Rs 2,849, but it will effectively cost Rs 1,349. This is because buyers will receive the remaining Rs 1,500 in the form of cashback. The handset sports a 4-inch display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor clubbed with 1GB RAM. The 8GB onboard storage can be further expanded up to 32GB using a microSD card. The device fares slightly better than its Karbonn counterpart in terms of imaging as it comes with a 3.2-megapixel shooter at the back and a 2MP selfie shooter. Fuelling the phone is a 1,500mAh battery. However, the 4G Smart runs the dated Android Marshmallow operating system out of the box.
State-run BSNL also jumped into the fray to compete with Reliance’s JioPhone as it partnered with Micromax to launch the 4G VoLTE-enabled Bharat 1 feature phone. Available for Rs 2,200, the Bharat 1 is a dual SIM feature phone with a 2.4-inch QVGA screen and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 processor coupled with 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. For photography, the feature phone flaunts a 2MP rear camera and a VGA front-facing camera.
Related read: Micromax Bharat 1 first impressions
Joining the herd of the JioPhone contenders, the Micromax Bharat 2 Ultra is so far the most affordable smartphone of the lot as it comes with a price tag of Rs 2,899 up front, which comes down to Rs 999 after cashback and refunds. The Android Marshmallow-toting smartphone flaunts a 4-inch WVGA display. Ticking at its core is Spreadtrum’s SC9832 quad-core chipset clocked at 1.3GHz accompanied by 512MB RAM. For storage, there is 4GB of internal storage, which can be expanded further. The device comes with a 2MP shooter at the back and a VGA snapper at the front. The phone sips juice from a 1,300mAh battery.
The Honor 9i is the first smartphone from Huawei’s sub-brand Honor which comes with four cameras. Another USP of the handset is the almost bezel-less display with a screen-to-body ratio of 83 percent. The display measures 5.9-inch diagonally and features a full HD+ resolution with a 2.5D curved glass on top. Coming to the cameras, the primary dual camera module has 16-megapixel + 2-megapixel sensors, whereas the front panel has 13MP + 2MP sensors with soft LED flash. On to the performance, the smartphone is powered by an octa-core Kirin 659 processor, mated to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The device runs Android Nougat-based EMUI 5.1 and is powered by a 3,340mAh battery. The brand has launched the device as a Flipkart exclusive with a price tag of Rs 17,999.
Related read: Honor 9i review
Intex Aqua Lions X1 and Aqua Lions X1+
The Intex Aqua Lions X1 and X1+ come as an interesting addition to the lineup of the home-bred brand as these budget offerings flaunt a shatterproof glass on top of the displays. The company is also offering a one-time free screen replacement with these devices. Speaking of the X1 first, the Android 7.0 Nougat-based handset comes with 5.2-inch HD IPS display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor of unknown make. On the storage front, there is 2GB of RAM and 16GB onboard storage. It has a 13-megapixel primary shooter with autofocus and a 5-megapixel front snapper with fixed focus, both accompanied by LED flash. A 2,800mAh battery keeps the handset running. The Aqua Lions X1+ is a slightly upgraded variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, with all other specs remaining the same. The Intex Aqua X1 has been priced at Rs 7,499, while the Aqua X1+ retails at Rs 8,499.
Related read: Intex Aqua Lions X1+ unboxing and first impressions
This brings us to the end of our list of smartphones launched in the month of October. While there were some impressive smartphones launched, it was mainly a spate of phones aiming to take on the JioPhone. Did any of these devices catch your fancy? Let us know in the comment box.