“From the entry-level to the mid-range, here are top smartphones launched last month”
With most top-tier manufacturers done with their initial big launches this year, May 2017 was the playground for lesser known brands as well as budget players. It also witnessed the comeback of the cult brand, Nokia and left everyone with a sense of Déjà vu. Without further ado, here are our top picks from smartphones that were made available in the Indian market in the month of May.
Smartron srt.phone (Rs 13,999)
The Indian handset maker, Smartron teamed up with the ace cricketer Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar to launch a smartphone bearing his initials. Just like the master blaster, the srt.phone aims to impress one and all. Despite being plastic-clad, the device feels pretty solid in the hand and flaunts a 5.5-inch display on the front with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The beastly Snapdragon 652 octa-core SoC with 4GB RAM makes sure that the performance of the phone is snappy. However, the bonus is near stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat operating system with almost no bloatware.
Related read: Smartron srt.phone unboxing and first impressions
Xiaomi Redmi 4 (Rs 10,999)
Last year, anyone looking for a budget smartphone under Rs 10,000 would either stop at the Xiaomi Redmi 3S or Redmi 3S Prime (review). Therefore, when Xiaomi announced a successor in China, Indian fans were eagerly waiting for it to launch in the subcontinent. This time, the brand has covered the entire spectrum with three variants – 2GB RAM + 16GB storage, 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 4GB RAM + 64GB storage. With a spec sheet that includes a Snapdragon 435 SoC, 5-inch HD display with 2.5D curved glass, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-MP front camera and a fingerprint scanner, it’s the best value for money offering in the affordable price bracket.
Related read: Xiaomi Redmi 4 review
Nokia 3310 (Rs 3,310)
The month of May witnessed the moment we have all been waiting for, the comeback of Nokia. Once a Finnish giant, the HMD Global-owned Nokia came riding the wave of nostalgia and launched the revamped 3310 with the asking price of Rs 3,310. The all new Nokia 3310 (2017) comes with a similar design and keeps the signature Nokia ringtone and the highly addictive Snake game. However, engineers at HMD Global have also kept pace with time and included features like a 2.4-inch colour display, a 2MP camera with LED flash, dual-SIM support with a microSD card slot, and a micro-USB port for charging.
Related read: Nokia 3310 first impressions
nubia N1 Lite (Rs 6,999)
The trimmed-down variant of nubia N1 (review), the N1 Lite was unveiled at MWC 2017. While this device is nowhere close to its elder sibling, it’s an attractive proposition for its price tag. Featuring a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB RAM, it seems quite capable of handling everything thrown at it. With its 5.5-inch HD display, the N1 Lite falls in the phablet category. It also features a fingerprint scanner on the rear panel, which isn’t found on most devices priced under Rs 7k.
Related read: nubia N1 Lite first impressions
Huawei Honor 8 Lite (~Rs 16,000)
The Huawei Honor 8 Lite is the stripped-down variant of Honor 8 (review), which means it comes without the dual camera setup. It features a HiSilicon Kirin 655 processor which is aided by 4GB of RAM for a snappy performance. The back panel of this handset is home to a 12MP sensor, whereas it has an 8MP shooter on the front. While it might have foregone the dual cameras, it has borrowed its looks from the elder sibling and comes with the same stunning metal and glass sandwich design. The device is also available in the offline retail stores, making it an interesting choice for consumers looking for a capable phone below Rs 20,000.
Related read: Honor 8 Lite unboxing and first impressions
Panasonic Eluga Ray (Rs 7,999)
The Panasonic Eluga Ray is the third offering in the Eluga lineup after Eluga Ray X and Eluga Ray Max, all of which are being offered in a decent price range. At Rs 7,999, it’s the most affordable device in the lineup and features a beautiful design and decent internals. For performance, the quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz has been mated to 3GB of RAM. Other salient features of the handset include 5-inch HD display, 13MP and 5MP cameras, and a massive 4,000mAh battery.
While those were our top picks from the devices launched in the month of May, there are other smartphones that deserve a mention. The first in the list is ASUS ZenFone Live (Review), which is the brand’s attempt to tap into the livestreaming trend that is gaining popularity these days. Intended at social media users, this smartphone comes with a real-time beautification mode during live streaming, which is a first.
Moving on, another handset that’s worth highlighting is the Samsung Z4. While it is not an Android device, it’s an entry-level offering running Korean giant’s homebred Tizen OS. Some features of the handset include Tizen OS 3.0, Quick Talk (voice commands), S Bike mode, and Ultra Power Saving mode. It also comes with a selfie flash.
Last but not the least, Horizon 2 from Sansui happens to be a great VFM offering at the moment. Featuring the latest Android 7.0 Nougat, VoLTE support, quad-core processor, and 2GB RAM, the device punches above its weight.
These were our top picks for smartphones launched in the country during the month of May. Which one is your favourite?