You’re looking to upgrade to a new smartphone, but your budget forbids you from splurging. Fear not, it is now possible to get good specifications — an 8MP rear camera, at least a 1.3 GHz processor and a big HD screen on your smartphone — for less than Rs 7,000, sort of. The rise of budget devices and the $100 (Rs 6,390 approx) smartphone has enabled customers to choose from a wide range at the entry level. Here are the best options in the Rs 6,999 segment:
The first phone on the list and a newly launched one too, is the Yu Yuphoria by Yu Televentures, a company started by Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma. The USP of the YU smartphones is CyanogenMod OS, a highly customisable ROM of Android, a long-time favourite of hard-core geeks.
Yu Yuphoria is a 4G smartphone; it looks exclusive thanks to the metal frame on the side, a feature no other budget phone offers. Its biggest asset is the Cyanogen OS 12 running on Android L, which gets regular updates.
Cyanogen allows you to tinker with the OS and even change how a particular app looks on the screen, apply different themes and control privacy permissions for each app, something that Android does not natively support. However, the biggest flaw in the Yu Yuphoria is that it heats up very quickly. Also, while the 8MP camera does the job, it’s not the best in town.
Read full review here.
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Xiaomi Redmi 2
Redmi 2 from China’s Xiaomi also stands out from the crowd. Like the Yuphoria, this phone, too, comes with a slightly smaller 4.7-inch HD IPS screen which has a fully laminated display with AGC Dragontrail glass protection. It has an 8MP rear camera, which is easily the best in the budget category. Redmi 2 runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system with MIUI 6 skin on top.
Its biggest USP is a smooth performance and you don’t have to worry about lags or apps crashing. Also, with MIUI6 you get a lot more features than what plain vanilla Android offers. From privacy controls for each app, to MI themes to control over notifications, to an in-built call-recorder in the dialler, Xiaomi has really worked on offering something different. Also, it has 4G connectivity on both slots, so if you want to use a 4G device in the future, this is certainly one of the best.
Read full review here.
The Moto E (2nd gen) is the original budget smartphone that set India on fire. While it might have lost some of its sheen when compared to the new budget phones in the market, Motorola remains a well-known brand name for Indian consumers. If you’re not too keen on heavy duty-gaming, it is still a solid option.
The Moto E has a 4.5-inch screen with 540 x 960 pixel resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for extra protection, 1.2 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB total space (which is expandable to 32 GB) via microSD. Only the Redmi 2 offers expandable memory, the Yuphoria does not.
The Moto E comes with a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 0.3 megapixel front camera. There is a 4G version of this dual-SIM smartphone, although you will need to push your budget to Rs 7,999 for that one.
While the Moto E does not have a great front camera, the rear camera functions well under daylight. Also, the Moto E comes with pure Android 5.0 and if you do not want any bloatware to slow down your device’s performance, the Moto E delivers just that. It has a 2,390 mAh battery which can easily last an entire working day.
Just a Little Bit More
Consider the Lenovo A6000 Plus (Rs 7,499) if you are willing to pay just a little over Rs 7,000. Lenovo A6000, which was priced at Rs 6,999, has been discontinued or it would have been on this list. The Lenovo A6000 Plus offers a 5-inch HD screen, 16 GB space, has a pretty good 8 megapixel camera in rear and delivers a power-packed performance for a smartphone that doesn’t cost the earth.