One thing’s for sure. iBall brand from Mumbai-based Best IT World has come a long way since making its fist-size mobile phone for the elderly. That said, how long it can sustain in the cut-throat and ever-evolving smartphone market, will depend on how swiftly it can incorporate the changing dynamics of the market. But if the recently launched Andi Uddaan smartphone is any indication, the nearly 13-year-old maker of pen drives and PC accessories is definitely on the right track.
The iBall Andi Uddaan is essentially targeted at women and it is as girly a gadget as can be with hearts and crystals studded on to the pink and ivory body, as well as the home screen. That’s not all. The company gives a pink back cover, a little pink purse and a pink flip cover, among other regular accessories, inside the box.
However, what makes Uddaan unique is a feature dedicated exclusively to women’s safety. The so-called SOS button at the back (in the shape of a heart), when pressed, sets off a loud alarm alerting people nearby. What’s more, text messages are sent and phone calls are made automatically to five pre-defined emergency contacts, with the text message providing the geographical location of the phone’s owner in real time. The message also gets posted to the mobile phone owner’s Facebook account.
The tracking facility in the phone allows the user to add her daily route on the map and authorise up to 10 people to track her movements live on the map. This can be useful in times of emergency and the company has used women’s safety as a key advertising plank. Not a bad strategy at all and brilliant timing too. Other safety measures include an ICE feature that allows the user to save vital information such as blood group, medical history, details of people to contact in case of any emergency etc.
Once you get through the security features of the phone, it has all the common specifications that are found today in almost all budget Android phones.
The sleek 11mm-thick phone weighs around 170 gm with a 1.3 GHz dual-core A7 processor, powered by Google’s Android 4.2 Jellybean OS and has 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage (which can be expanded to 32 GB) —quite common these days. It is a dual-SIM phone with a five-inch screen and pixel density of 220 pixels per square inch. What sets the Uddaan apart, though, is the 5 MP front camera—something not common in phones in this range.
During our testing, the SOS button worked faultlessly. The alarm is so loud and irritating that it will definitely make heads turn. SMSes were sent and calls were also made to the pre-designated numbers during our testing.
The phone also worked pretty well when several features were tested simultaneously. In terms of power in the sub-15,000 price range, the phone is second only to some models made my Micromax that are quad-core. The touch experience, though, was just a tad short of perfect. The 2,000 mAh battery lasted over one-and-a-half days on standby. You can also watch videos on the phone without hurting your eyes.
The iBall Andi Uddaan is a stylish phone with the best feature being its SOS button. So if you are a girl who has been late to jump on to the smartphone bandwagon, this is your chance, and a pretty one at that.
Estimated street price: Rs 10,999