Budget smartphones are gaining solid traction in India and manufacturers are bringing their best devices to win over consumers. Several companies have lined up their smartphone upgrade plans for this year and we have already witnessed some worthy entries so far.
From brands like Lenovo to HTC and Coolpad, smartphone manufacturers left no stone unturned to make this new year a fruitful one. We are only half way past the first month of 2016, and companies have launched new devices that can certainly make a winning argument in the budget smartphone space.
Let's take a look at the most-talked-about smartphone releases so far this month.
Lenovo K4 Note
Lenovo launched K4 Note smartphone in India on 5 January, offering industry's leading specifications and features combined in an affordable package. The handset offers unique features like fingerprint scanner, TheaterMax technology and Dolby Atmos stereo sound system.
In terms of core specifications, Lenovo K4 Note sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 441ppi and 178-degree viewing angle, 13-megapixel rear-facing sensor with dual-LED flash and a 5MP front-snapper for selfies. The handset has a metal frame and a curved polycarbonate back cover for better grip.
Under the hood, K4 Note is powered by a 64-bit octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor paired with 3GB DDR3 RAM and 3,300mAH battery with fast charging technology. The handset supports dual SIM cards, 4G LTE and has 16GB expandable storage. It runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Vibe 2.5 UI.
Lenovo K4 Note comes with AntVR virtual reality headset and costs Rs 12,499. But if you insist on buying just the phone, it costs Rs 11,999. Lenovo has tied up with Amazon India for exclusive online sales.
Coolpad Note 3 Lite
Coolpad upped the ante on its budget smartphone race in India by launching all-new Note 3 Lite. The company's Note 3 was a strong contender in the sub Rs 10,000 – Rs 15,000 price range and its successor takes the competition to new heights.
Launched on 15 January, Coolpad Note 3 Lite offers almost all the features found in Coolpad Note 3 but at a much affordable price. Coolpad Note 3 Lite is priced at Rs 6,999 and available exclusively through Amazon India starting 28 January.
In terms of specs, the new Lite variant of Coolpad Note 3 sports a compact 5-inch HD IPS display, 13MP primary camera with LED flash and a 5MP front snapper. It is powered by a 1.3GHz 64-bit MediaTek MT6753 quad-core processor, 3GB RAM and 2,500mAh battery. The handset supports dual SIM 4G LTE standby and has microSD card slot to get more than 16GB built-in storage. Coolpad Note 3 Lite runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Cool UI 6.0.
Gionee Marathon M5 Lite
Expanding the Marathon series in India, Gionee finally brought its Marathon M5 Lite to Indian stores for Rs. 12,999. The handset is now available for purchase from the company's official store in India, one month after it was launched in China.
In terms of specifications, Gionee Marathon M5 Lite has a 5-inch HD IPS display with 293ppi. It is powered by a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. There is 16GB onboard storage, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card.
The Marathon M5 Lite sports an 8MP primary camera with LED flash and a 5MP front snapper. The dual-SIM smartphone packs an impressive 4,000mAh battery, which is the biggest USP of Marathon M5 Lite.
Lenovo A7000 Turbo
Following the success of its A7000 smartphone, Lenovo launched a new Turbo variant in India. The A7000 Turbo features identical specs as the K3 Note and costs Rs. 10,999, which makes it hard to compete against the Rs 9,999-K3 Note.
Lenovo A7000 Turbo sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 13MP primary camera with dual LED flash, 5MP front snapper and a 2,900mAh battery. It is powered by a 1.7GHz 64-bit MediaTek octa-core processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB expandable memory. It runs on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop-based Vibe 2.5 UI.
Adding to the similarities of K3 Note, the A7000 Turbo is integrated with Dolby Atmos audio when plugged in.
HTC Desire 728
HTC is doing its bit to stay in the game. The Taiwanese tech giant launched a new Desire 728 smartphone in India earlier this month at Rs 17,999. For the price, it offers a 5.5-inch HD display, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and a 5MP front-snapper. The Desire 728 is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor, which is paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB memory that is expandable up to 2TB.
HTC Desire 728 packs a 2,800mAh battery and has BoomSound technology with Dolby Audio integration.