“With its affordable price tag and a decent set of innards, the Fly Snap beats the competition hands down”
The year gone by was dominated by value-for-money devices along with a whole new category called budget performance, and both these segments played a pivotal role in changing the landscape of the mobile market in India. However, even though the pricing of smartphones have reached the affordable territory, they’re still out of budget for the masses. While Firefox OS-powered devices did try to lower the asking price of smartphones, they haven’t been that popular due to the limitations of the operating system. Android on the other hand, is a capable platform to fulfill the needs of users at an entry-level pricing.
That’s why, today we’re pitting extremely-affordable Android smartphones priced under Rs 4,000 to tell you which one is the best choice. The devices we’re comparing are the Fly’s debut smartphone in India, the Snap, Lava’s Iris X1 Mini and Micromax’s recent Bolt Q324.
Even though these are entry-level options, they haven’t skimped on the screen size. All these devices sport 4-inch touchscreen display panels, which bear a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. With the pixel density of 233ppi, the displays on the phones should offer good colours and sharp text.
In terms of design, the Fly Snap features an intriguing design which doesn’t make it seem like a budget offering at all… it’s slim, lightweight and fits ergonomically in the hands, something which we really appreciated during our hands-on impressions too. The Iris X1 Mini also features an attractive design which is similar to its bigger sibling, the Iris X1, which in turn took cues from the Apple iPhone 4 and is available in classic black or white options. The Bolt Q324 from Micromax also manages to offer a distinctive look with its tapered edges and its choice of blue or white colours for its body.
At the heart of the affairs is MediaTek’s 1.3GHz quad-core processor in the Fly Snap, while processing power is provided by a quad-core chipset running at 1.2GHz in the case of both the Lava Iris X1 Mini and Micromax Bolt Q324. These processors have been mated to 512MB RAM in the phones. While you can’t expect blazingly-fast performance with this hardware, it’s sufficient for handling basic tasks and even casual games with ease.
For handling your storage needs, the trio comes with 4GB of in-built memory, which after accounting for the space consumed by the OS and its resources, leaves very less space for the end user. Thankfully though, the handsets offer expansion slots and can accept microSD cards of up to 32GB.
In the photography department, both the Fly Snap and Lava Iris X1 Mini come equipped with a 5-megapixel snapper at the back. The Micromax Bolt Q324 on the other hand, features a lowly 2MP primary camera. To assist shooting in low-light conditions, the devices also get an LED flash for illumination. At the front, the smartphones feature VGA cameras for shooting selfies or making video calls.
Connectivity-wise, all the mobiles offer dual-SIM support and come with usual options for hooking up such as 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The trio get Android 4.4 KitKat as their operating system, and offer it near-stock form, which means there are a very few customisations and preloaded apps. One thing that sets the Fly Snap apart from not just the competition, but even other budget devices, is its support for gestures. So, even when it’s on standby, you can double tap to unlock it or draw ‘O’ to open gallery.
Fuelling the Fly Snap is a 1,500mAh removable Li-ion battery, whereas the Bolt Q324 draws power from a 1,450mAh unit. The Iris X1 Mini gets juice from the largest battery of all with a capacity of 1,750mAh.
Till now, it seems to be pretty much neck-to-neck competition between three devices. So, let’s bring the decider in to our comparison, which in this case is the pricing of these devices. The Fly Snap is priced most affordably of the three and is available for Rs 2,999. Both the Iris X1 Mini and Q324 are priced around Rs 4,000. With the pricing, this becomes a one-sided competition as the Fly Snap offer better specifications at a lower asking price. In fact, the Fly Snap is amongst the most affordable smartphones (if not the cheapest) in the country with a quad-core SoC. So if you’re looking for a smartphone that doesn’t pinch your pocket, yet doesn’t compromise on hardware, then you can’t go wrong with the Fly Snap.