“Here are the top devices which users searched for in the month of July”
Every once a while, there comes a device that challenges our perception in terms of value offered versus asking price. However, this year, such devices are coming in droves, with the trendsetter being the Motorola’s debut smartphone in India, the Moto G (review | FAQs). Then came the Moto E (review | FAQs), starting an entire new segment of budget performance devices and last month, it was the turn of new entrants setting their feet into the Indian market. ASUS dazzled everyone with its well-priced range of Zenfone smartphones, whereas the four year old Chinese brand Xiaomi created an uproar with the Mi 3.
While these devices surely left very good impressions in our minds during our time with them, it’s now time to see whether they’re able to find a space for themselves in the crowded arena. Here’s a look at the top 20 smartphones in the previous month based on page views by more than 4.4 million people visiting 91mobiles.com. Needless to say, the page views only serve as an indication of consumer’s buying interest, but don’t reflect actual purchases.
The top 5
Microsoft-owned Nokia might be killing its Android lovechild – the X series, but customers are surely in awe of the range. The largest of the troika, the XL (first impressions) is topping the popularity charts since its launch – the longest for any device in our monthly standings. Other devices amongst the top five also hold some surprises with the Xiaomi Mi 3 coming from nowhere to debut directly at the second position. While both the Moto E and Micromax Unite 2 (review | FAQs) were able to defend their places, the Unite 2 was up two places whereas the Moto E slipped off three spots. The BlackBerry Z3 (review | FAQs) also ascended four spots to reach the fourth seating.
The complete list
After many months of noticing minor changes in the rankings and just a few new faces in the top 20 list, this time there’s a major shuffle with the entry of many new devices resulting in the departure of many old-timers. Along with the smartphone’s name, we’ve also mentioned the change from the previous month’s ranking, its platform, price band and month of launch. If the handset is yet to launch, then the price band and launch month is mentioned based on the pricing in other countries or leaks.
Hits and misses
Let’s take a look at the seven new entrants in the list as well as the devices which were shown the exit door as a result.
Xiaomi Mi 3: 2nd position
With its scrumptious pricing of Rs 13,999 and class-leading specs, the Xiaomi Mi 3 was one of those smartphones that have left lasting impressions on our minds during its review. But it seems that the device has also captured the imagination of consumers as it landed straight at the second position in the month of July, the same month it launched in India.
|Related reads: Xiaomi Mi 3 FAQs | Xiaomi Mi 3 camera review|
Lava Iris X1: 6th position
As mentioned earlier, the Moto E, just like its sibling, started a new benchmark for budget smartphones and soon there were offerings from Indian vendors to counter it. Lava’s Iris X1 (review | FAQs) is one such good-looking mobile delivering comparable specs and a better camera, all under Rs 8,000.
Nokia X2: 7th position
The Nokia X2 carries on the legacy of its predecessor, the X, while also overcoming its shortcomings. The smartphone features a slightly larger 4.3-inch display, a dedicated home button, runs the more recent Android version 4.3 and more importantly, offers a better 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with an LED flash and a VGA snapper at the front. While the smartphone is yet to launch in India, it has already garnered huge attraction possibly due to the support for Android apps along with the budget price tag.
ASUS Zenfone 5: 14th position
The Taiwanese brand has been known for its laptops and tablets, and now ASUS has also kicked off its phone operations in India. The Zenfone 5 sits in the middle of its new smartphone range which also comprises of budget devices such as the 4-inch Zenfone 4 (review | FAQs) and a 6-inch phablet. Going against the norm, the Zenfone 5 (review | camera review) is one of the very smartphones which are powered by Intel processors, offering smooth performance in conjunction with 2GB of RAM.
Samsung Galaxy Core 2: 15th position
It’s surprising to see that the numero uno manufacturer Samsung has only catered to the mid-range to super-premium segment in the first half of this year. However, with challenging devices hitting the brand from each side, it has recently outed its budget lineup in India. The Core 2 is in the upper tier of this range and is hoping to take the sheen off the Moto G by offering almost similar set of specifications in the same price band.
OnePlus One: 16th position
Xiaomi isn’t the only Chinese brand that has caught the consumers’ fancies in India. OnePlus, which is just an year old and is formed by ex-Oppo employees, has recently shown its keenness to enter the Indian market. Many are already excited by this revelation by the brand, though it’s not clear as to when exactly we’ll be able to get our hands on the OnePlus One in India. However, we must mention that it gives a stiff competition to the Mi 3 when it comes to the value-for-money aspect.
HTC Desire 616: 20th position
Octa-core might be a buzzword, but promises performance without breaking the bank. Taiwanese brand HTC also understands this, as it has gone the octa-core way with the recently-launched Desire 616 (first impressions). Powered by the 1.4GHz MediaTek 6592 SoC and offering a 5-inch HD display, the smartphone is ideal for those who yearn for performance and a reputed brand.
The month of July marks the time when many old-timers were thrown out of our top 20 list:
- Samsung Galaxy S Duos S7562
- Moto G
- Sony Xperia M
- Panasonic P81
- Micromax Canvas 2 Colors
- Nokia X
- Apple iPhone 5s
The top players have started to lose their grips on the market
If you look at the top 20 devices closely, then you’ll notice one prominent brand missing. Yes, we’re talking about the Cupertino giant Apple, whose flagship smartphone iPhone 5s was constantly slipping in popularity since the past few months and finally exited the list in July. This might be because people are now waiting for the next version to launch, which is rumoured to come in two variants, one with a 4.7-inch display and another sporting a 5.5-inch screen to take on the phablet category. Even its staunch rival Samsung has only three of its devices in the list, out of which two have slipped a few positions. In the month of June, we said that it’s the most crowded list of brands ever since the start of our top 20 series, and that record is now bested by as many as 13 brands this time.
Super-premium handsets have to do more than just offer top-tier specs to stay in the game
When it comes to price segmentation, the same story can be seen month after month, i.e, the affordable tier is attracting the most interest from consumers. This only indicates one thing – brands can no longer play the spec card with their super-premium offerings. The reason is simple, that the specs have now become a commodity as you can get loaded hardware in a device like the Xiaomi Mi 3, which costs almost one third of other flagships from brands such as HTC and Samsung. This time around, more than half the phones in the list are priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000, followed by just six devices available in the mid-range segment. Only three smartphones in the list cost above Rs 35,000.
Old is no longer gold
The one thing we’ve reiterated this time is that the old guard is now making way for new blood. Out of the top 20 smartphones featuring in the list, only two were launched in the year 2013, with the rest being launched this year. What’s more interesting is that devices like the Samsung Galaxy S Duos 2 and the Apple iPhone 5s have pretty much cemented their positions, until this time that is. We can also see that the month of July welcomed five new entrants in the list.
These trends do give us an indication of where the market is heading, but still, it’s always difficult to predict the future. One thing is certain – there’s never been a better time to be in the market for a new smartphone than now. But that’s a statement that remains valid whenever we say it, right?