“A roundup of the top smartphone and tablet launches in April 2014.”
Nokia was the centre of attention in April, not because of a snazzy new product, but because the Finnish smartphone maker officially handed over the reins of its devices business to Microsoft. It wasn’t all nostalgia and sadness though, with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8) generating a fair bit of excitement. Plus, there were several new budget and mid-range smartphones launched, and we’ve got the whole list here.
The Lenovo S680, a dual-SIM smartphone that was announced at MWC in February, was officially launched in India last month. The S680 flaunts a 5.3-inch 720p display and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It’s powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, paired with 2GB of RAM. Internal storage is a fixed 16GB, but there’s USB OTG support to connect a flash drive. Camera features include an 8MP rear snapper and 1.6MP front shooter. The phone sports a brushed aluminium finish, which the company claims is resistant to scratches and fingerprints. It packs in a large 4,000mAh battery, which can even be used to charge other devices. In addition to the S680, Lenovo also launched two other Android smartphones last month, the A526 and the S660.
Samsung’s new flagship, the Galaxy S5, went on sale last month for Rs 51,500. The smartphone makes up for its heavy price tag with a loaded spec sheet, including a 5.1-inch 1080p display, an Exynos 5 octa-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage expandable up to 128GB. Imaging is handled by a 16MP ISOCELL primary camera, with a 2MP snapper in front. The phone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, layered with Samsung’s custom TouchWiz UI. There are plenty of goodies as well, such as a fingerprint sensor, heart rate monitor, dust- and water-resistance and an Ultra Power Saving Mode.
For those of you still longing for a touch-and-type experience, Indian smartphone maker Intex has launched the Aqua Qwerty, a touchscreen smartphone with a physical QWERTY keypad. The entry-level smartphone features a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels. It’s powered by a dual-core processor ticking at 1.2GHz, paired with 512MB of RAM. There’s a 5MP shooter at the back, and a 0.3MP camera in the front. The Aqua Qwerty offers 4GB of expandable storage, a 1,500mAh battery and dual-SIM card slots.
XOLO has never been shy about experimenting, and the Q1010i is the company’s first smartphone to sport an 8MP Sony Exmor R camera sensor. The camera features a 5-element lens, f/2.0 aperture, 1080p video recording and an LED flash. There’s also a 2MP front camera for video calls and selfies. The phone features a 5-inch 720p IPS display and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor and 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of expandable storage and a 2,250mAh battery under the hood. The Q1010i runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is upgradable to 4.4.2 KitKat.
The Lava Iris 406Q is a budget Android smartphone with a 4-inch 480 x 800 pixel display. It’s powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor, paired with an Adreno 305 GPU and 1GB of RAM. Other specs include 4GB of expandable storage, a 5MP rear shooter,a o.3MP front camera, a 1,700mAh battery and dual-SIM connectivity. The Iris 406Q runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, and is upgradable to KitKat. The back panel features IML (In-Mould Labeling) which Lava says makes it scratch-resistant.
The Gionee Elife E7 Mini, which was originally unveiled alongside the Elife E7 in December last year, finally went on sale last month. The dual-SIM smartphone features a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display, and runs Android 4.2 with Gionee’s Amigo UI 2 on top. It is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, accompanied by a Mali 450-MPU GPU and 1GB of RAM. It offers 16GB of non-expandable storage, and a 2,100mAh battery. The highlight of the phone is its 13MP swivel camera with LED flash, similar to that on the Oppo N1.
The fourth phone in the Pioneer series, the Gionee Pioneer P4 is a mid-range smartphone that features a 4.5-inch 854 x 480 pixel display. The dual-SIM smartphone runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor with 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of internal storage, with a microSD card slot to expand it by another 32GB. It sports a 5MP camera with LED flash at the back, and a 2MP shooter in the front. An 1,800mAh battery fuels the phone.
Another smartphone from the Chinese brand, the Gionee CTRL V5, was also spotted on the company website. It features a 4.7-inch qHD display, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 8MP rear and 2MP front cameras, and 8GB of expandable storage.
The Sony Xperia M2 Dual, successor to the Xperia M, was launched last month. The M2 Dual features a 4.8-inch qHD (540 x 960 pixel) display and flaunts Sony’s signature OmniBalance design. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean layered with Sony’s Timescape UI. The Xperia M2 Dual is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz, along with 1GB of RAM and Adreno 305 graphics. There’s an 8MP rear camera with an Exmor RS sensor and a 2MP front camera as well. The phone offers 8GB of expandable storage and a 2,300mAh battery with STAMINA Mode 3.0 for heavy usage. It features Dual SIM Active technology to let you receive calls on one SIM when you’re making a phone call on the other.
The Micromax Canvas Doodle 3 is the latest phablet to be launched by the Indian smartphone maker. It features an ultra-large 6-inch display, but a disappointing resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. Performance is handled by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. There’s 4GB of internal storage, with a microSD card to supplement it further. It offers 5MP rear and VGA front cameras and is backed by a 2,500mAh battery. The Canvas Doodle 3 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and comes bundled with a magnetic flip cover and six months of free usage on the BigFlix movie streaming service.
iBerry recently launched two handsets in the Auxus series, the Nuclea X and Handy H01. The Nuclea X is the more premium of the two, flaunting a 5-inch 720p display and powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6592 processor with 1GB RAM. The phone runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and features 8GB of internal memory expandable up to 64GB. It sports a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front shooter. The Nuclea X also offers an intelligent voice assistant and touchless control.
The Lava QPAD e704 is a 7-inch tablet with a 1,024 x 600 pixel display. The tablet offers dual-SIM slots, and can also be used for voice-calling. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Broadcom processor paired with 1GB of RAM. Internal storage is 4GB, expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card slot. The tablet features a 3.2MP rear camera and VGA front shooter for video calling. It packs in a 3,500mAh battery and comes preloaded with apps like WeChat, Viber, Asphalt 7 HD, NQ Antivirus and more.
ASUS also released a voice-calling tablet, the FonePad 7 Dual SIM. The tablet features a 7-inch display with a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. It is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.2GHz, paired with a 300MHz PowerVR GPU and 1GB of RAM. There’s 8GB of expandable storage, a 5MP primary camera and 1.2MP shooter in the front. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Fuelling the tablet is a 3,950mAh battery.
Related read: ASUS FonePad 7 Dual SIM first impressions