January roundup: top smartphone and tablet launches

A roundup of the top smartphone and tablet launches this month. As usual, the New Year started off with a bang at CES. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on all the goodies unveiled at Las Vegas, but there were quite a few notable devices that made their way to India this month. Here’s the list of the top smartphones and tablets launched this month.

XOLO Q3000

XOLO Q3000 If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to the Sony Xperia Z Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Note 3, XOLO’s flagship Q3000 phablet is a good bet. Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, it offers premium features at a mid-range price. The lineup includes a 5.7-inch full HD display, quad-core processor, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front camera and 16GB of expandable storage.

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2

Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 Fans of the Samsung Galaxy Grand can now get their hands on its successor. The Grand 2 offers an upgraded spec-sheet, including a 5.25-inch HD display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM. It’s a dual-SIM device, running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. For a premium finish, it sports a soft-touch faux leather back cover, similar to the Galaxy Note 3.

Intex Aqua Octa

Intex Aqua Octa White Indian brand Intex forayed into octa-core territory with its Aqua Octa phablet. Powered by MediaTek’s 1.7GHz octa-core chipset and Mali 450 GPU, the device runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. An enormous 6-inch HD IPS display, 13-megapixel primary and 5MP secondary camera are on board. Music buffs will appreciate the stereo Yamaha 1420 speakers.

Lava Iris Pro 30

Lava-Iris-Pro-30_2 Want an iPhone but can’t afford one? The Lava Iris Pro 30 could be your best bet. Its sleek black body and silver metal side panels bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone 4/4s. The 4.7-inch HD display bears pride of place, amped up by OGS technology and Corning Gorilla Glass. A quad-core processor, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2MP front camera and voice/face recognition seal the deal.

Related reads: Lava Iris Pro 30 first impressions | Lava Iris Pro 30 review

Nokia Lumia 1320

Nokia Lumia 1320 front If you’ve been lusting after the Nokia Lumia 1520 but can’t afford one, the Lumia 1320 makes an affordable alternative. Running Windows Phone 8 with Lumia Black software, the phablet flaunts a 6-inch 720p ClearBlack display, with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Purring under the hood is a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, Adreno 305 GPU and 1GB RAM. Unfortunately there’s no PureView camera, just a measly 5-megapixel rear shooter and VGA front camera.

Related read: Nokia Lumia 1320 first impressions

Nokia Lumia 525

Nokia-Lumia-525_thumb.jpg Nokia’s popular Lumia 520 budget smartphone gets a minor upgrade with the Lumia 525. The major difference is in the RAM, which is pumped up from 512MB to 1GB, resulting in better performance and gaming abilities. Other features include a 4-inch display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of expandable storage and a 5MP rear camera. The phone runs Windows Phone 8 with Lumia Black.

Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini A200

Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini Catching on to the international trend of mini-flagships, Micromax introduced the Android 4.2-running Canvas Turbo Mini. Its 4.7-inch IPS display isn’t much smaller than the Canvas Turbo’s 5-inch screen, but is downgraded from 1080p to 720p resolution. The 8MP rear snapper, 2MP front camera and 1.3GHz quad-core processor should make up for it.

Gionee Elife E7

Gionee ELIFE E7. Gionee launched its Elife E7 flagship last month, but the smartphone only went on sale in January. The phone runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, customised with Gionee’s Amigo 2.0 UI. A 5.5-inch full HD display, 16MP rear camera and 8MP front camera are impressive additions, especially given its price tag. Colour options like black, white, pink, yellow, green, blue and orange add to its appeal.

Related read: Gionee Elife E7 hands-on

Oppo N1

Oppo-N1-1_thumb.jpg Chinese manufacturer Oppo made its Indian debut with the N1, which is a head-turner thanks to its 13MP swiveling camera. Since it rotates 206 degrees, it functions as both the rear and front shooter. A massive 5.9-inch 1080p display, touch-sensitive O-Touch rear panel and quad-core Snapgradon 600 chipset add to its charm. However, the price may be a dampener for most.

Related read: Oppo N1 first impressions

Dell Venue tablets

Dell Venue 8 Pro After a long hiatus, Dell is back in the tablet market with its Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android tablets. Both tablets run Android 4.3, with a KitKat update expected soon. The tablets offer 7- and 8-inch screen sizes, with identical 1,280 x 800 pixel resolutions. They’re available in a choice of Wi-Fi and 3G variants. Dell also introduced the Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro Windows 8 tablets for business users.

Related read: Dell Venue Pro 8 first impressions | Dell Venue 7 first impressions
So there you have it – the top 10 launches for the month. And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out some of the other notable devices that saw the light of day this month –the Micromax MAd, Micromax Canvas XL and Lenovo A10
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