Swipe Elite 2 first impressions: a first look at India’s most affordable 4G smartphone

“The Swipe Elite 2 is an affordable dual-SIM device with support for both Indian 4G bands. We go hands on”

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4G is the next big thing in the Indian smartphone market, and brands are rushing to churn out devices that are compatible with both India’s Band 3 and Band 40 networks. And it’s not just mid-range and high-end smartphones that are being equipped with the next-gen connectivity, but budget devices too. Now you can get a 4G-enabled smartphone for a sub-Rs 5,000 price – and that says a lot about this latest trend. One of the latest entrants into the budget 4G space is Indian brand Swipe. Its new smartphone, the Elite 2, is currently the most affordable 4G smartphone available in India, with a price tag of just Rs 4,666. The phone is the successor to the Elite, which was launched a few months ago. At the launch event, we got a chance to go hands on with the Elite 2. Here’s what it has to offer.

The Swipe Elite 2 is a very compact device, with rounded edges and a soft-touch matte-finish back panel that provide an ergonomic fit. The front of the device is taken up by the 4.5-inch display which bears a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels, resulting in a very average pixel density of 245ppi. The screen is reasonably sharp with decent viewing angles, and touch responsiveness was smooth as well. The display is protected by a layer of scratch-resistant glass, but Swipe declined to mention which brand of glass it used. Above the screen you’ll find the front 5MP camera, earpiece and sensors, while below lies a row of capacitive Android navigation keys outlined in a metallic finish. 

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On the right spine, you’ll find the power button and volume rocker, while the left edge is completely bare. A lone primary microphone adorns the bottom, while the top features the 3.5mm audio jack and micro-USB port. The back panel features the slightly protruding 8MP primary camera on top, followed by the LED flash, Elite branding and a large loudspeaker grill. The back panel can be removed to expose the removable battery, dual micro-SIM card slots and microSD card slot. 

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The Elite 2 is powered by a 64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core processor, paired with 1GB of RAM. It gets 8GB of internal memory, out of which there was around 4.49GB available on our demo unit. The microSD card supports expansion by an additonal 32GB. The smartphone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop as a base, overlaid with Swipe’s proprietary Freedom OS. The OS adds in a few extra features such as gesture support, which lets you trace out specific letters on the lockscreen to open particular apps. 

The Elite 2 is powered by a 1,900mAh battery, which supports a software-enhanced quick charge feature. Swipe says the battery can be fully charged in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Apart from 4G and dual-SIM, the remaining connectivity specs include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. 

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Currently, the Elite 2 has to contend with a few other notable competitors such as the Lenovo A2010, Phicomm Energy 653 (review) and YU Yunique (first impressions), which are all priced below Rs 5,000. And while the Elite 2 does have the distinction of being the most affordable among the lot, the device will need to deliver on performance if it wants to make a dent in the budget 4G space.
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