“Here are the top devices which users searched for in the first month of 2015”
We’re just in the second month of 2015, but the year is already off to a great start as far as the bustling Indian smartphone industry is concerned. Things have picked off exactly from where they were last year as we witnessed the entry of new brands and launch of some brilliantly-priced offerings in January as well. While we got excited by many of these launches, it’s time to see whether they were also able to catch the consumers’ attention.
Here’s a look at the top 20 mobile phones in the month of January based on their popularity on 91mobiles. However, the result is only indicative of user interest since it takes into account the number of searches for a device, but not necessarily actual purchase.
The Top 5
While most devices from the top 5 list from December were able to secure their places amongst the top this month too, there are quite a few surprises as well. Micromax’s online-only brand YU’s debut offering entered the coveted list directly at first spot, while HTC’s affordable phablet, the Desire 816G leaped 11 positions to land at fifth place. Other handsets amongst the top five are the Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, Galaxy Core 2 and Xiaomi Mi 4 (review | cheatsheet), and all of them slipped one position each as compared to the prior month.
The complete list
While the top five list had the usual suspects, the entire chart of 20 devices also had its share of ups and downs. Many new devices were able to find a place this time, along with a couple of old phones making their way by virtue of price drops. Take a gander at the top 20 mobile phones in India in January. Mentioned along with the device name is the change in rank compared to the previous month, its price bracket and the month in which it was launched.
Hits and misses
Perhaps after a very long time, there are as many as eight new faces in our list of top 20 devices. In fact, it’s interesting to see these devices listed consecutively one after the other. So, let’s take a look at these smartphones, followed by handsets which lost their places.
Not one to back down against competition, India’s leading homebred manufacturer Micromax is following the same strategy as its new-age competitors like Xiaomi and Motorola. The brand has created a new entity dubbed YU, which will be selling its offerings exclusively online and will offer loaded hardware along with giving the control in user’s hands when it comes to software. The first device by this brand is dubbed Yureka (review | FAQs), and it has caused an uproar in the market by being amongst the most affordable devices offering a 64-bit processor and 4G support.
The Taiwanese giant jumped into the octa-core bandwagon with the Desire 616 (first impressions), which gained initial popularity but suffered in the long run because of compromises such as low internal storage. Now, the brand has launched its successor, which packs in a better hardware led by a 1.7GHz octa-core processor mated to a gigabyte of RAM, and 8GB storage on board.
ASUS had a surprise hit in its hands with its strategically-priced Zenfone range of phones, and now the brand seems to be repeating this feat with the Zenfone 2. The device is yet to launch on Indian shores, but it has already created headlines ever since its CES unveiling by being the first smartphone in the world to feature 4GB RAM. The device is powerful in other aspects as well, with its 1080p 5.5-inches display panel and a 64-bit Intel quad-core chipset.
At first glance, the Panasonic P55 doesn’t seem to be too different than other offerings in its price bracket, but perhaps that’s what makes it worth considering since it doesn’t skimp on anything. With its 5.5-inch HD display, the device falls in the phablet category. It draws power from a quad-core SoC running at 1.2GHz paired with a gigabyte of RAM. The company has also added several useful software features in the phablet such as a double-tap-to-wake functionality.
Samsung has long been lambasted for sticking with the same plasticky design philosophy for its mobile devices. However, the Galaxy Alpha (review), launched last year paved way for a new era of smartphone design from the Korean brand. The Galaxy A7 takes that a step further by being an all-metal smartphone along with holding the title of the slimmest phone from Samsung’s stable. The Galaxy A7 features a 5.5-inch full HD display and comes powered by the 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset augmented by 2GB of RAM.
The Canvas Knight (review) proved that Micromax can give a tough fight to incumbents in the mid-range segment as well. In fact, the device impressed us so much that we awarded it the title of “the best smartphone from an Indian brand” in our annual 91mobiles awards 2014. The smartphone is built around a 5-inch display and is a powerhouse with its octa-core chipset from MediaTek coupled with 2GB RAM.
The strength of Micromax lies in the budget segment and the Canvas Xpress is the perfect example of the same. The handset sports a 4.5-inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels and its performance is handled by a 1.3GHz quad-core chipset and a gigabyte of RAM. In the camera department, the device offers a 5-megapixel snapper at the back and a VGA front shooter.
Barring a few smartphone brands, none of the companies focus on the design element of their offerings. However, things seem to be changing and the Chinese brand Gionee is amongst the first to focus on design. Its Elife S5.5 (review | FAQs) held the title for the world’s slimmest smartphone for a number of months, and while its successor, the Elife S5.1 (review) might not be leanest device as on date, it scores high on the style factor. The fact that it’s available in the mid-budget segment and sports a decent set of specs also makes it a worthy offering.
With so many entrants, it’s bound to see many old devices slipping in their popularity and exiting from the list. Here they are.
- Nexus 6
- Microsoft Lumia 535
- Apple iPhone 6
- OnePlus One
- Xiaomi Mi 3
- Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
- Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
- Nokia Lumia 730
An assorted mix of brands
Just like our top 20 list of phones from December, we have a variety of brands with their offerings in the list this time as well. While Samsung and Xiaomi continue to lead with four smartphones each, HTC seems to be back in action as it trails them with three of its handsets. The next in the list include Micromax and ASUS with two phones each, and the other companies are present in the list with a single device each.
Premium flagships unable to keep up the interest level
We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve reiterated the fact that the affordable segment between Rs 5,000 and 15,000 dominates the list of most popular devices by a fair margin. However, what’s surprising is that flagship offerings are losing their popularity soon after their launch. The only super-premium smartphone amongst the top 20 mobiles in the month of January is the Galaxy Note 4 (that too, towards the bottom), and other recent devices such as the Apple iPhone 6 (review | FAQs) and Nexus 6 (first impressions) are missing from the list. Another interesting thing this time is the increasing popularity of devices in the mid-range segment, which shows consumers won’t shy away from increasing their budget if they find the device worthy.
Also, this is probably the first time that our top 20 list doesn’t include even a single non-Android device. This may or may not be sign of things to come, but it just goes on to show how powerful Google’s mobile platform has become.