Hello, Shenzhen Calling
One Plus One
One Plus, a new Chinese startup, touts its first smartphone, the One, as the 2014 flagship killer and there is a reason for that. For one, it gives customers components you will find in a high-end phone but at a price usually associated with a budget phone. Secondly it does all of that without compromising on the design. Available either with 16GB of storage with a silk white back or with 64GB of storage with a sandstone black back, the One Plus One is beautiful. On the front is a large 5.5-inch full HD display which manages to keep the overall size of the phone smaller than many phones with mere 5-inch display by managing to keep the bezels really small. Inside it packs the most powerful processors available today and a big 3100mAh battery while on the back it has a 13MP camera capable of making some great photos. Running the popular Android customisation called Cyanogen, the One comes with features like Voice Wakeup and on screen gestures and rumoured to cost less than Rs 25,000 for the 64GB version, it is one of the best Android phones you can buy this year.
Oppo’s N3 is a phone that puts the word crazy in the smartphone. Its last phone, the N1, had a rotating camera module on the top which you could rotate from back to the front for taking selfies. The N3 makes that rotating camera module motorised so all you need to do is launch the camera app and start swiping to position the camera wherever you want so that even your selfies are shot with a massive 16MP camera with features like 4K video recording and a slow motion mode. Further, you get a O-Click remote control to control your camera even when you are not touching it and to take some great panorama shots. With a 5.5-inch 1080p screen snugly fit in an aluminium chassis and running on the latest processors, the N3 is expected at approximately Rs 40,000 when it comes to India.
Gionee Marathon M3
Talking of crazy, there is bad crazy and good crazy. The Marathon M3 from Gionee is the later kind of crazy and it can be explained in one number: 5,000. In a world where the biggest phones make do with 3,000 mAh batteries, the sleek Marathon M3 comes with a massive, huge, gigantic 5000mAh battery. What this means is that even for the craziest of smartphone users, the phone should keep going for three to four days. Apart from that battery, the rest of the device is the usual run-of-the-mill Android. There is a 5-inch 720p display, an 8MP camera on the back, a 2-megapixeler on the front and, like any good phone coming to India should be, can carry two SIMs. Running Android 4.4.4 out of the box, the Marathon M3 can be yours for Rs 13,999.
Lenovo Vibe X2
The Vibe X2 is an example of the great handsets that Lenovo can put out if it forgets its photocopiers for a minute. The main selling point of the Vibe X2 is its unique ‘multi-layered’ design. The first layer has a 5-inch Full HD screen, the second packs octa-core processors for speedy performance and the third layer is made from magnesium alloy to make it very durable. While all of this, including a 13MP camera and 32GB of internal storage, is available for Rs 19,999, Lenovo will also sell you other layers that you can snap on the phone for extra performance. One such layer adds a massive battery, another adds hi-fi JLB speakers and another acts as a kickstand. Running Android KitKat modified using Lenovo’s own Vibe UI 2.0 skin, the Vibe X2 is a showcase of the best of Lenovo.
Huawei Honor Holly
The Honor Holly on first glance evokes many other budget smartphones that we have seen over the years. With its pebble-shaped body and a glossy back designed by the ‘London Design Center’, Huaweri says 68 per cent of the phone is the screen. And that screen is a 5-inch 720p HD display capable of showing vivid colours. Running Android 4.4, Huawei says the phone is secure and very convenient to use. On the back you will find a 8MP camera and on the front a 2MP shooter for those selfies. Another major selling point is the 2,000mAh battery which combined with the Huawei Smartpower 2.0 technology should give you 48 hours of battery life on light use and 24 hours on moderate use. The Holly is a dual-SIM phone and comes with 16GB of internal storage expandible up to 32GB.