Xiaomi Mi 4i (Rs 12,999)
Xiaomi’s latest international flagship is super affordable at just Rs 12,999. The international version of its immensely popular Mi 4 released in China last year, the most striking aspect of Mi 4i is its appearance. On the front is a 5-inch full HD 1080p screen made from Corning Concore, which the company says is harder than Corning’s own Gorilla Glass. The screen also incorporates a Sunlight Display; the screen is clear even in direct sunlight while maintaining wide viewing angles. The back is a soft touch matte cover that is easy on the hands and comes with an anti-fingerprint coating. Available in white, yellow, blue, pink and grey black, the Mi 4i has a precision cut speaker grill at the back while the power and volume buttons are made from stainless steel.
The primary camera is a 13 megapixel Sony or Samsung shooter with an f/2.0 aperture and a 5-element lens with a two-tone flash for low light conditions. You can even re-focus the photos after clicking them and play with the images endlessly. It is also capable of recording 1080p HD video that lets you adjust focus in real time.
However, a controversial feature is a 'Beautify' software that smoothens wrinkles, brightens eyes, slims your jaw and even makes your skin glow by whitening it.
Running MIUI 6, the company’s take on Android Lollipop, the phone supports six Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. There are over 500 themes to suit Indian sensibilities. The Dual-SIM phone supports both the LTE bands in India and comes with a huge 3120mAh battery that should easily last a day and half on moderate use.
ASUS Zenfone 2 (From Rs 12,999)
To take on the Mi 4i, ASUS is bringing in a successor to its popular Zenfone, and predictably it is called the Zenfone 2. The name actually is a little misleading as the Zenfone 2 is not just one phone, but is available as four variants starting from Rs 12,999 (16GB internal storage). Three of those variants come with the moniker ZE551ML; they all come with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera at the back and 5-megapixels shooters on the front. All of them will be dual-SIM phones and will have big 3000mAh batteries. The 32GB variant will be for Rs 19,999 and the 64GB one for Rs 22,999.
The cheapest Zenfone 2 variant comes with the moniker ZE550ML. It has a mere 720p display. All the phones come in plastic bodies that have been given a brushed-metal finish and carry 64-bit processors from Intel, which fact they proudly announce with an Intel Inside logo on the back.
Mi Band (Rs 999)
After it shook up the Indian smartphone market with its affordable and powerful smartphones, Xiaomi is now brining its phone accessories. The first of them is the company’s smart wrist band, the Mi Band, which is priced at Rs 999. Available in five vibrant colours, the Mi Band acts both as a fitness tracker and as a smart band to support your Xiaomi phone. As a fitness tracker it is capable of monitoring your daily fitness levels by constantly monitoring your movement. At night it acts as a sleep monitor by measuring the length and the quality of your sleep and even wakes you up in the morning with a gentle vibration.
Since the band syncs with a corresponding app on your Xiaomi, Android or even an iPhone, you can track your fitness levels and your sleep patterns and get reminders to improve both. Another way the Mi Band could be useful is as a smart lock for the Xiaomi phone; when the band is on your wrist, you need not enter a passcode to unlock your phone, making it very easy to use the phone while keeping it very secure while giving you incoming call alerts. The band lasts 30 days on a single charge, is water resistant and has been corrosion tested for cosmetics.
ASUS ZenFlash (Rs 1,599) and LolliFlash (Rs 799)
To complement its Zenfone 2 phones, ASUS launched a number of accessories into the Indian market. There is the view flip cover that lets you see the time and notifications even when it is closed (Rs 1,599), ZenEar earphones (Rs 599) and a ZenPower powerbank (Rs 1,499). The most prominent and the most weird of all the accessories released is the ZenFlash dongle (Rs 1,599). It is a USB connected dongle that you can connect to the back of any Android phone that will give you a flash that is 100 times more powerful than the standard phone flashes. It also has its front camera counterpart called Lolliflash, a normal dual-tone flash that can be plugged into headphone jacks of Android phones so that your selfies in low light are well lit up. It will sell for Rs 799.