Winter is setting in across many parts of India, but the temperatures are certainly rising in the already ultracompetitive domestic telecoms industry–with the planned rollout of 3G services by many leading players in the next few months.
And with consumers eagerly awaiting 3G launches by the likes of Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar in order to get more choices–they already have TataDoCoMo, BSNL and MTNL to select from–the heat is now on cell phone manufacturers to churn out more affordable 3G-ready handsets.
While you will certainly hear more from the hardware vendors in this regard in the not-too-distant future, we have compiled herewith a list of low-cost 3G-enabled cell phones (priced less than Rs.6,200) currently available in India–sorted in the order of ascending prices.
Model: C5010 (Black)
Price: Rs. 3,534
What you get: Touted to be fully 3G-ready (across the world), the Samsung C5010 promises to deliver high-speed 3G services at double the speed of EDGE network. This 3G mobile phone allows you to surf the Internet (via a preinstalled NF 3.5 browser), do video calling (live streaming video in which the caller and receiver can talk to and see each other) and enjoy multimedia applications–all while on the move.
Primarily targeted at the Web-savvy youth, the C5010 3G phone comes with built-in applications that let users access their Facebook, Twitter and other favorite social networking accounts. Even on the instant messaging front, things are made simpler for you, thanks to a consolidated IM platform that ensures you don’t have to worry about managing all those buddy lists. There are also preloaded Google apps such as Google Search, Gmail and Google Maps. A ‘Find Music’ app helps one discover new songs and offers him a direct purchase link.
The Samsung C5010 sports a 2-inch TFT LCD display (128 x 160 pixel resolution) and offers a 1.3-megapixel camera that can play and record videos (240 x 320 pixels) @ 15 frames per second. Expect 42MB of user memory, with support for microSD up to 8GB. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, USB and WAP. An 800 mAh battery promises talk time of up to 530 minutes (2G) and as long as 250 minutes (3G)–with standby of up to 530 hours (2G) and up to 240 hours (3G). This is one of the cheapest 3G cell phones in India from a reputed manufacturer.
Model: 2730 Classic (Black)
Price: Rs. 4,200
What you get: Sporting 2-inch display (240 x 320 pixels; up to 262,144 colors), the Nokia 2730 Classic is 3G-compatible–meaning you will be able to enjoy 3G services on the move, in terms of convenient Internet browsing and accessing e-mails. If Nokia is your favorite brand and you don’t want to spend much, this is one of the best 3G phones you can lay your hands on.
For music lovers, there is a preloaded music player (FM radio, too). This Nokia cell phone is equipped with a 2MP camera (up to 4x digital zoom) that can record videos at up to 176 x 144 pixels @ 10fps. You will also find preloaded Ovi apps that allow you to download games, maps, music, etc. from Nokia’s online app store.
Expect 30MB of internal dynamic memory, which can be expanded to 2GB via a microSD memory card slot. The Nokia 2730 Classic offers support for microUSB connector, USB 2.0 and a 3.5 mm Nokia AV connector. The phone is compatible with Bluetooth 2.0, and also lets users synchronize their data with PCs.
A 1020 mAh Li-Ion standard battery should give you a maximum talk time of 230 minutes (GSM) and 210 min (WCDMA).
Model: GU285 (Black)
Price: Rs. 4,737
What you get: This 3G enabled phone is equipped to facilitate real-time video telephony (thanks to a forward facing camera built into the phone’s screen) and faster internet downloads. Designed as a slim and compact slider, the LG GU285 is a multimedia device–offering dual camera for 3G video calling (rear-1.3MP; front-VGA) and MP3 Player and FM radio. Memory can be expanded to up to 8GB, enabling you to easily store and share your movies, music, photos and other data. One can also check your e-mails while on the move. Support for Bluetooth is there, too. If you have been enthralled by the possibility of making video calls to your friends and family on 3G, this dual-camera 3G phone should serve you well.
The phone allows users to personalize buttons on the home screen, ensuring that they can quickly and easily access their favorite features through these so-called ‘Hot Keys’.
Price: Rs. 4,999
What you get: This 3G QWERTY phone lets you access streaming music videos, enjoy video calling, play games (it’s Java enabled), or share your pictures and stories with your buddies on Facebook. Preinstalled apps for Snaptu, Yahoo and Nimbuzz are there as well. There is a 3.2MP digital camera that can record videos @ 15fps.
Sporting a TFT screen (220 x 176 pixels), the handset has a ‘Track Pad’ feature ensures that one can move smoothly on every menu, without having to press the keys for every function. It has an internal memory of 48MB that can be expanded to 8+8GB by 2-T flash cards. Expect support for Bluetooth version2.1, WAP and GPRS.
Model: GT-S5350 (Black)
Price: Rs. 5,192
What you get: Compatible with fast HSDPA network, the Samsung GT-S5350 is claimed to facilitate easier and speedier connections to the Internet.
This 3G mobile phone comes with a 2.2-inch TFT display (240 x 360 pixel resolution) that has quick shortcuts for you to get hooked onto your favorite social networking sites–Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, etc. A one-stop contact list of your buddies allows you to stay connected across multiple instant messengers including GTalk and AIM.
There is a 3.2MP camera with 4x zoom that can record videos. The Samsung GT-S5350 offers 100MB of internal memory, which can be expanded to 16GB by an external microSD slot. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 2.1 and USB 2.0.
A preloaded music player is complemented by a DNSe v. 1.0 feature that is said to reproduce top-notch acoustics with 3D effect. Samsung’s proprietary ‘Find Music’ app helps you uncover unknown songs, and gives you a link to buy those music files. There is FM radio and a Radio Data Service that gives real-time information on names of radio shows, titles of songs being played, etc.
A 900 mAh battery promises talk time of up to 620 minutes (GSM) and 280 minutes (WCDMA).
Model: S3370 (Black)
Price: Rs. 5,767
What you get: The 3G-ready Samsung S3370 is a touchscreen phone, featuring a 2.6-inch display (240 x 320 pixels). One can customize the multiple pages on the home screen, meaning that only icons of the user’s most used apps appear according to his preferences.
You can access social networking sites on the move, upload your latest snaps and post status updates, as well as keep track of friends on one universal IM platform. Couple of other cool features–Conversational SMS and Communities–also give you additional options to stay in touch with your buddies.
Other noteworthy features of the Samsung S3370 include a 1.3MP camera, a music player (equipped with SoundAlive), support for gaming and ability to download various Samsung apps. The handset, which has a 1000mAh Battery, supports USB and Bluetooth connectivity as well as microSD memory storage.
Model: Corby Pop
Price: Rs. 5,850
What you get: Positioned as a multimedia-cum-social networking touch phone, the Corby Pop sports a 2.8-inch screen (320 x 240 pixel resolution). Featuring a 3-page-expandable Home screen and main menu, this 3G cell phone has a 1.3MP camera with video recording capability and a music player. Connect headphones to the phone through a 3.5 mm ear jack. Exchange files wirelessly with friends and colleagues trough Bluetooth.
One also finds support for 25-hour playtime, a microSD card slot for up to 8GB of memory (internal storage of 22MB) and the customary FM radio. The Corby Pop’s Quick Link widget bar lets users easily access social networking portals. Support for Web surfing is there, too, and multi IMs such as Google Talk, AIM, etc. can be used through a built-in Palringo platform. Moreover, you can use Google Search & Gmail. The Corby Pop has a 960mAh battery.
Brand: Sony Ericsson
Price: Rs. 5,875
What you get: This silver-color 3G phone promises quick and smooth access to broadband Internet, with support for several multimedia capabilities. The Sony Ericsson Naite’s ‘Media Go’ feature lets users transfer their audio and video files between their handsets and PCs via drag and drop. The ‘Media Go’ functionality can also automatically convert media files to generate the optimum quality. There is a preloaded stereo FM radio, too.
Built-in apps for Google search and Google Maps help you find out relevant information online. A preloaded 2MP digital camera with 2.5x digital zoom can record videos. The phone comes with a TFT display (240×320 pixels; 262,144 color) and offers 100MB of internal memory that can be expanded by a SanDisk microSD card slot. Support for Bluetooth, Synchronization PC and USB mass storage is there.
Price: Rs. 5,999
What you get: The Nokia 7230, available in graphite and hot pink colors, comes with a 2.4″ TFT display (240 x 320 pixels; 262,000 colors). You will get a 3.2MP camera with 4x digital zoom, a preinstalled music player and a 3.5 mm AV connector. Onboard storage capacity of 70MB can be enhanced to 16GB via a microSD memory card slot. Connectivity options include Bluetooth version 2.1 + EDR and Full-Speed USB 2.0 (micro USB connector).
Support for instant messengers (including GTalk and Windows Live), e-mail services (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.) and social networking sites (Flickr, YouTube and Facebook, to name a few) is there. Built-in shortcuts on the home screen help you access Facebook and Twitter in one click.
Model: Cookie Fresh GS290
Price: Rs. 6,199
What you get: Pitched as a social networking phone, the LG Cookie Fresh GS290 features a 7.62-cm WVGA full touch screen that has a 3-way graphical user interface–letting you personalize your home screen as per your moods. Preloaded apps on the home screen allow users to sign into their Facebook and other favorite social networking accounts. A ‘Live Square Avatar Alert’ feature alerts you as and when you get a message from a buddy.
Other salient features include a 2MP camera, wireless FM, and a shortcut icon for accessing the Oxford Dictionary.
Brand: Sony Ericsson
Price: Rs. 6,200
What you get: Apart from allowing you to enjoy 3G services on the move (at HSDPA speed), the red-color Sony Ericsson Cedar can act as a 3G modem–all you need to do is plug the handset into your laptop, and bingo; you can access wireless Internet at high speeds! A ‘push e-mail’ feature sends incoming messages straight to your phone as soon as they arrive. Users can also access Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
A preloaded 2MP digital camera with 2.5x zoom, a screen viewfinder and dedicated menus is equipped to record videos. The Cedar, which sports a TFT display (240×320 pixel resolution; 262,144 color), has a FM radio, as well as a 3.5 mm audio jack.
You can expect support for Java, 3D games, microSD card slot (phone memory can be expanded from 280MB to 16GB), Bluetooth, USB and USB mass storage.