Last year, it was raining Android phones in India. As many as 33 Android smartphones were launched in India in 2010.
Conscious to the needs of the price-sensitive Indian buyer, many phone manufacturers kept their handsets between Rs.10,000 to Rs. 15,000, with some phones being available for below Rs. 10,000 too. Recently, Intex announced that it would launch an Android phone in India early in February for just Rs. 5,500. Huawei’s upcoming Ideos series of Android phones is also expected to be priced around the same range.
Suggested read: Top Android phones in India
The Google Android bandwagon has plenty of options for the Indian buyer. We bring to you the cheap and the best Android phones available in India today, in descending order of their price:
Price: Rs. 12,499
With many better and more expensive phones in India still running Android 2.1 OS, LG Optimus One is the only smartphone in its price segment which runs Android 2.2 aka Froyo. The Optimus One has a 3.15-megapixel camera that lacks flash, and this might be disappointing for some users. The LG phone comes with a 3.2-inch high-resolution HVGA LCD multitouch-enabled capacitive display camera. Navigation is smooth, unlike previous LG phones. The Optimus One is 3G-enabled and comes with a 600MHz processor and 512MB of RAM. Its battery life is also good and lasts up to 8 hours on continuous usage. Read more about the LG Optimus One P500 Android phone
Price: Rs. 11,499
Small and compact, Xperia X10 Mini runs Android 1.6, but you can upgrade it to Android 2.1. The Sony Ericsson phone has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash and records videos at 640 x 480 resolution. Word of caution, this phone is not meant for power users. With its 2.5-inch, QVGA (320×240 pixels) capacitive touchscreen, you will anyway not be too comfortable watching movies or playing games on this phone. The “size-zero” Xperia X10 Mini is targeted more toward female users and comes with a range of interchangeable back covers free in the box. It is powered by a Qualcomm 600Mhz processor and has 128MB internal memory. A host of Google applications are preloaded on the Xperia X10 Mini and its interface is simple and snappy. Read more about this relatively cheap Android phone
If you are heavy on texting, for Rs. 2,000 more, you can get Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro that comes with a slide-out QWERTY keypad.
Price: Rs. 11,599
Samsung Galaxy 3 runs Android 2.1 aka Eclair, but is upgradable to Android 2.2. The phone’s 667MHz processor is boosted by Samsung Intuitive TouchWIZ 3 interface (the same as its big-brother Galaxy S). Another plus point is that the Galaxy 3 comes with Swype technology to help you type faster and aid people who find touch QWERTY keys too small for comfort. The Samsung phone has a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen which gives excellent response, but sadly, is prone to fingerprint marks. Galaxy 3 plays DivX/XviD files and its music player is also good with its 5.1 channel surround support in headset mode.
Price: Rs. 10,999 (8GB memory card free)
The Zeus runs Android 1.6 aka Donut, but is upgradable to Android 2.1 Eclair. One great thing about this phone is that it has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, not to mention the 8GB free memory card as opposed to 2GB cards provided by most manufacturers. The Videocon phone is 3G and Wi-Fi enabled and features a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen. The Zeus also comes with two batteries and a carry case. Over all, the phone looks like a good buy on paper but one must be wary of Videocon’s teething problems as a budding Android phone manufacturer.
Price: Rs. 6,699 (2GB memory card free)
The Andro A60 runs Android 2.1 and is the cheapest Android phone available in the Indian market today. The Micromax phone has excellent features considering its price range. It supports 3G and Wi-Fi, and features Swype technology. It offers 150 MB of RAM and its 600Mhz Qualcomm processor is better than HTC Wildfire’s which is priced twice as high. Micromax Andro A60 has a 3.2-megapixel camera which delivers decent pictures, provided the light is right. The phone also boasts an accelerometer and gravity sensor which helps it switch between portrait and landscape modes seamlessly. Read more about the Micromax Andro A60