Smart tips for buying a smart Android phone [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]
(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) "The world is moving to Smartphones and you don't want to be left behind. If you have to choose from dozens of brands and hundreds of models, you are bound to get a headache. At times, people end up buying one just for its attractive price tag and there are others who get caught up in brand name and tend to miss out on key features. This article will shed light on some of the key parameters one must look at before buying an Android phone.""CPU: The CPU in a Smartphone, just like in a computer, is the processor that handles all the major computing activities like running apps, processing photos or videos. It is one of the main parameters that defines the speed of the phone, but not the only one. These days you also get multi-core CPUs that help in running multiple applications simultaneously and smoothly. But not every application needs a multi-core CPU. A majority of the apps run fine even if your phone has a single core processor. Just make sure the phone you opt for has a CPU running at 1 GHz at least. Presence of a dedicated GPU or Graphics Processor will enhance your gaming experience and other graphics related activities. So, look out for that too.
RAM:Presence of more RAM will help your applications load faster and make the phone free of lag. A minimum of 512 MB of RAM is recommended. Please note that we are talking of RAM here; do not confuse it with ROM or built-in memory or storage capacity that tend to have flattering figures. Just look for RAM.
SCREEN: Size does matter, but that's not the only thing that counts. The screen resolution also needs to be taken into account. A large screen with a low resolution will make the picture look dull. A minimum screen size of 3.5 inches is recommended with a minimum resolution of 480 x 320 pixels (HVGA). A screen smaller than that is difficult to type on. Ideally look for a 3.7" to 4" screen with a resolution of 800 x 480 (WVGA) or better. And make sure it's a Capacitive touch-screen that supports multi-touch.
CAMERA:The camera quality is a highly subjective parameter and difficult to judge by simply looking at the specifications. Higher megapixels do not guarantee a better image quality. Also, the photos that we upload on Facebook and other social networking sites are resized and nowhere close to highest resolution the phone camera can capture in. But still there are some aspects that we can look for. Make sure it's a 3 megapixel camera or higher but more importantly, it has auto focus and an LED flash.
Android version :This is a no-brainer. The higher, the better. Anything below version 2.3 (Gingerbread) in today's day and age is unacceptable. Ideally look for a phone that has version 4.0 (IceCream Sandwich or ICS) or one that's upgradable to ICS. Newer version of Android brings newer features to the table, along with better stability and power management.
Build quality :Go check the phone out at some store even if you plan to buy it online. It should feel sturdy in the hand and not make creaky noise when you hold it tight. That will give you an idea about the quality of material used in its construction and an assurance that it can hopefully survive a few falls.
Warranty :Go for a brand that offers you at least a 1-year warranty on the device so that you are covered against manufacturing glitches for both hardware and software. Make sure it's a manufacturer warranty and not a dealer warranty.
The above should help you make an informed buying decision. But just to simplify your life a bit more, we will introduce you to some lesser known budget Android handsets that offer excellent value for money for a price under Rs10,000 and can rival certain better known models that demand almost twice the selling price.
Karbonn A9+ - Rs 8990
It boasts of a 1.2 GHz dual core Qualcomm Scorpion CPU, 512 MB RAM, 4-inch Capacitive Multi-touch screen with an 800 x 480 resolution, 5 MP Auto Focus camera with LED Flash, along with a 1.3 MP front camera and Android 4.0 ICS. All this for a very attractive price tag.
Micromax Canvas 2 A110 - Rs 9990
For all the large screen aficionados, here's one with a 5-inch screen with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels. It also flaunts an 8 MP camera with Auto Focus and dual LED flash. There's a dual core 1 GHz CPU at its heart, along with 512 MB of RAM and runs Android 4.0 ICS.
XOLO A700 - Rs 9990
The first XOLO x900 had an Intel CPU and was one of the fastest smartphones of 2011. The A700 doesn't have an Intel inside, but has a dual core 1 GHz CPU with 512 MB RAM and a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels. The screen size is a tad smaller than the Micromax A110, but the resolution is higher.
Huawei Ascend G300- Rs 9990
All the above phones support Dual SIM feature. If that or their brand names make you uneasy, here's one with a single SIM and from a world-renowned brand, Huawei.
All the above phones come with a 1-year warranty in India and support 3G and Wifi. If you found some of the popular sub-10K phones like Samsung Galaxy Ace or Sony Xperia Tipo missing from the list, that's because they fail to meet one or more parameters that we listed above. Also, we focused on Android phones in this article because unfortunately there aren't any qualitative Blackberry, Apple or Windows phones in that budget. So, be smart and choose wisely."
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