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The mobile phone market in India is quite different from those in the US and Europe. There’s almost a sense of neglect when it comes to using carrier locked phones in India. As a result, we Indians are deprived of carrier subsidized cell phones and have to pay full price upfront when buying one. This leads to a large percentage of consumers owning cheaper or entry-level mobile phones. But thanks to Google, now they can buy smartphones at prices as low as US$100 (INR 6 000). Let’s have a look at some of the best-selling cheap smartphones of 2013 in India and the sub-continent region.
Micromax A27 Bolt
A dual SIM phone with Android is hard to beat and the Micromax Bolt A27 is the cheapest smartphone that you may want to own. It comes with a 3.5 inch HVGA display but a very lowly VGA camera at the rear and no front facing camera or LED flash. It has a 1 GHz single-core, 256MB of RAM and 512 MB of ROM.
A stock version of Android 2.3 comes pre-installed which is good enough to run apps and day-to-day activities. There are enough connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 and Micro USB 2.0 port. Packing a 1400mAh battery, the Micromax A27 Bolt is priced at just US$55, unlocked.
Nokia Asha 501
Though you may not consider this phone as a proper smartphone, Nokia presses everyone to call it one. It runs a newer version of the Asha OS and which you can use to install some of the most basic apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Mail. There’s a notifications bar and multi-sweepable interface just like other smartphone operating systems. This phone comes with QVGA 3 inch multitouch TFT LCD display and a 3.2 MP camera with QVGA video recording. It also comes in a handful of colours and the Nokia Asha 501 has a price in India of merely US$85.
Karbonn is yet another brand which is considered one of the leading Indian mobile phone developers. The Karbonn A2+ is an ideal entry-level Android smartphone priced just under $80 and comes with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) pre-installed. This phone is powered by a 1 GHz single-core processor, 256 MB of RAM and 512 MB of ROM.
In the camera department, there’s a 3MP rear and a VGA front-facing camera. It is quite good in terms of connectivity including dual SIM card slots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and A-GPS. Equipped with a quite large 1750 mAh battery, this phone also has a 4-inch WVGA TFT LCD multitouch display. For now, it’s priced at around US$70.
Samsung Galaxy Star
The cheapest Android smartphone from Samsung is the Galaxy Star which was released this month. It comes with dual SIM connectivity and Android 4.1 JellyBean. The screen used here is a 3-inch QVGA TFT LCD panel with a multitouch panel.
Powered by a 1 GHz single-core processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage, this phone runs smoother than other competitors in its price range. It has a 2MP fixed focus camera at the rear but lacks a front-facing camera. Connectivity is all filled up with quad-band dual-SIM card slots, Bluetooth 4, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Micro USB 2.0 and Wi-Fi Hotspot. A 1200mAh battery powers the Samsung Galaxy Star which is priced at around US$83 as of now in all major ecommerce stores in India.
LG Optimus L3 II
A Samsung Galaxy Star competitor from LG which is priced a bit higher. This phone is almost similar to the Samsung Galaxy Star in terms of hardware specifications such as dual SIM connectivity, Android 4.1.2 JB, 1 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage and 3G connectivity. Although, some of the features are enhanced such as more sensors, bigger 1450 mAh battery and a 3.2-inch IPS LCD multi-touch display. But all these enhancements can cost you nearly US$130 if you buy it online.