HTC made a splash in the market last year with the launch of its top-end smartphone, HTC One. However, it failed to translate this into sales. Nevertheless, the company continues undeterred with the launch of a smartphone with a similar design and software features as HTC One – the new Desire 700.
Desire 700 is a dual-sim smartphone with rather modest specs like low-resolution screen, just 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and 2,100mAh battery – at a price tag of 33,000 in the country. However, the device is available at Rs 23,000.
We tested the new Desire 700 to see whether its performance justifies the price tag of Rs 23,000. Here’s the review of the new HTC smartphone… and why it seems exorbitant even at Rs 23,000.
The phone sports a 5-inch display and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM.
Panasonic has launched a new Android smartphone, the P31 at a price of Rs 11,990. It will be available to consumers from the second week of this month.
The P31 sports a 5-inch FWVGA (480 X 854p) display. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. The phone comes with 4GB internal storage expandable through a microSD card and a 2,000mAh battery.
The dual-sim phone (3G+2G) sports an 8MP rear camera (with autofocus and LED flash) and a VGA front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and Panasonic has included additional bells and whistles such as support for gesture unlock, a pop-out player for playing videos while doing other tasks and a battery saver mode, among others.
Panasonic also claims to have introduced the “Heat-Sink” design based feature to maintaining device temperature through controlled heat dissipation.
In terms of connectivity, the phone comes with 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and GPS. Panasonic has bundled freebies worth Rs 10,399 with the phone which includes a screen guard, and apps and content from Evernote, Hungama and Sony, among others.
P31 is Panasonic’s sixth smartphone in the Indian market after its re-entry in the country in 2013. Panasonic has entered into partnership with Jaina group which also owns the smartphone brand, Karbonn. The phone competes with the likes of Xolo Q1000, Sony Xperia M, Karbonn Titanium S9 and Micromax Canvas HD.
If you are looking for a high-end Android phone and don’t mind spending Rs 39,999 then consider the Oppo N1
Over the years, my biggest grouse with Android devices have been their lack of variety. Once you switch them on all these phones and tablets look, and work, alike. The differentiator is usually in the design and that too is more often subtle. But recently there was a big exception to this rule, the Oppo N1. If you haven’t heard of Oppo, it is a global brand that is quite popular in some parts of the world. Interestingly, the company also chose to enter the market with high-end device that wants to take on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Nokia Lumia 1520, not the mid-range Galaxy devices or the Micromaxs.
Here are five things that set the Oppo N1 apart.
- Just one camera, not two: Android device manufacturers have struggled to offer one great camera in their phones, let alone two. So as a rule, the front camera is much lower specced than the rear one and can at the most be used for a Skype call or a dark looking selfie. Oppo has thought around this problem giving the phone a good 13MP camera and giving it the ability to rotate on an axis. So you have a 13MP front and rear camera. It helps that this camera is really good, though it gives an over-saturated feel at time. But the details are amazing and rare of camera phones. That is good enough for me to overlook the noise that comes with it.
- The OS is different: There is no doubt that the plain vanilla Android is the best there is. There have been many attempts to give the users something new, and some like the HTC Sense have been quite good. The Oppo N1 tweaks Android and calls it the Color OS. This was my first tryst with this overlay and I can definitely live with it. It is very intuitive and uses gesture better that most other phones. I also like the homescreen that gives a camera windows inside in case you want to add stuff to remember. The music and video players are much more fun and easier to use.
- The gestures work: Everyone has been trying to make use use of gesture on Android phones. I think Oppo has pretty much cracked the best way to do it. You can pull down a screen from the top to use gestures that you have preset for certain apps or functions. For instance, I calibrated it to
open the camera every time I scribbled C on this screen. There is more. A simple three finger scroll up saved a screenshot. As this is a feature I use a lot, I loved the fact that it had become so easy. And gesture work no just on the screen. You can swipe you finger behind the body to click pictures. However, we felt this only added to the shake in images.
- This one has a remote: The phone ships with a small device called the O-click. This small white disk works like a remote that connects to the phone over Bluetooth 4.0. It takes seconds to pair the two devices and once done, it will beep when there is an incoming call or message. We used it to trigger a shot when the camera window is open. It also alerts you if you move too far away from the phone and call also lets you track the phone when you can’t find it. The remote can be worn as a band around your arm. It is all a bit gimmicky and I doubt if anyone will use it on a daily basis. But this is something that works.
- It is built like a tank: At a time when we end up writing the word plasticky in every Android phone review, Oppo shows us that good design and build quality is not something that needs to be compromised on. You start feeling confident about the device from the time you see the packaging for the first time. Only Apple devices have been able exude such confidence with its packaging. This confidence show up inside the box too, with the phone’s all while body reminding me of the HTC One, arguably the best built Android device. This comes close, and maybe goes a step ahead as it has been able to create a camera that rotates but does not feel like it will fall off.
So should you buy this?
If you are looking for a high-end Android phone and don’t mind spending Rs 39,999 then this is definitely a phone that is worth a look. The only cause for worry is the fact that this is a new company and you might be stuck if something happens to the phone. We expect the company to have a service network in place in the coming months, just take care of your phone till you town gets one.
Price: Rs 39,999