Mobile World Congress 2015 finally came to an end with the introduction of quite a few interesting gadgets and products. While the flagships like Samsung’s latest GALAXY devices & HTC One may have stolen the show, there were plenty of products to match almost anyone’s taste and budget range, like low-to mid-range smartphones.
To cater to the needs of that audience, here are our picks of the top budget-friendly devices from the MWC 2015 that we think you’ll find worthy of being considered as your next smartphone.
1. & 2. Alcatel Idol 3 (4.7” & 5.5”)
Alcatel has been manufacturing low- to mid-range Android smartphone devices in the past and you can be excused if you don’t know anything about its handsets, but the Idol 3 series from Alcatel is too interesting to ignore.
Alcatel has introduced two smartphones under its Idol 3 lineup: a 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch variant. The larger of the two boasts 1080p display, 2 GB RAM, Snapdragon 615 chipset with an octa-core processor, Adreno 405 GPU, 13 MP primary and 8 MP secondary cameras, and 16 / 32 GB storage options.
The smaller, 4.7-inch variant has got 720p display, 1 GB RAM, Snapdragon 410 chipset with a quad-core processor, Adreno 306 GPU, 13 MP primary and 5 MP secondary cameras.
But the most interesting thing about these smartphones is their 100% reversibility. What this means is that the handsets can be held in any orientation and they’ll work: there’s no upside-down for them. Thanks to the placement of mic and loudspeakers on both ends of the display, a user can even answer the calls without having to worry about holding the phone the right way. Now of course, the physical buttons can’t change their position, but enough support from both hardware and software makes these phones quite interesting to use.
The smartphones will cost around $200 (PKR 20,400) for 4.7-inch and $250 (PKR 25,500) for the 5.5-inch variant, and will be released sometime in the second quarter of 2015.
3. & 4. Microsoft Lumia 640 & Lumia 640 XL
Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL are the Microsoft Lumia lineup options announced by the company at Mobile World Congress. Like it has been in the recent past, the XL variant is almost similar to the other one except for size and camera technology. Rest of the hardware like 1 GB RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset are shared by the both siblings. You can find a chart, and a link to a more detailed comparison of the two below.
5. Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
Sony has been churning out some exceptional hardware for the past few years, and is one of the major players in Android ecosystem. While the absence of Xperia Z4 smartphone was a let-down for many, Sony did announce the Z4 Tablet and M4 Aqua smartphone to make up for the disappointment.
Sony Xperia M4 Aqua boasts a 5-inch 720p display, Snapdragon 615 chipset, 2 GB of RAM, 8 or 16 GB of expandable storage, a 13 MP primary and 5 MP secondary shooters with Android v5 Lollipop out of the box. As the Aqua moniker in the title suggests, the handset is IP69 certified dust and water proof as well.
The smartphone is a little pricier, with $329 (PKR 33,480) for an unlocked unit, as compared to other entries on the list, but the added benefits like better software support and water-proofing pay off for the additional cost. The availability of the Xperia M4 Aqua is projected around April 2015.
You’ll find a comparison chart of Sony Xperia M4 Aqua and other smartphones in the list below.
6. Lenovo A7000
Lenovo is one of the major underdogs in the smartphone business, and has been making some significant progress for the past couple of years. At MWC 2015, it announced two smartphones for the global market: a high-end Lenovo Vibe Shot, and a mid-range Lenovo A7000.
Lenovo A7000 has a 720p, 5.5-inch IPS display. It uses Mediatek MT6752m chipset alongside an octa-core 1.5 GHz processor and Mali-T760MP2 GPU. 2 GB of RAM, 8 GB expandable internal memory, 8 MP primary and 5 MP secondary shooters complete the package. An additional interesting feature in Lenovo A7000 is Dolby ATMOS sound for improved music experience.
The handset comes with Android v5 Lollipop, boasts 4G LTE connectivity, and will be released sometime later this month for around $170 (PKR 17,300).
Hit the break to find a spec-by-spec comparison of Lenovo A7000 and other handsets in the list.
See also: Lenovo Launches Smartphones in Pakistan
7. BlackBerry Leap
BlackBerry, according to many, has lost its touch and isn’t that significant in the smartphone space anymore. Recent quarterly figures for smartphone manufacturers quite clearly reflect the same but that hasn’t stopped BlackBerry from announcing a new mid-ranger at MWC 2015.
BlackBerry Leap is a budget smartphone meant for young professionals. It uses 5.0-inch, 720p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset with Dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 2 GB of RAM, Adreno 305, and 16 GB of expandable-via-microSD card storage.
An 8 MP primary cam with LED flash and 2 MP secondary cam, 2,800 mAh battery, and LTE connectivity with BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 on the software side are what you’ll get for $275 (PKR 28,000).
Following is a head-to-head comparison of Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, Lenovo A7000, and BlackBerry Leap.
Which one among these smartphones would you consider buying, and why, do tell us in the comments below!
— Courtesy: PC Advisor, GSM Arena, NDTV, CNET