Ufone Smart U5 vs. the Competition: Budget 3G Smartphones Showdown

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October 9, 2014
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Ufone garnered some praise for its introduction of the self-branded budget 3G smartphone, Smart U5, a while after the introduction of mobile trade program. While Ufone Smart U5 is far from a perfect Android smartphone, it most certainly is a welcome entry for its price category. We’ll be discussing the same, budget category in this post to give an idea to our users of how well does the Smart U5 hold up against the competition which consists of several veteran and trusted brands; here’s a round-up of the 3G-enabled smartphones available in Pakistan for under 10,000.

Ufone Smart U5 (PKR 6,666)

QMobile Noir

Ufone Smart U5 is a rebranded version of the Chinese b.social4, a low-end Android smartphone equipped with 3G connectivity to boot. Here are the specifications of the device:

  • 4.0-inch WVGA IPS display with a resolution of 480 x 800 px.
  • 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor with Adreno 302 GPU
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 4 GB of internal memory; expandable via microSD card up to 32 GB
  • 5 MP primary camera with LED flash; 0.3 MP front camera
  • GPS, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean; upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Dimensions: 118.5 x 63 x 10.7 mm; 1,450 mAh battery

Wall charger, earphones and screen-protector are included with the package, with a 6-month warranty. Moreover, at a price of PKR 6,666, the specifications of the smartphone sound more than justified. Since the smartphone comes straight from the telco, one (obvious) catch here is the network lock: the handset will only work with Ufone SIMs.

QMobile Noir A120 (PKR 8,500)

NoirQMobi

QMobile enjoys an unrivalled presence in Pakistan’s smartphone market, and Noir A120 is a strong contender in the sub-10,000 price range from QMobile. It boasts:

  • 4.0-inch WVGA display; 480 x 800 px. resolution
  • 1.0 GHz dual-core processor
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 4 GB of internal storage; expansion slot for up to 16GB microSD cards
  • 5 MP primary camera with LED flash; VGA secondary camera (0.3 MP)
  • GPS, GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dimensions: 127.5 x 63.7 x 10.4 mm; 1,500 mAh battery

The specifications of Ufone Smart U5 and Noir A120 match closely except for a few differences. Noir A120 can be found in the local market for around Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 8,500.

QMobile X11 (PKR 7,000)

NOir

 

QMobile X11 is a compact and modestly-priced smartphone. The specifications are:

  • 3.5-inch HVGA display
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 512 MB RAM; 4 GB ROM with up to 32 GB expansion capability
  • 3.2 MP primary, 0.3 MP secondary camera
  • FM Radio; GPS; Wi-Fi; Bluetooth; Dual-SIM
  • Dimensions: 119 x 62.6 x 11.3mm; 1,300 mAh battery

QMobile X11 offers a compact, sized-down smartphone experience. While the battery and camera capabilities sound modest at best on paper, the price of the handset agrees with user experience that it has to offer. Moreover, X11 is one of the very few smartphones which come with Android 4.4 KitKat in this price range.

Voice Xtreme V15 (PKR 7,500)

Voice

Xtreme V14 and Xtreme V15 are closely-related smartphones from Voice, another emerging brand in Pakistan besides QMobile. The Voice Xtreme V15 smartphone offers:

  • 3.5-inch HVGA display; 480 x 320 px. resolution
  • 1.3 GHz dual-core processor
  • 512 MB RAM; 4 GB built-in memory; up to 32 GB microSD card expansion
  • 3.2 MP primary, VGA secondary camera
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, GPRS
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 115 x 60 x 11.5 mm; 1,400 mAh battery

Voice Xtreme V14 is a slightly less powerful, and cheaper sibling of V15 with 1,350 mAh battery, and 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. These Xtreme offerings from Voice fall short when compared to the display resolution of Ufone Smart U5, and the battery capacity of U5 is also slightly better. Xtreme V14 and V15, however, offer unlocked, dual-SIM configuration.

Nokia X (PKR 9,500)

Nokia

Nokia X is the only option for those who want an Android experience while still remaining Nokia loyalists on budget. Nokia X is a pretty decent phone and although it goes a bit north in price range, the experience it offers is much better as compared to the competition.

  • 4.0-inch IPS LCD; 480 x 800 px.
  • 1 GHz dual-core Cortex-A5 processor
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 4 GB internal memory; microSD expansion slot
  • 3.15 MP camera
  • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM Radio
  • Dimensions: 115.5 x 63 x 10.4 mm; 1,500 mAh battery

Nokia X offers a solid polycarbonate build with scratch-resistant display. It comes in a range of beautiful color options. A charger and headset can be found in the retail box apart from the handset itself. Some cons of the device are no autofocus in camera, lack of Google services, and no front camera.

The phone is also available in optional dual-SIM configuration. Moreover, those who want a bit better experience can opt for Nokia X+ which is essentially the same thing with 768 MB of RAM, but it will translate to an increased price.

Conclusion

With Smart U5, Ufone has not only found a sweet-spot between pricing, features and data packages, it has also ensured a head-start against other telcos in the country should they opt for similar offerings in the future. It could also be a beginning of network-locked, carrier-subsidized smartphones in Pakistan which, if the model takes off, would mean more options for the buyers from premium brands.

Disclaimer: The prices and specifications mentioned in the post have been verified from online sources and official websites (where applicable), and are given for information purposes only. TechJuice cannot be held responsible for any changes that occur in local market prices following the time of publication. Moreover, the price of Ufone Smart U5 has been changed since its original announcement. The price mentioned in the article reflects that change.


 
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