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Should you buy a budget Android? What to expect and what not to

Jun 11 2014, 14:37 IST
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Apart from the Moto E, none of the other budget smartphones come with scratch-resistant glass, which is usually not worth a compromise. Apart from the Moto E, none of the other budget smartphones come with scratch-resistant glass, which is usually not worth a compromise.
SummaryThere’s the Moto E by Motorola, Micromax Unite 2, the Lava Iris X1 and a few other options.

The Indian mobile market has suddenly been flooded with several seemingly good options for Android smartphones around Rs. 7,000. There’s the Moto E by Motorola, Micromax Unite 2, the Lava Iris X1 and a few other options. So is a budget Android finally worth it?

Like in most cases, it’s not a clear-cut answer of yes or no, so here are the common triumphs and failings of this lot of smartphones, which should help you make a better buying decision.

Screen: Apart from the Moto E, none of the other budget smartphones come with scratch-resistant glass, which is usually not worth a compromise. The quality of the screen itself is now good enough for most users, although you won’t get super-sharp or big-size displays.

Verdict: Good enough.

Performance: Forget about the dual-core, quad-core, RAM and other counts. Those aren’t making much of a difference in this price range. What you need to know is that all the phones are fine for standard operations like calling, internet usage, texting and IMs, social networking, etc. But if you want to play high-end games or be a power user with lots of apps running, these phones aren’t going to keep up with you.

Verdict: Good enough for average users, not worth it for gamers and power users.

Memory: We have gone into detail about how with low-cost Androids, limited memory means limited usage. With just around 2.5GB of internal memory available to the user and the inability to install apps on microSD cards with Android KitKat, this one aspect is a major factor in deciding who should and shouldn’t use these phones.

Verdict: Not good enough for anyone. You will need to be choosy about which apps you install.

Camera: You obviously won’t get a great camera at this price. You’ll be able to shoot photos that are usable in broad daylight, and you will need to rely on filter-centric apps like Instagram to correct images shot in low light. Video shooting is a problem, and all phones are slow to focus, which means candid shots usually appear blurry.

Verdict: Decent, but don’t expect too much.

Battery: This aspect isn’t common across phones, so it’s best to read individual handset reviews to know more about the battery life of 7K Android phones.

Verdict: Generally good and long-lasting, but there can be exceptions.

Summary: These Rs. 7,000 Android smartphones are good enough if your needs are limited to a few basic apps, calling and messaging, email

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