Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
06th May 2013
Last month, we suggested some handsets under 10k that offer excellent value for money. However, if you're looking for a smartphone that won't become obsolete within a year, you need to loosen your purse strings a bit more. In this article, we're going to pick five handsets that offer a premium smartphone experience without breaking the bank. So here's the list of phones worth your consideration, if you're willing to spend up to Rs 20,000. The listing is not in any particular order or ranking.
LG Optimus L9
Street Price: Rs 17,400
LG's Optimus series is not as popular as its South Korean compatriot's GALAXY phones. However, some of the Optimus phones are really worth your money. One such device is the Optimus L9, which sports 4.7" IPS screen with 960x540 pixels. It draws power from a 1 GHz dual core processor (Cortex A9), coupled with PowerVR SGX540 GPU. There's 1 GB of RAM to aid the device's multitasking capabilities. The 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash is capable of recording HD videos. Other features include Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS. 3.5 mm jack, 4 GB of internal memory, microSD card slot, and 2150 mAh battery. The Optimus L9 offers ICS out of the box, and the Jelly Bean update is being rolled out in phases.
Street Price: RS 18,500
XOLO is one of the few domestic brands that build sturdy and good looking phones. The X1000 flaunts a sleek unibody design along with a 4.7" curved display with pixel dimensions of 1280x720. The X1000 is powered by a 2 GHz Intel Atom (Z2480) processor with Hyper Threading technology. There's a PowerVR SGX540 GPU to handle the gaming department. Apart from this, the features an 8 megapixel camera, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, 3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, Bluetooth, and 1900 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.0 out of the box. According to XOLO, it will eventually be upgraded to Jelly Bean.
Sony Xperia ion
Street Price: Rs 18,900
Thanks to the recent price cut, the Xperia ion is now available under Rs 20,000. The handset features a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and 1 GB of RAM. It has a 4.6" LCD display with 720x1280 pixels. In photography department, it flaunts a 12.1 megapixel auto-focus camera equipped with Exmor R mobile sensor. Apart from that, the phone packs in Wi-Fi, 3G, HDMI-Out, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, NFC, 1.3 mp front-facing camera, 3.5 mm jack, and 1900 mAh battery. Additionally, the build quality is fairly decent. It runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out of the box, and is eligible for a Jelly Bean update.
Nokia Lumia 720
Street Price: Rs 17,900
The Lumia 720 is one of the best looking handset you can get without crossing the 20k mark. The handset features a 4.3" WVGA IPS screen with ClearBlack tech, which is known to offer deeper blacks. The 720 packs in a 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with Adreno 305 graphics, which offer a fluid Windows Phone 8 experience. The 6.7 megapixel autofocus camera offers incredible low-light photography. Other hardware features include 8 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, and 2000 mAh battery. To further sweeten the deal, the Finns have thrown in Nokia Music (free music download for a year) and Nokia Drive (maps).
Nokia 808 PureView
Street Price: Rs 16,500
If you're a photography enthusiasts, you simply cannot ignore the Nokia 808 PureView. This camera phone sports a 41 megapixel sensor coupled with a Xenon flash. It may not be powered by fancy quad-core processors, but its 1.3 GHz CPU is more than enough to handle the Nokia Belle OS (formerly known as Symbian Belle). The phone's other key features include 16 GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, FM transmitter, HDMI port, and USB OTG. And yes, the phone also offers free offline voice-guided GPS navigation. The app support may not be as extensive as that for Android but you do get a lot of popular apps for this platform. But buy this phone purely for it's camera. For its new selling price of Rs 16,500 (half of what it was at launch), this handset offers more than what you would bargain for.
That's it for the sub 20K phones. If you are on a slightly tighter budget, you may check our sub 15K smarphones guide here.