Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
29th Mar 2012
Not everyone is willing to shell out their hard-earned money for the iPhones and Lumias. Most of the buyers just look for a decent phone that suits their needs. Although it's good to have a lot of features, this shouldn't come at the cost of the device's build quality. In this low-cost segment, platform ideally shouldn't play a big role. However, it's always better to opt for Android or Symbian devices. Since India is a booming market for the dual-SIM devices, we start off with a dual-SIM handset recommendation.
Nokia Asha 200 (Recommended Dual-SIM Handset)
Street Price: Rs 4300 (Adexmart.com; Letsbuy.com; HomeShop18.com)
The Asha 200 has an impressive build quality and decent looks. It has a good music player, 2 MP camera, and 32 GB microSD card support. On the messaging front, the phone's QWERTY keypad does a stellar job. Although it is a low-end phone, it does feature built-in apps for Facebook and Twitter. Overall, if you're looking for a sturdy and feature packed dual-SIM phone, the Asha 200 is the way to go.
Samsung Ch@t 527 (Recommended Value For Money)
Street Price: Rs 4500 (Adexmart.com; Letsbuy.com)
3G connectivity has reached most parts of our country, and Wi-Fi routers are also becoming common these days. No wonder then, there's a huge market for cheap 3G + Wi-Fi phones, and that is what the Ch@t 527 caters to. Despite having a terrible name and bad design, this phone is a decent choice for those who want to have all-round connectivity without spending too much. The usual bells and whistles such as the Bluetooth, 2 MP camera, and an expandable memory card slot are also present.
Samsung GALAXY Y (Recommended Android Phone)
Street Price: Rs 7500 (Flipkart.com; Letsbuy.com; HomeShop18.com)
There are hordes of Android handsets up for grabs below the Rs 10,000 mark. Sadly, most of these either have poor build quality or they totally spoil the Android experience. However, the GALAXY Y is an exception. It has a decent 830 MHz CPU which is capable of handling Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with ease. Apart from that, the handset packs in a 3" capacitive touchscreen, a 2 MP camera, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Nokia E5 (Recommended Business Phone)
Street Price: Rs 9200 (Flipkart.com; Letsbuy.com; HomeShop18.com)
Although this handset is almost two years old, it manages to top the list of all-round QWERTY devices. The E5 runs Symbian S60 v3 Edition, Feature Pack 2. Thanks to its 600 MHz CPU and 256 MB RAM, the UI feels snappy. It packs in Wi-Fi, 5 MP camera, email client, and free document editor. Additionally, GPS with free voice-guided satellite navigation is a bonus.
Motorola FIRE XT 530 (Recommended Multimedia Phone)
Street Price: Rs 9900 (HomeShop18.com; Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com)
We are not a fan of Motorola's Android customisation. However, thanks to its 3.5" touchscreen, the FIRE XT doubles up as a good PMP. The handset is powered by an 800 MHz CPU and has 512 MB of RAM. Additionally, it's one of the few devices to sport a 5 MP autofocus camera at this price point. It features digital zoom and also comes with an LED flash. What's more, thanks to its front VGA camera you can also make video calls.