Ever since those midrange Android devices started hitting the shelves, it seems like Google’s Android has achieved a cult following that was once enjoyed by Nokia’s Symbian devices. Every android device related announcement is bringing lot of excitement. The buzz is so much that many have started to consider anything non-android as useless or worthless, which in our opinion is not exactly true. Today, we are going to list few phones that does not come preloaded with Android but are worth every paisa and some of these do beat similarly priced Androids. So, lets dig in.
I know few friends who stay away from touchscreen-only device because of a simple reason. For them those ridges on F and J keys are more important than any other feature on the phone. Are you one of those who never look at the keypad while typing and hence prefer having a full sized qwerty keypad over a touch keypad? If yes, then Nokia E5, available for under 9k is the most VFM device that you can get in the market right now. This phone is solidly built, feels superb in hand, has a comfortable four row qwerty, crisp and clear 2.4” 256k color TFT LCD display, abundant amount of internal memory and memory expansion (microSD). Powered by an ARM 11 600 MHz processor, this phone has a 256MB of RAM which is enough for Symbian S60 to run without any hiccup even while you are doing multitasking. On communications front, this phone is equipped with 10.2 Mbps HSDPA, 2 Mbps HSUPA (3G), Wi-Fi. With a 5mp camera, very good audio output (music quality), FM radio, this phone is does very good in multimedia department, which is a rarity in such devices. To spice it up, this phone has a battery life that would envy most droiders out there and with Nokia Ovi navigation, you will never get lost when on long road trips. Being an E series device, the phone comes with a document editor and a very good push email client. All in all, E5 is a superb all-rounder that is available for a dirt cheap price.
Blackberry 9300 Curve 3G:
Ever since the beginning RIM’s Blackberry brand is stuck with corporate-phone image. If you have seen recent TV commercials, you would notice that RIM is trying hard to shed the image and make people identify Blackberry as a brand for everyone on the move. From what I heard from friends is that once you move to Blackberry and get the feel of their messaging services, it’s hard to come back to any other phone brand or service. Such is the perfection of their services. BB Curve 3G 9300 costs 14k and is IMO very good for it’s price. There are cheaper berries available but they lalg in many areas when compared to 8300. Curve 3G is similar to Nokia E5, has a 2.4” portrait TFT LCD, four row qwerty that is excellent to use, robust optical trackpad, dedicated music keys at the top, 802.11b/g/n, 3G network connectivity. This phone runs BB OS 5.0 and is upgradeable to BB OS 6.0. The only weak points are weak camera and average battery life. But on the plus side, you get to enter the world os BB Internet services. This phone comes preloaded with BB Maps and has inbuilt GPS.
One of the three Symbian S^3 devices, Nokia C7 is actually a very powerful device that is highly underrated, mostly because of it running the symbian OS. With S^3 Anna update just around the corner, this phone would be the best phone to get for those with a budget of 17k or so. With its sleek design, the phone looks stunning. The 3.5” AMOLED display with nHD resolution is a treat to use (though C6-01 has Nokia CBD display, the 0.3” extra real estate on C7 outweights the lack of CBD). The display is protected by super-hard scratch resistance Gorilla glass. Nokia has provided 8GB of memory and you can add more via microSD slot. Other great features include 8mp camera with 720p recording, 802.11b/g/n, 1GB ROM, USB on-the-go support, FM Radio/transmistter, superb audio quality, DivX/Xvid support, Active noise cancellation (using secondary mic), Ovi maps navigation and superb battery life. If you are one of those who doesn’t need to stay online (social networks, mails etc) and prefer a phone that has strong multimedia capability, do check this phone, you might fall in love with it.
Samsung Wave II:
The first Wave smartphone (running Samsung’s own Bada OS with Touchwiz overlaying UI) was a huge success and the main reason was that the device had the features of a 25k smartphone and was available for 17k. The second iteration, Wave II gets even better. Bada OS too is slowly gaining traction and lot of new applications are being added to the Samsung Application Store. Looks wise, the phone is a stunner. Wave II has a 3.7” SC-LCD display and is protected by gorilla glass. The panel is a slight disappointment, given that AMOLED is clearly the best panel out there today and Wave came with AMOLED display. The phone is powered by a screaming Hummingbird (Cortex A8 1GHz processor + PowerVR SGX540 GPU) SoC and there is 2GB of ROM onboard and one can expand the storage using mircroSD card. Other good features include 5mp camera with autofocus and LED flash, 720p video recording, GPS navigation using Samsung mobile navigator, 802.11b/g/n and very good battery life. This phone is currently available in the market for 17k-18k rupees which is a great price given the feature set. If you have any fear about Bada OS, have a look here http://www.samsungapps.com/topApps/topAppsGate.as
Windows Phone 7 is quickly becoming the most talked about OS among tech enthusiasts. Though the first iteration has lot of features missing the NoDo and Mango updates are going to put this OS right at the top in terms of usability and thanks to the Metro UI, the OS offers a refreshingly beautiful OS and superb social networking integration. Microsofts stictly rules on h/w deisgn can be a may or may not work in everyone’s favour but what it did is that it made the OS run super smooth without any lag and also makes future updates very easy. Due to heavy modifications done by manufacurers on Google’s Android (HTC: SenseUI, Motorola: motoblur, Samsung: Touchwiz etc), handset makers take lot of time in pushing updates released by Google for Android and in many cases, the updates are not done and users are stuck with whatever was put on their phone during release. Microsoft has made it clear that all their updates will be pushed to all the WP7 devices irrespective of who the manufacturer is. Mozart, powered by WP7 is currently priced at 25k and is the phone to go for if you want to look at something that is powerful, feature rich and not running android. Mozart has a 3.7” S-LCD display protected by Gorilla glass (that, to our surprise is on-par with AMOLED display), has 8GB onboard memory with 512MB or ROM and 576MB of RAM, has the usual bells and whisles like 802.11n, bing maps, 3G etc. The phone is powered by 1GHZ Snapdragon Scorpion processor (with Adreno 220 GPU) which makes the UI rug without any lag. This phone is very good in multimedia department with Dolby and SRS enhancement, 8mp camera with Xenon flash, 720p video recording, good audio quality, FM radio. The rated battery life though seems to be average on paper. You will get to know more about this device once our writer finished up on the review of this device.
When it comes with hardware and design, Nokia N8 is simply the best, Period! Even the famed iPhone 4 looks miniscule next o N8’s might. Though S^3 is old and dying OS, the new update Anna (to be release soon) should give a breath of fresh air and given that Nokia will keep on supporting/developing Symbian till 2014 atleast, there is no need to fear the loss of updates for N8. A 3.5” AMOLED display with gorilla glas protection, nHD resolution, 16GB internal memory (microSD expansion available), USB on-the-go, Ovi maps navigation, DivX and Xvid Support, TV out, FM Radio/transmitter, TV-Out (HDMI with Dolby decoding), document viewer, etc. The phone is fully loaded with features. But the most notable will be its 12mp camera which has put entry level PnS cameras to shame and is resulting in the death of pocket camcorders. N8’s camera takes the best pictures that a camera equipped phone can take and thanks to it’s Xenon flash, the phone can take photos will superb clarity even in low light conditions. Currently priced at around 23k, this phone is without a doubt among the best non-android devices available in the market. Do not be fooled by looking at ARM 11 600MHz processor. Nokia N8 uses ARM 11 for normal tasks and the multimedia part is offloaded to an efficient processor, Broadcom BCM2727 multimedia processor.What this does is that it keep the CPU cycles free and available for other tasks, making full multitasking a pain free process. If you are looking for the best camera phone that oney can get, N8 should be your defacto choice.
Dell Venue Pro:
Venue Pro is arguably the best WP7 device available in the market right now and is better than the competition by a mile. A 4.1” AMOLED display protected by Gorilla glass, 8 or 16GB of onboard storage, 1GHz Snapdragon Scorpion, 5mp camera with LED flash and 720p video recording. The unique part is the portrait style qwerty, which is easy to use but is far from being perfect. Do have a look at this phone once if your pocket is heavy enough and if you are good to go with wp7.
There are few more devices that are worth getting and here is a brief list:
- Nokia C6-01
- Nokia E7
- Blackberry Bold 9780
- HTC HD7