2012 was an action-packed year for smartphones in India. Apple’s much-awaited iPhone 5 was finally launched, while Samsung continued to consolidate its position in the market with a slew of launches in the Galaxy series. Nokia, on the other hand, aggressively marketed and promoted its Lumia series and HTC emerged as a big player in the market with its One series. What does 2013 hold for the smartphone market? Will Apple launch iPhone 5s? Will Blackberry 10 tilt the balance of power in Research in Motion’s favour? Aabhas Sharma looks at five smartphones which will make their presence felt in 2013
Nokia Lumia 920
POWERED BY Windows Phone 8, Lumia 920 takes on the iPhone and Samsung’s SIII and comes with Nokia’s largest ever battery (2000mAH). The phone has an 8-megapixel camera with a “floating lens”, an optical image stabilisation technology which gives better pictures. There’s also the Cinemagraph which converts still images into GIF format. The phone has a lot of things going for it but it will come down to the apps where both Android and iOS have an edge over Windows phone. Lumia 920 certainly looks an impressive phone and while Nokia has launched the phone, it is expected to hit the market in January 2013. The price point hasn’t been announced but it is expected to be in the range of Rs 35,000.
THE BUTTERFLY was launched recently by HTC, but is expected to come to India only in the next quarter. The phone comes armed with an 8-megapixel camera, five inches screen and 1080p full HD display. The Butterfly is powered using quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC processor running at 1.5 GHz, contains 2 GB of RAM and has 16GB built-in storage. It looks like a solid phone and will be competing against the Lumia, Samsung and Apple. HTC made inroads in the Indian market in 2012 and with the Butterfly, it looks like they are upping the ante. The prices is expected to be above Rs 35,000.
IF THERE’S a smartphone vendor which really needs a shot in the arm, then it is Research In Motion. Once a favourite among smartphone users, it has been overpowered by Android phones. But then the company would be hoping that BlackBerry 10 proves to be a game-changer. The BB 10 is a new operating system that would run on the new BlackBerry devices and promises to offer a faster and smoother user interface. Some new features are the BlackBerry Hub — a one stop centralised location for your email, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger, text messages and more. BB 10 would also have its keyboard powered with predictive text which adapts to your writing style so that you can compose messages quickly and more efficiently. It also comes armed with a Time Shift Camera where you can move forward or reverse in time after clicking an image and edit the expression from multiple frames captured by the camera. The price point of phones powered with BB10 hasn’t been revealed by the company. It will be launched on 30 January.
Samsung Galaxy Grand
RIDING ON the wave of the success of the Galaxy series, Samsung is expected to launch another — one of the many actually — smartphone in 2013. The Galaxy Grand is expected to have a five-inch screen and would run on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. There is an 8-megapixel camera (this looks like the norm for all smartphones this year) has 1080p Full HD Video recording capabilities. The Galaxy Grand looks very similar to the much popular Samsung Galaxy SII. The phone will apparently have two versions, single SIM and dual SIM version. The pricing of the Galaxy Grand is expected to be around Rs 22,000. The device should strengthen Samsung’s position in the mid-priced segment of smartphones. Galaxy Grand is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2013.
LG Google Nexus 4
THE NEXUS 4 is Google’s much-awaited smartphone and it has developed it along with LG. While the phone was expected to be launched in the last quarter of 2012, it appears it will hit the shelves sometime in January 2013. Nexus 4 runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.2 and has a 4.7 inch screen and an 8-megapixel camera. There’s a new photo feature called Photo Sphere, which allows you to take photos up, down and other directions to create a 360-degree experience to share on Google+. There’s also Gesture Typing, which lets you swipe your fingers over letters you want to type on keyboard. The Nexus 4 is expected to be priced above Rs 25,000.